Thumper’s upgrades

Why a Toyota Land Cruiser and not a Land Rover?????

I am often surprised as to why this is a question most of the time. I am not sure that lying under a vehicle, counting a new oil leak or staring into the engine bay is what I’d primarily like to be doing on my travels. As their will only be one vehicle on this trip we had to go for reliability. I do agree, Land Rover definitely looks the part but then again we are not here to win a beauty contest. As for parts, the UN have changed to the 70 series Land Cruisers and 90% of the national parks and Toyota definitely seems to be dominating Africa, so parts are definitely not an issue.

The problem in Dubai is that there are very few diesels cars because petrol is dirt cheap. Thanks to Tracks 4 Africa we were able to determine the closest distances between fuel stations, especially in Koakoland, Lake Turkana, etc and we determined we need roughly 1,200kms of fuel. So a petrol car was out of the question…….and in came Thumper.

Thumper was born with a snorkel and winch which is an absolute blessing, besides for this she has a CD player but otherwise everything had to be added on.

  • I managed to get someone to buy the new crappy Dunlop tyres off her and replace them with BFG All Terrain 285/70R16. Which give our axles an additional 25mm lift, a big plus!!
  • We replaced the suspension and shocks with EFS, this has given her a 2 inch lift and has softened the ride slightly.
  • We fitted a dual battery system so that we can run our freezer, lights and chargers.
  • Due to the soft sand in Africa we have a hi-lift jack which will help us if we need to change the tyre or dig ourselves out of some sticky situation
  • A roof rack is a must and because of the rails on the Land Cruiser it has a carrying capacity of 250kgs (which we won’t have but at least you know your roof won’t bend). We were lucky to be given a roof tent and awning which is on loan until we get to SA, I hope they haven’t fallen apart by then. On the roof we’ll load the 2nd spare tyre, gas bottle and 2 spare jerry cans.
  • Currently I am building an Aluminium roller drawer system for the back of the vehicle. So I’ll keep you up to date as to how that comes out.