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    Thread: Turning ex-Military 4x4's into Campers

    1. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      01-31-2002 02:51 PM #1
      I've been considering picking up an old military Land Rover to convert into a fun off-roader/weekend vehicle/overnighter. East Coast Rovers builds amazing custom expadition trucks but they are big money, I'm on a smaller budget. I really like the Land Rover Series III 109" trucks. Keep the back empty to use as a "pickup" most of the time and throw a mattress in there for camping trips. An ex-ambulance or Forward-Control would be even better camper, but on the big side for off roading and road driving.

      LR Series III 109"

      LR Forward Control

      Then today I ran across this ex-military UniMog 404 Radio truck. COOL! http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=601449908

      Check out this one that's been camper converted. http://homepage.tinet.ie/~jconsidi/Camper.htm

      Ultimately, a refurbished Land Rover Series III 109" ex-military truck would be the best comprimise for me. They can be made to be reasonably comfortable for the occasional road trip, are super-tough off road, and the back box gives a lot of flexibility. I am strongly considering one. I hope to check out a few at the "The Fiddleheads & 4x4s Festival" in Maine in May.
      http://www.eastcoastrover.com/Fiddleheads.html

      Anyone else ever done something like this?

      Quote Originally Posted by Ron Swanson
      "I'm a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food."
      Ukemafia.com

    2. Member
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      01-31-2002 03:21 PM #2
      hmm...from the B5, to the Protege, to this. The pendulum swings again! Just kidding Dave.

      While the cost is prohibitive, you'd have one helluva tough RV. And, unique. Keep us posted if you do decide to pursue.


    3. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      01-31-2002 03:48 PM #3
      This would be along with the Pro5... this car isn't going anywhere. I definately miss my B5 though... it was a great car, but it had it's problems and I am glad to be out of the leasing-loop.

      We NEED to get a second vehicle this summer. We'd like it to be a truck or SUV because of the kind of work we need to do with it. We also want a camper. I suppose a nice used, Jeep Grand Cherokee and a pop-up would surfice, but it's fun to dream about other projects.

      An ex-military Land Rover isn't that expensive either. To get one and have a pro run through it and get it into safe, reliable mechanical condition would be $10k-$12k. Sure it wouldn't be as comfortable and quiet as a '96 Bronco, but it would be a lot of fun, and have a ton of personality. Let's face it, if we al bought th emost practical, reliable vehicle, we'd ALL be steering Camrys around.




      [Modified by Sporin, 3:50 PM 1-31-2002]

      Quote Originally Posted by Ron Swanson
      "I'm a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food."
      Ukemafia.com

    4. Member Apollo-Soyuz 1975's Avatar
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      01-31-2002 10:16 PM #4
      Weren't older Chevy K-5 Blazers available with a rear camper shell?

    5. 02-01-2002 05:25 AM #5
      A 101 FC isn't a bad idea for a camper, especially if you can get an ambulance or radio car with the hard shell. Here's a photo of a converted interior:

      More photos can be found on the http://www.101fc.co.uk website. They might be tall (even the soft top is 9 inches taller than a Hummer, but then it is 14 inches shorter and narrower!). According to that website, it can climb over 60° gradient of dry concrete, but it does only do 14mpg

      It's crazy to think that an FC has the same wheelbase as a Freelander!


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      02-01-2002 08:53 AM #6
      One thing about the Land Rover - unless you really did something horrible in its conversion to a camper, it is very unlikely you'd ever lose money from depreciation on the thing.

      Then again, I'm not sure I'd want to drive one that far, especially on the highway. I like that Jeep + pop-up idea....

      Actually, what about a Eurovan Camper? The 5-cylinder versions (1995ish) sell for mid-teens, and the VR6s (1997+) have started to dip just below the $20k mark. I always wanted one, but getting kayaks on the roof would be a literal pain in the back, and driving one around here wouldn't be very pleasant. Taking a Eurovan much offroad though would be bad....

      Tom


    7. Moderator Oliver@triplezoom's Avatar
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      02-01-2002 08:55 AM #7
      It would be cool to get an old Westfalia Syncro, but they are rare and the owner's know it - you have to pay an arm and a leg to get a good one.

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      02-01-2002 09:06 AM #8
      quote:
      It would be cool to get an old Westfalia Syncro, but they are rare and the owner's know it - you have to pay an arm and a leg to get a good one.

      Exactly. Good ones are about $16k-$20k. That isn't much less than they cost new back in 86-89, plus most of them need an eventual motor replacement because the water-cooled motors lose their head gaskets and fry. Then again, there is that kit to put Subaru motors in them...and the one with the SVX motor....

      Me - I want a GMC motorhome (1973-1978); built and sold by GM itself, they're front-wheel-drive with a Tornado 455 (or 403) drivetrain, all fiberglass, not too long (23' or 26'), and with extremely active internet support. They're still among the most advanced motorhomes (an oxymoron) available today.

      Tom


      [Modified by mutcth, 9:12 AM 2-1-2002]


    9. Senior Member Sporin's Avatar
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      02-01-2002 10:47 AM #9
      hahaha! I think I have too much free time on my hands for browsing and dreaming!
      Quote Originally Posted by Ron Swanson
      "I'm a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food."
      Ukemafia.com

    10. Member Eolair's Avatar
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      02-01-2002 10:57 AM #10
      Maybe you can try getting an ex-Ambulance, so you´d already have the hard body shell:

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