Toyota Landcruiser / Troopcarrier thread

Did a search, couldnt find anything (did rediscover an awesome hippie/poem/YouTube thread from 2009 though! do yourself a favour and search ‘troop’!) but I know there are a heap of people knowledgeable in cars/camping/adventuring so my situation is this:

I am interested in a Landcruiser Troopy as a second low km family car/weekender/adventure mobile. I’ve looked at multiple vehicles but am constantly drawn back to the Troopy. I have three kids under 7 so will need to consider car seats / boosters for next few years, assume the 5/6 seat version as most suitable.

For weekend getaways and shortish trips to various national parks I envisage having a rooftop tent for two, bed base for three (rear seat that will fold fwd to make bed space), one big pull out drawer and a pull out 12v fridge. Also an awning or two, basic accessories and equipment. For longer trips we’d be looking at a caravan or camper trailer as well. These short getaways will outnumber long trips 5:1. No hardcore offroad adventures envisaged.

Budget to get rolling is only $15k


  1. Are there more suitable vehicles for future Australia-wide travel with this number of people that enable viable around town use with quickish conversion to travel-mode?
  2. Are there years/models/engines/transmissions/previous owners to target? Or avoid?
  3. Must check parts/areas upon inspection?
  4. Will it tow a small caravan ok down the track?
  5. Any suggested dealers/markets/forums to scour?

Many thanks in advance!

I’m interested to read along with this! Your description of use sounds tops.

sounds like the rig for you.

pm Ranga Dave (aka bogear dave), he has a troopie & knows what to look for i reckon.

With a budget of $15k I’d honestly be looking at a different vehicle,
$15k will get you something from the 80’s with 350,000km on the clock for a troopy with zero safety features and a huge amount of kilometers.
I’d look at a hilux, Mitsubishi triton, Mitsubishi challenger, Mitsubishi Delica or a Nissan Pathfinder TI
All of these for $15k can be had with under 170,000km and a great family 4x4’s.

Land cruisers are great vehicles but I think you really need to spend $30,000 to get something reliable.

I’m on my 3rd Triton and have done some serious off-roading in them and the Delica and challenger are all similar platforms with the same motor options.
The Nissan Pathfinder ti petrol shares the same motor as 300zx Non turbo and parts can be had cheap.

The hilux will also be great as they are proven off-road with pretty solid motors

All this being said though troops are great just be prepared that it’s an older vehicle that will need more up keep but get you anywhere.

TBH im surprised you can even get a working troopie for $15k

i know this doesn’t help your cause at all, but here’s a mates 6-wheeler:

This is about right I reckon. There’s a romance about an old troopy, and maybe it’s worth keeping your eye out for one that suits you, but Dayne’s other suggestions are pretty valid. I’d really like an ex-army landrover, but not having aircon/heating/forward facing rear seats might be a real problem. It’ll go anywhere though and be pretty reliable. And it has a certain romance about it.

Also, FWIW, I think setting up a car that isn’t a proper campervan for sleeping in is a bit of a waste of time. I find that sleeping in a car is stuffy and humid, and you have to kind of empty it to lay the bed out. Much easier to pop out a rooftop tent or roll a swag and be done with it.

considering how much shit i somehow end up with when i’m camping just by myself, i can’t imagine a hilux would fit the bill without a trailer or some very inventive packing…

Dayne is on the money!

Now if we can just get Rod I’m here to drop some Delica knowledge.

i dunno, i seem to recall quite a few decent options around the $15k mark when i was looking back in 2014.

only reason i didn’t buy one was coz they were way too big for just me and for inner city melbourne i reckon.

I’m an owner of a Landrover Defender, however if I was going to do bigger trips or drive around Australia I’d buy a Troopie…no hesitation. Parts and Service availability are phenomenal, especially in the middle of Australia.

Love my Defender however, its iconic but the price of one is just bonkers since they stopped production.

MY final thoughts are, if this vehicle is going to be an adventure mobile, and you plan to fill it either many memories…you won’t ever get rid of it. Spend a little more, but plan to never sell it…

Also agree on the other 4WD’s mentioned, however against the Troop/Defender the value prop on resale is 2nd to none…there is a reason why they hold the money they do.

Not to put them down at all I love them but I went against them due to running costs,
The new v8 one’s injectors are $1000 each and I think are meant to be replaced at about 180,000 as a recommendation.
I also worked with a guy that had a 4.2ltr 100series and in my triton I could pull my trailer up a hill in third in his 100 series he could only pull it in 2nd,
His was great at pulling at low speed though
The 4.2 is the king engine as it’s a heavy duty truck style motor and would be my pick of the bunch.
We owned a 80series petrol when I was young and I love the 80’s but it drank fuel.
My recommendation is go drive a few different vehicles,
I test drove the last defender thinking I was 100% set on one but after 20ks I completely changed my mind so it pays to drive a few.

Such awesome feedback, thanks. Please keep it coming.

Couple of points:

Agree budget is optimistic, but looking for a starting point to doing the shorter trips and dialing in set up before a future assault on a big trip. Might be able to stretch it a bit, if so, what am I looking for? Just a newer model? Lower kms? Certain major services to have been performed?

Def some romance bout a troopy but I don’t discount the other suggestions Dayne has put fwd. If they do what we need then they are on the list. Agree on the need to start test driving as many as possible. Perhaps I have understated the value we place on being able to get ready for a weekend away with minimal fuss and have a quick setup at the other end. Yes, a caravan would be ideal for this but we don’t presently have the means to invest or store one.

WCP - would never consider more than week-long getaways with proposed set up of a few in the back and a few up top in rooftop tent. Not pretending it will be glamorous but it’s got to be easier than current big tent camping with gazebo, Eskies, etc?? We are heading off camping for a few days tomorrow to and I am already dreading the pack, set up, pull down, unpack.

Have you looked on carsales at troop carriers I couldn’t find many but gumtree had a few.

A friend of mine drove a Perth-bought troopy around Australia, then through Africa to Europe. Diesel, quite indestructible. the only thing that failed along the way was the A/C condenser i think.

Absolutely terrible driving around town in Melbourne - way too big and cumbersome to drive (manual too). So i’d only consider one as a second vehicle. The roof top tent is great, i wouldn’t plan to sleep in the actual car though, especially when travelling - much quicker to set up a little sleeping tent if you have kids around.

His was within your budget but extensively maintained and only used on expedition trips by a swiss nature photographer. He’d fly to Perth, do a trip, park it at the mechanic and fly back to Switzerland. No expenses spared - one in a million buy really.

I couldn’t think of a more suitable vehicle to explore Australia with - just expect to spend a bit more than your budget on a well maintained one?

That would have been the non-turbo diesel. They were much less fussy about the quality of the diesel oil. The newer turbo diesels get fantastic fuel economy, but they need a cleaner high-grade diesel oil or the injectors get clogged. As mentioned earlier in the thread, replacing those injectors is very expensive. My FJ Cruiser has the 4.0L petrol V6, probably uses 50% more fuel than 3.0L turbo diesels in the Hilux or Prado, but I could replace the whole engine for less than the cost of a set of injectors in the turbo diesel.

But, as much as I love it, I wouldn’t go recommending the FJ Cruiser to a guy with a family - too small. But I was in exactly the same situation as you about 15 years ago, the kids were 5 or 6 and the we wanted to go bush camping. I was looking at Prados, Pajeros and Pathfinders, but in the end I realised that I just could not afford it so I gave up on the dream and bought a ex-Telstra VT Commodore wagon.

4WDs are like a big black hole that you just keep tipping money into. There’s always something else you need. A set of 4 tyres will cost you at least $1000, suspension upgrade? another $1500. New roof-rack? - $1500. Bull-bar? another $1000. The initial purchase price is just the start.

On the plus side they make you realise just how cheap bicycles can be.

in the actual 300ZX (z32) they were not easy or cheap for more major services. It was $1200 to do a timing belt properly 10 years ago because the water pump could only be changed with timing belt removal (along with a bunch of seals) so it made sense to do all that at once. changing injectors was also a nightmare, but the pathfinder may have a more user friendly intake manifold.
Not saying don’t buy one (cos i have no experience with the pathfinder) just FYI, they were relatively hard to kill though AFIR

in response to what BBB said about mods & upgrades etc, i found myself despairing at the cost of all the bits i wanted/needed & it almost stopped me from going anywhere in my hilux. then nickj encouraged me to just go where i can, and buy the bits as i go.

i’m yet to install a lot of the bits i want, and i’m still having some fun & challenging trips.

air compressor from repco, decent tyre gauge, some traction boards, recovery kit & a shovel are pretty much all i take with me most the time.

Yup, non-turbo. Slow but reliable.

The amount of money that these things eat is absolutely mind boggling. My mate took me to one of those ‘expo’ things at the conference centre, they had their car on display at a sponsors stand. The amount of money going around is insane - $2000 LED spotlights, trailers, fishing boats, sat nav touch screens, solar panels, suspension and engine upgrades it never stops.

During their trip around Australia they must have dragged at least 25k worth of sponsored gear and maintenance out of the industry…