From where I started my research and initial thinking, to where I’m at today with time to think about what I thought I wanted vs. what I needed, are very different places. Oh, and bouncing stuff of my lovely wife. The initial build with caravan exceeded $300k. The thought was mind boggling to spend that sort of money on something we want to use a couple times a month, with a week or two here and there. We want to go 4WDing and holiday in different places. We don’t want a new house on wheels.
Everything I learnt from my early years and Army 4WDing, lighter did better than heavier. Whether it was driving a Suzuki Swift on the mudflats or a LandRover 110, lighter did better from my experience. I remember switching between the LR110 4×4 to 6×6 ambulance build, the 6×6 was a heavy pig off-road. The 4×4 would drive through everything we put in its way. Simple, light, it didn’t bog down.
My initial logic based on current trends, I was heading towards building a pig of a vehicle. Way too complicated, we would be another mistake amongst the many, big engine, big GVM, big fuel cost. I watch people being proud that their LC79, 200 series or RAM, get 22 – 30lt per hundred off-road. WTF! I want an economical, reliable, capable vehicle, not a tank. As time passed, the best decision made was to not rush into this, and as such, the cost and requirement dropped significantly. The revised build looks very different. Honestly, even with the revised build, its scary how quickly the weight and cost adds up.
I modified the Dmax Build post, thinking I could repeat that process as decisions changed. Doing that once was annoying, so I’m taking a new approach. Listing the build with appropriate data I have in my excel sheet. There are some bits and pieces not listed here that will accompany the Patriot X3 and some camping stuff, but this is about the Dmax.
We ultimately chose the Dmax because its the only vehicle this year to meet current ANCAP, its loaded with safety tech, comfortable, Isuzu reliability, has great fuel economy and is quickly gaining available after-market parts.
Oh, I just found out yesterday that our X-Terrain will be here in July. A month or two earlier than initially predicted. Giddy Up!
Power & Performance
|Heavy Duty Valve Body||$1300||https://automatictransmission.com.au|
|3″ Torqit Exhaust||$1400||https://www.torqit.com.au|
|Fitting for some of the above||$3000|
|Total Cost||$10,320||Approximate until fitted|
|2″ Suspension Lift + Diff Drop + GVM Upgrade||$5500||https://www.lovellscampbellfield.com.au|
|ROH Octagon + Mickey ATZ P3||$3550||https://www.jaxtyres.com.au|
|Rear Protection Bar / Towbar||$2000||https://offroadanimal.com.au|
|12 Pin Wiring Harness||$359||https://www.isuzuute.com.au|
|Redarc Towpro Kit||$540||https://www.redarc.com.au|
|Preline Filter / Provent Catchcan||$825||https://directionplus.com.au|
|TrakRyder Rear Disc Upgrade & Braided Lines||$3000||https://www.pedders.com.au|
|Diff Breather Kit||$170||https://www.harrop.com.au|
|Clearview Towing Mirrors||$1200||https://www.clearviewaccessories.com.au|
|Total Cost||$27,054||Approximate until fitted|
Tub Bits & Pieces
|ARB Dual Aircompressor||$750||https://www.superiorengineering.com.au|
|Amptron 150ah Lithium||$1420||https://www.amptron.com.au|
|Egon DC Hub||$840||https://perthpro.com.au|
|Redarc BCDC 40A Charger||$720||https://www.redarc.com.au|
|Tubrack Roofrack System||$1300||https://www.mountaintop.com.au|
|120W Flexible Solar||$500||https://offroadliving.com.au|
|Floodlights for Rack||$150||https://www.stedi.com.au|
|Cel-Fi Go Telstra 4WD||$1300||https://powertec.com.au|
|GME XRS UHF||$700||https://www.gme.net.au|
|120Lt Water Tank||$400||https://boaboffroad.com.au|
|2 x 40Lt Diesel Jerry Tanks||$400||https://boaboffroad.com.au|
|Total Cost||$10,560||Approximate until fitted|
|GME Handheld UHF||$250||https://www.gme.net.au|
|Blackvue DR900X 2ch Dashcam||$900||https://dashcamsaustralia.com.au|
|Wiring / Elec Bits & Pieces||$1000|
|2 x FireStryker||$340||https://www.arb.com.au|
|200W Solar Blanket||$780||https://offroadliving.com.au|
|Total Cost||$4120||Approximate until fitted|
Why No Roofrack?
Having a ute with roller cover, its easier to mount a tub rack, access it, than a roofrack. Adding a roofrack for the sake of it is silly IMO. People add a roofrack because they have no other space, ie. the tub is needed for loads, is a tray or canopy. People look at other 4wd’s and copy things, they “think” they need it too. Do you really need roof mounted lights? Do you really need more fixed solar panels?
I’m using a low profile tubrack which will hold my maxtrax, shovel, one solar panel for the lithium and mount my UHF and Cel-Fi aerials (both on fold down mounts), keeping everything at the rear, below roof-line, and aerodynamic for fuel economy. Oh, the bonus is that the vehicle height isn’t an issue either in any carpark.
For those solar nuts, you’re far better with a solar blanket which you can shift to be efficient than fixed panels will provide. This solves two problems, in that you can add it to your system as extra solar when camping, and you can add it to your main battery via a regulator to top it up if needed.
I think this is worth highlighting. I stumbled onto this ute slide after looking at the standard offering from others. Others tend to sit 100 – 130mm in base height when fitted. PodTrailer slides sit about 5 – 10mm from the deck. Why does this matter? Firstly, its space. Height space matters in a tub with roller cover closed. If you use a normal ute slide, the only fridge you can fit is a drawer style. Using PodTrailer slides, you can fit most Engel and Dometic models into the internal of the slide, depending which slide widths you fit.
That is a game changer in my eyes for longer trips, where I want to take more refrigerated / frozen goods into remote areas in combination with the 75lt Dometic fridge / freezer in the X3.