2. Deciding which car to use

When making the choice of which base platform to use, it started with pictures. We first looked at which vehicles have been converted into Overlanders. We used Google image searching for “Overlanding vehicles”, Pinterest, Reddit, etc. We ended up with a list of about six potential vehicles that seemed to fit our criteria:

  • Reliability
  • Capability
  • Size/Space
  • Common parts

We wanted something reliable because we we’ve thinking about going on long term trips (45k + miles!). We also wanted the capability to get to out of reach places (“Hey! Look at that waterfall up that mountain and over this rough terrain. Let’s go!”).

After narrowing it down to a couple of vehicles, we really read up, researched and scoured the internet (Thanks ih8mud.com and Expedition Portal!). Then after a few weeks, the one vehicle that seemed to hit and excel at all of our needs was the 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser (UZJ100). The only downside is its terrible gas mileage, but we figured that would be the case for most of the overlanding vehicles we were looking at. We felt good about our decision and started looking to buy!

After a few weeks, we found the one vehicle that seemed to hit and excel at all of our needs

We spent the next 2-3 weeks looking for the right fit. I wanted a light colored one because a dark colored car in the heat could be hot! Eventually Craigslist came through and we found a seller! The seller was a cute couple selling their suv because they upgraded to nicer car. The suv is a white 1998 Toyota Land Cruiser, the first in the 100 Series. It was mostly used for driving on city streets. The car was in great condition. The owners were actually hesitant to sell because they loved it so much. When we looked at it, it had 208k miles on it and the engine looked to be in good condition. Overall the car had some wear, but for a car that is almost 20 years old, it was great! So… we bought it!

Next page: Replacing the engine