Hi guys, I'I'll post this on the Toyota section as well later, but thought to start here.
I'm in the early stage of planning my trip in southern africa (mainly Botswana) for 2022 (or 2023, we'll see). After years using the same rental company and since this time is going to be epic with an 8 to 10 weeks trip, I've found the right company with the right vehicles and especially the right equipment and gears. Having said that, one technical issue got my attention which i'd like to share with you and maybe get a piece of advice.I have the choice between 2 LC 4.5 V8 79 Doublecab with a 200l double tank fuel.The first one is basically a bushcamper with a camper built on it and hardtop roof tent and you basically climb in your tent from inside the canopy or cab (whatever...).The second one would just have a classic alu-canopy and a standard rooftop tent on the roof rack.So my first question is, can we agree that the camper version is heavier than the second?Why this question? Well because on the quotation I got they state that the 200l tank may have a range of +/- 900km. While planning my trip I estimated the distances (rounded up to be on the safer side) in some stretches where I won't find any fuel at all, nor water, nor firewoods, no nothing.8 nights in CKGR entering from Xade gate coming from Ghanzi and out from Matswere to get to Rakops I've estimated 800km game drives included, no tar roads at all.8 nights in Moremi and Savuti from Maun to Kasane I've estimated 900km of which +/- 120 would be on tar, again game drives included.4 nights in Kubu island and Baines Baobab starting from Nata and ending in Maun I've estimated 700km of which 235 would be on tar.So as you can see, fuel consumption is an issue. My estimated Km are rounded up by about 10-20% maybe, but again, these are the km's I have to assume that I will drive.So my question to you is, is the statement of the rental company correct? Do I have to consider +/- 900 km of range having a 200L tank? Isn't that a bit exaggerated a consumption of 20l per 100km? I've used maybe 2-3 times low range gears with a Hilux 2.4 engine for short stretches of deep sands in Botswana considering multiple visits to Moremi, Savuti, Nxai, Makgadigadi salt pans, CKGR, you name it. 4x4H was always fine a part for a couple of time I had to use 4x4L. I think I've done maybe 20-40km in low range out of +/- 5'000km driven on dirt/sandy tracks in Botswana. Never had to use diff.lock, got stuck twice (once because I was trying to recover another vehicle, and in Savuti because by changing spur I bellied on the sand in the middle of the track and wouldn't have happened if I had lifted suspension. See, if the statement is correct, then I need do rethink the vehicle. First, the LC buschcamper would be out of question and I'd rather take the LC with the standard canopy where I could fit a second roof rack and place maybe 2 to 4 Jerry cans. Or, the last option would be to take another Hilux again. The company has an off-road version with lifted suspension, basic canopy or bushcamper, well equipped, and overall far better than the previous Hilux's I had. The Hilux has a 140l tank and I'd take 2 20l jerry cans (so 180l in total), but knowing almost by heart the Hilux, and its fuel consumption on dirt tracks, I'm not worried at all with the stretches listed above.It's not about money where the Hilux is cheaper and it would cost me less on fuel as well (I've calculated that out of 6'500 km I'd need to fuel the LC with the larger tank 7 times instead of 5 times with the Hilux and less litres, if the company statement is correct...), but it's about long range especially in places like CKGR where you can easily imagine how much heavier I am, considering all the water, firewood and food I need to carry. Yes, day after day you lose weight and become lighter which certainly reduces the fuel consumption. The point is that I would really love to rent a LC, but after that statement about the consumption, I feel unsure about it, and think that instead with the Hilux I would be on the safer side in terms of long range. I just can't take chances.
The Hilux off road version they have are automatic, and although I'm not really enthusiast about it,...well...why not, after all automatic has its pro's, it is undeniably comfortable and actually and perhaps even better on sand.What do you think guys? Which vehicle should I take? But above everything, is it true what I've been told about the LC fuel consumption.Thank's a lot for your time, any advice and be safe.Cheers