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  1. #1
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    Default Overlanding in a Fortuner

    I'm currently in the market for a new vehicle and mostly looking at XC and DC Hiluxes.

    However, "stupidly" I'm including newer Fortuners in my searches. Now I don't know why I'm doing this, but it makes my mind wander.

    I currently own a D4D Fortuner and the reason I'm looking at a Hilux is for what to build a self-sustaining travel vehicle (that needs to double as a daily). I am just a little of the opinion that the Fortuner is not the correct platform for this and quicker than you would want to you'd be running out of space and heading to the roof.

    But I've started thinking about popular overland vehicles and then has put some doubt into my mind. Land Cruiser 80, 100 and more recently 200s are very popular vehicle choices in the overlanding community and rightly so. Even the Prado, with a big international footprint (even if branded slightly differently abroad) is a popular choice. All of these vehicles have a reputation of ruggedness and reliability.

    I just have my doubts about the Fortuner platform and whether this could be utilised in the same way as the Cruisers. Can the Fortuner be rigged (without too much body and panel change) to be a vehicle of choice for sustainable travel? And this without removing the second row seats?

    Perhaps for context, in my thoughts of such a vehicle I see the ability to travel far or the ability to carry more fuel to enable this. On board water. Cooking facilities. Awning options. Sleeping arrangements (possibly RTT into the mix). And then auxiliary power, with dual battery units and solar capabilities (and carry thereof). I think this covers the most of it (from the top of my head anyway).

    This is obviously a can of worms, but let's see how this goes.

    2014 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4
    2008 Echo 3 Off-road Trailer

    https://instagram.com/roamfreeoverland/

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Do some homework and figure out what you need for your overlanding. No question the Fortuner has less space for customisation than the DCs, you've got to figure out what you need to take with you. Things like fuel can be solved with long distance tanks, rooftops aren't an issue, but when you're using a 90l fridge and need 100l of water you're going to have to start taking seats out, it's not going to be your daily drive.

    Of course the fully kitted DC might not be the nicest daily drive either, you give up visibility, but that's just uncomfortable, not a deal breaker.

    I am leaving for a 3 week trip with 2 couples who have just moved from Tuna to Hilux, they're very happy with their new setups. I'm looking to replace next year, this trip will have to convince me that my Tuna can't get it done, I prefer the 360 degree vision when on game drives, and I tow a Cheetah, so space isn't my primary concern. If I need to go more off the beaten track and can't tow, then maybe I'll change my mind.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    I am leaving for a 3 week trip with 2 couples who have just moved from Tuna to Hilux, they're very happy with their new setups. I'm looking to replace next year, this trip will have to convince me that my Tuna can't get it done... If I need to go more off the beaten track and can't tow, then maybe I'll change my mind.
    I would love to hear your feedback after the trip. Hear your thoughts on the Fortuner vs Hilux debate - after having a first hand taste. Where you heading?

    I have an Echo 3, but I want to be able to do more vehicle only based travel. In my mind the Echo fulfils a different purpose.
    Last edited by Gallivanter; 2021/05/22 at 09:54 PM.

    2014 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4
    2008 Echo 3 Off-road Trailer

    https://instagram.com/roamfreeoverland/

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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallivanter View Post
    I would love to hear your feedback after the trip. Hear your thoughts on the Fortuner vs Hilux debate - after having a first hand taste. Where you heading?

    I have an Echo 3, but I want to be able to do more vehicle only based travel. In my mind the Echo fulfils a different purpose.
    Heading to Bots, Guma on the western panhandle, then Moremi and Khwai. One of the Hiluxes and the Landcruiser left last week, we'll meet up there.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    We spent the whole of 2018 touring in a 2006 Fortuner D4D...less is more!...
    Have since removed all the kit and use it as my daily vehicle...it would take me about 3 hours to reinstall for when we hit the road again.
    The LC and Hilux is also very viable...I just decided to maximize what I had.Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by Finn McCool View Post
    We spent the whole of 2018 touring in a 2006 Fortuner D4D...less is more!...
    Have since removed all the kit and use it as my daily vehicle...it would take me about 3 hours to reinstall for when we hit the road again.
    The LC and Hilux is also very viable...I just decided to maximize what I had.Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice looking setup.

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by Finn McCool View Post
    We spent the whole of 2018 touring in a 2006 Fortuner D4D...less is more!...
    Have since removed all the kit and use it as my daily vehicle...it would take me about 3 hours to reinstall for when we hit the road again.
    The LC and Hilux is also very viable...I just decided to maximize what I had.Click image for larger version. 

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    Beautiful looking rig!

    When you guys toured, did you remove the rear seats? Or did you manage with it in? Would like to learn more on how you kitted it out...

    I'm not necessarily looking for a LC, even though that would obviously be very nice - but alas, budget. My initial consideration is 2.8 Hilux, but then if I do go Fortuner it would be with the same motor (but the brown seats are a bit of a buzz kill for me).

    2014 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4
    2008 Echo 3 Off-road Trailer

    https://instagram.com/roamfreeoverland/

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    I just removed the seat behind passenger to facilitate a 40L Engel which was our freezer.

  13. #9
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by Gungets Tuft View Post
    Heading to Bots, Guma on the western panhandle, then Moremi and Khwai. One of the Hiluxes and the Landcruiser left last week, we'll meet up there.
    We’ll be in Bots for 3 weeks from June 6th. Can’t wait!!

    Depends what overlanding means to you and how you want the vehicle to work when doing it, as far as overlanding with a daily driver. Our 7 seat D4 that we use for this now has 2 seats As so
    eone else posted, it can be done so it’s removable - just takes time. Our rear box and drawer system comes out in about 15 min. What we built in the center (back seat area) would be much more complicated to remove, but we do not intend for this to be used for anything other than 2 person overland. So if you’re willing to pull some seats it’s amazing the space you can create.
    Last edited by heyyahhey; 2021/05/23 at 09:42 AM.

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  15. #10
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Nothing stupid to include a Fortuner. We have rigged our Fortuner for overland trips to Botswana, Namibia and where ever. It is very quick and easy to remove or install passenger seats behind driver seats. Our "packing" system consists of two units, one directly behind driver seats and the second from the back door inwards. As a combination it has more than enough holding space for all requirements and have lots of sliding drawers. I have constructed it with alluminium tubing and vastrap sheeting. It takes about 1 hour to install and the same for removing and weighs about 50kg empty
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    Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4 aka "Skillie"

    Previous : Defender 2006 TDI aka "Slakkie"

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  17. #11
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Hello Gallivanter and other contributors to this thread.

    We chose to go with the new Fortuner over the bakkie after careful consideration of our space requirements and intended use. Also used as a daily driver with the intent to do more and longer trips as we ease into retirement.

    Space wise we worked on two up and a dog. No camping and no intention to have to carry extra fuel or water in appreciable quantities. The roof rack will be for fishing rods and a solar panel. 50 litre fridge and a few ammo boxes for the rest of our storage needs. I fitted two sliders to accommodate the boxes and fridge and have only remove the last seat row. This makes for easy unpacking for day-to-day commute. The rear seats are in place for his furryiness and soft packing.

    Looking at some of those lovely set ups in the images many of you have managed to make excellent use of space available. Yes, the bakkie will always offer more space for sure. But, one thought comes to mind and was highlighted in my research. There's a vast difference in allowable GVM between the Fortuner and the Bakkie. 670kg if memory serves for the Fortuner. So once you have taken out the seats or both rows you can add that weight back but its still far off the GVM of the bakkie.

    I thought I should just add this into the considerations.
    Jeremy

    Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6

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  19. #12
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    What no one mentions in this thread, and maybe its not an issue to everybody, is rattles and squeaks. (I remember a thread about it somewhere)

    With a bakkie you are at least separated from the loadbin where stuff is kept and you can keep soft items (less prone to being rattly and squeeky) inside the cab. Yes you *can* pack a SUV based vehicle with minimal squeaks, but I am convinced that after a week on the road your meticulously packed system will become more and more "lose" as food and drink items are depleted.

    Again this is a massive consideration to me, not to everybody. As cool as a rigged SUV looks (76, 80, 100 series) I can just imagine what it sounds like when traveling over corrugations

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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by coetzer94 View Post
    What no one mentions in this thread, and maybe its not an issue to everybody, is rattles and squeaks. (I remember a thread about it somewhere)

    With a bakkie you are at least separated from the loadbin where stuff is kept and you can keep soft items (less prone to being rattly and squeeky) inside the cab. Yes you *can* pack a SUV based vehicle with minimal squeaks, but I am convinced that after a week on the road your meticulously packed system will become more and more "lose" as food and drink items are depleted.

    Again this is a massive consideration to me, not to everybody. As cool as a rigged SUV looks (76, 80, 100 series) I can just imagine what it sounds like when traveling over corrugations
    Have to agree with you, I have used both D/C's and SUV's for overlanding, the SUV's were terrible, the rattles were enough to drive me bonkers. I would rather a D/C any day for this purpose.

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  23. #14
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Yip...they are unavoidable but can be minimized...the whole idea off overlanding for an extended period is to not sweat the small stuff...I long for those squeaks and rattles now as it was part of my happy place sound track:-))
    Quote Originally Posted by coetzer94 View Post
    What no one mentions in this thread, and maybe its not an issue to everybody, is rattles and squeaks. (I remember a thread about it somewhere)

    With a bakkie you are at least separated from the loadbin where stuff is kept and you can keep soft items (less prone to being rattly and squeeky) inside the cab. Yes you *can* pack a SUV based vehicle with minimal squeaks, but I am convinced that after a week on the road your meticulously packed system will become more and more "lose" as food and drink items are depleted.

    Again this is a massive consideration to me, not to everybody. As cool as a rigged SUV looks (76, 80, 100 series) I can just imagine what it sounds like when traveling over corrugations

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  25. #15
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by Gallivanter View Post
    I'm currently in the market for a new vehicle and mostly looking at XC and DC Hiluxes.

    However, "stupidly" I'm including newer Fortuners in my searches. Now I don't know why I'm doing this, but it makes my mind wander.

    I currently own a D4D Fortuner and the reason I'm looking at a Hilux is for what to build a self-sustaining travel vehicle (that needs to double as a daily). I am just a little of the opinion that the Fortuner is not the correct platform for this and quicker than you would want to you'd be running out of space and heading to the roof.

    But I've started thinking about popular overland vehicles and then has put some doubt into my mind. Land Cruiser 80, 100 and more recently 200s are very popular vehicle choices in the overlanding community and rightly so. Even the Prado, with a big international footprint (even if branded slightly differently abroad) is a popular choice. All of these vehicles have a reputation of ruggedness and reliability.

    I just have my doubts about the Fortuner platform and whether this could be utilised in the same way as the Cruisers. Can the Fortuner be rigged (without too much body and panel change) to be a vehicle of choice for sustainable travel? And this without removing the second row seats?

    Perhaps for context, in my thoughts of such a vehicle I see the ability to travel far or the ability to carry more fuel to enable this. On board water. Cooking facilities. Awning options. Sleeping arrangements (possibly RTT into the mix). And then auxiliary power, with dual battery units and solar capabilities (and carry thereof). I think this covers the most of it (from the top of my head anyway).

    This is obviously a can of worms, but let's see how this goes.
    You never mentioned how many persons?
    If it's for a family, I'd go Hilux DC.

    If it's for two people, I'd be tempted to go for a Fortuner, but an extended cab Hilux will be my first prize. My parents use an extended cab for their trips, and it works very well for them.

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  27. #16
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Jeep Grand Cherokee 2002 4.7 V8
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  29. #17
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    Hello Gallivanter and other contributors to this thread.

    We chose to go with the new Fortuner over the bakkie after careful consideration of our space requirements and intended use. Also used as a daily driver with the intent to do more and longer trips as we ease into retirement.

    Space wise we worked on two up and a dog. No camping and no intention to have to carry extra fuel or water in appreciable quantities. The roof rack will be for fishing rods and a solar panel. 50 litre fridge and a few ammo boxes for the rest of our storage needs. I fitted two sliders to accommodate the boxes and fridge and have only remove the last seat row. This makes for easy unpacking for day-to-day commute. The rear seats are in place for his furryiness and soft packing.

    Looking at some of those lovely set ups in the images many of you have managed to make excellent use of space available. Yes, the bakkie will always offer more space for sure. But, one thought comes to mind and was highlighted in my research. There's a vast difference in allowable GVM between the Fortuner and the Bakkie. 670kg if memory serves for the Fortuner. So once you have taken out the seats or both rows you can add that weight back but its still far off the GVM of the bakkie.

    I thought I should just add this into the considerations.

    Thank you for your input Jeremy.

    Do you have some images to share of your setup?

    2014 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4
    2008 Echo 3 Off-road Trailer

    https://instagram.com/roamfreeoverland/

  30. #18
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by PhlippieV View Post
    You never mentioned how many persons?
    If it's for a family, I'd go Hilux DC.

    If it's for two people, I'd be tempted to go for a Fortuner, but an extended cab Hilux will be my first prize. My parents use an extended cab for their trips, and it works very well for them.
    It is only myself, the wife and (sometimes) our dog. I will probably also opt for solo trips. So bums on seats isn't a big issue for me.

    That's why I have been looking at XC options. I have seen some guys make up cushions for the backseat section of the XC and I think that should be fine for a medium-sized dog.

    The DC is nice if you want the transition from Fortuner to Hilux to be as small as possible I think. As someone previously mentioned, the best of both worlds option. But you do lose out on that extra space from the XC.

    I have just been amazed at the absolute premium (covid-tax) the DCs are going for at the moment. Unbelievable really. That's why I started with this post, because I was heavily leaning towards the Hilux, but prices are quite ridiculous at the moment and I'm sure that is not gonna change in the foreseeable future.

    2014 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4
    2008 Echo 3 Off-road Trailer

    https://instagram.com/roamfreeoverland/

  31. #19
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Polokwane View Post

    Yes, thank you for the share - I'm aware of them both.

    As far as I recall Christof removes his rear (second row) seats for trips. Maybe Simon too - I know he built a custom platform at one stage.

    2014 Toyota Fortuner 3.0 D-4D 4x4
    2008 Echo 3 Off-road Trailer

    https://instagram.com/roamfreeoverland/

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  33. #20
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    Default Re: Overlanding in a Fortuner

    [QUOTE=[COLOR=#333333]Space wise we worked on two up and a dog. No camping and no intention to have to carry extra fuel or water in appreciable quantities. The roof rack will be for fishing rods and a solar panel. 50 litre fridge and a few ammo boxes for the rest of our storage needs. I fitted two sliders to accommodate the boxes and fridge and have only remove the last seat row. This makes for easy unpacking for day-to-day commute. The rear seats are in place for his furryiness and soft packing.[/COLOR]

    I have just swapped a Ranger DC for a 2015 Fortuner 4x4. I am busy with fitting it out for extended periods of camping with drawers and a fridge slider. I want to put a sun panel on the roof but how do I get the wires to the inside, it's too awkward trying to work through the back window? A local 4x4 fitment shop told me to drill a hole through the roof in the gutter/channel then remove the roof lining and run the wire on the inside of the lining. With the canopy it was easy but my Fortuner's roof

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