Hero Troopy V8
A Landcruiser VDJ78 Troopcarrier V8, purchased new in 2017 and built into the perfect two-person overlander, and prototype for the Autograph Overland Hero Troopy. It was sold in 2019.
It started out as a white, 2017 model, and one of the first in Australia with the new gearbox and uprated (slightly) engine.
After a green 3M wrap, it started to look less like an ambulance and more like what I wanted.
A four-month build that would be tested on the fabled Canning Stock Route, which was planned for June 2017. It would be my very first Outback expedition.
4xOverland’s Hero Toyota VDJ78 Troop Carrier overland touring truck was built in 2017 and sold in 2019. It covered 46 500 kms of touring in Australia, including the Canning Stock Route, crossing Australia southerly route then across Australia via the red-centre route, the Holland Track (twice), Gibb River Road and Anne Beadell and Connie Sue Highways.
During the crossing of the Simpson Desert in 2018, the overly wide tyres on the rear right on full articulation rubbed the rear wheel flare, damaging the flare mounts. Also, the engine produced a warning error, indicating dust in the inlet manifold, and severe wear of the rear brake rotors and shoes resulted in replacing these components. Toyota refused to respond to a warrantee claim despite the total mileage done on the vehicle at the time being just 9600 kms.
In 2018 BFG held their global launch of the KM3 tyre in Australia. Following two weeks at the launch for which I was not paid, and where the Troopy was one of BFG's hero trucks, and then after driving across the Simpson and being the first to produce a video review of the BFG KM3 tyre in the world, BFG fired me as one of their global brand ambassadors. I guess they didn't like the fact that I said I preferred narrower tyres. So I changed brands as a matter of principal, and tried the Falken Wildpeak. So far, so good.
Thanks for the following support
THIS IMAGE NEEDS TO BE CHANGED TO THE RIGHT TRUCK
Toyota Land Cruiser VJ78 GXL, built Japan Jan 2017. Odo read 46 500 kms when sold.
4,5L V8 diesel engine
5-speed manual gearbox
Front and rear diff locks
2 x 90L fuel tanks
Auto/manual front hubs
Upgrades and modS
Bull bar, Side rail, Side steps ARB
Oil catch-can, fuel filtration upgrade, axle, gearbox and diff breathers
Front underbody front protection, ARB
Recovery points front, ARB
OME BP-51 shock absorbers
OME 400kg spring set, front
OME 400kg spring set, rear
Alu-Cab Hercules tent conversion
Alu-Cab 270° Shadow awning
Sun Visor (Toyota)
Goby-X rear bumper. (cannot be used for towing in Australia)
Goby-X twin-spare wheel carriers
Warn Zeon 10 000lb winch
ARB dual compressor 4L air tank, ARB.
Air outlets front and rear
3M full body wrap, 4xO green
Head-light protector plates
120W solar panel on roof
MPPT solar controller via external power cable
Overhead roof console
Victron battery monitor
Power outputs X 3
Rigid Industries Dually LED driving Lights
Terrain-Tamer brake rotor and pad upgrade front and rear
USB outputs 4x front, 2x back
Inverter 300W pure sin-wave
12v Duoetto Mk2 10L electric water boiler
Shower with unique twin-pump hot water-save system
Bucket/grey water intake system
Lead-Crystal batteries, 2 x 75 a/h
Redarc DC-DC 40-amp battery charger
Quick En-Suite shower privacy curtain
Quick side table with Maxtrax holder (can hold 4)
4 x Maxtrax
Rear door drop-down table by Pikra
74L stainless steel water tank and two pumps
Stainless steel gear lever extension
QuickPitch drawer packing system
Overhead LED lights, x4
External LED lights x2
Window tint, side and rear windows
Sound insulation double skin floor, Carbuilders
Door speaker pods, Dept of Interior
Centre console, Dept of Interior
Door pockets, Dept of Interior
Rear access step, fold-away
Sony head unit with Apple Carplay
FOCAL PS165 speakers with bi-pass, sub-woofers and tweeters. Sounds VERY good!
GCE UHF radio, mic on centre console
UHF 2db rigid antennae
Red flag mount
Rear axle width correction by Tru-Tracker, Multidrive, Geelong, VIC
Snomaster 57L dual door fridge freezer combo, with remote.
SnoMaster 11L cool drinks fridge between front seats.
Takla CanTech seat covers
Takla sound insulated floor covers and mats
Tie down rails. Multiple in rear
Camp Cover spare wheel canvas trash bag
Gull wing opening – kitchen
Gull Wing opening – fridge/shower.
TPMS with five external sensors
7” alloy rims with 265/75R16 BFG changed to Falken.
I sold the Troopy in late 2019 to make way for the Aussie Dream Tourer
This Troopy was all that it was meant to be. A simple, extremely practical, two-person overlander with excellent range, comfort and off-road ability.
So much so that the instant I sold, it, I missed it. And that is why in 2021 I'm building myself another Troopy, applying all that I've learned from the other two.