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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

Finding a vehicle here in Mongolia is proving to be quite the pain in the backside! :confused:

First, it must be LHD, and the vast majority of vehicles here are Jap imports (RHD). Also, it can't be a stick :( ; wife doesn't drive stick. Thirdly, it has to be cute enough to be seen in after Summer break, so my wife can maintain teacher status in country (she was appalled by the mere mention of a pickup -"Only workers drive those here")

I want a pickup because a mechanically-inclined friend suggested that pulling a trailer with anything small over rough or non-existent roads is just asking for epic failure. Of course, we could drive a giant Land Cruiser, like every other local with money has, but that seems like overkill. That would carry a nice carrier on the rear hitch with no trailer woes. Thing is, the capital is crowded and the traffic is downright awful. I can't see adding another giant SUV to the mix, especially since we'll be stretching out budget to do so.
I'd sure appreciate ideas from you fine folks out there; especially those with experience carrying or pulling bikes on rough roads.

So, the (frustrating) search continues...

MP
 

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Seeing as how you brought it up, have you test driven one of those giant Land Cruisers? Sounds like it might be your best option, given your choices.

I had a series of small, fuel efficient cars for years before I bought my Suburban 6 years ago. It's overkill 95% of the time, but there's also something kinda fun about overkill! And for those times when a full size vehicle is helpful (like dragging around a bike on a hitch carrier) it's a nice thing to have.

You've got that AG200 for fuel efficiency, maybe take another look at the big SUV?

Good luck on the search, hope you find something that works for you soon!
 

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Buy what fits your needs, you can find parts, and you see a lot of. The best in the world won't help if you can't drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Land Cruiser is the plan for now I guess. Now to find one that is RHD, auto, "pretty" and new enough for the Mrs. to commute in, and under 15 grand in good shape. Somebody shoot me. :sad6:

Thanks for your input boys.

Be safe,
MP
 

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I'm with Borneo and Ebbanflood on this one...you just can't beat an 80 series Landcrusier. I've had mine since I bought it new in 1997....270,000 miles later, it's time to reluctantly let it go. But I just haven't come up with a vehicle I'd rather have...I am leaning towards a 4runner Trail Premium, which is based on the Prado...
 

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Whoops! Just like Borneo's witness, I think I just went and revealed too much information! How am I going to keep my Enviro-Nazi image intact when the word gets out that I've been driving around in that gas-guzzler? Truth is, I like to get it out on the beaches here in Rhode Island, and squash a few Piping Plovers whenever I get the chance. But what I really like is those big old tires when I'm in the mood to squash me a few pistol-waving, pointy hood-wearing right wing wackos. They're easy to get when they're busy shouting into bullhorns about gays being responsible for God's wrath and the death of our servicemen being just retribution. Gotta love that sh$t!

Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with Pete's quest for a new ride, but now that we're clear that Off-Topic means you can say whatever dumb thing pops into your miniscule brain at any time, well...this is the place for it!
Glad we got THAT cleared up!!!

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS A JOKE!!!
I love you guys, green teeth, warts, and all. Wouldn't want any of that Muslim/Socialist Obummer care (well, except for the medicare part for you old guys) and sure as hell, don't want the gubberment infringing on my right to be a Moran. (that's an ADV joke...only Socialists and homosexual GS riders think its funny)

get-a-brain-morans.jpg

And now...back to "Car Shopping in Mongolia with our man Pete"
 

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The Land Crusher looks very nice but you will still need a receiver hitch and carrier that does not conflict with the Toyota's spare tire. My van's hitch carrier is basic and unfortunately it flexes and wobbles with weight of TW on rough roads enough to make me worry about bike's security.I do not know if an expensive carrier cures this wobble, I doubt it. Too bad P.U. is unacceptable to wife as bike in back of pick-up is very secure on bad roads. Good luck.
I am not sure a hitch carrier/ Land Cruiser is any better than towing a trailer behind smaller SUV. Both will require going slow in the rough, and the trailer requires storage when not in use but at least a small suv will always yield benefit of fuel savings and ease of parking/ driving in city traffic. Certainly your wife would,probably prefer not to tow a trailer while following you on your AG across Mongolia.
I am old fashioned in that I feel everyone should know how to drive a manual transmission. President Reagan once had a health incident working on his ranch out of his old Jeep and not one of his Secret Service detail could operate the Jeep's 3 speed tranny to take him to help.Automatics have you give up a lot of reliability and flexibility. Any problem with battery, wiring, starter, solenoid, etc will leave an auto stranded while you can push start a manual. manual tranny problems give warnings usually and can often be limped home over great distances ( 600 miles is my record) while an automatic transmission problems often arrive suddenly without warning with a total drive failure. I have had to hike out leaving automatics behind stranded by simple failures that a manual would not have had.
 

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You raise a good point, Fred. I have a Versa-hauler that is very stout and doesn't wobble, but it weighs a good 75 lbs or more all by itself. That and the TW cantilevered off the back is too much weight for the stock Landcruiser. I have done it and it is not optimal by any means. I think you would want to upgrade the rear springs at the very least.
 

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I have to ask, who went where for whom? Is Mongolia your location of choice or hers? A p.u. (with a cap on) looks alot like an SUV from a distance and how old is your wife anyway? <<<No offense<<< What did caring/worrying about what other people think get you anywhere? I'd rather drive a beater and be happy with spending money in my pocket than be broke and look like I have money.

Yes, I'm happily married. My wife understands that I know a little bit more about the hidden costs of car ownership than her AND I make the car buying choices. When it comes to everything else money wise, I sit back and she makes the decisions.

Good luck with whatever choice the two of you make.
 

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Odd thing is Mr. Trip, I am a hunter and fisher. But I am also a Leave No Trace Master Trainer. I'm rather fond of the environment myself. I guess I don't know what I am on the spectrum, but I can tell you I think those Westboro people you allude to are some of the most offensive people I have ever heard of. What kind of person would carry on like that at someone's funeral, I mean really?

But, what I would really like to know is what you used for boxes on that trailer. I really like it and making an offroad/camping trailer is on my summer A list. The over fender boxes look a bit like tool boxes for under a flatbed truck but the big box or boxes has me baffled.
 

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Doesn't strike me as odd at all, Borneo. I'm a bit of a fisherman myself...its the catching part I'm not very good at.


I don't hunt, but that has more to do with too few hours in the day than anything. I'm an enthusiastic supporter...one only has to visit Shenandoah National Park, and see those poor deer with dingy coats and dull eyes, picking scraps in the campgrounds...nothing like the beautiful whitetails that roam our woods, bright eyed and shining coats, to see the value in that. I think we'd agree on quite a few things, actually. You even had me all misty-eyed with your defense of "passion". I don't entirely disagree,... not at all, really,... but I think the Westboro folks might say they are "passionate" too. Doesn't mean I'd want to listen to it...strikes me as an extreme example of butting into a civil conversation with views no one asked to hear to begin with. The Courts seem to say its "protected speech" though. You're the lawyer, you'll have to explain that to me one of these days. :) And just for the record, I never thought you were guilty of anything except stirring the pot. I should be so well behaved.
But anyway, now that we're all singing "Kumbaya" around here, lets get back to the interesting stuff.
I wish I could say I built that trailer, but I didn't. It was built for me by a guy down in Arkansas, doing business as Outlander Trailers. Cool guy and a good craftsman: He was building them out in his barn. The boxes were aluminum, all nicely welded and powder coated, that he contracted out to a local company. Just a rattle can finish on the rest, which was actually a benefit...easy to touch up.
A few years back, I got the idea in my head that I'd like to go to 'the end of the road.' Mrs Trip and I went to Labrador first, a little north of Churchill Falls. Next year, we did Quebec...for this, I needed a way to carry extra fuel, and so I got that trailer. Caniapiscau, Quebec (Caniapiscau, Quebec - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )is at the end of the Trans-Taiga road, and is the furthest point from a town anywhere in North America that is accessible by road...with the trailer, I could haul an extra 30 gallons of diesel, in addition to the 30 gallons the truck holds...making enough to get there and back.

This photo shows the fuel, and also why the spray painting was a good idea...nothing would hold up to all that gravel road.
We spent a month up there, traveling around. The trailer also hauled an inflatable kayak...we did a little padding on James Bay...technically, the Arctic Ocean:

Had a little fishing adventure between the complicated Quebec fishing regulations and the Cree game wardens. Did some rambling around.
The Rhodyroamer at the end of the road


Camping on James Bay


Anyway, that's the story with my little trailer. The next year, we went to Windigo Lake, Ontario...at the end of the Northern Ontario Resource Trail. Then, I don't know, got occupied with different things. I sold the trailer a couple of years ago because I wasn't using it. I have an enclosed one for the TWs now. Absolutely wrecked those 2 mountain bikes by the way...all that gravel road...we came back by the Route du Nord as well.
 

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Great story and pictures. I am very familiar with both James Bay and the Trans-taiga road. I have been researching the heck out of them. Finances improve a bit I might even get a shot at it yet this summer. I have pretty much poured over every word on this site. James Bay Road Website - Home Page

Yes, I am guilty of stirring the pot, but it wasn't really intentional and I tried to diffuse it as soon as I could. Not much luck there, and I was considerably chastened by the experience. I was especially shamed when it had an impact on you because you have been kind and helpful to me and shared a lot of information which made the Big Bend trip so memorable for the Weasel and I. It won't happen again, I assure you. Call it a learning experience. I now realize how an innocent off topic post can blossom in a negative way and I carefully consider what I now post.

Thanks for additional pictures of the trailer. I plan to use it as my model.
 
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