Overlanding in a small economy car | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Overlanding in a small economy car

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OverlandRS

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I took a trip to Albania and on Gjipe beach, a popular overlander spot, I saw an austrian couple with a Citroen 2 CV

View attachment 207350

Gjipe beach is popular with overlanders because the access road is extremely rough, some big rocks, I actually hit the bottom of my Hilux a couple of times on it and that guy made it.Because the access road is so bad, not so many people come there. The 2Cv stock has an absolutely impressive wheel travel and ground clearance for such a small car. Quote from wiki "it had literally been designed to cross a freshly ploughed field, because of the great lack of paved roads in France then; with a long-travel suspension system "
I was really impressed with it when I saw it there..
It is a very good option for someone who is looking to do something like this
They even built some version like a very small van


View attachment 207351

Look at this things go.. :
Citroen 2CV, Renault 4L & 4F, and Renault 5/6 and Sinpar 4x4 variants are Safari weapons; these classics are in every third world country and go everywhere.
All with open differentials and under 1000cc!
 
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OverlandRS

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Rock crawling in a 2WD R4 with open differential, this one has the HUGE 155 or 165 section width tires 165-80-13 is the widest tallest tire you can fit on a R4 with stock wheels. With the R5 Alpine 13" alloys you can run 175 width tires but these are 60 series. Do this in your RAV4.

Overlanding circa 1960's!
 

OverlandRS

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I have been seriously thinking about converting my Mint condition 2001 Miata to a [Exocet offroad conversion] [] since I have no practical use for a 2 seat sports car that cant haul anything. It makes a ton of financial sense but I worry about just being RWD and not having a shop to do the conversion in. Than I see this story on the Rancho Transaxles Website Victor the AdventureBug Circumnavigates the globe | Rancho News | RanchoTransaxles.com Around the world in a home built 2WD buggy and still going!
 
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armyRN

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So... I was driving to work this afternoon in the Mighty Yaris (because I'm a manly man), and I'm looking at the passenger seat. And I'm thinking "I could remove this passenger seat (four bolts), and make a platform that meets up with the back seat that is laying flat". So I could sleep in the Yaris from the rear window to the glovebox (I guess my feet could go below the glovebox a bit). I need to get a tape measure and see how long it would be. I'm 6'1", so we'll see. That would save me from having to pack a tent and a cot. And even better, I could "stealth camp", and if something started going down, I could quickly slide into the driver's seat and go! I could make it so there could be storage under the platform (since space would be a premium in the Mighty Yaris).

I know it isn't an original thought, but it was the first time I'd thought of removing the passenger seat to sleep in the Mighty Yaris.

I'd still put some sort of roof rack on the car. I'm more than willing to gently remove the headliner and drill into the roof for roof rack mounts, run antenna cables, roof lights, etc. I'd still want to see about putting my kayak on the roof.

Yaris.2.jpg
 
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OverlandRS

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GO For it I have seen lots of overland rigs with seats removed to install a flat bed platform. I just spend 6 hours Sep 23 wrestling the plastic interior panels out of the BroncoSport to get to the last two seat bolts to remove the back seats to add a flat sleeping platform and make better use of total space for storage bins of gear. I have been looking and dreaming of the ultimate FWD overland Fiesta ST all day now that the 2021 Bronco Sport is in the shop for at least 3 weeks with a leaky water pump but there could be engine damage wont know till they get the pump. I say go for it ,and rack is a very useful addition to a small hatch.
 

armyRN

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GO For it I have seen lots of overland rigs with seats removed to install a flat bed platform. I just spend 6 hours Sep 23 wrestling the plastic interior panels out of the BroncoSport to get to the last two seat bolts to remove the back seats to add a flat sleeping platform and make better use of total space for storage bins of gear. I have been looking and dreaming of the ultimate FWD overland Fiesta ST all day now that the 2021 Bronco Sport is in the shop for at least 3 weeks with a leaky water pump but there could be engine damage wont know till they get the pump. I say go for it ,and rack is a very useful addition to a small hatch.
Oh I'm still thinking about it. I've got the trailer back together (new axle and tires), and I just need to rebuild the front track bar on the TJ (got the parts - just need a day off from work) and that'll be done and back on the road. And then I can start messing with the Mighty Yaris Overlander concept. First thing I'll do (possibly next week actually) is order a set of 30mm (1.2") spacers for the suspension. And then start measuring for roof racks (and the sleeping length inside). The rack on my TJ is 40" x 50" (made by Surco; lightweight aluminum but pretty strong for what I need it for). I need to see how that would fit on the Mighty Yaris length-and-width wise.

Rack.1.jpg

Link for spacers: Complete lift kit 30mm for Toyota AQUA, AYGO, BELTA, COROLLA, IST, RACTIS, SCION | eBay

I'm still liking the idea of the Misfit Overlanders' Dempster Run next summer. That's what's driving this whole thing, cause gas costs would be a killer if I took my truck (~11 mpg) or my TJ (~15-16 mpg). Gas is more expensive in Canada. The Yaris (...I mean "The Mighty Yaris") should get in the low 30's for mpg with a roof rack and kayak. For a roughly 5,000 mile trip, those cost savings adds-up. And if you dare to be different... here you go.
 
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armyRN

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Ok; I took some measurements inside the Yaris. From a few inches before the front of the glovebox, to the back edge of the trunk area, I've got seven feet of length.

Yaris overlander.1.jpg

Yaris overlander.2.jpg

So I should be good there. Might not be as wide as I'd like, but... it is a subcompact car. I'd rather be able to stretch out.

And I measured for the roof rack. The one I'm looking at (same as what's on my Jeep TJ) is 40" x 50". It looks like it would fit. It is almost as wide as the roof between the rubber strips, and the length should not be an issue. I would have to relocate the radio antenna though. Once I get the headliner pulled, I'll be able to see what the wiring and such looks underneath it (Is there enough slack in the antenna cable to move it back a few inches? Would it then interfere with the hatchback opening up? Can I put a different antenna up front on the cowl somewhere?). And to see where would be good places to drill into the roof (and where it wouldn't be good to drill, like reinforcement ribs, etc.). If I put a roof rack on the roof, I want it to be as large as practical. I don't want an "ornamental" roof rack up there. My traction mats and camp chair needs some length.

Link: Surco S4050 Surco Safari Basket Racks | Summit Racing

Yaris.1.jpg
 

armyRN

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It has started... I ordered the 30mm (1.2") lift for my Yaris. It is coming from Russia if I read it right, so don't know how long till it arrives. I'm curious to see what the Mighty Yaris looks like with the lift. Of course I'll post pictures.

Is anyone else seriously or semi-seriously thinking about the Misfit Overlanding Trip (that's what I'm calling it till we can come up with a better name) with a... well... we'll call it a "non-traditional" overlanding vehicle like my Yaris if it is a go? I'm thinking later in the summer 2022 if we do. We're talking running the Dempster Highway all the way to the Arctic Ocean.

Here's the link/general outline of the Dempster trip below if you're considering it or are interested in it (disregard the link title - just click on it and read it):

US East - Running the Trans America Trail (TAT) from WV to the OR coast | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY


From my email confirmation message for the Yaris lift:

Estimated delivery:
Mon, Oct 25 - Fri, Nov 26


Yaris Lift Kit:

Link: Complete lift kit 30mm for Toyota AQUA, AYGO, BELTA, COROLLA, IST, RACTIS, SCION | eBay
 
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OverlandRS

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GO For it I have seen lots of overland rigs with seats removed to install a flat bed platform. I just spend 6 hours Sep 23 wrestling the plastic interior panels out of the BroncoSport to get to the last two seat bolts to remove the back seats to add a flat sleeping platform and make better use of total space for storage bins of gear. I have been looking and dreaming of the ultimate FWD overland Fiesta ST all day now that the 2021 Bronco Sport is in the shop for at least 3 weeks with a leaky water pump but there could be engine damage wont know till they get the pump. I say go for it ,and rack is a very useful addition to a small hatch.
Oh I'm still thinking about it. I've got the trailer back together (new axle and tires), and I just need to rebuild the front track bar on the TJ (got the parts - just need a day off from work) and that'll be done and back on the road. And then I can start messing with the Mighty Yaris Overlander concept. First thing I'll do (possibly next week actually) is order a set of 30mm (1.2") spacers for the suspension. And then start measuring for roof racks (and the sleeping length inside). The rack on my TJ is 40" x 50" (made by Surco; lightweight aluminum but pretty strong for what I need it for). I need to see how that would fit on the Mighty Yaris length-and-width wise.

View attachment 211162

Link for spacers: Complete lift kit 30mm for Toyota AQUA, AYGO, BELTA, COROLLA, IST, RACTIS, SCION | eBay

I'm still liking the idea of the Misfit Overlanders' Dempster Run next summer. That's what's driving this whole thing, cause gas costs would be a killer if I took my truck (~11 mpg) or my TJ (~15-16 mpg). Gas is more expensive in Canada. The Yaris (...I mean "The Mighty Yaris") should get in the low 30's for mpg with a roof rack and kayak. For a roughly 5,000 mile trip, those cost savings adds-up. And if you dare to be different... here you go.
Yes agreed I spent almost $100 in fuel going to Overland Expo west and back my car supposedly gets 29 miles to the gallon.
 

armyRN

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This trip I'm looking at (running the Dempster) for me (living in SW WA) would be at or just over 5,000 miles round trip.

Figuring gas in Canada at $4.00/gallon (anyone know the going rate up there? I'm probably underestimating), and my Jeep at 15mpg (which is good towing the trailer and a kayak on the roof) is about $1300 in gas.

My Yaris, if I can get 30mpg (kayak on the roof might kill it some) would be about $650 in gas.
 

4x4tripping

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You decice to take a small economic car for overlanding to save fuel. This makes absolutely sence if the budget is in focus.

As we was able to read here allready - that is exactly how the locals are doing overlanding in many parts of the world.

But now you plan start to mod your economic car - what will end in an non economical car.

Lets check in detail:

- Lift your rig and the fuel economy gets worse
- change to AT tyres and your fuel economy gets worse
- add a roof rack and your fuel economy gets worse.

Lets check the expenses for those 3 steps above. I`m shure it would be cheaper to use a non economical SUV for 5000 miles, than to follow that plan above. Take the yaris and go for it, no modding.

Tyres in good conditions and a valid spare - are the path to go. Otherwise take better your SUV, it will be cheaper.

trippin
 

genocache

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So according to your fuel numbers you are going to save around $700? How much are 5 tires (rims), a lift kit(labor), roof rack, comfort? If it is just the challenge go for it, but I think it is a false economy move.
 

armyRN

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You two bring up some valid points that I had already thought about. So lets discuss it. This is still in the wishful thinking/mental exercise/get folks thinking stage (gotta start somewhere).

As an aside, I googled gas prices in western Canada. Converting Canadian to US dollars, and just going with four liters = one gallon (I know it is a little more than a gallon), it comes out to roughly $5.00 (US)/gallon. So based on $5.00 (US)/gallon of gasoline:

At 15mpg (Jeep TJ) figure a 5,000 mile trip = $1,675 in gas.

Truck at 11mpg (96 Ram 1500 4x4) figure a 5,000 mile trip = $2,275 in gas (ouch).

And at 30mpg (Yaris) figure a 5,000 mile trip = $835 in gas. Highway the Yaris should get mid 30s as it sits now.

So... $700, $800, $850... whatever; that's my tipping point. Spend more than that to get the Yaris ready, and I might as well take the TJ & trailer. Or not.

A 1.2" lift - I don't think that'll affect mpg too much (we'll see - I already ordered this one). I think I paid $165 for the lift? Actually, lifting the Yaris is also for increased approach angle. There's two ferries you have to get on when doing the Dempster. They drop a metal gate down on the bank and you drive on/off. You want to make sure you can get up onto the ferry (think approach and departure angles). And I'll supply the labor for lift install, so no cost there (hopefully no additional parts needed).

I'll probably upsize the tire just a little bit if I get new tires (some all season tires a bit on the aggressive side if I can find them in my desired size). Not changing my steel rims. From stock 185/60/15 to 195/60/15 or 185/65/15 or 205/60/15 (this last one is 1" taller than stock - the largest I would go). Again, should be a (hopefully) minor hit in mpg. That'll be my biggest cost (and I need five of them - ~$300 - $500 total). Or I could just run with what I've got if they've got decent tread. You want good tires on the Dempster. It is a dirt road. 1200 miles of it round trip. And the tires on the Yaris aren't exactly new (they've got some wear on them). If I were to take the TJ, I would definitely put new tires on it first (they're much more worn - they could use to be replaced). For all five that would be close to $1,000 (but they need to be replaced anyways....).

Roof rack? I need to check out the used roof rack places. Or take the one off the TJ and put it on the Yaris. So anywhere from well under $100 (for brackets to mount the one I have on the Yaris) to a couple hundred dollars. There are cheap racks out there that I don't care for. It would be the kayak on the Yaris' roof that possibly really hurts the mpg.

Modify the inside of the Yaris (remove passenger seat and make a platform)? Under $100 (I've probably got the scrap plywood I would need in the garage already).

So why go through all this ?

1. I want to run the Dempster all the way to Tuk, and kayak the Arctic Ocean. And I want to see if I can save some money on gasoline (these multi-thousand mile trips are getting expensive!).

2. Other than the Dempster Highway itself, it is all paved roads. You don't really need 4WD (so the Yaris should work). Gas stations and buying food along the way is not an issue (other than the initial 225 miles of the Dempster where there truly is NOTHING between starting it and when you get to Eagle Plains). And FYI, a little past Eagle Plains is the Arctic Circle (dress warm).

3. I'd like to be able to sleep in my vehicle (this could almost be #1). Can't really do it in the TJ (haven't tried removing the passenger seat though and seeing how that would work - although that might be something I look at later... but don't forget the 15mpg thing). I can (and have) sleep in the back of the truck, but even though I have a pass-through window between the cab and the bed, I've never tried to go through it. I usually go out the back of the truck. And there's the whole 11 mpg thing with the truck....

4. And more importantly, I thought it might be fun (oh no; I used the "F" word) to do something different. And maybe some folks out there who don't have a tricked-out Toyota 4-runner or Tacoma or 4-door Jeep Wrangler or full-sized truck (or whatever 4WD overlanding vehicle that gets lousy mpg) would like to give it a shot in whatever vehicle they have. Not many folks who organize an overlanding trip (in the USA anyways) would "allow" small 2WD economy cars on their overlanding trip. A KIA Soul would be cool on a trip like this. Got a 2WD Ford Escape? 1990 2WD Isuzu PU? Think about it. Think outside the big 4WD 4-door "box". Waddayagot?

5. Just to be different. And part of it is the challenge (to make it work). This is about the journey as it is the destination. So far it is a mental exercise (except for the lift kit I already bought), and seeing what interest is out there. Yeah; I'd have to downsize gear to take the Yaris, but usually I only use a fraction of the stuff I bring on a trip.

Comments? Lets hear them. Lets have fun with this (uh oh... I used that "F" word again).

How would you make this work for you?
 
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Get all the mods made to the yaris and take it for a shakedown run loaded to see your actual milage. Gas on the island here is now at 1.61 a liter. Going up again this week too, So 1.65 a liter. Figure out that in US gallons to get your per gallon price. I am all in on this one. As I mentioned previously. I know a couple from BC who drove across the country to Newfoundland in a Nissan Micra with a camper trailer in tow. They had a ball!
 

armyRN

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Get all the mods made to the yaris and take it for a shakedown run loaded to see your actual milage. Gas on the island here is now at 1.61 a liter. Going up again this week too, So 1.65 a liter. Figure out that in US gallons to get your per gallon price. I am all in on this one. As I mentioned previously. I know a couple from BC who drove across the country to Newfoundland in a Nissan Micra with a camper trailer in tow. They had a ball!
You're all in(?!) - what are you thinking of taking on the trip?

I did the math based on $1.61 a liter, converted CA dollars to US, converted liters to gallons... still comes out to about $5.00/gallon. Here in the US it is a little under $4.00/gallon. It adds up when you're doing a couple thousand miles!

I think I saw on the newspaper headlines today that they're opening the Canadian border (I haven't read the article yet).
 

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1970 and older VW bugs are great off road and can take some serious abuse. There was a stock VW Class that ran the baja 1000 and the only upgrades allowed were an oil cooler, air filter system for the carburetor and off road tires. The bug with the McPherson strut front end can not take off road use and would probably fail.BUG.jpg