No, not another troopy post! Well I haven’t done one in a while, and this post is long overdue. Yes I have a “thing” for troopies and this was going to be a post about converting a troopy into a camper after buying this lovely old girl you see above. Since selling my troopy poptop about a year ago I’ve had withdrawal symptoms. driving the sprinter van around is ok, but it’s a bit of a bus. Then one day while scanning online listings for troopcarriers I found the one above. One of those situations where the seller had listed almost no information and included only a couple of blurry photos.
A quick phone call and I decided to go and have a look even though I had no intention of buying it, what was I going to do with 2 vehicles?
Once I saw the vehicle though going over all of the features and add-ons, well I made the guy an offer and he accepted.. The way I figured, I couldn’t lose, I could always sell it for at least what I’d bought it for, after all it had an extensive list of extras and modifications.
1997 Troopcarrier with 1HZ 4.2 diesel motor
Well maintained and second owner from 40,000km
Quality aftermarket turbo
After market suspension
ARB rear diff lock
Dual battery with low voltage isolator
Fabric seats with additional lumbar support
Thomas 8000lb winch
60L wateer tank
Bullbar and towbar
Extended diff/gear/winch breathers
Swing out wheel carrier
ARB air compressor
Full length drawers
LED light bar
Endless air compressor
There were also a few extras I didn’t want like the boat carrier roof rack with solar panels and the smelly old fridge in the back. So these formed part of my bargaining on the price, but at the end of the day I drove off in an excellent, well maintained solid vehicle, beautiful condition for a 22 year old car.
I cleaned out the back and removed the drawers as they were of no use to me in a camper conversion, then began fixing and modifying. Remove the huge speakers hanging behind the headrests mounted on the cargo barrier, remove the cargo barrier, install new stereo with door speakers. Fix dents on either side of the body at the rear, I don’t think the previous owner was so great at reversing, got the old scratched tint removed and new tinting all round.
She was starting to look good and I was making inquiries about getting the roof conversion done, this was where I hit a bit of a wall. The vehicle cost me $14,000 and the roof conversion was going to cost me about $14,000.. This just didn’t seem right. While procrastinating I bought some Stratos suspension seats online, they were in great condition, I’d just need the fitting kit before I could mount them.
About now my situation really began to hit home, I was living in a sprinter van I’d converted while trying to convert a troopy, what was I doing? You can only live and drive in one vehicle at a time and actually working on the troopy was difficult without a real base as such, so with some trepidation I listed the troopy online to see it there would be any interest. I figure with the money I’d spent fixing it so far that it owed me about $19,000 and I listed it for $22,000. Messages started flooding in, someone came to look within 24 hours, and 24 hours later she was sold for $20,000.
Back to one vehicle, far more sensible, but it didn’t stop me looking at the market and at what other troopies were available.
Yeah, that’s another one, say hello to Yoda! I couldn’t resist, this one had the works. A 2008 model with the V8 diesel he was a fairly standard Kea camper conversion and it had basically everything already done to it, it was ready to go, well almost. Here’s a list of it’s specifications.
– DP Power chip installed
– Front and rear factory diff lockers
– Air bag suspension
– Kaymar rear bar with 2 spares
– 2 x Aftermarket seats
– Cooper discoverer tyres at 70% or better
– Front Smart bar
– 10L water tank mounted behind smart bar
– Internal ARB compressor with air hose and gauge
– Dougs tub
– TJM overhead console
– Outback door pockets
– External modem/phone aerial
– 80L fresh water storage (2 tanks one inside, one under vehicle)
– electric water pump
– New 100W roof mounted solar panel
– New JVC Stereo
– Reverse camera
– 6×9 speaks in doors
– uhf radio
– 80L waeco fridge/freezer
– 12 volt outlets in rear
– 500W victron inverter (not fitted yet)
– Rear Kaymar work light
– Fly screens on sliding windows
– extra fly screen curtains at rear doors
– Curtains all round
– Tekonsha electric brakes
– Table on rear door
– Dometic metho stove almost new
– Deep cycle battery under bonnet
– Recent battery change
It was a beauty and had really low kilometres from memory about 140,000, though I still had 2 vehicles to deal with, my Mercedes motor home and now Yoda. Still, I had grand dreams floating through my head, remembering traveling Australia in the last troopy and the feeling of freedom I wanted to capture that again, I wanted to do one more lap of Australia traveling light with just what fitted into the troopy camper which isn’t much I can tell you. But this would allow a whole level of freedom greater than the Mercedes van ever could. And for $42,000 it was really a bargain.
I still had the Stratos suspension seats as I’d never got to install them in the last troopy, with these installed, this troopy was an absolute machine, plenty of power from the V8, with even more having the chip installed, twin factory diff lockers to get me out of trouble, the enormous 80L fridge/freezer, lots of water storage.
The interior of this camper was a little different to my last troopy camper it hadn’t been modified to any great extent, well not that I knew of anyway as all the timber work was the original material.
There was a little less floor space because of the larger fridge in this, the same drop down table on the rear door and a similar couch and under-couch storage area with access from both the hinged lid and a door at the rear of the couch.
The kitchen cabinetry was the same, a flip down storage area then 3 drawers, this also had the original metho stove which fitted perfectly into the kitchen counter recess. There was the standard sink and tap, with cupboards underneath, but this troopy had a huge storage cabinet directly behind the drivers seat. The bottom section was the interior water tank, then there were two large storage cupboards above this.
Standard living area set up, laptop set up on the bench and the stove has just produced coffee and toast. The plastic bag behind the milk carton was for privacy as there was no curtain on this small window. Notice the thin cushion on the fridge allowing this to be an extra seating area.
On the passenger side of the fridge was a small lockable box for valuables.
Immediately to the rear of the fridge and the lockable box is another storage area over the wheel arch, then next to this is a table top. You could remove the cushion, get out the table leg and set up a small table, allowing one person to sit on the fridge, the other on the storage box/lounge to the rear, I never did this myself, I just used this as a long lounge down the passenger side of the vehicle.
This is the bed section slid right out in the fully set up position, still quite a lot of room below and when the bed slides away you can push it right forward to the cab, so the whole back section is open to stand fully in.
You’ll also notice there’s a switch panel on the side of the cupboard along with water tank level indicator and a 12V DC outlet I added.
The doors had huge speakers and pockets for extra storage.
I did mention the name of the troopy was Yoda, because it’s a toy-yoda. So I had to mount this on the dashboard.
After covid hit I realized my traveling around Australia dream was just that, a dream, so I decided to sell Yoda. I sold it for just over $50,000 making my money back, but I should have held onto it for a little longer because as covid really took hold prices of troopies skyrocketed and I could have got at least another $10,000. Oh well, enough of troopies for the moment. It’s now over 12 months since I sold it and prices have gone silly, can’t see myself having another one for a while.