I’d been thinking about converting my landcruiser 200 series into something more useful for quite a while, ever since I was back in Fowlers bay I’d been keeping an eye out online and researching a few different options. Originally my thoughts were to go for a tray back ute with a slide on camper, but there were a few drawback to that, mainly that there was no real living space during bad weather in a slide on. So, the troopy conversion won out for my wants and needs in the end.
The idea being that the current car I have, the 200 series Landcruiser is a bit wasted on me, it gets so dirty and scratched and I really only use the front seat. It’s a great car, but if I can sell it for almost what a camper troopy will cost, then swapping over seems to make a lot of sense. They both have the same motor, they are both Landcruisers, but one is a luxurious, carpeted, quiet automatic with all the electronic bells and whistles, while the other is a tough industrial workhorse that’s hardly changed in the last 20 years except for the engine. It doesn’t even have electric windows.
Personally I’d wanted a conversion where the roof hinges from near the windscreen and the back lifts up in the air, these conversions also allowed the bed to hinge up with the roof at the same time storing it out of the way while not needed, leaving a large living space below. I’d not seen any of these available on used vehicles, but there were a couple of suppliers who could convert the roof of a troopy . One of these suppliers had a waiting list of over 6 months, the other is readily available, all I needed to do was find the troopy and begin the conversion process, turning it into a camper.
Or you get lucky and find one online to buy already done.
So it was about 1 in the afternoon when I rang about the troopy, a decision had to be made, I was way down in the south of Tassie and the vehicle was in Victoria somewhere. What the hell, start driving. I rang the owner and told him I’d be back in the next day or two to have a look and I was staying near Ballarat. when I got close to Devenport I pulled over and made my booking for the ferry including a cabin for the over night trip back.
On the trip back I spent quite a while chatting with one of the girls who worked on the boat but that’s a whole different subject. I arrived back at my caravan still quite early in the morning and noticed a troopy in the caravan park. As I got closer, I realized it was the the same vehicle. They had decided to drive closer to Ballarat for when I arrived, and somehow they had managed to pick the exact same park I was in. It was a funny surprise for both of us.
This was not the type of poptop that I originally wanted, this has a slide out bed in the roof section which you need to set up and pack away every day. This means making up the bed to some extent daily, but after many discussions with the current owner, Martin, he told me numerous reasons why he considered this type of poptop more useful and functional. Martin has spent about 10 years travelling expeditions and living in numerous vehicles including some that he’s built so I had to give some credence to his experience, even if he was trying to sell the vehicle.
So the vehicle is a 2008 landcruiser troop carrier, it was originally converted by Kea a well known conversion/hire company and their cars pop up for sale reasonably regularly but they are normally x-hire with high kilometres and often abused. This has had 2 private owners from new with a well detailed service history including all receipts and it’s only traveled 120,000 kilometres. It’s far from the standard factory camper, the interior has been changed extensively and there are many add ons.
This is a list of the add ons and features of the vehicle-
- ARB Diff lockers front and back
- ARB Bull bar
- Front winch (Warn 9.5xp)
- Kaymar rear bumper with wheel carrier and storage box
- Stratos after-market Driver and Passenger seat
- Old Man Emu suspension front & back
- Tough Dog shock absorbers
- Drive/fog lights
- ARB compressor built in, incl. hose to inflate tyre
- Sand ladders which fold down and double as side table
- Solar panel combined 200W
- 12 to 240V Inverter 350W pure sine
- 12V sockets
- 240V to 12V charger for batteries
- 240V sockets inside when connected to landline
- 80L + 40L = 120 liters fresh water tank
- Water filter system for drinking water
- 45L Waeco Compressor fridge/freezer
- Sink with fresh and filtered water taps
- Thedford portable toilet
- 2 inside lights
- Kitchen unit with cupboards and four drawers
- Under bench storage + two removable plastic boxes
- Full curtains plus fly screens on side sliding windows
- Pop-top with slide-out bed approx 1.2 x 2m
- Possibility to sleep downstairs with limited width approx 1m
- Fold-out rear table
- Side awning by Gordy Gear: 2.5×2.5m
- Rear awning by Kea campers, covers entrance
- Double door locks
- Rear step by Landrover
Quite a long list of bits and pieces, this was a well set up vehicle. A quick add up of most extras and there would be well over $40,000 worth. So equating the maths, if I bought a second hand troopy for about $45,000 which is probably the going rate, maybe $40,000 if I was lucky, then this was a pretty good deal at the finally agreed price of $66,500. I had figured my bare minimum to fit out a camper with the essential bit and pieces that I wanted, including the roof conversion was going to be $30,000 so even if I had mucked around and done it all myself then it would still cost more for a very basic fitout.
Some storage under the sink as well as a water filter, one tap is filtered water, one is for cooking.
Electrics are simple with most things 12V though there is a quality 350W inverter on the right, also just beyond that is an ARB air compressor for the diff lockers and also pumping tires.
Yep, there’s even a toilet up there in the third section, I’m unsure whether that will stay or not.
2008 was the last year they released the internal layout with the metal dash board, it’s also the last model to be without any airbags, perhaps not such a great thing.
The under side of the car is immaculate and sprayed with anti rust treatment.
The vehicle is immaculately clean Martin and Naomi have lived in the car for the past 2 years, they spent a year travelling Australia, before loading it into a shipping container and it was shipped off to South America. They then spent a year travelling around there before returning a couple of weeks ago to Australia. Now it’s time for them to return to New Zealand giving up the travelling life for at least a while, so my chance for a win.
They have been camped here at the caravan park for almost a week now while we’ve been jumping through hoops, two kiwis selling a QLD registered car to a West Australian in Victoria with no fixed address makes complications. This has also given me a lot of time with them learning more little bits and pieces about the car, and also the people who have owned it. A car is really only as good as the owners who have driven it and maintained it.
So tomorrow should be the day, I have the appointment with Vic roads tomorrow for the transfer, with some luck it will be quick and I’ll have two new number plates. Then Tuesday I’ll be back onto the ferry, returning to Tassie to finish my travels there. It’s been a crazy week.
OK, she’s mine. It’s been a great week hanging out with Martin and Naomi with many laughs. and I guess I should now confess the cars name. Priscilla. And when I suggested that perhaps I might change the name.
Part of the sale agreement was that I had to keep the name, in fact there was suggestion that I should also have to paint the name on the side of the car.
Fast forward a few years, I sold Priscilla to a young couple in South Australia who flew over and drove her back to her new home. Then one day I’m out cycling in the sleepy little town of Denmark on the south coast of W.A. and I took a double take as I rode past this troopy parked in front of the pub.
Some things can’t be replicated, and the rear box with the stickers from South America can’t be faked. And look at the name?
So, she’s back in W.A. again, and she’s reinvented herself, quite a bit, though there are a few aspects that haven’t changed. I waited around outside the pub for half an hour or so hoping the owner would come back.
We then spent an hour of more going over all the ways in which she has changed and I filled the new owner in on more of her history. The new owner had been researching troopies online and found this exact post, then found her for sale in SA, so he flew over there and bought her.
He wanted a larger box on the back to store fold up chairs and other bits, yet didn’t want to lose the iconic original box, so he had the original box cut down and added to a larger custom aluminium box. Added reversing camera, lights, gas bottles etc.
The other swing arm has a gas hot water system, water storage, storage, lights and more.
Inside the back on the passenger side it’s been completely remodeled, electrics, air outlet, storage and yes even an oven.
Storage bags hanging off the rear windows, these slide into sail track attached to the door frame.
The passenger side doesn;t have windows any more but access hatches. The old original droop down table is still here with aliminium track, but extra maxtrax have been attached, plus there’s 2 more maxtrax on the other side. And, she now has a slide out kitchen.
The electrics in here are now on a whole different level
Multiple lithium batteries, charging from the solar on the roof, 2000W inverter, and more outlets and switches than you can poke a stick at.
That’s 7 x 12V outlets just here.
More storage in the rear hatch mainly for cooking gear.
There’s an awning which swaps right around the vehicle, over the bonnet, right down the passenger side, and around the back of the vehicle, with some fairly sturdy attachments as it’s a self supporting wing type awning.
Drivers side has a fishing rod holder, another fold dawn table with maxtrax, and an opening window to get into the fridge just inside.
There are so many more changes, she was stripped internally and sound proofing added, engine chipped, aerials, lights, I think from memory there are 6 cameras around the vehicle, so many external lights.. Such a different beast to when I had her.
But she’s still Priscilla, and the current owner plans to have it have her name emblazoned down her sides with decals when he’s finished..
Check out some other troopy posts below, click on the images to get an idea of my troopy obsession.