Madmountainman's Rig... with an epic intro

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Madmountainman's Rig... with an epic intro

Postby Madmountainman » 15 Apr 2016 09:46

If you've been reading up on my truck research, you'll know i've been all over the place, trying to find the best one for me. I was going to update that thread with this, but thought I might as well stick it on here.
I never quite got as far as an extended test drive of the new L200. Niggles over the wheelbase and amount of bed length that pushes your camper behind the rear axle ruled it out.
So, I pootled over to my local Isuzu dealer to try a used 2.5 Hilux for size. Whilst there, I had a gander at the new Blade and was somewhat surprised by how much room was made available for the driver by having leather seats over fabric. It's to do with them being more sporty in their design, using thinner, but better quality foam, allowing you to sit further away from the steering wheel and pedals. Important if you're tall like me.
To that end, I took their demo out, as well as the Hilux, and got 40mpg and 41mpg respectively on the trip computers.
That led to a flurry of research and a test drive of an Invincible X, which did 38mpg on a steady spin round The Blackdown Hills, north of Honition.
I got the dealer to quote me for a new one on the Mole Vally Farmers discount and was rather chuffed at the price, but they couldn't find one. However, they did price up their demo, which was more expensive than buying a new one.
I went home and did some ringing around to find Taunton had a brand new, unregistered, Invincible X in, so I went up the next day. They gave me a great price, but it was in red and the only X option on it was the Style Pack. They also had two Invincible's, in silver, at their Yeovil branch, so we took a detour home to have a look. No leather, no extras, just standard and we decided that red was better than silver. Anyhow, Yeovil to Exeter then takes us past Snows of Honition, so we called in so Sandy could see their demo truck, which she rather liked and said it was either that, in Silver Blade, or the red one.
Home we go and I get on the internet and review some prices, only to find Snow's of Southampton have reduced their Invincible X demo by three grand (Don't look, someone's already grabbed it since I last looked).
Back to Honiton the next morning, to see if they've managed to locate a new one for me, but no joy. I informed them i'd found a really lovely red one in Taunton - which they were rather surprised at, and then mentioned other demo prices, to which the sales girl immediately said 'you've seen the one at our Southampton branch'.
I then used the red'un and their own (other) demo as a bargaining tool and chipped their price down another grand, which made it price competitive against a new Mole Valley special price.
Having done this, I signed on the dotted line and picked my shiny truck up on Wednesday this week. Having not played with it in depth on my test drive; remember, i'd only gone to see what mpg it did with my driving style, as well as to see if leather seats gave me a bit more leg/elbow room, i've found out on a proper drive what a bargain i've scored. Compared to Snow's other demo, i've paid a wee bit more, but got my colour choice, wheel choice, 4K less miles, satnav, factory alarm, cat clamp, floor mats, 13 pin tow bar and style pack. I've ordered a Bedrug and had a very nice jolly out in it, to go and pick up a bargain, 2nd hand Mountain Top, which'll keep my tub dry, mountain bike out of sight and secure and is easily removable for when I put the camper on. I'm totally stoked... and broke again.
All in, round trip yesterday of 500 miles at an average of 37mpg on the trip, worked out to 36mpg on mileage/fuel used, so pretty accurate i'd say.

Out of all the trucks i've tried, the Hilux is overall the best. It's much quieter than pretty much all the competition. It's one of the most economical, with the 3.0 manual closely matching the new, smaller engine'd models. It's nowhere near as choppy on the ride as reporters suggest, and I found it better than the Ranger. The Amarok wins on this one, with the L200 performing well unladen, but the new NP300's nowhere near as good a truck as the D40 it's replaced. The Isuzu Blade would've been my 2nd choice, with huge warranty, comfy seats in the Blade, good reliability reputation and a manufacturers standard 3.5 tonne upgrade available. However, the engine's rather gruff and noticeable at anything other than a steady cruise (in standard trim) - the Blade has more sound proofing - and it's not as good to look at as the Hilux, but that's only my opinion.,

Things left to do.
Get my Uncle to make some brackets to move the drivers seat back an inch or so and, whilst he's at it, get some camper tie downs fitted, through the bed and on to some chassis mounted brackets. It's good to have an engineer in the family.
Airbags for the leaf springs and a nice set of spare wheels with some AT's for camper/winter driving and, finally, one of those Steinbauer Chips.

This is my shiny new Tonka Toy, with my camper putting in a smidge of an appearance in the background.

Image
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Madmountainman
 
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Re: Madmountainman's Rig... with an epic intro

Postby zildjian » 15 Apr 2016 16:41

And Breathhhhhh :D

Glad you got there in the end it looks very nice, I went to see a silver one initially but Sue found this better example
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Re: Madmountainman's Rig... with an epic intro

Postby Mike » 15 Apr 2016 19:34

Congratulations looks good all fun bits now getting it customised to your exact needs
2008 Ford Ranger 3.0 Wildtrack
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Re: Madmountainman's Rig... with an epic intro

Postby zildjian » 15 Apr 2016 20:04

Suspect the tailgate will still have to come off in use as a wooden sub-frame would need to be the depth of the grey water tank which is about 4" or so
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Re: Madmountainman's Rig... with an epic intro

Postby Madmountainman » 16 Apr 2016 22:26

zildjian wrote:Suspect the tailgate will still have to come off in use as a wooden sub-frame would need to be the depth of the grey water tank which is about 4" or so


Already clocked that one Bud. Happy to take it off when camping, along with the Mountain Top.
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