In the center of any overland journey, there’s the unsung hero of it all – the truck itself. It’s the one that has to do most of the heavy lifting as it traverses the 25,000 kilometers across the mountain ranges, deserts, rivers, jungles and everything in between.
We started with a slightly modified 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser with about 180,000 miles on the odometer that we purchased in October in Nevada. When we got it, it already had a high clearance lift and heavy duty front and rear bumpers, and that was roughly it. After getting it shipped to the East Coast, we got to work getting it ready for the trip and a life on the road.
1999 Toyota Land Cruiser as we bought it
We added a roof-top tent to enable us to easily set up camp anywhere in minutes.
A fridge / freezer in order to be able to have fresh food and cook easily.
We also added a few other conveniences, such as:
- a portable shower (more on that later),
- an awning for shade,
- 15-gallon water carrying capacity,
- two burner stove along with a mounted propane gas tank for easy cooking ,
- as well as a portable french coffee-press for those early uncooperative mornings.
Lastly, with help of a talented friend, we’ve added a custom storage system in the rear that helps organize all of the personal belongings, cookware and food. This way, everything is within easy reach.
Overland and Offroading
- We’ve also added a few more things to turn the Land Cruiser into a more suitable vehicle for the sort of trip we were undertaking:
- Dual battery setup – one to power the car and the other to power the fridge, along with all of the other electronics.
- Extra 15-gallon fuel carrying capacity. Unfortunately, the stock Land Cruiser comes with a 25 gallon gas tank which at a 12 MPG doesn’t get you too far. With the extra capacity, we should be able to do up to 500 miles between fill ups.
- Snorkel – to make the engine breathe cleaner air when we take the vehicle offroad in dusty surroundings.
All in all, this has made this 20-year-old vehicle extremely comfortable for living on the road, as well as very capable for crossing whatever terrain it is likely to encounter.