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Author Topic: What is the perfect landscape photography support vehicle?  (Read 32959 times)
fike
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« Reply #100 on: March 20, 2013, 02:09:05 PM »
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...Subaru was going to bring the diesel to the US and I was waiting with check book in hand. Then after a lot of publicity saying it was coming they backed out...  )-:} 
...

You were going to need to get behind me in line for the Subie diesel. 

There is talk that they might be doing a hybrid which might be cool.  For photography I really want a car with stop start technology.  I hate having to turn the engine off every time I see a bird or wildlife and stop to take a pic out the window. 
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Hulyss
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« Reply #101 on: March 20, 2013, 05:52:01 PM »
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Mercedes Benz UNIMOG modified Smiley Unbreakable (This is not mine, just an example).

Actually I bought a BmW one series 120D, very eco and easy to drive on big distances (big distances in France are not as big as USA distances !).

« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 06:01:29 PM by Hulyss » Logged

Kind Regards - www.hulyssbowman.com
wildlightphoto
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« Reply #102 on: March 20, 2013, 07:30:58 PM »
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Lots of info and ideas for the frugal among us: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/

its forum has a separate URL: http://www.cheaprvlivingforum.com/
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tsjanik
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« Reply #103 on: March 20, 2013, 08:40:12 PM »
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Mercedes Benz UNIMOG modified Smiley Unbreakable (This is not mine, just an example).

Actually I bought a BmW one series 120D, very eco and easy to drive on big distances (big distances in France are not as big as USA distances !).



Is the small aircraft an option?  Grin
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lowep
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« Reply #104 on: March 21, 2013, 06:39:18 AM »
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What about old Range Rover? The good thing is the sitting position is quite high so even when the elephant grass gets (almost) as high as the elephants you can still see enough to keep going :-)
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Colorado David
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« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2013, 12:11:05 PM »
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The Range Rover Classic is a great candidate for this use.  You might want to remove the air suspension and convert to coils.  Avoid the P38 Range Rover.  The Discovery is an exceptionally capable vehicle, you just have to stay on top of maintenance.  They have a tendency to overheat which can ruins head gaskets and heads.  To prevent this, install a 180 degree thermostat and avoid the Dexcool antifreeze.  Owning a Land Rover is a hobby in itself.  They do require some work and you may want to know how to do some wrenching yourself, but in my opinion they are worth it.  I have a roof rack and a rear door ladder on mine to provide a high shooting platform.  The drivetrain management is tremendous and because it is so effective actually helps prevent trail degradation.  A vehicle that gets stuck and spins wheels doesn't help the condition of a trail.  In the Discovery Series II, the combination of the Hill Descent and Traction Control, which are controlled by the ABS System, combined with a Center Differential Lock are very effective.  If you live outside the U.S., the Defender is a great option.  I rented a Land Rover Defender 110 with a roof tent in Capetown, RSA and drove to Namibia.  It was a very capable vehicle and had great range with the diesel engine.  I would get one if it was an option for me.
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NancyP
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« Reply #106 on: March 21, 2013, 02:28:20 PM »
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Which size and type tent did you get and what sort of cross bars did you use? I am considering buying a Forester, and might want to install one of these rooftop tents.
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fike
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« Reply #107 on: March 21, 2013, 02:42:35 PM »
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Which size and type tent did you get and what sort of cross bars did you use? I am considering buying a Forester, and might want to install one of these rooftop tents.

I got the Maggiolina Air Top (small) http://www.autohomeus.com/rooftop/maggiolinaAir.php .

I put it on my regular-old Yakima round crossbars.

I chose the Maggiolina for a few reasons:
  • Compared to other rooftop tent models, it is very weatherproof and durable for three seasons use and holds up to wind and rain very well.
  • Compared to the other Maggiolina tents, it has an auto-raise feature so you don't need to crank it up with a handle
  • it appeared that I could take pics out of windows on four sides.  Actually windows are only open on three sides (fourth has mosquito netting) but it still works well  for a photo shelter/blind
  • The width of the tent is reasonably balanced looking with the smaller Subaru Forester
  • tThis is the lightest reasonably priced Maggiolina. At 119 pounds it isn't the easiest to lift onto the roof of your car, but to lose another 20 pounds costs almost $2K
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NancyP
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« Reply #108 on: March 22, 2013, 01:50:01 PM »
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This looks like a winner. I will have to keep it in mind. First, I have to buy the Forester!

One of the appealing aspects about car camping is that the gear is guaranteed to be dry. One of the somewhat concerning aspects of a roof-top camper is thunderstorms. You are above ground level (and above wet conductive ground if you were to tent camp), but also sitting on a 3" closed cell foam mattress in a fabric and fiberglass enclosure, presumably with some metal support struts. It sounds as if it ought to be insulated enough as long as you keep free of the support struts.
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Tony Jay
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« Reply #109 on: March 22, 2013, 05:01:01 PM »
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Nothing wrong with rooftop tents but in a thunderstorm I would want to be inside my vehicle not in a tent on top of it!

Tony Jay
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Gandalf
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« Reply #110 on: March 27, 2013, 06:59:06 PM »
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What about old Range Rover? The good thing is the sitting position is quite high so even when the elephant grass gets (almost) as high as the elephants you can still see enough to keep going :-)

That's the direction I went, now I just have to rebuild it so it will run. Maybe Colorado David wants to help.  Grin

Which size and type tent did you get and what sort of cross bars did you use? I am considering buying a Forester, and might want to install one of these rooftop tents.

Regarding the Autohome roof tents, I think they are a pretty poor choice for everyone except photographers. The Columbus sets up, and especially packs up, faster than the Maggiolina. Go with the medium if it is for more than one person, the small is very small.

If you are looking for a great photographers vehicle, look for a used Jeep Liberty with the CRD engine. Add a 2" OME lift, some larger AT tires and head for the desert. They are surprisingly capable, competent vehicles, and are really fast in the dirt ... if that is your thing. On a 1,000 mile round trip from Colorado, through Utah and back, fuel cost was roughly half that of a Land Rover Discovery.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 07:03:53 PM by Gandalf » Logged
kencameron
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« Reply #111 on: April 14, 2013, 03:28:12 AM »
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Nothing wrong with rooftop tents
A big advantage is that you are well above the crocodiles.
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markmullen
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« Reply #112 on: April 14, 2013, 06:40:33 PM »
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A big advantage is that you are well above the crocodiles.

A common problem here in the North of England Wink
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stever
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« Reply #113 on: April 15, 2013, 10:10:54 AM »
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Megayacht.  About 250 feet with helicopter and assorted tenders. There is a whole lot of beautiful and interesting landscape that is not practically accessible from land.  In the last several years i've photographed from a number of dive liveaboards and small cruise boats. Unfortunately i've never been able convince the captains (or other passengers) to make a course alteration and wait for the right light - consequently being in the right place at the right time is pretty much luck.  Therefore i would like to have my own boat and captain, even if it doesn't meet the mileage requirement.
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NancyP
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« Reply #114 on: April 16, 2013, 10:58:46 AM »
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Subaru is coming out with a hybrid version of its XV Crosstrek (the equivalent of the old Impreza Outback) in September. I am curious about it. The NY Auto Show video release showed the batteries occupying the area used by the wheel well in other Imprezas/Crosstreks/Foresters, but the video didn't show a tire case on the hatch or anywhere else. I can't imagine buying a car without at least an emergency mini-tire, and I prefer having a standard spare. I will wait for more details. The Crosstrek is a surprisingly large car compared with my 1997 Impreza Outback.

Car or FF body and L glass, car or FF body and L glass.....
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tived
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« Reply #115 on: April 16, 2013, 06:15:46 PM »
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re: roof top tents

are any of you aware of your car roofs carry capacity? and what damage you can make to your car, if the roof load is too heavy?

there might be room for OHS in photography soon :-)

Henrik

OHS - Occupational Health and Safety

PS: My vote goes to the Earthroamer if only I could afford it :-)
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Colorado David
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« Reply #116 on: April 16, 2013, 08:05:08 PM »
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A car roof will hold a static load of much more than it can hold while driving.  Under load and at speed it a different set of forces.  Fortunately, you won't have the roof tent deployed with one or two sleeping up there while you're driving.
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fike
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« Reply #117 on: April 17, 2013, 07:17:54 AM »
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A car roof will hold a static load of much more than it can hold while driving.  Under load and at speed it a different set of forces.  Fortunately, you won't have the roof tent deployed with one or two sleeping up there while you're driving.

Yep, Car roof's must be able to hold more than their own weight (3,000 or 4,000 pounds) without crushing.  The rooftop tent with its occupants is well within that limit, I hope.  Shocked   Maybe I shouldn't bring ALL my camera gear into the tent with me just to be sure.  Grin
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tived
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« Reply #118 on: April 17, 2013, 07:39:52 AM »
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Guys, I am so happy that you guys are photographers and not car sales men  Grin for people who wants to travel anywhere with their car's and potential load their roof rack

but to the less inclined, the average car's roof carry capacity is 40-70kg while in motion, btw its very few people who that also photograph who fits within this weight class  Grin

These same car;s can carry up to 300kg load when not in motion... aka, people could sleep on top of their car's while the is stationary

this is not to say that there are car's with greater carry capacity, there is, such as real 4x4's not soft of roaders.

so to go back to what I said a few messages ago... check with your manual that your car's roof can carry the weight you are planning to carry, because there are roof top tents that exceed this limit

We have a Susuki Grand Vitara which can't carry a full sized roof tent, but that is not to say that some car's can't

Travel at your own risk

all the best :-)

Henrik
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fike
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« Reply #119 on: April 17, 2013, 12:15:17 PM »
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Driving with a rooftop tent is no different (or more dangerous) than driving with kayaks or a canoe on the roof.  The car may be slightly more top-heavy, but then you should always modulate your driving to the conditions.

Most reasonably-sized vehicles will easily and safely accommodate a rooftop tent. I wouldn't recommend putting one on a convertible VW beatle.  Undecided
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
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