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Author Topic: World's most expensive...  (Read 31577 times)
jani
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« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2006, 08:49:44 AM »
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I came this close >< to buying a Defender 4 or 5 years back. I'm sure there are plenty in the used market, that could be brought up to spec inexpensively. look around Dallas or LA as there just show vehicles there. No significant offroading miles.

Hell of a vehicle, but noisy and crude, not at all like the GX470.
Yes, but the GX470 is unusable off-road. With the Defender, you can get stuck in places you'd never get stuck before, simply because you couldn't get there.

Okay, I'll stop flogging the Defender now. I sincerely doubt that Land Rover will be paying me a commission.
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Jan
John Camp
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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2006, 09:23:53 AM »
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The main problem with the Defender is that they don't meet U.S. safety requirements, and haven't been sold here in 10 years. There's some possibilty that the next model will be, but that won't arrive until (perhaps) 2012.

Actually, the GX470 is a Toyota 4Runner with better seats and stereo; the 4Runner and the Toyota Land Cruiser are probably the two best stock off-road vehicles around, and are much more widely used in serious, non-tourist, off-road and outback situations in Africa and Australia than the Land Rovers, precisely because you can actually get them fixed when something goes wrong.

I'd kill for one of those Defender roof racks, to mount on top of the GX.

JC
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2006, 10:13:39 AM »
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Quote from: John Camp,Jan 3 2006, 07:53 PM
The Sprinter would be ideal except for one thing: it's just a hair short of eight feet tall. That means that it won't park in standard residential garages, or in most parking garages.

Absolutely true.  If you have to park in there, the Sprinter's out.  Seems like a small price to pay for an otherwise perfect camera vehicle.

I've been to Deadhorse, too.  I'm sure you'd agree that the Sprinter'd make it no problem.  (Spring thaw excepted)




Some of the vans on the conversion van sites would really be great for long distance trips with in-van sleeping, though, with microwaves, refrigerators, pop-tops, beds, storage bins, etc.

My Chev Astro has taken me across North America numerous times, always on photo missions.  It cost me about half what a current Stupid Useless Vehicle sells for nowadays, has saved me a bundle on motels and accommodated me at some incredible locations.  As I said, 320,000 kms on the clock with no significant repairs.  All but a hundred kilometers or so with me at the wheel.  20 mpg US.  11 liters/100 kms, about 10 cents a kilometer at current fuel prices.  Not bad for a house that moves.  Darkroom, too, these days.

Most SUVs use more gas than the Astro and are invariably far too small inside for gearn and camping, even for single-handed use.  4WD is so infrequently necessary, I won't pay for it and don't go where I might need it.  For that, I walk or take the dirt bike (stowed inside the Astro)

99% of photo trips consists of long stretches of paved highway.  The short wheelbase of most SUVs, especially Land Rovers, (I used one for years as a land surveyor) delivers a choppy, uncomfortable ride.  They are also invariably intolerably NOISY inside.  Gimme a quiet ride any day.

I don't get this platform-on-the-roof thing.  Very seldom can you put the vehicle where the camera needs to be, and the fuel penalty is bigger than you might think.

The Sprinter (made entirely by Mercedes) does everything the domestic vans do, but better.  Not cheaper, but far better.  The only thing "Dodge" about the Sprinter is the little sticker on the hood.



Peter
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2006, 11:04:07 AM »
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Yes, but the GX470 is unusable off-road. With the Defender, you can get stuck in places you'd never get stuck before, simply because you couldn't get there.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55259\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't know, My GX470 has been in all kinds of offroad situations. It's built on a truck chassis, not a car chassis like my previous X-5 (Beemer was great on Hwy and snow, but real offroad - NAH). It's the damaging of the cosmetics that keep it away from the more extreme terrain.

Best feature (470), passenger love that the rear seat reclines like the fronts. Makes watching Movies easier during long trips.  I think you need to have a custom roof rack built for the GX, myself.

I'm surprised it's been so long since the defender has been for sale, doesn't seem correct but....I'm getting old and my memory is .........<snore>.......

Anyway, the USA models are out there and one can be put in pristeen shape for peanuts compared to buying anything new............<snore>........

AH, sorry, need a new battery for my pacemaker I guess    


<kidding, I hope>

BTW, have you concidered getting a Gitzo 9900 XT (xtra tall) and a step ladder. Only $12,500 USD. I saw one of those Little Giant ladders on an infomercial and it looks usable for lots of stuff. Maybe they have an attachable ball head accessory from RRS. You "might" get it before the new Defender comes out!

bob
« Last Edit: January 05, 2006, 11:12:14 AM by bob mccarthy » Logged
bob mccarthy
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« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2006, 12:08:47 PM »
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I'm surprised it's been so long since the defender has been for sale, doesn't seem correct but....I'm getting old and my memory is .........<snore>.......

Anyway, the USA models are out there and one can be put in pristeen shape for peanuts compared to buying anything new............<snore>........

bob
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Did a web search on the Defender (90)for fun.

Whew was I wrong. There seems to be a cut off in 97 for USA models. And they are pricey. An 8 year old vehicle going for roughly 60% of new pricing. Guess someone likes them. Good ones look like $40-50K.

oh well.

bob
« Last Edit: January 05, 2006, 12:09:17 PM by bob mccarthy » Logged
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2006, 01:46:44 PM »
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Personally I would get a Safari Rack and mount it on whatever vehicle you want to drive and call it a day.  Attach it for the photo excursions, remove it when just daily driving.  With a plywood or expanded metal floor added to the bottom, it will be more than stout enough to stand on.  Also LOTS of nifty accessories available for them -- you can find them at most well-stocked off-road stores: http://www.rocky-road.com/wildrack.html

But IMO the KargoMaster is probably the best -- and of course the most expensive: http://www.truckaddons.com/Catalog/subpage...ster_safari.htm
« Last Edit: January 05, 2006, 01:52:56 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

John Camp
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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2006, 02:57:44 PM »
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All right, I'll bite. Instead of waiting for a new vehicle, I ordered the largest KargoMaster with a mounting kit (which they promise me will work on a GX470, though I have my doubts) from Truckaddons.com. I should have it in a week or so, and will try it out. If it works, and if I can figure out how to post a picture of the world's most expensive  tripod, I'll do it.

Without a dedicated ladder mounted to the truck, I was thinking I'd have to continue to use my fold-up step ladder, and was thinking, oh sh*t, it takes up so much space in the back...and then I thought, well, duh, you're gonna have a cargo basket...

The Sprinter would eat up the road to Deadhorse, as long as you took it slow through the mountains. That gravel was a little slidey on the curves. Of course, we were up there equipped for anything, and found a guy commuting back and forth in what must have been a 20-year-old Chevy Nova, though with good tires...probably helps not to care what happens to the car. I agree with everything you're saying about vans, and when I do trade, they're still in the running. In addition to taking photo equipment along, I go on a few musky-fishing trips every year, and the rods -- 7 and 7 1/2 feet long, in one piece) barely fit in the GX in rod cases. With a van, you can just drop them on the floor, no problem. I do like the looks of some of the stuff they have on that van site...

http://www.sportsmobile.com/1_dyo.html

JC
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Jay Kaplan
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« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2006, 03:20:30 PM »
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GM stopped making those passenger vans. They were assembled here in Baltimore and the plant was closed last year. I don't know where they build the commercial vans, but the Chevy & GMC (Astro and something else) were built here.

Have you considered the VW SUV. With the V8 or the diesel (should be back in 2006) a very comfortable vehicle both on and off road. Very capable. VW co-designed the vehicle with Porsche. Stay away from the V6, the thing weighs over 2 tons and the 6 just won't do it. If the diesel is available, get it, gets great mileage, better than the V8 and large amounts of torque over 500 ft/lbs!
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bob mccarthy
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« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2006, 03:44:49 PM »
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Don't fall off!

bob
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2006, 04:02:35 PM »
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Oh yeah -- ARB makes really high quality racks too.
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Robt
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« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2006, 12:11:42 AM »
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I bought a Honda Element for this purpose.  It will carry me and my gear to where I want to go-- mostly and while it is only rated for 150# on the roof, with the Thule track mount  for the cross bars; it will take me and my Nikon + stuff. that puts my lensens about 11' off the ground.  Surprising how many things you can only guess at being there are there to photograph without having to carry a chain saw.

I decided on one by driving into Washington states mountains on logging roads.  I carried a 12' fruit picker three legged ladder and screwed a B-1 ball head on top.

12' doesn't always work, but often enough that I get many shots that I happen upon that I'd otherwise miss.

I am an electrician as is JJP above and he is dead on about build your own with strut [ Available at any electrical or Plunbing Wholesale house- yes thy will sell to you for cash}.  What he didn't say is that you can easily make structures that are tear down. So you get where you want to go and put your prebuilt rack in place.  How about your base not being 6' but 9?

Another thought, electricians mostly have racks built for their vans.  Most look like the pix of the real Land Rover shown a few posts back only built out of galvanized expanded steel and angle iron.  Believe me the electricians who worked for me had no idea of a weight limit on the roofs [ these roofs  would collapse if a 200 pound man walked on them].  We used to set the aforementioned 12' ladders on the top to change light bulbs in parking lots lights- often at 24'.

A last different thought, notice that the racks on the LR pix above didn't mount to the roof but to the lower body, so who gives a rip what the roof rating is?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2006, 12:15:04 AM by Robt » Logged

Robert Collins
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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2006, 03:35:51 PM »
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Better late than never... (sorry, I just now signed on here)

Of course, you could drive whatever vehicle you pleased and... shoot from a boom mounted camera - wirelessly triggered, and wirelessly relaying images down to your laptop to confirm imaging.  You'd have more flexibility of height (in addition to horizontal reach out over a precipice), greater mobility, and there's better personal safety since there's no perch for you to fall from.  Never used one, no idea what they cost, just an idea - but it does significantly expand your vehicle options.
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dazzajl
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« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2006, 05:49:25 PM »
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This is a great thread and I guess we've all seen "that" picture and wanted a vehicle with a good useable shooting platform.

A couple of things that come to mind from all the previous posts.

Firstly, the best of best when it comes to 4x4's is landrover. Has been for about 60 years or something. There are only two real workhorse off road choices these days and the other is of course, the land cruiser.

The Merc Sprinter is a bloody good van and good to drive too.

The biggest point to raise though, is that no vehicle is going to be a stable platform unless it's properly jacked up to prevent any sway or movement. No point going to all the trouble to mount a tripod to the top of the vehicle by any of the means mentioned if it's going to move.  
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emilf
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« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2006, 09:43:10 AM »
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I've had great luck with our VW Vanagon.  You can stand forward of the poptop and there's ample room for a tripod.  You do need to move slowly to avoid "rocking the boat."  The best part is the combination of stove, refrigerator and sleeping space for 4.  It's only a 4-cylinder and does a mere 40 MPH up steep grades.  Also not adequate for going off-road except on well-graded dirt or gravel.  It's about 6' 9" tall and just fits in our garage.
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pathfinder
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« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2006, 01:01:03 PM »
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This has been an interresting thread to read.  

I have thought about ways to gain height when shooting in the field for some time.  I remember seeing a picture of Ansel Adans shooting with a view camera on a plywood deck mounted on the top of his Buick ( I think) station wagon in Yosemite.  I remember trying to get on top of a roof at a rest area in New Mexico for added height to see into the Rio Grande gorge.

  I am currently driving a Honda Ridgeline, and thinking about carrying a collapsable ladder - It collapses to a 5 foot length, but extends to a full 10 feet as a leaning ladder - not a step ladder, but folds to makes a 5 foot folded ladder which could be used to shoot from.

  One advantage of this is that the vehcile is not necessary - with removeable wheels added to the ladder, it could be wheeled to the shooting site.  

  Anyone else have any thoughts along this line?
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Gary Ferguson
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« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2006, 03:34:52 PM »
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[attachment=431:attachment]I got this a few years ago to tow my boat and my daughter's horse box. It's the 50th Anniversary Defender with a 4.0 litre V8, it's had a tripod on the roof plenty of times without complaint.
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John Camp
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« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2006, 06:23:07 PM »
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This has been an interresting thread to read. 

I am currently driving a Honda Ridgeline, and thinking about carrying a collapsable ladder - It collapses to a 5 foot length, but extends to a full 10 feet as a leaning ladder - not a step ladder, but folds to makes a 5 foot folded ladder which could be used to shoot from.

  Anyone else have any thoughts along this line?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62578\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I bought a collapsible ladder to get on top of the truck. My solution to the problem (I started this thread) was to take the advice of buying a roof rack, which I did, and then to throw a couple of pieces of plywood in it to stand on. I can carry both the folding ladder and the plywood in the back of the truck with no problem, without even getting in the way of anything. Works okay, although I'm nervous about falling off, and have used a sailing safety belt like the kind single-handed sailors use. Anyway, this gets the camera ~12 feet off the ground. It really does get it over a lot of road-side brush, and opens up the world a bit. As far as just using the ladder goes, they don't get you up far enough. You can't stand on the top, so you wind up standing about two steps down, so you're only about three feet higher that you would be anyway. With my GX on the rack, I'm seven feet, and steadier -- and the extra four feet is pretty useful. If you could get a folding ladder that was about nine feet tall, so you could stand at the seven-foot level and maybe have some kind of bolt-on monopod at the top, both to hold on to and to steady yourself with, that would be good, too...I wouldn't want to carry it very far, but you could hump it a couple hundred feet without too much trouble...About the falling-off thing -- I think there's a real danger of getting involved in the photograph, and just edging backwards and catching the edge of the roofrack with your heel and going backwards over the edge. With your heel moving more slowly, I suspect you'd land on the back of your head...That's why you need some kind of safety belt.
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BAH
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« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2006, 06:01:45 PM »
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John, just be real careful not to inadvertently lynch yourself with a safety belt if you're out in the boonies on your own.

This is only somewhat related, but perhaps worth considering.  I know of a couple who went out for dinner, leaving their dog tethered to a long leash on their large, upstairs balcony.  When they returned home, the dog had somehow managed to get through the railing supports (possibly chasing a squirrel) and had - yep - inadvertently lynched itself.

So please be careful, even with a safety belt - and perhaps keep a knife handy should you need to extricate yourself.
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jani
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« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2006, 05:06:31 AM »
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So please be careful, even with a safety belt - and perhaps keep a knife handy should you need to extricate yourself.
In any car, the following implement should be handy for both driver and passengers:

A combined belt cutter and window smasher.

It's a pity that this isn't a standard accessory in modern cars; these things are pretty cheap, too.
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Jan
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« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2006, 01:44:15 PM »
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Don't know who makes stuff like that in the states but thats something I'm considering at the moment:



Thats how you get the platform and something to sleep in. Watch here for their homepage http://www.expedition-cabin.de/engl/index.htm
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