Mark & Jolie from The Way Overland are taking on the world in their 2006 HDJ78R Troopcarrier! Mark grew up on a farm and had picked up 4WD’ing as a necessity to get around. Jolie, having never driven a 4WD before the Troopy, took on the Holland Track for her initiation. Both picked up the camping and touring bug from a young age touring around the country with Mark’s parents. Here’s what they shared about what they’re doing and how they’ve setup the Troopy to tackle it.
Why did you choose a Troopy & what do you use it for?
The Troopy and HDJ was a logical decision for its capability, reliability and space we needed. Finding a decent one for a reasonable price is not an easy feat, though after months of searching one literally turned up on our doorstep. We’ve transformed the car into our new touring home where we live full time and will do for the next few years as we travel around the world.
Where has it taken you and where are you planing to go?
Once the internal/external mods were complete we took a trip around the South Coast of WA from Perth around the coast, following the Old Telegraph Track to the Bilbanya Dunes, up to Kalgoorlie, down the Holland Track then back to Perth. This was more or less a trial run for our current trip to make sure we had all we needed. Our current trip sees us drive from Perth to London. As I write this we’re currently sitting in Darwin preparing for the freight to Dili, Timor Leste. To arrive here we’ve spent the last 3 months heading north from Perth up the coast, completing Francois Peron NP, Karijini, The Gibb, The Kimberley, The Tanami, Uluru, Kings Canyon, East and West McDonnells, Arnhem Land, Kakadu and Litchfield. After we arrive in Timor we’ll head west to Indonesia, Sumatra, Borneo, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, India, Nepal, China, the Stans, Iran, Turkey then in and around Europe. We plan to be on the road for approx two years.
What exterior mods have you done?
Outback Accessories dual wheel carrier.
Rhino Rack pioneer platform
Alucab Shadow Awning
IPF HID Spotlights
Custom wheel flares
Can you explain your suspension and driveline mods?
EFS – Elite 2″ Lift
EFS – Front – HD Coils
EFS – Rear – 600kg Constant Leafs
Mickey Thompson – ATZ P3 – 285/75/16 on ROH Rims
What engine mods have you done?
No engine mods – preferred to keep stock for simplicity in case of work required in foreign countries/sourcing parts etc.
What interior mods have you done?
Although this is the RV model being an ex Police car the interior was the Workmate option. The bench seats were first to go swapped out for bucket seats with sheep skin covers. The original stereo was replaced with a Kenwood double din DVD player with new speakers all round. For acoustic and thermal performance sound deadener, rubber backed insulation and new carpet has been installed from the fire wall to behind the seats. Magazine and fold down cup holders have been installed on the door trims and the overhead console holds the GME UHF and all the necessary bits and pieces that need to be in reach.
Tell us about your rear setup
The rear is the reason we bought the Troopy, having the ability to complete the Alucab roof conversion and also the flexibility to stand in the back.
From bottom to top: The rubber backed insulation from the front runs all the way through to the rear topped with 9mm ply and waterproof vinyl floorboards.
Looking from the rear the right side has a kitchenette including an 80ltr Engle Combi (40ltr fridge, 40ltr freezer), sink with running water, pantry, two large drawers for storage of cooking gear, the cooker, and camera and electrical equipment. The left hand side has two large storage chests, one containing all clothes the other compartmentalised with a toolbox, surf and dive gear, spare parts and the compressor.
There is a fold down table between the chests which when raised four people can sit at. When the table is in the down position additional slats can be installed between the chests and kitchenette to turn this into another (cosy) bed. A front runner drop down table is fitted to the larger rear door which is where we would usually cook from.
We had the roof conversion completed by Alucab in Perth which is easily the best part of the car. The ease and speed this can be setup and packed away is perfect. We’ve installed additional power outlets to the bed space as well as ceiling brackets to mount 12v fans for comfort when sleeping. All exposed painted metal surfaces in the back have been lined with grey felt for aesthetics and insulation.
(We built and completed all the mods and fit out for the car from our tiny studio apartment in Cottesloe much to the joy of our neighbours!)
What electrical setup do you have?
A 105 Full River AGM is feed through an Intervolt DCC Pro from the engine or the roof mounted removable 180w solar panel. An Intervolt battery monitor is mounted to the left of the steering wheel.
The solar panel can be removed and connected to a 10m extension lead so the car doesn’t have to be parked in the sun. All rear electrics run through a separate board behind the drivers seat. Adjacent to the board is a 400w inverter used to charge the laptops.
The Alucab roof conversion comes with three two tone LED lights, two in the rear space and one in the overhead console. There is also two flexible LED reading lights in the bed space. Additional USB and cig points have been installed above the pantry for charging etc. An LED light bar is mounted above the rear door fold down table for cooking as well as additional light bars for under the awning.
What is your favourite thing about the Troopy and would you change anything if you could do it all again?
Favourite thing about the setup would have to be the roof conversion. As we are living in the space we spent a lot of time designing and testing the layout of the rear. Resultantly we’re really happy with how it turned out so at this stage we can’t think of anything to change.
Do you have any future plans for the rig?
When the trip is over, a chip, intercooler and new exhaust might be in order as well as a fresh coat of paint!