All I have is this old Land Rover Defender. The top speed is eighty miles per hour down hill. There is no automatic transmission, no automatic air lift suspension, no automatic anything. It doesn't have an engine computer. In fact, there are no electronics. There are no wheel lockers and no body lift. Only a crazy person would drive a twenty-five year old vehicle around the world. How will I ever suvive? If I am not back in ten years, call 911.
Not all Land Rover Defenders are created equal.
Some Defenders carry the designation RTW which means Rest of The World, which also means the majority of the developing world. It turns out that large portions of the world don't necessarily want or need all the bells and whistles found on vehicles rolling off assembly lines. A basic vehicle built like a tank is better by far because there are no expensive electronics that can fail and leave you stranded when you are five hundred miles from a technical center that can fix your electronics.
For me RTW also means Round The World, because I want to drive my Defenders around the world.
People who know Land Rover Defenders generally purchase older vehicles if they are going to undertake serious expeditionary travel. The reasons is simple. Electronics. They don't want a vehicle with an engine control module that might fail in a remote location. Engine computers and expeditions don't go well together. They want a turbo diesel engine with no electronics that can fail. For most round the world travellers, that means a 300tdi engine in a Land Rover Defender. And that is exactly what I have in all three of my Defenders.
People engaging in expeditionary travel have different requirements than people who live in big cities. Explorers need extremely tough vehicles that stand up to the rigors of expeditionary travel, and when something does break, you must be able to fix it yourself with simple tools from a small tool box.
Car manufacturers are experts at making vehicles that appear to be tough, but when they are put to the test of expeditonary travel, a demolition derby begins. It's all about engineering. Car manufacturing is more about marketing than it is about engineering. Cars are engineered to survive excursions to the mall with an occasional trip on a gravel road, but the vehicle components are not built for expeditionary travel. If you are going to use the vehicle for challenging terrain, you need lots of upgrades in the suspension and powertrain if you want the vehicle to survive.
Land Rover Defenders are built tough right off the assembly line. You don't need any modifications or upgrades to the vehicle for it to survive an expedition. A totally stock vehicle does the job just fine straight off the showroom floor. The vehicle is so basic that you can actually get the truck shipped to you in a bunch of boxes, and you assemble it yourself. Sometimes people have contests to see who can assemble a vehicle most quickly right out of the box. A good set of wrenches, sockets, and rivets is all you need to get the job done.
I have taken unmodified Defenders straight into the Arabian desert, and they perform perfectly without any special vehicle preparation.
Land Rover Defenders are special for one other reason. The can carry a mind boggling amount of gear without breaking down. I have loaded my Defenders with long range fuel tanks, thirteen jerry cans of fuel, a couple of hundred liters of water, enough food or a week, four passengers with all their gear, and the Land Rover carries the load without complaint. The fuel mileage decreases with the heavy loading, but the vehicle does not complain.
A Defender kitted out as an expeditionary vehicle is a wonder to behold. You have to see it to believe it. And when you ride in a fully loaded Defender Offroad, you witness engineering that matches the load to the terrain. No demolition derby happens. The Defender just keeps on keeping on.
A Defender is better because there are no bells and whistles. It is simply great engineering that takes you anywhere you want to go. When you drive around the world in a Defender, you know that you will survive, and that your truck will survive as well. And best of all, you will not have to call 911.
Dr. Dave is the Encourager In Chief of the Positive Thinking Network. He believes there are no limits. There are only limiting beliefs. Dr. Dave is committed to make a positive difference in your life. The wheel of change always turns in the direction of what you put into your mind, and Dr. Dave and the Positive Thinking Network have the resources to turn your life in a positive direction. It's time to develop a persistently positive focus so that you can have a consistently positive mind. It's time to change your world.
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