We have tried the mainstream UK 4x4’s and settled on Nissan and Toyota through personal experience of less reliable vehicles. When we bought our first Nissan we were told that spare parts were very expensive, in practice not true, however cost is only an issue when you need to purchase parts something that happens much less frequently with Nissan and Toyota vehicles. Also the cost of down time is much more important than the actual part cost. Our first Patrol was sold after 100,000km’s, it travelled in north Africa, off road, in most of the mountainous areas of Europe, regularly pulled a 3 tonne trailer through deep mud and across rivers to remote properties in Scotland, during our ownership it required nothing other than standard services, 1 set of brake linings and 1 set of tyres.
In remote areas of Australia where help can be many 100’s of Km’s away and people’s lives depend on reliability, the Land Cruiser is by far the best selling 4wd vehicle, in the 4200cc form it is reputed to have an engine life of 3-500,000km’s if correctly serviced.
We own 2 such vehicles, recently we ordered some wheels, a mirror and a spare wheel carrier, all upgrades not breakdowns and not exactly mainstream service items, for a vehicle which has never been sold in Europe. The local Toyota dealer, Border Toyota, supplied these against our order in 3 working days
Our non 4wd is based on a Peugeot Boxer 330 SWB chassis which is also sold as Fiat and Citroen, I am told, about 60% of new campers sold in the UK are based on these vehicles. Very economical and easy to drive with a torquey engine so can cruise all day at normal road speeds and still return in excess of 31mpg (9.3l/100km). No holding up the traffic with this camper van! Apart from the base vehicle the fixtures and fittings are what determine the reliability of a camper van, ours use components from the leading European manufacturers, Truma for heating and waterheating, Thetford for plumbing, Seitz for windows and blinds, Dometic for fridge and Spinflo for cooking.
We recognise that our vehicles satisfy a niche in the market for 2 people travelling together who wish to travel to the more out of the way places and have sense of adventure. If you feel that is you, then we look forward to meeting your camper needs some time soon.