Well....last weekend we bid farewell to our noble steed. Edwin....our Nissan Patrol has gone to a new owner after 120,000 km and 11 years trouble free ownership.
The Patrol has been utterly reliable from day one and it had done everything we’ve ever asked of it. It towed our camper trailer and it towed our first caravan. It took us to all corners of the country and through some of the most difficult terrain imaginable, and it did it with ease.
The Patrol replaced our Land Rover Discovery back in 2008 and, to be honest, it wasn't our first choice. We really wanted another Land Rover but that wasn't going to happen. Our remaining choices were a Land Cruiser, A Jeep or the Patrol. The Cruiser was out of our price range. I wasn’t keen on a Jeep. That left the Nissan and, as it turned out, this was a stroke of luck.
We we’re fortunate to find one of the few remaining Walkabout packs. Nissan took the basic model Patrol DX and fitted it with all the good off road gear you would end up having to pay and fit anyway. Bull bar, tow bar, cargo barrier, snorkel, cruise control and, just to sweeten the deal, $2,500 worth of camping gear. It was a deal that was hard to resist.
This meant that the Patrol was pretty much ready to go off road touring from the day it left the factory. All we had to do was add a UHF CB radio, an electronic brake controller and a dual battery system.
After our first trip, the one problem we had was the standard seats that Nissan fitted were not very comfortable. After about 2 hours driving, our bums were feeling pretty numb. So the first upgrade was to fit a set of Recaro low profile seats. These were not cheap but, holy cow, did they make a difference. An all day drive was now a breeze.
We also fitted a rear drawer system from FourBy Fitouts. I made a set myself but these were too heavy for Kylie to use. The FourBy Fitouts system was a great piece of engineering and made life on the road so much easier.
When we upgraded to our first caravan, we gave the engine a breath of fresh air, having Turbo Engineering in Thomastown fit one of their tuning modules matched to a RedBack 3” exhaust system. This transformed the towing abilities of the Patrol. It had much more low end torque and could easily cruise at 100kph with the van on the back up most moderate hills. Fuel economy was also pretty good after the upgrade.
Sadly, our decision to go to a bigger caravan meant the Patrol was just not going to cut the mustard. That said, we kept the Patrol as a second car for another 3 years, such was its reliability and low running costs. With a roof top tent, it became my toy for when I went away with the boys.
The new owner is a lovely fella who enjoys his 4wding and fishing. Edwin will be towing a boat for its new owner and I'm sure it will do this for more many more years to come.
Farewell Edwin. We are going to miss you.