Last month I closed the report with a mention of some sand driving in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, and this month is all about drawing a few conclusions from that little jaunt. First off, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – the D3 is an excellent family camping vehicle. It eats up the miles, carries everything we need and does the business off-road. There’s a couple of tips we use for packing though – the fridge goes on the middle second row seat which folds down flat, a feature I think only the Pathfinder and XC90 offer. This frees huge amounts of room in the rear, and also means the fridge is easily accessible. Our roof rack has a metal mesh on it, so all the bulky but light bedding and tent can go up top, zipped up securely in a roof bag. We’ve worked out many ways to live with the car, but the basic space, storage features and just overall ability of the car really does mean it works as an overlander.
On this particular trip we travelled with a 3.0-litre D4, which wore the standard OEM 19inch rubber. Have a look at the tyre photo to see what happened. Inevitable really, and the reason that tyre is so bad is because the driver didn’t notice – easy to miss the moment you get a puncture when it’s low profile, on the rear, and the road is very rocky and slow. This means that what might have been repairable is now just junk, although I know from experience that thin tread isn’t easy to patch or plug. Tyre pressure monitors are a great help as they tell you immediately there’s a puncture, and they need save only one tyre to pay their way.
Make: Discovery 3
Recent costs: New shock absorbers (see report)
Arrived: March 2012
You can read more about this Discovery in the May 2013 issue of 4×4 Magazine – available here