By Brian Berkhahn
Check out this newly available off road only version of the old WW2 Jeep we just started selling at AMDS! If you want to rip and tear then a side by side would be great but if your looking to haul and pull this looks like this would be the ticket. Just what every gold prospector needs!
Mahindra ROXOR Jeep Spec Sheet
The Mahindra Roxor Is A Reincarnated Willys Jeep
Some Close Up Mechanical Details
“With the recently opened 400,000 sq ft facility spanning three buildings, the MANA headquarters and manufacturing center in Auburn Hill, MI is a serious investment in the North American market. Mahindra has already invested over $230 million and created 300 new jobs in Southeast Michigan, with an additional $600 million investment and 400 more jobs anticipated by 2020”
I started the above thread yesterday and (as usual) got some good responses. As a bonus there were some suggestions on the choice of vehicle. I decided to start a new thread since if someone were to search topics they might not find that discussion there.
For starters, like metal detectors, the choice of a vehicle depends strongly upon what and how it will be used, and even who will be using it. Not only is there an obvious higher cost involved (well, unless you're talking about a Zed ) but also the variety of required tasks is likely considerably larger.
I'm certainly not going to talk negatively about someone else's preferred choice. Just like detectors, if it works for you then that's exactly what you need. I'm going to concentrate on what works for me, or at least where I'm currently sitting in terms of my next vehicle -- I might change my mind and you might help me there. In the other thread there were a couple (maybe more) suggestions of getting a Toyota 4WD Tacoma pickup. Below you'll see why it's not the perfect fit for me, even though it's a great vehicle and, IMO, if I were locked on getting a pickup it would likely be my #1 choice.
I live in the midwest and I'm going to be driving at least to the Rockies (1000 miles one way absolute minimum; California is more than twice as far) two or three times per year. Those are highway miles. Efficiency matters to me. Comfort, at the moderate level, matters to me. Safety (e.g. blind-spot-alert) matters to me. I need a vehicle I can sleep in (safely), that I can lock up securely (obviously no guarantees if a thief is determined enough).
Here are, in order of importance, my requirements:
1) Off-road worthiness -- as written this is pretty vague so I'll try to explain a bit. First off, a minimum is four wheel drive (4WD). All wheel drive ("AWD" -- unfortunately the disctiontion isn't clear cut here) and obviously 2WD (whether front or rear) aren't going to make it. I want at least one wheel on each axle pulling at all times (when needed) and an extra low gear (not just the transmission 'L' gear). Locking differential(s) and/or limited slip differentials are a bonus. This requirement #1 eliminates a huge number of vehicles currently on the market, some of which claim to or try and give the impression they can be taken off-road. (Well, anything can be taken off-road....) Those typically are designed for slick pavement, meaning concrete or ashphalt. And and many are designed to make you look cool. Enough on that tangent....
2) Enclosed, unified storage, etc. volume -- what I mean is that one key unlocks the entire space. This rules out a pickup truck. Yes, there are extended cab pickups which offer more room, and there are sliding windows to give you access between the cab and the bed. But those aren't enough for me. (I want to sleep in the main volume.) We've now trimmed down the choices another order of magnitude.
3) High fuel efficiency -- now this is where things really get cut down to a few, or none depending upon your definition. (Using US units here) a huge number of 4WD's don't even get 20 mpg highway. Of the remainder, most are in the low 20's. Now, many/most will say "fuel is cheap..." It's not just the cost for me. I don't want to add any more CO2 to the atmosphere than is required to meet my needs. But even the "cheap" part, if it remains true for the future (and I, for one, don't think it will if you're thinking 10+ years -- my vehicle's minimum life expectancy), consider this: 30 mpg vs 20 mpg at $3/gallon for 16,000 miles (a typical year for me, I'm anticipating) is $800. That's a new detector every year or two!
4) Age & Cost -- obviously few of us is wealthy enough to ignore this. In the US you can easily pay $50k for a new 4WD pickup. I'd like to stay near or under $30k with $40k the max. I'm not going older than a year or two for many reasons, not the least of which is rust from Midwest salted winter roads. (As I've said before, you guys out West don't know how good you've got it.) There isn't a non-stainless steel in existence that can handle our Midwest roads. The key is to underwash the vehicle multiple times in the winter to minimize the damage, and do you trust a used vehicle seller to have done that?
I've considered quite a few vehicles. Toyota: Tacoma, 4-runner, FJ Cruiser; Chevy Colorado ZR2 (the new killer off-road vehicle); Ford Explorer; Subaru: Forrester, Outback, Crosstrek; Nissan Frontier and X-Terra. All excellent vehicles if they meet your needs/requirements. All fall short of my 1-3 filters above. As far as I've found, only three vehicles make the cut and all are Jeeps.
No question the hard-core off-roader is drawn like a magnet towards a Jeep Wrangler. Unfortunately they are about as aerodynamic as a ship's sail. Fail on #3. Jeep does make vehicles which satisfy at least 1-3 above: from lowest to highest in cost: Renegade Trailhawk, Compass Trailhawk, Cherokee Trailhawk, and Grand Cherokee (several submodels). The Compass gets the best fuel economy (30 mpg highway) while even the heaviest of the bunch -- Grand Cherokee -- is rated at 24 mpg highway. The Renegade is too small (and too cutesy) for me. For a long time the Cherokee was the front runner, but 30 mpg vs. 25 mpg is a big plus for the Compass, sacrificing power (Compass only comes with 4 cylinder engine...), but surprisingly not much in interior room. Compass Trailhawk (new) is under $30k; Cherokee Trailhawk is just over $30k; properly outfitted (for example: Quadra-Trak II transfer case and skid plates) Grand Cherokee can be found for high $30k's. I'll be the most surprised of all if I end up with anything other than one of these three.
It really is all about priorities. I'm always open to suggestions, though. Something satisfying my 1-4 requirements and I'm all ears.
Between cutting firewood, and gleaning the neighborhood citrus trees to give to the food bank, this is the first time I’ve had a chance to get out this month.
I decided Sunday would be a good day to prospect one of the many areas I have marked on my geology maps. This area caught my attention because of a nice fault line running through it, and also because of the various geological changes. It’s in a known gold district, but hasn’t seen very much activity (claim wise) over the years, so I figured maybe it’s time to give it a look see. There’s a producing gold mine about 1/2 mile NW of where my prospects are located. I’m thinking (hoping more like it) that maybe some of those veins from that mine (or possibly other unknown deposits) may have leached out in some of the areas I have marked to explore.
Anyway... here’s some video I shot of my day out... hope you all enjoy. Make sure to watch it in HD for the full effect.
I am waiting for the 2015 Mercedes/ Dodge Sprinter 4x4 van with 6 cylinder diesel engine and low range transfer case myself, can't justify megadollar metal detectors anymore with retirement just around the corner. Am sure the van won't be cheap either especially if converted to a 4x4 camper van...No real details on the van, ,just test drives for reporters at their distribution center in South Carolina. Has anybody else got more info on the van? Seems like it would be the ultimate gold prospectors camper van...