New FG in the USA

#1
Here is a question about the new FG's in the USA. So, I already read about the auto transmission and all the emissions stuff. My intention for this truck would be world wide travel, say starting in about 2 years (first couple of years in North America). If there is anyone actively doing a world wide trip in a newish Fuso could you give me your thoughts about this truck (or just traveling where higher sulfur diesel is what is available)? How easy is DEF to come by? How well does the auto work for rough roads (we don't really plan for serious off roading). I am following a blog about a couple traveling the world with a new Iveco Daily, they seem to be doing ok. Any idea how different a Fuso would be regarding the emission equipment?
 
#2
At 14,050lbs GVWR the Fuso is a commercial rated vehicle. Add to it, that it's difficult to source insurance on any DIY conversions is going to make sourcing vehicle insurance problematic.

Models 2013 and later seem to have the Duonic transmission and emission issues sorted out.

If your set to travel with a later model CRD diesel engine, spend your time and money developing a strategy to utilize and work with the emission system.

There's a travel blog of someone traveling with a newer Diesel engine without any of the emission hardware deleted. He's been monitoring the DPF pressures, if I remember correctly, while running diesel fuel with a higher sulfur content. I'll try to find the link.

Sourceing DEF will be problematic. You could forward ship some via Amazon and DHL. DEF consumption can double as the system try's to compensate for the increased NOX output due to the fuel's higher sulfur content. But there's a limit though, the system can fault out thinking the DEF is of poor quality and isn't doing its job.

The Geritol crowd have been driving later model diesels down into Mexico for years running diesel fuel with a higher sulfur content between 300 to 500ppm.

http://bajamary.com/media/Mexico-Diesel.php

It's important that you use engine oil that meets low ash specification CJ-4. During the combustion process oil is burnt. Additives in the oil will build up in the DPF as ash. No amount of regeneration cycles with remove the ash.
 
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#3
Thanks for the info, I think you are talking about the couple traveling in Cuthbert http://www.tuckstruck.net/, a Iveco with a Bocklet camper box on it. We have looked closely at their blog to see what is current with the emission stuff. I do not think they need DEF though. They are an example of someone using a newer vehicle for world travel and making it work. Seems to be a bit more thought needed, but doable.

So as far as a DIY conversion, that is still a possibility but... I am also seriously thinking of a Discovery camper box shipped from South Africa (Discovery is in Australia). I have been in contact with Kym there and it seems like a really nice option. I am in the process of getting more details about the construction, timing and the possibility of a LHD version. Kym is looking for 2 of these camper boxes to be ordered for North America, to setup the tooling for the LHD version (he has a RHD already). Plus 2 of the campers fit in a single container for shipping. Anyone interested in the other one?

So a new Fuso (an older one is still a possibility), Discovery camper shipped in, a few upgrades to the Fuso and mount the box (need to install the pass-through). Then off to do some travel. Sounds easier than building one.
 
#4
Sounds like a plan.

Yes, that is definitely the travel blog.

Do your homework on importing the camper body. Duty fees and taxes could be very high. Talk to an importer to see what it'll take to get it into the states.

If the build was mine, I'd pass on the pass through. For international travel, having two separate locked and secured spaces would be a plus. When you tilt the cab forward for service, both the camper and the cab are open to the elements.
 
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#6
More good info, thanks for the Facebook page. I just contacted them. Now onto more questions. Say I take this Fuso out of NA, is there a diagnostic computer that I could take with me? I have a great one for our car, but for some reason I doubt it would work with the Fuso.

If I do a pass though, I would prefer the method of 2 doors, both locking and no connector. Well at least in theory I do, as I have never done this.
 
#7
Oh, and about the import duty. Kym checked it out with an agent and was told 2.5%. For my own piece of mind I will double check as the second column on the US customs site listed 25%...
 
#8
Discovery Camper to the USA

Jonturgeon brings up an interesting concept regarding importing a camper box from afar, and fitting it to a local Fuso. I looked at the Discovery website and indeed it is an interesting looking camper. I like the floor plan with the bed that stows away yet easily comes out for sleeping. You effectively gain some space over designs where the bed is out full time. The ATW and the Earthcruiser save space with innovative bathroom placement, but both keep the bed out full time, though I imagine you could use it as a "lounge" during the day. I wonder how the Earthcruiser folks keep their golden retriever off the bed?

I'm trying to think what would be involved in getting a Fuso prepped for the body, and I know I would need expert help getting the box mounted on the camper. As for the chassis, off the top of my head, this is what I would think needs to be done:
1. Obtain Fuso FG chassis. I see a place in IL, USA has a new 2017 listed for right about $45K.
2. Obtain and mount super single wheels (and spares). I imagine this would cost about $6K or so with import fees etc (?). Discovery Campers sell them, and they list an agent in Canada.
3. Upgrade suspension and shocks. I believe ATW would do this, perhaps Earthcruiser, and the Super Single agent in Calgary is also listed as doing suspension work. I have no idea of this cost.
4. Upgrade cab as desired (seats, insulation, backup cameras, storage pedestal, etc.). Prep for a pass through, if desired.
5. Add larger fuel tanks if desired.
6. Build wiring harness to supply alternator power to camper, rear lights, etc.

This work could be done as the camper box is being built and shipped. To me, the more difficult puzzle is getting help with mounting the camper box. Once the camper arrives, it would have to be removed from the container, subframe built/fitted if this is not already included, and the chassis would have to have the mounts ready to receive the camper. I know mounting a camper on a Fuso is critical (allowing chassis to flex without breaking camper), and if done wrong it can be catastrophic. Ideally the Discovery folks would have an agent in the States all set up to handle this. You drive your Fuso to them, and they take care of the rest.

I was surprised to see that Discovery campers are quoted as starting at AUS $170,000 for a completed base model. This is about US $130,000, roughly $100K less than ATW or Earthcruiser campers. Quite a difference. It appears that the Discovery would not fit in a container when complete, but as their website shows, the camper boxes fit 2 to a container.

This is certainly an intriguing idea, please keep us posted on the project, and any more info you might get on how it could work. I would certainly think there would be a market in the States for a camper like this, especially if the manufacturer could provide support on this end. They certainly have credibility with off road camper operations, as do the ATW and Earthcruiser folks for that matter.

Bill H.
Colorado USA
 
#9
Hi Bill, the website lists that the subframe is included. I am guessing it is integrated with the camper body. The SRW is available in Canada via Tony, who is Discovery's agent in North America. I have also gotten some info on the suspension upgrades, sounds like a 90% upgrade would not be too challenging for a local spring shop. I am pretty sure Kym (from Discovery) would provide the needed info for the shop. Kym also supplied a brief rundown of the needed modifications. The biggest would likely be the pass through, but really that is only cutting a hole in the cab and mounting the surround. I have sent you a PM (with my email address), I have gotten a quote from Kym for just the camper, I don't want to put it online but will share via email. The pricing sounds pretty good, partly I guess from lower manufacturing costs in South Africa and a strong dollar. Kym is in SA now and I am waiting on further details on the construction. He needs a confirmed order for 2 to make is worthwhile to make a LHD North American version (he has plans drawn up and have talked with the SA manufacturing company). Also 2 fit in a single shipping container, so the cost of shipping is less.

If we end up going this route, I plan to do most of the work myself. I would think in a couple of weeks you could be on the road. Sure is tempting vs the DIY approach. And I like the camper better than the EarthCruiser.
 
#11
Hi Bill, the website lists that the subframe is included. I am guessing it is integrated with the camper body. The SRW is available in Canada via Tony, who is Discovery's agent in North America. I have also gotten some info on the suspension upgrades, sounds like a 90% upgrade would not be too challenging for a local spring shop. I am pretty sure Kym (from Discovery) would provide the needed info for the shop. Kym also supplied a brief rundown of the needed modifications. The biggest would likely be the pass through, but really that is only cutting a hole in the cab and mounting the surround. I have sent you a PM (with my email address), I have gotten a quote from Kym for just the camper, I don't want to put it online but will share via email. The pricing sounds pretty good, partly I guess from lower manufacturing costs in South Africa and a strong dollar. Kym is in SA now and I am waiting on further details on the construction. He needs a confirmed order for 2 to make is worthwhile to make a LHD North American version (he has plans drawn up and have talked with the SA manufacturing company). Also 2 fit in a single shipping container, so the cost of shipping is less.

If we end up going this route, I plan to do most of the work myself. I would think in a couple of weeks you could be on the road. Sure is tempting vs the DIY approach. And I like the camper better than the EarthCruiser.
PM sent.
 
#13
... I am also seriously thinking of a Discovery camper box shipped from South Africa (Discovery is in Australia). I have been in contact with Kym there and it seems like a really nice option
I have just been to view one of Kym's completed camper bodies in Cape Town and you will not be dissapointed. Very neat with a lot of thought and practicallity built in there.

I am grateful that we do not have your emmission laws. Both my 2014 and 2017 FG84's run perfectly on either 50ppm and 500ppm diesel available in South Africa. Sometimes I fill up with one then the other, whatever is available where I go.

Note that we do not get the face-lift model with autobox option in SA as our local fuel cannot support Euro 5 spec engines.

Good luck with preparing for your adventure!
 
#15
Thanks for reporting back on the Discovery Camper, they do look good in the pictures. I have applied for a "Binding Rule Request" from US Customs on what the duty would be. I "think" this means that what ever they come back with, I will have a government document with the agreed upon Duty. I am also guessing you would show this form to the customs agent at the point of entry.

On the good side, the EPA has helped clean up the air here over the years. The difficult bit it taking one of these trucks away from home. But I guess we need to face the facts, there is just not enough people doing this from the USA for a large government to really make special rules. We have gotten used to this from of our travel by sailboat.

Quick question. From what I have been reading on the web it sounds like most trucks with DPF can easily handle 50ppm fuel. How available is 50ppm fuel in South Africa? Or longer range plans after North America for a couple of year, is to head to South America, then maybe ship to Africa. Lower sulfur diesel would be important though.