Words: Mike Ryan
Photos: NTI, courtesy of Adoni Media
NTI, Australia’s largest transport and logistics specialist insurer, has established an annual tradition of raffling restored and resto-modded pickup trucks to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research. For their latest offering, they’ve gone in a different direction…
This year, with COVID-19 lockdowns over and borders open around the country, NTI decided to acknowledge these new freedoms with a vehicle that the raffle winner and their family or friends can explore the country with – on the bitumen and beyond.
Dubbed the “Expedition Truck”, the NTI raffle giveaway for 2022 is an Isuzu NPS dual cab four-wheel drive truck fitted with a luxury Austral motorhome body.
“This vehicle is the first of its kind to be raffled by NTI and includes a truck plus a motorhome,” said NTI CEO, Tony Clark.
“The truck can seat seven, and the motorhome has a lounge for five, so we wanted to encourage that sense of possibility and adventure, and the importance of spending time with family and friends.”
Increasing the appeal of this combination is the fact that the Austral motorhome is a removable slide-on unit, so the truck can still be used as a working vehicle between family adventures.
Six months in the making, the Expedition Truck has the ability to pull as well as carry, with towing capacity of 4,500kg, so you can hook up a boat or large trailer for dirt bikes, SxS vehicles and the like, if needed.
“We’d like to thank our suppliers for partnering with us on this initiative – with a special mention to Isuzu Trucks,” Clark added. “All of our partners understood the importance of the funds this vehicle will help raise and made time, despite being at capacity.”
The base for the Expedition Truck is Isuzu’s latest NPS 75-155 4x4 crew cab.
Measuring 7m x 2.25m x 3.85m (LxWxH) in standard cab chassis form, the NPS is powered by Isuzu’s ‘4HK1-TCN’ 5.2-litre four-cylinder engine. This 16-valve, SOHC common rail, direct injection turbodiesel produces 114kW at 2600rpm and 419Nm at 1600-2600rpm.
The MYY-5A 5-speed automated manual transmission that this engine is matched to is an option on the NPS, but is fitted to the Expedition Truck as standard, while Isuzu’s part-time 4WD system, with a two-speed transfer case, enables this motorhome to go off the beaten track.
Front and rear axles feature full floating banjo diffs and are of 3100kg and 6600kg capacity, respectively. Multi-leaf springs with double-acting hydraulic shocks feature at each end and there’s a stabiliser bar on the front end, too.
Steering is power-assisted rack and pinion, while the brakes are drums all round, of 320 x 100mm size, with a park brake on the transmission and vacuum-controlled exhaust brake.
Wheels are upgraded from the NPS’s standard 17.5-inch size to 19.5-inch all round for the Expedition Truck, fitted with Goodride CM986 285/70R19.5 tyres.
In the cabin, the driver and front passenger seats feature air suspension and adjustable head and arm rests. There’s also central locking, power windows, an interior lamp and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with tilt/tele adjustment.
Standard safety and driver convenience features include ABS, a customisable speed limiter (with a 40km/h to 120km/h range), driver and front passenger airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, automatic lighting and a cab tilt warning system. The Expedition Truck also comes with Hill Start Assist; a feature normally only available on manual transmission versions of the NPS 75-155 4x4.
Extras fitted to the Expedition Truck include a bull bar with a Sherpa winch and 7-inch LED spotlights, auxiliary LED light bars over the cabin, a battery isolator and undertray 60-litre water tank.
The tray that allows double duty for this truck is a custom aluminium type from All Terrain Warriors that’s specially made for 4x4 use and features a spring base and side boards.
Finishing the truck off is a custom sand exterior colour, which has been applied as a vinyl wrap.
The Austral motorhome body for the Expedition Truck is a luxury unit, sized specifically for large dual cab trucks like this and measuring a roomy 5.4m x 2.25m x 2.5m (LxWxH) on a 3.5m base. Electric slide-out sections on each side further improve interior space.
Sleeping for four people includes a queen-size main bed and a double bed with comfortable mattresses.
An internal shower with water heater, internal Thetford toilet, vanity basin, Dometic air conditioning unit and Thetford two-burner cooktop and fridge/freezer in the slide-out kitchenette make this a real home away from home. Augmenting the 60lt external water tank added to the truck is 150 litres of internal water storage.
The U-shaped lounge area seats five, with a stereo, LED TV, USB ports and LED internal lighting fitted. There’s plenty of storage space, too.
Other features include three 150-amp batteries, two 150-watt solar panels, a 2000-watt inverter, power-operated external awning, power-operated stability legs, blinds for all doors and windows, an external holder for a 9kg gas bottle (plus connector to attach a bbq), custom steps with a handrail for access and numerous safety features, including CO2 and LPG leak detectors and a fire extinguisher.
Like the truck, the slide-on motorhome body is wrapped in the same sand-coloured vinyl material and carries NTI and MND decals.
A Personal Pledge
For NTI, the commitment to fund MND research through projects like this custom off-road motorhome is a personal one, as the disease claimed former NTI CEO, James Patterson, in 2015.
Valued at $275,000, it’s expected the Expedition Truck will add significantly to NTI’s already substantial contribution in the fight against MND, which currently sits at $870,000.
Tickets for this raffle are $25.00 each, with discounts for purchases of five or more, while up to 35 tickets can be purchased in a single transaction.
The NTI Expedition Truck raffle is drawn on 10 July, 2022.
To purchase tickets, and for all raffle Ts & Cs, go to: raffletix.com.au/ntimndresearchraffle2022