Off the beaten track with the Explorer Navigator

By: Bill Savidan, Photography by: Bill Savidan


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Bill Savidan took the Explorer Navigator for a spin and found it compact but impressive with plenty of torque.

Off the beaten track with the Explorer Navigator
Off the beaten track with the Explorer Navigator

The recently released Ford Ranger ute has breathed new life into the Explorer Navigator. This new model Ranger is wider and higher than the previous model and the current Triton and Hilux utes. On the Ranger the Navigator body has a more balanced look than that created by the smaller utes. The new Ranger's specifications are impressive; 3.2 litre 5 cylinder turbo diesel engine that produces 147 kw/3000 rpm of power and a grunty 470nm at 1500 to 2750 rpm, a Gross Vehicle Mass of 3200kgs and a Gross Combined Mass (GCM) of 5950 kgs. Bearing the Navigator body it has a tare weight of 2740 kgs, offering a payload of up to 460 kgs. I drove it along the Whangaparaoa Peninsular and found it had power to spare on-road with the promise of much more for 4WD situations.

The Navigator has been around since September 2011 and four have been sold. Proprietor of Explorer Motorhomes, Richard Ninness explained that the Navigator and its smaller sibling, the Compass had their own niche market. 'Both models are in the same price range as vans converted into motorhomes. They offer a permanently made up ‘cab over' bed and being straight-sided and wider than a converted van, they are slightly roomier. ' Their 4WD option is unique to Explorer. 'A number of our buyers have chosen this option, especially in the South Island where they are able to get to fishing spots and back-wood camping sites inaccessible to conventional motorhomes,' said Richard. That certainly got me thinking. Would the motorhome body stand up under such arduous use?

Read more in the June 2012 issue of MCD.

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