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alphabet 17 May 2010 23:25

Where to start
My boyfriend and I are planning on driving through Europe to Mongolia next year, possibly in a Land Rover but we're not sure if this is the best vehicle. We have considered a campervan but feel that the former would be more reliable and less conspicuous. It also seems like a massive trip to plan and a bit daunting. Does anyone have any helpful advice to offer for planning and undertaking such a trip with regards to kit, vehicle, visas and safety?



tacr2man 18 May 2010 07:24

You should be able to get most of your information by reading the various postings in forums like these, as you will see that there will be quite a lot of conflicting advice on certain aspects esp vehicle type, so you will have to weigh up the result yourself.
Having said that I would advise against taking a motor caravan of the conventional type, as they are not designed to handle the sort of terrain you will be likely to encounter outside europe, resulting in damage to the body and fittings(furniture). Factors such as how much room or comfort and what driving licence or fuel costs you can support will decide what vehicle to take. This in turn will decide to a certain extent what kit(equipment) you can take. HTSH

CornishDeity 18 May 2010 09:14

Hi there Alphabet,

We are currently paused mid trip (ha! maybe), but have just completed Eng - India via Central Asia and Iran. We undertook the trip being complete beginners ( I had only just learned to drive aged 34 when we decided to go) and also not being that adventurous people. It is all possible, and once the journey has begun all you really have to do is point the vehicle and drive, the rest sort of sorts itself out.

We went in a Landie, bought it for 7k gbp and spent a further 2k on it. These days you could do it for a lot cheaper I think. But we met people in 1950's Citroen, on motorbikes of all descriptions, on push bikes and in a flat bed hilux. All of them made it one way or another, and each different problem was unexpected but overcomable. The best decision we made was to just buy a vehicle, which committed us to the trip, and then to go!

Go to our website and drop me an email with specific questions if you want, more than willing to help out if we can. Should be a bit of preparation information on our blog, from the early days, might give you some ideas.

Good luck - and remember - all you have to do is do it!!!!


ilesmark 18 May 2010 10:30

Yep - I second what Ollie has said (Ollie, how are you doing?)

But don't underestimate the preparation time. If the rule for packing to go on a something like a 1 week package holiday in Greece consists of 'lay everything on the bed then halve it', the rule for preparation for an overland trip is more like 'make a list of everything you need to do and an estimate of how long it will take, then double it'.

My website also has some preparation tips - overlandcruiser.net

alphabet 19 May 2010 19:16

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll definately check out your websites.



oneworldbiker 19 May 2010 19:25

Check out these guys as they have done RTW and Vlad to London in a camper van and a transit.. Wrinklies on the Run It was a couple years back..

James Rothwell 22 May 2010 14:51

Just out of interest how much time and money are you setting aside for this trip? I really want to go to Mongolia but I think it would mean leaving my job and if I'm going to do that I might as well make it at least a 6 month trip so I'd need some serious coinage.

I was planning to go in a Landcruiser 80. But I'm going to explore Morocco first, like a trial run for Mongolia in a years time perhaps!

CornishDeity 22 May 2010 19:23

Hi James - although we didn't go to Mongolia - perhaps our expenses page will help you know how much it will cost.

Jenny and Ollie's Big Trip

nomad.r 15 Jun 2010 19:19

hi alphabet
like previously mentioned you'll get a lot of different advice,i did london to mongolia in a bog standard 19 yr old nissan sunny. sure we had a couple of breakdowns
but nothing that couldn't be fixed,you will be surprised how resourcefull this folks are. (replacing the front shock with a hyundai one after chopping and welding the bracket from the original.)it took us 27 days through 17 country and nearly 8000 miles. it was a mad dash but worth it. good luck with whatever you choose but i would stick to a jap vehicle if i was you.

ChrisC 24 Jun 2010 15:55

Decisions, decisions......
Hi Alphabet

I think if you cruise the net you will find that people have done the trip in just about any/everything you can imagine, however, if you plan to get to those out of th e way places then a 4x4 might well be worth considering. If looking at LR's any of Defender, Discovery or older style Range ROver worth considering, Toyota Land Cruiser 80 series, 60, 90, Praado or newer - obviously all dependent on budget.
The other option might be a 4x4 pick up like a Toyota Hilux - available in single(2 seater) cab or double cab(4-5 seats), well proven and more than capable of getting you and your kit there, and back!

I have had personal experience of Land Rovers and Toyota's both here and abroad - (Europe,mid East and Africa), and if doing Mongolia would prob opt for an 80 series or Hilux pick up, just because I think they are a bit more modern and car like to drive.
Feel free to ask any questions here or in the appropriate forum or pm/email me direct.


grizzly7 9 Jul 2010 09:48

I recently met a slightly mad man who drove to Mongolia with a mate in a Bedford Rascal. Something small broke which was easily welded, other than that no problems. They both slept in the back!?! It didn't have an MOT, so they legged it to a ferry as soon as they bought it for not very much at all. I don't know if it came back. So not very legal, but taking something so cheap you don't care what happens to it isn't a bad idea, and leaves an awful lot of beer tokens!

I don't think the comment about not taking a "normal" camper is strictly true.
The Silk Route Motorcaravan Network.
I think the general view of these people going to china in normal looking campers was buy one with a decent amount of spare capacity that you don't use so its understressed, and avoid big wheelbases or big rear overhangs that get hung up. Stephen Stewart took his mog camper which he said was overkill, and one of the campers shook itself to bits, and had to complete the trip on the back of a truck, but the rest were fine.

Takes all sorts as they say :D

teflon 13 Jul 2010 01:36

What about a Lada - the 'Fiat' type? Still plenty for sale for just a few hundred at most. Low mileage most of them and dead easy to work on. Plenty of spares along the way should you need any, as they are very popular where you're heading. Just a thought.

ps - there are estate versions, and one other big consideration, you won't stand out.

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