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Old 12 Oct 2005
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freelander and caravan :-)

Hi All,

Next year around 1st Sept 2006 we are planning to go from Europe to Cape Town via Tunisia (start in Africa).

We have a new Freelander disel and would like to pull a small caravan, two berth. We are going around the East side - Egypt - Kenya etc.

Do you guys reckon we would make it. Are the roads ok, I know they are not real good.

I think the September - Feb are the dryer periods.

We are just starting to plan it now and am trying to find good info about the roads. Could you please recommend a link for me.

This is the first concern to see if we could pull a caravan. I think the freelander would be ok by itself.

Cheers and thanks for any help that you can give. There is a lot to think about :-)

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Old 12 Oct 2005
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John, Nothing is impossible, but any 'standard issue' caravan would be matchwood before you reached Ethiopia, certainly by Kenya.

Sudan is hard going and the North of Kenya is pretty punishing too.There are some sections which would be hard to describe as roads.

No reason why a properly prepared Freelander wouldn't make it though. Just google 'cape town overland' and you'll find plenty of route descriptions.

Best of luck!

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Old 13 Oct 2005
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If you try taking a standard caravan, my guess is you will be abandoning it somewhere along the way. If you doing it as a bit of a challenge, like riding all the way there on a moped then could well be possible but if your doing it as a camping choice then it may be advisable to look at other options. Not many travellers choose to tow but if you are going to then looking at a proper offroad trailer may be a better option to give something that is strong enough for the job. I've only seen fold out camping trailers, not full on caravans but there is probably something out there. Freelander should be fine. No reason why it couldn't do that route.

[This message has been edited by Toby2 (edited 16 October 2005).]
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Old 13 Oct 2005
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Hi, interesting challenge.
I could well imagine a few sections where a low range might be useful, not necessarily for the traction but to manoeuvre slowly without riding the clutch.
Loading onto the barge, negociating the odd pothole etc.

One sees the little dutch ERBA caravans with a lifting roof just about everywhere, maybe one of those might survive.

I doubt it though, I just got word from some friends who were immobilised on the Marsabit highway because it broke all four engine mounts... on a 12 tonne MAN 4x4 truck.

There's the spares and repair issue too, an FL is a pressed steel affair without a chassis, if any cracks develop there's not much to weld to. And you'd have to be completely self-reliant for the number of CV boots you'll eat.

Mind you, the FL was put together by a few very competent members of the BMW industrialisation team, so it'll be the first LR that doesn't suck up dust like a vacuum cleaner.

IMHO it would be wiser to swap the FL for a Defender, Discovery or a TLC with mechanical injection, at least you can get your arms into the engine bay on those.
Happy preparations

"edit": http://www.africa-overland.net/ has tons of travelogs that you can comb through for info on roads and places worth a visit.

[This message has been edited by Luke (edited 13 October 2005).]
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Old 13 Oct 2005
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HI Richard and Toby,

Many thanks for your reply, it looks like I will have to give a standard issue caravan a miss.

It is a camping choice in part and also due to safety. I also noticed that I could not find anyone that has done it (a first is nice but thats all) that way and the reasons you gave make it understandable.

I have approached a caravan company for sponsorship so will see if they would like to adapt a standard issue. Even if they put some sort of suspension on it the other problem is the desert (I think this mainly applies to the Sudan) and soft sand so am not even sure, even if it was strong enough whether it would be reasonably ok.

I will look into the trailer type and of course has seen the roof top tents.

Many thanks again for your thoughts.

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Old 13 Oct 2005
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you be ok to egypt..perhaps the ferry from aswan may be a problem,,the pontoon is bit narrow...the nile route down from wadi halfa to khartoum would shake you to pieces..the moyale to marsabit section in kenya would be interesting (and at least give the bandits something to aim at !! (joking!) so id say no way and finally a caravan would resrict your travel to sensible roads and if you wanted sensible you wouldnt be contemplating doing this....best of luck!!


[This message has been edited by jeff_watts (edited 13 October 2005).]
jeff watts
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