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  #1  
Old 22 Aug 2008
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Guide to choosing an expedition 4x4

Howdy - I've just posted the first part of a short Expedition Vehicle Guide. It's not overly detailed at this point as I'm hoping a few grizzled RTW veterans will take a look and recommend some topics for the next section...(before I get in over my head). Choosing a 4WD Expedition Vehicle

If you have a couple minutes to spare and are interested, take a look and let me know what you think should be included in the next instalment.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 31 Aug 2008
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Who am I ??

Having considered your topics so far, I would say, before spending vast sums of money on potentially useless kit, ask yourself 'do I know what to do with it all,and can I manage it on my own should a companion go sick/leave/stop talking to you ???
It is very easy to buy magazines,go to shows etc and get sucked in to the KIT TRAP. Sometimes less is better. An experienced overlander warned me of this at one show and then sold me his book. 'Chasing Rainbows' was the only thing I bought that weekend.
As a result, I built up our Disco as I wanted it, with only the facilities that we specifically needed. It may have taken me longer, but we saved a fortune and I knew how it all went together.
We met a couple on our trip, who wont mind me mentioning this, but they had a Landy that was so laden with every conceivable accessory, that it actauuly restricted their travel, and as they had had it built for them, they did not know how half of it worked, and only one of them was physically capable of handling the equiptment.
The morale of this story is, Know your personal limitations.
Good luck with the site.
Please feel free to check out our blog, but ask if you want to use anything. Cheers
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  #3  
Old 31 Aug 2008
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Just following on from that, if I may - you know when you see adverts for an expedition prepared vehicle for sale, it frightens me when I see all the kit listed and all the changes and preparations done.
I know the 7 p's thing, but does any one ever buy a bog standard vehicle and throw some camping kit in the back, maybe with a spare jerry can for water?
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Old 1 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyMark View Post
I know the 7 p's thing, but does any one ever buy a bog standard vehicle and throw some camping kit in the back, maybe with a spare jerry can for water?
Yes... I ran parallel with a Dutch couple part of our journey. They had a standard 70 Series Landcruiser with 420 000km on the clock and two Thule boxes on the roof. No problems at all!!! We tend to overdo it in the UK, probably a hangover from the LR days where you needed a whole stack of spares....
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Old 1 Sep 2008
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I think there does become a point where what you need bleeds over to what you think you might need to what you think you might need to be comfortable.
I'd also love to see what the differences would be if you asked a male and a female each to set up for an overland, giving them free rein.
I'd bet the male would always find room for the gadget that takes boy scouts out of horses hooves whereas the female would do the same for the extra special hair conditioner.
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Old 2 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Smith View Post
We tend to overdo it in the UK, probably a hangover from the LR days where you needed a whole stack of spares....
Er... if you have a LR you *do* need a whole stack of spares! :-)

Agree that most people overdo it, including myself. It's like that quotation about packing - take half as much stuff and twice as much money. Applies just as much to overlanding as a package holiday to Ibeefa.

Mike
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Old 2 Sep 2008
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But when I've gone to Ibiza I've never had enough shoes or handbags.
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Old 2 Sep 2008
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When asking our landrover dealer on what spares to take - his reply was
"your credit card and our telephone number" - and it worked!

Spares we did take included bulbs, fuses, pair fan belts, plus the usual travelling tool kit which came in handy for other things (like straightening tent poles bent by drunken Norweigians!) and the only spare part we needed to get from the UK was an alternator (it was actually simpler and cheaper and a damn site quicker getting it direct from the UK).

We probably did have a tool for getting a boy scout out of a horses hoof but we definitely did not have spare handbags, hairdryers or hair conditioner!
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Old 6 Sep 2008
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The majority of African Overlanders are actually locals and these guys usually have little more than a bottle jack and a bit of ratty rope in terms of equipment!

I haven't done a RTW trip or been to North Africa yet but after living and working in Africa since 1991 I've found you can get by with remarkably little. All the gadgets just make any job easier and quicker. Spares (Esp. Jap spares and spares for older vehicles) are available in most big towns and all you really need in excess is time.

However I am a bit of a hoarder and so all the little cubby holes in my vehicle tend to get filled up with arb nuts & bolts, bits of wire and tools.
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Old 6 Sep 2008
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But not spare radiators and head gaskets then?
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  #11  
Old 6 Sep 2008
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Don't be a clever b@stard - I bought your book remember!

Patching up radiators can usually be done locally (braising etc) - I've had it done in Bulawayo, Vic Falls and Nairobi - Jua Kali's etc. I've even had brake pipes, that chafed through, repaired under a Frangipangi tree.

I sourced a gasket set in Livingstone but had to get the vehicle back to Bulawayo or Lusaka for pressure testing and skimming. So what I am saying is that apart from catastrophic engine failure most things can be fixed or found given the time as long as you stay away from very modern engines with electronic fuel management etc.
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  #12  
Old 6 Sep 2008
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It was you, I remember, the only one!
Maybe my Dad will by some more.
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  #13  
Old 8 Sep 2008
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I must say, I am leaning towards taking just a few spanners, tow rope, and spare fan belt, and trust the rest to Toyota.
The LC3 D4d are to complicated to fix on the side of the road.
Up top, I might be tempted to fit 4 roof bars to the roof rails, and 8 "U" bolts holding on a good size sheet of ply with some 40mmx40mm running around the edge.
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  #14  
Old 6 Oct 2008
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I think most travellers tend to over prepare and over pack. It's a symptom of Internet access: endless information and firsthand accounts to find out what we 'need' to bring along by reading about the experiences of others...when we really need very little.

Packing light is a virtue and greatly undervalued...but it's also a lot of fun to prep a vehicle for overland travel. Tools, fluids, and key spares will make life on the road easier, but no matter what you'll still end up sourcing something locally...which makes travel fun.
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Old 22 Oct 2008
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the more you know the less you take.

Interesting discussion kicked off by Rood. I believe many first timers think (or are persuaded) that more kit of every kind will increase the chance of success into something they've put a lot into; for many a 'trip of a lifetime'. And who can blame them - especially in a car a few years old and they are not into mechanics etc. The fear of being stuck or limited because you did not but that gadget is quite unnerving, but buying gear can be mistaken for 'preparation'. Then they find the whole overland thing is not - or doesnt have to be - so 'Camel Trophy' after all.

... bog standard vehicle and throw some camping kit in the back, maybe with a spare jerry can for water?

yes my last solo trip was just like that (the car already has better suspension) and it worked fine. Many long time 4wd overlanders I know crave to go back OTR with a much simpler set up that is not the focus of the trip but a tool to enable travel.

Ch
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