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  #1  
Old 20 Oct 2008
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Round the world trip in a 2.4l hard top defender 90

Hi everyone. I'm half American have Moroccan. I'm planning a trip for 2009 starting in Agadir, Morocco, to Europe, Central Asia (via Ukraine),through Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia then China, then Southeast asia, and Australia from Indonisia. After Australia I want to ship the car to South America and go straight up to Alaska. From Alaska I want to drive back to the US east coast and ship the car to South Africa and drive back up to Morocco.
I'm going to do it by myself in a new 2.4l turbo diesel hard top defender 90 that I'm buying in few months. I know that most people recommend the defender 110 for the room but i prefer the 90. The reason I want to take a new defender is i do not want to have lots of mechanical problems on the road, but will the electronics in the new models be a problem? Will the 90 do as well as the 110 or should I rethink my decision?
My budget for this trip is $30,000, is it too small? How long do you guys think the trip will take? Will I have any problems if I travel with both my American and Moroccan passports? I heard that is easy to travel with a Moroccan passport in lots of countries in Southeast Asia and Africa. Once i get the car I will apply for the carnet de passage
Does any one has any advice for me? Thanx.
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  #2  
Old 20 Oct 2008
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Hi Noha

Considering where you're going, I would go for a defender 90 or 110, either fitted with the 300tdi engine (as it's fully mechanical, so can be fixed anywhere), or the legendary isuzu 2.8 L 4BD1 diesel engine, which is mechanical, and completely indestructible. If you bought a late ninety's landy and fitted it with a 4BD1 engine you'd have a more reliable truck then a new 90 with a ford 2.4, which is won't run if the computer is down, and you'd have trouble finding mechanics that a) would have the equipment to analyse electronic faults with it's computer or b) the knowledge to fix the problem.

The other option is to go for a Toyota Landcruiser 78-79-80 series, either a single cab ute, so you can have your camper on the back, or a troop carrier, which can be converted into a camper, all these come with the naturally aspirated 4.2 diesel engine, which is very reliable, and many would argue more reliable then a Land Rover. You would have to go through an agent in the US, as these are not imported by Toyota to the US, but it is possible to get them through an agent.

A Swiss couple have been travelling the world in one for the last 23 years, and only overhauled the engine after 600,00km - and that was a patrol engine! If it wasn't for the fact that we've decided on a trayon camper and we need a double-cab ute, we'd be going toyota instead of land rover ourselves…

I've posted a thread on the australian landrover forum, as I'm planning an overland trip from australia to the uk, with similar questions to yours.

See here for the full thread:
Which engine in Defender 130 for the big trip? - Australian Land Rover Owners

Study it to get an understanding for the need of no electronics!

As for 90 v. 110: You are in a unique position to have a fully equipped camper with you, you'll be living in it for a long time, you might pickup a driving partner along the way, I've had a 90 and it's small - great fun for 4wd-ing but you'll be lucky if you're doing any serious 4wd-ing for 10% of the trip - it's going to be your house, don't skimp on space, go the 110, or even better, find yourself an Isuzu County (basically a 110 with a 2.8 isuzu diesel fitted).

As for myself - I'm travelling with wife and 2 kids, so we're taking an LR 130 with a tray-on camper, maximum length that still fits in a 20' foot container (Actually, we have to remove the bull bar and deflate the tyres to get it in a 20', but it fits).

RE budget: Not sure where you get your 30k figure from or what research you've already done, but i would think 60k-100k (after you've bought the vehicle), would be a more realistic figure. Think Carnet the Passsage, Visas, Shipping costs (US $2000-$3000 every time you ship, incl. customs clearence on the other side). Remember the cost of diesel is higher then in the US for most countries you're travelling through, bar perhaps Iran and parts of Africa, maybe.

Most blogs I've read have a starting price of around $30k, just from Australia to Europe, you're going at least 3x as far.

Considering the fact that you're including China, that would already take up $6000 - $10,000, or 1/3 of your budget, as you need to pay for a guide (compulsary in China) at US$80/day, as well as pay for their accommodation and food along the way…

Count on $10-$15k to kit out the landrover once you've bought it, depending on how far you want to take it… just upgrading the suspension, putting a bullbar and winch, putting a spare battery and roof rack and installing a fridge will easily set you back $10k. That's without spares, tyres, camping equipment… Each addition adds another $500 to $1000, such as air-compressor, long range fuel tanks, air lockers, the list goes on…

Have a look at some of the statistics of the Emil and Liliana Schmidt, they've been travelling the world for 23 years now, and have spent over $3000 per person on visa's for 72 countries…

Worldrecordtour, Statistics, Guinness Book of World Records, Toyota, LandCruiser, Emil Schmid, Liliana Schmid

Also, you need to budget for parts and repairs along the way…

A good book for the kind of expedition you're doing, actually, the best book, is:

Tom Sheppard - Four by four driving techniques and vehicle expedition driving

Tom Sheppard is very enthusiastic about landrovers…

Hoep this helps a bit… Good luck with your planning, and keep us updated!

best

Kai

Last edited by brethouwer; 20 Oct 2008 at 08:56.
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  #3  
Old 20 Oct 2008
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Well I couldn't really add any more to that!!! Kai has said it all. 2.4 engine amazing, but probably less so in Mongolia with an ECU problem. And a SWB 4x4 for that trip would be seriously constraining I would think. If you were not in USA then HZJ78 would be the really logical choice. Or a diesel 80 series from maybe Canada would make a lot of sense.
Gil
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  #4  
Old 20 Oct 2008
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budget

Hi Noha,

As for the budget on the road; depending on the mileage you do per month. Based on 5000 km/months you will need about Euro 15.000 to 18.000 per year when alone. Note that 50% of the budget will go into fuel. We spent a total of Euro 22.000, 2 people in LC75, 60.000 km in Africa, 1 year, always sleeping in the car, less than 5 hotel nights, including all, i.e. all visa, fuel, park fees, repairs (LC hardly any, ferries, everything!

Budget for the car; unlimited if you get carried away. If you take a SWB car, you will not be able to comfortably camp in you car (with heating device) since you will see of lot of colder areas. This will lead to the situation that you will spend a lot of time in hostels or hotels rather than camping in your car. A roof tent is not very nice when its cold and rainy. This will greatly add to the cost of the trip.

Cheers,

Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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  #5  
Old 21 Oct 2008
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May I add to this, that NOT having a roof tent or pop top style roof makes for very uncomfortable, if not impossible sleeping conditions, when in hot area's.
Without proper ventilation it's just too hot…

Think anywhere around the equator, Australia, etc…

Kai
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  #6  
Old 21 Oct 2008
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I'm under the impression that part of Landrover, probably through special vehicles still makes a rest of the world spec Defender which can be ordered with the 300TDI. That way you would get your new vehicle but without electronics. On the budget, does look low for what your hoping to achieve. Doing things like minimising shipping, cutting out expensive countries like China would do a lot to make your budget go further. Alternatively try and get a co driver who picks up half the costs. Again will make your budget stretch alot further but does open up challenge of finding a suitable travelling companion.
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  #7  
Old 21 Oct 2008
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steve/m

hi noha
we have a r/rover 6x4 fitted with a 2.8tdi international engine 140 bhp. same design as a300tdti, but with an extra 29bhp in standered tune it fits in to most l/rovers very easily.on our recent trip the r/r weighed 3.5t and averaged 27mpg over17000miles. they are supplied by motor&diesel in cambridge uk
steve
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  #8  
Old 21 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby2 View Post
I'm under the impression that part of Landrover, probably through special vehicles still makes a rest of the world spec Defender which can be ordered with the 300TDI.
Stocked at Witham
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  #9  
Old 21 Oct 2008
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Swb vs. Lwb

I always feel much more stable at speed on Tar and dirt roads in my 110 than all the 90s I've driven.
It's also much more comfortable on poor roads as it doesn't pitch like a 90.
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  #10  
Old 22 Oct 2008
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by brethouwer View Post
May I add to this, that NOT having a roof tent or pop top style roof makes for very uncomfortable, if not impossible sleeping conditions, when in hot area's.
Without proper ventilation it's just too hot…

Think anywhere around the equator, Australia, etc…

Kai
Kai,

We did not have a roof tent on the Troopy (I don't like roof tents) and always slept in the car, even in Sudan, 50 degress C during the day, 39 degrees C in the night. I had no problem sleeping in the car, you do need a fan though. If its 39 degrees outside, its not any cooler than that in the roof tent either and the fine moscito mesh effectively blocks the ventilation in roof tent too. I guess, it does not matter a lot how your set up is, there are always pro's and con's. You have to be flexible and live with it, thats part of the fun of travelling anyway! You put up with stuff you would never accept at home

cheers,

Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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  #11  
Old 22 Oct 2008
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You can it expensive as you wish. You can leave your startpoint full packed but you can leave your startpoint even with only the necessary things. During your trip you will find the needed things. Personal I think it is the way to get contact with the local people. In every country you will find a solution for your needed things.

The people of this website show their budget and the real cost.
BUDGET & SHIPPING DETAILS

And remember, it is easy to make a world trip with a budget of 100k. But it is a real adventure to do it with 10k.
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  #12  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noel di pietro View Post
Kai,
We did not have a roof tent on the Troopy (I don't like roof tents) and always slept in the car, even in Sudan, 50 degress C during the day, 39 degrees C in the night. I had no problem sleeping in the car, you do need a fan though. If its 39 degrees outside, its not any cooler than that in the roof tent either and the fine moscito mesh effectively blocks the ventilation in roof tent too. I guess, it does not matter a lot how your set up is, there are always pro's and con's. You have to be flexible and live with it, thats part of the fun of travelling anyway! You put up with stuff you would never accept at home
cheers,
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
Dag Noel, I take your point, there are always pros and cons, and I'm speaking purely from an Australian outback perspective, where the general consensus (from locals), is that a tent with good ventilation (either roof tent or trailer camper tent) provides more comfort then sleeping in the car, it's the main complaint of tourists that travel in the troopy campervan conversions, they find it hard to sleep in them… but then, the australian outback can get very, very hot!

Had a look at your site, very informative!

groeten

Kai
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  #13  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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I don't see why one person can't fit all thier gear into a 90 and have a perfectly comfortable trip - a 110 for one person? total overkill surely??

I will concede that the ride in a 110 is better over hard choppy ground, but I wouldn't swop my 90 for a 110 for a trip as there are more benefits than drawbacks in my opinion. Easier to drive through busy unfamiliar towns, easier to reverse, easier to park, faster, more economical, better off road, and I don't have to give people lifts

A rooftent would be a good investment though as a tent/mattress and sleeping bag can swallow up a lot of space - the next one I buy will be a hard shell one - easy to put up and down and you can keep your sleeping bag/pillow in it.

I would also suggest a 300TDi over a Puma engine at this early stage in thier development and as they are so reliable and easy to work on.

I would also suggest you dont need to throw 10K at bullbars/winches and other assorted iron ware - get a good shovel and a set of waffles and a diff guard - and then go on an off-road driving course and learn how to avoid getting yourself into a winching situation in the first place

Most important bit of kit - a good stereo with MP3 connection - next best bit of kit - a flask.
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  #14  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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One question

We keep two sleeping bags, pyjamas, pillows, clothes, mp3 player and lights all in our hannibal roof tent. Might be other reasons to go for a hard shell, but you can certainly leave your stuff in it, unless I am missing something.
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  #15  
Old 23 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by CornishDeity View Post
We keep two sleeping bags, pyjamas, pillows, clothes, mp3 player and lights all in our hannibal roof tent. Might be other reasons to go for a hard shell, but you can certainly leave your stuff in it, unless I am missing something.
Fair point - guess some cloth tops are more spacious than others I think - my German made autocamp tent folds down precisely to the height of the mattress with no spare space - can just about get two sleeping bags in if they are laid out flat, anything more makes it stick up a bit on one side like a wedge. Which bugs me. My previous one was the same as well.
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