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  #1  
Old 10 Jun 2011
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Land Rover Overland Prep

Hi all!

It's my first message here on HUBB although I've been visiting for a long time and loving a lot this site and forum. Right now I am on the early stages of preparing a long trip which I know will start on mid 2012 going down the west coast of Africa although not quite sure when and where it will end. I'm envisaging something in the region of 3 years here and there going at my own pace without much scheduling or much planning. I've been to several countries in Africa many times for work purposes, worked with people from many countries down there and in general I cope fairly well with being in Africa, the conditions, the bureaucracie, etc, etc.

The vehicle is chosen, a LR 110SW with overland preparation including a roof tent. I've been able to sort out all my questions so far regarding documentation, paperwork, visas, etc, etc, but one. I'm coming accross several companies which do overland prep for LRs in the UK but for some reason not being able to find any in continental Europe. Can someone point me to any companies specialized on this kind of work in Spain, France or Germany?

Thank you for any input.
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  #2  
Old 10 Jun 2011
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Hi Plooking, welcome to the HUBB.

Good choice with the 110 SW ! What year/engine are you using?

Im not familiar with many companies in France or Spain, Im sure a few other guys can provide some ideas.

totally depends on your budget, you could try these companies in Germany:

Ex-Tec Onlineshop - Ex-Tec Onlineshop

or:

http://www.landy-camper.de/

If you have not invested in a roof tent yet, consider the lifting roof camper conversions from these companies, I do like the hard sided lifting roof offered from Ex Tec. These are obviosly a lot more expensive, but on a long trip worth the investment.

Roof tents are good, but for a 3 year trip make your daily routine simple - you will be putting the tent up/down every day for 3 years. Roof tents work well when its hot, but for the rest of the time when its windy, rain, or you are in a sandstorm they leave a lot to be desired and can be unusable in high winds, they also get wet and stay wet and when cold the canvas takes a long time to dry out.

Keep things simple and pack light !
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  #3  
Old 10 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
Good choice with the 110 SW ! What year/engine are you using?
Hi Gipper and thank you for your reply and the links. Regretfully my german is... hmmm, let's put is as non-existent!, but I'll try to figure out something from the websites you gave me.

It will be a brand new 110SW with a 2,4l, 122cv engine. The idea is to run it easy around Europe for 8-10000km and then going to Africa. If I were considering a car just for this one trip it would make sense to buy an used one and re-sell it later on after coming back. But given that the idea is to keep it and keep doing trips like this for many years to come, after giving it some thought my option goes for a new one.

On what concerns the roof tent, I don't intend to use it all and every time. I want to do a very slow-paced trip and consider staying many, many times here and there sleeping in places where I won't need it. Nevertheless of course, when on the road, in remote places and when unable to find anyting decent to sleep, the roof tent seems the easiest and best option.
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  #4  
Old 11 Jun 2011
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Its worth setting up the vehicle so you can sleep in it occasionally, roof tents sort of advertise that you are sleeping in it so use can be limited to bush areas or campsites (and can be cold - still have visions of my friend beating her roof tent to get the canvas to fold cos it was frozen , and that was in the sahara)

Just watch the carnet value with a brand new vehicle

People use older vehicles because of simplicity, not just cheapess, a well refurbed 300tdi station wagon would not be cheap but may be better for travel than a brand new electronic control engined one
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  #5  
Old 11 Jun 2011
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The simplicity of using older tech engines was one of the factors considered when choosing the vehicle for this purpose. Quite right that they are simpler and easier to service along the way. But on what concerns overall durability things come a little different and the risk of ending up needing to service the thing on every stop along the way amounts to something far worst than the newer engine with its specific needs, of course, but also greater overall durability of the vehicle. On time I evaluated several vehicles including a Portuguese jeep brand no longer manufactured, an UMM with Peugeot engines which is as simpler as you can get. In the end I went for the new thing mostly for its durability.

The investment on preparing a vehicle for overland travel amounts to a lot of money and I am not doing it for just 3 years. I consider keeping the vehicle and using it for years to come and as long as I am healthy enough to keep on traveling like that. I'm in my early 30s so that can easily mean for the next 30 years.
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  #6  
Old 11 Jun 2011
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Interesting, I'd still go for a refurbed 110 , with a good quality rebuilt 300tdi or a new 2.8 from motor and diesel

You can have a galvanized chassis fitted, a good simple engine thats designed for offroad use unlike the current landrover engines and any options you want or need so you get a rebuilt as new vehicle but without the disadvantages of a modern vehicle. Can you use veg / olive oil in a modern engine, can you run on aviation fuel or parrafin on a modern engine, probabily not but you may need to (couldn't get diesel in Libya once but could get parrafin - both 300tdi and 2.5na ran on it fine with the addition of a bit of engine oil

I think that would be far more reliable than a wire falling off a sensor on the modern version and your in limp home mode for 1000 klicks

These guys have been doing it for years

Land Rover Refubishment Specialists | REFURBS | The specialist in refurbishing Land Rovers
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  #7  
Old 12 Jun 2011
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an example for you to understand

First welcome on the HUBB Plooking!

Here's my example with a simple machine of how costly things could get if you run a more sophisticated machine in the outback. Oil change + basic routine check / maintenance in MTI Egypt (Official Land Rover dealer and Service) was 2'036 EGP (400 USD) in July 2010, took 5.5 hours... no comment. After arguing like mad, and yes loosing my temper, I negotiated the price down to 1'260 EGP (250 USD) and got âway with Landy. I felt insulted, and left furious for not having checked the price for changing oil before handing it in. It was the first service on my first Defender so I thought I'd drive it to the dealer. Painful, not fun, never again, I swear.. next thing I did when traveling for work to Kenya was stopping at the parts counter at the dealer in Nairobi and got maintenance parts, I know how to do this well, and besides, I only have limited trust in a mechanic taking 5.5. hours to run a maintenance routine on a simple Defender 300 TDI.

Having said that, you'll find a great selection of overland ready vehicles on the market. I suggest you consult the following thread which I'm pretty sure you know already: 4WD for Sale / Wanted - The HUBB

Here's an opportunity for the two of us: I actually have posted for sale my own 2006 Defender SW110 300TDI for sale on that thread some weeks ago. As the demand here in Egypt (where I work and live for now) for such vehicle is quite limited, I'm planning for an overland trip to Europe instead this summer using the RoRo service from Alexandria to Southampton where I intend to get a roof tent and other stuff like a lockable cubby box and alarm system installed. Should you be convinced that a 2006 SW 110 300 TDI almost ready with almost 17'000 km on the clock be a vehicle of choice for what you wish to do, and I think so, we could arrange to meet before I personalize it further. Here's the description I posted:
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...06-300-a-56815

PM me if interested, I know of no other almost new 300 TDI on the market. I am planning to be in the UK and in France end of August and early September.
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  #8  
Old 13 Jun 2011
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It might be an option depending on its travelogue, yes. Will PM you.
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  #9  
Old 14 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rclafton View Post
Interesting, I'd still go for a refurbed 110 , with a good quality rebuilt 300tdi or a new 2.8 from motor and diesel

You can have a galvanized chassis fitted, a good simple engine thats designed for offroad use unlike the current landrover engines and any options you want or need so you get a rebuilt as new vehicle but without the disadvantages of a modern vehicle. Can you use veg / olive oil in a modern engine, can you run on aviation fuel or parrafin on a modern engine, probabily not but you may need to (couldn't get diesel in Libya once but could get parrafin - both 300tdi and 2.5na ran on it fine with the addition of a bit of engine oil

I think that would be far more reliable than a wire falling off a sensor on the modern version and your in limp home mode for 1000 klicks

These guys have been doing it for years

Land Rover Refubishment Specialists | REFURBS | The specialist in refurbishing Land Rovers
Id seriously recommend to avoid liveridges like the plague....i have seen a number of their refurbs and while on the outside the vehicles are nice and shiney, there are a number of shortcuts that are very bad.

There are a few companies but Id suggest that you consider doing it yourself to get to know the vehicle and also with time you will be able to work out what you actually need rather than want or would look cool on the vehicle.

H
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  #10  
Old 14 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hplp View Post
Id seriously recommend to avoid liveridges like the plague....i have seen a number of their refurbs and while on the outside the vehicles are nice and shiney, there are a number of shortcuts that are very bad.

There are a few companies but Id suggest that you consider doing it yourself to get to know the vehicle and also with time you will be able to work out what you actually need rather than want or would look cool on the vehicle.

H
I would ditto this, unless your idea of a "complete rebuild" is coat everything underneath with underseal (inc sump, gearbox, corroded brake lines etc!), cover rusty crossmembers with chequerplate ( likewise any dented bits of bodywork) and then give it a shiny paintjob to distract the buyer from asking if the fluids have been changed, timing belt renewed etc...
My brother bought one.
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  #11  
Old 14 Jun 2011
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I wouldnt be going into africa with a puma landrover . as suggested 300tdi (or tgv2.80 ) is the way to go. There is a nice 6x6 camper being offered on LRUK forum at the moment .
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Old 16 Jun 2011
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I'd highly recommend Landy Camper - see link in Gipper's reply above - we got a minimalist interior for our ROTW 300TDi a couple of years back, and it's really nicely made - the reversing seat turns the back into an L shaped kitchen area, and then goes flat for a bed, and still passed British MOT without any problems. The material is lightweight & solid (Flight case material) and it's well designed.

I'd have gone for the lifting roof, but it doesn't go with an external roll-cage! Still, for shorter trips away the headroom is ok.

One big advantage to sleeping inside the car, rather than on the roof, as well as all the weather issues, is that you get a lot more privacy - wherever you are parked if there is a ouse within 10km then you will find that when you get up you have an audience - you are the most exciting thing which has happened for weeks, so it's nice to have a chance to get dressed, brush teeth etc before emerging to be on show!

Just for ideas, here are a few things I've fitted to our camper - hot & cold water - using a heat exchanger which gives 'warm' water after a few minutes of idling the engine - much nicer for washing up than cold water! Heat exchangers are easy to get now - look for people selling veg-oil conversion ones, and connect to the coolant pipes leading from block to the heater.

Eberspacher or Webasto heater - an air blowing one is easiest, and is brilliant on a chilly night! (another reason to sleep inside!)

If you can get one - a diagnostic 'problem solver and resetter' is going to be essential for a Puma engine - you don't want to find that it sets itself to limp-home because you can't reset it to tell it that it's had it's oil-change...

For sill fuel tanks and good quality rear spare hangers try Safari-Equip in Bradford - (google them) they actually make the fancy gear sold by various suppliers who put their own name on them, and they can modify the stuff to fit your particular needs - and they can supply stuff galvanised instead of powder-coated which means it will last more than a year before it's covered in rust!

Change the headlights to good HID bulbs and clear lenses - it makes a massive difference to driving at night!

Get some decent quality wiper blades - again, it'll mean that it's possible to drive in rain and see where you are going!

Accept that you will have to spend long weeks getting the car set up, and that it will never be finished! Be ready to live with a car which will always have half-completed jobs all over, and bits of wire waiting for the next essential gadget to be connected up... but that's ok, it's a Landy!

Have fun!

Tony
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  #13  
Old 16 Jun 2011
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Hi Tony,

Do you have any photos of your rover on a blog or hosting site?

interested to see some more detail on the interior.
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Old 19 Jun 2011
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Dont go fitting HID as its illegal in UK and they will be including check in MOT so you wont pass . Its worth fitting a good pair of extra driving lights to suplement your main beam , as its better to see things well ahead to avoid hitting them, on dip you are only allowed I pair of lights on unless its thick fog.
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Old 24 Jun 2011
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My baby (pics on www.afritracks.com)

I agree with the pretty much all the points raised - I would not have liked to take a new Defender round Africa - people do though, and I saw lots of South Africans in new machines of all kinds, though they didn't tend to travel deep into Africa or get too remote.
The simpler the car is, the more you know you will get home - I like cars I can fix with a stick and some duct tape, because sometimes thats all you've got.

Being able to sleep inside is a really big plus point - there are times you don't want to stand out as a tourist, and it's also nice to have somewhere comfortable to sit and make a cup of tea if you get stuck at a border post/embassy/fuel station and have to wait... Rooftents can really attract a crowd, and some mornings you just dont want to have to climb down the ladder when your audience is seated neatly around the bottom waiting for you to appear : )

Enjoy your planning, and ultimately you'll have a ball whatever car you take
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