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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Old 28 Aug 2002
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mad camper

3/4 motorcaravan,two weels driving, diesel engine ,2800cc, 3,5 tons ,would like to enter DZ from TU in late november NEFTA-EL OUED-QUARGLA( DJANET if possible)GHARDAJA(TAMANRASSET if possible)TIMIMOUN.Of course ONLY ON SEALED ROADS !!!Any advice,criticism,or good newws will be appreciated. THANKS

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Old 30 Aug 2002
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No problem to Djanet. I met a french guy who did Tam - Djanet in Ford Transit, but this is all Off Road.

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Old 2 Sep 2002
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Hi, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks that TLCs and LRs are too small I think you're cutting out a lot of possibilities by wanting to stay only on sealed roads, many untarred roads are fine for roadgoing vehicles, take a look at the recent threads on road bikes in Morocco. I presume you're in a Ducato (being Italian); they're not as good in sand as a rear wheel drive would be because of the rear overhang. Even if you stick to sealed roads you it's not guaranteed that your overnight stops won't involve some sand somewhere. Be prepared to let down your tyres to get in or out of a camp spot (try your little tyre compressor on four tyres in a row, if it melts get a better one) Take a shovel, sand drifts even onto sealed roads, and some of those roll up sand mats (www.narbonneaccessoires.com for France, don't know for Italy) and a Kinetic tow rope, which is necessary in case the pulling vehicle is driven roughly, it's got a bit of give. That said, you'd be amazed at what some fools get up to in their 2wd camping cars; I know it's not Saharan but a quick look at http://www.camping-car.org/img_chine/index.html might intrigue and inspire you.
Above all, enjoy it
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Old 3 Sep 2002
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Hold on a minute. You should not be using a Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope (KERR) simply because “it’s got a bit of give”.

KERRs were invented by the British army to pull main battle tanks out of mud. They achieve this by storing colossal amounts of energy in the rope - which is why it stretches. The stretching stores the kinetic energy. When this energy is released something has to give. This will be the weakest of the following three things; the stuck vehicle, the part of the stuck vehicle to which the KERR has been attached, or the part of the pulling vehicle to which the KERR has been attached.

Before using a KERR to pull a vehicle out of sand you must make sure that the attachment points on both vehicles are capable of withstanding a shock of at least 6,000 kilos. You must inspect all mounting bolts, the condition of the frame/sub-frame, etc.

If the pulling vehicle breaks, the lump of metal which comes off will fly straight through the front and out the back of the stuck vehicle, decapitating the driver en route.
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Old 3 Sep 2002
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You're absolutely right Terry, I had no idea of the origins of the KERR; just to check, we are talking about the 2 inch thick Kinetic? Amazing!
I have one because at only 100hp for 4 tons on 7.50x16s powering out of a hole is not really in the list of possibilities.
Nino, on Terry's advice have the anchor points on your vehicle checked for solidity and get some good training on how to attach the rope. I oversimplified the 'give' in this excellent piece of kit, if the towing vehicle (the unknown and we must presume untrained part of the equation) starts with the line slack, as it comes tight the elasticity of the Kinetic will absorb and store the momentum (kinetic energy) of the towing vehicle rather than transmit it directly as a wire or classic strop might. Thus the Kinetic is less violent to the attachment points, but if one does give, Terry's description is in no way exaggerated.
Imho a 2wd camper isn't going to bog badly enough to cause problems pulling it out, I've pulled 1 or 2 out of british goo w/o problems, can't speak for sand though. It can only sink to one axle (driven wheels dig well don't they) and the wheels are 14 inch so that's not deep. If you prepare for the worst it probably won't happen.
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