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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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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 2 Apr 2003
NCR NCR is offline
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RR V8 in the Sahara!!!

Hi,

Going to Mauritania in September (initially we intended to go to Lybia) and would like to know if I should take my recently aquired RR V8 Petrol 92 (lots of electrónics) or my reliable electronics-free UMM Alter Turbo 91 (portuguese 4X4 with peugeot 2.5 diesel engine). I would go for the UMM except for the (non existant) confort and the lack of AC...Should I take spares $$$$$$$$$$$!!! for the electronics gismos in the Range??? Or just take simple precautions before departure???

Thanks and regards,

NCR
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  #2  
Old 2 Apr 2003
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After you have spent your preparation budget, which is less likely to break down?

That's your vehicle.

Physical comfort is nothing compared to comfort of peace of mind...

Sam.
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  #3  
Old 3 Apr 2003
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Hi NCR
Range Rover or UMM?
Despite Sam’s well-considered reticence, I would go for the Range Rover every time.
Is this conflicting advice confusing?
ANY car can break down for the simplest of component failures.
BUT - You’ll find a lot more Range Rover bits lying around the desert (at a price) than UMM bits.
I have travelled over 25,000 desert miles (not as much as some people on this forum) in a selection of Range Rovers from 1973 to 1987 models.
In every single case the power and durability has contributed to the pleasure. (I have also done a lot of journeys in Land Rover SIII’s and Toyotas).
Speak to your local Range Rover engineer (or RR users club) about by-passing electronic failures. (I have never sustained any, so I‘m not much help there).
Check all cooling hoses (I always change all perishables before a trip and keep the old ones as spares). Flush the radiator from top to bottom and then from bottom to top. Check all unions, shockers and UV joints, grease all prop shafts, ensure NOTHING can rub against anything else.
Now go and thrash it across some off-road centre, check for loose ends, un-tethered bits, flying jack handles… and then go with a big smile of confidence.
My reasons for Range Rovering are not ones of comfort (I never use AC in the desert, only in traffic jams on the way). I believe they are one of the best cars for the job with an under-stressed engine, super chassis and unbreakable suspension. And I love that auto gearbox in the dunes, it is much more delicate on soft sand than a club-footed manual!
You may find some basic hints at this web page:
http://www.kitmax.com/kitmax/kit12tr...reparation.htm
Note, however, that Range Rovers have a weight limit, (a lot lower than the Toyota ‘H’ series) and the maximum fuel range is only around 700 miles.
For Mauritania this is plenty. Details of my 1996 Mauritania Chinguetti trip (in a SIII) might be useful background info :
http://www.kitmax.com/kitmax/kit12tr...htm#chinguetti
Good luck and call back if you need any further confusing comments.


------------------
Kitmax - Traveller
Desert Pictures at
http://www.kitmax.com/kitmax/kit03ph...velgallery.htm
homepage http://www.kitmax.com

[This message has been edited by kitmax (edited 02 April 2003).]

[This message has been edited by kitmax (edited 02 April 2003).]
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Old 3 Apr 2003
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How reliable has the Rangey been? both have high levels of ability with rough terrain but the Range Rover will have the edge in dune sand (with the V8)

Spareswise the Range Rover will have the edge, I prefer diesel in the desert (personal foible!) but petrol has more grunt

All things being equal Id take the Range Rover; my only doubt would be the electronics but if she's had a good track record until now, take the Range Rover.
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Old 3 Apr 2003
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Thank you all for the useful replies.

The main problem is that I only have the Range Rover for a week...I don't know if I have enough time till September to know it a bit better.

Another issue is the value of the car: in case I have to leave the car there (imagine a situation where no recovery is possible), I would prefer to lose the UMM. Do you think that is a likely situation to occur??? Or I can always get help from the locals and take the car to a town or city???

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Old 3 Apr 2003
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hi


I would go with the UMM!


(I'm Portuguese!! and a fan of UMM Portuguese mechanics!)

Now out of fun: the UMM will be easier to fix! With the engine you will have no problems with parts. You will find lots of Peugeots in N Africa

The other parts are simple and probably any DIY mechanical will fix it.

With a RR you will go faster but you will "burn" lots of petrol. Probably will have some autonomy problems...

not to speak that if you have any electric problem no one will fix it!


if you need any thing concerning the trip just send me a email! I´m planning a trip to marrocos /mauritania/ senegal in august in a land rover SIII lightweight with a few friends also in LRs!!


boa preparacao e boa viagem se nao nos "virmos" antes!!!
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Old 3 Apr 2003
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my email change to bernardo@AventuraS3.com

best regards from portugal
bernardo feio
lightweight
www.AevnturaS3.com
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  #8  
Old 4 Apr 2003
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Re recovering a stricken vehicle in Mauritania, you will find that locals will locate and retrieve a vehicle for a price.

You can also hire a Toyota Hilux with a driver in Atar should you need to for the purposes of recovery or accompanyment (if you are a single vehicle and want back-up).

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  #9  
Old 4 Apr 2003
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I would recommend the RRV8. I took a V8 defender to rim last year and have been completely converted to this engine. 3000k off road or on very sandy piste it performed extremely well, the extra grunt really showing off in the sand. Apart from some oil changes nothing at all happened to it or even started to go wrong. A very reliable engine. If you cover yourself with spare electrics, nothing should go wrong.

Fuel however is a consideration – it took around 220l to go from Nouabaou to Attar with a few side trips and on two occasions in the past I have found that Western Sahara can run dry of petrol (but not diesel) for a few days.

On the other hand – its good to have piece of mind so if you have any doughts –go with the UMM

I would also agree with ctc above that recovery would be simple once you have got to to a town or village as they are incredibly entrepreneurial (possibly more so than any other country in the Sahara) and would love to help!
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Old 4 Apr 2003
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Dwair,

Did you drive from Nouadhibou direct to Atar along the railway line? If so how difficult was the going? CS talks about bands of soft dunes after Bou Lanouar.
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  #11  
Old 7 Apr 2003
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Hi ctc,

Yes we drove direct to Atar from Nouadhibou and back again along side the railway track. Its not so much difficult but slow going for long stretches due to small soft “tussock like” dunes in places. We took 5 days each way but spent much of the time messing around with kite buggies. Realistically you could get to Attar in a couple of days driving in daylight only in a 4x4. Anyone doing this in a 2x4 will have a an adventure...

I would agree with what CS says in the book, it would be a tough first piste in Mauritania but in a properly equipped vehicle its a rewarding trip through the middle of nowhere.

The piste itself is very easy to follow by keeping an eye on the railway track but unless your lucky you will probably get stuck at least once. The sandy bands are just west of Bou Lanouar, again at N15.30 – N15.00 (ish) and N14.30 – N14.10(ish). The bits in between are nice flat reg. It is quite empty round there though so breakdowns ect would be serious. There are a number of small camps / villages every 150k or so down the railway but would be of very limited help – I wouldn’t expect they would have fuel ect. I don’t think there is anything south of the railway at all. We saw 2 other vehicles when we went east and nothing at all on the return trip.

A slightly “hammed up” description with limited info of the trip is at www.saharanexploration.co.uk – At the moment the site is mainly to keep our sponsors happy and aimed at parakarting but should have more info in about a month or so when we fill in the gaps.

Hope this helps
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