Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Sahara Travel Forum

Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

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

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 28 Nov 2002
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3
VW Beetle through Sahara...

How would it be to bring a VW Beetle through Sahara? Any particular problems for such a car?

Thanks for any info!


-42- you know...
-42- you know...
Reply With Quote
Old 28 Nov 2002
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 292
I've driven beetles along some pretty dismal jungle trails in central America (no, I didn't tell the car rental company where I intend to go ... ), as long as you stay on the pistes you will not find anything worse in the Sahara either. It's high build, light nose and big wheels make it probably the best 2wd for the purpose. With some sand recovery equipment at hand for the odd soft spots, you should not have any trouble with terrain.

The only problem I foresee would be range. With all other things loaded, even with a roof rack you will not have too much space left for extra fuel, and the 40l tank will not get you far...

Happy Travels,

FJ Expeditions
Happy Travels, András
Reply With Quote
Old 29 Nov 2002
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 334
Well prepared beetles allready crossed Erg Ubari in Libya. Travel light as Andraz said.
Be carefull not to overheat the engine.

Reply With Quote
Old 29 Nov 2002
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
Posts: 49
Normal car go to paradise, 2CV's go everywhere! Personnally I do prefer a front wheel drive that's a bit lighter than the beetle & uses less fuel. Then when you're stuck, 2-3 guys are enough to jack the front, another one puts the ladders under the wheels and off you drive. Besides, with 2 tanks easily packed in the car (40 + 50 liters), you drive almost 2'000 km on the road & probably around 1'000-1'200 on the piste. Tam-Agadez without refuelling, ain't it great?

Now if you talk about style & myth, choice is yours: I made mine! keep us posted!
Normal cars go to paradise, 2CV's go everywhere!
Reply With Quote
Old 29 Nov 2002
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 21
Beetles are great offroad. Due to their torsion bar suspension, the rear ground clearance can be raised by rotating the rear swing plates a spline or two. The front can be raised by the installation of torsion bar adjusters in the centre of the front beams, These adjusters are cheap and readily available. The suspensions are very strong. The only weak point is that the engine cooling system MUST be in perfect order with all the tinware and rubber seals in place to ensure that the aircooled engine doesn't get too hot. An additional or larger oilcooler is a very good idea. Keep the weight down, and they will go almost anywhere.
As posted above, 2cvs are also excellent choices for flyweight overlanding.

[This message has been edited by Diff (edited 29 November 2002).]
Reply With Quote
Old 9 Dec 2002
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Paris France
Posts: 6
My 76 VW bus has the same engine as your Beetle. I have been all round America, Mexico and Central America. It is a handy tool if maintained propoerly in the above postings. I am currently in Tunisia and have just taken it through the Sahara down here. All that on roads mind. I wouldn't take it off.

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:12.