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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 28 Nov 2002
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VW Beetle through Sahara...

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

Thanks for any info!

Vemund

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  #2  
Old 28 Nov 2002
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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...

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  #3  
Old 29 Nov 2002
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Well prepared beetles allready crossed Erg Ubari in Libya. Travel light as Andraz said.
Be carefull not to overheat the engine.

Yves
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  #4  
Old 29 Nov 2002
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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!
Séb
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Old 29 Nov 2002
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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).]
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  #6  
Old 9 Dec 2002
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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.

L
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