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Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
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Old 23 Dec 2018
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Is a Forester SF5 overland worthy for Morocco?

Hi there!
I'm planning a one-month trip in Morocco this February. Initially it should have been me on a Husqy 701, my sister on a DRZ400 and a friend would be keen to join us with my Subaru Forester SF5 1999 2.0 S-turbo. It is to be said that the Forester is completely stock and is my daily driver to take me to work and back.

The plan is to haul the bikes on a trailer to south Spain and start from around Algeciras (I have a friend living nearby and I can park the trailer there). From there we would take the ferry to Ceuta, follow the north coast to Oujda and go south thru Rekkam plateau and more or less follow the Algerian border south bound once on the south side of the Atlas, all the way to the coast before coming back up via the Atlantic coast.

Prepping the bikes is no big deal. They are pretty much perfect match for Morocco (except maybe dunes riding the the Suzuki). Throw a pair of Michelin AC10 and a foam filter plus sand-stop and you're good... But what about the car? My friend offered to pay a set of offroad tires and have a skidplate fitted once in Morocco. Do you think the Forester could keep up on the fech fech? (that being the worst type of piste encountered, I think). The ground clearance isn't that big, that is my main concern. I don't want to **** it up too, I need it back home to get me to work (I don't mind the occasional scratch or dented fender tho)

So, to summarize :
Subaru Forester 2.0 turbo (177hp)
1999, odo 160'000kms
New clutch and timing
4 offroad tires
Locally made skiplate
--> Is it "Moroccan pistes capable" ?

If not, what could I add to help? Any tires recommandations? Any input is welcome!

Read you around!
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Old 24 Dec 2018
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With careful driving it should cope fine. Heading across the rekkam you wont see much if any Feche Feche and the only sand is east of the N17. Most of the pistes are driven by locals in normal road cars with no special preparation

Bash plates will be cheap in Morocco but off road tyres will cost you more than Europe (A 265/70/60 Bf Goodrich all terrain is about 50euros more in Morocco than the UK for example)

Probably worth carrying a couple of planks of wood to built ramps out of any gullies or river beds
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Old 24 Dec 2018
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Thanks for your input!
I will definetely carry a couple of steel plates too get out of bad decisions (I used to use scafholding steel planks for this). And I will definitely get a bach plate fitted before going south. Speaking of, if you have a shop to reommend on the way, it's welcome !
I could carry my tires from France and swap them in south spain then ;-)

Good to know that Rekkam plateau will be fine then.

Do you think we could manage a follow up route from there to Merzouga / Ouzina / Tafraoute Sidi Ali / Mhamid / El Gouera / Iriki / Tissint ? I'm a bit concerned about the leg between Merzouga and Erg ouzina... I've been there last year and we ended up crossing 4-to-5meters-high dunes to get there... I don't know if the Foz can manage that!

If this itinerary is a bit too bold, we could be a bit more conservative and follow the N12, but I'd really like to enjoy the salt lakes riding in the desert !

Any route suggestions is welcome ! I'm sorry if I'm getting a bit out of the subject... Maybe I should move the topic to "route planning" ?
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Old 24 Dec 2018
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You'd actually be better off moving the thread to the Morocco forum.

Some pics of Oriental Morocco on the sort of route you are planning: Slave labour camps, fossils and desert flowers

For the crossing via Tafraoute Sidi Ali it depends on how much the Rheris river crossing at Rhamlia has been messed up with winter water flows. I have never successfully crossed here (but have only tried twice).

But there's an alternative route coming from the north that I personally prefer, coming through Foum Mharech. See the green route on post #15 of the above linked thread.
"For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
and enlarges the world in which you live,"
Irving Mather (1892-1966)
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Old 24 Dec 2018
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A lot of your answers are in the Morocco forum including recommended garages. I always use Ali Nassir in Zagora, he made me bash plates for £50 each a couple of years ago

If the crossing at Rhamlia is bad then head north although you've got to almost all the way to the N12 to miss all the possible dunes. If not take the N12 from Rissani towards Zagora and then drop south just after you cross Oued Rheris
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Old 25 Dec 2018
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Looks like we're going to give it a try with the forester, even if it's hanging low...
I'll start basecamp and begin the route planning with your advice then. An read a bit more of the Morocco forum!
I've got my answer here : The first gen forester can do it, if I avoid crossing the dunes :P

Thank you for your quick answers guys! Take care !
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