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Light Overland Vehicle Tech Tech issues, tips and hints, prepping for travel
Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #16  
Old 23 Jun 2015
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Maybe one more thing on Land Rovers.
Used discoveries tend to be a cheaper than defenders, and used to have pretty much the same mechanics up until the TD5. Very capable, and comfortable. If looks don't matter, don't rule them out.

With toyota's, you might want to avoid the LX series. Other than that, it doesn't have to be a 4.2l series 80.

And... whatever you buy, make sure it's in good condition. A rundown 4WD is more misery than a decent 2WD. A rundown 2WD is even worse.... .

If you go 2WD, rear wheal drive with a beam axle works really well on rough roads. Much better than front wheel drive with independent suspension.
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  #17  
Old 24 Jun 2015
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Can't agree with farqhuar's comment about a 4x4 being a magnet for thieves at all.
We did Germany to the Far East for 1.5 years returning last year and we didn't have any trouble with thieves at all. Far from it. In fact we found the Central Asian people to be the most friendly and warmly welcoming people we've come across. Often their first question is whether you are having a nice time in their country and they want to ensure you leave with happy memories.
The only time our land cruiser was ever touched was by the cows scratching their backs on our spare wheel at the back!

Robert's and Bermuda rover's comments I can relate too, but you can get to song kol without the 4x4. You can even do Mongolia without, but you really would miss a lot!

The lada will be too small for you, but they are great.
The delivery van is a great, potentially much cheaper option and we travelled with some sling our route: basic but functional. For size you might prefer a transporter though. The Mercedes are the local buses in the central Stans so getting spares and repairs is not difficult at all.

Pics of fellow travellers on our blog: we had everything from cyclists, suzukis, 35 year old Mercedes and totally 'normal' white-box caravans.
www.wanderwheels.wordpress.com

Have fun on your trip!
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  #18  
Old 25 Jun 2015
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Originally Posted by wickychicky View Post
Can't agree with farqhuar's comment about a 4x4 being a magnet for thieves at all.
Ok, I'll rephrase that - "get mistaken for being a member of the Russian mafia".
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  #19  
Old 25 Jun 2015
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Well I've said it before to thers but sit down and work out how you want to live on the road and where you want to go then decide on the vehicle

For example, do you want to sleep inside, on the roof our in a ground tent, or will you be in hotels/hostels every night.
Inside = Van, Estate car or long wheel base 4x4, Cons - takes out of lot of space in smaller vehicles
On the Roof - well you could drive anything Cons - will need an expensive tent and roof rack
Ground Tent = any vehicle Cons - having to find a flat site to pitch/bad weather can be a pain setting up camp

You get the idea, as has been said you could do the trip in virtually any vehicle and get there and back ok but some will mean comprimises on the route or the way you live

(Driving a 4x4 won't subject you to more risk of theft or make you look like russian mafia unless you tint the windows and put big chrome rims on it )

Last edited by TheWarden; 25 Jun 2015 at 15:48.
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  #20  
Old 3 Jul 2015
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Hi, i am thinking of doing the same, and i've been looking at the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero 3.2DiD. Seem to be very reliable, nice consumption (around 10L/100klms with reports of saying it's possible to lower to 8 if very careful with the right foot). Another advantage is that the LWB has space and there's a few conversions to transform the back in a sleep space with space to pack a lot of stuff. They also sell cheaper than Toyotas and LR (at least were i live) secondhand .

Check these out:

Where the Eyes Go: The Montero and its Mods

Preparación Mitsubishi Montero 2.5 Sahel “Camper” | Siempre Ruedas y Motor

Where the Eyes Go: The Montero and its Mods

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  #21  
Old 3 Jul 2015
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I have just started using a Citroen C3.......

65+mpg on diesel. but not much ground clearance
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  #22  
Old 4 Jul 2015
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Overland in 68

In 1968 I drove a s/h Mercedes 190 (ex embassy ) from London to Herat in Afghanistan with the only mechanical problem being a broken half shaft as a result of being forced offroad by a mad Afghani truck driver in no mans land between Iran and Afghanistan. At that time there were many Asians returning to India, Pakistan & Bangladesh in Morris minors and oxfords. Most of the intrepid adventurers in Landrovers were seemingly the ones bogged done along the way waiting for parts. Unless you are planning to go offroad seriously a suitable car would be sufficient and a van as mentioned previously probably more suitable. Having spent another 10 years in the Gulf during the 70/80 90's Toyota appears a good choice as far as service/parts backup. Good luck whichever way you choose to travel.
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  #23  
Old 4 Jul 2015
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Originally Posted by Robbert View Post
Yups,

Any car you like. As long as it's in good shape.
We used a lada break in 2007 (too long ago...).
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nadjen...57603287199966
And that was standard except from removing the rear seats.

I'd go with any lada in good shape again anytime. Most locals drive them, meaning that the roads tend to be just smooth enough to pass trough, mechanics understand them, and maintenance is cheap, and spares, if needed are readily available. ......

how about this little Lada.. seen in Tbilisi

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  #24  
Old 6 Jul 2015
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I have just started using a Citroen C3.......

65+mpg on diesel. but not much ground clearance
you need a 2cv then!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trGz2hD-2VA
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  #25  
Old 22 Jul 2015
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Depends on how much you want to spend and where exactly you want to go but for almost any journey a Defender/Land Cruiser is a little overkill and heavy on fuel consumption too.

As long as it has some ground clearance and I would always prefer four wheel drive over front or wheel drive and depending on the time of year you'll be on the road having decent working air conditioning can make the driving a lot more pleasant and keep you more relaxed.

I'll probably get mocked for this but I'd consider one of these -
Skoda Octavia Combi 1.9 TDI DPF Elegance 4x4 AHK 1.Hd. als Kombi in Hannover

Decent 4x4 system, it's Haldex based but it's the later generation that works quite well especially on snow/gravel/light mud. They came with raised suspension and underbody protection from the factory too. Great 1.9TDi engine as found in every VW, very reliable just make sure the cambelt has been replaced.

If you raise the boot floor slightly (storage?) and fold the seats down you get a perfectly flat space big enough for 2 people to sleep in.

Should do nearly everything you want for 5,600 Euro and you wouldn't have to spend much to modify it.
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  #26  
Old 27 Jul 2015
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Ive got an old Mercedes estate W123 with a roof tent. Ive replaced the engine for the w124 diesel engine giving it better economy and it has the 5 speed gear box, up rated suspension giving it a slight lift, sump and steering guard, a twin tank fuel system with fuel heaters so can be run on veg oil or used in cold climates and much much more. Been my pride and joy for years and never missed a beat. Taken me all over Europe and parts of Morocco.

Its been absolutely great, fairly good on fuel, good on ruff tracks and light off road helped with the Mercedes suspension travel, loads of space inside and its fun to drive.

I dont want to get rid of her but the missis is making me sell as ive just bought a new truck, so if your interested let me know. If not at least look at getting something similar as driving something with character adds to the adventure

Tom
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  #27  
Old 23 Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
Again, you'd be surprised what can be achieved off-road just using regular vehicles.
A couple of years back I bumped into 4 German backpackers pushing their bogged Toyota Camry in the painted desert .........
.
Pushing a Camry is NOT what I call achievement.

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  #28  
Old 26 Jan 2016
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Don't take diesel

diesel is difficult to found is lot of country
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  #29  
Old 31 Jan 2016
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I read about some man driving to Myanmar, that on the road, in and after the Stans, many "good" roads are full of holes and bumps ; and that sometimes it takes hours before someone passes (who can help you if your car breaks down).


Personally I have never driven outside of Europe (but I'ld like to try). I'm not an adventurer that wants to do crazy things or go fast of ... (but love discovering new landscapes and cultures) and not handy, and not strong (yes a woman) so if I read your advice, basically it says :


1. if you stay on the main roads, you should be able to get wherever you want to go (does the Russian mud road qualify as a 'main road' or was this to reach a special place off road please ?)

2. you don't need a specially equiped car to drive to South East Asia - any car will get you there

3. driving a new car is not such a good idea : thieves will come ??

4. SHIT. is that true, that diesel is hard to find ???


(I just got a new toyota, exactly to be SAFE to drive to Asia - no risk of breaking down, strong, enough space, less risk if a car hits our car ... bad idea ? and SHIT it is a diesel yes)


I read the adventures of Roy & Michelle I believe it is - they went on a 3 year trip around the world and made a book of it ; they are driving a landrover with all kinds of stuff on it (rope to pull them out ; spare tire on top of the car in front of their window ; fortified metal side bars ; special lights and bumpers ; etc) - am I reading it well, that it is NOT necessary to have all this stuff ?? Because when I see all that, I'm thinking : silly girl, forget about driving to SEA ... your car is not equiped for that.


your thoughts ?
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  #30  
Old 31 Jan 2016
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Originally Posted by OMG View Post
I read about some man driving to Myanmar, that on the road, in and after the Stans, many "good" roads are full of holes and bumps ; and that sometimes it takes hours before someone passes (who can help you if your car breaks down).


Personally I have never driven outside of Europe (but I'ld like to try). I'm not an adventurer that wants to do crazy things or go fast of ... (but love discovering new landscapes and cultures) and not handy, and not strong (yes a woman) so if I read your advice, basically it says :


1. if you stay on the main roads, you should be able to get wherever you want to go (does the Russian mud road qualify as a 'main road' or was this to reach a special place off road please ?)

2. you don't need a specially equiped car to drive to South East Asia - any car will get you there

3. driving a new car is not such a good idea : thieves will come ??

4. SHIT. is that true, that diesel is hard to find ???


(I just got a new toyota, exactly to be SAFE to drive to Asia - no risk of breaking down, strong, enough space, less risk if a car hits our car ... bad idea ? and SHIT it is a diesel yes)


I read the adventures of Roy & Michelle I believe it is - they went on a 3 year trip around the world and made a book of it ; they are driving a landrover with all kinds of stuff on it (rope to pull them out ; spare tire on top of the car in front of their window ; fortified metal side bars ; special lights and bumpers ; etc) - am I reading it well, that it is NOT necessary to have all this stuff ?? Because when I see all that, I'm thinking : silly girl, forget about driving to SEA ... your car is not equiped for that.


your thoughts ?
There are definitely 2 schools of thought when it comes to preparation and required equipment.

Mine is the more you add the more likely something will fail, you've added weight so you then need to uprate suspension, a vicious circle. You won't necessarily know the quality of these "up graded" components. You get the picture.
I've deliberately kept my vehicle standard and I'd trust it to go anywhere.

Having said that if you do some research on your vehicle specific forum you may find the odd known weaknesses with a cure.

You haven't mentioned which Toyota but what ever it is (other than a Prius :-) ) is a good starting point. If you search on here for Surfy you'll see that he uses what looks like a pretty standard Toyota.

I don't get the lack of diesel. If there are trucks / tractors in a country there's diesel. Quality maybe an issue, especially in a newer diesel. You could get an additional filter / water separator fitted?
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