Ok so we have settled back in after our Africa 2010 adventure. Life is more or less back to normal, one of the bikes (the Transalp) is fixed and back running again. The BMW, unfortunately and inexplicably, got to the UK more damaged than when we crated it up in South Africa and we are working out whether it is better to pay out the money to fix it or to put it out of its and our misery (BMW please note – when you market a bike as a big expedition bike please make sure it can actually stand up to an expedition!).
Anyway we are now thinking about the future and have decided that we want to invest in a four-wheeled vehicle for long-distance touring. Obviously we are only in the initial stages of planning for this, our main idea is to get a 4×4 and slowly kit it out in phases and use shorter tours (i.e. of the UK/Europe etc.) to test the setup and see what works and what doesn’t. This vehicle will become fatman-overlands’ “EXPED 3” (Exped 1 & 2 are the bikes – which we shall be keeping unless the fatman decides to undertake a Viking sacrifice on the BMW!) . We are uncertain whether Exped 3 will be our final, totally kitted out expedition vehicle or just a test bed but one thing we do know is that we are going to have fun trying things out with it. 🙂
In addition to describing the planning, purchase and fitting out of Exped 3, we will also use the blog to document our progress and to give our views on the equipment we have chosen.
As we said we are only in the first stages of thinking about the vehicle but already 4 vehicle types have become our main areas of investigation. These are:
- Toyota Landcruiser Model 75/78 – This would be our ideal expedition vehicle especially if it was fitted with the 4.2l diesel engine but these are incredibly difficult (and expensive) to find in the UK.
- Landrover Defender 110 – Yes we know many of you are shaking their heads at the mention of a Landrover but they do undertake long expeditions and some of them also make it back 🙂 – Besides which we both have a soft spot for the Landies.
- Toyota Hilux Surf Generation 3 – These are older (1990s) import only (from Japan) vehicles. The generation 3’s are based on the landcruiser chassis and have a lot to recommend them – the main downside is their age.
- Toyota Hilux Double Cab – An unusual option maybe but we know (from personal experience) that they are more than capable of long distance expeditions. More than that they are tough, very very tough – we know of one that made it through Angola with broken rear leaf springs – try that in a chelsea taxi!
So what we are presently doing is investigating each of these: price, availability, cost of spares and equipment etc. We will keep you informed of our progress (if we manage to make any)
Until then happy adventuring!
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