Tag: Vehicles

Setting Up The Beast! Part 3 – Storage

Everything working together

Oh The Horror!

OK so lets look at what we wanted to do: Safe accommodation for the dogs – Check! A storage system for our stuff – Check! Somewhere to home the storage system – Che… Oh bummer! Looks like we will have to tackle that next then!

Initial Thoughts

So let’s think about what we require: The storage unit storage (OK I’ll call it the ‘casket’ to stop my brain exploding if I have to type that again   😀 ) has to:

  1. Support the dog crate and make sure it doesn’t touch the roof lining on the tank
  2. Allow for the storage of up to 7 Eurocontainers (see Part 2)
  3. Be strong enough to take some knocks when touring

That can’t be so difficult can it? (more…)

© 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Setting Up The Beast! Part 2 – Boxes

Everything working together

Creating Order Out Of Chaos!

So now that we have settled where the dogs are going to be travelling and sleeping we can move on to handling the second question in our list of priorities: Where are we going to put the things we are going to take with us and how are we going to keep everything together? Well now that we have the dog crate in place we won’t be using our normal ‘Throw everything in, close the door and hope’ method so we have been thinking of something that gives us a little more controlled. On top of that it would be useful to have something that would raise the dog crate up to window level so that the dogs can get the benefit of ventilation when the windows are open.

Mmmm maybe we took too much stuff!

Mmmm maybe we took too much stuff!

So what we need is some form of storage unit that will fit under the crate and allow us easy access to our stuff (like kitchen equipment, food etc.). Now there are some very nice storage units made for the backs of vehicles with wonderful pull out drawers etc. but they tend to be a) expensive and b) not made for our model of Landcruiser (Colorado – model 95) so they are pretty much out. We then got to wondering how much it would be design our own? (more…)

© 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Setting Up The Beast! Part 1 – Expedition Dog Crates

Initial Fit Looking Better

So where have we got to?

As you can see there has been a bit of a delay since our last posting (OK 5 years is probably more than ‘a bit of a delay’ to be fair) but after a number of trials and tribulations with Exped 3 (or ‘The Tank’ as it is now known) including (but not limited to) cylinder head problems, lack of breaks, strange noises etc. we are once again sitting down to work out how and where to do some more touring. Despite the problems the Tank has had, we have actually become attached to it and have decided to keep it, at least for ‘easy’ tours through the UK and Europe. If we decide to go further afield we will probably try to upgrade to something slightly more reliable (such as a Lada or Trabant  🙂 ) but for now the Tank is behaving itself .

Mmmm maybe we took too much stuff!

Mmmm maybe we took too much stuff!

One problem we have is how to transport the two of us, two dogs, a teddy bear and all of the ‘stuff’ we need on our travels and to do it safely. Previously we have used the ‘Stuff it in the back and forget about it’ method which works but only if you are going away camping for a weekend. For longer trips it pays to be slightly more organised. (more…)

© 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.

Exped 3 – The search starts

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

© 2011 – 2016, fatman-overland. All rights reserved.