Can a RAV4 handle the sandy roads of Botswana? - Page 3





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  1. #41
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    Hi

    Your biggest challenge is going to be ground clearance. Went all the way around Bots with a Fortuner and a Rav , If you have support , take the Rav , if you are alone don't go to far .....

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    So n' paar jaar terug die Mabua Nossob sirkel roete aangepak. Tot almal se verbasing (en skok moet ek se!!) daag een van die groep in sy nuwe Mercedes ML op?? Skaars het ons die dik sand (en hoe middel mannetjie) anderkant McCarthy's Rest getref of hy le "wiele in die lig gespin" plat op sy maag. Desperaat tou (meer "maagsleep") ons hom tot by Mabua vanwaar hy op eie stoom die volgende kamp by die panne probeer haal, maar heellaas slaan die kar aan die brand agv sand wat in die "fan belt tensioner bearing" ingekom het (seker in die "maagsleep" proses) - wat ons darem gelukkig betyds kon blus. Moes hom toe maar tot by die kampplek tou waar die voertuig agtergelaat is en later teen groot moeite en koste na Upington via Nossob herwin moes word. Nodeloos om te se was ons lang na uitgesiende trip daarmee heen aangesien ons na hulle moes omsien terug SA toe (met n mengsel van wroeging en natuurlik kameraadskaps gevoel !!!)

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdevilliers View Post
    Hi

    Don't know if I will get any response ... for questions on a RAV4.

    I am aware that it is a wannabe 4x4, (but beggars can not be choosers), but want to know of any of the experienced 4x4 members have ever tested a RAV4 to see what it is capable of?

    I am just planning to drive sandy areas and I feel at ease with the control that I get with the diff lock and tracking control.

    Any one to agree or disagree. I want to take the RAV up to Botswana in the dry season.

    Mavis
    Itīs a nice question to people not knowing your driving skills.
    I knew a guy who was happily driving an old 123 Mercedes sedan where other guys got stuck inbetween the dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay with their 4x4īs, he even made side bets with Toyota Hilux 4x4 drivers and won them all. In the old times there were virtually no 4x4 available resp. unaffordable, and the people also covered those routes in BOT with 2x4īs. So why shouldnīt your RAV 4 do it?
    If the Pradoīs can, why not the RAV 4 with some sand skills?

    Old rule for BOT going bush routes: Never go alone, especially not with a vehicle like that, or, unless you stay on a regularly frequented route.
    Last edited by Hajo; 2015/08/17 at 10:03 AM.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hajo View Post
    In the old times there were virtually no 4x4 available resp. unaffordable, and the people also covered those routes in BOT with 2x4īs.
    People tend to forget this point . But now that we have 4x4's with big tyres, they do tend to make it difficult for the softies by making the tracks deeper & the middelmanetjie higher.



    Quote Originally Posted by Hajo View Post
    If the Pradoīs can, why not the RAV 4 with some sand skills?
    Prado's listed ground clearance is 220 mm & the Rav4 is 190mm, so it'll be running at a deficit. But it all comes down to the terrain & the dreadedmiddelmanetjie. A Duster should fare better with 210mm but with the right tyres.
    Last edited by XJ Junkie; 2015/08/17 at 10:18 AM.

  5. #45
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    Here is our resident Prius driver attempting to drive in tracks where bigger vehicles have been. The FL2 is a very good softie with an excellent TC system. But if in deep soft sand it's always going to battle.

    http://youtu.be/M_G5vpg9Vts

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    Prado's listed ground clearance is 220 mm & the Rav4 is 190mm, so it'll be running at a deficit. But it all comes down to the terrain & the dreadedmiddelmanetjie. A Duster should fare better with 210mm but with the right tyres.
    Keep in mind that the ground clearance on a vehicle with independent suspension is varying constantly. The 190mm on the RAV 4 is probably for an unladen vehicle. Now load all your expedition gear and that reduces to say to 170mm. On an uneven road every time you go through a bump, that 170mm reduces even more, directly related to the severity of the bump or hole or whatever. On a solid axle vehicle the ground clearance stays constant, irrespective of the load or road condition.
    Last edited by TwinDisco; 2015/08/17 at 10:30 AM.
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hajo View Post
    Itīs a nice question to people not knowing your driving skills.
    I knew a guy who was happily driving an old 123 Mercedes sedan where other guys got stuck inbetween the dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay with their 4x4īs, he even made side bets with Toyota Hilux 4x4 drivers and won them all. In the old times there were virtually no 4x4 available resp. unaffordable, and the people also covered those routes in BOT with 2x4īs. So why shouldnīt your RAV 4 do it?
    If the Pradoīs can, why not the RAV 4 with some sand skills?

    Old rule for BOT going bush routes: Never go alone, especially not with a vehicle like that, or, unless you stay on a regularly frequented route.
    Back in the bad old days I saw Ovambo residents easily driving tracks in a 4x2 F250 where we struggled to go in a Buffel. Ground clearance, deflated tyres and some momentum............
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDisco View Post
    Keep in mind that the ground clearance on a vehicle with independent suspension is varying constantly. The 190mm on the RAV 4 is probably for an unladen vehicle. Now load all your expedition gear and that reduces to say to 170mm. On an uneven road every time you go through a bump, that 170mm reduces even more, directly related to the severity of the bump or hole or whatever. On a solid axle vehicle the ground clearance stays constant, irrespective of the load or road condition.
    Very true. But where fully independent suspension vehicles have something slightly in their favour is the absence of a diff, which can help.

  9. #49
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    This is from when I took a Duster to compete at AD. It started the various obstacles well early on, but as the day progressed I had to drive in tracks where bigger vehicles had been gunning it. The result was a high middelmanetjie which caused me to run out of talent & go belly up. This year I'll be entering but with better tyres which should help.

    http://youtu.be/zLg_IGG7Jcg

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    Took this one all over without getting stuck




    But yes those middle mannetjie in Bots are a problem.


    Even with my Hilux with lift kit (20mm spacers) my bashplate was polished up as I ploeged most of the way. I couldn't understand how it was possible that my bakkie was lowest car driving there until I saw it was supply trucks making the high middle mannetjie.
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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    Very true. But where fully independent suspension vehicles have something slightly in their favour is the absence of a diff, which can help.
    The diff is still there, just smaller
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    The diff is still there, just smaller
    I think you know what I mean :-). The big pumpkin type diff thingy on a solid axle
    Last edited by XJ Junkie; 2015/08/17 at 10:54 AM.

  13. #53
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    I'll tell you this much. If someone wants to join my overland/4x4 group to this area in a softroader, I would say no. Jimny excluded, as it is not a softie. But to knowingly and intentionally spoil my trip with getting stuck unnecessarily is not cricket. Going at it alone and then spoiling other people's holidays who HAVE to tow you off the middelmannetjie is also not on. A 4x4 guy will stop to help, that is how we are. But you should feel ashamed that you put him in that position in the first place by not accepting the limitations of you vehicle.

    Please heed the warnings here and don't do it. Not necessarily directed at the OP, but to anyone following or coming across this thread in future.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Farquart View Post
    I'll tell you this much. If someone wants to join my overland/4x4 group to this area in a softroader, I would say no. Jimny excluded, as it is not a softie. But to knowingly and intentionally spoil my trip with getting stuck unnecessarily is not cricket. Going at it alone and then spoiling other people's holidays who HAVE to tow you off the middelmannetjie is also not on. A 4x4 guy will stop to help, that is how we are. But you should feel ashamed that you put him in that position in the first place by not accepting the limitations of you vehicle.

    Please heed the warnings here and don't do it. Not necessarily directed at the OP, but to anyone following or coming across this thread in future.
    Can't agree more.
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  15. #55
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    Hi Mdevilliers

    I was in 3rd bridge, Moremi in April this year in a Prado ( 2004) and got stuck in some water. The local who was in charge of the campsite drives a old Rav 4 and came to our rescue and pulled us out of the water. He also gave us a lift to Xakanaxa campsite and drives all around Moremi in his Rav 4 without getting stuck. There was a little scraping of the undercarriage on the trip to Xakanaxa with 4 adults in the vehicle but never a hint of getting stuck. I guess it depends on how you drive but the Rav 4 seems to be able to handle Moremi quite well.

  16. #56
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    Default Botswana and the RAV4

    Mdevilliers, I had the same questions as you recently when I was looking to buy a "smallish" and "cheapish" off-road vehicle. To be more specific, I was also looking at a RAV4 with AWD because it was the only vehicle of that sort that I could afford.

    (On a quick sidenote, I also looked at the smaller Mitsubishi Pajero IO GDI 4x4, which was recommended as the better vehicle for what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go beause it has the low-range, but in Botswana it seems that parts for Pajeros are hard to come by and more expensive, hence the decision to go for a Toyota, albeit a non 4x4 one, but with AWD.)

    But I digress... During my online and person-to-person research on both cars, explaining that I'm a beginner to the 4x4 and off-road world and that my budget isn't as grand as I'd like it to be and that my intentions are to go camping and 'amateur-level' off-roading around Botswana, I was told by avid 4x4 and off-road enthusiasts who live in Botswana and often go camping and off-roading that the RAV4 is a decent vehicle and that it can tackle more-than-average dirt roads and even sand to an extent, but that it's not adept to going on more serious off-road terrain (deep sand, mud etc.)

    I was told that places like Khutse Game Reserve, Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Mokolodi Nature Reserve (all of which have sand) and similar places should be fine for an AWD RAV4. Other places as well where the sand isn't too deep should also be fine BUT cautious driving should be practised, high-lift jacks and snap-ropes shoud be brought along, and of course, if possible always travel with 2 vehicles.

    This is the general consensus for your average-to-mid off-roads in Botswana, but you shouldn't risk going into any deep-sand territory with just your RAV4...and as someone mentioned on the forum it's not polite to go with a group of proper 4x4's and expect that somone will always be willing to help tow you out of a rut.

    Needless to say, I ended up buying the RAV4 and I think it will suit my needs of travelling around (certain) areas of Botswana without too much worry until the day when I can afford to buy a proper 4x4 and go with it wherever the sandy winds blow

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by kotm View Post
    Hi Mdevilliers

    I was in 3rd bridge, Moremi in April this year in a Prado ( 2004) and got stuck in some water. The local who was in charge of the campsite drives a old Rav 4 and came to our rescue and pulled us out of the water. He also gave us a lift to Xakanaxa campsite and drives all around Moremi in his Rav 4 without getting stuck. There was a little scraping of the undercarriage on the trip to Xakanaxa with 4 adults in the vehicle but never a hint of getting stuck. I guess it depends on how you drive but the Rav 4 seems to be able to handle Moremi quite well.
    Remember this is an empty vehicle just passenger weights.
    Different story when over landing with all the gear in place
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  18. #58
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    Ek het met ‘n X-Trail 2,2 diesel gery en was by Mahangu en Ngepi in die Caprivi, Chobe-wildtuin,
    Magotho Camp by Khwai in die Moremi en tot by Sossusvlei. Oor die 7 600 km het ek net een keer vasgeval en dit was by ‘n hoë middelmannetjie in die Caprivi. Dit was egter my eie skuld, want daar was ‘n alternatiewe roete, maar ek het die een gevat wat aandui “4x4 only”.
    Last edited by Kwas; 2015/08/17 at 02:19 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Farquart View Post
    I'll tell you this much. If someone wants to join my overland/4x4 group to this area in a softroader, I would say no. Jimny excluded, as it is not a softie
    So what would you say sets the Jimny apart?

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    Quote Originally Posted by XJ Junkie View Post
    So what would you say sets the Jimny apart?
    It had been done already without damage apperantly....

    http://wegryforum.weg.co.za/threads/...sdeur-Botswana
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