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  1. #21
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by smcs View Post
    Thanks Stan and Tony.

    You both seem to be providing similar advice regarding weight and suspension. I am concerned about weight!

    I will be adding the following heavy items:
    1. drawer system - essential in my experience.
    2. RTT.
    3. Two additional batteries - far forward in the canopy.
    4. Water Tank (+-60l).
    5. Extra fuel tank (total 180l).
    5. Tools, recovery equipment and spares. (possibly wheel bearings and shocks)
    6. Double Wheel carrier.
    7. Bull Bar with winch.

    That all adds up! I may then require heavier springs and shocks?
    Add it up - not so difficult to work out the sums - and check what load your vehicle can take.
    DGO Fiddler

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    I have added some remarks in red, ignore or use, entirely up to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by smcs View Post
    Thanks Stan and Tony.

    You both seem to be providing similar advice regarding weight and suspension. I am concerned about weight!

    I will be adding the following heavy items:
    1. drawer system - essential in my experience. Yes
    2. RTT. Yes, but go for one of the newer hardshell types. So much easier and quicker for one person to open and close up.
    3. Two additional batteries - far forward in the canopy. One of the batteries should fit under the bonnet in a 70 series unless you are "making the mistake" of going for a V8.
    4. Water Tank (+-60l). Yes, should be best mounted on top of the drawer system as far forward as possible.
    5. Extra fuel tank (total 180l). Yes.
    5. Tools, recovery equipment and spares. (possibly wheel bearings and shocks) Yes.
    6. Double Wheel carrier. Yes.
    7. Bull Bar with winch. Yes.

    That all adds up! I may then require heavier springs and shocks? Consider the air bag suspension rather. From your list most of the weight will be in the rear.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  5. #23
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by smcs View Post
    Thanks Stan and Tony.

    You both seem to be providing similar advice regarding weight and suspension. I am concerned about weight!

    I will be adding the following heavy items:
    1. drawer system - essential in my experience.
    2. RTT.
    3. Two additional batteries - far forward in the canopy.
    4. Water Tank (+-60l).
    5. Extra fuel tank (total 180l).
    5. Tools, recovery equipment and spares. (possibly wheel bearings and shocks)
    6. Double Wheel carrier.
    7. Bull Bar with winch.

    That all adds up! I may then require heavier springs and shocks?
    The only two items I would personally not be too fussed about are the water tank and the bull bar with winch, the rest is necessary equipment - I prefer my water carried in containers and find a tank superfluous and extra weight, and I have never owned a winch, but that's personal choice. What is important is to pack all your heavy stuff between the axles, not in front or behind - especially not behind, and to keep the weight low, maintaining a low centre of gravity.
    It's actually remarkable how little stuff one needs on a long overland trip - most South African travellers, in my view, carry far too many luxuries and gadgets that end up being seldom, if ever, used.
    Also, on a long trip where your vehicle is your home, ease of set up and dismantling camps is paramount. Shelter from the rain and sun is essential, so a good awning (one of the swing out awnings makes sense for a solo traveller), and we carry both a rooftop tent and a ground tent, the ground tent for longer stays, the RTT for overnights and short stays.
    Tony Weaver

    1991 Land Rover 110 Hi-Line S/W 3.5l V8 carburettor
    Cooper Discoverer STT tyres, four sleeper Echo rooftop tent
    2012 Mitsubishi Outlander.

    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

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  7. #24
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Be careful - don't fit any suspension components that you can't replace in the village marketplace somewhere in rural Tanzania, or Rwanda, or Uganda. There's a reason vehicle manufacturers fit suspension that is matched to the carrying capacity of their vehicles - exceed that weight and you are asking for trouble. The mantra of every overlander (to be repeated over and over again!) is "weight is the enemy, weight is the enemy, weight is the enemy...."
    I did a weight estimate of what the vehicle would be carrying. Very enlightening! One third of weight will be fuel and water.
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  9. #25
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    I have added some remarks in red, ignore or use, entirely up to you.
    Yes, Stan. Thank you. Nothing I can disagree with. See my post of a few minutes ago ito weight.

    These are merely estimates but should balance out - more or less. I have probably erred on the heavier side - but we all know that other stuff creeps in to add to the weight.

    Let me know if you think I have got anything wrong.

    I should add (although not include in the weight listing) I am considering adding a "second" and redundant high cycle starter battery in the engine bay - purely for redundancy - and isolated from the 2 aux or "house" lead crystal batteries in the load bay. Having killed so many lead acids over time, I am really quite passionate about treating aux batteries with love and care. But, this is the subject of a separate question to the forum.

    As for the V8 - I would love to have one! But absolutely unsuitable for what I plan. The "Donkey" is what I need!
    Last edited by smcs; 2019/02/01 at 03:49 PM.

  10. #26
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Just a curve ball.........I know there are limited options available in 4x4.

    Why not look at an Extra Cab/Extended Cab sort of vehicle, seeing you'll be travelling solo??

    Extra space inside is VERY handy (and comfortable, reclining your seat back), and the rear load area quite a bit bigger than a DCab.

    And your cameras etc etc rides at the back, within very easy reach.

    (edit) apologies, only saw now that you prefer the 1HZ Cruiser.

    But ja........think about it maybe......something like a 2,4 GD6 Extended Cab Hilux?? Light on fuel, comfortable, goes like the clappers, and a capable 4x4.
    Last edited by Petri Oosthuizen; 2019/02/01 at 03:46 PM.
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  12. #27
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by Petri Oosthuizen View Post
    Just a curve ball.........I know there are limited options available in 4x4.

    Why not look at an Extra Cab/Extended Cab sort of vehicle, seeing you'll be travelling solo??

    Extra space inside is VERY handy (and comfortable, reclining your seat back), and the rear load area quite a bit bigger than a DCab.

    And your cameras etc etc rides at the back, within very easy reach.

    (edit) apologies, only saw now that you prefer the 1HZ Cruiser.

    But ja........think about it maybe......something like a 2,4 GD6 Extended Cab Hilux?? Light on fuel, comfortable, goes like the clappers, and a capable 4x4.
    Hi Petri

    Know where you are coming from. Would love to have the space and comfort - but at the end of the day the 1Hz remains the deciding factor for me. Reliabilty and fixability trumps everything else.

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  14. #28
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Plenty good advice above. KISS. Make certain you understand how everything works, and how to make plans when something malfunctions - plan B.

    I can't agree with a double cab though, or even extended cabs for solo travel. No arguments that they might be a nice to have features at long border stops, for camera gear etc, but is a luxury, at the expense of valuable space, weight and longer wheel base which equates to worse turning circles and break over angle.

    Don't skimp on solar and battery capacity and charging quality of associated electrical components.


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  16. #29
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    I'd try to blend in as much as possible, it shouldn't stand out too much screaming "I've got money and expensive goodies inside"

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  18. #30
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Why not a Blinkgat camper. Give you space to do admin when the weather is bad.

    Visit our website to see some weve build on cruizers.

    Its www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Elize

    en ry saam met SarelF in
    VW AMAROK MET BLINKGATCAMPER:
    My Platkar:- Peugeot 208

    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  19. #31
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    This was on a single cab but we are busy building one on a dubble cab.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Elize

    en ry saam met SarelF in
    VW AMAROK MET BLINKGATCAMPER:
    My Platkar:- Peugeot 208

    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  20. #32
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Buiten die bed bo het hul ook bankie onder laat inbou met opslaan tafel.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Elize

    en ry saam met SarelF in
    VW AMAROK MET BLINKGATCAMPER:
    My Platkar:- Peugeot 208

    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

  21. #33
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Die groot bed.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Elize

    en ry saam met SarelF in
    VW AMAROK MET BLINKGATCAMPER:
    My Platkar:- Peugeot 208

    Kyk gerus by www.blinkgatproducts.com
    Vir enige aluminium produkte,canopy's, campers kontak gerus
    Sarel 0828209413

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  23. #34
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    You might want to look at ASPWs Land Cruiser. I think there are a few good ideas that will help you. https://youtu.be/IwfXNrH3XPk
    Willem Louw
    Toyota Hilux D/C 3.0 D-4D 4x4, Full OME suspension, African Outback Alu-Top, Dual Battery, DIY Drawer System, National Luna 50L
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  25. #35
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    I would personally go double cab. If your beat and want to take a midday nap before heading out again for a late afternoon shoot the last thing you want to do is pull down the RTT and have to load it up again a couple hours later. That back seat can come in real handy.

  26. #36
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by smcs View Post
    I am planning an extended (1, 2, 3, or 4 year) overland journey across and through Southern Africa – and probably further north.

    I am single and 64 years old (or about, I think). Currently living in Johannesburg.

    I am a photographer and videographer by profession. Photography and videography will form a major part of my explorations.

    I will hopefully very shortly be buying my ideal vehicle for this extended expedition. (Within my budget and specific requirements).

    I have adequate experience in short solo (and self-sufficient) exploration trips of Southern Africa in my current vehicle. Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe. However, what I am now planning is obviously in an advanced league with much higher risks…and hopefully, greater rewards!

    As my planning develops and the various steep learning paths unfold, I will be calling on forum members’ expertise, advice and knowledgeable experience in planning “the journey before the journey” while preparing my new vehicle.

    In anticipation, I thank you all for your input, knowledge and invaluable advice that I know will be generously offered.

    CHOSEN VEHICLE: 79 Series Land Cruiser 1Hz 4.2-liter diesel engines. (Hopefully new – or alternatively, with low kms)

    First Question for the Forum: Single cab or Dual cab?


    1. I will be installing a tow bar with a double wheel carrier. (I understand that there might be some chassis strength issues to consider between the two models).

    2. I won’t be dragging anything behind me.

    3. I will be mounting a Bushtec canopy over the load bay with a RTT.

    4. Fuel Range is obviously a significant priority. Jerry Cans on the roof to be avoided if I can.

    5. Expensive photographic equipment must to be secured/protected as best as possible.

    6. If a Dual Cab – the rear seats will be removed and a base installed for securing camera equipment in hardened cases.
    Sounds like you are going to have plenty of fun. After picking and modding your car just make sure you give us a link to your blog where we can follow your trips.

  27. #37
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by witklipbank View Post
    This was on a single cab but we are busy building one on a dubble cab.
    I was reading the thread with interest and was thinking the whole time why nobody suggested this - a proper rear camper. Sleep inside, enough space, no hassle of rooftop tent and ladder, enough space for all equipment, and it is out of sight! A proper table and seat to sit and work at (forget proper setup in vehicle to do editing whilst waiting on animals), even when the weather is poor. Single or double cab, I don't know. Single may limit equipment space in the cab, but only you can decide what you are comfortable with and how quickly you'll need access to all your photographic equipment. If it was me, I'll keep the basics with me and go with a single cab, allowing the living quarters to be much more spacious and living orientated, whilst allowing much better weight distribution on the vehicle. Shooting early in the mornings or late afternoons from the comfort of the rear camper, rather than the cab, would be much more fun and relaxed, whilst making coffee...

    youtube clips

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  29. #38
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Hi Sean
    I just joined a few days ago and saw your post.
    I'm Lilli (German) and currently on an overlanding trip through Eastern and Southern Africa. I'm 2 years on the road now and travelling solo in my Oldie Toyota Landcruiser HJ60. I still will be around for another year travelling in Southern Africa.
    I might not be able to help you with how to fit out your rig but I also like photography and sure have a lot of travel stories to tell.
    I'm happy to help with any questions you have and it would be great meeting ontheroad sometime.
    Cheers Lilli

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  31. #39
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by larry007 View Post
    I was reading the thread with interest and was thinking the whole time why nobody suggested this - a proper rear camper. Sleep inside, enough space, .
    Be careful this space is only comfort, you are throwing away all the space you need for packing stuff on long trips

  32. #40
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    Default Re: 2 year solo 4x4 africa exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by smcs View Post
    Yes, Stan. Thank you. Nothing I can disagree with. Listen to Stan, excellent advice.
    I should add (although not include in the weight listing) I am considering adding a "second" and redundant high cycle starter battery in the engine bay - purely for redundancy - and isolated from the 2 aux or "house" lead crystal batteries in the load bay. Having killed so many lead acids over time, I am really quite passionate about treating aux batteries with love and care. But, this is the subject of a separate question to the forum. On some trips, I will take 3 extra batteries and have considered a 4th. That is redundancy and storage capacity in one. Have a hard look at your charging system.
    My opinion below, been overlanding for more than 20 years and have done most mistakes already.
    I would stick to standard suspension, it works pretty well even when overloaded. 235/85/16 tyres work best and fit in the tracks.
    Winch is just added weight not essential.
    Tank behind the rear axle is a problem (Weight in wrong place) One can fit 130 litres on the left of the prop shaft in front of the rear wheel. You have to move some stuff like the exhaust.
    Second spare could be just a tyre and tube or two.
    Snorkel not necessary
    At our age, I will go for a ground tent built for overlanding. It can have huge space and shade and if properly designed, set up in less than 15 minutes. Not top heavy, not high clearance, not dangerous at or age, not much bragging rights.)
    Increase packing space in the cab, you can never have enough (There is good stuff out there) One can even consider a small drawer system through the rear window of the single cab. That way you will not lose the advantages of the single cab.
    Try and go modular. Fuel and water work well in 20 l square plastic containers and that way you can mix and match as circumstances change.
    Practical attention to detail will prove to be the most valuable addition you can make.
    I am retired, at home and have a rigged 79. You are welcome to come and have a coffee.

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