Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?





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  1. #1
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    Default Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Guys I was wondering. On a normal overlanding trip to Bots, Moz or Nam. Do you really need a 4x4?
    Will a normal 4x2 with difflock do the trick.
    I know its a how long is a piece of string type question and a lot of factors come into play, but how often do you use 4wd on a 2500 km overlanding trip?
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    Default Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    I would say itís dependent on what your type of overland trip is, especially if youíd like to explore the lesser known regions of Africa.

    You could do most of any overland trip with a 4x2 but being stuck in extremely isolated areas can become highly dangerous and if nothing else it might force you to abandon your trip because you canít make it through a tough section.

    Just my 2c
    Last edited by pjf110; 2019/08/26 at 09:35 AM.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Overlanding= 4x4. Road trip to Bots or Nam = 4x2 in my book. Needing it once on a trip is enough.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    It all depends on where you go. A lot of overlanding trips can easily be done in a 4x2. But some tracks and weather conditions just make a trip easier with a 4x4. Planning is the key to any trip

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by FWM View Post
    Guys I was wondering. On a normal overlanding trip to Bots, Moz or Nam. Do you really need a 4x4?
    Will a normal 4x2 with difflock do the trick.
    You can do parts of Namibia and Botswana with a 4x2 high clearance vehicle.

    There are however parts, like Nxai pan, Linyanti, Savuti, Moremi, CKGR (especially the access up to Deception pan), Mabua where you will need 4 x 4 end of story. These areas are in Botswana, we have not ventured into riverbeds in Namibia as yet, but there you will also need a 4x4.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    With preparation and planning, maybe not.......

    https://www.africa-overland.net/Bio-...irit-Adventure
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    With preparation and planning, maybe not.......

    https://www.africa-overland.net/Bio-...irit-Adventure
    Exactly, in the old days very few travelers overlanded with 4x4s they used beetles normal cars and a 4x2 bakkies with canopy and not even a diff lock, but I guess times have changed, so i guess the answer is rather have it and don't need it instead of not having it and then needing it.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    ..........and Citroen 2 CV's.

    What a trip that must have been..............8)
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    On a lighter note..When do you lock those free wheel hubs.....just before you need them.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dungbeetle View Post
    On a lighter note..When do you lock those free wheel hubs.....just before you need them.
    On our NP300, we just lock them when we get to the dirt and engage 4x4 as and when needed. Unlock again at the end of the day

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by FWM View Post
    Guys I was wondering. On a normal overlanding trip to Bots, Moz or Nam. Do you really need a 4x4?
    Will a normal 4x2 with difflock do the trick.
    I know its a how long is a piece of string type question and a lot of factors come into play, but how often do you use 4wd on a 2500 km overlanding trip?
    It depends what your definition of overlanding is.... and where you intend on going.

    A big thing as well, is taking into consideration the requests received by many people managing tracks - "please engage 4x4 because it has less of a damaging effect on our tracks".
    For me I would definitely feel more at ease with a 4x4 given the ability to get unstuck a little easier compared to a 4x2 (yes, experience aside)...

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    These days a lot of people call a road trip "overlanding" as soon as they hit a gravel road.
    The definition of overlanding by the Overland Journal, which is in it's essence shared by many "real" overlanders is:

    Overlanding describes self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. Typically, but not exclusively, accommodated by mechanized off-highway capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping; often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and often spanning international boundaries. While expedition is defined as a journey with a purpose, overlanding sees the journey as the purpose.Overlanding is about exploration, rather than conquering obstacles. While the roads and trails we travel might be rough or technically challenging, they are the means to an end, not the goal itself. The goal is to see and learn about our world, whether on a weekend trip 100 miles from home or a 10,000-mile expedition across another continent. The vehicle and equipment can be simple or extravagant - they, too, are simply means to an end. History, wildlife, culture, scenery, self-sufficiency - these are the rewards of overlanding.



    https://overlandjournal.com/what-is-overlanding/

    A 4x2 bakkie with enough ground clearance certainly can be regarded as "off highway capable transport". However, as mentioned before, a lot of places might be out of reach. You could certainly travel to Botswana and get to certain lodges or camp sites and book game drives and other activities. Same in the more remote places of Namibia, like Damaraland, Kaokoveld, southern Namib, Kalahari etc. But doing these game or nature drives on your own (=self reliant) might in most cases not be an option.
    In the end it very much depends on your expectations, planning and how long your piece of string is.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Let me tell you from the mouth of real world experience - been there done that.

    No you don't need it. You will be able to get where you need to to go, mostly easily, as you stick to well used roads. (Notice the bold need)
    However, you will not always be able to go where you want to go, once in an area.
    Sitting at home base when the neighbor's 4x4 is going out to do something will be creating an itch that will demand to be scratched at some point.

    If you are planning a few of these trips, have the money, then just get a 4x4 version of the vehicle you planned to get.
    Once you buy that 4x2 and ends up in a no-go zone, things becomes real.
    You will thank me later.

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    For me, having 4x4 is peace of mind.
    90% of the time it might not be needed but it is there when the situation arises.
    I do however engage 4x4 on most dirt roads as it helps with ride quality and stability

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    I'm with frog above on this.
    I always use 4x4 on dirt tracks, and once off the 'main road to get to somewhere' thats almost all the driving I do on an 'overlanding' trip.
    In many parts of Bots and Namibia, you could plan a trip and stay on reasonable quality gravel roads, and see lots of interesting places. 2WD fine, and a diff lock for sure helpful if eg a bit muddy etc.
    However, it would not take very long at all to find yourself very close to somewhere you really wish to be, and 4x4 is the only option.
    I would be very concerned about ending up unable to proceed, and to turn around and go back hugely problematic.
    I would personally never consider a 2x4 trip. Too much to worry about. Too many opportunities missed.

    D

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by FWM View Post
    Exactly, in the old days very few travelers overlanded with 4x4s they used beetles normal cars and a 4x2 bakkies with canopy and not even a diff lock, but I guess times have changed, so i guess the answer is rather have it and don't need it instead of not having it and then needing it.
    Yeah, thats kind of what I normally tell people when they ask me which is the best survival knife, my answer being the knife you happen to have on you. Like most things, you dont need it till you need it but the lack of a 4x4 should not stop you from getting out there and doing stuff
    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    There was a young couple in a Nissan 1400 bakkie with a homemade tent on it that went very far into Africa, they only fitted wider wheels on it for the deep sandy bits. I can't really recall all the details tho, but I remember being impressed.

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog View Post
    For me, having 4x4 is peace of mind.
    90% of the time it might not be needed but it is there when the situation arises.
    I do however engage 4x4 on most dirt roads as it helps with ride quality and stability
    Quote Originally Posted by IanK View Post
    I'm with frog above on this.
    I always use 4x4 on dirt tracks, and once off the 'main road to get to somewhere' thats almost all the driving I do on an 'overlanding' trip.
    In many parts of Bots and Namibia, you could plan a trip and stay on reasonable quality gravel roads, and see lots of interesting places. 2WD fine, and a diff lock for sure helpful if eg a bit muddy etc.
    However, it would not take very long at all to find yourself very close to somewhere you really wish to be, and 4x4 is the only option.
    I would be very concerned about ending up unable to proceed, and to turn around and go back hugely problematic.
    I would personally never consider a 2x4 trip. Too much to worry about. Too many opportunities missed.

    D
    Having or not having 4x4 can be likened to having or not having a condom.

    I bought a 4x4 because of that very issue. Its there when I need it.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by FWM View Post
    Guys I was wondering. On a normal overlanding trip to Bots, Moz or Nam. Do you really need a 4x4?
    Along the Mozambique coast there are a few nice beaches that are hard to reach in 4x2 because of thick sandy tracks.

    In the rainy season northern Moz is very muddy and boggy, hard to negotiate in 4x4 , let alone 4x2.

    I think your destination (within the country) and the time of the year are very important.

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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Always interesting to see comments on this question, not the first time it has come up.

    How I see it is this,
    when we were younger, we did not have 4x4 and therefore we made do with what we had,
    we did not have high clearance vehicles, so we had a spade and we pushed. We did not tow the latest camp trailer, so if we got stuck, we pitched our tent on the driest bit of ground, sat around a fire burnt some meat and then came up with a solution. We used a Litre of water for a body wash and we smelt au naturel.

    Of course now times have changed and soap now has added perfumes, the meat is feedstock raised and the latest trailers are affordable, as are 4x4 equipped vehicles.

    Do we need one to go on a good trip, NO we do not. Is it better if we do have one, well... YEAH .....

    but, if you do not have the adventure gene, it matters not a jot what you drive
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