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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Regardless of the exact meaning of overlanding your 4x2 with diff lock can take you many beautiful places that you would not be able to get to in a normal platkar. As mentioned above planning and being prepared are the key things.

    In the same breath, if you want to get to places you can get to many in a platkar. But again planning and preparation is key. You don't have to do Baboons Pass to have a good time. I am not even sure that I will include it in my Lesotho overlanding trip WITH my 4x4. Although this example might be extreme, it hopefully proves my point.

    If your circumstances only allow for a 4x2, you can have a lot of fun in it. Just do it and don't be scared off and remember planning and being prepared for that 1 spot that might pose a problem. Although exactly the same s true for my 4x4 also. I know this because my circumstances forced me into. 4x2 also for a while and it did not stop me from visiting wonderful places. I do think that the 4x4 experience up to that point did help a lot.

    And the key phrase I read in the definition of overlanding is: THE JOURNEY NOT THE DESTINATION.

    Enjoy the journey.

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  3. #42
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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?
    Bots Moz Nam (and throw in Zim Zam and Malawi) - need a 4x4 - yes. Here is the reality - when investing serious money and precious time overlanding in these countries, to avoid risky places or having to turn back or take safer routes (if possible)in these countries because you only have a 2x4 with diff lock will introduce a degree of frustration. Diff lock is also not the great thing it appears to be. Engineering wise vehicle engineers have not got a total handle on this feature. This was admitted to me my a gearbox designer with a German vehicle manufacturer. The gear windup problem has not been solved and physical damage to components still represents a real risk using diff lock. They are still experimenting with different forms of diff lock strategies. So the advice is that diff lock - no matter the system should be very sparingly used and only when absolutely necessary and for short distances strictly following the manufacturers usage rules.

    The majority of the time 4x4 capacity is not needed. But then for example:

    On the scenic riverside track in South Luangwe you come around a bend and there is a 20m churned up muddy section you cannot go around. The rest of the way after this muddy section is fine.

    You turn off the tar to a resort on the coast in Moz. The sand track is fine until a 100m pretty steep up hill section where the sand is really soft and loose. After that no problem.

    You need to go up a mountain pass from lake Kariba to get to a main road you have to take (otherwise it is an extra 100kms plus and a few more hours taking an alternative route). Three quarters of the way up the pass you hit a 300m very steep loose rock section with some partial wash aways that there was no warning about when doing your research/making enquiries.

    The list goes on and on.

    But having said this if it happens to be a case of your budget only stretching to a 4x2 and difflock or that is what you have - simple as that - never allow that to put you off overlanding ambitions. Go for it. Just appreciate that extra route and destination planning is required including getting good local advice and there will have to be some compromises and will be some limitations. You will also have to watch the weight of the load you put in and on the car etc. If one is to err it will be better to err on the side of caution. But again you will not know what you can do with your 4x2 with diff lock unless you go out and do. In this regard all overlanders will say a lot depends on the experience and skill of the driver when it comes to different challenging conditions and knowing your car and you only get that by going out there and doing.

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  5. #43
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Diff-locks work absolutely fine as long as one realises that they are NOT a general solution for off-roading...

    I have both front and rear diff-locks on my vehicle. The front diff-lock is only used very rarely where extreme traction issues have been encountered and one does not need to turn. I use the rear diff-lock fairly regularly when traction becomes an issue but I cannot recall needing to keep it engaged for more than a minute or so at a time.
    In the course of a year with regular off-roading if either diff-lock is used for more than an aggregate of a few minutes in that year it is a lot!

    I advocate for the use of diff-locks, not because they are needed every five minutes, but because without them, particularly if one is travelling alone, the only other alternatives are turning around, getting stuck, or perhaps needing to do a long and involved winching procedure...Activating diff-locks for thirty seconds to short-circuit all those messy alternatives seems a better plan to me!

    If one is needing to have diff-locks activated for long periods of time then the stress on the drive-train and transmission becomes huge and cumulative and mechanical failures likely....

    Admittedly, I have no direct experience with diff-locks on a 4X2 vehicle, but I would hazard a guess that purely because drive only goes to the rear axle that traction is limited irrespective of activating the rear diff-lock, and because of that the strain on the drive-train would be even greater along with the risk of mechanical failure...

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

    I think 4x4 is overrated. When I was a kid 60s 70s my dad used to take the family camping in a Chevrolet Fleetline bakkie. No 4x4 and no difflock, no coolbox, no tent. The whole family of 5 fitted in the cabin. We went to Kaokoland, Damaraland, the Kalahari and the dreaded Sandveld. The simple rule was to pick the easier route. We never got stuck to be recovered. When there was thick sand, the tirepressure was reduced.
    If your intention is to drive the difficult route, you need 4x4. Else not. You can to most of Namibia and Bots without a 4x4 if you travel light.
    I just did the Goantagab and Ugab in the landcruiser. Not once did I use 4x4 or difflockers. If the vehicle is loaded to the brim you may require 4x4 and difflock due to weight.
    Have fun.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nambro View Post
    I think 4x4 is overrated. When I was a kid 60s 70s my dad used to take the family camping in a Chevrolet Fleetline bakkie. No 4x4 and no difflock, no coolbox, no tent. The whole family of 5 fitted in the cabin. We went to Kaokoland, Damaraland, the Kalahari and the dreaded Sandveld. The simple rule was to pick the easier route. We never got stuck to be recovered. When there was thick sand, the tirepressure was reduced.
    If your intention is to drive the difficult route, you need 4x4. Else not. You can to most of Namibia and Bots without a 4x4 if you travel light.
    I just did the Goantagab and Ugab in the landcruiser. Not once did I use 4x4 or difflockers. If the vehicle is loaded to the brim you may require 4x4 and difflock due to weight.
    Have fun.
    I agree. In the late 60s my dad towed a caravan from Ponta to Xai Xai with a Holden station wagon.........
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bom Boshoff View Post
    Seeing as I switch over to H4 on any gravel road for a myriad of reasons, I don't see myself ever not owning a 4x4.
    All of my 4x4s have been permanent 4x4s except for the Patriot Platkar and the Cherokee in Zambia
    There is no such thing as inclement weather, only poor selection of clothing.... or Vehicle

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

    4x4 is great to have !(-especially a real Toyota one) -but not really necessary with good planning and driving.

    In the early 1970's, my parents took my brother and I ( 4 and 6) on a long tour of Zim -incl. Hwange -then to Kruger, Swaziland, North KZN -all in a Beetle! with a small coolbox, gas cooker, small tent, blankets -and not much else! Food was always bought en-route, occasional stays in genuine rondavels only -often in minimally-protected camps/sites.

    In the Kruger,my dad had to remove the engine of the Beetle to take it for repairs in some town -left Mom and us for a few days to get to know the camp warthogs very well indeed.

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

    The concern should not only be if you will get stuck or not but what you are going to do to the roads.... (Especially in wilderness areas)

    You might be able to go to most places with a 4x2 but you are going to cause deep ruts and corrugations... Hence most parks require you to have a 4x4.

    As said before. Even if you need it for 0.05% of your trip.... ....but why not leave it in 4x4 and conserve the roads.

    (This from someone that has driven the not so wild roads to Gharagab and Bitterpan. The tourists have done a steller job in buggering up those roads. I believe, and have witnessed that, they often do not engage 4x4 at all)
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by New View Post
    ....but what you are going to do to the roads.... (Especially in wilderness areas)

    You might be able to go to most places with a 4x2 but you are going to cause deep ruts and corrugations...

    ....but why not leave it in 4x4 and conserve the roads.

    ...The tourists have done a steller job in buggering up those roads. I believe, and have witnessed that, they often do not engage 4x4 at all) But they get there so no issue in their eyes, they only look forward not what they have left behind
    Exactly.

    Every time I read the comments on this thread I keep thinking to myself: 'Ah that is why there are so many corrugations and cross axles spun on hills not much bigger than ant hills'

    And what about things you cannot plan for: that big convoy coming from the front at a stinker of the speed, how you gonna get out of the tracks because they will not.

    And you drive into an area on a nice hard track, during the night it starts raining heavily. How you going to get out?? Anyone who has done or seen the CKGR or the pans in the wet will know exactly what I am talking about.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2019/08/28 at 04:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Exactly.

    Every time I read the comments on this thread I keep thinking to myself: 'Ah that is why there are so many corrugations and cross axles spun on hills not much bigger than ant hills'

    And what about things you cannot plan for: that big convoy coming from the front at a stinker of the speed, how you gonna get out of the tracks because they will not.

    And you drive into an area on a nice hard track, during the night it starts raining heavily. How you going to get out?? Anyone who has done or seen the CKGR or the pans in the wet will know exactly what I am talking about.


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

    FWM the forum is expecting a trip report within the year as to how it went in the 2x4 and if you had to use diff lock

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadman View Post
    FWM the forum is expecting a trip report within the year as to how it went in the 2x4 and if you had to use diff lock
    To be honest I merely started the thread because I am trying to decide if my next vehicle( a double cab) needs to be 4x4 or not. So its just a bit of future prospecting. For now any trips will be done with the Landy so i wont be able to comment on 4x2.

    And BTW I think for the extra R20k you pay extra to have a 4x4 its worth it. You just have so much more options. And a 4x4 double cab is the best of all worlds. You have a car, a small bak and a 4x4 all in one vehicle
    Last edited by FWM; 2019/08/28 at 09:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by FWM View Post
    To be honest I merely started the thread because I am trying to decide if my next vehicle( a double cab) needs to be 4x4 or not. So its just a bit of future prospecting. For now any trips will be done with the Landy so i wont be able to comment on 4x2.

    And BTW I think for the extra R20k you pay extra to have a 4x4 its worth it. You just have so much more options. And a 4x4 double cab is the best of all worlds. You have a car, a small bak and a 4x4 all in one vehicle
    And you can go where 4x2's cant.
    Right?
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by Papsak View Post
    And you can go where 4x2's cant.
    Right?
    Yes but with the Landy I can go were some people with 4x4's cant😁
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by FWM View Post
    To be honest I merely started the thread because I am trying to decide if my next vehicle( a double cab) needs to be 4x4 or not. So its just a bit of future prospecting. For now any trips will be done with the Landy so i wont be able to comment on 4x2.

    And BTW I think for the extra R20k you pay extra to have a 4x4 its worth it. You just have so much more options. And a 4x4 double cab is the best of all worlds. You have a car, a small bak and a 4x4 all in one vehicle
    Jokes aside, most who buy 4x4s don't use them to their potential ie they buy them for status reasons, camp at tar roaded camp sites. Then you get the off road wanders who actually get off the beaten track and use their 4x4s.

    Yes a 4x2 can get to many off the beaten track places but must be prepared. Taking a 4x2 into 4x4 areas puts a lot of worried stress on the owner, having that extra diff does help.

    There again, many voortrekers went off roading with a wagon and 4 horse power if the were wealthy or a few oxen and not diff lock
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Exactly.

    Every time I read the comments on this thread I keep thinking to myself: 'Ah that is why there are so many corrugations and cross axles spun on hills not much bigger than ant hills'

    And what about things you cannot plan for: that big convoy coming from the front at a stinker of the speed, how you gonna get out of the tracks because they will not.

    And you drive into an area on a nice hard track, during the night it starts raining heavily. How you going to get out??
    Anyone who has done or seen the CKGR or the pans in the wet will know exactly what I am talking about.
    I have seen this exact scenario play out in the Transkei. Arrived at our accommodation to find a Hyundai Atos parked next door with very deflated tyres. On inquiry it turned out they had driven in some time before when the track was dry. After all come in the platkar its mid-winter there wont be any rain. Unfortunately the weather does not read textbooks and they were hit by a week of rain resulting in slippery clay roads and the vehicle and its occupants being stuck whilst waiting for someone to come along and tow them out. Incidentally with a 4x4 it took all of 5 minutes to tow them up the hill.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Nambro View Post
    I think 4x4 is overrated. When I was a kid 60s 70s my dad used to take the family camping in a Chevrolet Fleetline bakkie. No 4x4 and no difflock, no coolbox, no tent. The whole family of 5 fitted in the cabin. We went to Kaokoland, Damaraland, the Kalahari and the dreaded Sandveld. The simple rule was to pick the easier route. We never got stuck to be recovered. When there was thick sand, the tirepressure was reduced.
    If your intention is to drive the difficult route, you need 4x4. Else not. You can to most of Namibia and Bots without a 4x4 if you travel light.
    I just did the Goantagab and Ugab in the landcruiser. Not once did I use 4x4 or difflockers. If the vehicle is loaded to the brim you may require 4x4 and difflock due to weight.
    Have fun.
    The following links of videos is of me overlanding in the north of Namibia. Will you do it in a 4x2? In a 4x2 you need to stay on the big gravel road from Opuwo to Epupa while in a 4x4 you can drive from Ruacana to Epupa next to the Kunene and over Van Zyl's to the Marienfluss.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONgiYDBcotE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlhILjb6U60

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

    Doing overlanding without a 4x4 is like driving without toilet paper in a vehicle. You never know when the [email protected] hits the fan
    Last edited by grips; 2019/08/29 at 10:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Isuzu STD 2.5d 2x4 rear diffy lock
    2x spotlight,2x fog lights
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    snorkel soon
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    Default Re: Overlanding.. Do you really need a 4x4?

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    Doing overlanding without a 4x4 is like driving without toilet paper in a vehicle. You never know when the [email protected] hits the fan
    indeed
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