BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip





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  1. #1
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    Default BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Hi all.

    I don't want to re-invent the wheel, but I'm sure someone has done this kind of preparation before. Or parts thereof.
    I'm doing the PUTFOOT RALLY this year from Ctn to Bagamoyo in Tanzania. Bagamoyo is about 65kms north of Dar es Selaam.
    The trip up is quite stressful as there are checkpoints on certain days. (it's the parties that we need to get to on these days) Ctn to Bagamoyo is about 6500kms and we have 18 days.

    The route travels from Ctn through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and into Tanzania. But although the rally ends there, it doesn't end there for me!

    We still need to get back. And this is the only reason why I'm taking my Miskruier. SWAMBO is flying up to Zanzibar, then she's coming home with me. Hence the trip down takes on a different dimension.

    I purchased a 2016 Miskruier late December 2019. I have done three camping trips and I think I know, (sort of) what all the knobs are for.

    My question is, apart from keeping the BL light, (we always seem to take more than what's needed) the preparation before and what could go wrong en route?

    Example, will I be able to change a wheel bearing along the road? I've done these at home on smaller axles.

    So anyone out there with advice, I really appreciate your comments. Pictures, links and other data included.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    I suppose that list is directly related to your risk appetite. I would think the main things being that you start off with a mechanically 100% van (schedule a comprehensive service at BL before you leave) and take along the key things that could become show stoppers - bearings+grease, hub assembly, suspension bolts and ad hocs like tools, wiring, spare hose clamps, spare ozzie clamps and even a spare water pump. Ensure your towing vehicle has an adequate bottle jack to use on the van also.

    The biggest thing is to adjust tire pressure according to the terrain and perhaps spray off the hubs and undercarriage where you get to some spare water. Apart from that not much that can break.
    Disclaimer - All my posts on this forum is without prejudice, is based on my fair assumptions or perceptions, is in no way intended to cause harm to anyone and is acted upon at your own discretion.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    If you bought it Dec 2019 and did only 3 camps, you should still be fine in terms of service schedule. Like George mentioned, take along a spare set or two of wheel bearings and some spare leaf spring bolts as well as one or two for the coupler. If it is just the 2 of you, I suggest you leave the mattress for the front bed at home. There is no need to open the front on quick stops or even if you park for a few days.

    Our Miskruier runs very close to level behind the tow vehicle so we do not even unhook if we get to a stopover late and plan to leave early the next morning. Get one of those extendable mops to clean the solar panel every now and then. The mops makes it easy to reach the panels even if the side bed is set up. Be careful with using the gas geyser as the setup can be quite heavy on water usage. If you have access to water on your route, then this is no problem. If not, consider a Gardena type 5L pressure bottle to shower. Keep it simple, leave things you do not really need that robs you of time to pack and clean. This is one of the reasons I only have a very small piece of ground sheet only by the rear step where we move in and out of the van.

    I'm sure others will add some more...
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Thank you guys. The BL did have a service last August, and between the previous owner and I, I doubt whether we did 1000kms since.

    I like the smaller groundsheet scenario. Some bolts and nuts to suit critical functions is important. I tried cleaning the solar panels the other day, and yep, you need a longer arm.

    I've noticed the front wiring to collect charge from the towing vehicle is a bit small. I reckon I'd beef that line up to 16m2. We spent 4 days, using lights and fridge, 90litre NL, and never needed electricity. I've added another 90watts panel to the top, and it's working well.

    I'm more concerned about the wheel bearings I guess. Never opened or done one. Maybe I should contact Martin at BL Paarl, for a live operation. Forewarned is forearmed I guess. The previous owner had a new one, still boxed, and left it for me.

    Mattress leave at home, we do as it's only us two. One gas bottle could be chancing it I think.

    Thank you so far.

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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by umenzi View Post
    Thank you guys. The BL did have a service last August, and between the previous owner and I, I doubt whether we did 1000kms since.

    I like the smaller groundsheet scenario. Some bolts and nuts to suit critical functions is important. I tried cleaning the solar panels the other day, and yep, you need a longer arm.

    I've noticed the front wiring to collect charge from the towing vehicle is a bit small. I reckon I'd beef that line up to 16m2. We spent 4 days, using lights and fridge, 90litre NL, and never needed electricity. I've added another 90watts panel to the top, and it's working well.

    I'm more concerned about the wheel bearings I guess. Never opened or done one. Maybe I should contact Martin at BL Paarl, for a live operation. Forewarned is forearmed I guess. The previous owner had a new one, still boxed, and left it for me.

    Mattress leave at home, we do as it's only us two. One gas bottle could be chancing it I think.


    Thank you so far.
    ‹I would include learning how to adjust the caravan brakes as well
    Last edited by Paul Botha; 2020/03/09 at 05:02 PM.

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Please document the trip... I was desperate to join the PutFoot this year, but work commitments put a stop to that.
    The route is on my bucket list.
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Full service at BL even though you said it was serviced last August, and tell them what trip you are planning.
    Take 2x sets of wheel bearings, a set of suspension bolts and a set of coupler bolts, plus of course all the correct spanners and sockets to fit these should it be needed.
    Make sure your tires and spare is in good condition, take a big tire repair kit and know how to use it.
    General things like some spare water hoses, hose clamps, fuses, spare electrical plugs and sockets. Cable ties, duct tape, rubber tape, all the general things.
    It's in pubs where the world's greatest ideas begin.

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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by BobMabena View Post
    Please document the trip... I was desperate to join the PutFoot this year, but work commitments put a stop to that.
    The route is on my bucket list.
    I certainly will.

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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by bigboy529 View Post
    Full service at BL even though you said it was serviced last August, and tell them what trip you are planning.
    Take 2x sets of wheel bearings, a set of suspension bolts and a set of coupler bolts, plus of course all the correct spanners and sockets to fit these should it be needed.
    Make sure your tires and spare is in good condition, take a big tire repair kit and know how to use it.
    General things like some spare water hoses, hose clamps, fuses, spare electrical plugs and sockets. Cable ties, duct tape, rubber tape, all the general things.
    Thank you for that. I am a retired fitter and turner so mechanical work is not an issue.
    I also have my Advanced 4x4 Certificate so the normal Overlanding Travels is my favourite.

    Certainly hate struggling, so anything that comes my way, I'm sure I can handle it. As long there's cold beer, and a chair, I'll be ready.

    The info I got so far guys, Priceless.

    THANK YOU.

    PS I''ll post a report. What's better, day by day, week by week or one shot when the trip is finished?

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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Remember that up North there are some countries that have a different gas fitting.Im not sure which countries it is.But a crossover can apparently be made up to refill your gas cylinders.
    Hopefully someone here can assist with more accurate info.
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  15. #11
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by LC Man View Post
    Remember that up North there are some countries that have a different gas fitting.Im not sure which countries it is.But a crossover can apparently be made up to refill your gas cylinders.
    Hopefully someone here can assist with more accurate info.
    Very true. I did Kilimanjaro, via Moz then Tan, in 2012. the only fitting problem I really had was their 220v plugs. I remember filling the gas bottle in Kigoma, and they never had a problem. I suppose it's where you go.

    Funny thing in Tanzania, their ATM's could only give a certain amount of cash, as their cash withdrawal slot was too thin. I was nearly a millionare once, with hundreds of thousands of Tanzanian Shillings.

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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by umenzi View Post
    PS I''ll post a report. What's better, day by day, week by week or one shot when the trip is finished?
    You "might" battle with connectivity, so maybe at the end...
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by BobMabena View Post
    You "might" battle with connectivity, so maybe at the end...
    Very true. But nowadays there's more and more camps having electricity and wi-fi.

    We'll see, but thanks for the heads up.

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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    I think it will be nice for you to update as you go along and when you have reasonable connectivity.

    Really looking forward to this and I wish you well although I think the caravan is going to make some areas very tough.
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  21. #15
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    I think it will be nice for you to update as you go along and when you have reasonable connectivity.

    Really looking forward to this and I wish you well although I think the caravan is going to make some areas very tough.
    "Very Tough?" Can you be more specific, I'm really interested to know where.

    On our return journey, I'm hoping to do Nata south to Kubu Island. This could be an eye opener. I've done the Gweta track, not bad.

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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by umenzi View Post
    "Very Tough?" Can you be more specific, I'm really interested to know where.
    I had a look at the route again, it does seem mostly on main routes, so maybe it will not be so difficult as I imagine.

    I am more thinking in the line of bad potholed roads or busy roads with traffic, pedestrians and animals. From our experience getting the caravan through those type of circumstances might take a bit longer and more concentration than when not towing. We saw that in the small part of Zambia which we traveled where passing slower vehicles and heavily laden trucks is difficult at the best of circumstance, but with the caravan you sometimes just have to sit and wait patiently. On some stretches roads are narrow and busy with lots of speed restrictions and villages.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/03/11 at 11:52 AM.
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  24. #17
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    I had a look at the route again, it does seem mostly on main routes, so maybe it will not be so difficult as I imagine.

    I am more thinking in the line of bad potholed roads or busy roads with traffic, pedestrians and animals. From our experience getting the caravan through those type of circumstances might take a bit longer and more concentration than when not towing. We saw that in the small part of Zambia which we traveled where passing slower vehicles and heavily laden trucks is difficult at the best of circumstance, but with the caravan you sometimes just have to sit and wait patiently. On some stretches roads are narrow and busy with lots of speed restrictions and villages.
    Absolutely true. The villages and speed cops make it almost unbearable. Not to talk about slower traffic with bicycles and goats on the road.
    What is a problem, is getting to the campsite last. We're 100 vehicles, now try and manoeuvre in that chaos. Or been boxed in and you need to wait for the fella to get out of the shower.

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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by umenzi View Post
    Hi all.

    I don't want to re-invent the wheel, but I'm sure someone has done this kind of preparation before. Or parts thereof.
    I'm doing the PUTFOOT RALLY this year from Ctn to Bagamoyo in Tanzania. Bagamoyo is about 65kms north of Dar es Selaam.
    The trip up is quite stressful as there are checkpoints on certain days. (it's the parties that we need to get to on these days) Ctn to Bagamoyo is about 6500kms and we have 18 days.

    The route travels from Ctn through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi and into Tanzania. But although the rally ends there, it doesn't end there for me!

    We still need to get back. And this is the only reason why I'm taking my Miskruier. SWAMBO is flying up to Zanzibar, then she's coming home with me. Hence the trip down takes on a different dimension.

    I purchased a 2016 Miskruier late December 2019. I have done three camping trips and I think I know, (sort of) what all the knobs are for.

    My question is, apart from keeping the BL light, (we always seem to take more than what's needed) the preparation before and what could go wrong en route?

    Example, will I be able to change a wheel bearing along the road? I've done these at home on smaller axles.

    So anyone out there with advice, I really appreciate your comments. Pictures, links and other data included.

  26. #19
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    I have driven up to Kenya twice from Windhoek in my 1993 130 Defender in the last 11yrs, without any problems at all. The last time 2yrs ago a lot of the roads were being repaired or rebuilt. I would certainly not use the great north Road out of Lusaka, I thought it would have be repaired after my first trip in 2009 how wrong I was! Much better the Chipata road which has seen alot or maintenance this last couple of years. I camped on the beach a bit further north of Bagamoyo at Peponi Beach in Pangani lovely place, the owner claimed one of his staff could fill my gas bottle by hanging a full one in a tree while my empty one was on the ground. Unfortunately he was away at the time so I got mine bottle filled in Dar no problem. The last time I was up there 2018 all the police were stopping vehicles with a white glove in one hand and a Credit card machine in the other , so make sure they have no reason to fine you. As I'm from the Uk I'm not sure what sort of event you are going to but I wish you all the best, & look forward to reading about it. Graham

  27. #20
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    Default Re: BUSH LAPA: Preparing for 12000 km trip

    Quote Originally Posted by umenzi View Post
    Hi all.

    I don't want to re-invent the wheel, but I'm sure someone has done this kind of preparation before......

    My question is, apart from keeping the BL light, (we always seem to take more than what's needed) the preparation before and what could go wrong en route?

    Example, will I be able to change a wheel bearing along the road? I've done these at home on smaller axles.

    So anyone out there with advice, I really appreciate your comments. Pictures, links and other data included.
    In 25000km of towing my miskruier around Nam, Bots and SA, I have had to replace the following:-
    Knott coupler due to wear and tear from sand etc - it did not disconnect, but the wear indicator was in the red and so I replaced it for safety's sake and now wipe the ball and coupler every few days to remove the sand/dust.
    Replace the trailer 7 pin plastic plug used for the lights, indicators etc when it got damaged due to me stepping on it - I now carry a spare of the socket and the plug
    Lost a wheel nut on the cruiser - so now carry a few spare nuts and studs for Miskruier as well as the cruiser
    Gas Regulator - stopped working
    In addition to above , carry these spares:-
    2 wheel bearing sets, leaf spring bolts, u bolts , grease
    2 complete little plastic fittings that the side bed tent poles clip- never needed them yet.
    few steel spring clips that secure the throw over catches to secure the roof and the jacks
    Carry a water spray bottle to clean the pressure lock latches on the panels , then add a dab of Q20 to lubricate the lock mechanism- found the front ones get gummed up with sand/dust.
    I also silicone sealed behind the caravan electrical 3 pin connection as I found a lot of dust entering through here into the area below the side bed.

    enjoy the travels!
    Last edited by putta; 2020/08/06 at 11:39 PM. Reason: correction
    Putta
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