Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)





Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 83
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18
    Thanked: 1

    Default Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    I'm from the U.S. Here a pickup, or bakkie, like a Hilux or Ranger is considered a midsize. I always see these nearly overloaded in African overlanding trips so I was wondering has anyone ever tried overlanding in South Africa, Namibia, or Botswana in something like a Ford F-150/250/350, a Ram 1500/2500/3500 or a Chevy Silverado 1500/2500/3500? I guess it would have to be imported from here the U.S. as they're not for sale in Africa which also made me curious as to why they're not for sale in Africa? Are they not suited for the African terrain?
    Has anyone ever imported one of these full size vehicles and overloaded through Africa with them?
    Last edited by humvee4us; 2020/07/19 at 09:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    60
    Posts
    195
    Thanked: 165

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Could be a nice option. Luv the RAM.

    But in the good old RSA them LHD trucks can not be licensed. So import will be a no-no as customs tend to confiscate at entry and crush them... yep...

    Only LHD vehicles that were on the register in 2008 can get licensed.

    That is if you are a good citizen and do not believe in bribery and participate in corruption.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18
    Thanked: 1

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    In Australia there's actually an import company that imports the Ram 1500 and 2500 and converts it to RHD before it gets delivered to you. No such thing in SA?
    Last edited by humvee4us; 2020/07/19 at 09:52 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    60
    Posts
    195
    Thanked: 165

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    I have no idea. Maybe some of the others might know.

    I drive old LHD Unimogs. Own 2.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    60
    Posts
    195
    Thanked: 165

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    A little off your question.

    Plenty Unimog 404S’s in the US of A. Also a truck called a FLU419 which is Unimog under a different name.

    Check out Rocky Mountain Moggers on the Web. USA crowd.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Okahandja, Windhoek
    Age
    68
    Posts
    4,545
    Thanked: 904

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Plenty LHD Angola vehicles on our roads, so temporarily import should not be an issue, I think.

    Some guys here do import those American trucks, like the Dodge ram and Toyota tundra, but are converted to RHD, not sure where its done.

    Ford 250 RHD was/are available here, and are used by some guys even on this forum. As long as it have single set wheel at the back and is 4x4 it will work. And one saw many bigger overlander trucks coming through Africa, but yes there are are some places where the bigger trucks will not go.
    Last edited by JLK; 2020/07/20 at 07:11 AM. Reason: correction
    Johan Kriel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Out of Town
    Age
    54
    Posts
    6,700
    Thanked: 743

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by humvee4us View Post
    In Australia there's actually an import company that imports the Ram 1500 and 2500 and converts it to RHD before it gets delivered to you. No such thing in SA?
    Actually not, a buddy of mine, Kruiwa on this forum, Dad purchased a RAM 2500 if memory serves, and the RHD conversion was done here in SA in Richards Bay http://www.ustrucks.co.za. He tells me there is two RHD models in Parys.

    He has one of them campers strapped on the back, and has done a few trips. Beast as an overlander, just don't expect much on tight technical stuff due to its size. I believe it also returns some surprisingly good fuel consumption.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

    http://www.youtube.com/user/davidabcab



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    RSA
    Posts
    880
    Thanked: 1098

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by humvee4us View Post
    I'm from the U.S. Here a pickup, or bakkie, like a Hilux or Ranger is considered a midsize. I always see these nearly overloaded in African overlanding trips so I was wondering has anyone ever tried overlanding in South Africa, Namibia, or Botswana in something like a Ford F-150/250/350, a Ram 1500/2500/3500 or a Chevy Silverado 1500/2500/3500? I guess it would have to be imported from here the U.S. as they're not for sale in Africa which also made me curious as to why they're not for sale in Africa? Are they not suited for the African terrain?
    Has anyone ever imported one of these full size vehicles and overloaded through Africa with them?
    The problem here is the weight of the vehicles. In South Africa a light vehicle licence (Class B or EB. EB allows you to tow more than 750 kg) is limited to 3500k kg. The F250 is heavier than that and thus has to be driven on a light truck licence.

    The second problem will be finding a workshop prepared to splash out on a full set of imperial size tools for the rare American vehicle they have to maintain. There are only 4 countries that still have imperial sizes as standard - The USA, North Korea, Liberia and Myanmar.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Out of Town
    Age
    54
    Posts
    6,700
    Thanked: 743

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    You also nees to make sure you are in a group with same size vehicles, else recoveries become an issue.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

    http://www.youtube.com/user/davidabcab



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18
    Thanked: 1

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by JLK View Post
    Plenty LHD Angola vehicles on our roads, so temporarily import should not be an issue, I think.

    Some guys here do import those American trucks, like the Dodge ram and Toyota tundra, but are converted to RHD, not sure where its done.

    Ford 150 RHD was/are available here, and are used by some guys even on this forum. As long as it have single set wheel at the back and is 4x4 it will work. And one saw many bigger overlander trucks coming through Africa, but yes there are are some places where the bigger trucks will not go.
    I'm curious, why not with dual wheels in the rear? Also, when you mention that there are some places where it will not go is it due to only size or also weight and other factors, and which places might those be?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    18
    Thanked: 1

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by bfreesani View Post
    Actually not, a buddy of mine, Kruiwa on this forum, Dad purchased a RAM 2500 if memory serves, and the RHD conversion was done here in SA in Richards Bay http://www.ustrucks.co.za. He tells me there is two RHD models in Parys.

    He has one of them campers strapped on the back, and has done a few trips. Beast as an overlander, just don't expect much on tight technical stuff due to its size. I believe it also returns some surprisingly good fuel consumption.
    I'm curious, on the technical trails is it only size what hinders it, or is weight and other factors also an issue?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Out of Town
    Age
    54
    Posts
    6,700
    Thanked: 743

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by humvee4us View Post
    I'm curious, on the technical trails is it only size what hinders it, or is weight and other factors also an issue?
    I'm presuming size, but there could be other factors. Weight is not your buddy in many obstacles. Just imagine what it would be like taking a rig that size down Van Zyls Pass, or even down a simple pass like Ghamkas into the Hel with some of those switchbacks.

    I'm just speculation here. Dont have first hand experience besides driving around on the farm with this vehicle.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

    http://www.youtube.com/user/davidabcab



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Bloemfontein
    Age
    42
    Posts
    1,998
    Thanked: 1296

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    In the sands of the Kgalagadi and Namib, as well as on the rough gravel roads crossing the wide open expanses of Botswana and Namibia, those Yankee behemoths will make awesome overlanders. HOWEVER; in the mountainous, rocky and thickly wooded parts of the southern African subcontinent, the trails are tight. Traditionally the vehicles used in those conditions since WW2 were Land Rover Series models and CJ Jeeps, before that mostly donkeys or narrow ox/mule wagons. Even when the Ford F250 and Chevy K10/20 were popular here in the '70's, they were already too big for several off-road applications, width being the main limiting factor. Fast forward forty years, and those full-size American trucks are so much bigger and heavier than they were back in the day, yet many of the trails out in the sticks remained the same. Try and reach Mafefe Camp, do Baboon's Pass or navigate the jungle tracks of Maputaland in one of those; you'll probably be blocked/stuck at the first corner.
    2001 Gen 3 Pajero swb 3.2 Di-D

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to Jens78 For This Useful Post:


  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Parys
    Age
    48
    Posts
    19
    Thanked: 9

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by humvee4us View Post
    I'm from the U.S. Here a pickup, or bakkie, like a Hilux or Ranger is considered a midsize. I always see these nearly overloaded in African overlanding trips so I was wondering has anyone ever tried overlanding in South Africa, Namibia, or Botswana in something like a Ford F-150/250/350, a Ram 1500/2500/3500 or a Chevy Silverado 1500/2500/3500? I guess it would have to be imported from here the U.S. as they're not for sale in Africa which also made me curious as to why they're not for sale in Africa? Are they not suited for the African terrain?
    Has anyone ever imported one of these full size vehicles and overloaded through Africa with them?
    www.ustrucks.co.za is a company that imports trucks and other vehicles from the U.S. and converts them to RHD for S.A. use.

    My father has done exactly what you are talking about:
    Detesting dragging around a camper trailer, and feeling cramped and uncomfortable in the back of a normal bakkie, he bought a Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 6BT 24-valve D/C 4x4 and a removable camper canopy for the back. He and my mother (both deep in their 70s now) has overlanded up to Tanzania and a bunch of places all over Africa over the years.

    The 4x4 Ram has a substantial stainless bullbar upfront with HEAVY ARB winch/compressor with spots as well as some fender flares for beefy 35" BFs mounted on 17" rims. Suspension is also beefed up, custom long-range diesel tank (400+lt) also built and fitted. The middle front seat was removed in favour of a sizeable Engel fridge/freezer. Other electronic upgrades include, dual battery system, reverse camera, and radio comms. The engine has also seen some work with larger turbo, Banks whale intake piping, larger intercooler, aftermarket filter and a custom tune that reliably makes big numbers. The Cummins engine is also easy to service, and spares actually readily available as this engine shares many service spares with earlier models used in boats, gensets, mining and farming equipment. The friendly guys at US Trucks have most of the spares you would need, though you sometimes have to wait if it is not at hand.

    The truck is well loved by our family and travels regularly, it is a beast that could give you almost 15km to the liter when driven empty and conservatively on the open road, or as bad as 5km/lt if you really stomp the loadpedal and drive like an idiot. Performance is good, being able to squeal those BFs in 4x4 on tar, but it really shines on the open road. If you drive at around 110km/h, the engine is very frugal, not even revving high enough for the turbo to noticeably spool up.

    Pros&Cons: As most vehicles in Africa have a smaller track-width, this truck does not do so well on tight technical tracks meant for smaller vehicles, if you break something, there is not a dealer in the next town. We have seen some guys in monster Cruisers with almost the same track after fitting fatter tekkies and spacers/adapters. A wider track-width could mean more punctures, even though we have seen very few. As an overlander, driving roads maybe less traveled, but not as technical, but also conservatively, this vehicle is absolute effortless luxury. This truck has done about 25% dirt roads in all the time we have had it, as overlanding is rarely like the magazines depict it. You actually drive a whole lot of tar to get to the dirt you see in the pictures! The weight (more than 3.5 tons loaded), long wheelbase, upgraded suspension, big tyres and large seats in a large, airconditioned, fairly quiet cabin, makes for very comfortable travel.

    I will ask my father if he would be willing to share some pics and more in-depth info.

  16. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kruiwa For This Useful Post:


  17. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kathu
    Age
    59
    Posts
    9,490
    Thanked: 3003

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Leon Venter here on the forum have an F250 that is fully kitted for overlanding.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

  18. The Following User Says Thank You to grips For This Useful Post:


  19. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Midrand
    Posts
    464
    Thanked: 872

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    We’ve owned a few Chevy Tahoe’s (based on the 1500 pickup platform) - one of the most comfortable long distance vehicles on the planet. With the 5.8 (?) v8 does burn a lot of fuel (and fuel here is more than 2x US cost). As others have said - width would be an issue on a number of trails we love very much.

  20. The Following User Says Thank You to heyyahhey For This Useful Post:


  21. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kathu
    Age
    59
    Posts
    9,490
    Thanked: 3003

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Having owned American trucks and on the verge of buying a late model F250 for an overlanding vehicle I have decide against it.
    Reasons mainly spare part supplies.
    I know people will come here and tell me you can import and land them here within a few days. Might be true in most cases. One of my friends is currently waiting for spares from the US for his F250 since March thanks to covid.
    Fact I had to wait 3 weeks for a wheel bearing on a Dana 44 HD high pinion on a F250 front diff.
    When I produced a sample for a head light bulb on my American Ford Ranger the guy at Midas starred at it if it were something
    from outer space.

    If you compare the 2008 F250 with a v8 single cab Land Cruiser the F250 win in Cab size and comfort.

    Loadbin size F250 2464 X 1642 - Land Cruiser V8 SC 2235 X 1600.
    Load carrying F250 = 1101kg - Land Cruiser V8 = 1225kg
    Tow Rating F250 unbraked = 750kg - Land Cruiser V8 unbraked 750kg.
    Trailer with run in brakes 3500kg for both the F250 and V8 SC Cruiser.

    In Africa the Land Cruiser, Land Rover Defender and the Patrols are the kings of overland.

    Don`t make a mistake I love my American Trucks but being in the position of being stuck once with above said wheel bearing.
    I rather play safe and drive something that is popular in Africa.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

  22. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to grips For This Useful Post:


  23. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    67
    Posts
    4,752
    Thanked: 3991

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    When traveling some distance north of our borders in a more exotic vehicle, getting hold of spares can be a frustrating exercise. Sure you can have the spares couriered and flown in after an internet transaction.
    However it can involve jumping through an extraordinary number of hoops to get the parcel released from customs and at times extra funds are needed to lubricate release. When traveling the last thing one wants is a needless delay of a few weeks. I would rather choose a vehicle that will have spares available throughout Africa.
    Stanley Weakley.
    Toyota Landcruiser 76SW 4,2L diesel.

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

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-6-SLOW-DONKEY
    OR
    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  24. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Stan Weakley For This Useful Post:


  25. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Okahandja, Windhoek
    Age
    68
    Posts
    4,545
    Thanked: 904

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by humvee4us View Post
    I'm curious, why not with dual wheels in the rear?
    Dual wheels in sand tracks and two spoor tracks will not work very good.
    Johan Kriel

  26. The Following User Says Thank You to JLK For This Useful Post:


  27. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Swakop
    Age
    37
    Posts
    5,244
    Thanked: 885

    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by JLK View Post
    Dual wheels in sand tracks and two spoor tracks will not work very good.
    Jip, and the flat tyres caused by rocks getting stuck between the two tyres.

    as JLK mentioned there are quite a few Dodge Ram and tacoma's etc driving around here in nam as well. Even a few with RHD conversions which were done in the US and then shipped over. Issue is the parts. A friend of mine had a storage yard in whk for a few years, most of the cars standing there were american import vehicles waiting for spares.
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
    slightly modded 02' 105 series 1FZ-FE
    https://www.facebook.com/kepanamibia/


    My heart will always beat to an African drum...

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •