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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    The late famous Izak Barnard of Penduka Safaris travelled throughout Southern Africa in a fleet of modified US trucks long before the modern day Southern Africa explorers were born. At that time there were only a few tar roads in Gaborone, Botswana - most roads between towns were poorly maintained gravel roads or sand tracks. The company is still in existence and still only use US trucks. Read the books written about his expeditions or contact the company to enquire about their experiences with US trucks.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Life View Post
    The late famous Izak Barnard of Penduka Safaris travelled throughout Southern Africa in a fleet of modified US trucks long before the modern day Southern Africa explorers were born. At that time there were only a few tar roads in Gaborone, Botswana - most roads between towns were poorly maintained gravel roads or sand tracks. The company is still in existence and still only use US trucks. Read the books written about his expeditions or contact the company to enquire about their experiences with US trucks.
    I believe those trucks may have been International Harvester trucks?
    Last edited by Olyfboer; 2020/07/28 at 12:06 AM.
    2001 Isuzu Frontier 4X4 DT280 LX 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Tourer)
    2011 JMC 4X4 Double Cab 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Work Bakkie)
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  3. #63
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    I do not think one can compare the older F250`s and International Harvesters as used by Penduka Safaris with the modern US trucks. Those old trucks were basic vehicles with no frills attached. Even the later F250 like Leon drives are still basic no nonsense trucks.

    Willem Barnard son of Izak have take over Penduka. As spares becomes more of a problem to keep the International Fleet running he
    imported two F350`s to replace the Internationals. When I were still building the F250 I have seen Willem active on a few American Ford F series forums. He had several electronic glitches with the F350`s.
    Last edited by grips; 2020/07/28 at 07:10 AM.
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  5. #64
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    I do not think one can compare the older F250`s and International Harvesters as used by Penduka Safaris with the modern US trucks.
    I think they comparison was for width and size, not technology.............
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    We know that we don't all make our choices because of the number of dealers available or parts availability right? Until it has actually happened to you.

    So here we have a great vehicle, but one which runs in a different track (not the best for a heavy in sand), has no dealers, no-one local with a parts manual, no one with imperial spanners, has a mass that is beyond the tow capacity of any good guy who may come along, and we send them off into an area without cell phone reception or internet? I know what I wouldn't do.

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  8. #66
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    My camping and touring 4x4 is a F250 d/c and i no it's big and heavy but i can go about any place with it.
    Done two Desert trips with easy and other trips.
    One off my best 4x4 vechles.

  9. #67
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoFrans View Post
    Yes if they sink they get stuck.....properly.Won't be a easy recovery!!
    So I'm thinking, how much does the weight matter? Doesn't tyre pressure matter more? Surely whether a vehicle weighs 4 tons or 1 ton, if the tyre pressure on both is at 1 bar, then that is the pressure that is being applied to the surface you're driving on, and no matter the weight.

    In the case of a soggy underground with a crust on the top, that might be a different argument, but driving in sand and mud, who cares the weight of the vehicle...tyre pressure matters. Right?

    That being said, once a 4t vehicle gets stuck, the recovery is going to be a nightmare, as opposed to a 1t vehicle, so the trick is...don't get stuck.

    Etienne

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

    Quote Originally Posted by erduplessis View Post
    So I'm thinking, how much does the weight matter? Doesn't tyre pressure matter more? Surely whether a vehicle weighs 4 tons or 1 ton, if the tyre pressure on both is at 1 bar, then that is the pressure that is being applied to the surface you're driving on, and no matter the weight.

    In the case of a soggy underground with a crust on the top, that might be a different argument, but driving in sand and mud, who cares the weight of the vehicle...tyre pressure matters. Right?

    That being said, once a 4t vehicle gets stuck, the recovery is going to be a nightmare, as opposed to a 1t vehicle, so the trick is...don't get stuck.

    Etienne
    Tyre pressure does not influence the weight of the truck. It does influence the ground pressure though. A tyre with a higher pressure has a smaller footprint than one with a lower pressure. The lower pressure spreads the weight of the truck around on a greater ground area.
    2001 Isuzu Frontier 4X4 DT280 LX 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Tourer)
    2011 JMC 4X4 Double Cab 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Work Bakkie)
    1973 Land Rover Series 2A 109" Ford V6 Kanniedood, Salisbury diff, galvanised chassis etc. (Hobby and Work vehicle)

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    Tyre pressure does not influence the weight of the truck. It does influence the ground pressure though. A tyre with a higher pressure has a smaller footprint than one with a lower pressure. The lower pressure spreads the weight of the truck around on a greater ground area.
    And fuel consumption is directly proportional to weight. Bigger weight, bigger tyres, we keep adding weight.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by erduplessis View Post
    So I'm thinking, how much does the weight matter? Doesn't tyre pressure matter more? Surely whether a vehicle weighs 4 tons or 1 ton, if the tyre pressure on both is at 1 bar, then that is the pressure that is being applied to the surface you're driving on, and no matter the weight.In the case of a soggy underground with a crust on the top, that might be a different argument, but driving in sand and mud, who cares the weight of the vehicle...tyre pressure matters. Right?That being said, once a 4t vehicle gets stuck, the recovery is going to be a nightmare, as opposed to a 1t vehicle, so the trick is...don't get stuck.Etienne
    The thing is that weight and tire size will influence how low a pressure you can run. While some of the larger vehicles do run significantly larger tires, not all of them do.For the same tire size, a lighter vehicle can run lower pressures, which translates to lower ground pressure.
    1996 Patrol 4.2SGL with lots of stuff to make it heavier and thus increase traction?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by humvee4us View Post
    Why would weight hinder it in the Makgadikgadi pans?
    Te swaar gewig op net 4 wiele breek deur die kors dan is jy in die modder.

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    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?

    OK, I FARM in Botswana and South Africa. So permit me to add my 2 cents worth of advice from PRACTICAL experience LIVING with the realities of driving in Africa for more than just leisure purposes.

    1. Cost of Repairs and Availability of Parts
    I know a few guys who do FARMING/WORK with F-series Ford pickups. The one lives in Vryburg-region (South Africa) and farms with it. He bought a F-series roundabout in 2010. He stated that the Ford's tamed the Kalahari (prior to Toyota's taking over) and he loved the big size (like we all do). He was surprised by the fuel-efficiency given it's size (as long as he did not exceed 110 km/h), but then his budget started being dragged down by lack of durability of parts for the hot and harsh African conditions. First he broke a head-light. Ford charged him 12 times more than a Toyota would and he had to wait for it to be flown in from overseas. Later, a local mechanic finally figured out it had the same headlight as the old 1980's Hiluxes and replaced it. Then he had an alternator issue (prior to it having 45 000km on the clock). Nobody could get parts to repair the alternator and he had to (once again) import it for roughly 13 times the price that a Toyota alternator would cost and ended up waiting more than 6 weeks for the pickup to be on the road again. Some issue of grass seeds and dust being in the alternator resulted in Ford being unwilling to replace the part and he had to fork out a lot for driving in places where every normal farmer (and overlander) would travel. Then he broke the side-mirror and once again had to fork out a helluva lot of money for something very basic. Last I heard, someone told me he found sand in the pistons. Unsure as to what transpired there, but I just heard along the grapevine that he struggled getting parts locally to repair the engine.

    Then I also know a guy who lives close to Lobatse and has numerous shops in rural villages all over Botswana. He bought a brand new Ford F-series (2008 model I think) since the load bed was slightly bigger than the Toyota's and it allowed him to carry more stock. He never actually did farm-work that I know of, but before the vehicle hit 60 000 km, he had starter issues. He could not get an auto-electrician who had the parts to repair the starter. So he contacted Ford in Botswana (who did not stock the parts), he then contacted Ford in South Africa who charged him some exuberant price (something like 9 times more than the Toyota price) for a starter and he once again had to have the part flown in from the States, resulting in him loosing more than 8 weeks in production since the pickup didn't want to start. He also had a lot of other issues (which I honestly cannot remember, because this was a few years back) but I do remember that he implicitly stated that he wish he never bought the Ford in the first place (and he is a die-hard Ford F-series fan from childhood, since his dad "tamed the Kalahari" with a F-series Ford in the 1970's).


    2. Size of wheel-tracks and maneuverability
    OK, here I can speak from personal experience. You do NOT want to have a vehicle where the wheel-tracks are WIDER than the average vehicle. This does not matter if you are driving in mud or sand. If you do NOT drive on the compacted part of a dual-track, you will inevitably get stuck in mud. I see a LOT of people stating that wide-track vehicles are good in sand. Utter NONSENSE! Yes, when you are "making your own road" on "virgin dunes" it does not matter. But honestly, how often do people REALLY drive in "virgin sand"? Most of your time, you will travel dual-tracks left behind by someone else. If you drive any place with a lot of sand (like the majority of Botswana/Namibia) you will follow existing sand tracks and they are shaped by the AVERAGE vehicle's wheels-span of OTHER people who drive there. I often have 18-wheelers who deliver or pick up cattle and even when they are empty, they struggle like hell to reach the farm, since their wheels are driving "in the loose sand" next to the tracks left by previous vehicles. OFTEN they end up breaking a diff and then nobody goes nowhere for a LOOONG time. Yes, if a wide-wheeled truck drove before you, you don't have any issues, but to "make wider tracks" is a b*tch. I myself, have had to pull a small cattle trailer with a Land Cruiser quite a few times and even with an empty trailer, your fuel consumption is through the roof and (out of experience) you end up focusing more on the temperature gauge than to look at the passing scenery. When it's 40-degees Celsius you quickly cease an engine due to grass seeds or grass pollen blocking your radiator (grass-seed grids do not block pollen building up in your radiator) and they always end up clogging BETWEEN the engine radiator and aircon radiator where you never see it in the first place and nobody checks for grass seeds/pollen every day. So with a big rig on the back and "making wider tracks" in the loose sand, the chances are VERY big that you will end up in the bundu's with a bush-mechanic due to your engine overheating. Yes, I have a friend who overcame this issue by changing the rims on his old military ambulance to be less "deep set", thus ensuring that the tracks follow "other" vehicles, but then the vehicle is less stable on a bumpy road due to the body extending further than the wheels and you run the risk of the front wheels catching on the wheel-arches when turning.

    3. Heat and dust
    Heat and dust combined is a killer for any vehicle who has not been tested over decades and proven to handle the heat. I remember a few years ago meeting an British overlander on the Skilpadnek borderpost between Botswana and South Africa driving one of the “newer engined” Land Rovers bragging how well his "brand new Land Rover" handled itself by ONLY breaking down FOUR times between the UK and Botswana. I am sorry...did I miss something or did he say that it broke down FOUR times? In which world is breaking down every 3 000 km’s (< 2000 miles) considered to be “great performance”?

    The fact remains, I myself have seen heat rising to 48 Degrees Celsius (118 F) in Botswana and in the Namib it can rise even more. According to my knowledge, most Northern Hemisphere designed vehicles are tested more for handling extreme cold than extreme heat (I am not an expert here). Modern technology HATES dust and heat and the newer edition vehicles all use a lot of computer technology and extremely fine injector tips to optimize fuel consumption. The fact remains; in Africa we have NO shortage of dust and heat. Not only that, you are NEVER assured that petrol or diesel is clean. If you are driving a diesel, what happens if you get to a pump where they ONLY have 500ppm diesel and your rig requires 10ppm or less? Even if the pump says 50ppm, the wind could’ve blown a LOT of dust into that reservoir over the years (trust me, I have cleared out my diesel tank quite a few times, and you would be surprised how much impurities ends up in your tank. The same goes for Petrol (gasoline) engines. Injectors HATES impurities and we have a LOT of that in Africa and nothing toasts a computer circuit like a bit of dust and heat. If a bush-mechanic does not have your injector tips or “black box” engine management circuitry, your holiday just became 2 months longer.

    The fact remains, which red-blooded guy does not like a “big rig”? I myself grew up with a Ford F-250 in the 80’s. I LOVED that old pick-up where four adults could sit in the front. But the question is whether you want to “go on holiday” or if you “want to get to work” on your rig. What I found intriguing is that both the guys who I referred to LOVED the F-series Ford (just like me). But they both stated that the new generation Ford's (and I would figure other brands like Chev/Dodge too) cannot handle Africa's 40-degrees plus heat (with a LOT of dust) as well as the OLD 1970/80’s Fords of yesteryear could.

    So, yes…do you want to “look good” on holiday or actually “go on holiday” (and come back in one piece)? The more computerised something is, the bigger the chance of you getting stuck with a "bush mechanic" who cannot "make a plan" like they normally do with less fancy Japanese pickups. Repairs is your BIGGEST concern and I do not know of ANY Dodge repair shop in the entire Southern Africa and the chances are VERY little that Ford/Chev repair shops would stock the parts of the pickups which you have in mind. MOST big towns with a population of more than 10 000 people will however have a Toyota shop, so you will be able to get back on the road. Even though they might not always be the most eye catching of vehicles, Toyota tests vehicles for extended periods of time before launching a vehicle which could handle the dirty fuel, dust and heat of Africa. That is why the new edition Land Cruisers were launched in South Africa MANY years after it was launched in the rest of the world. So yes, Toyota is your safest option.

    I myself am not a fan of Toyota, but I had to swap my Isuzu for a Toyota Land Cruiser in Botswana because “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” and in Botswana, I often hear the saying, "when you want to go to Africa, you can drive any car, but when you want to get BACK, drive a Toyota". It is like who you want to marry. We all love to date a model, but if you want a good life and a dependable wife, it’s much better to marry a girl who does not look like a supermodel

  15. #73
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by DieDagBreekBlou View Post
    But they both stated that the new generation Ford's (and I would figure other brands like Chev/Dodge too) cannot handle Africa's 40-degrees plus heat (with a LOT of dust) as well as the OLD 1970/80’s Fords of yesteryear could.
    very odd and interesting considering that all the American brands are extensively tested in the Yuma desert
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  16. #74
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    DieDagBreekBlou , ek het al ook paar keur in die woestyn gery en deur water en modder en nog nooit probleem gehad met my F250 nie.

    En dan het ek ook toyota gery in my lewe en weet nie waar jou vriende daai pryse gekry het wat so duur was vir F250 parte nie.
    Quote Originally Posted by DieDagBreekBlou View Post
    OK, I FARM in Botswana and South Africa. So permit me to add my 2 cents worth of advice from PRACTICAL experience LIVING with the realities of driving in Africa for more than just leisure purposes.

    1. Cost of Repairs and Availability of Parts
    I know a few guys who do FARMING/WORK with F-series Ford pickups. The one lives in Vryburg-region (South Africa) and farms with it. He bought a F-series roundabout in 2010. He stated that the Ford's tamed the Kalahari (prior to Toyota's taking over) and he loved the big size (like we all do). He was surprised by the fuel-efficiency given it's size (as long as he did not exceed 110 km/h), but then his budget started being dragged down by lack of durability of parts for the hot and harsh African conditions. First he broke a head-light. Ford charged him 12 times more than a Toyota would and he had to wait for it to be flown in from overseas. Later, a local mechanic finally figured out it had the same headlight as the old 1980's Hiluxes and replaced it. Then he had an alternator issue (prior to it having 45 000km on the clock). Nobody could get parts to repair the alternator and he had to (once again) import it for roughly 13 times the price that a Toyota alternator would cost and ended up waiting more than 6 weeks for the pickup to be on the road again. Some issue of grass seeds and dust being in the alternator resulted in Ford being unwilling to replace the part and he had to fork out a lot for driving in places where every normal farmer (and overlander) would travel. Then he broke the side-mirror and once again had to fork out a helluva lot of money for something very basic. Last I heard, someone told me he found sand in the pistons. Unsure as to what transpired there, but I just heard along the grapevine that he struggled getting parts locally to repair the engine.

    Then I also know a guy who lives close to Lobatse and has numerous shops in rural villages all over Botswana. He bought a brand new Ford F-series (2008 model I think) since the load bed was slightly bigger than the Toyota's and it allowed him to carry more stock. He never actually did farm-work that I know of, but before the vehicle hit 60 000 km, he had starter issues. He could not get an auto-electrician who had the parts to repair the starter. So he contacted Ford in Botswana (who did not stock the parts), he then contacted Ford in South Africa who charged him some exuberant price (something like 9 times more than the Toyota price) for a starter and he once again had to have the part flown in from the States, resulting in him loosing more than 8 weeks in production since the pickup didn't want to start. He also had a lot of other issues (which I honestly cannot remember, because this was a few years back) but I do remember that he implicitly stated that he wish he never bought the Ford in the first place (and he is a die-hard Ford F-series fan from childhood, since his dad "tamed the Kalahari" with a F-series Ford in the 1970's).


    2. Size of wheel-tracks and maneuverability
    OK, here I can speak from personal experience. You do NOT want to have a vehicle where the wheel-tracks are WIDER than the average vehicle. This does not matter if you are driving in mud or sand. If you do NOT drive on the compacted part of a dual-track, you will inevitably get stuck in mud. I see a LOT of people stating that wide-track vehicles are good in sand. Utter NONSENSE! Yes, when you are "making your own road" on "virgin dunes" it does not matter. But honestly, how often do people REALLY drive in "virgin sand"? Most of your time, you will travel dual-tracks left behind by someone else. If you drive any place with a lot of sand (like the majority of Botswana/Namibia) you will follow existing sand tracks and they are shaped by the AVERAGE vehicle's wheels-span of OTHER people who drive there. I often have 18-wheelers who deliver or pick up cattle and even when they are empty, they struggle like hell to reach the farm, since their wheels are driving "in the loose sand" next to the tracks left by previous vehicles. OFTEN they end up breaking a diff and then nobody goes nowhere for a LOOONG time. Yes, if a wide-wheeled truck drove before you, you don't have any issues, but to "make wider tracks" is a b*tch. I myself, have had to pull a small cattle trailer with a Land Cruiser quite a few times and even with an empty trailer, your fuel consumption is through the roof and (out of experience) you end up focusing more on the temperature gauge than to look at the passing scenery. When it's 40-degees Celsius you quickly cease an engine due to grass seeds or grass pollen blocking your radiator (grass-seed grids do not block pollen building up in your radiator) and they always end up clogging BETWEEN the engine radiator and aircon radiator where you never see it in the first place and nobody checks for grass seeds/pollen every day. So with a big rig on the back and "making wider tracks" in the loose sand, the chances are VERY big that you will end up in the bundu's with a bush-mechanic due to your engine overheating. Yes, I have a friend who overcame this issue by changing the rims on his old military ambulance to be less "deep set", thus ensuring that the tracks follow "other" vehicles, but then the vehicle is less stable on a bumpy road due to the body extending further than the wheels and you run the risk of the front wheels catching on the wheel-arches when turning.

    3. Heat and dust
    Heat and dust combined is a killer for any vehicle who has not been tested over decades and proven to handle the heat. I remember a few years ago meeting an British overlander on the Skilpadnek borderpost between Botswana and South Africa driving one of the “newer engined” Land Rovers bragging how well his "brand new Land Rover" handled itself by ONLY breaking down FOUR times between the UK and Botswana. I am sorry...did I miss something or did he say that it broke down FOUR times? In which world is breaking down every 3 000 km’s (< 2000 miles) considered to be “great performance”?

    The fact remains, I myself have seen heat rising to 48 Degrees Celsius (118 F) in Botswana and in the Namib it can rise even more. According to my knowledge, most Northern Hemisphere designed vehicles are tested more for handling extreme cold than extreme heat (I am not an expert here). Modern technology HATES dust and heat and the newer edition vehicles all use a lot of computer technology and extremely fine injector tips to optimize fuel consumption. The fact remains; in Africa we have NO shortage of dust and heat. Not only that, you are NEVER assured that petrol or diesel is clean. If you are driving a diesel, what happens if you get to a pump where they ONLY have 500ppm diesel and your rig requires 10ppm or less? Even if the pump says 50ppm, the wind could’ve blown a LOT of dust into that reservoir over the years (trust me, I have cleared out my diesel tank quite a few times, and you would be surprised how much impurities ends up in your tank. The same goes for Petrol (gasoline) engines. Injectors HATES impurities and we have a LOT of that in Africa and nothing toasts a computer circuit like a bit of dust and heat. If a bush-mechanic does not have your injector tips or “black box” engine management circuitry, your holiday just became 2 months longer.

    The fact remains, which red-blooded guy does not like a “big rig”? I myself grew up with a Ford F-250 in the 80’s. I LOVED that old pick-up where four adults could sit in the front. But the question is whether you want to “go on holiday” or if you “want to get to work” on your rig. What I found intriguing is that both the guys who I referred to LOVED the F-series Ford (just like me). But they both stated that the new generation Ford's (and I would figure other brands like Chev/Dodge too) cannot handle Africa's 40-degrees plus heat (with a LOT of dust) as well as the OLD 1970/80’s Fords of yesteryear could.

    So, yes…do you want to “look good” on holiday or actually “go on holiday” (and come back in one piece)? The more computerised something is, the bigger the chance of you getting stuck with a "bush mechanic" who cannot "make a plan" like they normally do with less fancy Japanese pickups. Repairs is your BIGGEST concern and I do not know of ANY Dodge repair shop in the entire Southern Africa and the chances are VERY little that Ford/Chev repair shops would stock the parts of the pickups which you have in mind. MOST big towns with a population of more than 10 000 people will however have a Toyota shop, so you will be able to get back on the road. Even though they might not always be the most eye catching of vehicles, Toyota tests vehicles for extended periods of time before launching a vehicle which could handle the dirty fuel, dust and heat of Africa. That is why the new edition Land Cruisers were launched in South Africa MANY years after it was launched in the rest of the world. So yes, Toyota is your safest option.

    I myself am not a fan of Toyota, but I had to swap my Isuzu for a Toyota Land Cruiser in Botswana because “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” and in Botswana, I often hear the saying, "when you want to go to Africa, you can drive any car, but when you want to get BACK, drive a Toyota". It is like who you want to marry. We all love to date a model, but if you want a good life and a dependable wife, it’s much better to marry a girl who does not look like a supermodel

  17. #75
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    humvee4us,

    I normally just lurk here (and get a lot of good information), but as an American living in Africa (who likes 4x4s), I thought I'd give you my perspective.

    I've lived in nine African countries for a total of about 20 years and I've traveled to a lot of others. Among my personal vehicles, I've had a Jeep CJ-7 (258 straight 6), an XJ (4.0 liter straight 6) and a lifted 3/4 ton Dodge Ram (5.9 Cummins 24-valve) on Super Swampers, with a Detroit Locker. My work vehicles included Suburbans and various Ford and GM full-size trucks, and a lot of Japanese vehicles

    If your dream is to drive your F350 across Africa, go for it. Your Tremor is more than capable of overlanding across Africa and people do it all the time in vehicles that are far less so. (I have a friend who drove a Model A Ford from Nairobi to Cape Town, and I often marvel at the places 2wd Toyota minibuses take people.) Very little can go wrong that can't be fixed with generous applications of time and/or money.

    That said, I think most posters here will agree that your F350 is not the optimal vehicle for overlanding in Africa. Yes, it should be quite capable off road, but most overlanders don't need "ultimate" offroad capability, especially at the expense of other factors. Most of us are trying to find the easiest line to get places. A full-size American truck will give you a lot more payload and towing capacity (and acceleration), so if those things are really important to you, it might be the best choice. The problem is that the payload and towing capacity and performance come from large displacement engines (gas or diesel) which suck up a lot of fuel even when you're not using the capabilities and hellacious amounts of fuel when you do. I'm seeing references to 11.2 mpg/21L/100km combined city/highway mileage for the 7.3 petrol. In difficult offroad situations it would be even worse. Even with a 34-gallon tank, with that kind of fuel usage, you'd probably use a good portion of your payload rating carrying extra fuel if you were going anywhere remote. Gas prices vary around Africa, but at today's low prices, I'd plan on $130 or so to fill the tank, and that will go up when fuel prices rise again.

    As has been mentioned by others, the single biggest disadvantage will be the lack of a service network, spare parts, and trained mechanics. If you're in a city, when you get a simple "check engine" light, you'll find a mechanic who can hook up an OBD reader and read the code, but he won't be able to do more. Blow out a shock? That's a Tremor-specific part and you'll have to ship one from the US. Cut sidewall on a 285/75r18? Maybe you can buy one in South Africa. I'm confident you won't find one anywhere else on the continent. Transmission problem? Put the truck back in the shipping container and send it back to the US, because there's not a mechanic in Africa who is equipped to deal with it. If your Disco 5 or your LC200 packs it up deep in the back o' beyond, the local bush mechanic might not be able to fix it either, but you can get it dealt with in Jo'burg or Nairobi or Gaborone, or Upington, Kisumu, or Maun. You don't have to send it to Japan or the UK.

    I hope this doesn't sound like I don't like American full-size pickups, because I do. They're very good at what they're designed to do, but they're designed very specifically for the US market. They're huge, but we Americans like big trucks. They have incredible power, torque, towing, and payload capacities. They suck up a lot of fuel, but fuel is cheap in the US. Reliability and longevity is generally good and there is good service support. They are often quite good off road, but they are fundamentally designed and built for use in the US where fuel is clean, most roads are paved, and qualified/equipped mechanics are never that far away.

    In Africa, even if there was a reasonable parts/service network for American trucks, I don't think there would be a big market. American trucks are very capable, but few people really use their trucks close to their outrageous capabilities. 0 - 100 KPH in 7 seconds and the ability to tow a 30,000 pound trailer are great, but not many people in Africa are going to be willing to accept 21L/100km as the tradeoff unless they're getting paid to tow a 30,000 pound trailer on a daily basis. And then they might be better off buying an 18-wheeler. And they're certainly not going to pay the kind of prices that US trucks would cost after shipping and duties. Work trucks in most of Africa are the exact opposite of American trucks. A work truck is something like a Nissan NP300. You can buy a basic 2wd diesel single cab for around $15,000 (4wd around $20,000). Maybe 9 liters per 100 km and a payload of around 2700 pounds. But nobody cares what the payload is. Everybody loads up as much as will fit, whether it is people or cows or gravel or welded hunting rigs or a two-story pile of mattresses. They expect their trucks to get the job done regardless of the rated specs. I'm not a South African, but I'd have to say that to my mind the iconic South African truck isn't the Hilux or Land Rover, it is a Nissan 1400. Probably 50 horsepower, and who knows what the load rating was. To this day you see them working hard for a living like a loyal old donkey (and usually moving at about the same speed). Small engines, granny first gear, and really stiff leaf springs do real work at low cost. They just do it. very. very. slowly.

    Vehicles designed to work or do overland type trips in Africa are usually simpler, designed to run on dirtier or higher sulphur fuel, and have fewer complex sensors and safety systems. Fuel efficiency is usually a priority. In general, this means that other aspects of performance are going to suffer, but that's a conscious trade off. Parts and service aside, I think a Hilux or a LC79 is a better truck for Africa than a full size Ford, Chevy, or Dodge. The Toyotas will be more fuel efficient, sized for the environment, and almost certainly more reliable, particularly when running on bad fuel and in choking dust. They'll be a lot slower and have a lot less towing capacity, though. If I were living in the US, I would buy a full size Ford, Chevy, or Dodge (or even a Tundra or Tacoma) and wouldn't even consider bringing in a Hilux or LC79 (if it were even possible to do so legally). The Hilux and 79 would be grossly underpowered for America, more uncomfortable than necessary on America's paved roads, have fewer safety features, and the "advantages" like being able to run on bad fuel wouldn't mean anything.

    FWIW, I loved my CJ. It was grossly uncomfortable and sucked a lot of gas, but 100% reliable and very good off road. It was carbureted and pre-electronics, so anything that went wrong could be fixed if I could get the parts. I'd consider driving one today if I were willing to drive a 35-year-old vehicle. My XJ Cherokee was more comfortable, but less reliable. I broke things like U-joints and although I never had a major engine problem, I lived in fear that I might. I loved my Dodge. It was very capable off road and I took it on some great overland trips. It was reliable for the three years I owned it. The local Cummins dealer (there are Cummins dealers almost everywhere in Africa servicing commercial diesels in heavy vehicles, generators, and mines) was happy to do the service and could do almost any repair work on the 24 valve with the exception of some electronics/computers that were limited to the Dodge variant. But it was a ticking time bomb. The day something significant went wrong other than the motor, I was going to be in a very bad place, trying to find a mechanic who could fix it and import the parts he would need. I enjoyed owning and driving that Dodge, but I wouldn't do it again.

    Now that I'm older and wiser, as long as I live in Africa, I'm pretty much a convert to Toyotas for anything I'm taking off road or into remote areas. If I were traveling only in South Africa I might expand my options.

    Humvee4us, whether or not you choose to agree with anything else I've said, I hope you'll consider this most important piece of advice: If you are even remotely thinking of overlanding in Africa, do it! If you want to put your F350 on a boat and drive across the continent, do it! If you don't want to put your F350 on a boat, think up a good alternative (I'll let someone else explain 'n boer maak 'n plan) like buying a used vehicle or renting a vehicle here and do it! If you want to have adventures, see beautiful places, and meet interesting people, especially from behind the wheel of your 4x4, Africa has a lot to offer.

    I apologize to the rest of 4x4community.co.za for being so long-winded. I've probably set a record for wordiest first post...

  18. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Rambler For This Useful Post:


  19. #76
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambler View Post


    I apologize to the rest of 4x4community.co.za for being so long-winded. I've probably set a record for wordiest first post...
    Good first post. Keep it up
    Last edited by grips; 2020/08/04 at 06:43 AM.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

  20. #77
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
    humvee4us,

    I normally just lurk here (and get a lot of good information), but as an American living in Africa (who likes 4x4s), I thought I'd give you my perspective.

    .
    .
    .
    Humvee4us, whether or not you choose to agree with anything else I've said, I hope you'll consider this most important piece of advice: If you are even remotely thinking of overlanding in Africa, do it! If you want to put your F350 on a boat and drive across the continent, do it! If you don't want to put your F350 on a boat, think up a good alternative (I'll let someone else explain 'n boer maak 'n plan) like buying a used vehicle or renting a vehicle here and do it! If you want to have adventures, see beautiful places, and meet interesting people, especially from behind the wheel of your 4x4, Africa has a lot to offer.

    I apologize to the rest of 4x4community.co.za for being so long-winded. I've probably set a record for wordiest first post...
    Rambler...very well put!

    We all WANT people to visit Africa and we will give our "take on things", but irrespective of what people decide to do, they must GO for it!

    I couldnt have put it better myself!

  21. #78
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
    humvee4us,

    I normally just lurk here (and get a lot of good information), but as an American living in Africa (who likes 4x4s), I thought I'd give you my perspective.

    I've lived in nine African countries for a total of about 20 years and I've traveled to a lot of others. Among my personal vehicles, I've had a Jeep CJ-7 (258 straight 6), an XJ (4.0 liter straight 6) and a lifted 3/4 ton Dodge Ram (5.9 Cummins 24-valve) on Super Swampers, with a Detroit Locker. My work vehicles included Suburbans and various Ford and GM full-size trucks, and a lot of Japanese vehicles

    If your dream is to drive your F350 across Africa, go for it. Your Tremor is more than capable of overlanding across Africa and people do it all the time in vehicles that are far less so. (I have a friend who drove a Model A Ford from Nairobi to Cape Town, and I often marvel at the places 2wd Toyota minibuses take people.) Very little can go wrong that can't be fixed with generous applications of time and/or money.

    That said, I think most posters here will agree that your F350 is not the optimal vehicle for overlanding in Africa. Yes, it should be quite capable off road, but most overlanders don't need "ultimate" offroad capability, especially at the expense of other factors. Most of us are trying to find the easiest line to get places. A full-size American truck will give you a lot more payload and towing capacity (and acceleration), so if those things are really important to you, it might be the best choice. The problem is that the payload and towing capacity and performance come from large displacement engines (gas or diesel) which suck up a lot of fuel even when you're not using the capabilities and hellacious amounts of fuel when you do. I'm seeing references to 11.2 mpg/21L/100km combined city/highway mileage for the 7.3 petrol. In difficult offroad situations it would be even worse. Even with a 34-gallon tank, with that kind of fuel usage, you'd probably use a good portion of your payload rating carrying extra fuel if you were going anywhere remote. Gas prices vary around Africa, but at today's low prices, I'd plan on $130 or so to fill the tank, and that will go up when fuel prices rise again.

    As has been mentioned by others, the single biggest disadvantage will be the lack of a service network, spare parts, and trained mechanics. If you're in a city, when you get a simple "check engine" light, you'll find a mechanic who can hook up an OBD reader and read the code, but he won't be able to do more. Blow out a shock? That's a Tremor-specific part and you'll have to ship one from the US. Cut sidewall on a 285/75r18? Maybe you can buy one in South Africa. I'm confident you won't find one anywhere else on the continent. Transmission problem? Put the truck back in the shipping container and send it back to the US, because there's not a mechanic in Africa who is equipped to deal with it. If your Disco 5 or your LC200 packs it up deep in the back o' beyond, the local bush mechanic might not be able to fix it either, but you can get it dealt with in Jo'burg or Nairobi or Gaborone, or Upington, Kisumu, or Maun. You don't have to send it to Japan or the UK.

    I hope this doesn't sound like I don't like American full-size pickups, because I do. They're very good at what they're designed to do, but they're designed very specifically for the US market. They're huge, but we Americans like big trucks. They have incredible power, torque, towing, and payload capacities. They suck up a lot of fuel, but fuel is cheap in the US. Reliability and longevity is generally good and there is good service support. They are often quite good off road, but they are fundamentally designed and built for use in the US where fuel is clean, most roads are paved, and qualified/equipped mechanics are never that far away.

    In Africa, even if there was a reasonable parts/service network for American trucks, I don't think there would be a big market. American trucks are very capable, but few people really use their trucks close to their outrageous capabilities. 0 - 100 KPH in 7 seconds and the ability to tow a 30,000 pound trailer are great, but not many people in Africa are going to be willing to accept 21L/100km as the tradeoff unless they're getting paid to tow a 30,000 pound trailer on a daily basis. And then they might be better off buying an 18-wheeler. And they're certainly not going to pay the kind of prices that US trucks would cost after shipping and duties. Work trucks in most of Africa are the exact opposite of American trucks. A work truck is something like a Nissan NP300. You can buy a basic 2wd diesel single cab for around $15,000 (4wd around $20,000). Maybe 9 liters per 100 km and a payload of around 2700 pounds. But nobody cares what the payload is. Everybody loads up as much as will fit, whether it is people or cows or gravel or welded hunting rigs or a two-story pile of mattresses. They expect their trucks to get the job done regardless of the rated specs. I'm not a South African, but I'd have to say that to my mind the iconic South African truck isn't the Hilux or Land Rover, it is a Nissan 1400. Probably 50 horsepower, and who knows what the load rating was. To this day you see them working hard for a living like a loyal old donkey (and usually moving at about the same speed). Small engines, granny first gear, and really stiff leaf springs do real work at low cost. They just do it. very. very. slowly.

    Vehicles designed to work or do overland type trips in Africa are usually simpler, designed to run on dirtier or higher sulphur fuel, and have fewer complex sensors and safety systems. Fuel efficiency is usually a priority. In general, this means that other aspects of performance are going to suffer, but that's a conscious trade off. Parts and service aside, I think a Hilux or a LC79 is a better truck for Africa than a full size Ford, Chevy, or Dodge. The Toyotas will be more fuel efficient, sized for the environment, and almost certainly more reliable, particularly when running on bad fuel and in choking dust. They'll be a lot slower and have a lot less towing capacity, though. If I were living in the US, I would buy a full size Ford, Chevy, or Dodge (or even a Tundra or Tacoma) and wouldn't even consider bringing in a Hilux or LC79 (if it were even possible to do so legally). The Hilux and 79 would be grossly underpowered for America, more uncomfortable than necessary on America's paved roads, have fewer safety features, and the "advantages" like being able to run on bad fuel wouldn't mean anything.

    FWIW, I loved my CJ. It was grossly uncomfortable and sucked a lot of gas, but 100% reliable and very good off road. It was carbureted and pre-electronics, so anything that went wrong could be fixed if I could get the parts. I'd consider driving one today if I were willing to drive a 35-year-old vehicle. My XJ Cherokee was more comfortable, but less reliable. I broke things like U-joints and although I never had a major engine problem, I lived in fear that I might. I loved my Dodge. It was very capable off road and I took it on some great overland trips. It was reliable for the three years I owned it. The local Cummins dealer (there are Cummins dealers almost everywhere in Africa servicing commercial diesels in heavy vehicles, generators, and mines) was happy to do the service and could do almost any repair work on the 24 valve with the exception of some electronics/computers that were limited to the Dodge variant. But it was a ticking time bomb. The day something significant went wrong other than the motor, I was going to be in a very bad place, trying to find a mechanic who could fix it and import the parts he would need. I enjoyed owning and driving that Dodge, but I wouldn't do it again.

    Now that I'm older and wiser, as long as I live in Africa, I'm pretty much a convert to Toyotas for anything I'm taking off road or into remote areas. If I were traveling only in South Africa I might expand my options.

    Humvee4us, whether or not you choose to agree with anything else I've said, I hope you'll consider this most important piece of advice: If you are even remotely thinking of overlanding in Africa, do it! If you want to put your F350 on a boat and drive across the continent, do it! If you don't want to put your F350 on a boat, think up a good alternative (I'll let someone else explain 'n boer maak 'n plan) like buying a used vehicle or renting a vehicle here and do it! If you want to have adventures, see beautiful places, and meet interesting people, especially from behind the wheel of your 4x4, Africa has a lot to offer.

    I apologize to the rest of 4x4community.co.za for being so long-winded. I've probably set a record for wordiest first post...
    Repairs aside, would you be concerned about the weight hindering the F-350 on certain parts/roads in Southern Africa? Some contributors on here have expressed their concern over the weight being a potential problem.

  22. #79
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Some comments on previous posts:
    Metric tools are needed for modern US cars - not imperial!
    Heat - They cope well in 48 Deg C sandy conditions.

    I drive a F150 3.5L ecoboost in the UAE and it is a great car. Some of the older 5.0L V8's regularly driving in the desert with us on weekends have done over 300k km with few issues. So they seem to be reliable.
    Would I drive one every day in SA? No as its not practical. Expensive due to import tax, Slow parts backup and dealer backup.
    Would I drive one overland? Yes I would consider it due to comfort, with proper preparation.

  23. #80
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    Default Re: Overlanding In Southern Africa With A Large Bakkie (Pickup)

    Quote Originally Posted by humvee4us View Post
    Repairs aside, would you be concerned about the weight hindering the F-350 on certain parts/roads in Southern Africa? Some contributors on here have expressed their concern over the weight being a potential problem.
    Would I be concerned? Not particularly. Would I be aware? Absolutely.

    Every vehicle involves compromises. With yours, weight and size are going to be two of them. Anyplace there's a road or even a trail, you should almost always be fine. You'll need to think twice before doing things like entering black cotton soil in the rainy season in Kenya or trying to drive over the thin crust at Makgadikgadi. As has been observed earlier, getting stuck in a 4-ton vehicle is a lot different from getting stuck in a 1-ton vehicle. And you might prefer to avoid some very tight trails with sheer dropoffs. Some improvised bridges or small ferries might pose problems. I would bring steel sand ladders for bridging purposes. My Dodge 3/4 ton was an extended cab short bed, so it was a little shorter and lighter than your truck, but it was still pretty large and I always got where I was going. Plenty of people overland in converted commercial trucks and military vehicles that are far larger than your full size pickup.

    For what it is worth, my biggest problem was tires. When I was loaded, I had a lot of flats despite having supposedly tough Swampers with a good load rating. They were great in mud, though. I never had problems like that with my lighter vehicles.

    To my mind, the biggest advantage of your vehicle is that you'll meet a lot of people. People who like cars will want to ask you about it. Old guys will tell you about the WM300 Dodge Power Wagon they drove during their national service. Young guys will tell you about their granddad's Chevy truck. Gas station attendants will ask just how much fuel you consume with horror in their eyes as they watch the price on the pump go up. Then they'll expect a very generous tip because you must be rich if you can pay that much for petrol. Police will pull you over just to get a better look at your truck. Customs officials may give you extra attention, wondering if you're a drug dealer. When you see groups of people carrying heavy loads on their heads, you can offer them a ride and carry their stuff in your gigantic pickup bed. A surprising number of the people just mentioned will invite you to their homes for a braai or their cousin's wedding.

    Choosing and preparing your vehicle are a fun part of the experience for most of us, but they are nothing compared to getting on the road and actually going places.

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