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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Some good input here, thank you everyone! I’ve compiled what I think would be a good basic set of prep – I am sure you experienced folks will either laugh at my attempt, or can contribute to it. Either way, let me know if I have missed anything.

    My thinking so far in terms of the vehicle:
    1. I'm leaning towards keeping the vehicle stock, but to replace the worn shocks with an Old Man Emu suspension to improve the clearance a little and increase load carrying ability – not keen on coil helpers. No winch, no bullbar, no bash plate, no sliders, no spots.
    2. Attach decent recovery points
    3. Replace tow ball with pinball
    4. Quality AT tyres – standard size
    5. As I will be towing my conqueror - I have no further need to add storage systems or extras – aim is to keep vehicle as lite as possible.
    6. TPMS
    7. I am considering adding a Roofrack as it provides me with an option to carry extra spare tyre and a few bags of wood, also serve as mounting point for 270 degree awning & sand tracks
    8. Tool and parts kit
    9. Recovery kit
    10. First aid kit
    11. Water

    In terms of vehicle prep:
    1. Take car for a full assessment with Toyota to rule out/replace possible suspect components.
    2. Replace radiator rubber hoses
    3. Replace all fluids & oils (steering, brakes, coolant, diff, gearbox and transfer case)

    Things I am contemplating but haven’t made up my mind yet
    1. Aux battery - with 2x 120ah in the conqueror and no fridges to run in the car, I can do with the weight saving. so maybe no second battery in the Prado.
    2. I possibly need a solution for drinking water storage as the prospect of carrying loose containers/bottles of drinking water in the car does not appeal to me but I guess it too has its advantages. (separate container reduces lack of contamination of water stock, useful containers once empty)
    3. Depending on trip I might consider diff breathers at a later stage – not required for Namibia/Kgalagadi/Richtersveld – but will need for Moremi/Chobe depending on season
    4. not critical for short trips, but a 12v UV Filter option in the trailer would be a nice addition - but not essential.

    Planned contents of toolkit:
    1. The basics for the vehicle
    - light bulbs
    - fuses
    - spare fan belt
    - used radiator hose
    - quality bottle jack + base
    - set of chock blocks
    - comprehensive toolset in a roll
    - rags
    - work sheet
    - My Prado workshop manual ��
    - Set of tyre levers
    - Depending on how far I would want to travel also engine oil and filters, but not for trips less than 15 000km
    2. For the trailer-
    - spare male/female 7pin trailer plug;
    - spare wheel bearing set & surgical gloves
    - spare coupler shock,
    - Electrical wire,
    - spare brad Harrison plugs,
    - assorted wire terminals,
    - insulation tape,
    - contact adhesive,
    - multi meter,
    - selection of bolts and nuts,
    - duct tape,
    - cable ties,
    - cotter pin,
    - castle nut,
    - grease cap,
    - hand cleanser

    Contents of recovery kit:
    1. 12v air pump
    2. Quality tyre repair kit + fresh rubber solution
    3. Tyre gauge
    4. Spade (attached to my trailer – mustn’t forget to put it in the car for when we do a “gou gou ‘n draaitjie” before sunset)
    5. Sand tracks or empty sand bags – which ever is easier / lighter.
    6. Snatch strap
    7. Tow rope
    8. Shackles
    9. Gloves
    10. 2 ounces of patients

    First aid kit
    1. Enough great threads on this forum – cover the basics and make sure you know how to use everything. Keep a list ready with contents and its purpose/how to use it.
    Last edited by Boesman88; 2020/08/03 at 02:43 PM. Reason: formatting

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post

    ... but to replace the worn shocks with an Old Man Emu suspension to improve the clearance a little and increase load carrying ability...
    If you plan to travel outside of SA, bear in mind the OME shocks are different size from standard.
    If one leaks/fails you are then in the hands of DHL or FedEx to ship a replacement.

    I would stick to Toyota, Monroe, Gabriel etc, as they will be found anywhere outside of SA, the 120 Prado is possibly the most common SUV in the region.

    Cheers

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  5. #23
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    OME is reasonably available in SADC. Here in Nam its actually almost easier to get your hands on a OME or aftermarket shock than a toyota shock.
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Something not often thought about. Take 20 to 30 empty 50kg agricultural type bags with you. They roll up into a small bundle. They are great to fill up with sand to fix a road or construct a crossing where there has been a washaway. They are reusable once you have crossed the obstacle - just empty the sand / soil. Or to put down under mattresses or use when you want to lie under your vehicle.. Also can be used to store dry rubbish until disposal or to carry wood.
    [SIGPIC]MikevR Be determined to live the unlived life within you.

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  8. #25
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    OME is reasonably available in SADC. Here in Nam its actually almost easier to get your hands on a OME or aftermarket shock than a toyota shock.

    Wow!

    That's good.

    In Zambia, Zim, Moz or Malawi it would be like finding hen's teeth.

    Even a dealer who tells you he is the authorised OME guy would have to order from SA. All he has is an OME logo painted outside his shop.

  9. #26
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    I would not lift the vehicle at all, the Prado has enough clearance if you drive it with respect for the terrain and planning your line.
    Once you do a lift and fit Old Man Emu you cannot replace a kaput shock with Toyota shock absorbers or even bushes. Remember that your suspension is the most likely item of all to succumb on an overland trip.
    If you want to upgrade the shocks go for one of the brands that do not require a lift, for ease of replacement.
    Stanley Weakley.
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    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

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    http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

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  11. #27
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nys View Post
    Ja, also true. Question of "rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it"

    Dam, no I have to fit a set of spots as well
    You think because you understand ''one'', you must also understand ''two'' because one and one make two. But you must also understand ''and''.....




    Using Spots for safe travelling at night in Africa is dependent on speed. Safe Speed is dependent on a number of other independent variables or a number of independent variables acting upon each other.

    The use of spots or light bars being touted as a necessity for travelling safely at night in Africa suggests that speed or excessive speed will be used, which negates having the spots for safety in the first place....................




    Estee = S T = Sean Towlson

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  13. #28
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    I think you have a thorough list. We've done some phenominal trips with much less. Stock vehicles driven responsibly will take you to 95% of the places you want to see.

    As a matter of interest the most common failures we've seen are poorly installed electrical/electronic equipment. Biggest culprit being dual battery systems.

    Secondly broken towbars and/or hitching points.

    Mentioned previously as well, the driver is the most important aspect. Take it easy and chances are you will be fine.
    Always take the slow road.
    Gerrit Fourie

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post



    Using Spots for safe travelling at night in Africa is dependent on speed. Safe Speed is dependent on a number of other independent variables or a number of independent variables acting upon each other.

    The use of spots or light bars being touted as a necessity for travelling safely at night in Africa suggests that speed or excessive speed will be used, which negates having the spots for safety in the first place....................




    Very true words. My dad always taught us "only drive as fast as you can see". Words that have helped me a lot with night driving.

    I don't encourage night driving at all, but on some occasions it does happen, and then I would prefer to rather have a good ammount of light then too little. Even driving 60 on a tar road in the north a lot of "standard" vehicles don't give you the correct ammount of light to see the black donkey sleeping on the road around a slight bend until it is too late, or the kudu standing on the side of the gravel road just outside of your standard range of light.

    For that reason I have always had spots on my cars, and they have helped me quite a few times, always have them turned slightly outwards to help light up the sides of the road, you don't necessarily need to be going very fast to bump a animal at night.
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
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  16. #30
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashtego9 View Post
    Wow!

    That's good.

    In Zambia, Zim, Moz or Malawi it would be like finding hen's teeth.

    Even a dealer who tells you he is the authorised OME guy would have to order from SA. All he has is an OME logo painted outside his shop.
    So you gonna open up a little "shock shop" and I will supply you?
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
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    https://www.facebook.com/kepanamibia/


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

  17. #31
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    So you gonna open up a little "shock shop" and I will supply you?
    Yes please!

    Brilliant idea.

    There is an untapped market for 4x4 kit in these countries...

  18. #32
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Good luck with your travels, very envious here...
    I think you have great grasp of the most important issues, and great advisors too...
    For me, tyres are #1 priority, simply because this was a lesson that I learned the hard way, including the need for either a viable tyre repair method, or preferably that and a second spare, in indeed in remote areas.
    I do not like travelling too remotely alone, perhaps a bit of a wuss - but there is of course always far greater safety when in convoy, even of just two. I always have followed that rule when travelling with kids anyway. If not doing that, I would increase the desirability factor of a winch, depending of course on how and where you drive.
    D

  19. #33
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    Very true words. My dad always taught us "only drive as fast as you can see". Words that have helped me a lot with night driving.

    I don't encourage night driving at all, but on some occasions it does happen, and then I would prefer to rather have a good ammount of light then too little. Even driving 60 on a tar road in the north a lot of "standard" vehicles don't give you the correct ammount of light to see the black donkey sleeping on the road around a slight bend until it is too late, or the kudu standing on the side of the gravel road just outside of your standard range of light.

    For that reason I have always had spots on my cars, and they have helped me quite a few times, always have them turned slightly outwards to help light up the sides of the road, you don't necessarily need to be going very fast to bump a animal at night.
    I agree completely that one should drive within one's lights. We never drive at night outside cities - or more accurately, never plan to drive at night, and if circumstances require that we do so, we drive cautiously, well within the lights. We have replaced the original bulbs in the standard explorer lights ("spots") with LEDs, which give more light, however have not added any additional lighting - everything you add increases weight, fuel consumption, and potential to be stolen (if outside the vehicle).

    One reason for not travelling at night is safety; the other is that if you travel at night you don't see the scenery through which you're driving, which somewhat negates the point of travel...

    I am fully aware that for people who routinely drive from A to B as part of "normal life" - e.g. returning from market at the end of the day - having additional lights makes sense, however we're talking here about "overland vehicle prep".

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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray v.Beveren View Post
    I follow a lot of overland travelling channels. My advice is to listen to people that have travelled the world in the last 3 years or so and not those that did it 20 years ago.
    It's amazing how the world has changed in the last 3 to 5 years from only using Toyota's and Defenders for overland travel to many other brands.
    Perhaps we can have this conversation again when you get back from your first overland trip?
    Tony Weaver

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  22. #35
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by alannymarce View Post

    I am fully aware that for people who routinely drive from A to B as part of "normal life" - e.g. returning from market at the end of the day - having additional lights makes sense, however we're talking here about "overland vehicle prep".
    Which is exactly my point.

    The OP refers to 2 - 3 week travels across sub-saharan africa, solo.

    So there we are, happily traveling along to our next camping spot, it's 16:00 in the afternoon, we have lots of time to get there before sunset.

    Arrgh, trailer wheel bearing siezes, what now? No probs, I have a spare. Takes me 2 hours to replace. Good to go again, but now it's dark. Can't sleep here right next to the road, it's unsafe and we have a child with us.

    No worries, we take it easy, I had the new bulbs fitted and the lights set-up on the machine at the local diesel electric. We get going, damn, lights were set on the machine with empty vehicle, am heavily loaded and have a trailer on my butt, why are the lights so high? I can't really see the potholes etc. Strange...

    Nevermind, will switch on the spots, that should help. Spots? Oh...uhm...wait...


    I will stick to my theory of seeing a good set of spotlights as a good addition to an overlanding vehicle. On a overland trip you never "plan" to drive at night, but it does happen. So far my lights have not added much weight to my vehicle, neither have they increased my fuel consumption to my knowledge. And I would easily trade that extra 2kg and 0.001ml per 100km of extra fuel for the added safety of good light in a unplanned situation.
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
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  24. #36
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by AboutAfrica View Post
    Which is exactly my point.

    The OP refers to 2 - 3 week travels across sub-saharan africa, solo.

    So there we are, happily traveling along to our next camping spot, it's 16:00 in the afternoon, we have lots of time to get there before sunset.

    Arrgh, trailer wheel bearing siezes, what now? No probs, I have a spare. Takes me 2 hours to replace. Good to go again, but now it's dark. Can't sleep here right next to the road, it's unsafe and we have a child with us.

    No worries, we take it easy, I had the new bulbs fitted and the lights set-up on the machine at the local diesel electric. We get going, damn, lights were set on the machine with empty vehicle, am heavily loaded and have a trailer on my butt, why are the lights so high? I can't really see the potholes etc. Strange...

    Nevermind, will switch on the spots, that should help. Spots? Oh...uhm...wait...


    I will stick to my theory of seeing a good set of spotlights as a good addition to an overlanding vehicle. On a overland trip you never "plan" to drive at night, but it does happen. So far my lights have not added much weight to my vehicle, neither have they increased my fuel consumption to my knowledge. And I would easily trade that extra 2kg and 0.001ml per 100km of extra fuel for the added safety of good light in a unplanned situation.
    you make a good point here and I can definately see that a set of spots can be a huge benefit when in need. Perhaps not (yet) on my list of things to buy, but I think quality spots does have a place.

    I have also replaced my standard headlight bulbs with better ones (Phillips Extreme Visions) and i do find though that combined with the built-in foglights it gives ample light. Could be better I guess but I am certainly not driving blind at the moment.

    I do need a bit of advice though on suspension.... one of the reasons I really like the Prado is the way it drives - very smooth, but it does sag when I hook up the very heavy Commander. I hear the argument for keeping it stock which I support, but to solve the sagging rear I will have to either:

    1. add air helpers which can (and often do) fail - so you wont get stuck when they fail, but it will sag. Given I need to replace my shocks in any event, this option would cost me R20k (R16k for OEM Shocks, balance for the helpers)

    2. upgrade the coils to carry better loads but run stock Toyota shocks (not sure if this is advisable) or

    3. fit an aftermarket shock and coil set. This moves me away from stock with the risks as described in the first few responses. Question would be which brands then. Bilstein? KONI? OME? The long stretches of corrugation makes me scared of any after market setups. Should I be?

  25. #37
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    .......... The long stretches of corrugation makes me scared of any after market setups. Should I be?
    Yes, this will be your highest risk of a breakdown.

    I support air bags and they make sense to mitigate sagging of the rear if towing. It takes very little space to carry a couple of spare air bags in case they develop leaks and most bush mechanics will be able to replace a faulty one later, even in the sticks.
    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.

  26. #38
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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    ... add air helpers which can (and often do) fail - so you wont get stuck when they fail, but it will sag. Given I need to replace my shocks in any event, this option would cost me R20k (R16k for OEM Shocks, balance for the helpers)
    To be honest, I am not sure where the notion of air helpers failing comes from. Sure anything can fail, but I have had airhelpers now in 3 vehicles (one of which did a lot of overland type of travel) and they never gave any hassle what so ever.

    And what will make them fail? How will they get puntured? Maybe a random branch sticking up of a track, but that will need a very specific alignment of several planets and stars. They are made of very thick rubber and is well protected in the coil. A pipe might get punctured, but again you will need some luck for that to happen. And even they are damaged, so what? Deflate the other one and drive slowly to where you can get help. Like Stan suggests, carry a spare set if you are that worried.

    I will go for the helpers and standard length aftermarket shocks like Bilsteins which I had on my TX Prado. They are probably cheaper than the standard Toyota shock anyway.
    Christa
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT

    BushLapa 78 Now a Boskruier but with the same Zambia and CKGR bush stripes


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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    .... And even they are damaged, so what? Deflate the other one and drive slowly to where you can get help. ....
    I think we are saying the same thing. :-)

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    Default Re: Overland vehicle prep... What would you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boesman88 View Post
    I think we are saying the same thing. :-)
    Seems like it yes

    I just also wanted to bring the Bilstein shocks under your attention for in case you have not thought of that.
    Christa
    2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 AT

    BushLapa 78 Now a Boskruier but with the same Zambia and CKGR bush stripes


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