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Do we over-egg our vehicles for Trans-Africa trips?

Have to disagree on the Ironman comment.
Apart from the painting of them i think their stuff is great and fitting it again on my 100. Would not hesitate to fit it even if going to Cape Town and back, just cos its cheap means nothing.
Definatly not OME as that has been proven to fail as quality is quite poor lately, but does raise the point that name means nothing nowadays as most comes from China.
I'm very happy with my Ironman set up :D But to be fair would probably like to try a set of 'C' rated springs in the rear but the 'B' springs certainly do the job :thumbup: :D

Out of interest here is a photo of an OME rear strut with a broken top stud


Paint looks OK though :lol: :lol: :lol: :) ;)


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misterpaul said:
Marius De Kock said:
I found the following article in the June 2010 publication of SA 4x4 magazine very informative. Caron and I will be following guidelines in this article for our year long trip in Africa. 4x4 March 2010 Everything but the kitchen sink.pdf

Thanks for reading.


Interesting article, but not sure I agree with everything. I used a roof tent for 18 months in Africa and never found anywhere too windy to use it.

I borrowed this text from Dave Docwra’s website.

“Set off for Kerima to see the Merowe Pyramids & on the way we stopped in the Nubian Desert close to Wawa for our morning tea, after visiting the pyramids we set off for Atbara & we stopped for our night camp in the Bayuda Desert which was very remote, in fact in four hours we only saw three other vehicles on this road, we found a really nice spot a little distance from the road so we would not be seen or disturbed, we cooked our evening meal & cleaned up, we decided to get an early night so we could get a nice cool start in the morning, we were in bed for 8pm as the darkness had set in, after about an hour a breeze started which was quite nice as it was cooling us down, the breeze with no warning turned into what felt like a hurricane & filled the tent with fine sand dust, I had to move to the rear of the tent as it was trying to lift this section from the ground, The tent was in danger of collapsing on us & Kou was panicking & scared she was going to die, I had to keep calm & make the best decisions, the wind was that ferocious that it was pushing sassy over on her suspension which is amazing as she weighs over three tons, I made my way out of the tent to prepare the car for us, the sand was hurting my exposed skin & I was finding it very hard to breathe & see where I was going.”

We are taking a roof top tent and ground tent.
Sounds like fun...we probably took a similar route through Sudan but going south to north and while on occasions it was a bit breezy nothing like these conditions.

I wonder how a ground tent would cope in similar hurricane force wind? Especially when you pitch it on fine sand that won't hold tent pegs in.

And in relation to the Ironman comments, my Ironman shocks handled Africa just fine. Don't have their springs though.
Hi Paul,

If we were to use a ground tent on that night, I am sure we would have woke up in Kansas :lol:
Saw this and thought it might ad to the debate. But to be honest, think I would stick to a more conventional 4wd.

I personally think that Subaru cars are great. AWD and limited amount of electronics..... Would use it for the snow and slippery conditions, just think that vehicles like this become abused if used in such harsh environments.




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looks identical to my subaru! - model and colour
but think i would take my landcruiser there not the forester
Any chance of getting better resolution scans?
My Subaru driving friends would be interested. :D
African Drifter said:
Hi Guys!

If you want anything done or taken across this planet, without any how, or even with what?,... .... just ask a Dutchman! You are still talking about it and they have already packed and are ready to go!.... and out the door they go!
You don't need a specialized vehicle to cross Africa,..... Make sure that whatever you drive is mechanically sound and always pack light. The overland vehicles are basically for the guys that wants to do more extreme off roading,
tougher challenges and different routes thats all. Know a Dutchman that took his wife on a trip thru the' whole' of Europe for months on end, winter, summer and so on with only 2 bags and a Renault 5 1981 and they did it with ease! Another Dutchman that went thru Africa, from Amsterdam all the way down to Kenya with a 1938 Austin 12/6. No 'lift kits' or' winches' to fit those and the trips was a great success!

African Drifter

There's a photoblog somewhere of a dutch guy who went from Holland to Cape Town on a bike - not a GSA or KTM but an R1.

Also the BBC programme about big journeys which had a S.Af couple driving to the UK - did lots of research, they went out and bought an 80 series. They rolled it and wrote it off within 1000 miles. The driver is the most important bit