Necessary 'kit' for Morocco trip

devonnick Jan 7, 2019

  1. devonnick

    devonnick New Member

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    Does anyone on the forum have any recent experience of touring Morocco?

    I'm doing a solo trip there for 7 weeks from February in my 80 Series and finding it hard to draw the line on 'have to have', 'nice to have' and 'looks good, but will I ever use it' kit. If I listened to some of the advice I have received I would end up spending £000's for 'just in case' or luxury items and have a vehicle weighing more than the Pope's wallet.

    The items I am currently struggling to justify are:
    1/ Air Jack. These cost from £100 upwards and take up the room of a 3 man tent. Reports I have read tend to say that they are very rarely used and can puncture easily on sharp objects and hot exhausts. But I am 100% not taking a high lift jack, so without an air jack would be left with sand ladders, a proper shovel and a good bottle jack - and plenty of time to dig myself out.
    2/ Sump Guard. Again, £100 upwards, plus the weight, for something that I don't know is necessary in Morocco
    3/ A spares locker containing 40KG of alternator, starter motor, wheel bearings, radiator, +++. Surely there are LC spares available in Morocco?

    When travelling on my own I fully accept that there will be routes I cannot use. However, am I right in saying that in 2019 there are so many people touring Morocco that my issue will probably to escape convoys of 4x4's??

    I do have long range tanks (so am only taking one 20L jerry can), 50L water tank with Seagul filtration, great new lithium battery technology for jump starting and fridge/accessories and compressor

    Thanks

    Nick
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    Well here's some thoughts.

    We found that fuel was far more readily available and of far higher quality than we'd been led to believe and most places accepted credit cards. In our three weeks there, I can't recall anyone ever being in fuel 'poverty' and needing to fill from a can or squeeze diesel soaked sponges into the tank. The Jerry can is more likely to be of use to help some one else. You can get oil in garages, but worth taking a filter if you're there for 7 weeks.

    I have a central bash plate which is always good insurance but I've never really needed a front plate. The steering is rarely threatened on an 80. Odd but it's true.

    As for spares, I'd limit my stores to things that cannot be fixed and would be critical plus might reasonably fail in the first place. There's usually a work around for most things. If your starter goes - leave the engine running or park on a hill - well you get the idea. Some stuff like bearings will fit in the glove box. No reason not to take them. Instead of a whole alternator, just take the regulator thingy; I bought a spare recently for about £25. Size of a matchbox.

    I think the sensible advice when on your own, is know your limits and stick to them. Don't attempt some off road lunacy with no hope of rescue. It's perfectly possible to enjoy Morocco without hard core rock climbing.

    With prevention being better than cure, the preparation of your vehicle and quality of components is key. If you fit Halfords springs, expect failure. Fit some decent kit like EFS, OME etc and you're very unlikely to experience a failure. Same with tyres etc etc.

    Air jack? I wouldn't. High lift? Well as long as you have some way to change a wheel then do you need a high lift? They do other things of course other than just lift. When you need one they're brilliant. When you don't, they're a lump of steel that is heavy, awkward and gets in the way all day long.

    You didn't mention a decent compressor. Airing down for comfort in the rock desert stuff is essential.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  3. Firewout

    Firewout Well-Known Member I am in belgium

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    If your truck is well maintained, don't bother to take extra spares. It's just Morocco. They have access to spares and they know how to fix our cruisers.
    Just take the gear you normally take on your trips.
     
  4. Firewout

    Firewout Well-Known Member I am in belgium

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    @Chris
    Yes he did. :eusa-whistle:
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    Oh yes he did. Well he didn't say decent compressor ha ha.

    Actually my mind read that as a compressor fridge.

    Nurse, I need to go again ..
     
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  6. MarkW

    MarkW Well-Known Member I am in morocco

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    All you need for Morocco is a well maintained car, spares you can buy and often a lot easier than in the UK in some places. I needed a replacement diff a couple of years ago and have a rare diff ratio, replacement was being fitted 2 hours after rolling into a garage!.

    Add some decent tyres and a compressor and that's really all you need

    Bash Plates, upgraded suspension etc are not needed unless you massively overload the vehicle (this does seem to be a habit with some overlanders). Ground Clearance is more important than articulation

    Fuel is good and very easy to find (providing the truck drivers don't go on strike again like they did in October), quality is also good so no need for secondary filters. The only time you'll need extra fuel is if you doing long distances in off road in the Western Sahara or the Rekkam Plateau.

    Water quality is pretty decent from the tap and bottled water available everywhere so no need to weigh yourself down with excessive water.

    Join the Overlanding Morocco Facebook group, we have experts resident in Morocco and a great network of support across the country. There are other FB resources but they really don't have the expertise required.

    Not sure where you are in Devon, but I'm in west Dorset for the next 6 weeks before I head back to Africa so if you want to get together to discuss things your more than welcome. With 20 years in Morocco and well over 100 000km of road experience there very few routes I haven't driven
     
  7. moggy1968

    moggy1968 Well-Known Member

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    When are you going? There is a guy who has been travelling for 6 years with his family currently stranded there without a clutch, he’s asking if someone can pick one up in Spain. He’s been waiting for one from the U.K. to clear customs since the beginning of December!

    I wouldn’t worry about a spare alternator or starter motor. That are heavy and usually give some warning before failing. If your alternator fails unexpectedly you will still have enough battery to get you to safety.
    You don’t need an airbag Jack. You do need an effective way to inflate your tyres (not a cheap Halfords special compressor) because airing down your tyres is the absolute number one essential for either not getting stuck or getting unstuck in sand. To that end, take some kind of maxtrax, you can get cheapie ones off eBay. The quality doesn’t really matter for what you are using them for. I’ve never needed a sump guard, but would have felt happier with one as it’s very rocky. Check your wheel bearing before you go, and maybe just take a repair kit for one side. Depends how long you are going for though. Take shovel not a spade with a handle long enough to reach half under the vehicle.
     
  8. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    Bear in mind that an 80 weighs considerably more than a 9o to begin with. It's not necessarily a case of overloading. Therefore the emphasis was on quality really not on upgraded capacity. If I took an empty 80, I'd still go with something other than stock factory units. As the trip is 7 weeks, that's possibly quite punishing on dampers at least if you're doing anything other than tarmac. With a long range tank on board at the very least and maybe a roof tent, I'd be thinking about the beating that it might get.
     
  9. Higgy

    Higgy Well-Known Member Supporter I am in denmark

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    Hi Mark W.. I was just wondering what the word on the street is in Morocco regarding safety.. After the heart braking news of the two Scandinavian girls over Xmas... Is it being put down as an isolated incident/ one of those things etc etc .. Dont want to bring a bad vibe to the thread.. was just wondering about safety.. are the Moroccan Authorities on top of the Job.. The missus and i have been talking about an adventure in Morocco for ages... Thanks
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    I'd missed that story Higgy, but without wishing to play murder ping pong, we've had a bloke stabbed to death on a train in front of his son. Is it any safer here?
     
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  11. Higgy

    Higgy Well-Known Member Supporter I am in denmark

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    Yeh! your right Chris.. Guess i was just over thinking things.... Tragic story Tho.. Thanks for the perspective
     
  12. flint

    flint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My son and his partner were in the Toubkal region last year and had no problems.
     
  13. stumog

    stumog Well-Known Member I am in england

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    I travel up and down from Bristol to Plymouth every week if you want to borrow a air jack for your trip. It doesn't fit a 75mm exhaust though. It does fold very flat and doesn't take.up much room
     
  14. MarkW

    MarkW Well-Known Member I am in morocco

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    I run 3-400kg over kerb weight (not GVM) and racked up over 80 000km off road on standard Toyota suspension. The only suspension breakage I've had in that time was a front spring which was original with 225000miles on it. Last autumn I did 15 000km over 9 weeks with new suspension and no damage or wear, every thing looks like new. Standard Toyota suspension is very capable until the vehicle is overloaded but thats just my observations from real world travel.

    Higgy, its was a truly tragic event, a good friend of mine lives 30km from one of the victims. To put it in perspective this was the 3rd terrorist incident in Morocco in the last 20 years. (bombing in Casablanca in 2002, bomb in Marrakech 2011 and this latest incident). The authorities acted swiftly and arrested the suspects within a couple of days and have since arrested a further 20 or so people.

    Over the Christmas and New Year period there has been increased security with some people free camping in the north being asked to move to safer locations. A number of campsites also had police guards for New Years eve.

    Morocco's authorities recognise how important the tourist industry is and deal with things effectively to keep it safe. General consensus both from myself and the other local experts is Morocco is still safe to travel and theres probably no more risk of violent crime than any where in Europe.
     
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  15. Higgy

    Higgy Well-Known Member Supporter I am in denmark

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    Cheers Mark.. Morocco is such a great destination for Travellers/Overlanders.. My missus took a party of school kids in 2012 wild camping in the Atlas mountains and loved it and vowed we would return.. Hope it has not Dented the reputation Morocco has for being a great place to be... Thanks
     
  16. devonnick

    devonnick New Member

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    WOW - Thank you for all the valuable comments and observations so quickly. The consensus is definitely 'travel light' - and save money :) With so many 'no go' areas in the world now I think Morocco (plus Portugal/Pyrenees) has fast become the Longleat of game reserves, if you get my drift - close/contained/as safe as it gets. I was going to ship the 80 to Florida and end up in Costa Rica, via Baja, but cancelled due to insurance/RHD vehicle access/Safety/Customs/Overall costs

    I do have:
    Ridepro steering damper, Ridepro HD springs and dampers, plus a direct plug into the air suspension to inflate/deflate as needed
    Stainless brake hoses
    A Maggiolina Extreme roof tent on a Patriot rack, Engel fridge and 50L water tank (I don't need to fill it!)
    An onboard ARB compressor with resevoir, plus a portable Ring compressor
    Additional 65L tank in spare wheel well

    stumog
    Your offer to borrow/rent your compact lifting bag gratefully accepted. I'm happy to give you the replacement cost in cash as the deposit for it's safe return. I am at [email protected] and can get to Plymouth to collect

    moggy1968
    I am happy to take a clutch out. My ferry gets into Bilbao on 11th Feb and I am not in a hurry, so will probably land in Tangier circa 14/15th. Surely someone can ship a clutch to Morocco before then??

    Thanks again
     
  17. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    Great stuff. You can use the trip to Morocco as the practice run for Russia next year. Now that's some real world travel.
     
  18. moggy1968

    moggy1968 Well-Known Member

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    His has arrived, finally!! Thanks for the offer though.
    Before I took mine down the west coast to The Gambia, which was going to involve about 1000 miles of off road, I changed the clutch as a preventative measure, and took the old one as a spare,although I think that was probably a bit OTT because they weigh shit loads. Generally though I think it's a good idea that rather than take new spares, fit those new parts and take the old ones, because you know they will fit and you won't find yourself out in the boonies with your vehicle in bits and a part that doesn't fit! Doesn't work for all but where you can it's a good system.
    I carry a spare water pump, because that's an endex job if it fails and you don't have one and it's easy to change, belts hoses and filters. Beyond that I carry bodging kit, 3 sizes of threaded rod and nuts, assorted nuts and bolts, radweld, block sealer, brake fluid, cable, cable ties, ratchet straps, a couple of bits of steel plate (for bracing a snapped leaf spring). That kind of stuff.
    concentrate on bodging, stuff like how to stop a holed rad from leaking by crimping the fins, how to restart an engine with a flat battery using a rope or strap round a wheel (not if it's an auto, so think about your fall back for an auto), how to work a flip flop winch, that kind of stuff. Most of all, enjoy!! I am jealous, I was supposed to be leaving for Morocco at the same time as you but had to abandon my plans due to a sickly truck.
     
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  19. moggy1968

    moggy1968 Well-Known Member

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    I think your absolutely right, it's all about perception. I work in travel assistance and after the girl was murdered in New Zealand people were asking if it was safe to travel. It's probably one of the safest countries in the world, the guy was I believe known to her and it's an exceptionally rare event. Far more at risk in the UK.

    The biggest risk to peoples safety is themselves. because they are on holiday they seem to forget about the usual safety procedures they would use at home and put themselves in positions of risk.
     
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  20. rob rule

    rob rule Member

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    and a short piece of scrap scaffold plank for beneath the jack in soft conditions....or starting a small fire:)
     
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