Overlanding with kids - A Scandinavian adventure - TRIP REPORT

nick_the_fish Feb 13, 2017

  1. nick_the_fish

    nick_the_fish Well-Known Member I am in great_britain

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    No I don't think you came on too strong @StarCruiser especially with something so safety critical. Like I said I really appreciate the advise.

    I like to try to aim for best practise when I do things on the truck so I think i'll strip out the busbar/ fuses and install something better quality. Something like this?

    http://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/standard-blade-fuse-box-with-leds-10-way.html

    Also I noticed this which sits on the battery terminal and provides distribution and fusing which may be overkill but its a neat solution and certainly gets the fusing near to the battery.

    http://www.12voltplanet.co.uk/battery-distribution-fuse-box.html

    Then as you suggest i'll protect all the wiring - i've used these rubber lined P clips for a lot of the cable routing so I'll get some more of those too.

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  2. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in uk

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    Both of those are excellent suggestions. There are slight variations on the first one. eBay is quite a good place to look although your suggestion there looks good. There are other types that feed from the back but are not busbar types. What you have shown looks far better and the battery post mount version provided it fits on your battery is superb for the application. Well selected. I've even bookmarked it for the future. :)

    P clips are ok if necessary. The main thing is to provide some extra protection to the wires. Split flexi conduit does this well without necessarily tying things down to rigidly. Taping into a loom also does this to a lesser degree. Spiral wrap tends to bind everything quite rigidly together which can lead to problems. Also, try and leave a little bit of slack to enable you to manoeuvre wiring, avoid stress on the terminals, that sort of thing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  3. chapel gate

    chapel gate Well-Known Member Supporter Promoted Company I am in england

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    I used the same fuse blade box for my power outlets and usb points recently, it sits under the centre console, excellent little thing for the money.
     
  4. chapel gate

    chapel gate Well-Known Member Supporter Promoted Company I am in england

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    Oh the same website does twin core 12 volt cable which i used and is very handy, the new heat shrink connectors are great too.
     
  5. GuyB

    GuyB Member Supporter I am in sweden

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    Hi Nick, looks like a great adventure and neat build. The family and I are based in Näset, near Malmö and if you're lucky with the weather, the beaches here are magical. I'm part way through my own (somewhat less sophisticated) overland build, and my Copenhagen to Capetown adventure begins in November - although in my case it's a series of 2-4 week 'stages' over the subsequent 24 months. I'd love to exchange notes with you over a brew and point you to a few of the local sights if you're passing through - PG Tips always in stock! IMG_0269.JPG IMG_0634.JPG IMG_1132.JPG IMG_1416.JPG IMG_0011.JPG
     
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  6. nick_the_fish

    nick_the_fish Well-Known Member I am in great_britain

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    Hi @GuyB , thanks for getting in touch.

    Yeah I think we're heading your way so would be cool to meet up. We come through Malmo on our way from Denmark into Sweden on the 26th May, prob stop in Varberg for a day, then heading up towards you guys (I found Naset near Gothenberg??) on 28th ish.

    Could meet at one of the local beaches for a cuppa and a run around on the beach.

    Do you know of any good campsites/ wilding camping spots in the area. We want to wild camp as much as possible and while it seems easy in the mid and north of the country, the south of the country seems quite inhabited?

    Looking forward to meeting you guys.

    Cheers

    Nick
     
  7. GuyB

    GuyB Member Supporter I am in sweden

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    Hi - no we're much closer to Malmö. Actually I think Näset is just a colloquial name - on the map it's Falsterbo (which along with it's neighbours, Skanör and Llunghusen, make up Näset). Technically it's an island but only because they cut a channel through the neck of what was a peninsula. We're about 20 mins drive from the border. There's a camp site here which has just been refurbed, and people also camp in most of the beach car parks here which often have toilet and shower facilities - Skanör Harbour seems to offer some basic camping facilities and a great view. The campsite will be quiet until July so no need to book. The main attraction here is the beach but the Viking Village http://www.fotevikensmuseum.se/d/en is a great one to visit with the kids (check opening days/times). You're welcome for a fika (swedish term for cuppa and a natter) I'll PM you my contact details.
     
  8. nick_the_fish

    nick_the_fish Well-Known Member I am in great_britain

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    Time for a progress update.

    Firstly and most importantly given current events I redid all the wiring to the leisure battery. In the end I removed the air horn which i'll put elsewhere at a later date so there is only the voltmeter cable and the main cable running from the battery now. Unfortunately I couldn't use the distribution box that I brought because it wouldn't fit the terminal configuration... doh
    IMG_4390.JPG

    I then replaced the busbar with a fusebox

    IMG_4394.JPG

    I still need to tidy the cables up but it does seem better.

    Next the winch bar went on

    IMG_4393.JPG

    and the water pump/ inline filter/ various hoses and valves. Plus I finally got to use my Fast and the Furious style flip switch :)

    IMG_4389.JPG

    I needed to do a bit of a reshuffle so mounted the rear fire extinguisher onto the door, along with a storage net, and probably the most useful thing so far.... some hooks to hold the bin bag open

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    After that it was time for a test trip to ensure we could pack everything in. The way we pack is a simple process

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    There are 6 small boxes which sit under the plinth, and the first 4 wolf boxes go in first. These boxes are excellent as they double up as additional seats/ tables/ steps when camping and are super strong.

    IMG_4333.JPG

    Then the next 4 boxes go in along with the chairs

    IMG_4363.JPG

    Then the kids go in the back, we slam the doors and enjoy a trouble free, quite journey to the next stop, usually no more than 3 hours away.......
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
    chadr, thelal, StarCruiser and 4 others like this.
  9. Bert

    Bert Well-Known Member Supporter I am in great_britain

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    Brilliant..... :lol:
     
  10. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in uk

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    Well done Nick, that's looking better. I feel a bit mean, but there's still some bits you need to do.
    1, That tiny skinny wire needs to be replaced with the same size as the other one going to the fusebox. Only on the battery side though.
    2, I know I did say to keep the fuses close to the battery but you do need a little slack to stop the terminals being stressed or disconnected if the battery shifts slightly. A small curl of cable neatly tucked out of harms way is good for both those wires that go to that first fusebox. Ideally these wires should be protected in split ribbed flexi automotive conduit.
    3, pop some sort of cover on that + terminal, something substantial and plastic or rubber. Cover the spade terminals as well, in fact it's a good idea to cover any exposed terminals as I see you have done with some. Heatshrink like you've used is good.

    Your terminations are otherwise nicely done and that connecting bar on the battery is a good idea.

    That phenolic ply looks good stuff. Was that a unit bought in or was it bespoke made?
     
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  11. thelal

    thelal Member I am in ireland

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    Very nice. Luv the "pop the kids in the back, and off we go". Do you have any website/blog for your trip up from Africa (as planning in a few yrs). Like the 105.

    Excellent job on the partition, fridge, seating and improving electrics. The water 'tanks' are nice but as you said expensive; but a nice option
     
  12. nick_the_fish

    nick_the_fish Well-Known Member I am in great_britain

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    Right, thats it. Last minute shopping done. Packing done (almost!). We'll load everything into the truck tomorrow morning then its Adventure here we come......

    We'll be posting regular updates on Instagram - @TheHilltopAdventures

    I'm not a big Facebook user these days so won't be much on there, but I will do a trip report once we get back. Until then......

    ......See ya
     
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  13. Josh Tagg

    Josh Tagg Well-Known Member I am in uk

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    Gave you a follow on instagram, look forward to seeing the progress. Safe travels
     
  14. Scott

    Scott Well-Known Member

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    Have a great trip.
     
  15. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    Bit late Nick, but I'd be concerned that you seem to have the +ve terminal right next to the wing. That's a reversal of the usual set up where the earth is nearest to the body work. In even a small shunt, which we all hope never happens, you could short circuit the batter directly to the body work.

    Have a great trip. Looking forward to the updates
     
  16. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in uk

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    Good point there Chris. Could even happen if the battery moved under heavy braking.

    @nick_the_fish …Nick, stick something tough and insulating between the battery and the wing to insulate between it and the battery terminal and make it so it cannot shift. A decent size bit of 1/2" or thicker plywood slid down the side would do as long as it's big enough not to move out the way. Actually, one of those plastic kitchen chopping boards would be perfect cut down a bit if need be. Just thinking of stuff you could easily lay your hands on on a Sunday morning.

    Have a good and safe trip and look forward to the trip report when you get back.
     
  17. GeekOKent

    GeekOKent Well-Known Member Supporter I am in uk

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    Have a good trip
     
  18. Ian Chuter

    Ian Chuter Well-Known Member I am in england

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    Safe travels.
    Looking forward to the trip report when you get back.
     
  19. nick_the_fish

    nick_the_fish Well-Known Member I am in great_britain

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    Well we’re back now after 10 awesome weeks on the road and we really have had such a brilliant time. The scenery in Scandinavia, especially Norway, is as amazing as they say. There really aren’t enough superlatives to do it justice. We made it up to just past the Lofoten Islands, but as planned opted not to go all the way to Nordcap after hearing from other travellers that its not really worth the driving, especially with young children. The boys had a whale of a time and loved playing outside all day long, and for me and Amy it was great to be back on the road again.

    Scandinavia is probably the easiest places to travel in the world, they all speak english, there are supermarkets everywhere, the roads and general infrastructure are excellent and there really aren’t many challenges. In fact a lot of the dirt roads we drove on had less potholes than the main roads around Derbyshire…. Bearing in mind we were travelling with a 2 and 4 year old the ease of travelling was what we were looking for on this trip, although I think we both felt by the end that there wasn’t enough of a challenge in the travelling.

    The truck performed brilliantly, as I expected she would. We got a crack in the windscreen in Latvia that I repaired with superglue which amazingly got us home without it spreading, despite the sh*t roads in Poland, and as usual the oil pressure gauge showed some weird reading but i’ll do a different post about that another time as i’m interested to get the thoughts of the experts out there.

    The only problem, well sort of problem, was with the wild camping. Scandinavias' ‘Right to Roam’ laws mean you can camp anywhere, and we had planned to wild camp most nights, however the problem is that there are really very few wild camping spots that are suitable with a ground tent. We kind of knew we were at a disadvantage not being in a roof tent but 2 year olds and roof tents don't mix so we really had no choice. But, finding a flat, grassy, not waterlogged and not agricultural bit of land big enough for a truck and a 4 man tent away from the main road was pretty bloody difficult. Also the time of year didn’t help as the melt water meant all the rivers were in flood. Anyway the result was that while me managed to find a few wild camp spots, we didn’t do anything like as much as we would have liked. In a roof tent we would have had much more success, especially without the boys and roads to worry about, although in all honesty if you want to experience the best vehicle wild camping you need a camper van (and if you were able to hike with overnight supplies the wild camping would be out of this world).

    Which brings us to the second niggling point, there are SO many camper vans and even more motor homes, especially in the busier areas, that you can’t pass a single lay-by without there being a line up motor homes. This was especially bad in the Lofoten Islands where at one particular lay-by we saw 22 motorhomes parked next to each other. Not exactly wild camping….

    Anyway, despite the whinging above, it really was a brilliant experience and an amazing thing to do as a family. And the best thing of all is that we have proved to ourselves that we can do it. This trip was always going to be a test trip of sorts and now we know we can go overloading as a family our attention turns to the real goals which are the Pan America, the Africa West coast route, or the ‘stans (probably not all at the same time tho)

    Anyway, a few photos as I know you all love photos.

    IMG_0111.jpg IMG_0494.jpg IMG_0777.jpg IMG_0951.jpg IMG_1243.jpg IMG_1343.jpg IMG_1587.jpg IMG_1620.jpg IMG_1643.jpg IMG_8687.jpg IMG_9222.jpg IMG_9409.jpg IMG_9477.jpg IMG_9553.jpg Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 11.40.33.png
     
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  20. AndyCook

    AndyCook Well-Known Member I am in scotland

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    Wow, that was a massive trip,
    Good to hear you all enjoyed it, and it was a success and no dramas

    Thanks for the photos, are the beach ones on lofoten
    Looks like wildcamp spots you found were pretty good
     
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