Turning dreams into reality

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PeteB
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Turning dreams into reality

Postby PeteB » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:35 am

In the spirit of the section heading, I’m introducing myself as a newbie to The Overlander.

I am at the ‘dreaming of travelling’ stage right now. As a youngster I enjoyed my parents taking me on weeks long caravanning holidays around Europe, at a time when most Brits didn’t venture through rural France, Spain, Italy or Yugoslavia (that dates it). Then in my 20’s I did the backpacking around Australia bit. Since then work, mortgage, marriage and kids have put a dampener on long-distance overseas travel.

I am now in the fortunate position of being able to retire, or at least semi-retire, in around 18 months’ time and can start to think about what to do next. The idea of converting a truck for overlanding is certainly towards the top of the wish list. I’ve been following the blogs of a few regulars on this site and getting inspired – both about the build and the travel.

Key challenges to overcome:

1. Convincing my wife that it is a good plan. Her current idea of an adventurous holiday is a cottage in Wales…
2. Gaining some competence and knowledge on overlander construction options. I’ve read Steve’s book but feels like that is scratching the surface
3. Deciding on the base vehicle

I hope some of you will have some advice for me on point 3. I’d initially been thinking about a LD T244 or Man 8.136 (no electronics, robust, proven, etc). However Jacksons or Witham are quoting around £13k for LHD one in decent nick. There was a Mowag Duro II being touted on Gumtree/ebay for £25k which looked interesting as well (newer, bit smaller and still solid). Recently though I have started looking at the Canter Fuso as that gets some good write-ups as a base vehicle (much newer, lighter – sub 7.5T, decent chassis length, reliable). Plenty of rear wheel RHD options in the UK from £5k up and I even found a brand new 4WD (but still RHD!) option in Netherlands for Euro30k.

So, to the impossible question. Any views on the best base vehicle option? 30 yr old military truck or new Fuso at twice the price? Or 10 yr old well-used 2wd Fuso at half the price?

Cheers, Pete

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NeilandPat
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby NeilandPat » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:47 am

Hi Pete.

Welcome to the forum. Please feel free to ask any questions. Nobody on here is judgemental or critical. Everyone on here has been in exactly the position you are in and will be keen to help.

Your first point will be the hardest and your on your own with that one I am afraid.

With regard to vehicle choices, it's not easy and there are,as you already know , many good options available.

All of the vehicle you mentioned will make great overlanding vehicles.

It depends on your needs etc.

If you are looking at world travel, maybe off the beaten track then my view is to go less technical and maybe less electronic than a new euro 5 or 6 engine. All vehicles break down and you have to consider the ability of local mechanics and the availability of parts. I have met two travellers here in South America who have newish fusos ( which I like a lot ). Unfortunately the engine management won't allow them to go over 3500m in altitude. It shuts them down. Half of South America is higher than this and both have been very disappointed.

The Duro is probably one of the most capable off road vehicles out there and although it's running gear is bombproof ( Cummings engine and Allison gear box) it is also loaded with electronics.

I have not regretted going older and mechanical. So far it's been fine.

Good luck and keep asking.

Neil

Your licence should be considered, over 7500kg is a class C.

Ivan C
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby Ivan C » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:10 pm

Hi Pete, and welcome.
I looked at all options and settled on an ex-military MAN, '04 with 28k miles from Jacksons.
Might I suggest that ref. point 1 on you list you re-read the intro to Steve's book - especially the bit about common goals.
Then you need to consider what you want the vehicle to do - is the build part of the pleasure or a neccesary evil?
Do lots of thinking, and asking questions before commiting to anything
All the best
Ivan C
Edit :- I'd also recommend a trip to Bad Kissingen in June, you will see every type of vehicle you could imagine, and owners more than happy to talk about their pride and joy, and their travels as well

Tookey
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby Tookey » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:05 pm

Hi Pete,

I can't help with the technical but I dont think thats you biggest problem.

Why don't you firstly hire a RV and spend some time in somewhere like Scandinavia with your wife. That way you can dispel her fears of wet flapping roof tents and luke warm brews off a calor stove in the rain.

I read somewhere about some poor chap that has an overlander sat on the drive because the other half won't go away in it, salt in the wound she calls it 'the cottage', don't end up in that sad scenario

Once she is 'on board' the rest will seem easy :D

I'm in a very fortunate position that my wife has started learning Russian for our trip, hopefully you can get a similar positive response

DaveS
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby DaveS » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:24 pm

Welcome aboard - nice intro, explains your situation well (and something most of us can probably associate with to some degree). I'm in the process of moving up from a 4x4 Sprinter to a bigger van/truck and having similar debates on new vs old tech and ultimate size of vehicle. As Neil mentions, I think a lot depends on your intended routes/countries, whether you intend to hit "bad roads" or true "off road", etc, etc - so I can only suggest you start there.

There are a few really good blogs from people doing long term travel in trucks and conventional motorhomes, some are fun reading and may help convince your better half of the potential fun and adventure to be have.

Good luck!

PeteB
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby PeteB » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:09 am

Thanks all for the comments and supportive words. Plenty to think on - particularly defining the requirements based on travel plans. Initially I expect we'll be looking at the 'back roads of Europe' rather than further afield.

Comment about my wife was tongue in cheek. She gets the principle although will want to start the travel gently - no shipping out to Uruguay or Halifax on trip 1 :lol: Fair enough really!

crinklystarfish
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby crinklystarfish » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:06 am

PeteB wrote:
... 2. Gaining some competence and knowledge on overlander construction options. I’ve read Steve’s book but feels like that is scratching the surface


A product of working to the publisher's wordcount limit, I'm afraid.

PeteB wrote:
... 3. Deciding on the base vehicle

I hope some of you will have some advice for me on point 3. I’d initially been thinking about a LD T244 or Man 8.136 (no electronics, robust, proven, etc). However Jacksons or Witham are quoting around £13k for LHD one in decent nick. There was a Mowag Duro II being touted on Gumtree/ebay for £25k which looked interesting as well (newer, bit smaller and still solid). Recently though I have started looking at the Canter Fuso as that gets some good write-ups as a base vehicle (much newer, lighter – sub 7.5T, decent chassis length, reliable). Plenty of rear wheel RHD options in the UK from £5k up and I even found a brand new 4WD (but still RHD!) option in Netherlands for Euro30k...



Excellent advice has already been given. The 'best' base really is all about your actual intended use.

T244s generally result in slightly larger builds than the other trucks mentioned. If you want to squeeze into tiny spaces and make crumbly mountain roads slightly less likely to result in catastrophe the very wide track of the T244 will work against you.

8.136s are, in my view, one of the better bases for a go-just-about-anywhere overlander.

Duros are arguably a little on the exotic side and reliability / parts / repairs may be a problem.

As well as the points already raised, Fusos are quite small and only really reliably support habitation areas on the small side.

There are lots of other options, of course. I'm personally a fan of MB Varios - especially the AWD versions (DAs). They are very capable and a very good go-anywhere size.

Tookey
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby Tookey » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:52 am

Pete,

After reading your posts again and your wants/needs just have a quick peak at this beauty.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Iveco-Daily- ... Sw0w9dmf29

I know you said you fancied doing the build but in my VERY LIMITED knowledge and no experience I think this Iveco could suit your needs and in your budget. Im off to buy a scratch card!!

I would be sick with envy :D

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Brian-reynolds
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby Brian-reynolds » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:57 pm

I think the owners name is Nigel and he has been at the past few shows on "our" stand.

It is indeed a nice build and good truck, he built it after liking Mark and Karen's version. I am surprised he is selling it though....

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the big merc
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Re: Turning dreams into reality

Postby the big merc » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:47 pm

Yes I think it is Nigel’s, I was talking to him at the show and I think he is going to buy or build a bigger one.


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