Updated: Oct 22, 2019
I am also exploring best vehicle options for an Overland Cape to Cape Expedition. I think there are a number of options – all have advantages, and disadvantages so I know in the end it will be a compromise. We are looking for a solution that’s good for UK local travelling (and European trips) with family including grandchildren and Pets but also capable of keeping us safe in remoter areas of Africa. Possibly in reverse order of functionality and cost, the options seem to be:
1. VW Camper or equivalent type vehicle. This might be OK for short trips and / or travelling on ‘black top’ roads. So for a tour of Scotland or even most of the European road network it would be OK. But it does not seem sensible to expect a vehicle like this to take the consistent punishment of Bush tracks in Africa.
2. 4 WD with roof top tent and awning. A 4WD upgraded and designed for off road travel (not a city or ‘Yummy Mummy’ cruiser) definitely has attraction. A roof top tent is OK for short trips (10-14 days in say, Namibia) but for longer trips in extreme weather conditions, its good to have some space with ‘indoor cooking’ capability. Not very practical with Pets or the best above the Arctic Circle and internal space is a bit limited.
3. 4 WD with Camper Trailer. I obviously don’t mean a Caravan here but a specially designed ruggardised off road camper
trailer. Something like a Patriot Camper X1 or Opus Offroad optioned to fully enclose the living area with awnings (and walls) or a Bruder X6. This allows Base Camp to be setup and left whilst the vehicle detaches to explore, do the shopping or visit tourist attractions. A large enclosed weather resistant living space can quite easily be created. The vehicle awning could also be attached to create an even bigger space for longer stays if necessary.
4. Expedition Truck.
Probably the ultimate Overland Expedition machines. Not so good perhaps on a wee single track Scottish Highland road or particularly easy to ‘park up’ overnight or nip to the shops but I’m sure we would quickly learn how to find the good spots. Your home is with you all the time of course but it does lack the flexibility of the 4WD. However Expedition Trucks allow good living spaces with all the key living functions on the inside. Setup time is minimal (virtually open the door …….).
I think Options 3 and 4 are probably the most realistic and offer the best comfort and liveability solutions. Time, opportunity and circumstance will inevitably drive the final decision.
What have I missed? How do you or would you travel and why?