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View Full Version : Bailing out for a while!



Globatrol
10-31-2011, 05:09 PM
Hi all, my partner and I are planning to ship from Perth (Western Australia just in case you were wondering where Perth is..) to drive through China and into Mongolia, then continuing west to the Uk via whichever route works at the time, and if there is any money left maybe a bit of Africa too. Hoping to hit the ground in China (or Vladivostok if China gets too hard) early 2013 so still some time to pass. Just wondering if there are any other travellers out there considering something similar, maybe we can pool our information, particularly on the the red tape associated with taking your vehicle through China. There is plenty of info on the web with loads of tips but it's allways nice to talk to people doing it along with those whom have done it! We are taking a Patrol Ute with a camper on the back which we are in the process of fabricating, I am going to put some details of the build on the site as we progress for anyone interested. We have had plenty of great trips here in Aus and are trying to build our camper to suit what we like to do at home so it's a little bit of a comporomise considering we will be living in it for an extended period, but when we return it has to work for us here as well. Lots of the travel we like to do at home includes quite overgrown tracks so we are keeping the camper profile as small as we hope is practicle. Hopefully it'll work!! We currently manufacture camper trailers and thought we would move into ute slide on's aswell, so why not head across Asia for a road test, that's my excuse anyway. So if your thinking of something similar or have some pointers or suggestions drop us a line, cheers!

haven
11-01-2011, 08:11 PM
Fellow Australians Kym and Lyn Bolton travelled north into China on a lengthy trip in 2010. Read about the trip here
http://www.goannatracks.com/Home/GoannaTracks_Across_S.E.Asia/GoannaTracks_Across_S.E.Asia.html

I believe all overland trips in China require a "guide" provided by the government. So be sure to provide an extra seat in your vehicle for that part of your trip.

whatcharterboat
11-02-2011, 12:17 PM
Hi Globatrol,

Welcome to Expo. Actually I was supposed to be in Perth tomorrow morning but am a bit to crook to hop on a plane so one of the other guys from work is going in my place.

If you're interested, I am in contact with quite a few parties all planning overseas travel in 2012 and 2013. Maybe a dozen couples. Most are planning to head up through SEAsia(Thailand or Vietnam) or up into Vladivostok and turn left although one guy asked me yesterday to quote on shipping a new motorhome into India as a kick off point. Another wants to head to NZ and then onto South America. One customer is heading overland back home to France in his with 4 kids under 10!!!! All of these guys are waiting for our new motorhome that we'll have out early next year. It'll be a full on expo type truck especially aimed at this type of travel with either a poptop or a removeable hard top to enable it to fit into a container. Very tough looking thing.....sorry getting offtrack.

A slide-on and ute would be fine. As a matter of fact, we just set up a new crewcab Canter to carry a big slide-on from Trailblazers in Vic......the owners are heading up through SEAsia next year and towing a tinnie and traiklbike on a trailer behind. Nice couple from Darwin....he and his wife used to be Unimog drivers in the Army so they should be ready for anything........

A couple of our guys from work will be at the WAMEX mining show in Perth next week if you want drop over to chat. My boss will be there and he's a wealth of info if you're looking at setting up your vehicle for international travel but if you've been in the camper trailer industry for a while, I'm sure you will have plenty of good ideas of your own. Good luck with your research......there are plenty of very switched on guys on this forum that have done it all before so you're looking in the right place for help !!!

Kind regards John.

Globatrol
11-02-2011, 01:17 PM
Thanks haven, interesting you should mention Kym and Lyn bolton. I competed in a 4WD competition with Kym about 12 years ago and I recently had a look at his Earth Cruiser. Nice - a little out of my budget though. I will certainly have a look at his blog and I have also had a look at Ron and Viv moon's blog which has some great tips along with campsites - allways handy! Your right on the guide being required for China so we have the third front seat in our vehicle (hopefully a small guide!) I was trying to find out if you only need 1 guide if there are 2 vehciles as there may be 2 going. thanks for the tip on the boltons though I'll pursue that one.

Globatrol
11-02-2011, 01:31 PM
Thanks for your reply John, love those pics on your website. Interesting to hear your intouch with so many people heading overland but then again thats the trucks you build so I shouldn't be surprised I guess! Maybe I can pic your brains for a bit of info? You might find this amusing though - I have allways had Land Cruiser's -alllllways! But chose a Patrol for this trip, reasons - I wanted something that wasn't computerised. It's the last of the TD42's, It was within budget, I love the drivetrain reliability and it's reasonably ergonomic. Not so sure about it's load carrying ability just yet though, I'll look at that once it's set up! anyway after all that hot air I was wondering if you ever use Wallas diesel ovens in your vehicles? I was going with Webasto's diesel cooktop for obvious reasons but stumbled on the Wallas and I really like the oven option just to add to the menu selection!! (don't like the price so much though) I know the Webasto has an altitude button on it for above around 5000ft whilst the wallas does not although you can apparently install your on circuit to sort it out, just wondering if you had any feedback on either - anything appreciated! thanks again

whatcharterboat
11-03-2011, 02:41 AM
Thanks for your reply John, love those pics on your website.

Hey no worries. Thanks.


Interesting to hear your intouch with so many people heading overland but then again thats the trucks you build so I shouldn't be surprised I guess!

Yeah, but the interest in global travel from prospective clients just in the last 6 months has been far above the norm. We're getting clients coming in now asking for a heavy duty outback tourer to do the Anne Beadell and once they realize global travel is a reality in a vehicle, you can see the light switch go on ........the next time you see them, they're all fired up looking at routes from Thailand to Morrocco!!!!!


Maybe I can pic your brains for a bit of info?

Sure.


You might find this amusing though - I have allways had Land Cruiser's -alllllways!

Yep....haha. I am not bagging them but of the 5 Toyota's I've owned , BJ & FJ 40's, Hi-lux, Hi-ace's, everyone was an absolute lemon. Just bad luck I guess but in contrast every Nissan I've owned was indestructable.........including a $200 120Y I used as a daily driver for 3 years!!!! Also have very fond memories of early surf trips with Patrols up the beach in the '70s.


But chose a Patrol for this trip, reasons - I wanted something that wasn't computerised. It's the last of the TD42's, It was within budget, I love the drivetrain reliability and it's reasonably ergonomic. Not so sure about it's load carrying ability just yet though, I'll look at that once it's set up!

Yeah.....sounds good. Sure......I don't think anyone could argue about a Patrol being a tough choice.

My only bad experience with a TD42 was one we set up for a well known gold prospector ....he towed a big 18' offroad Phoenix van and carried plenty of gear in the back of this Patrol ute. Anyway with the spotties, intercooler, A/C condensor, grass screen over the grill, etc, the radiator simply didn't get enough airflow and it used to over heat when offroad which was 99% of his driving in the WA goldfields. He sold it and got a Canter crewcab and I believe he still has the same truck 16 years later..........but then he'll be a lot heavier than you would ever get to. I reckon he could have tried a water / air intercooler into his Patrol and that would have improved things somewhat but the Canter with a 9200kg GCM was the optimum solution.

Do yourself a favour and have a look at Soenke's Landcruiser thread .......... IMO one of the best set up little 4wd's here on ExPo. That'll give you some great ideas......especially about keeping weight down.


anyway after all that hot air I was wondering if you ever use Wallas diesel ovens in your vehicles?

Nope.


I was going with Webasto's diesel cooktop for obvious reasons but stumbled on the Wallas and I really like the oven option just to add to the menu selection!! (don't like the price so much though) I know the Webasto has an altitude button on it for above around 5000ft whilst the wallas does not although you can apparently install your on circuit to sort it out, just wondering if you had any feedback on either - anything appreciated!

Haven't had anything to do with Wallas but they look good on paper........Webasto here give excellent service and technical backup which is something I care as much about (if not more sometimes) as the actual products they sell............the staff there in Sydney are some of the most professional in the industry.....while their products seem a little complicated when you compare a diesel stove to an Origo alcohol top as an example......but they are bulletproof and extremely well tried and proven.........and as I said have very good back up. One guy I know had some issues with his Webasto hotwater system when he was in some remote part in Africa which turned out to be the fault of the installer anyway but Webasto were right onto it and organised for the parts to come up from Durban or J'berg or wherever the closest dealer was. No fuss.....just get it going again and sort out who was at fault later.

Regards

John

Globatrol
11-03-2011, 03:09 PM
thanks again John, I had a look at Soenke's vehicle - excellent set up and I like the 40 series for classic looks! I had been toying with hard walls for the pop up but that old compromise scenario has come into play once again, my design is a lift off so the vehicle is still available for my business use, as Im working above the tray the centre of gravity is an obvious design issue. I've lifted the tray slightly to accomodate 2 spares lengthwise below with the obvious mod's needed to make them fit, water, tools and spares are all below tray height -I'm setting this vehicle up to suit the travel I would normally do and figure that will work! have gone cab over for the bed and the shell is tappered into 1550mm width at roof height to keep the profile down for track work!I went cab over so that 1 punter can be in bed whilst the other stays up as we will sleep long ways due to the tappered body!(the bed goes up on struts whilst not in use) At the moment it will fit into a standard shipping container so I don't need a high cube! I'm about 2250mm high overall so about the same as a wagon with a rooftop tent! I have a composite roof with electric actuators for the lift, 2.5 mm ally for the shell which will be insulated, I'm using pvc for the pop up with an inner curtain to help with insulation, I'm thinking of using a Truma water and cabin heater combo which I hope will take the edge off with the lack of insulation provided by the pvc! initially I was going with a hard shell but I can't talk myself out of the tappered body which makes the hard shell an obvious design drama so pvc will be it for the prototype anyway! I'm not sure about the stability of the actuators just yet so I may have to put struts or a scissor lift in to help, if you have any suggestions on struts I'm all ears! or anything else that grabs your attention, I can still make changes at this stage!! I have a 36inch actuator lift which is quite a lot so that's probably the only dodgey part so far! all sounds easy when i read back over that lot! haha I'm sure I will have to overcome some hurdles that you have already jumped but I guess thats half the fun. As for Toyota's, I've had a fantastic run out of mine, a hilux, 2 x 12ht 60's, a 75 series, an 80 series and a 100 series(don't like the IFS but I'm sure your aware of that little dissaster) when the v8 diesel came out I was all keen but 100mm out of track was disgracefull and I don't think you should carry engine oil and actually need to use all of it for top up's whilst touring even if it's within spec's! but hey they drive nice and I still love em! I would like more power than the TD 42 but it'll do and I know they keep on going, fuel quality isn't so much of a problem so I'm confident it will be a good choice. I like the idea of a vehicle along the line of what your manufacturing, on a FUSO or such with that bit extra space for extended travel -maybe that's next! anyway cheers for now - Justin.

whatcharterboat
11-05-2011, 07:24 AM
Hi Justin,


thanks again John, I had a look at Soenke's vehicle - excellent set up and I like the 40 series for classic looks! I had been toying with hard walls for the pop up but that old compromise scenario has come into play once again,

Yeah, it's the goods for a small camper. His hard sides are excellent but they do limit things.............for example you can't have a pass through into the camper and the shape of the module must have square and vertical sides.


my design is a lift off so the vehicle is still available for my business use,

I'm not a fan of slide-on's but if it's the reason you state as a dual purpose work / play vehicle then it's sometimes the only alternative. It's still better than towing something.


as Im working above the tray the centre of gravity is an obvious design issue. I've lifted the tray slightly to accomodate 2 spares lengthwise below with the obvious mod's needed to make them fit, water, tools and spares are all below tray height -I'm setting this vehicle up to suit the travel I would normally do and figure that will work!

OK, so the water is all below deck......that's a good start. What about the house batteries? I guess if the body is going to stay on the back the whole time you're camping then that would be the go. Easier for your charging. We set up a tray back once with a hot'n'cold shower on the side. Then the guy could swap the tray over for a camper body on the weekend. When he did that , he would disconnect the water lines into the shower and plug them into the camper body....and connect power in too of course but all the water, pumps, batteries, etc remained on the chassis at all times. Worked well.


have gone cab over for the bed and the shell is tappered into 1550mm width at roof height to keep the profile down for track work!I went cab over so that 1 punter can be in bed whilst the other stays up as we will sleep long ways due to the tappered body!(the bed goes up on struts whilst not in use) At the moment it will fit into a standard shipping container so I don't need a high cube! I'm about 2250mm high overall so about the same as a wagon with a rooftop tent

Yep.....cool.


I'm thinking of using a Truma water and cabin heater combo which I hope will take the edge off with the lack of insulation provided by the pvc!

Again, Webasto do a brilliant little hydronic heater. There are plenty of options there.....don't forget about possibly using your engine as supplementry heat source to heat water too by running a dual circuit heat exchanger.


initially I was going with a hard shell but I can't talk myself out of the tappered body which makes the hard shell an obvious design drama so pvc will be it for the prototype anyway! I'm not sure about the stability of the actuators just yet so I may have to put struts or a scissor lift in to help, if you have any suggestions on struts I'm all ears! or anything else that grabs your attention, I can still make changes at this stage!! I have a 36inch actuator lift which is quite a lot so that's probably the only dodgey part so far!

Yeah........have you thought about just hinging the top and using a couple of gas struts.........have a look at the Jeep on page 8 or 9 of the SEMA 2011 thread. Simple. No scissors, no actuators, no wiring, no worries. Different if your roof weighed 150kg's with heavy solar panels and a boat on top but I bet it'll be light as.....


I would like more power than the TD 42 but it'll do and I know they keep on going, fuel quality isn't so much of a problem so I'm confident it will be a good choice. I like the idea of a vehicle along the line of what your manufacturing, on a FUSO or such with that bit extra space for extended travel -maybe that's next!

Yes....good choice. Tough. Plenty of them were built, low tech and sold all over.

.....buuuuuut if you ever get a chance to drive a modified short wheelbase Fuso in the bush...........

Regards John.

Globatrol
11-07-2011, 12:49 PM
Hi again John!
We have come up with a design for the pop top section that is sort of a bifold panel instead of PVC but I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle yet, I'll have to play around with it a little more when I get to that stage! It would offer good diagonal support for the pop up though, yet the PVC versions that we have done so far seem to provide quite good support diagonally when under tension so I guess I'm not sold either way yet!


Using a redarc system for the house batteries which includes solar and mains charging and yep they are below the tray too! If I can get a couple into production I'll probably fit a battery in the unit for obvious reasons! your right I won't be disconnecting and needing power for my own application -so it'll pretty much be along the lines of the tray back you set up.. I do have a 40 litre upright water tank on the front of the camper body behind the cab rail and a water pump at this stage will be fitted into the unit as well, (powered by the house battery in the unit if that were the case, not powered when I lift it off in my case) just to provide an additional water tank and make the unit self sufficient if it's on it's legs. Might be nice to have the extra tank for dodgey water too!!

I've had a look at Webasto's water heating systems but I'll have to go through it all again and see what will work best for me, they are obviously a good option..
We only ever fit gas to the trailers so it's all new in that department!

I have considered a wedge type roof with struts and could still go that way, I like the simplicity and strength for bad weather, the roof is mostly composite so definately keeping the weight down + a couple of solar panels!! The full pop up has some attractions though! giving that extra space in the bed area seems quite attractive. I think I'll get the shell assembled and then make the final decision. A few paying jobs in the way at the moment so another couple of weeks before I will get the assembly under way !! (don't you hate how work get's in the way)

Never driven a Fuso in the scrub but I do have some Mog time from many moons ago. If the opportunity presents I'll definately take one for a spin!

I'll get some pics up when there is a little more to see!

With all the great vehicles your setting up I'm wondering when your putting one in a box and heading off!!

cheers for now Justin.

whatcharterboat
11-08-2011, 01:19 AM
A few paying jobs in the way at the moment so another couple of weeks before I will get the assembly under way !! (don't you hate how work get's in the way)



Justin, this is all work for me !!!!


With all the great vehicles your setting up I'm wondering when your putting one in a box and heading off!!

My point exactly..............and next year is shaping up to be outrageously busy !!! Can't see anything happening for a couple of years.


I'll get some pics up when there is a little more to see!

Looking forward to it.

Regards John.

whatcharterboat
11-13-2011, 10:54 AM
klahanie

And, Johnny, we luv ya for it !

Bugger me, if it isn't the lad from Lotusland. Hi Dave, long time.............so speaking of heading off, what about you? Still got that big ute with the camper on the back?


Regards
John(ny)

Globatrol
11-15-2011, 03:21 PM
just an update for anyone interested or bored...... finished our prototype camper subframe which is at the galvaniser's as we speak, camper shell coming off the hydrabend shortly and generally looking like it might work!!looked at every website I can find for any other ideas on camper builds, lots of cool stuff out there and some not so cool!! emails have gone off to China to get the facts on just how difficult and expensive it might be so hopefully we will know our entry point to Asia soon. I guess everything will come to a grinding halt shortly as Christmas approaches yet I'm also sure that everyone is looking forward to the days of relaxation and gluttony associated! anyway just a post to keep up the momentum - pics to come soon.... bye for now

zeroland
11-21-2011, 07:37 AM
@globatrol - looking forward to following your trip. I am interested in reading more about your camper build. I had a truck camper mounted on a Ford ute and loved it - only downside was the space esp when a 3rd family member arrived!

Globatrol
11-21-2011, 01:19 PM
zeroland! I know what you mean about space, it's definately not roomy and as for a third person there are the obvious challenges. We have allowed for a third person bed but we still have a scenario where everyone has to be friends! none the less I guess if you want a compact camper that can handle overgrown two wheel tracks then thats the compromise so I suppose it's worth it. I have found it quite difficult designing a camper for a slide on application(and we have always had wagons and a PC, this is our first ute) because we mostly travel outback WA and as such like the low centre of gravity and compact design for track and beach work but then again for overland travel across mongolia and europe I dont really think it matters, at the end of the day I figure I'll build it to suit what we like doing most of the time!! rather than build something thats for a one off trip !!!! I'm not sure about your set up but being compact and nimble is a high priority for us so I'll have to work around it. We have some interest from friends wanting to meet us here and there for sections of our trek, hence the third bed setup. hopefully a few shake down trips locally before we head off will work out the bugs of having an extra passenger along for a section! any suggestions appreciated!!, I'll post some pics as soon as I have something interesting to look at. thanks for your interest! cheers