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Old 04-19-2006, 03:48 PM   #1
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Hey

I am going to be taking my 4x4 round europe this summer, so far i my only plan is Amsterdam in middle of may to meet friends that live there and possibly sweeden to visit my cousin, after that i have absolutely no plans and i am going to go where ever the wind takes me basically. Hopefully finding lots of off roading routes along the way.

I have given some thought to eastern europe as i havent seen much of it yet, and i was thinking if i felt brave enough to venture over to Rusia, thats if my car is up for it lol. But like i say havent got any plans as yet. im going to be setting off mid may so thats a start i guess lol.

I was also thinking to make my money go further, to let people in as long as they pay a contribution to my fuel costs. I dont know if this will go down well or not will people just think i am crazy?

I am thinking of doing hostels and camping so hopefully i will find people that will be up for it.

Has anyone done anything similar, any one suggest any routes.

Anyone up for joining for a while?

cheers

Steve
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:18 PM   #2
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I really wouldn't like to see the gas bill after this trip...especially in europe and with record high gas prices to come this summer.
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:13 AM   #3
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We just got back from a driving trip from Germany to Italy and back. Gas bills - ugh.

But, if you don't have to pay for digs and transportation, maybe not so bad, after all. Eastern Europe is getting a lot easier for getting around - all the new EU countries are getting grants for infrastructure, in Lithuania for instance, the sign postings were fantastic, even for tiny little villages. But the roads are still pretty rough in places. And we found that our Volvo station wagon (don't mock, when you have 4.5 kids, it's that or a minivan!) felt massive on some of the little alleys in Italy.

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Old 04-23-2006, 10:14 AM   #4
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I would hope if you're going to 4x4 Europe and get into Russia, etc, you have a rock-solid 4x4, something like a Hilux Surf/Prado/FJ. Personal prejudices aside, Toyotas are least likely to leave you stranded over, say, a Jeep.

There are tons of folks that have rigged sleeping platforms in the backs of their 4runner's/Surf's and do exactly what you're talking about. Granted, they are usually going for Mexico, Central America expeditions, but you get the idea--

www.bajataco.com and yotatech.com have some great info...
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:00 AM   #5
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I have a trusted 4x4, so far covered only 135,000 miles and touch wood still going strong. And no its not a toyota or a jeep, its an isuzu. Dont mock.

Its also a diesel so its far more efficient, and diesel is a lot cheaper than gas in europe.

at least i wont be relying on public transport

:D
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteVd@Apr 25 2006, 05:00 PM
at least i wont be relying on public transport
[snapback]114916[/snapback]
Gee, I kinda... like public transport.

But have fun in your 4x4. Fuel prices are going to be a BITCH, but you'll theoretically get to see more that way.
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:04 PM   #7
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If you're thinking about going through Russia i would suggest watching the series 'The Long Way Round'. It's about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman riding motorbikes from London to New York and they pass through Russia, so it'll give you an idea of what to expect as far as roads, locals, and border crossings go.

Sounds like an awsome adventure you've got planned!!!
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteVd@Apr 25 2006, 10:00 AM
I have a trusted 4x4, so far covered only 135,000 miles and touch wood still going strong. And no its not a toyota or a jeep, its an isuzu. Dont mock.
No mocking whatsoever. Older Isuzu light trucks are found all over Central America and elsewhere as reliable transport. Took quite a few rides in them back in January.

As an amateur mud-bogger (there are a few Punks who have seen my beloved rig), I can tell you that anything preventive you can do now will save you boku money down the road.

Obvious stuff like changing your belts (timing and serpentine), full fluid flushes (specify front and rear diffs, transfer cases, and transmission flushes, there are such a thing as partials.), proper suspension (I'd go for an Old Man Emu setup in a heart beat, especially if you hit the roads Ewan and Charley hit), appropriate off-roading bumpers (ARB/TJM), winch, etc.

Basically, either you are building an expedition rig or just wanna drive around. If the expedition is the goal, you need to consider that since you'll be likely going as far off-road as possible, you wanna be prepared for any and every possibility. Expect to get stuck w/o someone to pull you out, etc.

Packing light but packing essentials is then of utmost importance. For instance, I'd double up my battery, just in case. I'd also carry some sort of internal air compressor to boost up pressure after I've been off-road, etc. I've considered turning the Porkchop Express into a Baja-exploring beast, but I'm not financially up for it... yet :D
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:49 PM   #9
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Sounds awesome, and yeah started work on it, started flushing fluids, i wasnt going to bother with the diff fluid, but i now fancy that challenge.

I am also looking into uprating the springs and shocks, looking at a 2 inch lift. and i also have a spare set of belts, so all in all im hoping ill be set.

Thanks for the good advice, great to see that someone else shares same crazy interest :D

cheers

s
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:26 PM   #10
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Hehe, the Porkchop Express will eventually get a fresh motor and a cross-the-USA when I get to it kinda tour :D

Backup belts are a must, and it goes without saying an appropriate set of tools, too. I carry a relatively complete kit in my truck since I've been stranded in other vehicles in need of a 15mm socket, etc. No need to spend tons of money on it if you don't want. I'm an amateur mechanic that enjoys spending his free time rustling for parts in junk yards, so I have a little more than most.

But anyway for backups, here's a partial list of what I'd carry:

--Belts
--bulbs for all lights (headlamps, aux. lights, tail lamps, etc)
--fix-a-flat. Stuff can save your arse in a jam.
--Oatmeal. Great for clogging radiator holes. And if you get hungry
--two fire extinguishers, in case.
--large D-cell type flashlight
--If you are going off-road, appropriate recovery gear. Straps, snatch blocks, a Hi-Lift styled jack (hilift.com), come-along winch
--various lengths and gauges of automotive-grade wiring. Jumping stuff on the fly is VITAL. I crusied around for several days with a piece of cable jumping the pins on my dimmer switch last week when it crapped out.
--Repair manual for your rig
--backup fluids, IE: brake, oil, antifreeze, trans/diff fluid
--"dry" gas or fuel line additive. Its a good idea if you get condensation in your tank or worse yet, get crappy gas from somewhere. Water in the fuel line can kill the motor.
--approved gas can just in case you run out with a few more kilometers to the next fill-up
--duct tape and zip ties, and LOTS of it!

I'd also look into communications equipment not limited to a cell phone with multiple country capability (GSM) and potentially some sort of CB radio. I'm not sure what the standards are in Europe, but you can easily google it. I have a neat little Cobra CB in my rig that gives me access to local weather reports as well as communicate with the truckers and find out where the cops are hiding

As for vehicle modifications, it'd be advisable that if you do intend on off-roading and really getting off the beaten path, you're on the right track with the suspension and body lift. I'd suggest a snorkel, but thats just me.

A few sites of some expedition rigs are easily found via Google. One of my favorites is www.bajataco.com Granted, its a Toyota, but you get the idea.

|Good luck, and post some pics of your rig!
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