Which vehicle to spend 4 years driving around the world?
Countless hours have been spent discussing and debating this, reading other travellers views and blogs as well as visiting a number of overland shows. When Gilly and I first started it was obvious. There was only one vehicle for a British couple, a Land Rover, and we had been fortunate to spend a couple of months driving one in Africa and we loved it. So the early plan was to buy a Land Rover, put a roof tent on it and just go.
However as the years passed a number of things have changed. The plan for the trip has grown into a full round the world trip which means we will have to live in the vehicle for a number of years in all climates. More importantly the team has expanded from 2 to 4 and having a secure vehicle has become more of a priority.
As any overlander will tell you there is no ideal vehicle to cover all situations and therefore it comes down to a compromise and personal choice. When driving the ideal is a rugged relatively small vehicle that can wind its way across mountain tracks and through narrow streets in town. But when stationary (especially with 2 children) a larger vehicle with permanent beds, showers and other amenities becomes more important. So until they invent a tardis on wheels, any vehicle will need to be a compromise.
After spending hundreds of hours researching our ideal vehicle we visited the Abenteur and Allrad show in Germany which has many overland vehicles on display. It was here that we decided an overland truck would be the right vehicle for us, even if it did mean us having to pass our HGV licenses. It was also at that show that we met Bocklet who are building our vehicle and they have been very helpful in tailoring it to our needs.
In finding your ideal vehicle there are many things to consider. Do you buy a new vehicle (less likely to breakdown but harder to fix when it does and issues with low sulpher diesel) or an older vehicle (more likely to breakdown but easier to fix)? As we are unlikely to be able to fix anything we decided to go with a new vehicle and in March 2012 we became the proud owner of the truck below.
Here is a photo of the sides of the body being prepared.
And then mounted on the chassis and painted. Mmm… its big!
Still a lot of work to do on the inside but it is starting to take shape.
And finally the completed vehicle. We are really pleased with it.