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taking a leap into the world

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    taking a leap into the world

    hello there,
    my name is tom and i am in the early stages of planning my way around the world.
    my dream is to be able to travel the world in a small camper of sorts and discover what the world has to offer.
    i have had no experience with camper vans and i would like to ask upon the internet of any knowledge for safe and enjoyable travels.
    my budget is just under the 10k mark and i'm not afraid to build my home into what it will be.
    i'm a simplistic person as long as i can acquire the basics for living (camping hob, toilet, sink, bed and ideally a shower)
    which vehicles would be best for travelling world wide in?
    are there any tips or tricks anyone would share for the road ahead etc?
    thanks for your time
    tom

    #2
    Hi and welcome!

    I think if you have no experience of campervans, then the first thing to do is to look at plenty of them before you buy, and see how they might fit into your plans.

    The next thing I would do, JMHO - is to try campervanning in the UK first, before going abroad. Just so that you can iron out any problems and be able to fix the van if it broke down or something before going on to visit foreign shores, where these things might not be as easy to do.

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      #3
      As Jay Jay says you need plenty of shake down testing before attempting a round the world trip.

      As to the vehicle, you are going to need something pretty tough to cope with rough terrain and you need something relatively simple that can be serviced anywhere. Perhaps an ex-military vehicle would be worth a look? If you search for expedition campers you will find an array of vehicles and companies who specialise in those kinds of conversions.
      Better a rainy day on the hill than a sunny day in the office!

      Comment


        #4
        I'd have a LWB landrover / Toyota Hilux / Mitsubishi L200 or similar for their durability and proper off-road 2WD/4WD Hi/Lo ratio transmission ... then add a roof tent. A hard cargo bay cover could be fitted out for cooking and kit. A mate of mine had a LR Discovery with roof tent while he worked in Malawi and he found it an excellent combination, getting high up means you are less vulnerable to snakes and scorpions, you can also pull the ladder up to discourage people from approaching you as you sleep.

        I took an ex-military landrover with trailer on a long journey once and was glad that I'd had the foresight to make absolutely everything lockable, padlocks on all spare wheels and any externally carried kit like the trailer itself, fuel/water cans, shovels, sand ladders and the like .. people will nick anything. I've often wondered whether it might be possible (illegal in the UK and Europe I'm told, but it wouldn't stop me!) to rig an electric fence machine to the vehicle bodywork operated with a key switch to 'discourage' people from touching it. Sleeping on top should not give you shocks because you only get a 'belt' when you make a path to earth. It would need an earth pin of course.

        Hint: Don't use plastic fuel/water containers... only proper steel jerrycans. They survive where plastic wears through and subsequently leaks as the result of sand / abrasion / jiggling.

        If you could afford it I'd consider a satellite phone or, for real life-saving situations, an EPIRB.

        BUT ...... this ain't the starry-eyed 1960's where a beat up old banger will take you safely everywhere waved through by smiling and welcoming locals. A colleague abandoned an Oz >> UK driving trip when he discovered that his Combi would likely be commandeered as an ambulance in a strife-ridden area. Pickups get seized and converted to mobile gun platforms. Westerners are not respected ... it's a dodgy old world out there these days.
        Last edited by mikeroch; 07-08-2015, 12:11. Reason: typo

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          #5
          Might be better to hire one in your country of choice as you arrive, I believe that New Zealand hire charges are much cheaper than here! Give us more idea of where you fancy going first: mainland Europe is beautiful in some places - do you have language skills?

          You could spend the rest of your Life in an RV across the US ………

          There are items that you HAVE to carry in your vehicle when in mainland Europe - if you wander into Halfords you may find a list of what is required, i.e. GB badges, Yellow jacket, Breatherlyser x 2 (France), warning triangle ……. what will you so about medical cover, it is wise to find a good Insurance Company for long-term cover which should include recovery to your country of origin should you be badly injured. Every European Country seems to insist on different requirements

          Yellow jackets have to be in the main cab, a fine may be levied if they are kept in the boot! They have to be worn whilst travelling in some countries but I can't remember which ones.

          Make sure that you have copies of ALL your documentation - 1 set with you as well as originals and leave a set with someone you will remain in contact with in case of problems: theft, accident, flood ……. same as any insurance documents. If you already have a home, your Household Insurance is unlikely to remain valid - some Companies like a property to be occupied and after 28 days empty it may not cover your property/contents.

          How do you intend to fund your trip, working as you go? How will you move your monies around between the various countries?

          You will need a First Aid kit when travelling in Europe so have a look at Boots, Red Cross to see what is included. Some medications are banned in both Europe and Asia. If you have a regular medication requirement you may find it necessary to carry a copy of your prescription and covering letter from your GP about your conditions. Take a good water sterilising unit - Ray Mears web-site may well give advice as boiling may not be enough.

          Once you have sorted the above you can get on an enjoy yourself! DO IT WHILST young enough!!!

          If you want to visit places that have war zones contact one of the big travel companies. Some are still taking small groups of travellers to Afghanistan for example, well away from the trouble spots. These companies may well be able to tell you what nasty bugs you need vaccinating against: which need booking via your GP months in advance of travel and for which, I believe, is a charge. The Foreign Office web-site have details of where people shouldn't travel too.

          Your Passport will need to be as up to date as possible. Some countries insist on a 6 months lee-way in either direction: i.e. before you arrive and after your Visa runs out, so that you don't become a drain on the health service/amenities etc..

          Ask any questions. When do you want to set off? That will determine the type and state of vehicle you are likely to find in your price budget.
          Last edited by Insect; 07-08-2015, 19:52.

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            #6
            Documents backup ....

            Insect makes many good points, I'd just like to mention something which I've been doing for a few years now which conceivably might be helpful if the worst happened and your bag or vehicle containing all your documentation disappeared.

            Scan absolutely everything: passport, airline tickets, medical insurance, list of British Embassy numbers worldwide, family/work phone numbers and email, all your bank cards, passwords to access online accounts .... just keep adding anything that comes to mind. Then store the whole lot on one or more robust 'thumb drives' and/or camera memory cards which you then always carry on your person, ideally in out of the way spots like the rolled hood of a jacket. Also upload it all to Cloud storage. If the balloon goes up you can at least get access to that essential information. There are 'print shops' pretty much everywhere.

            Most of the world carries an ID card the same size as a credit card, I print off a copy of my passport page and reduce it to that size and encapsulate it .... it has served me well on a number of occasions saving the need to get out the real passport and expose it to theft or confiscation by corrupt officials.
            Last edited by mikeroch; 08-08-2015, 08:37. Reason: omission

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              #7
              Scared off? Hope not!

              We didn't scare you too much did we

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Insect View Post
                We didn't scare you too much did we
                Hopefully just food for thought!

                I heard of a chap from Derbyshire somewhere, who, having done a course in survival training and inspired by the likes of Bear Gryllis and Ray Mears, was convinced he could take on the world. He decided to take on one of the most inhospitable terrains in Scotland, set off with a backpack - in November. Couldn't manage to hunt down any food, couldn't keep himself warm and was found dead a few weeks later, sheltering in a maintenance hut by the side of the railway.

                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ntain-hut.html

                Now I know this is not the same as going off into the big wide world in a campervan, but still, there you go. You need to be prepared. ...So I'm sure Tom won't have minded us outlining a few facts!

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