Member's Overlanding Story - Rhonda & Rob Gould
Rhonda & Rob's first 4x4 overlander was series 2A Land Rover fitted with a Holden motor. After several years of travel they purchased an ex government 1992 Nissan GQ Patrol with very low mileage. A bull bar, winch and cargo barrier came with the vehicle.
Their first trip was a bit of a shamble as Rob put it. They had no real order to the way the vehicle was packed. So as soon as they returned from that first trip the conversation began in both the choice of camping equipment and the way the 4x4 was set up.
The tent Rob & Rhonda purchased was a Southern Cross touring tent. It had a five minute set up. To sleep on they purchased a Thermarest mattress with good quality sleeping bags. Next was to replace their three way (gas/12v/240v) fridge with a 40l Engel. These basic (but important) items "revolutionised" their touring making camp set up quick and easy.
As for the Patrol, the load area was set up with a place for everything enabling ease of access. This was accomplished by manufacturing and installing a custom storage setup. Rob did this all by him self, saving cost and most importantly, ending up with a system perfectly suited for their needs.
The storage system consisted of two rear drawers with two levels of storage shelves. "This setup enabled us to remove any item without the need to move anything else" as Rob put it.
Behind the passenger seat a frame was bolted to the floor which in turn had the fridge tied down. Behind the driver's seat was storage for personal items sucn as clothes etc. Between the two sections was a custom built box to securely hold cameras maps etc This location also made it easy to access from the front.
Extra equipment fitted to the car included a HF radio for long distance comms, a UHF radio, dual batteries, long range tank ,snorkel and upgraded suspension with a 50mm lift. All this gave Rhonda & Rob a very comfortable and reliable vehicle for long distance solo travel.
RHONDA & ROB'S TIPS FOR OVERLANDING
-Vacuum packed food is great for long life and ease of packing, especially in the fridge.
-Always carry some form of extra supplies in case you are stranded due to unforeseen circumstances. (break down, bad weather or change of road conditions.)
-As you use up the contents in the fridge, filling the empty space with scrunched up paper or the like helps maintain efficiency.
-Second battery during their first trip failed due to sulphurisation of the plates. This can be avoided to some degree by always having a small current draw even at home.
-It's always a good idea to have a full service done shortly before leaving home.
-Good planning and preparation are the key to any trip.
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