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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
NOTE TO SELF: -

My truck and I are a team! One is of no use without the other. I am in control of my truck. My truck trusts me to do the right thing, I value that trust, so I must know what can and can’t be done, and above all else, treat my truck and not my ego with respect.

I started this journey quite some time back when I had a Landy Defender. Back then my, concept was less focused on stealth than perhaps it should have been, so, when a short wheel base (90) came along, which had all the basic accessories I took the plunge.

Roll on a number of years, it became apparent that a shorty configured with a off-road box trailer and later a roof top tent was not viable.

So the first step was to determine what my requirements were, so when a STD wheel base Landrover came along, I exchanged the Shorty for the Discovery

In the progression of things, no loss, it’s part of the understanding what I need curve, as well as a fair whack of all terrain driving learning / courses ETC – Never heard of nobody that “gets it right first time”

STEP 1 LIST THE REQUIREMENTS – Lucky I now had experience of what didn’t work. Here is a summary of my requirements.

BASIC PARAMETERS

A “stand alone” vehicle, able to service one person for a minimum of 10 days without replenishment, be 100 % off -grid capable, be able to get to reasonably remote locations (4x4 platform) and be “stealth” capable if necessary. Implicit in “stealth” & “stand alone” is no towed trailer.

Function as a static base camp, while doing other activities such as hiking

Provide facilities for: - sleeping / meal preparation & cleanup / personal hygiene / toilet / clothing storage / necessary vehicle recovery equipment & spares / lighting / refrigeration

Be resourced for a redundancy plan in the event of becoming immobilised distant from assistance

Resourced with medical essentials that will cover most likely injuries.

Able to be retro-configured and have everything removable.

MAIN COMPONENTS

Bed constraints: - Full length / able to sit upright / minimal configuration change between day & night

Freezer constraints: - must be fully accessible & able to view into the freezer to the bottom

MAIN ANCILLARY EQUIPMENT

300w suitcase solar panel / 65L gravity fed potable water tank / 10Kg propane – 5Kg recharge tank 2 2Kg tanks for use / chainsaw / 110 dual purpose 12v battery – dual purpose, cranking & deep cycle /

PRIMARY REDUNDANCY PLANNING

20L water in secondary containers / alternative cooking & heating options / vehicle recovery kits:– electrical / traction loss / loss of tyre pressure / mechanical failure / coolant failure / towing aids



STEP 2 – GETTING TO KNOW THE VEHICLE – See note to self

So for a 2 years I left the Disco in it’s original configuration as a 7 seater SUV and used it as a platform to go remote off-grid static camping, did some off roading practice and so on.

My biggest concern at this stage was the auto transmission. I just could not build faith in it. Compound that with a failing transmission that needed some serious money & reconstructive surgery (as well as the addition of a second intercooler) I was not that convinced that this was the baby-for-me, and very nearly divorced and married a Discovery with a V8 & a Manual transmission.

They say, the only reason the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence is because there is more cow-dung and weeds never go brown..... The cow-dung & weeds of that utopian fantasy was irrevocably squished by the V8’s fuel consumption.... EEK!

For 10Km / L from the TD5 I’ll live with the auto – thanks!

Also, during this time I wised up to U-tube, and spent a vast amount of time “wizening – up” about nomadic life, the do’s & don’ts and added some parameters to my requirements – so again, all part of the learning curve and it helped me avoid mistakes that would probably have resulted in a “re-build”

Orson – Wells “the war of the worlds” And yet across the gulf of space minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth and slowly and surly they drew their plans against us seem to fit the bill...

STEP 3 THE BUILD

Given that my fabrication skills & resources (power tools ETC) are rudimentary at best. I’m far better at re-purposing things, especially if they are freebies

So, with a futon bed base, a fishing tackle backpack, the frame of a lounge chair side table, a small pine cupboard bought at a flea-market, a wooden crate picked up at the rubbish dump, A cheap sewing machine, and some other bits-n-bobs, I set out to “meet the requirements”

Following are pictures of the main things, obviously, there are lot of other "fiddly bits" ANYTHING YOU WANT ME TO EXPAND ON I'll be only too happy to do so.....

THE SPACE
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FOUTON BED BASE FOR THE DECK - HALF THE WORK'S ALREADY DONE - PROFFESSIONALLY
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DECK CHOPPED INTO 3 SECTIONS FOR EASE OF REMOVAL & RE-INSTALL - SECTION 1
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SECTION 2 & 3 - Space under the deck for my 300w suitcate solar panel, portable toilet & 2 plate gas burner
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FREEZER POSITIONING - Blooming tricky, full visual access through the passanger rear door.... Just enough space for the lid to fully open - MEASUREMENT SUCCESS! 🆒
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STORAGE SIDE FIRMED UP - from front to back: - Freezer - cooler box for perishables - dry goods storage then tailgate chuckbox
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FULL LENGTH BED - MEASUREMENT SUCCESS - I can sit upright! :cool:
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CHUCKBOX - TAILGATE KITCHEN & BED
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PRIMARY HEATING & COOKING 2 PLATE PROPANE BURNER - fits snug under the deck - solar panel is behind
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TAILGATE TABLE - KITCHEN - COOKING & DISHWASHING, NOT COMPLETE BUT LOOKING REALLY GOOD - The table is the top of a small pallet.
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Cont/
 

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totally Awesome

except

Im a guy who lived in a motorhome for 3 years
got super boring and in a real SHTF world your going nowhere

you dont own the roads
they will block the roads

you have one tank of fuel then Maybe resupply

id rather be on foot
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Continued /

BLACKOUT CURTAIN FITTING REAR DOOR
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BLACKOUT CURTAINS - Interesting concept, a "bag" that slips over the door covering the window on the inside & outside of the winow, the woodland cammo makes for a nice ambiance inside at night
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CURTAINS INSIDE
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TOILET SPACE - BETWEEN THE DRIVER'S SIDE FRONT & REAR DOORS - have a little screen that cover's the front, but it's private enough. Poo-bag with a bit of cat-litter onto roofrack until I can chuck it. Some other things on the roof rack also shown...
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SHOWER SYSTEM 1 SOLAR BAG ON A GANTRY - Pully halves the weight of the bag when full. SECOND SHOWER SYSTEM is a 12v submersable pump and a collapsable 8L bucket
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hi baddog..

My thought's are: - small jumps long stay's - Fuel re-supply not so much of a concern, I keep the tank full as possable. Also, my interperation of "perminent nomad" is to be nomadic for extended periods (EG several months), while still having a "sticks-and-bricks" to return to to have a change.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@i Kymudder08
No, not a rooftop, I went through that evolution many moons back. What's uptop there is 65L rooftop water tank, 3 steel containers for:- my GBTHB (discussed elsewere), 1 for my track-mats and the other is for things I don't regularly use.

Also, a 5Kg propain resevoir for re-filling 1,5Kg tanks, a "Cobb-Cooker" and all accessories, -esentially a Dutch oven, 10L water for loss of engine coolant, 5L engine oil, a chainsaw, a tyre-pump, 10L spare diesiel... (see the pick detasiling the stuff) and a big (3m diameter) umbrella, for shade over my cook area. Over that is a Wind-deflector made form ripstop canvas, which also serves to protect everything up there.

Thanks for asking..
 

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Nice work.

Personally, I've spend ten years building a fortress in the hills...

HOWEVER, if I was not, I would be going all in at becoming a nomad. There are many pros to it, and not as many cons as some people think as most people only think of 'cars' as something you can drive on a road until you run out of gas. They are really the most important single technical prep a person can have, but only if treated and prepared like one.

I am 49% sure that within 20 years being nomadic will be a requirement for survival for most people.
 

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Check out this guy for advice. He's driven from Alaska to Argentina (40,000+) miles and a 50,000+ mile Africa trip. I think he's worked through a couple things.


The deck concept is good. I would raise it for more storage space below and add some access doors front and back to get to what's stored under there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@ InOhma...

Yip would have been nice to do that, but I had the height restriction of
being able to sit upright on the Bed"
Cheers fella
 

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This one was good and helped steer me away from the big tire, re-gear it, rock climbing advice. I've focused on a street drivable option with a couple of suspension component changes to go moderate rock trails and still be as close to stock as I can be for regular driving.

I have a manual transmission which helps because I can control the engine rpms myself by holding the shift points rather than re-gearing axles if I change tire sizes.

 

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I helped my brother buy a 5 yr old diesel ambulance. He is busy converting it to his retirement home for travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
@ InOmaha

Makes perfect sense.. From what I've seen with these things, There's a good dollop of "Built to impress the next dude" with a thick topping of "because he's got un"....:oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Anyway, back to my build: - POST BUILD TRIALS

So After the conversion, I needed to actually experience the re-configuration in action, so for starter's I took it to a resort for a weekend & lived in it...

Two thing happened that actually worked in my favor... ONE - The substation blew out leving the place with no power and TWO it was the middle of winter, so tempratures got quite low <for us> and dropped to between 0 Deg C & - 1 Deg C.

From a trials perspective this was great! The rest of the people in their fancy caravans < you callem trailers> where winging like blazes, I powered my freezer from my suitcase solar panel, and I was very comfortable at those tempratures, with no condensation build up inside...

Some pics

COLD! frozen window & bonnet
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COLD: - wwalking around in my sleep suit - This thing's brilliant! I can get up to pee without having to get out of my sleep-sack!
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COZY! Book to read, flask of coffee, something to nibble on..... What more's needed?
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Later that day (4 day campout) no Electricity - no problem my suitcase solar panel
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FIRST MEAL - SPAGBOL! Yummmm! - Yip, that's how I cook on the road.... Come around 15:00 I'm ready to cook, eat, keep some for nibble's later (see "cozy" pic above" and I'm done... 2, cheap round plastic tubs for dishes....
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FIRST PITCH.... All in all quite successful

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Now there where tweeks that needed to be done, That's where a "list"came in very handy, but overalI was very chuffed. After the 4 day camp-out, it needed a bigger try-out.

That came at the end of the year, I planned to do some really wild camping and a trip into the mountains..... I'll post that from tomorrow...
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Last post in this story: - Building a BOV / prepping to be a perminent nomad final pre-trials

STEP 4 Trials part 2

Having got to the point where I had trialled the configuration for 4 days and had a working configuration that just needed a bit of tweaking, it was time to take it wild off road and wild camping.

For this I chose to go and complete an “on my bucket list item” as well as do some roving in the wild country in the Drakensberg nature conservatory.

The “On my bucket list” was to successfully complete the BEN 10 ECO MOUNTAIN PASSES, challenge, something I had attempted some years previously, but due to rain & being solo I was strongly advised to not do a particular pass.

Now to describe the BEN 10 ECO MOUNTAIN PASSES, challenge would take up so much, that it’s not practicable to describe it here in detail, ‘sides it aint got much todo with prepping other than IMHO, actual trials are sooo important, but if your interest is piqued, go Google BEN 10 ECO MOUNTAIN PASSES, there is a wealth of information about each of the passes that has been put together by the fellows running the challenge, It’s truly fascinating stuff.

But for the sake of brevity, it is a series of 10 mountain passes 5 of which are the highest gravel passes in South Africa, Inclusive of the highest point in the Cape Province – Through some of the most spectacular scenic countryside this beautiful country has to offer, some of them can only be traversed at low range crawl speed, all along the lower side of the Lesotho border......

Utterly freaking awesome....

ME HI-JACKING MY OWN POST: -

In SA, we have, any number of different tours that we can do, he treasure route < gold – diamonds – ETC> / The tribal war route / each of the Boer war routes / the Jock-of-the-bushveldt route / mountain passes and on and on...

That’s why, in prepping for becoming a nomad I choose small jumps longish stays – with as much boon-docking & stealth camping as possable.

BACK TO MY POST: -

Given that the challenge is 10 prescribed mountain passes in seven days, and I’m now registered in perpetuity as having successfully completed it <I managed it in 4 days> the rest of the 15 days was spent in the Drakensberg conservatory , (shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh not supposed to dodat)

SO HOW SUCCESSFUL WHERE THE TRIALS?

Completely satisfied. Vehicle performed well, AND the re-configuration met all my requirements, <poop / shower / cook / eat / dishes and of course, sleep>

To sum it up It was awesome.

NEXT EVOLUTION? : -

I think, I’m kinda finished prepping for permanent nomadic life – just need to keep practicing so in the meantime short-ish nomad trips over my annual break “till day comes I don’t enjoy employment anymore I suppose....

I do so enjoy practicing....

Some pics: -

HIGHEST POINT IN THE CAPE PROVENCE : - Stealth / boon-docked right there
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STOCKTHEFT WATCH & SHELTER.... It's bloody cold & windy. Police use local people to watch for livestock being stolen and herded into Lesthoto <different country> which is over the hill behind the hut - nice BOl? Mmmmmmmmm
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Finger of God - interesting rock formation - seduced me to sleep there
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REALLY REALLY ROUGH ROAD: When the road get's washed out they repair roads with tyres filled with sand & wired together - see infront of the landy with a stockpile behind landy - Mmmmmm lunch - Egg / lettuce / cheese / ham / egg sarmies & tea.
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UP...UP....UP...
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4H OF CRAWL SPEED - THIS WAS FUNNY - NOT SO FUNNY
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BOONDOCKING IN A DISUSED CHURCH YARD
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SEVERE DROP OFF LOW RANGE LOCKUP DIFF SPORT MODE - CADENCE BRAKING - MADE IT
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TRY 50KM OF THIS FOR A ROAD
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AND THIS... WHERE IS THE BLOODY ROAD?
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Continued /

STAYED 2 DAYS STEALTH CAMPING IN THE WOODS
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ENTRANCE TO THE NATAL DRAKENSBERG WILD COUNTRY FOR 15 DAYS OF WILD CAMPING
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ANOTHER AREA OF THE DRAKENSBERG WILD COUNTRY
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I guess what I'm trying to put over is what CAN be done with pretty much a bog standard vehicle, 20 years old but well maintained, and a well planned re-configuration, a LOT of self skills development & and it'll do the job... No big tyres / lockers / winch and on and on.....

so far, I've only posted regards those elements where I could be vunerable in my thinking: - My back-up GBTHB how it's put together and a few of its resourcing cook & shelter..... The rest of the resourcing I'm OK with - nobody's asked for me to discuss any of the other gear.

And my primary my BOV - nomadic camper, and I'm hoping to get feedback and make it better...

I hope this post will inspire others & I welcome any quips / queries / or quotes.

Above all I would value your input: -

RGDS
 

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Great post, it looks like you are really getting a nice setup. The only point which is not a criticism is the majority of your weight seems to be distributed on the driver side. I primarily crawl rocks so it's very important for me to balance the weight and keep it nice and low. Your mileage might vary for your needs though.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Morning 4x4

Thanks for the input!

The weight on the roofrack is pretty much even from L to R. The 65L water-tank and the container for my "walkout cart/bag" is placed centrally cross wise, and the 2 other steel containers are of equal size, one on the left and one on the right.

For this trip, to keep the C of G as low as possable I did not use the water tank on the rooftop, instead I used a bunch of 15L plastic drums that I put on the bed, just took them out each night.

The really heavy stuff, recovery gear & 110 deep cycle battery is stowed in the passanger's footwells, and the big suitcase solar panel under the base.

The other stuff inside is a bit off-centre on the passanger side is the 50L Waeco fridge-freezer, & dry food storage - tha's unfortuanately the only way I could configure it inside.

But to some extent I've balanced it by putting my heavy <rubber strip - doormat type> in the container on the driver's side, so all in all I think I'm pretty even steven left to right.

many thanks for the input....
RGDS
 

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Morning 4x4

Thanks for the input!

The weight on the roofrack is pretty much even from L to R. The 65L water-tank and the container for my "walkout cart/bag" is placed centrally cross wise, and the 2 other steel containers are of equal size, one on the left and one on the right.

For this trip, to keep the C of G as low as possable I did not use the water tank on the rooftop, instead I used a bunch of 15L plastic drums that I put on the bed, just took them out each night.

The really heavy stuff, recovery gear & 110 deep cycle battery is stowed in the passanger's footwells, and the big suitcase solar panel under the base.

The other stuff inside is a bit off-centre on the passanger side is the 50L Waeco fridge-freezer, & dry food storage - tha's unfortuanately the only way I could configure it inside.

But to some extent I've balanced it by putting my heavy <rubber strip - doormat type> in the container on the driver's side, so all in all I think I'm pretty even steven left to right.

many thanks for the input....
RGDS
Sounds like you have it spaced right. I was having a lot of fun reading your posts and looking at the pictures. While my love is rock crawling I also get into our mountains and deserts for several days of 4x4ing. One of our favorite trips is to do what's called The Mojave Road which is roughly 160 miles without any support around. It's not a challenge but it sure is a lot of fun and with the right group I regret when it's time to head back home.

It looks like you really have some fantastic lands there to go visit and I have always found the folks from your neck of the woods very friendly and familiar types. Thanks for posting up your adventures!
 

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Continued /

STAYED 2 DAYS STEALTH CAMPING IN THE WOODS
View attachment 358870


ENTRANCE TO THE NATAL DRAKENSBERG WILD COUNTRY FOR 15 DAYS OF WILD CAMPING
View attachment 358871


ANOTHER AREA OF THE DRAKENSBERG WILD COUNTRY
View attachment 358872


I guess what I'm trying to put over is what CAN be done with pretty much a bog standard vehicle, 20 years old but well maintained, and a well planned re-configuration, a LOT of self skills development & and it'll do the job... No big tyres / lockers / winch and on and on.....

so far, I've only posted regards those elements where I could be vunerable in my thinking: - My back-up GBTHB how it's put together and a few of its resourcing cook & shelter..... The rest of the resourcing I'm OK with - nobody's asked for me to discuss any of the other gear.

And my primary my BOV - nomadic camper, and I'm hoping to get feedback and make it better...

I hope this post will inspire others & I welcome any quips / queries / or quotes.

Above all I would value your input: -

RGDS


The Ben 10 Eco Challenge looks like a fun trip.
What's your reasoning for not having a winch?
 
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