Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody
There is a lot of planning, not surprisingly. Leaving aside the route and camp bookings, a good 4×4 is essential, like our Land Rover Discovery 4. It needs to have low-range gears, and be in excellent mechanical condition. These days, taking along a diagnostic computer is also prudent to assist with any problems that arise with the modern vehicles’ multitude of electronics. (That alone is a good argument for enduring the relative discomfort of an older ‘analogue’ car without all the bells and whistles!)
We take two spare wheels and a spare tyre. Not least because the usual spare is under the boot floor and totally inaccessible in some conditions! There are four x 25 litre jerry cans of diesel, two on the roof rack and two on the trailer. 90 litres of water in two tanks, similarly stowed, plus 20 litres of drinking water.
We have two sets of sand tracks, an air jack (a huge inflatable air bag), tools and an air compressor. This last item is a key asset. On tar, fully laden, we run the tyres at 2.8 bar/39 psi. On gravel roads, air is let out to 1.8 bar/25 psi. In deep sand, this is further reduced to 0.8-1.2 bar/ 11-17 psi. It does make for some frequent stops, but reduces the risk of getting stuck and punctures. The trailer tyre pressures are adjusted to match.
The trailer is an off-road Jurgens XT120. It has our roof-top tent on its top, and has a twin compartment 90 litre fridge inside as well as chairs, table, food, and all sorts of spares, etc. On this trip, it had such a hard time that the axle had to be replaced when we got back!
It works well for us. Setting up camp takes us about 5 minutes to open up the tent, get the chairs out, and crack an ‘anchor beer’! It only takes slightly longer to stow it all the next morning. The main advantage of campsites are the fences around them, and sanitary facilities. But wild camping, where allowed adds a certain frisson, as well as getting used to using a spade!