We took a decision on our vehicle! After spending the past couple of months searching the web and visiting camper dealers every weekend, we realized that what we are looking for, does not exist or is really very expensive.
So we decided to go for a home built camper. We have not yet decided on the actual car, but know that we want a 4×4 and that it needs to have room for a fixed bed (after our tryout weekend, I know that I do not want to have to make the bed every night) and there needs to be enough room for Dunya. That means that a Landrover Defender or a Toyota Landcruiser, the more obvious choices, are not suitable due to their small interiors.
Furthermore, we want the vehicle to be self supporting. We want to be able to go off-road for a week and camp by a river or in the woods for a few days without needing external electricity. We will built in a generator, cook on electricity or a “burn-all” camping cooker, we will have a small toilet and an option to take shower (might be just a jerrycan on the roof). We want enough storage space to be able to take spare parts for the vehicle, dry food for the dog and all season clothes for ourselves.
We are now looking at either an ex-army vehicle (so very, very cool!) or a 4×4 company van (Mercedes or Volkswagen) that can be adjusted to a camper van. We have set meetings with two different companies with experience in building interiors for camper vans and expedition vehicles and will make a choice in the next two weeks! Very exciting..
Another reason for this decision is the Carnet de passage. For some countries the Carnet de Passage is very expensive. This carnet is basically a sort of passport for your car, that guarantees that you will not leave the car in the country you are traveling through without paying import duties. The more expensive the car, the more expensive the carnet. For a basic Volkswagen camper, not too old, worth around 25-30.000 euro’s, the carnet also asks a 30.000,- deposit. Which means, should we get in an accident or somehow need to leave our car behind in say, Pakistan, we will loose not only the car, worth 30.000 euro’s, but also the deposit for the carnet. That makes a total of 60.000 euro! And of course, it is not our goal to leave our car behind, but the countries where you are more likely to get in an accident, also are the more expensive ones.
We will buy a cheap vehicle, try to built a great part of the interior ourselves so that at least the carnet will not be holding us back from visiting certain countries. Pictures of our final decision will follow soon!
I am so glad that this decision has been taken, because it is really time to start looking more in depth to our route. Where do we want to go, which routes and border-crossings are safe, best time of year to go, visas needed etcetera.
Five months to departure date…