The following articles will give you some idea of the amount of time and effort which went into planning the trip. In hindsight I could have done a few things differently but I believe I gave myself a good chance of having a successful trip. Not all these articles were completed and I am in two minds whether to tidy them up or not.

Vehicle Preparation Interior

InteriorFinally got round to starting this page. I have a little more to do inside the front of the vehicle including my own evolution of a centre dash console replacing the one I bought. I have trimmed up my roof consoles and fitted the interior light along with a bracket and LX (electrics) for my GPS. I have another GPS power cable should I wish to plug the item in elsewhere.  So with these pictures you can see the escape hammer, fan (there will be a second pointing the other way),lockable compartments in the centre console, map pockets in the rear roof and vanity mirror in passenger sun visor. These visors are too large really for the drivers side but work very well for the passenger. There are map lights by the GPS and also a sunglasses holder all taken from a Honda Civic. I may put a trimming flap on the front shelf pockets but will not  put locking flaps on as these are really just for things to grab quickly. I should take a picture of the other side to show the 12v sockets. Maybe later.

The front dash console will be replaced soon as I build what I hope will be the definitive version. The existing console was an excellent addition but I now know what I require to suit my needs and only want to show you the finished version. 

What a surprise. Ran out of time on that one. Maybe I'll sort that out later.

Will try to put up a couple of photos of the rear passenger area before departure.




An important aspect for a trip like this is what training do I need to be able to successfully complete my journey safely. There are several areas which I have decided to look at and I will give you a brief overview of each followed by more in depth discussion as I get further into the creation of this site.

1) Vehicle mechanics and maintainance

Am gradually working through basic servicing and in the next couple of weeks will be supervised throughthe whole process including cambelt change and valve clearances.

2) Vehicle operation

Will be taking a trip out to some land our club use for trials with a very experienced friend to test what I know and what I should know.

3) Health and hygiene including preventative medicine and First Aid

Lots of reading involved here. One of our club is a paramedic and I have a trumpet player friend who is a Doctor so I am  picking a few brains on this one.

4) Navigation

5) Diplomacy


This will list appropriate vaccinations and provision of First Aid materials plus discussion of anti-malarial choices.

I have started my course of vaccinations. It appears that quite a few will be provided free of charge on the NHS. This is great as I do pay my NI and am glad to only have to look for a few jabs elsewhere. Ouch, not the needles but the cost of some of the vaccines. Rabies and cholera are pricey.

The research I have done tells me I will need a Yellow Fever certificate somewhere along the way. Recommended are Typhiod, Tetanus, Polio, Meningitis and Hepititus A. For long term exposure there are also Diptheria, Rabies Cholera and Hepititus B (in case of blood transfusion or other needles).

As doxycycline is also the chosen anti-biotic for some tick based infections the nurse has advised this as a smart choice of anti-malarial. I intend taking a short course to trial it if my doctor will provide it. I will also carry a back-up, probably a short course of malarone.

I will be carrying a quite extensive First Aid kit and include a sterile set including cannula and giving set. For extra needles and other supplies you can try SP Services in Telford.

Two more things to do are get an up to date eye test and get prescription sunglasses plus a trip to the dentist.

New glasses are sorted including a very dark pair of prescription sunglasses

Been to the dentist and my face now hurts (thank you hygienist)


As I deal with the various items I will show what paperwork I obtain for my trip and hopefully give tips on how to avoid any pitfalls I find along the way. I will pass on information given freely to me by others on the understanding that things change and peoples experiences differ so all info is given in good faith. If you have any useful information or know of good links I may use in my research please mail me via the contacts page.

News!!! Lots of people on various forums seem confused as to how to get the ICMV.  For the International Certificate of Motor Vehicles contact the AA's International Motoring Section on 01256 493 395.
They will e-mail you an application form. The cost is currently £7.50 which is the same as the IDP. This document is valid for 12 months just like the IDP. See the bottom of the page to download this form if you require it.

Carnet. The big one. I have decided to use the insurance policy method. I don't want to have to put up my house as a guarantee for the bank. I have made up an interactive spreadsheet based on the current RAC figures This is also available at the bottom of the page if you wish to download it.

IDP see the ICMV section and I will apply for both at the same time.

Passport. Mine is currently valid till 2011 and only has one stamp in it so should have the necessary space but will review this in about September time.

Visas. I am picking up various pieces of information particularly from the website  This seems to be a very good resource but, as with all 3rd party information, it is up to you to pick the wood from the chaff. A lot of the people on there seem awfully experienced so I am a bit shy about posting asking for information which has probably been given many times. Time to stop being so British and just get on with it.

Vehicle storage

Camping Summer 2007 

I have decided that, even though the majority of the trip will only have myself in the vehicle, I would like to keep 4 seats. This will allow for visitors and so I am kitting out with basic equipment for 4. This is in regard of cooking and sleeping although I will probably only take 2 chairs and the other 2 can use storage boxes with some sort of cushion. I will take a light tent for the extra people and I have an Eezi-Awn tent on the roof for my normal accommodation.

A few years ago I purchased 2 of the military sets that are made up of two 5l jerry cans and a cleaning kit all locked together in a tray. I intend taking these as I can have one jerry with EP90, one with ATF, one with top-up engine oil and another available for whatever I choose. One of the cleaning kits has long since been discarded and the container houses my locking wheel nut key, a few spanners and my hub spanner. 2 water jerry cans and 2 fuel jerry cans will also be stored here. Above this level I will fit a shelf and this will be where most of the stuff in Pelican cases will be stored along with bags for clothing and the like.

Current rear door setup

I am a great fan of the work done by Mobile Storage Systems. Some people complain about the cost but I have yet to see any other equipment which has the same build quality. In my 109 hardtop I had a Store Drawer, a Store Chest and a one off filler unit which was mainly a frame and lids. These 3 items with the filler in the middle made a complete flat loadbed between the seat boxes. To keep the seating options for the Station Wagon I have done away with the filler which is available for purchase from Footloose 4x4. I intend to put things like spares and items I wont need very often in the Store Chest. The cooking gear and some tools will go in the store drawer. On the back door I will carry my cooker in a Mobile Storage Systems housing and have made a purpose built cupboard for the coffee items and another for the water filter housing. The filtered water tap is mounted on top of the spacer that is used with the cooker housing when you have a rear wiper motor.

I was lucky enough to purchase 4 aluminium Zarges boxes at £30 each making them only slightly more expensive than Wolf boxes. Combining this with the ability to use 2 with a sand ladder as a table and 1 to sit on at a useable height made the decision for me. I have Pelican cases for all my dust sensitive equipment but will keep the number down as they are quite heavy. Peter at Trevor Sales Cases provided a decent alternative for my laptop made by Seahorse.

I have a set of security screens on the rear windows and also on the rear side sliding windows. This combines with a load guard to provide a secure rear section to the vehicle. I will be adding a lockable hasp to the rear door to assist in this. I have built a compartment for the gas bottles and another for the water pump. This will be described in the section on fuel and water storage.

As far as security boxes go I will just say I have that covered and I wish to keep the details of how many and where under wraps as I need to get into the habit of considering security. I will put up pictures of my storage system as it gets settled and will put it on test this Summer.

Just put in an aluminium bulkhead as a load guard. I will fit a blanking panel to complete this in the next few days. This will be removable but not from the passenger side. I have added a shelf attached to this bulkhead and the rear headrests are fixed along with a few other bits and pieces.