Expedition Portal http://expeditionportal.com Tue, 07 Jul 2015 07:01:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Tuffy Adds a New Solution for the Ford F-150 Supercabhttp://expeditionportal.com/tuffy-adds-a-new-solution-for-the-ford-f-150-supercab/ http://expeditionportal.com/tuffy-adds-a-new-solution-for-the-ford-f-150-supercab/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 07:01:42 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29359 Like many overlanders, our team has relied on Tuffy lockboxes to secure our valuables during our daily drives and extended travels. They’re trusted pieces of equipment that give us piece of mind for a rather humble investment. Tuffy recently added a new lockbox to their extensive inventory, one designed to fit beneath the large rear seat of the Ford F-150 Supercab.

Made of heavy-duty 16 gauge steel, this new box is an ideal solution for those travelers with a need to securely store oversized items, particularly rifles. Access to the box is made easy by simply flipping up the lower seat section. This exposes the Pry-Guard locking box lids each fitted with 10-tumbler locks.




Features include:

  • 3,000 cubic inches of storage
  • 10-tumbler locks
  • Pry-Guard lid closures
  • Welded construction
  • Drill-free instillation
  • Weather and dust sealed

Fits Ford F-150 Supercab 2015 and newer


MSRP: $320



http://expeditionportal.com/tuffy-adds-a-new-solution-for-the-ford-f-150-supercab/feed/ 0
Project Husqvarna TE630 Adventure Motorcyclehttp://expeditionportal.com/project-husqvarna-te630-adventure-motorcycle/ http://expeditionportal.com/project-husqvarna-te630-adventure-motorcycle/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 05:56:34 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29600 IMG_0922
While the big adventure bikes certainly garner attention, it is the mid-weight machines that most effectively support expedition travel. Certainly, if the majority of the trip includes paved roads, then opt for comfort and cruise control. However, if you plan to cross the BAM road, the Canning Stock Route or the Trans-America Trail, then the 600-class adventure bikes are just what the explorer ordered. In our effort to evaluate the viability of these mid-weight bikes, we have built a Honda XL650, Suzuki DR650, and now the KLR650 and Husky TE630. They absolutely have their place in the ADV hierarchy, and with a few thoughtful modifications will take you on the most difficult overland routes around the world.

In part one, we introduced the TE630 as a stock motorcycle and reviewed its specifications. For this installment, we will cover the modifications performed to the bike to address comfort, performance, durability, range, and luggage. The primary goal was to retain the dirt performance this Husqvarna is famous for, while still making it possible to camp off the 630 for weeks or months at a time. The theme is light and fast, so we toed the line with minimal weight increase and ultra-light camping equipment. The most significant weight bump comes from a full 6.6 gallons in the Safari tank. In the next installment, we will review the camping equipment used and report on how bike performs. Follow the modification details below:

No different from a 4WD, dirt performance improves significantly with good tires. We installed some of the most aggressive DOT legal tires available, the Pirelli Scorpion Pro, which is a 20/80 tire and extremely effective in all but hard pack dirt. We installed the 90/90-21 front and the 140/80-18 rear.


Next comes engine protection, and Touratech builds the perfect adventure travel skid plate for this motorcycle, balancing strength and light weight. The guard is made from 3mm aluminum, reinforced by 3mm stainless steel. All brackets are stainless steel as well. Touratech Aluminum Skid Plate
Continuing up the frame, we specified aggressive and wider foot pegs. The ergonomics of the TE630 are not well suited to taller riders, so these pegs also drop by 10mm and move back by 10mm. They are designed for the smaller Huskys, but mount to the 630 just fine, and are available from Cyco Active. Also visible is the Touratech carbon fiber clutch cover protector, which does a good job deflecting rocks and boot scuffs. Additional protection comes from the Touratech brake reservoir cover.


Next came one of the most important modifications, replacing the minuscule factory fuel tank with a serious range multiplier. There are several tanks available for the 630, but only the Safari looks right on the bike, matching the more angular lines and complimenting the European design. At 6.6 gallons, the Husky now has a 250+ mile dirt range and easily 325 miles on the pavement.  Available from JustGasTanks
Within the cockpit, we addressed hand guards with Touratech units and also installed the excellent ASV levers, which both fold out of the way on impact and are fully adjustable. I purchased the ASV shorty units, which I find work better with my two finger riding style.
The last piece for the cockpit was the GPS unit and mount. Touratech makes a  mount that works with a small aluminum cross bar. The GPS can be wired to the battery and the mount is lockable. I decided on the Garmin Montana, which simply works for this type or riding .


For the rear luggage rack, we installed a high-quality unit from TCI Products. This steel unit is powder coated and Made in the USA. The wide structure provides support to the Wolfman bag and allows for multiple lashing options.


For luggage, Wolfman was the perfect fit, and we had experience abusing their bags for years, even on the Trans-America Trail. Their Boulder Beta Bag is ideal for the Husky, as it mounts easily to the TCI rack and allows for all of the camping equipment, tools and (most) spares to fit in one piece of luggage. On light/fast trips, my personal effects are essentially nothing. A few extra pairs of underwear, socks and t-shirts. Maybe a pair of flip flops if I am feeling like glamping. . . (grin).
In addition to the Boulder Beta Bag, I installed two smaller bags for storing everything else. On the tank we strapped a Wolfman Enduro Pocket, which holds numerous essentials like a flashlight, multi-tool, small camera and sunscreen. It is small, but stays completely out of the way. On the front fender I mounted the Enduro Fender Bag, which contains a tube, a few patches, and a set of tire irons.


Final modifications included a Kush rear sprocket and a 14-tooth front sprocket for greater control in the dirt with a travel load. For better standing ergonomics, I installed a Rox 1 1/4″ bar riser set. With that, our Husqvarna TE630 project is essentially complete and ready for some serious dirt.

CL_ExPo_JK 13 - Version 2
After!!!:        _38C2931
So fun. . .

http://expeditionportal.com/project-husqvarna-te630-adventure-motorcycle/feed/ 0
Nerves of Steelhttp://expeditionportal.com/nerves-of-steel/ http://expeditionportal.com/nerves-of-steel/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 07:40:28 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29181 We gathered together with 2 other cars to start the Lake-Turkana-Adventure.  No road, volcanic rocks, sand and a lot of dust. We prepared ourselves for a hot 8 day journey without any diesel, water or shade on the route, the only way to survive is to keep on driving to get some “cool dusty air” (as the air-conditioning from our car is broken). Unfortunately one side of our axle in the rear broke down somewhere in Ethiopia, we got it welded 4 times, as the welding service in Ethiopia is not so good, so we have to make it to Nairobi to get it fixed properly. We hope our axle will hold it through Lake Turkana. We started our journey with a very anxious heart. Our trip along Lake Turkana was a big adventure! Driving here takes skills and nerves of steels. 


Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.28.59 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.28.41 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.27.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.28.04 PM


Day 1: Distance 90km  Duration: 2u30

We drove the last 20km on asphalt and then continued our way on gravel to no-one’s land. Our first stop is in a little town called Tumi, the owner of the campsites tells us that we’re lucky as we will be able to have a look at the bull jumping from the nearby village.( The boys in the tribes here need to run over the backs of bulls to become an adult. In the meantime there is a whole ceremony where men are winging around with whips. The women fight to  get hit by those whips. The few women we see passing have than also beautiful scars…). Unfortunately the welcome text of our guide ‘I will break your camera if you take a picture without paying’ didn’t really attract us to go and have  look.


Dag 2 Distance 145km  Duration 3u10

Our first of the many high stress moments was at the border Omorate (Ethiopia) where we had to get stamps in our visa and carnet (papers from the car) to leave the country. Unfortunately when we entered Kenya, they filled out the wrong ‘leaving point(town)’ on the papers of the car. We put on our most beautiful smiles and presented ourselves in our best behavior, talking about everything and nothing, trying to keep the immigration officer happy. And we succeed!

With leaving the immigration office we also left the civilization behind, the road became worse, the people less and the weather hotter. Driving was the only option to try and get a bit of air as the air-conditioning in our car is broken. Unfortunately the road is so bad, that we can’t really get a lot of speed to get some air. No air-conditioning means driving with the window open which also means that a lot of dust comes in the car. For lunch we tried to find a bit of shade from a lonely tree somewhere and we tried to park our cars in such a way that we created a bit of shade, the air was so hot and dry that the lunch never took longer than 20-30minutes.

Today we started passing local tribes, as they don’t see cars or white people very often they come running from far away to wave at you and try to touch you. The locals here are beautifully dressed with beads.

Around 5 o’clock it was time to leave the “road” and drive out of sight (for the few people around) to open up our tent to spend the night. As the area around Lake Turkana is just open there was a lot of wind at night which made it difficult to sleep.


Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.30.26 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.26.42 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.26.22 PM


Dag 3 Distance: 114km  Duration:5u

We continued our way through no-one’s land, and started on a steady sand road where we were able to drive 30-40km/h, too bad the road changed to a bad gravel-stone road where we were lucky to be able to reach 30km/h

On our way we had to cross a few steep river beds with very loose sand, very nerve wracking, but we made it out all of them, none of us got stuck once.

To give us a little break from the horrible road, there was a little oasis; palm trees and water in the middle of the heat, beautiful! The temperature in the meantime was also very high, we guess it will be around 30-40 degrees.

On our way there was a national park, we planned to drive around it as we didn’t have the time to have a look around and we didn’t want  to pay the entrance fee. Unfortunately they recently changed the boarders of the park, which made us driving through it… We tried to find another exit, but no luck, unless we really wanted to break our car, so we  paid our fee for not seeing any animal in the park.

We drove a bit further, out of the sight of the NP guards and then put our tents up for the night. When we were having dinner a jackal passed by. Luckily we saw one animal that day, OUTSIDE the park!


Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.29.26 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.27.16 PM


Day 4  Distance: 120km Duration 3u30

It’s day 4 and our axle is still ok, olé!  The road has its ups and downs, we start at 30km/h and we’re able to speed up to 40km/h and one time we were even able to drive the full speed of 50km/h. Our nerves get tested again on two very steep river beds we had to cross, but we made it all safely through.

We also see for the first time Lake Turkana which was beautiful!

So our end goal for today is Loiangolani ,a little town that has a little campsite with water and a chance to shower. After 4 days driving in this hot dusty environment it’s heaven to take a shower! Here we also enjoy our first Kenyan beer.


Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.29.41 PM


Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.29.12 PM

Day 5 Distance 0km Duration 0h

As we have shade, water and beer here, we decide to stay an extra night to get some rest (as driving on this roads takes a lot of your energy) and check the cars, we’re grateful to have our compressor (Extreme Outback Products) to get the dust out the motor.


Dag 6 Distance: 89km Duration 3u50

After some rest we continue our way along Lake Turkana, on very bad road where we are able to reach an average speed of 25-30km/h. We were just thinking that our axle is holding so well and then we hear the unpleasant sound we wished not to hear every again. The welding from our axle broke again…. What to do, what to do? We’re in the middle of nowhere, no garage to be seen for miles, one side is broken, if the other side breaks too, we will just lose our whole axle and our adventure will be over… But as it’s too hot to wait too long, the men start thinking and they quick fix with a stretch belt so we can drive the last 30km. We drive so slowly, too scared to break our beloved car and we make it to the next town where the men quickly start to work before it gets dark.


Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.30.40 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.31.16 PM


The men do an amazing job, from a steel bar we still had in our car (just because you never know) they made a construction to keep the axel attached to the car.


Dag 7 Distance 144km Duration 5u10

With a little heart we continued our way as we don’t have any option, the road we have to drive on doesn’t do any good for our Lady, but she had to keep strong. Every now and then we stop to have a look, the men’s construction is holding, barely. On top of our problems it starts to rain, of course! The rain doesn’t make the roads any better but after a very long and tiring day we safely arrive on our next stop were we park our lady on a big green field right in between the zebra’s.


Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 7.25.28 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.29.59 PM

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.27.48 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.27.38 PM


Day 8 Distance 0km Duration: 0h

We take again an off day to give our blood pressure time to settle. We go for some shopping in town and decide to take a local taxi who drives without any concerns through half a meter deep puddles! The bottom of the car hits a few times the road and sometimes we have to drive backwards as we are stuck, but we arrive in town. Why are we are so careful with our car!?


Day 9 Distance: 159km Duration: 5u30

In Maralal we part ways, one car is taking another road, luckily the second car is so nice to stay with us, making sure that we reach safely Nairobi.

Before we leave we ask the local people how long it would take us to reach our next destination ,Thompson falls, they told us 3hours, but with our car probably only 2. Yeah right! It took us 5hours! This road was even worse than most of the roads we’ve seen along Lake Turkana.

But we finally reach civilization again, leaving our sorrows behind for tonight, beer, wine and restaurant, here we are!


Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 7.25.10 AM

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.31.39 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.26.00 PM


Day 10 : Distance: 204 km Duration: 3u45

Yes you read it well, today we hit the tar again and we wear able to reach a speed up to 60km/h! Nairobi and proper welder, here we are!

It took us 10 days and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but we made it! More bad roads on our way? Come and show us!


Visit our website http://www.waarisworteltje.be 

or follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/waarisworteltje


Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 5.28.17 PM

http://expeditionportal.com/nerves-of-steel/feed/ 0
The All-New Volkswagen Californiahttp://expeditionportal.com/the-all-new-volkswagen-california/ http://expeditionportal.com/the-all-new-volkswagen-california/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2015 07:15:10 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29348 Some things in life are just not fair. It’s a fact of life. Often we find ourselves peering over the proverbial fence seeking greener pastures and wondering why we were once again picked last for dodgeball -a reality many of us have faced at one time or another. It seems that Volkswagen has forgotten this cruel life lesson as they have created yet another unbalanced scenario. Herein lies the VW California, a modern reincarnation of the beloved bus of yesteryear that stole the hearts of every would-be traveller from young to old.


It seems that the Germans have resurrected one of the most iconic vehicles in history and saw fit to call it the “California”, and here’s the kicker: despite its namesake, it’s not available in North America. This latest T6 camper chassis comes in two flavors, the Beach (sans kitchenette) and the Ocean, a fully equipped camper that draws inspiration from the classic layout. Let’s go over a few of the new features.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.13.41 PM


Common Features

Beginning with the Beach, which is the base platform, we see a myriad of upgrades in both functionality and safety. All of which add greatly to the end user experience. Both front seats pivot at their base adding 2 seats to the dining arrangement creating a total of 4 seats at the removeable table (the collapsible table is standard equipment and stows in the sliding door).


VW also offers an optional vehicle mounted awning where campers can enjoy the shade in a pair of collapsible camping chairs -which conveniently store in the liftgate when not in use. Not one to break tradition, VW added an aluminum pop top that hinges at the rear. The added height creates room for the slatted bed frame which supports a 2000mm x 1200mm mattress. For those on the primary level, the seats fold down to create a 2000mm x 1500mm bed (roughly the size of a standard queen mattress). An illuminated entry step adds a touch of class and provides a spot of safety at night.


Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.14.12 PM



Both California models are available with several state of the art safety systems. Features such as corner lights that illuminate the road around dark corners, as well as strategically placed sensors aim to provide safer travels by reducing blind spots. Neither version is equipped with a low range transfer case, instead the California make use of the company’s proprietary 4MOTION all wheel drive system and optional electronic differential lock. The optional 4MOTION system monitors individual wheel speeds and uses braking force to ensure power is delivered to the wheels with traction.


Ocean | Specific Features

Similar to the Beach model, the Ocean enjoys a pop top with bed, seats that fold into a bed (although, smaller at 2000mm x 1140mm), only with the addition of a kitchenette, wardrobe -with sliding door, and gas storage compartment. The comprehensive kitchen includes a 42 liter fridge, twin burner gas stove, and stainless steel sink. The interior cabinetry is sleek and modern with a frosted glass worktop for easy cleanup -rounded edges afford a contemporary appearance and create an elegant environment overall. Whether enjoying the latest copy of Overland Journal in the top bunk, or a glass of wine over dinner, campers will no doubt find the multi directional flexible halogen lamp useful. VW put a lot of thought into the latest iteration of the classic campervan, and it would appear as though they have paid proper homage. Many of the old bits of charm remain despite the inherent intrusion of technological progress.


Whether its the simplicity of the Beach that you desire, or the at home convenience of the Ocean, either model will surely bring a smile and sense of nostalgia to your adventures. For many, a brand new VW campervan is a reality. As for the rest of us, we will have to continue watching the game from the sidelines.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.14.02 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.13.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.14.28 PM



Starting Price: £36,243.

4 cylinder, 2.0TDI 140ps common-rail, direct injection, variable geometry turbocharger, intercooled.

4 cylinder, 2.0BiTDI 180ps common-rail, direct injection, bi-turbo intercooled



Starting Price: £45,797.

4 cylinder, 2.0 114ps stratified injection, turbocharged petrol engine.


Multi-directional flexible halogen spot light directs light into seating area and top bunk.


Two 72Ah auxiliary batteries.


Fuel consumption: up to 40 MPG (depending on trim level).


Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 4.13.25 PM


14% Breakover angle.

21% Approach angle.

17% Departure angle.

300mm wading depth.

37° hill ascent.

3000mm wheelbase

Payload capacity: ~500 kg

GVWR 3000 kg


http://expeditionportal.com/the-all-new-volkswagen-california/feed/ 0
36 Hours of Adventure: Of coyotes and mud holeshttp://expeditionportal.com/36-hours-of-adventure-of-coyotes-and-mud-holes/ http://expeditionportal.com/36-hours-of-adventure-of-coyotes-and-mud-holes/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 07:11:53 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29378 This is an odd thing to admit, but many of my best overnight adventures have started with my wife saying, “I’m having my girlfriends over tonight, do you mind?”  Of course I don’t mind. Not just because I’m a swell hubby, but it also gives me a perfect excuse to skip out for a little impromptu adventure. Before she can chill wine and slice cheese into cute little portions, I can have a motorcycle loaded and ready to kick up some dust. Lucky for me, I can even fold in a little work with my play.

It wasn’t by chance I landed in Prescott, Arizona some 17 years ago. Surrounded by millions of acres of forest and more roads than I can explore in my lifetime, I can be on a lonely track of backroad within minutes. When I need to test gear or get images of it in use, all I have to do is wait for my lovely bride to invite her pals over. When it happens you better believe I don’t linger in the doorway.


With another gathering of the girls this week I found myself on our Expedition Portal KLR plowing headlong into the sunset in a race to catch the last rays of light. My main mission for this particular escape was to photograph a few stoves for our upcoming review in Overland Journal. It also gave me another opportunity to further test our Caribou Commando panniers, a Filson dry bag, a new LED tent lighting system, and even a new brand of dehydrated meals. I also wanted to try out Garmin’s newest GPS watch, the Epix. It’s a wonder I have time to enjoy myself with such a workload, but I do soldier on.




As I carved my way into the mountains west of town, the thunderheads on the horizon made me wonder if I hadn’t been better off with the women folk at home. Fortunately, the light was perfect and as I hurried to make camp, I began to rack off the images I needed. Before I was ready for it, the sun gave up the day and I set to work making a meal. No sooner had I ducked into my tent the rain came, although nothing too serious. If there’s one thing I love most about backcountry travel, it’s that feeling of cheating weather with a millimeter of nylon.



I found it. Left it. Probably could have used the luck.


With the woods to myself, I settled into my book for a little read and before I ever turned a page, the silence of the night was broken with the sounds of coyotes in the distance. If you haven’t heard the cacophonous chatter of a pack of coyotes, it is a special experience. I listened intently as the howling went on round after round, each successive chorus slightly softer than the last. I think I even made a comment to myself, probably something as trivial as, “cool.” With the coyotes only faintly audible in the distance I returned my head to the pillow and quickly fell asleep.

I don’t know how long I was out, but I admit I awoke with quite a start. The coyotes were back and so close I could hear their feat in the brush along with a few subtle barks and the occasional yip. I slowly unzipped my tent, clicked on my headlamp, and like a scene from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure saw a dozen eyeballs reflected in the light. I clapped my hands to make a little noise, delivered a tough guy, “Getouttahere,” and they vanished into the night. Their absence restoring my courage, I slipped back into my sleeping bag and with my heart beating a little faster than usual, tried my best to get back to REM sleep.





The KLR continues to be one of our favorite adventure platforms. Affordable and simple, it just works.



With the morning set in motion at an early hour, it was a work day after all, I packed my gear and rolled back onto a tiny forest road. Not wanting to give up too much adventure too soon, I decided to go a tad further down the road just to take a little peak at the view over the hill.

I made a sharp turn around a bend and noticed a good size patch of mud where a nearby spring had overflowed a catchment tank, its water spilling onto the road. I sized it up as nothing severe and assumed it might be all of a few inches of goo, no big deal. I slowed to a safe but assertive speed and picked my line. What I thought was manageable turned into a solid six to eight inches of primordial sludge. My wheels instantly chose divergent trajectories neither of which seemed to jibe with the direction of the bars.

Before I could attempt to correct the situation, the motorcycle came to a halt and my foot instantly reached for the ground. It may have made contact, but it didn’t matter. With a perceptible splat the KLR was down, and it seemed to like it.




Knowing I was in for a contest of strength, I unloaded what I could, took off my jacket and helmet, and gave the first of many frustrating efforts to right the old girl. If my feet didn’t slip in the mud, the wheels would. I’d get it almost vertical and then something would conspire to return it to its growing crater. Each attempt to lift the bike would reveal inches of heavy mud clinging to its flanks adding what I can imagine must have been a good 15 pounds. With my muscles at their limits I tried one last time, my grunts and grimaces not even phasing the cows just feet away. They were clearly entertained by my distress but unaware I was two straps away from reinventing their domestic duties for my benefit.

Sensing I had one last lift in me, I gave it more than I thought I had. To my amazement I had the KLR standing again. I got her started, motored her to hard earth, reattached my gear, and took an inventory of the damage, which was mostly just mud.

I had come to test a few pieces of gear and this had proven a worthy endeavor. The Commando Panniers had suffered the fall to no ill effect. The Jetboil MiniMo in the downed bag had actually shouldered the full weight of the KLR but again, with no damage. It appeared the only fatality was my cinnamon roll which was thoroughly squashed and reduced to a ragged pancake.


After an hour long ride into town via the least direct route I could justify, I was back at the office. I unloaded my gear, washed off what mud I could, and checked the time on the Garmin Epix watch. I had only been gone for 17 hours.






http://expeditionportal.com/36-hours-of-adventure-of-coyotes-and-mud-holes/feed/ 0
Featured Vehicle: 4-wheel-nomads’ Land Rover Defenderhttp://expeditionportal.com/featured-vehicle-4-wheel-nomads-land-rover-defender/ http://expeditionportal.com/featured-vehicle-4-wheel-nomads-land-rover-defender/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:24:34 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29207 I have always wanted to own a Land Rover, it is one of my childhood dreams. I absolutely love its simple and classic design, what I would call “expedition image”. The Land Rover Defender has impressive offroad capabilities and, due to its riveted, multi-panelled structure, is also highly versatile and can easily be modified and converted. In 2011 we bought a brand new Land Rover Defender “Puma” (2,4l engine) and started converting it into a proper overlander, ready for worldwide travel.

As a family travelling with young children, a low budget version with a bed on boxes put into the rear of the vehicle was not what we wanted. We opted for investing money on a thorough conversion. We also decided not to buy a ready converted Land Rover but did everything “step by step” to make the vehicle exactly suit our own personal demands. All alterations, additions and coversions are based on our own experiences we made on shakedown trips to Scandinavia, the Pyrenees and the Carpathian Mountains and Transsylvania in Romania.


4-wheel-nomads land rover packing I


The most important decision was to go for a wedge shaped pop top roof. You might say that roof tents fit the Land Rover’s expedition image better, but we wanted to at least be able to sleep the complete family inside the vehicle. What we like about the pop top is that the overall design of the Land Rover is not changed and people not that familiar with Land Rovers might not even notice that our vehicle has a pop top. As we live in northern Europe, a pop top has positive aspects when it comes to windy weather conditions as it is really stabile. The lying surface with mattress and sleeping bags can be hinged up easily which then provides standing height inside the Land Rover. We have a very comfortable customized latex/slatted-frame mattress in the pop top made by “Fanello” in Switzerland. From comparisons with other pop top conversions, we would recommend those manufactured by “Ex-Tec” in Germany, “Alu Cab” in South Africa and “Mulgo” in Australia.


4-wheel-nomads complete setum overland reunion

4-wheel-nomads freshwater and greywater tanks below sink4-wheel-nomads sink
4-wheel-nomads blogging at table roof closed II4-wheel-nomads large drawer rear left


Us parents sleep “upstairs” in the pop top and our two children sleep below. We collapse the rear bench seat, add a plank and cushions and the children have a 1 by 2,2 metre bed. As long as they are young this is sufficient, our plans for the future are to convert a Sankey trailer and add a rooftent for us parents and the kids can sleep in the pop top.

As we plan to live in the Land Rover on a more or less permanent basis, we decided to install a proper cupboard/locker system. The tall cupboard on the driver’s side provides enough room for a lot of gear and clothes, and also is the place, where the small sink is located. In the upper part, there is one compartment for the parents’ clothes, one for the two kids and another one for toiletries. For tightly packing clothes, our “Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes” are immensely valuable. Every person has two cubes and that – believe it or not – really is enough. In the middle compartment of the cupboard we have enough room for two medication boxes, one box for spares and another box for other bits and pieces. Here, we also inserted a 12 litre freshwater tank and another 12 litre tank for grey water. The sink was originally installed for tax reasons only, as in Germany a vehicle is less taxed when it’s a campervan for which a sink, a table, standing height, a cooker and beds are compulsory. After our first travel-experiences with the sink, we today would not want to miss it. It has proven to be quite useful e.g. in bad weather conditions.



4-wheel-nomads family at the table

4-wheel-nomads inside table with child II4-wheel-nomads inside bench4-wheel-nomads Engel fridge



On the passenger’s side we have added a bench box. In the lowest compartments of both the cupboard and the bench-box we store provisions such as canned food, flour, sugar et cetera. In the upper compartment of the bench-box we put shoes, towels, spares and light provisions such as noodles and cereals.

For more water reserves, a 70 litre freshwater tank sits in the footwell in front of the rear bench seat. This tank is connected to a water socket at the back door which can be used to provide a shower, but for showering we rather like to use our solar showers.

An important and most valuable part of the conversion is the Foxwing awning. It can be set up within just a few minutes and you can zip side panels to it and create a large camp sheltered from sun or rain. We tested the Foxwing in extremely windy conditions (a thunderstorm in southern France) and it definitely stood the test! We would always recommend the Foxwing!


4-wheel-nomads provisions4-wheel-nomads provisions II


Where the atmosphere is relaxed and we plan to stay longer, we have four additional beds in the Oztent RV4. This also can be used for guests and sometimes Anouk, our elder daughter, likes to sleep in the tent. The Oz-Tent can be set up in just a few minutes and is made for hot climates. In rainy or hot weather, it can be a great help: we set up the Oz-Tent, put in toys, some food etc. … put in the children … and relax and set up the rest of the camp taking our time. The Oz-Tent also is great if the car has to stay in a workshop for some days – we still have a comfortable place to sleep in! In combination with the Oz-Tent Awning Connector, the Oz-Tent can be zipped to a Foxwing or any other Oz-Tent, to create an even bigger “living room“ (you can also use the awning connector to connect two Foxwing awnings).

Perishable foods are stored in the Engel fridge which sits on a box directly behind the drivers’ seat where originally the single back seat was situated. The Engel is well reknowned for its electric efficiency and for its reliability and durability even in hottest climate conditions (it’s Australian, so it should be!). It is infinitely adjustable from + 10°C to – 18°C, can be used with 12V, 24V and 220/230V and can be taken out easily and fast. Its “Sawafuji Swing Motor“ also is relatively quiet! Well, at least it has a sleepy-sonorous drone.

To prevent electricity shortage, we have an intelligent double battery system and a solar panel. Because of that the starter battery is not endangered to become drained. Both batteries are linked with a split-charge system, so that the alternator charges both batteries when the engine is running and if the engine is not running, both batteries are isolated. This system has proven to be quite useful in case the starter battery is drained … we simply connect the two batteries manually with a switch and start the engine. In addition to the alternator, the solar panel on the Land Rover’s roof behind the roof rack, also charges the batteries. Staying in one place for about six days in 35° Celsius with the fridge running is no problem for us.


4-wheel-nomads roof rack


4-wheel-nomads snorkel II4-wheel-nomads spare wheel carrier


4-wheel-nomads sand ladders


Right in front of the solar panel, we have fixed a Frontrunner Expedition roof rack, which is originally made for the Land Rover Defender 90. Anything put on it adds weight to the middle part of the Land Rover only, which makes it easier setting up the pop top.

We did not change the engine and gearbox and also did not go for a chip tuning. Even though the Land Rover is said to be underpowered, we did not have any problems in that field so far.

For engine protection we added a snorkel with a Cyclone pre-filter which draws the air the engine needs just a bit higher than normal, where less sand and dust particles are. In addition to that, the Cyclone pre-filter pre-cleans the air the engine “breathes“ in dusty or wet conditions and thus may be a factor in positively affecting the engine’s longevity. The raised air intake also gives peace of mind in water crossings! We chose the Ex-Tec one made of aluminium, simply because it is really solid and also fits the “old school“ look of the Land Rover.


4-wheel-nomads double shockers4-wheel-nomads detail rear bumper

4-wheel-nomads two land rovers original


As the suspension of Land Rover Defenders as straight from the factory seems to be in some need of improvement, especially when driving on-road and even more so after the conversion, which increased the gross vehicle weight immensely, we have uprated the suspension and exchanged the original coil springs front and rear with HD OME coil springs. We have exchanged the original dampers with Koni Heavy Track Raid front and rear. At the rear side, due to the weight of the vehicle being more intensive there, we have opted for double dampers Koni Heavy Track Raid plus Koni Heavy Track. This reduces the “rolling“ both on and offroad. Our suspension upgrade goes along with a 2’’ lift, which increases the wheel travel. For the lift, we also had to install a double cardonic prop shaft.

Instead of the “normal“, white Land Rover steel rims, we chose the black HD “Wolf“ steel rims of the Land Rover Defender 130 with BF Goodridge Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tyres, which have the recommendation to last for at least 100,000 km and accept nearly every terrain.


From experiences in Australia, we chose to carry not only one spare wheel, but two – this certainly adds considerable weight but gives additional peace of mind.


The standard spare wheel carrier on the back door may be OK for on-road use, but certainly not for any serious overland travel on rivet-consuming corrugations. The original door hinges would not be able to withstand the vibrations, so we installed the very robust Ex-Tec HD spare wheel carrier.

Undercarriage protection problably doesn’t seem to be of high importance to many tough offroaders, but we simply know that we sometimes do make mistakes when driving and the alloy bashplate in the front and the steering bar and differential protectors simply reduce possible damage to the vehicle’s underside. As the Land Rover doesn’t have a rear bumper as a standard, we have included that as well. For side impact protection and improved jacking points we have installed rocksliders.


Headlight bars protect the headlights and checker-plate protects the bonnet.


As the 75 litre standard diesel tank of the Defender is not sufficient enough, especially as the fuel efficiency after the conversion has dropped to about 13 litres per 100 km, we installed an additional 45 litre Frontrunner long range tank in the back right corner of the Land Rover. This gives us a range of about 900 km (on-road and “normal“ tracks). The 20 l jerry can on the roof rack provides an additional 150 km range.

For better traction in sand and mud, we have two sand ladders (PSP) fixed across the rear window at the passengers’ side, which when padlocked also protect the window.


4-wheel-nomads offroad Pyrenees Spain II

This summer – in less than four weeks time – we are going to do a one-year Transafrica overland family-trip along the “Eastern Route”, going from Europe via Turkey to Egypt and then down to Cape Town. This trip was what we always had in mind when planning the conversion, let’s hope the political circumstances will allow us the trip!



To learn more about 4-Wheel Nomads, click on the banner below:


Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 10.13.11 AM


http://expeditionportal.com/featured-vehicle-4-wheel-nomads-land-rover-defender/feed/ 0
The New Land Rover Defender Manufactured in Austria?http://expeditionportal.com/the-new-land-rover-defender-manufactured-in-austria/ http://expeditionportal.com/the-new-land-rover-defender-manufactured-in-austria/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 02:28:57 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29371 While many of you were distracted by Donald Trump and chemtrails, Land Rover just announced one of the most significant pieces of news since the launch of the Discovery in 1989. On June 1st, Jaguar Land Rover signed a manufacturing agreement with Magna Steyr, an Austrian company best known for producing such awesomeness as the G-Wagen (G-Class) and the Pinzgauer. It is no coincidence that as Defender production ends in Solihull, England this December, a new 4WD manufacturing partner is contracted. Just imagine for a moment the next Defender: Designed by Land Rover, yet engineered and manufactured by Steyr in Austria- Shangri-La indeed!

Defender 110: Made in Solihull
Mercedes G-Wagen: Made by Magna Steyr in Austria
Now certainly this is all conjecture, but the likelihood of the next Defender being made in Austria is absolutely plausible. The timing adds up with the end of the current Defender production in December. Functionally, producing the Defender in Graz also makes sense given Steyr’s 4WD pedigree, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. I see this as welcome and truly exciting news. . .

Press Release: 


(MAHWAH, N.J.) – July 1, 2015 – Today,Jaguar Land Rover announced it has entered into a manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., to build future vehicles in Graz, Austria.


With plans already in place to take Jaguar Land Rover’s three vehicle manufacturing plants in the UK close to their operating capacity, the collaboration with Magna Steyr will create additional volumes needed to support the company’s plans to achieve further growth. Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “The UK remains at the center of our design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Partnerships such as this will complement our UK operations and engineering.” Speth adds, “Today marks another step towards building our global footprint. This agreement will allow us to expand our award-winning model range as customers around the world demand ever-more innovative vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover.” Over the past five years, Jaguar Land Rover has doubled sales to more than 462,000 vehicles, doubled employment to more than 35,000 people and invested more than $15 billion (£10 billion) in new product creation and capital expenditure. During this time, the company has invested heavily in its UK vehicle manufacturing facilities at Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull to support the introduction of 10 all-new vehicles, including the Jaguar XE, Jaguar F-TYPE, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

With more than 100 years’ experience, Magna Steyr has extensive contract manufacturing expertise working with many car manufacturers globally. “The signing of this contract with Jaguar Land Rover reflects the trust in our capability and heritage as a vehicle contract manufacturer,” said Günther Apfalter, President Magna Steyr and Magna International Europe. “The partnership with Jaguar Land Rover brings a new customer to our Graz plant. As always, we will work with our fullest commitment and dedication to ensure that we meet our customers’ high expectations.”

Jaguar Land Rover is strengthening its international manufacturing presence with the opening of its joint venture factory in China and the construction of its new plant in Brazil. The expansion of its international manufacturing operations allows Jaguar Land Rover to develop an increasingly flexible, agile and efficient global manufacturing strategy.

#  #  #


Jaguar Land Rover:

  • In 2015/16 Jaguar Land Rover will spend 5.9 billion USD (£3.6 billion) on new vehicle creation and capital expenditure. In the same period, the company will launch 12 new and refreshed vehicles from its UK plants, such as the Jaguar F-PACE at Solihull.
  • Jaguar Land Rover has three vehicle manufacturing facilities and a new Engine Manufacturing Centre in the UK:
    • Castle Bromwich is home to the Jaguar XF, Jaguar XJ and Jaguar F-TYPE, employing 3,500 people.
    • Halewood is home to the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport, employing 4,500 people.
    • Solihull is home to the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Defender and the Jaguar XE, employing 9,000 people.
    • The Engine Manufacturing Center is home to the ‘Ingenium’ engine family, starting with the 2.0 litre diesel Jaguar XE. It will employ 1,400 people.
  • Jaguar Land Rover has two overseas manufacturing facilities and a local assembly presence in India:
    • Chery Jaguar Land Rover, its joint venture in China, produces the Range Rover Evoque and employs more than 2,500 people.
    • Brazil will be the company’s first wholly owned overseas manufacturing plant. It will be operational in early 2016 and will produce the Discovery Sport. It will employ circa 400 people.
    • Jaguar Land Rover has had a local assembly presence in India since 2011 and currently assembles the Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar XF and XJ.
  • In 2014, Jaguar Land Rover sold 462,678 vehicles, up 9%. Of that, Jaguar sold 81,570 vehicles and Land Rover sold 381,108 vehicles.

Magna International:

  • Magna is leading global automotive supplier with 316 manufacturing operations and 84 product development, engineering and sales centers in 29 countries.
  • Approximately 133,000 employees are focused on delivering superior value to Magna International’s customers through innovative products, processes and World Class Manufacturing.
  • Magna International’s product capabilities include body, chassis, interiors, exteriors, seating, powertrain, electronics, vision, closure and roof systems and modules, as well as complete vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing through its Magna Steyr unit in Graz, Austria.
  • Magna Steyr is the leading global, brand-independent engineering and manufacturing partner to automakers.
  • Magna Steyr offers OEMs solutions for a wide range of services with highly flexible development and assembly strategies, from individual systems like door modules to complete vehicles, and from extra-low volume through peak shaving to volume production.


About Jaguar Land Rover North America

• The United States is one of the leading global markets for both Jaguar and Land Rover

• Jaguar Land Rover employs 32,000 people and sells vehicles in 170 countries around the world

• Jaguar Land Rover has two state of the art engineering and design facilities and four advanced manufacturing plants in the UK

• Headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey in the United States, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC has offices across the USA

• Jaguar Land Rover is represented by more than 330 independently operated retail outletsin the USA

http://expeditionportal.com/the-new-land-rover-defender-manufactured-in-austria/feed/ 0
Redemption: A second attempt at the Hole in the Rock Trailhttp://expeditionportal.com/redemption-a-second-attempt-at-the-hole-in-the-rock-trail/ http://expeditionportal.com/redemption-a-second-attempt-at-the-hole-in-the-rock-trail/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:14:34 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=28942 In the fall of 2013 I got a lot more than I bargained for, gassed up and aired down we left the Cal Black Memorial airport. Tracing the mormon wagon route of the Hole in the Rock Trail we headed west in search of adventure. The first 15 miles or so were easy, building confidence and a leaving us wanting of the more technical trail that I had read of. Then we found it, a sea of sand and sandstone, steep inclines and stairs.

At dusk we set up camp and watched the sunset reflect light on lake Powell off in the distance. The following morning we continued onward with the challenges. Going down a mild slope the minor amount of articulation was causing the front passenger tire to rub on the fender. Rolling forward onto flat ground the continued rubbing was predicting the trouble ahead. A quick inspection had revealed the lower control arm mount had broken off of the axle. Having been the only tire tracks we had seen, hope of a welder showing up seemed grim. So we set to work lashing the control arm to the axle with large amounts of paracord and a ratchet strap. The drive back to pavement took a day and a half listening to my tire try and eat my fender. A flatbed was arranged at the nearest town for the drive home and a vow was quickly made to return and not let this trail defeat us.






A year and a half later I set off to get my redemption for the one trip that I hadn’t finished. The story starts off the same way leaving early, traveling through Monument Valley, up the beautiful Moki Dugway. Climbing onto the sandstone coming to the first real obstacle, a steep and very off camber right hand turn. We ran across another traveler, Stating,”Are you going all the way in that? Good luck.” I didn’t know this at the time but that would be the theme for the rest of the trip.

Carrying on through what were still familiar obstacles we made good time getting to the ledge that had made my little Cherokee a victim the last time we met. No part of it was hard and made me laugh at the mental anguish that I had put into it. The trail at this point carried on for a while, fairly easy and bumpy with an occasional step or steep slope thrown in. Most importantly though it was all new to me. Nearing grey mesa we came across a group of hikers, who had been dropped off by boat in Cottonwood Canyon, and were walking all of the 34 miles out. They offered up advice to camp where we were because in several hundred yards the trail really starts. Getting late we decided to heed their advice, set up camp and relax. As the sun set we got a visit from one of the hikers, who had been down the trail by way of her 4WD side by side and on foot well over a dozen times. After small talk she led into questions about us even making it on our equipment. In what would become a memorable message, she said, “A Grand Cherokee locked on 35s should be fine but a little Cherokee on 31s with open diffs would be trouble.”






Getting rolling the following day it didn’t take very long to hit the real start of the trail I had been told about. The previous day was fairly difficult by most standards, but was just the warm up to what we were about to see. The start of the climb up Grey Mesa includes a four foot tall near vertical ledge. This is a good reminder whatever you go down, you need go up.  The trail has a number of off-camber large stairs, near vertical inclines, and one particular off camber section that slopes right toward a hundred foot drop. The driver in the Grand Cherokee had a few choice words as the massive travel and soft springs tipped right toward the edge. Easing off of the ledge and onto a somewhat level ground was a great feeling and allowed view that was easy to take in.

Gazing down several fingers of the canyon towards Lake Powell sparkling below, we quickly arrived at the top of Grey Mesa. After spending the whole morning in four low, we welcomed the smooth fast paced road across the top of the mesa. Views of the San Juan river make for a great backdrop. Just before we headed off of the mesa, the side road we were told about headed north. We carried on towards Cottonwood Canyon at the end of the trail, leaving it for the way back if we had time.







Heading down off of Grey Mesa, trail finding became more and more difficult. Cairns off in the distance were the only way to get an idea of where we should be headed. Coming down to the famous Chute, it was easy to realize that this is misnamed as the hardest part of the trail. It’s steep and long but a cakewalk compared what was ahead. A number of very steep sand covered ledges gave us a great view of either the clouds or the ground till the end of the trail. Keeping an eye out for holes along the trail became the norm as most of them could eat an average SUV for breakfast.

The end of the trail at Cottonwood Camp was a perfect place to have lunch and take in our incredible feat. The view was amazing and would have been a great place to have set up camp had it been later. Finished with lunch we headed back up everything we come down.

Making great time up through the Chute and back onto Grey Mesa we came across the side road that the hiker had told us about, we didn’t want to camp in the same place twice so we continued down the Rincon road. We had been told that the views were amazing and that a while ago you could make it down and camp on the lake, but it had been impassable for quite a while to any full size vehicle.





The road started off easy and rather boring. The views were not great initially but quickly changed with a large ridge of bulbous looking sandstone. I had maps and waypoints of the Hole in the Rock Trail, but this was all new. The road went from smooth and sandy to a sharp turn down a tight canyon with a very steep drop into the wash. My rock slider took a couple hits on the trip, but this ledge left some very nice scratches. Once in the wash route finding took a little work with no tire tracks or noticeable cairns, just a few differential scratches in the rock. At this point we worked towards cresting the ridge, weaving around holes just waiting to swallow my Jeep. I looked up and saw a cairn sitting on a small peak and we started up the final assent.

I was prepared for a lot on this trip, but the view as we came over the ridge was outstanding. Sitting on a 1000-foot cliff overlooking the lake. It was quiet and reflective until we started looking to see where the road went. It was a ten foot wide, bolder strewn, steep, loose, shelf road. Using some better judgment we decided to walk down a good way, and for better or worse we started down in the Jeep. All of my skid plates and differential covers paid off a number of times on the way down and the scrapes sounded normal by the end. A few larger rocks had to be moved, but we had committed and backing up wasn’t really an option. Reaching the bottom my wife started breathing again until she realized that we had to go back up in the morning.




20 21 22


Though route finding in the wash was difficult we were set on camping on the water’s edge for the night. Getting small glimpses of the sparkling water through the holes in the trees was an uplifting sight after all of the adrenaline starting to fade away. The route eventually opped out through the last vegetation onto a peninsula jutting out into the lake.  Our doors flew open and we were off down the beach, stripping off shoes and shirts. Jumping into the painfully freezing, snow melted lake. Our camp for the night was the best I have had in my life so far. Sipping martinis while watching the sunset with friends is the reason we do these things.

After all that we had been through on this trip we were not quite done, in fact we had a full day’s drive back out. Even though the drive out was still littered with difficult climbs and ledges it felt almost easy in contrast of the previous day. We chugged right through everything we went down and made it back to the airport by late afternoon. Topping off tires and fuel gave us an overwhelming feeling of victory, having taken my little Jeep that had been doubted before and during the trip by many people including myself.


We had made it through the Hole in the Rock Trail.



http://expeditionportal.com/redemption-a-second-attempt-at-the-hole-in-the-rock-trail/feed/ 0
The 2015 North West Overland Rally Recaphttp://expeditionportal.com/the-2015-north-west-overland-rally-recap/ http://expeditionportal.com/the-2015-north-west-overland-rally-recap/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 07:00:18 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29289 Ask the Overland International team how many events we have attended over the years and we will probably reply with a collective shrug of shoulders. How could we possibly know? From massive trade shows to small gatherings around the glow of a fire, we have attended hundreds of assemblies big and small. So naturally, when our entire team convened on the beautiful hamlet of Plain, Washington, I admit we expected business as usual; the typical assemblage of travelers and venders, each vying for the affections of the other. To our surprise it turned out to be something far more special.









Now in its fifth year, the North West Overland Rally was considerably larger than the first year, by perhaps a multiplier of ten. What was once a humble head count of one hundred has now swelled to well over one thousand, yet it feels undeniably intimate. Like a reunion of friends new and old, this rally is an anomaly, and one we cannot recommend with any greater enthusiasm.

Organizers Ray and Marianne Hyland clearly understand how to create a fun environment and how to navigate the tricky straits between being overly organized and casually coordinated. Everything went smoothly, without an overbearing crush of volunteers. It felt very much like a campout with 1,500 of our best pals.

Central to the event and its carefree feel was the evening campfire. If you have not witnessed hundreds of people circled around a communal fire, it really is something to see. Each night for a couple of hours, the grounds rumbled under the jovial and powerful voice of MC Steven Talaki as he announced raffle winnings and handed out free merchandise, all to the amusement of the audience. With the late summer sun illuminating the mountains above the campground, it was an perfect end to each day’s activities.


















As we would expect of such a well organized event, there was a full schedule of instructional seminars and ample opportunities to explore the surroundings within a variety of trail rides. With Touratech as a lead sponsor, the number of adventure motorcycle riders in attendance was noticeable, their evening exhibitions on the off-road course adding yet another fun diversion to each day.

It’s easy to dismiss events like these as merely a place to see interesting products and learn a few new tricks, but the Northwest Rally elevated the experience by adding a delightfully unexpected sense of community. Travelers from around the globe gave presentations in formal settings and welcomed people into their camps to share in their exploits, once again proving that the overland crowd is very much a family, more than just a group of people with a shared pursuit.


The other pleasant surprise for many of us was the absolutely stunning venue. Located just a short drive from the Bavarian-inspired hamlet of Leavenworth, Washington, the mountains surrounding the Northwest Overland Rally were a picturesque backdrop to the weekend. With temps soaring to unseasonable highs, respite from the heat was a short walk a way to the nearby river where a quick dunk in its cooling waters became a mid-day ritual for many.


If you are looking for things to occupy your early summer, we’d highly recommend fitting the Northwest Overland Rally into your schedule. You won’t regret it. We certainly are glad we went.




DSCF2315 15 14 13


6 5


DSCF7986 DSCF8020 DSCF8048 DSCF7980 DSCF7929

http://expeditionportal.com/the-2015-north-west-overland-rally-recap/feed/ 0
Ahead of the curve: Lazer Lamps’ Long Range LED Driving Lighthttp://expeditionportal.com/ahead-of-the-curve-lazer-lamps-long-range-led-driving-light/ http://expeditionportal.com/ahead-of-the-curve-lazer-lamps-long-range-led-driving-light/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:41:59 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29158 There’s no arguing that LED light bars have made serious waves in the four-wheel drive world. Whether it’s walking your way around SEMA in Las Vegas or stopping by your local 4×4 club, it seems most vehicles are decked out with at least one light bar. Unfortunately due to their size and shape, many of these products have struggled to produce the effective range of traditional HID driving lights; which is why we were excited when we bumped into Chris Armelin from Lazer lamps at the Abenteuer and Allrad show in Germany.


Lazer ltd. was founded in 2010 with a goal of making the lightest, strongest, most effective lights they could. From spot lights to driving lights and competitive rally equipment, there are plenty of impressive products to drool over on their site, all of which are built in the UK and include a three year warranty at no extra cost. Lazer goes further than their own testing however and puts their products through the British Standards Institute which grants them road legal status. Of all their cool products available, we were most excited about their new Triple-R Elite long range driving lamps.



These high performance units aren’t your everyday lights, but are designed to perform in the torturous conditions of rally racing. Built inside an IP67 magnesium case, the light is 33% lighter than an aluminum equivalent, is waterproof up to 1 meter and can operate in temperatures from 176 F to -40 F. To prevent rock chips, cracks, and impact damage from debris, the lens is made from a polycarbonate which is nearly unbreakable according to Lazer, and is guaranteed for as long as you own the product.


A host of other features from ram air cooling and thermal management systems, to CAE optimized heatsink and silicone coated Gore-Tex liners attest to the company’s attention to detail; but let’s get to the juicy subject, output. To make a light bar achieve the desired range they knew they would have to up the ante. Before designing anything else Lazer switched to an led which was 20% brighter than any of their standard products. Next, they developed a new reflection system which points the light straight up into a vacuum metallised hood and aims it out in a long range driving beam pattern. The result is a 15″ light bar that puts 1 lux out to 665 meters, .5 lux to nearly 1000 meters, and .25 lux to 1330 meters. We’d say that gives you plenty of reaction time.


The Triple-R series is priced between £228.00 and £480.00 depending on the model and size selected. For that you get the light, wiring kit, installation manual, and Lazers flexible bracket mounting system.


Although Lazer is based in the UK, their products are available in the United States through their website found here. You may also contact them for general inquiries at the following phone number +44 (0)1992 677374

Lazer is currently looking to partner with a U.S. distributor. If you’re interested in working with their team, contact Chris Armelin at chris@lazerlamps.com or +44 (0)7966207715


http://expeditionportal.com/ahead-of-the-curve-lazer-lamps-long-range-led-driving-light/feed/ 0
Mopar Steps Up Its Game with Dana 60 Crate Axles, High Top Fenders, & Beadlock Wheelshttp://expeditionportal.com/mopar-steps-up-its-game-with-dana-60-crate-axles-high-top-fenders-beadlock-wheels/ http://expeditionportal.com/mopar-steps-up-its-game-with-dana-60-crate-axles-high-top-fenders-beadlock-wheels/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 07:41:27 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=29246 It seems that the boys in Toledo have taken a step out of the factory, wandered the streets, and made a discovery. People with Jeeps like modifying Jeeps. With all of this new information, a plan was hatched. Mopar got to work on designing parts people actually want while keeping the price competitive. Everything from new lift kits including Fox shocks and a new driveshaft, to High top fenders that will allow the fitment of 35″ tires with no lift. to bolt on Dana 60 crate axles, big brake kits, and even beadlock wheels will be a among the new parts to start hitting dealerships soon.


Jeep taking a step forward and listening to what the off-road community wants has certainly shown in the design and simplicity of these new additions. These great parts and Jeep’s renewed interest in the 4×4 world is good news in itself, but some of these parts are already available elsewhere right? Correct, but remember one of the most important pieces to all of this is warranty. Nearly all of the parts  offered in the catalog maintan any factory or Chrysler extended warranties. This even includes the highly revered lifetime warranties. Take a look at the new performance catalog for yourself.



http://expeditionportal.com/mopar-steps-up-its-game-with-dana-60-crate-axles-high-top-fenders-beadlock-wheels/feed/ 0
The Thousand Year Journey: Oregon to Patagoniahttp://expeditionportal.com/the-thousand-year-journey-oregon-to-patagonia/ http://expeditionportal.com/the-thousand-year-journey-oregon-to-patagonia/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 07:00:43 +0000 http://expeditionportal.com/?p=28908

http://expeditionportal.com/the-thousand-year-journey-oregon-to-patagonia/feed/ 0