Bliss Mobil - Base Vehicle Advice

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
Thousands of electrons die horrible deaths debating the best vehicle for worldwide travel. With the possible exception of a naturally aspirated Toyota HiLux with split rims and 750x16 tires, it doesn't exist.

I drove a Chevrolet Blazer in Africa and South America. I simply assumed that I would have to source all consumables - plugs, filters, shocks, from the US. Belts, tires, etc., was a tossup. Found a U-joint over the counter in Peru. Amazingly, found a windshield in South Africa. But I wouldn't bet on any of it. Fortunately, a lot of what breaks is not that brand specific and in many parts of the world, people will rebuild things, like brake pads.

Now I have a Mercedes Benz truck in the US and the situation is, if anything much worse.

Your best bet is to take a truck you know, buy the manuals and special tools (e.g., the funky wrench needed to service a Dana 44 axle) and have a friend back home who knows how to use DHL.

These folks have a wealth of info on the challenges of driving an exotic vehicle around the world: http://www.travelin-tortuga.com/Travelin-Tortuga/index.html

And Marcus can talk about the joys of an "international" vehicle in North America: https://www.tuckstruck.net/
 

jk6661

Observer
Fords and their parts/dealer network have a MUCH larger reach world wide than Ram, generally speaking

But…. It’s obviously country and region specific as to which brands are where really…

You say you have no mechanic skills and thinking of building a global travel vehicle??? Ummmm
Thanks. Buying, not building.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
I should know, I suck at it.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses

My mind was absolutely blown though on my last trip to the Arctic I came across not 1, but 2 folks in fancy big $ “expo rigs” with flats that didn’t even know how to begin changing them.

I quickly got them on their way, but the entire time my brain couldn’t fathom their logic of thinking AAA would come
 
We all have our strengths and weaknesses

My mind was absolutely blown though on my last trip to the Arctic I came across not 1, but 2 folks in fancy big $ “expo rigs” with flats that didn’t even know how to begin changing them.

I quickly got them on their way, but the entire time my brain couldn’t fathom their logic of thinking AAA would come
Back anout 6 years ago was in Death Valley with a buddy and ended up camping with Perky Mog (before they sold) and they ended up getting a tumor the size of my head on the inside of their tire the next morning on the way out of the canyon. We said we’d help change it and they argued up and down that they had AAA RV coverage and they would change it for them. We laughed said not a chance but they were so convinced so they called 3 times and when asked what vehicle it was on they were told not just no but hell no and blew them away. Kept telling AAA that they had coverage and they needed to come. We ended up changing it for them lol. As you said at least a basic wrenching ability is necessary. Stuff breaks and goes bad even on new vehicles and you gotta at least be able to rig it to get to a mechanic.
 

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jk6661

Observer
Back anout 6 years ago was in Death Valley with a buddy and ended up camping with Perky Mog (before they sold) and they ended up getting a tumor the size of my head on the inside of their tire the next morning on the way out of the canyon. We said we’d help change it and they argued up and down that they had AAA RV coverage and they would change it for them. We laughed said not a chance but they were so convinced so they called 3 times and when asked what vehicle it was on they were told not just no but hell no and blew them away. Kept telling AAA that they had coverage and they needed to come. We ended up changing it for them lol. As you said at least a basic wrenching ability is necessary. Stuff breaks and goes bad even on new vehicles and you gotta at least be able to rig it to get to a mechanic.
Which is precisely why I asked about the international serviceability/availability of mechanics to work on American trucks. Basic wrenching skills (which I intend to develop before I leave for my trip, btw) can only get you so far. Serviceability matters unless you're a very experienced mechanic for the type of vehicle you purchase. I would think it would play a role in the OP's choice of vehicle, to get back to the original question.
 
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Which is precisely why I asked about the international serviceability/availability of mechanics to work on American trucks. Basic wrenching skills (which I intend to develop before I leave for my trip, btw) can only get you so far. Serviceability matters unless you're a very experienced mechanic for the type of vehicle you purchase. I would think it would play a role in the OP's choice of vehicle, to get back to the original question.
In my experience it depends what work needs to be done. We had a starter blow up in our Hilux last week on a beach. Called a mechanic in town 40 minutes away and he showed up with a new GD-6 starter and on the sand had it swapped out in 15 minutes. That’s simply not going to happen with an American vehicle IE Ram outside of where they are serviced and sold (even in the USA parts from FCA can be a nightmare). In that case you would want to carry something like a starter with you on your travels. Also, you can DHL overnight parts just about anywhere in the world and the worst you do is sit in your not moving house for a few days while the parts show up. However a world wide ubiquitous vehicle like a 70 series or hilux simply can’t handle the weight of a camper or XV build. If you break a control arm or blow out a shock or snap an engine mount on a Ram anywhere in the world it can be fixed by a local mechanic. The further you are away from parts availability the better the mechanics are at fixing things and making them work and getting a vehicle rolling. Suspension is pretty consistent and whatever little intricacies there may be between platforms is basically irrelevant to a mechanic trying to get your heap back rolling. It really depends what goes wrong and whether it’s electrical or engine related or something that can be made to work to at least get you rolling to a big town where you can source parts.
 

adam88

Explorer
Do you mind sharing how much approximately a 13' bliss mobil is, including shipping costs? Or, would someone know if there is a price list available?
 
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