Four Wheels Around - A Road Trip from the UK to South Africa

In February 2009 we are setting off on the trip of a lifetime from Brighton, E-Sussex, UK to South Africa. Furthermore, we are raising money for the British Red Cross along the way. This blog will cover our preparation until we leave and our adventures whilst we are on the road.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Latest Prep - Jan 09

Pretty much every weekend now is dedicated to trip planning and Land Rover preparing. Or at least an attempt at it... with a list as long as a very long piece of string its difficult to know what to do first. We both feel as though we are horrendously unprepared and as though we have a hell of a lot to do before we are ready to go on our provisional departure date. (Feb 16th).

As you can see from our previous posts we have had a great deal of work done mechanically to Carol the Landy and she has already been converted in the back of the vehicle to a campervan with seats that fold into a bed, underseat storage and a safe. What remains to be done are various mechanical odd jobs (like installing a cooling fan,) checking and improving the electronics, acquiring various spare parts and tools and gaining some mechanical knowledge!

Here is a little of what we have done recently with a few pictures to boot:

January 24/25
This weekend we set aside time to tackle a number of little niggling problems that need sorting out.
One of the main problems that we are having currently is due to the campervan conversion that Carol was subjected to back in 1986. It is absolutely fantastic that she has been converted already (it saves us a job) however, over the years the previous owner has carried out a number on amendments to the original conversion which cause us confusion. There is a leisure battery from which the fuel pump, water pump, interior and exterior lights are all designed to run off. When we bought Carol the leisure battery needed replacing and there were wires all over the place and we still don't really know what half of them are for or where they need to be connected to. Alex's Dad, Ian quickly got the interior lights working and the water pump. This weekend we needed to work on the rest of the connections that run from the leisure battery.

For example,
One task was to figure out what some non descript switches of the dashboard do. We gathered they were linked to the leisure battery as they are part of the conversion but we had no idea what they did. Quite accidentally we found out...

With just a tatty old diagram of the leisure battery's fuse box to go on we decided to go for the most obvious solutions to problems first - fuses! We established that any fuel in the second/long range fuel tank could be transferred to the main fuel tank via a pump that we could see under the vehicle but we couldn't work it. Once we had replaced the relevant fuse we experimented with some of the non descript switches on the dashboard and voila the fuel pump sprung into action! We had more trouble with the exterior light. We took it apart, we removed half the ceiling looking for where the mystery wires from the exterior light went and we connected various things to the fuse box in a last ditch attempt to get it working. We were on the verge of giving up when we decided to see if maybe the other non descript switch on the dashboard was anything to do with the exterior light. Low and behold it was and despite hours wasted with dismantled ceilings and fuse boxes it appears that maybe the exterior light was working the whole time!

This weekend Ian also managed to fit the air intake, and with a bit of soldering and rewiring we also now have a 3 adapter plug to fit into the cigarette lighter. Progress!

The Roof Rack:
Although not a priority, I mean who cares too much whether the roof rack looks good or not? we still felt it needed work. The rack had been propped up behind a tree in Alex's garden for the last few months and who knows when it was last used. It was damp and dirty and really needed a good clean and a lick of paint before we could think about using it.

Before and After..... The roof rack and jerry cans before and after we got to work.

Firstly we sanded them down, cleaned and scrubbed the roof rack and jerry cans. Then we painted them initially white but eventually they will all be cream like Carol herself.

Aside from the cleaning and painting, we have also had a chance to try out the high lift jack, an apparent neccesity for a trip of this kind! Alex and his Dad have also fixed a rather gaping hole that was apparent in the drivers foot well... more pictures to follow....


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