West Africa Trip

gawpjus

New member
Great to read!! What fun!!
Definitely given me itchy feet as we have been thinking of a similar trip. Interested to know whether you have needed the 4x4 for the terrain you have crossed or was that a nice to have just in case?
 

Ed463

Active member
Great to read!! What fun!!
Definitely given me itchy feet as we have been thinking of a similar trip. Interested to know whether you have needed the 4x4 for the terrain you have crossed or was that a nice to have just in case?
This is going to sound very counter intuitive. When you're solo travelling way off the beaten track, and with little chance of an easy recovery either due to simply getting stuck or worse breaking something you become very risk adverse. So when you REALLY need 4x4 you do your best to avoid needing it:) to demonstrate that we came across a German who had had to pay around $6k to get his broken Toyota recovered in Mauritania. Plus another German in a massive MAN overland truck who had been stuck for 2 weeks. It took a tank recovery vehicle to eventually recover him!!
So in answer to your question a 2wd with decent tyres, maybe a slight lift, even better a diff lock and most importantly the tool behind the steering wheel would cope absolutely fine. As long as you avoid the rainy season.
 

Ed463

Active member
So the finale:
It all unravelled very quickly in Morocco. The Moroccan government locked down hard and fast. Borders closed, flights cancelled.
So we got just about the last scheduled flight out of Marrakech. Marrakech airport was apocalyptic as everyone was scrambling to get back to the UK. The UK was about the only European country that didn't shut down (that worked out well didn't It?!!) So everyone was transiting through the UK:-(
As of today the borders are still shut. The Covid situation is that they have a few hundred deaths but infection rates are rising so who knows when they'll open the borders.
So the Sprinter is stranded:-(
But I've done a quick and dirty conversion on a VW Crafter and we're currently sat in southern Italy which has an R0 of zero right now. So we're soaking up the rays, drinking too much cheap but good wine and eating well:)
Oh and the odd PorettiIMG_20200812_192112380_HDR.jpg
 
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Ed463

Active member
Phase 1 of the recovery complete.
Covid and antibody tests done within 48hrs of the flight.
Arrived in Marrakech last night.
Van started. Zero issues so far:) did a scan. No codes.
Ferry to Italy booked for Monday. There are travel restrictions but I'll have some paperwork that will hopefully work.
Chilling by the pool for a couple of days now.IMG_20200919_114203134.jpgIMG_20200919_081358006_HDR.jpgIMG_20200919_080320712_HDR.jpg
 
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Such an adventuresome trip would be enhanced if certain unreliable pollution controls could be minimized on a temporary basis. Temporary, being the essential purpose of any GDE tunes I would buy if they were still available, which of course they are not.

GDE is long gone for us here in the States. That his tunes were limited mostly to T1Ns' should have been a no-brainer, except for a few on this forum who successfully put Keith out of business. Specifically, we had mr. dream tour who posted here over 3,000 times in a nine month campaign.

I have to give it to him for his success shutting down GDE.

What else could, or does go wrong on our vans? Not much.

GDE had a solution to not ready for primetime technology we all have been exposed to. I missed out.

I wonder if Keith can still offer his solution to other than the USA based owners.

How about Baja Keith?

The fuel savings alone should have deterred some commenters here who had vans that did not qualify from calling bs for those few owners for whom Keiths tune could be applied.

Done and done. Keith, thanks for coming up with a tune for a very limited few model years where it could be applied.

As one poster stated years ago, his intention was to use Keiths tune only in states where it was permitted, and when entering states where it was not permitted, he would remove it.

I would be doing the same if it was still for sale and using his tune only for my yearly Baja travels. The rest of my time in the States would be detuned back to the factory settings.
 

Ed463

Active member
I removed the DPF, physically and electronically, for this trip. No issues at all. I did my best to choose big fuel stations. Which even in Mali was relatively easy. It has a 90 litre tank and even if it was still 3/4 full and I spotted a well kept fuel station I'd top up. The only time it came close to running out was in Western Sahara driving into a big sand storm and it dropped to about 8mpg. I was going to fit a secondary racor fuel filter but for one reason or another didn't actually get to do that.
To be honest in hindsight I think it would have been fine with the dpf. Even if it wasn't probably a road side garage could have removed it and cleaned.
 

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