• We’re just back from a trip to Iceland, an absolutely fantastic destination in its own right and a real proving ground for overlanding vehicles.

    It is prohibited to use 2 wheel drive vehicles on the ‘F’ designated roads in Iceland and with good reason: the roads are not metalled; there are some very rough surfaces, many steep hills, and many fords. Some of the fords are deep, fast flowing and run across rocky glacial rivers. Good ground clearance and plenty of traction are essential. The attrition levels are quite high and we saw quite a few breakdowns, usually transmission related, and often in very isolated places. We were also in a position to help a couple of stranded vehicles by pulling them out of positions in which they’d found themselves stuck. The F roads are definitely a very good test of vehicle and equipment and it’s probably fair to say that if an overlander works in Iceland, it should work just about anywhere.

    Our truck performed well with only a few minor issues, these were:

    1. A broken throttle return spring – this happened within minutes of us setting off from home and was just ‘one of those things’. I picked up a suitable replacement in Denmark and that was that.

    2. The loss of a plastic nut from a cable conduit clip – I’d fitted this three years ago and had imagined it would be up to the job. Three similar nuts stayed put and the loss of this one was of no real consequence.

    3. A slight mishap on my part when I complacently reversed into a very tight gap and caught one of the cab steps on a rock – these steps are a bit vulnerable (it’s not the first time they’ve interfered with tight manoeuvres) and I’m going to consider fitting a hinged or suspended alternative.

    4. A broken spring-steel mounting bracket for the calorifier (pictured) – this just failed under the incessant juddering vibrations and physical shaking of the cabin. I’ve already ordered two replacements and am going to run three instead of the standard two in an effort to spread the stress each is subjected to.

    5. A slight weeping of diesel from a union in the fuel tank delivery pipe, especially prevalent with a full tank of fuel – we had a similar problem with an almost identical union on last year’s trip. The union will require replacement. I don’t know if they are just a poor design or whether we’ve just been unlucky.

    6. I dunked the Webasto diesel heater’s exhaust in one particularly deep ford (> 1 metre) and some water sat in the silencer partially restricting the exhaust gases’ flow. This caused the heater to sense an ‘overheating’ problem and prematurely shut down. Once I’d worked out the problem it only took a couple of minutes to drain the silencer and it was business as usual.

    All in all then, given the testing conditions, and the wild variations in temperature and weather, the truck performed really well. It provided comfortable transport and accommodation and allowed us to get to some truly fantastic and remote areas without having to worry about life-support resources. We travelled overland for four weeks and just over 3000 miles, and were totally self sufficient apart from the need to buy diesel. We did buy fresh food too from time to time, but that was just because we wanted to; a man can only stand so many Pot Noodles.

    There are still some tweaks to make but essentially the thing seems to work.

    I created a travelogue of the trip which contains links to images and videos that may be of interest. This can be accessed by clicking here.

Tweaks and fixes are an ongoing part of the project. This series of pages form a blog - of sorts - and is intended to give a flavour of the day-to-day realities of living with the truck as issues crop up and tweaks and fixes progress. Many of the posts eventually end up getting written up properly and included in the main body of the Trip Truck site; so if you think you have read any of the older posts somewhere else, you almost certainly have.

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