Why We Bought an Overland Truck

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Are you a motorhomer, van lifer or overlander?

And does it really matter? We’ve recently made a decision to change our van for something a bit different, which has made us think about how we describe ourselves and our lifestyle.

Having lived full-time in a motorhome for three years, we consider ourselves motorhomers. But, with the change of vehicle comes a whole new perspective, and a recognition that whether we consider ourselves motorhomers, campervanners, caravanners or overlanders, it’s all essentially the same thing!

We are all drawn to the freedom of the road, the excitement of seeing new places and meeting new friends on the way. The ability to get up, change plans and go with the flow keeps us loving life on the road, whatever our means of transport.

From this (ok, I was 5!)…
to this…
and now this!

Why the Change?

After years of campervans and then motorhomes, the last three spent living in a motorhome in Europe, we started to find that we couldn’t quite get where we wanted to go in our large nine metre tag axle.

We love to wild camp and some of the best spots were hard to reach. We also have a yearning to travel outside of Europe – the two things sort of coincided and we started to wonder how we could achieve both aims.

We love the van we are leaving. It has masses of storage, carries a scooter in the garage and has behaved perfectly during the time we’ve owned it. Coming up for 14 years young, our Knaus is a trusted German brand, built to last. It has everything we need and more – in a way, the ‘and more’ is the problem. It’s become too large for our needs.

We thought about a campervan, but after spending an afternoon in several, we remembered why we bought a motorhome to full-time in – for us a campervan is just not big enough.

But what fits the brief that’s not a motorhome, nor a campervan? An expedition truck, that’s what!

Fitting Out

Having bought the truck, we’re currently in the process of making some changes so that we are as comfortable in this vehicle as we have been in the last.

The truck was first converted in 2011 and had a full overhaul a few years ago. The body and systems are all sound and we could drive off into the sunset tomorrow! The two things we have to have are cab air conditioning and a grey waste tank, so we thought we’d just go the whole hog and get everything we wanted done before we hit the road again.

  • Reupholstering of bench seats
  • Fitting out cupboards with internal drawers
  • Adding a grey waste tank
  • Adding belt driven air conditioning – probably the biggest and most expensive job
  • Changing the kitchen worktop
  • Re-fabricating external stairs as currently they require bolting together at each use
  • Fitting a SOG system to the toilet
  • Removing the spare wheel to under the chassis and modifying the existing motorbike rack
  • Adding an electric winch
  • Modifying the emergency escape hatch to the cab and changing the table leg
  • Adding a solar powered wireless reversing camera
  • Adding a drinking water filter
  • Finding somewhere to fit a TV – possibly the biggest challenge!

Future upgrades may well include lithium batteries and a composting toilet (Phil is very pro, I’m not really sure!).

Vehicle Comparisons

Item

Engine

Mileage / Year

V5 Classification

Dimensions

Weight

Fresh & Waste Water

Toilet

Batteries

Solar & Inverter

Heating & Hot Water

Bed Layout

Motorhome

Fiat Ducato 3l

45,000 / 2007

Motor Caravan

9m long / 3.1m high

5 tonnes

100l / 80l

Thetford Cassette 17l

210ah

120w / 2000w

Alde 3010 gas & electric

Twin singles with infill

Truck

Man LE2000 4×4

44,000 / 2001

Motor Caravan

7.5m long / 3.9m high

8.4 tonnes

370l / 60l

Thetford Cassette 19l

430ah

600w / permanent 1600w

Hurricane diesel

Transverse king

So actually, we’ve gone bigger in weight but smaller in size and with a good dose of versatility thrown in!

We’ll continue to write about amazing destinations, incredible road trips (whatever your vehicle) and provide practical advice and guides, we’ll just be doing it from a truck not a motorhome!

Follow us on social media, watch on our new YouTube channel, or subscribe for regular updates as we start the next part of our journey!

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