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Expedition Medical Services

VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS

The trip is designed to be essentially non-damaging to vehicles and any well serviced “proper” 4x4 vehicle with a low ratio gearbox will be perfectly satisfactory. The one absolute prerequisite is secure heavy duty recovery points front and rear. The standard on road recovery eye is useless and potentially dangerous when trying to recover 11/2 tons of Land Rover stuck in soft sand. A rear tow bar is fine – but preferably fitted with claw & pin rather than a standard towball. At the front of the vehicle fitting “Jate” rings to the front of the chassis is the cheapest and easiest solution for most Land Rovers. Marrakech has main Dealers for most makes of Off Road vehicles but parts for RHD UK vehicles not guaranteed to be in stock.

VehiclePrep
2005, Amizmiz Morocco, Kris Palmer & Matt Low prepare vehicles for trip ©Dick Morgan

 

  • Proper 4x4 vehicle with low ratio gearbox.... or 2CV with manic gallic driver!
  • Full Service to be undertaken shortly before trip (remember the aircon service too!)
  • Good All-Terrain tyres including at least 1 spare wheel. Tread wear not more than 50%. Tubeless tyres are fine.
  • Tyre Pump and accurate handheld tyre pressure gauge for checking and re-inflating tyres after soft sand running. Cheap electric tyre pumps take a long time to get big tyres back up to pressure. I recommend TruckAir as being a reasonable cost/performance compromise. £64.63 at http://www.famousfour.com/. The other piece of kit which makes deflating tyres quicker and easier is a set of Staun Tyre Deflators £46.94 (set of 4) from http://www.devon4x4.co.uk/. These neat screw on valves can be set to any pressure between 35 - 8 psi, screw onto your existing valve and automatically deflate the tyre to the preset pressure. No more walking round 1 wheel at a time before the soft sand!
  • Heavy Duty recovery points front & rear
  • Diesel recommended – but Petrol OK bearing in mind unleaded fuel and sulphur content quality variable
  • Vehicles should be capable of 400 miles of tarmac driving without refuelling. If necessary this can be accomplished with Jerry cans. This allows for 250 miles in more arduous off road terrain.
  • Spare parts: Take advice from whoever services your vehicle. Tell them at the major service shortly before the trip what your plans are. If in doubt replace it! Bring the still serviceable replaced part as your spare. It is no good discovering in the middle of the desert that the new alternator you bought doesn’t fit! Fit the new one in the UK and bring the old one as back-up. If weight is short you can always jettison the used spare (sell it ecologically in one of the village markets). Fan belts, electrical fuses, full light bulb kit & toolkit for basic maintenance.
  • Lubricants - Engine oil enough for 1 complete oil change, Diff Oil – one change each diff
  • Replacement Air Filter and Fuel filter
  • 2 sets of vehicle keys with New alarm fob batteries if your vehicle is so equipped
  • Battery: Make sure – especially if your vehicle only has 1 battery – that it is in very good condition and of the highest capacity you can fit.
Communication. Whilst some operators running self-drive trips to Morocco use CB Radios, these are technically Illegal. The sight of CB aerials on vehicles may cause difficulties not only on entering the country but also at Police road checks which are fairly common on the country roads. PMR handheld radios are Legal in Morocco and throughout the EEC, and although having a shorter range are more flexible because you can also use them when on foot. We use Motorola Talkabout T5412 now superceeded by the T5512 available from http://www.calamander.co.uk/ at £69.95 per Pair. Each uses 3xAA batteries. (Use NiMH rechargeables)

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