Friday, October 30, 2009

A new voice - stereo overland

Martin's kindly asked me to contribute to the site - my name's Sam, I drive a battered 110 called Elsa, and am hooked on the Sahara, though have travelled with Martin through East Africa as well.

Currently sitting in the bar of the Kingshouse in Glencoe writing a piece on Saharan travel, faithful old Defender sitting outside in the rain. Next trip probably Morocco and Western Sahara, last trip Egypt, looming Landy mods are a galv bulkhead, larger radiator and gasflow head - at 20 years and 250,000 miles old she deserves some TLC.

Had hoped to try out the Ozpig cast iron camping stove on this trip but the weather's been so crummy it's been easier to sit by the pub fire! Never mind - its beautiful here whatever the rain's doing.

Quite keen also to try out the (not yet wired up) RooLites I have fitted in a bank of 4 above the windscreen - I am well aware that roof spots make me look like a Camel Trophy Wannabe and a bit of a twit, but the Saharan habit of herding goats on roads at night, and the Moroccan laws that state that vehicles that travel slower than 30mph dont need running lights (??!!) have made me believe fervently in all the extra lighting I can get. Desert driving at night is not recommended at all, but when sheepdogging newcomers who have never travelled in the Sahara sometimes you need to to sort problems out!

Martin's discussing solar power on here - my two penn'orth, I run a Shell-Siemens solar panel on my wagon, it whacks out enough juice to keep the Engel fridge running with an external ambient temp of over 50 C, independent of the battery - very very good, tough kit, although the best UK seller, A B Butt of Leicester, sadly went bust a few months back in the credit crunch.
Overland Journal this month are discussing the merits of a flexible rollup panel, I am a Luddite here and feel that this will eventually cause delamination of the panel and failure - my panel is yacht decking-spec, a little heavy maybe, but solid enough to cope with sandstorms and Wolf boxes falling on it!

Happy trails.

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