Long trips modifications

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Long trips modifications

Postby Kampa2609 » 26 Apr 2018, 10:22

Good day everyone,
this is my first post, so just quick introduction. I am from Czech and I love traveling. I am currently in Australia for one year driving my Toyota HJ47 Arkana. I have at home also Land Rover series 3 and most importantly VW T3 Doka syncro. I use Toyota for hard 4wd tracks and want to build Doka for my trip to US and Canada.
Photos from my trips are here
http://www.helcakamil.rajce.net and photos of Doka are here http://www.kampa2609.rajce.net
I would like to know, what is the most knowledgeable online forum for Doka syncro, as I want to build overland vehicle like is my Toyota( 200l diesel tanks, 120l water tank, split charge system, storage, fridge, ...). Thanks and have a good day. Kamil
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Long trips modifications

Postby clift_d » 29 Apr 2018, 09:53

Welcome.

You haven't really given us much info about how and where you're going to be travelling. Are you solo or accompanied? How much off-road are you planning and how many days between stops / off-grid?

Your biggest factors will keeping things simple and keeping down the weight. Obviously the more systems you add, the more things you have that could go wrong and the more weight you use, but I suspect you know some of this already. For example 200l of diesel sounds a lot if it's additional to the 80l in the Syncro fuel tank - all told that would give you enough fuel to go around two thirds of the way across the US.

The best book I can suggest is Tom Sheppard's Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide. You can order it online from the Desert Winds website. It's a really comprehensive guide to this sort of thing, and the book recommended by the RGS for anyone planning a serious expedition.

For forums this is as good a place as any to start for Syncro specific info, and The Expedition Portal is okay for more general journey information.

Also VW produced a manual entitled 'Reisen unter erschwerten Bedingungen (Journeys under difficult conditions' which discusses vehicle specific modifications for the VW Transporter. There are a few versions of it floating around the web, mainly in German but also translated - I have a PDF of the English version if you drop me a PM I will send you a link.

Finally take a look at what others have done - the old Tigerbus site had some good modification suggestions and there are some on here who've done some interesting stuff in this respect.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.
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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby silverbullet » 29 Apr 2018, 10:43

Just off the top of my head: you could put a big second fuel tank in the locker, to keep the weight low down. Maybe fit a transverse water tank across the engine firewall too (Holdsworth?)
Roof tent on the loadbed is a popular option.
No shelter or living space though, if the weather turns bad.

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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby jebiga41 » 30 Apr 2018, 08:46

silverbullet wrote:Just off the top of my head: you could put a big second fuel tank in the locker, to keep the weight low down. Maybe fit a transverse water tank across the engine firewall too (Holdsworth?)
Roof tent on the loadbed is a popular option.
No shelter or living space though, if the weather turns bad.

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yep " The Horse" had a fuel tank in the locker which put the weight central from memory it was an old boat fuel tank so was very cheap. The only thing about having a tank in the locker for a Doka is that that storage is gone "The Horse"was a single cab so had a lot more space. I do remeber Neil puting a rock and roll or caravelle backseat in his Doka and swivel front seats so he could sleep in the cab maybe consider that as an option. Also a canopy from Jason if he is still building them would give you a huge amount of enclosed storage over the load bed.Batteries and splitcharge could be under the backseat in the cab or in the battery boxes behind the seats? Fridge cooker etc on the load bed or in the cab again under back set? Tools waffle boards and big tools in the locker? Regards fuel and water how much do you need? it seems like a lot of weight to be carrying around 200l of say diesel and 120l of water at an approximate calculation equals 320kg or four blokes weighing 80kg each ! I kinda understand in Australia but would this be neccesary in the US as I would have thought that their fuel station infrastrure would have been better but maybe someone else may be better informed. Maybe ask on the samba too? also you could just go for additional jerrycans ? or a fuel tank on the loadbed with graity feed to main tank ?
F*** your Syncro Westie I've a horse outside !
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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby silverbullet » 30 Apr 2018, 09:04

It was you and The Horse I was thinking of when I wrote that ;)

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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby Kampa2609 » 01 May 2018, 12:29

Thank you very much for your answers.
My next trip after Australia is Canada and US which I would like to do with Doka. Central and South America will be Toyota country.
As I already did some long term trips( longest was 3 years ) I know what I want. I am looking for inspiration how people modified their Doca’s. I already have frifge, split charge system and other stuff in my other car which I can fit in Doca, I just need some ideas where to fit it.
Because Doca is so versatile, I have many options how to build it, where to sleep, hot to store fuel and best way to learn is to see, how other people did it and their experiences.
I like simple solutions, no modern electronics and I do not carry much stuff. All my gear is around 150kg including recovery gear and hi-lift.
I want buil the car so two people can travel with it.
Biggest question is sleeping arrangement. Sleep in the back, roof ten, pop top in the canopy.,,,
I will keep looking as I have one more year before I start to buil it.
Thanks again for your help.
Kamil
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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby clift_d » 01 May 2018, 17:25

We travelled for a while in Iceland with a family from the Netherlands whose Doka had been set up with a full length roof rack and two roof tents - to sleep four (see pic below). At the front over the cab the roof rack was attached to the roof gutters, while at the back it sat on a storage rack that had been built on top of the load bed with canvas sides / covers. The weak point in this scheme was that the two halves of the rack moved slightly differently and so they had some metal fatigue issues with some of the brackets. If you were only two then I would suggest a roof rack over cab only, with a roof tent, and a separate storage frame on the load bed similar to above, or a hard side alusingen top instead with storage racking within - maybe speak to hugomonkey about the ones he makes. As above tools, fuel & water would be stored low and central behind the cab. You could rack a full set of spare tyres further back in the middle of the load bed, and pack lighter stuff like food, stoves, camping equipments and clothes around this in storage boxes, so that it can be accessed for cooking etc from underneath cover perhaps provided by the folded up sides.

Spares would be a case of what you're preapred to carry versus what you have ready stored at home to be dispatched to you by family at short notice. I think the Tigerbus folks had a spare engine and gearbox a phone call away in the garage at home racked up ready to go on palettes. At minimum, spare driveshafts, consumables like belts, filters, etc, throttle cable, a selection of fixings, brackets and clips, wirings accessories, fuses, bulbs, 12v soldering iron, 12v drill wired to battery clips, a full changes of all fluids, brake pads, tyre repair kit, air pump, etc, etc. In terms of all up weight I have seen it suggested that aiming for 80% of GVW is good practice, but obviously that depends on how much you want to carry.

I would also recommend that you fit a cyclone to your air intake - we have a Donaldson TopSpin fitted to our 1.6TD, and that you consider a proper fuel filter - we have a Parker Racor 500FG fitted.

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Last edited by clift_d on 01 May 2018, 22:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby silverbullet » 01 May 2018, 17:53

Note on roof-mounted tents such as Oz-tent and copies: they create a massive amount of wind resistance/drag unless some sort of fairing or wind deflector is fitted. Fuel consumption and performance will suffer without a fairing, I know this from direct experience.
Improve the airflow and you won't even know the tent is up there (I have a canvas tonneau that fits this Dehler roof and keeps the rain out)Image

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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby clift_d » 01 May 2018, 18:11

It doesn't sound like the planned trip is going to have a lot of highway miles, and once you get off-road then 20 - 25 mph is good going, so drag will be less of a factor.

How much time are you going to spend on fixing the truck versus making any modifications? You would really benefit from overhauling as much of the mechanicals as possible before your trip, and dealing with some of the various rust issues you obviously have - I'm guessing you're confident that the underside is sound? I know a year sounds like a lot but it soon disappears. :mrgreen:
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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby silverbullet » 01 May 2018, 21:22

Good point, but everyone has to get on tarmac/highway for more than we would like and mpg matters if you want to maximize range.

The 1.9 carb Caravelle syncro wouldn't do 60 with an unfaired roof tent and 15" AT2's...and that had a fresh engine!

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Re: Long trips modifications

Postby Kampa2609 » 02 May 2018, 08:50

Thanks again.
I will do almost frame off restoration, something similar like with my Toyota. Photos here https://helcakamil.rajce.idnes.cz/Toyota_HJ_47_Arkana/

I would like to be able sleep in the car if necessary, I am thinking about Autohome Columbus roof top tent and make also bed in the back of the car. I will definitely have storage frame like hugomonkey builds.
I will have 16” wheels, so spare will probably not fit underneath, I want another 100l of fuel on the top of standard fuel tank and 60l of water will be fine. Would be good if I can store it somewhere underneath, but not lose storage space. I have friend who can make the tanks, but question is, where to fit them.
I carry spare belts, filters, hoses, some bolts, connectors, oil and basic tools. I have time to fix the car, I am driving around Australia for 12 months and then I go home to work on Doka, with no time limit, but I am sure one year of intensive work should be enough.
If anyone is interested in my travel, check my Facebook “ Kamil Rezac “ or photowebsite www. Helcakamil.rajce.net
Thanks again for your support, suggestions and photos.
Kamil
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