Planning before the expedition to Morocco / Sahara
Most importantly, the route, GPS, back up plans and what spare parts one should bring is the first everyone thinks of…but… It all starts with Good knowledge of the country and what purpose one has with the trip? Then you will start to understand how important it is to have the car in the good condition. You do not want and vehicle problem to spoil your experience…
DID Extreme Expeditions is also working with the Overlanding Company Trailmasters for Morocco They have been running trips in morocco since 1982 and also have a local Moroccan guide that we use.
DID Extreme Expeditions in now on the web you can find us at: WWW.DIDEXTREME.COM
Before the car, the person behind the wheel is most important, the health first. If you are traveling to Africa, following a recommended vaccination program, both tuffio, hepatitis A and B should be done, also vaccinated against salmonella.
Then the car:
I always start with full service on the car before departure, replacing all oils, engine, differentials, and filters. Check and optionally replacing the AC gas. New brake pads and the event of new brake discs also…
I also bring extra oil for the whole car, 2 spare diesel filters. Remember to bring a funnel!
Air filter is important, but I use my air compressor (the one for the tires), to blow the air filter clean throughout the trip this needs to be done regularly. I always change my front wheel bearings before departure. I do not take any chances no matter if there is no sound from the old ones. Also, I always take a complete wheel bearing set on the hub and pressed together with the ABS sensor ring ready for quick mounting in the field just in case they are needed.
New Tires are always recommended, as well as at least 1 spare wheel on the rim, but if you have the space bring 2 spare tires on a trip that stretches over 10,000km! My Gobi X rear wheel carrier will hold one 38” tire and works great! If a puncture, I always try to plug the wheel first, I bring the ARB and TMAX’s set for that.
Remember it’s a good idea to always bring some extra bolts and nuts, you never know when a bolt will snap or a nut will come lose, always remember to check your wheel nuts before you leave in the morning again…
I never leave without my HI lift jack, these are sometimes difficult pieces of kit so its vital that you learn how to use it before you travel, the wrong use of a HI lift can be fatal!
In addition, I have a range of engine hoses, not least to the radiator, and special fuses for the engine, extra Alternator, and multi strap!
Something, in fact, many do not think about is how important a Alternator is…If it fails this will give you a bigger problem than anything else …
It is a good idea to pack those items for your vehicle that are special to your vehicle in my case this is a complete spare spring and damper strut for the front . This is because of the car has a special setup, and in Africa it is not easy to get special stuff more the least nothing original if so…
The winch and rope is always with me, and sand ladders and shovel. You’re happy when you finally need it! To stress without these items at 40 degrees is not recommended
Otherwise, it is important to bring some small creative equipment, such as tape, bandage steel, wires, shackles, ropes, strips, diverse nuts and bolts, extra light bulbs, etc…
Do not forget welding pins for use with start cables, one can actually weld with 2 pcs 12v batteries in series should it go very wrong! One can’t bring everything, so it’s good to have some diverse stuff once you need to be MacGyver!
I always bring my OBD2 error code to read and delete faulty codes, things that you would never think could happen to your car at home in the city suddenly becomes a reality when you least think it thousands of miles away from all civilization. Temperature strain and harder use can otherwise knock out a sensor and put the car in Emergency Mode! I know, have happened to me! Took me 1 minute to fix it myself, if not it would have taken me days to get to a garage! Things like this people do not think about, but can end up being a stupid problem…
I have connected all of the extra 12v power on the car myself, the advantage is that I know where all the fuses are, and even the wires if there will be a power brakeage. It’s good to know when your refrigerator is out of power or something else faulting. Know your car is the biggest preparation!
I carry a water tank that is 60 liters in the car and a 20 liter jerry on the outside of the car for washing. Keep your hands clean, and always stay hydrated! I also have one jerry can full of diesel for back up to, that’s on my Gobi-X rear bumper! Otherwise,
I have an extra diesel tank on the car that makes up 160 liters! You can never have to much at least always know how far you are from the next gas station!
The most important before a trip is the planning phase above but taking the time enjoying yourself and taking the time to make the car ready is the key! People usually do not take the time and start to stress just weeks before they leave. Then not having the money for what they should have and start compromising on things.
That’s when it usually goes wrong, and then the joy of the trip disappears with the fear of everything that can go wrong when your finally on the road!
Usually everything works out fine; it’s just smart to be prepared when shit happens! And you will enjoy the adventure so much more knowing you did everything possible!
DID Extreme Expeditions
David I. Daigle