October 17, 2017

Overland 4x4 Truck Camper - Mercedes Benz 1124 AF - FOR SALE

Mercedes Benz 1124f 4x4 

Overland Camper Truck

1995 - Right Hand Drive - 188,000km

After our 48,000km overland expedition across Europe and Africa 2010/11 my wife and I spent 5 years researching a larger overland platform so we could undertake extended travel in colder / off season latitudes and do so in comfort. Our research, led us to John and Betti who had just completed the Americas and North Africa in their trusty Mercedes Truck BURT (pictured).  It has the perfect layout, equipment and systems for extended travel, so we sold our Land Rover and acquired the truck in April 2017.
Mercedes Benz 1124f 4x4 - Exterior

Base Vehicle features

BURT is a former UK Police Response vehicle used by Avon and Somerset Police that was acquired and transformed into the vehicle you now see here in 2012.  Having been religiously maintained and serviced BURT is a pre-electronic Mercedes truck cab / chassis the type often used as the base vehicle for Fire Engines.  The engine is the legendary OM366 LA (common with Unimogs) that is good for 1,000,000 km, easy to access and service with Mercedes parts available around the world.
  • Mercedes Benz 1124 AF (1995)
  • 5958cc intercooled turbo diesel 
  • 240hp / 177kw OM366 LA engine
  • Length 7.20m, Width 2.40m, Height 3.60m
  • GVM: 12,000kg.  Actual weight: 8300kg on 3640 mm wheelbase 2 axles
  • Right Hand Drive power steering with 3 seat front cab configuration
  • Registered UK Private HGV Motor Caravan (UK Road Tax £165) 
  • MOT valid until 25 September 2018 
  • 5 speed manual gear box / high and low range (2x4 and 4x4)
  • Air activated rear axle diff lock and transfer case lock
  • Air breaks fitted with ABS
  • 2000w alternator also charges 4x house batteries
  • Tilting cantilever cab to access / service the engine
  • Anti-hijack immobiliser, fuel and electrical cut off switches
  • Anti smash coatings on all windows
  • Heated wing mirrors
Exterior features
  • 6x Michelin Tyres 385/65R 22.5 XZY3 (4 mains + 2 spares)
  • 6x specialist fabricated wheels by Aspect Wheels (11.75 x 22.5)
  • Overall fuel capacity: 500l (3 x tanks plus 4 x Jerry can holders)
  • 1x Large capacity Racor diesel filter/water separator
  • 1x Integral air compressor plus tyre inflator pipe and gauge
  • 1x Spare tyre winch for lifting / lowering spare wheels
  • 1x Hadley Air Horn (its loud and normally fitted to boats!)
  • 4x roof mounted HID spot lights
  • 2x Sand Ladders side mounted and modified for traction / grip
  • Upgraded Four point torsion free mount providing maximum flex
  • Cabin sandwich construction 75mm ply/insulation 
  • Roof painted with slip proof roof coating and bar protectors 
  • Smart aluminium windows with 3 position locking system
  • 2 x Lewmar 60 lockable marine roof hatches
  • Door and cargo hatch with secure 3 point latches and security keys
  • Over cab roof rack, storage box and protection bars
Electrical systems
  • 4x Odyssey Extreme batteries PC2250 = 500ah (1 yr old)
  • 4x 100w solar panels
  • Blue Sky MPPT solar controller with remote panel and trickle charger to starter
  • Antares Virtual Alternator / split charger and starter battery protection
  • Antares Universal charger, input 50/60hz 90 - 250v AC)
  • Antares 24v to 12v two channel converter
  • Nominal 24v to 24v converter
  • 24v DC and 12v DC circuit breaker switch panel
  • 12 / 24v DC outlets and 110 v / 240 v AC outlets throughout cabin
  • 1x Inverter (230v, 3000w AC) 1x Inverter (110v, 550w AC)
  • AC distributed via RCD/MCB to 110v and 240v sockets
  • Inverter / shore power switch with breakers
  • 50m Antares Artic shore cable with daisy-chain to 3rd party users
  • Panel mounted battery monitor main/aux batteries 
  • Carbon Monoxide sensor with read out / alarm (hard wired)
  • Multiple Interior LED lighting throughout
  • Weather unit with separate outdoor sensor
Main systems room / under bed storage area
Antares System and Isolators
  • Electricity is key to comfortable travel. In hot climates the fridge will draw a lot of power but it is imperative the beer stays cold.
  • Other electrical equipment: universal shore power charger, input switched neutral 50/60hz, 90 to 250vAC.
  • Two pure sine wave inverters, 3000w 230vAC Cotec, modified to ensure plates do not touch due to vehicle vibration and a 600w 110vAC.
  • Two channel 24v to 12v DC 40 amp converter. Runs the Webasto and lights. Also a nominal 24v to 24.4v converter. Takes the strain off any equipment that prefers below acceptance charge voltages.
  • The battery monitor reads off a 500 amp shunt and gives information on the interior and starter batteries with high and low alarms. Being an AmpHr counter you know the condition of the batteries far beyond the usual vague voltage reading of many battery level gauges.
  • Virtual Alternator/Split Charger system, giving the ability to start the vehicle from the interior batteries if the starter batteries fail.
  • The excellent Blue Sky 3024i and IPN remote keep the batteries in good condition and manage the solar flawlessly.
Electrical / control panel 
4x house battery bank 
Wet system features
  • 1x 500 liter water tank with 3 stage pre filters (grit, pre and drinking water filters)
  • Water Pump by Johnson rated at 40psi
  • Webasto Thermotop 5 kw diesel water heater 
  • 2 x fan heat exchangers / fans for piped hot air cabin heating
  • 22 litres hot water tank
  • 230v 800w Immersion heater (with mains option)
  • Waste tank 60 litres with 3” slide drain valve
Bathroom with separate shower
Bathroom / WC (left) with view to main cabin (right)

Interior / fit out features
  • Smev 4 burner gas stove with grill and oven
  • Fixed 85 litre LPG / gas tank for cooking with multiple filling adapters
  • Waeco 110 litre tropical compressor fridge / freezer
  • 1x 230v stainless steel Microwave Grill with low power controls
  • Babynova soba washing machine
  • Thetford 400 flushing cassette toilet with SOG (new cassette and seat not used) 
  • Separate 40 psi shower with folding door, teak shower floor and bathroom sink
  • Alfa wifi capture antenna, booster and router for interior private wifi signal
  • 2x Caframo Sirocco quiet fans 24v plus 1x Hella Turbo fan 12v
  • Bench seating for 4 people that converts to 110cm x 200cm comfortable 2nd bed
  • Main bed, 200cm x 140cm full double with pillow lockers and reading lights
  • Hydraulic height adjustable table 
  • Huge storage capacity / boxes / lockers / shoe cupboard / kitchen cupboards 
  • Double kitchen sink with hot / cold mixer and separate filtered water tap 
  • 2x soap dispensers
  • Oceanair fly screen/black out blinds on all side and roof windows
  • Document safe
  • There is no pass through to driver cab to maximise cabin space / storage
Interior - Main cabin / seating / kitchen / bed 
Interior - Main cabin view from double bed
Interior - Cooker / top cover up

Under counter / secured washing machine
Interior - Kitchen work tops / sink / cooker

Sale information

This vehicle would suit anyone who wants to take on extended, multi-year overland travel, with a high degree of comfort and autonomy, especially in latitudes where weather maybe a factor. 

Since acquisition in April 2017 we have had the vehicle serviced, passed our HGV test and had the MoT completed valid until 25th September 2018. The vehicle is located in the UK close to Derby in secure storage.  It needs very little in the way of preparation and is ready to go !   

In October this year a family member was diagnosed with a life changing medical condition and as a result we have changed our priorities and reluctantly decided to sell BURT.  It's been a very emotional and difficult decision to make as it took us 5 years to get this far, but like all overlanders you have to make pragmatic decisions and be realistic in such circumstances.

I would be happy to talk to interested buyers and show you around the vehicle.  The option to utilise the current secure storage space is also available.  

Please contact me directly using email or call direct.  Thanks - Nick.

Price £47,500

Call UK +44 (0) 7754 475 468

January 9, 2017

Land Rover Defender 110 300 TDi Overland Ready for Sale

#### NOW SOLD ####

 Hi folks, after a busy few years here in SA we are now selling Dassie our overland ready Land Rover Defender 110 300 TDi Hard Top.  We had a great trip across Europe & Africa in 2010/11 and have added many new things to the vehicle but we are now making a few life changes and starting a new challenge, so want to pass her onto a new owner for a new adventure.

The base vehicle is a 1997 Defender 100 300TDI Hard Top van with heavy duty Salisbury rear axle & R380 gear box.  It was a former Environment Agency vehicle and was well looked after.

She had all major works (including cab roll cage) performed by Foley Overland UK with some subsequent additions by Burnco of Cape Town.  On our trip she performed amazingly well and is in top class condition and been serviced regularly.

She is currently on an SA plate but we also have the original UK paperwork / plates, so import back to UK would be very easy as she is SORN with DVLA.

We enhanced the rear of the vehicle after the trip to serve as place to sit when cold / wet or needing some privacy and you can convert for emergency sleeping when in cities as the rear floor turns into a sleeping area in really bad weather. The new side windows give a real feeling of the space being with a cool breeze that makes the interior a nice place to sit.  A small fold out table is big enough to prep meals and use a laptop but small enough to pack away when needed.

The list of items / extras in the sale is long but all the items included are covered below for you to review.  See also main pics enclosed  ...........wife and dogs are not part of sale ;-)

Land Rover Defender 110 300 Tdi Hard Top 1997
UK and SA Registration paperwork & plates 339,000 km on clock
R380 gear box (recon after trip) and heavy duty Salisbury rear axle
Body works
Full chassis wax and seal treatment 
Warn bumper winch with remote control 9,500 lb test wire on spool
Expedition bumper, with winch fitment, 2 x D Shackle towing points 
Bull bar with light grill
Under body protection front diff guard
Full cab roll cage ½ internal ½ external
Safari Snorkel with dust cyclone
5x breather pipes (front / rear diff, transmission, engine)
Checker plate on bonnet, panels
Adjustable heavy duty tow bar
Rear step and running boards / sliders

Power / Lights / Electrics
Auxiliary deep charge battery with marine split charge system
Various int / external 12 V plus USB charging points
LED lights internal
Spot lights x 2 on the front 100w
Stereo with iPoD connector

Suspension / wheels
Enhanced rear shocks (Iron Man heavy duty springs)
2x extra rear shocks & custom bracket 
6x off road tyres with good tread
6" steel modular expedition wheels x 6
Locking wheel nut kit x5

Other Equipment 
Custom Aluminum roof box 
100 watt solar panel and charge system
Expedition roof rack(Brown Church)
Side awning with swing out arms (free standing)
Hi-lift jack and mount with dust bag
Rear door swing away mount for 1st spare wheel
20L Jerry can (Fuel) x 2 - this is emergency fuel
20L Jerry can (water) x 2 - back up water
Jerry can spout
Howling Moon Roof Tent (Star Gazer plus room and poles) as new
Aux  fuel tank (stainless) 40 l
Aux water tank (stainless) 40 l
Water purification system and shower (Brown Church)
40L Engel Fridge Freezer with basket, thermal cover, slider mount
Shower attachment
Mellville Moon Safari Seat Covers 100% heavy duty cotten
In-line secondary fuel sediment unit to capture diesel water / sludge
Water proof elec hook up and land cable

Recovery / Repair / Accessories
Waffle recovery / sand boards x2
Recovery kit (shackles, ropes various)
Tyre repair kit (punctures and patches)
Land rover tools
VIAIR 300P Portable Air Compressor with pressure gauge / deflator
Haynes Manual - Defender

Storage / Security 
Floor safe 
Fuel cut off / engine immobilizer
Rear windows / door window security grills
Cab / rear guard / separator
Lockable steal security cubby box with radio and cup holders 
2 x NATO side lockers for 2x Jerry cans each
Padlock hasps on all 3 doors
Lockable Aluminum side windows

This overland ready Land Rover is located in Cape Town South Africa and would suit the following kind of buyer;

1) A couple seeking a fly-in / drive off 4x4 to take on Africa / world (with return to UK)
2) Someone wanting a fly-in, travel and then store a vehicle (we have local SA options we can share) 
3) Couple seeking a "go anywhere" bush basher for local trips in SA / Southern Africa

#### NOW SOLD ####

Nick and Vick
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11
48,361km in 366 days

November 14, 2012

Land Rover Upgrades 2.0 - Part B

Hi Folks

Been very quite for 1 year - sorry about that.  Got the Blog mojo back and thought we would post some pics of some of the things we have done to Dassie the Land Rover.  We are going to add some more pics to this post shortly, but the key items are shown in the images below.  The main focus has been on the interior re-wiring and solar system as well as some basic tidy up jobs to sort things that broke or wore out on the trip through Africa.

Base vehicle is 300 TDi 110 Hard Top Defender 2 seats front plus 2x side seats rear.  Rear is designed to serve as place to sit when cold / wet / privacy AND convert into bed for emergency sleeping when in  cities or for emergencies / bad weather.  We did this because we found that we liked the compact foot-print of a Land Rover but sometimes wanted some privacy and shelter from the elements - its not always hot and dry!

Although during most of our trip we were warm, there were times in the mountains, high winds and storms where you just want to sit inside and eat, talk and escape curious people.  The Land Rover has a strange comforting smell (to us it does) and whilst space is of a premium, the cosy nature of the rear compartment is now something we really enjoy.  The side windows do give a real feeling of the space being bigger than it is, with a cool breeze that makes the interior a nice place to sit.  A small fold out table is big enough to prep meals and use a laptop but small enough to pack away when needed.

The floor is removable and we can attach it to the storage box to make a sleeping platform.  Its not exactly spacious, but it gives us the compromise of a useful seating area, storage, place to work on the laptop / plan and sleep if needed.  We had to modify the dog guard so we can crawl in, but its cosy and will do as a compromise.  Vicks made some nice seat covers and I added the checker plate.

Actually the word compromise is the most often word used when preparing for an overland vehicle / trip.....get used to it!

Nick and Vick
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11
48,361km in 366 days

January 24, 2012

Land Rover Upgrades 2.0 - Part A

Well - after 48,361km and now having proper tools, a garage and some spare time, Nick set about doing modifications to Dassie to make her into the 4x4 we wished we had when we started but why make the changes and what did we do......??

  • Our interior build was rushed and basically shook itself to bits - now used proper plywood
  • The fridge was poorly located and a pain to access - relocated / access from window
  • We lacked the ability to sit inside the rear when it was cold/ wet - fitted new seats
  • We lacked privacy - some times you just want to be alone / use laptop / eat in private etc...
  • Storage was not ideal - we took too many boxes - installed 2x lockers
  • Rooftent - fly sheet good for shade but not a good design, poles fall out in heavy wind / tropical rain - upgraded tent to Howling Moon - much better design / stronger flysheet / add on room
  • Lacked ability to carry a guide, awkward to carry people - installed 2x rear seats (above)
  • Sleeping inside – Impossible in original design, we have now changed this, with basic sleeping deck converted from floor panel
  • Lack rear shade – Out tent opened over bonnet – we now have changed to open over rear / have add on room
  • Camping table – Too small and not stable – longer type better
  • Camping chairs – Ours were too basic and you get tired of sitting in one for 366 days - upgraded to bigger ones
  • Roof bag – Good, but rotted in sun - now use a metal box - better and much more secure
  • Rear work lamp – Old bulb uses too much power & is too heavy – fell off!  Replaced with LED
  • Solar panel - 40 watt panel too small.  Now have 90 watt panel (5.3 amps)
  • Use a solar regulator - limits battery drain and over charge - can see what the status of battery and solar charge / draw is.  Can set to suit different needs
  • No side windows - Fitted aluminium (solid) windows - secure and let in lots of light when open
  • 2nd spare wheel - moved from roof rack to bonnet (frees up space)
  • Water tank fill - added exterior cap so can fill from outside
  • Moved water filter and changed shower output pipe - more compact and better design

All photos of the key changes can be found at our Land Rover 2.0 Album

We are still tweaking things but the basics of Dassie 2.0 are now complete and we just need to iron out a few more issues.  A recent shakedown trip has shown that most of the changes work well.  The final jobs are now focused on finishing the water system and fixing the solar panel to the roof box on a frame that will allow us to remove it and place it in the sun when we are parked in the shade.

If you want to make contact with Burnco, the people that did an AMAZING job on our side windows and fabricated our aluminium storage box, their contact details are below.  They did a great job for us, on time, offered honest advice and were very competitive on price.  They really know about 4x4 / overland prep and if you were shipping your car to SA to do Cape Town to London or have just finished your trip and need some work doing, I would really recommend you make contact with them for any bespoke modifications. 

Hein Burnett
Panel Beaters & 4x4 Manufacturing
Tel: +27 21 949 1713
email at
website at  

Happy to take questions on your own build.

Nick and Vick
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11
48,361km in 366 days

January 20, 2012

African Hills - The ups and downs of 4x4 overland travel

Hi Folks,

One of the main questions that came back from our London to Cape Town in 10 minutes film was "Its a bit flat", "that's easy" and "where's all the hard roads we thought existed in Africa".  

Our Route - click to enlarge

Well, to help develop that thread and answer those questions, we pulled nearly half a million track points off our Garmin database and analyzed the altitude information "You Geek!" I hear you say..... well, yes, to a point but the resulting information highlighted that we went up and down a LOT on our 48,361km drive South and perhaps a little more that we had realized.  The chart below shows the data in more detail.

Altitude data - Click to enlarge

As you can see, its pretty spiky!!!  We have added some indicators to key regions and key countries with Lesotho being the highest we reached at circa 10,600 feet.  Not quite Everest but certainly a challenge.

To answer the other question, "Where's all the footage of the really hard roads", well the simple answer is we tended not to get the camera out when we were really stuck, lost or struggling.....  when its 40'C, your covered in ants, getting bitten and generally sweating like a madman, photography and filming tends to be low down the list of priorities ;-))

Nick and Vick
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11
48,361km in 366 days

January 2, 2012

London to Cape Town in 10 Minutes

Happy New Year folks!

As part of a look back at our Africa Overland trip, we compiled a 10 minute film that offers an insight into the road conditions you are going to face if you travel the West Coast / Central African route towards South Africa.  From the deserts of North Africa and the lush greens of West Africa to the mud of Cameroon and rain forest of Gabon, this video has the lot.

 We have the GPS track if you wish to use it - it was also given to Tracks4Africa

                                               London to Cape Town in 10 Minutes Film

We did a fair bit of off-road driving as well as main roads so the video has a mix of road types for you to see.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did driving it!

Nick and Vick
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11
48,361km in 366 days

December 27, 2011

Africa Overland - Top 10 Planning Hints & Tips

Hi Folks,

Now our trip is over, we have taken some time to update our website and Blog with data you might find useful for planning purposes (applicable to any country for an extended trip).  You can see our full FAQs list at our website

In the meantime, check out our summary Top 10 lists you might want to consider - we would love to hear more Tops 10's from other people.

What were the top 10 most useful items you took?
  1. Water filter - Hands down the best investment
  2. Multi-fuel stove - Efficient, don't need to fiddle with gas
  3. The COBB - Great for slow cooking, bulk food, BBQ, roasting & making pizzas!
  4. Vehicle Side Awning - Sun shade in tropics is essential
  5. Roberts SW Radio - Great for BBC World Service, news & African programmes
  6. Vehicle mounted side table - handy & space saving for cooking, esp. in rain
  7. Rear mounted tap - great for convenient washing of hands / kit / utensils
  8. Hennessy Hammocks - nice alternative place to sleep, lie down on hot days
  9. Caravan power hook up - power was available in a lot of places (eases battery drain)
  10. SPOT Messenger - Excellent for location tracking, keeping friends & family up to date
What were the top 10 least useful items you took?

  1. Camp Kitchen table - odd shape, bulky (we gave it away)
  2. Roof rack bag - Initially good, but leaked and rotted in sun (metal roof box better)
  3. Thermarests - never used, lent them to people once
  4. Large rucksacks - bulky, took up space, used once, used shoulder bags
  5. Money belts - never carried wallet, not needed (carry cash that you need)
  6. DC / AC converter - ours was a cheap one (not Sine Wave) buy better one next time
  7. Two way radios - only useful if other people know how to use them & switch them on!
  8. Board games - packed too deep in locker, pain to get out
  9. Random tools - took too many and hardly used them
  10. Lots of adaptors - took too many attachments, mainly used British plugs on multi-gang
 What were the top 10 things you would do differently next time?

  1. Don't rush! - You are on a journey of a life time, so take time to "stop" - we still spent 1 year on the road and in some countries wished we had stayed for longer
  2. Realise that it takes time to adapt from "9-5 normal life" to 1 year on the road - it takes approx 6-8 weeks to get used to life on the road - its not a holiday ;-)
  3. Have improved storage in vehicle - we rushed our system / it self destructed!
  4. Sit inside / sleep in vehicle - It does get cold in Africa, good to be able to keep warm, get out of rain / damp.  Its also nice to have some privacy sometimes.
  5. Have roof tent open over the rear - its 50:50 on this - you gain shade at back
  6. Make sure its easy to get to fridge !!
  7. Try not to pack things in too many boxes - they take up space.  Lockers are better.
  8. Take Blue metal water jerry cans - The Black plastic ones leak
  9. Take a spare alternator - It was the one item we should have packed
  10. Might consider alternative Malaria prophylaxis (just take test kits / treatment)

Nick and Vick
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11
48,361km in 366 days