It has been a VERY busy 5 weeks. We have covered 10,773km, and driven through England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, (boat trip to Russia), Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and are now in Italy. Home in around 10 days time.
Given how heavy the Taniwha is (it is REALLY heavy, especially with full water and longrange fuel tanks) I have been pretty happy really with how things have gone mechanically, all things considered. When the extreme distances we have covered are added to the compressed timescale (and with some pretty wild weather thrown in) the old fella has done well.
However.. things are not perfect. I have come to the conclusion that the aftermarket hubs that are fitted aren’t going to work out for us – I am sure that on a “normal” Land Rover (if such a thing exists?) they would perform flawlessly, but given the weight and constant stresses ours are under they are showing the strain. We have a bit of bearing grumble front and rear, and none of the hubs are more than 12 months old. So.. something to sort out back in the UK before we hit Morroco and more serious terrain.
We have a slight oil leak from the turbo drain pipe (I think I may have cracked a weld when I was wrestling with the manifold pre-trip), so I will need to replace this – not a biggie at all and the leak is very minor by Land Rover standards.
Storagewise, still some changes needed in the rear. Too much stuff loosely packed.
Tires – I have been really impressed with the Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tires we fitted before this trip. Roadhandling is exceptional, snow/ice they stick like glue (Thanks, North Cape..). Ride quality is superb. Given these are proper mud terrain tires, this is a huge surprise. Yes, they are pretty noisy – but it’s a Land Rover so is very noisy anyway. Orchestras need many instruments.
Water tank/Pump/Filters – working very well indeed.
Bonnet chequerplate – a really good investment. Margaret climbs up the bonnet to get to the roof boxes, no hint of buckling yet. I will be adding some grab handles in the UK to assist in the wet.
External mains power hookup, USB and 12v sockets – superb. I am using all three right now.
Fridges and Freezer – we have a perfect setup for us now. I need to run heavier wire from the distribution board in the boot to the middle seats, as we are getting an unacceptable voltage drop. But it’s all working nicely.
Navigation Systems – Garmin, sort your $h1t out!!! I foolishly updated the software, maps and camera database before we left. Naturally, the build is as buggy as hell, and is happily screwing up routing and mis-reporting speed limits (90 in 50 zones, etc…). I sense some fines coming in the post. There has been much swearing directed at it, and not the usual good-natured Antipodean sort.
Remapped ECU – MUCH more power. Possibly too much in built up areas. I think I will use the factory ECU for on-road, and the remapped one for when we need the power… it simply doesn’t like rolling along at the speed limit. And it is thirstier, despite the engine running a few hundred RPM lower than the factory ECU… not sure how this works – maybe it is injecting more fuel?
Anyway, more musings as and when I have them.