We already have several travel reports on Wereldreizigers.nl written under the name NoFear Travel. What we hadn't done yet was introduced us and told more about our Toyota Hilux 4×4 camper.
How did we get infected with the travel virus and how do we live our (almost) nomadic existence from day to day? In this article you can read everything about us, the Toyota camper, the nomadic existence and the plans for the future in Africa.
Table of contents
About us, the camping and traveling
When we just left our teenage years behind us, we (Cor and Grietje) got the chance to build a recreation company together with Cor's parents. Because Cor's parents quickly withdrew, we were faced with a major challenge that we tackled with passion and enthusiasm. The campsite has been expanded and made more professional year after year. Except for a few days off and some sleep, they worked 24/7 for many years. Two sweet boys were born who grew up between us and the camping guests.
After the campsite was sold in 2008, we wanted to build a new and above all quieter life. We bought an old farm and renovated it into a nice house with a piece of land for some sheep. But doing nothing is not in our blood. So an outdated farm was purchased which we converted in no time into a successful group accommodation.
We also pioneered some business in stamps and firewood. We even had a taxi company for a while.
Traveling more and more
But gradually we started traveling more often. Getting a little longer. From 2017 we started inspecting campsites for the ANWB. A wonderful job and very suitable for us as former recreation entrepreneurs. In the three summer months we crossed Europe with a caravan to provide about 80 campsites with the right ANWB stars.
With a 4×4 through Australia
In the fall of 2017 and 2018 we went to Australia to visit our interning sons. Of course we extended our visits with tours of the immense country and also visited Tasmania. Sold…from here on, our addiction to travel cannot be reversed.
On our second visit to Australia we rented a Toyota Hilux 4×4 with roof tent with which we crisscrossed the country for 10 weeks. Awesome! What a freedom. We mostly camped in the wild, lived frugally, but enjoyed ourselves to the fullest.
First acquaintance with Overlanden
One day we were in the north of Australia, not far from Mount Isa, where our eyes fell on a car with Dutch registration.
The surprise was enormous… how did it get here? In the end we spent an evening hanging on the lips of the Dutch couple who traveled around with them.
To ship, overlanding, selling your house, quitting your job…everything happened. A world opened up for us. It was immediately clear, we want this too! We didn't sleep well for a few nights…how are we going to organize this?
Even during the trip and immediately after, we couldn't keep our minds off the new plans. When we got home, we first immersed ourselves in the vehicle.
Our 4×4 camper
By contacting experienced overlanders (including Jan van Bekkum and Margriet Klees with their site www.4ever2wherever.com) we have gained our first knowledge. We visited trade fairs, builders and suppliers. Because we are not wrenches, we decided to purchase an (almost) new 4×4. This minimizes the risk of unexpected maintenance.
The choice for a Toyota Hilux was also quickly made. This in connection with the worldwide available parts and the good experiences we had in Australia.
It became a one and a half cab, the part behind the front seats we use for storage of things. A bigger option would have been an overland truck, but due to limited maneuverability, cost and constraints in built-up areas, we abandoned it.
Fixed construction and stability
We found the smaller option to once again place a roof tent on the Hilux too primitive. Especially in cold and wet weather conditions you quickly run into limits. That is how we came up with the Hilux with a fixed structure. Especially that fixed makes him somewhat special. In our variant, the superstructure is fixed to the chassis, which greatly improves stability. In addition, the loading platform has been removed, which saves almost 300 kilos.
Striking in the execution is also the limited width of the superstructure. This also contributes to stability and we can just take narrow streets and tight corners. The overhang at the rear is also limited. And yet we still have enough space inside for a comfortable stay. After all, we are used to a roof tent, so it quickly becomes a luxury for us.
So it's the perfect balance between “off-road capability” and comfort.
The interior of the camper
In addition to the space behind the front seats, we have metal storage bins both under and at the back of the superstructure. Here we store all kinds of things and emergency materials that we need every day, or perhaps never.
gas and electricity
We use a gas-fired hot air heater for heating. This has already proven to have more than sufficient capacity in Lapland in winter 2022. We also have a gas-fired 10-litre boiler with us. With this we can take a nice shower with the outdoor shower.
We cook indoors, but bake and fry in butter or oil as much as possible outside in a skottelbraai, as we have no extraction for the greasy vapours.
The 115 liter fridge with freezer compartment is quite large, but we think it is important to be able to keep our food well cooled.
The power supply consists of two lithium batteries of 200 Ah together. These are charged by two solar panels placed on the roof and the alternator in the car also contributes while driving.
To date we have not needed any external electricity. The whole system runs on 12 volts, so we have another converter to 220 volts.
Kitchen, sitting area, bed, shower and toilet
The water supply is based on an 80 liter storage tank. This means that we must always be economical with water. Especially in countries where availability is limited. Before the water comes out of the tap or shower, it has passed our water filter. The kitchen area has a two-burner gas stove and a sink. For daily needs we have a porta potti and pee bottles.
There is also a table and two benches inside where we can sit together. The bed is extendable where we lie in the length. With some cupboards inside for clothing and food, the story is complete.
Yet the weight of this composition is well above the original maximum permitted weight of the Hilux. To this end, we had to replace and strengthen the suspension and have the car inspected again by the RDW. The maximum permitted weight is now 3500 kilos.
This entire process - which only a few people in the Netherlands can do - was carried out very professionally and skillfully by Arno van Bakel van https://www.4wd-specialist.nl/ from Brabant Zeeland. A little advertising is in order.
Because the 4×4 camper must also be able to stand its ground in sand, mud and water, we have a number of facilities on board with which we can tackle the challenges robustly.
Weighted front bumper and winch
First up, we have a weighted large front bumper that can take a beating. Built in here we have a winch with kinetic rope that can save us from dire situations. To date, we have mainly helped others…
Skidplates, sills and spotlights
The car is fitted with metal protective parts (Skidplates) on the underside so that splashing stones cannot damage the underside. The plastic side sills have been replaced by metal ones. Spot lights are installed on the front so that we are not faced with surprises in the dark.
Compressor, inflatable jack and sandbanks
To easily bring our tire pressure back up to standard, we have a built-in compressor that will bring the tires back to pressure in no time after a desert ride. Connected to this we have an "inflatable jack" (skippy ball) that can lift the camper when a tire change should take place. If we are stuck in the sand, we have plastic sandbanks and a shovel with us.
Long range fuel tank
Because the availability of fuel in some countries is not so self-evident, we have a “long range fuel tank” of 135 liters with which we can bridge 1 kilometers with a consumption of about 8 in 1000. We also have 20 liters of “emergency” fuel with us.
Raised air intake (snorkel)
Finally, we drive with an increased air intake (snorkel) so that we can easily ford rivers to a depth of about 80 centimeters.
Trips made so far with the camper
Baltic States, Finland and Sweden
After the dots had been put on the i at the end of 2019, the adventure could begin and we left on 1 January 2020 towards the south. With the equator as the target. After we had quietly descended through Europe, we made the crossing to Morocco. By now it was March and we necessarily had to return home because of the outbreak of the epidemic.
In the summer of that year we made another trip to Poland, the Czech Republic, the Baltic States, Finland and Sweden.
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 camper Baltic States | NoFear Travelogue
Sardinia, Sicily and Southern Italy
In 2021 we were on the road for 4,5 months in Switzerland, France, Sardinia, Sicily and southern Italy.
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 camper Sardinia | NoFear travelogue
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 camper Sicily | NoFear travelogue
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 campervan Southern Italy | NoFear travelogue
Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and Finnish Lapland
On January 1, 2022, we left for a cold trip north. This required some extra preparation because man and machine had to endure temperatures as low as -30. The Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway and Finnish Lapland were breathtakingly beautiful.
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 camper Faroe Islands | NoFear Travelogue
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 camper Iceland (1) | NoFear Travelogue
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 camper Iceland (2) | NoFear Travelogue
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 campervan Southern Norway | NoFear travelogue
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 campervan Western Norway | NoFear travelogue
Also read: Roadtrip 4×4 campervan Finnish Lapland | NoFear travelogue
We returned in early April The Netherlands and made plans for a world trip. Because the epidemic was coming to an end, we dared to go outside again Europe thinking. On to the south Africa is the motto now, more on that later.
Life on the go
Our main travel motto is “getting to know different cultures, lifestyles and nature. We do this at our “dead leisure”, time is not an issue. We regularly alternate with fun things such as a visit to the beach, challenging walks, via ferrata (also called via via ferrata mentioned), diving and recently another paragliding course.
Daily schedule and groceries
In the morning we don't set an alarm, we are awake on time anyway. After a delicious yogurt breakfast we start the day. We usually eat outside in the great outdoors. Besides the fact that we love a yogurt breakfast, it is also practical: there is often no fresh bread available at our wild camping spots.
The schedule of the day can vary a lot. Sometimes we drive a long way or we just do an activity. We mainly drive on secondary roads. If possible through rural areas. When we see a nice terrace, we buy a cup of coffee or sometimes lunch.
We try to do errands once a week. A large supermarket on the outskirts of a city usually has everything available. But we also like to visit a small greengrocer or bakery.
Along the way, we capture fun things with our new camera (Sony RX10) or iPhones.
Often, in the evenings, we will review and sort the photos together.
We also get as much information as possible about the environment from the internet and discuss how we will organize the coming days.
Every day we have a new adventure that we look forward to. After the experiences of the day are written in a diary, our eyes quickly close with satisfaction.
'Holiday', freedom and preparation
Sometimes people think we are always on “vacation”. It just depends on how you interpret the word “vacation”. If it means that we have no obligations to, for example, employers, they are right.
Freedom is the most important motivation for us. But in order to provide for our daily livelihood, we also have to do the shopping, do the dishes, wash clothes and cook food. Taking care of the maintenance of our big friend: the 4×4 camper. Moreover, the preparations for the trip through Africa require extra time, because few things are self-evident in Africa.
Before we went out with our camper for the first time, we sold our house and bought - as a backup - a holiday home in a bungalow park. We do not rent out the holiday home and can always return to our own home in the Netherlands. Our oldest son took over the group accommodation.
This way we can travel almost carefree.
Life on the road doesn't have to be more expensive than life at home. The fixed costs for the holiday home are minimal and when we are not present we use no energy.
The groceries we get are roughly the same as in a home situation. Groceries are slightly more expensive in some countries, but cheaper in others.
Fuel for the camper is of course a reasonable item, but with 500-800 kilometers per week it is not too bad. Because we camp a lot in the wild, we have little camping costs.
Of course there are other smaller costs, but they are also there when we are not travelling.
When we travel in Africa, we have to take into account the costs of visas, insurance and other customs costs.
We prefer to spend the night “in the wild”. It has now become a challenge to find the most beautiful places. The 4×4 camper helps enormously with this. With the power, four-wheel drive, maneuverability and the free space under the car, we get to places where many other vehicles give up.
On top of cliffs with a view over the sea or deep in the forest where there is still a nice swimming lake, it is a great challenge to find these ultimate spots again and again.
But on occasion, often once every 5-7 days, we look for a campsite to take a shower or do the laundry, for example.
To find places we use the Park4Night and iOverlander app or we find a remote place ourselves.
With the Park4Night app we find the most places in Europe. The iOverlander is often nice to meet other overlanders and especially in Africa the iOverlander app is very strong.
In addition, we are also moderators at iOverlander.
The name 'No Fear'
Inspired by fellow overlanders who often give their car a name, we have chosen NO FEAR!
This originated at the beginning of the corona time when many people were afraid of each other. That's not the way we're set up. We think in solutions and see everything as a challenge. We are not afraid. That does not mean that we are rash and naive, but that we put the challenge first.
Not a “no”, but “yes, provided”!
When you are on the road a lot, want to discover the world, ask questions and inquire about backgrounds, you will have to be proactive and enterprising and not afraid.
We travel to be able to go where we want in freedom every day, to live without an agenda, to think only about the present day. We admire beautiful landscapes from high mountains, and can see for miles without human influence getting in the way.
We are in the middle of other cultures and get to know special plants and animals. We travel because it enriches our lives and broadens our view. We see how people live differently in another country and that makes us have more respect for the ideas and opinions of our fellow man.
The poverty we sometimes see makes us realize even more how great our wealth is.
Also read: Personal development | 7 ways traveling makes you grow
Off to Africa
The desire to discover Africa is now very close. We have had enough time to prepare. Now it has to happen.
At the beginning of September we will get on the boat to Morocco to travel to southern Africa indefinitely. have visited Morocco before. We thought this was a very beautiful country and will again take plenty of time to experience this beautiful country.
We want to climb the Toubkal (4167 m, highest mountain in the Atlas Mountains and also in northern Africa) and do a lot of off-road driving in the desert. Then we will discover the real West Africa via Mauretanie and Senegal.
We have read about the different countries but will undoubtedly be faced with various (un)pleasant surprises. It is precisely these challenges that make traveling fun!
Safety is an important issue and a partly calculated risk. Being on our guard and informing the local population about current circumstances are one of those things that we find important. Corruption of customs officers and other official-looking persons is also a point of attention.
The roads are of a different quality to the European ones, but our 4×4 camper knows how to handle that.
Also very important is the availability of fuel, water, gas, car parts and food. We will have to calculate well in advance whether we have sufficient stock of the various supplies. And of course think about the consequences of a possible miscalculation.
Yes, life will not be as self-evident and organized as we are used to in Europe. That's the challenge!
Yes, that was a shame in Grindelwald.
Maybe we'll meet on our way to Asia!
Cor and Gretel
The camper is custom-made build by Dutchcampers, a company in the Netherlands.
No Fear Travel
Beautiful story, many similarities with us, just missed each other last year in Grindelwald Switzerland. only that we still have to endure the rat race for 6 months, then we will also travel for a longer time, postponed due to covid, but had time to prepare a lot and buy and put together car and cabin on a super deal. now last test drive for Silk Road and Pan -Doing Americana. Instagram.com/filipvandensteen
Who built the camper unit? Did you do it yourself? I am from Slovenia and I am looking for a similar setup but not a good builder. Hope you can help.