Raised on the Road
Lots of us dream about selling up all we own getting away from the rat race and hitting the road for a couple of years of adventure. But very few of us actually bite the bullet and go and do it. Last year a young French family recently sold everything they owned bought a Land Rover Defender and decided to go and do just that. Introducing Clem and Jill and their two children Martin aged six and Rose aged four oh ya and the family’s two Golden Retriever dogs who were not going to be left behind for this trip of a lifetime.
After selling their belongings back in France the first step in the preparation for this trip was to source a vehicle that would make this adventure possible and one that would become their home for the foreseeable future.
Making Dreams Come True
The vehicle of choice was a 2007 Land Rover Defender 130 TD4. This big 4WD is a double cab 4-door pick-up with a permanent all-wheel and a manually locked centre differential. With a 6-speed gearbox and plenty of space to store equipment and gear this was the perfect choice to go a explore the world.
With support from sponsors including Euro4x4parts and Bearmach work began on preparing this vehicle for the adventures ahead. Jill and Clem added a canopy, a tent, a kitchen and everything a family would need for such an expedition.
A big part of preparing for this trip was for the family to be as self sufficient as possible so they could comfortably wild camp for days on end in remote locations be it in the Amazon Jungle or in the deserts of the Bolivian Altiplano.
So when preparing the vehicle special attention was given to being able to carry plenty of water and having the correct electrical system that would give remote power when in the middle of nowhere.
Faire le choix d’un véhicule tout terrain signifie également une envie de liberté, de pouvoir aller ou on le souhaite comme se “perdre” dans les déserts de l’altiplano bolivien, se coincer dans la jungle amazonienne, camper une semaine dans le désert d’Atacama !
Nous avions ce désir d’indépendance, de pouvoir partir seul dans des paysages désertiques pendant plusieurs jours… Cette indépendance implique des réservoirs d’eaux, de nourriture et surtout un système électrique autonome.
Nous reviendrons plus tard sur les réservoirs d’eau et notre stock de nourriture.
The guys added a 140w monocrystalline solar panel with a charge regulator MPTT which would top up their onboard batteries.They stored their energy in a 200AH gel battery which proved to be a perfect solution for their needs.The main accessory on board that needed to be running continuously was the onboard fridge freezer, they also built in 3 LED lights and a couple of USB ports so the 200Ah battery was plenty big to fulfill all of their power needs.
The family’s journey started out in Argentina before heading on to Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador & Colombia, the objective is to reach Alaska by August 2019.
As part of their journey they have set up a youtube channel where you can follow their progress YouTube.com/raisedontheroad. It is in French but all you need to do is turn on the subtitles function.
An Incredible Journey
As highlighted by Clem and Jill ‘’It has been an incredible adventure so far.. we love discovering new places and beautiful people along the way ’’. ‘’A key objective for us on this adventure was to show our children the world and discover new cultures, and we are doing just that’’. But as highlighted by Clem and Jill this new found freedom has come with a financial cost. The first 6 months of the journey saw the family explore six countries in South America and travel approximately 16,000km. The Land Rover performed pretty well considering the rough terrain encountered in South America. The average fuel consumption was about 11 litres per 100km which is what Jill and Clem budgeted for and having met other travellers on the road they highlighted that this fuel consumption seemed ok in comparison to other vehicles.
Unfortunately the guys had one collision on the road with another vehicle that thankfully resulted in no injuries.
Like everything, else you can only do so much planning, and despite the efforts put in to trying to budget for a trip as big as this, things don’t always work out the way you envisaged. Clem and Jill explained that the first three months of travelling ended up being a lot more expensive than originally anticipated mainly due to circumstance that were out of their control.
Within the first 3 months they spent nearly €9,000, the first issue was that the ship that was bringing the Land Rover to Argentina ended up being one month late and as a result the family had to rent a vehicle for weeks, also because the vehicle had their accommodation attached to it (Rooftop tent) they ended up having to pay for alternative accommodation which was also not built into their budget.
Thankfully things started to improve during the second three months of the trip where the family were able to reduce their daily living expense to just €38 per day. It just goes to show that things that are out of your control like the delay in the shipping of their vehicle can put a big dent into your budget.
It is also worth noting that the first two countries visited, Argentina and Chile are the most expensive in South America.
Despite a few mishaps along the way, this is a trip is more than living up to its expectations, so far the family have walked with huge turtles in the Galapagos Islands, reached the heights of the Cajas National Park, explored Patagonia, visited Machu Picchu and much much more.
And with the first leg of their journey now nearly complete its time to prepare for North American and the final destination Alaska. We love hearing stories about these family adventures, you can follow their Clem, Jills, Martins and Roses adventures by visiting their website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
sponsors include Euro4x4parts and Bearmach.
The online euro4x4parts catalogue easily allows you to select the precise 4X4 part you need, avoiding unnecessary returns. Euro4X4parts prides itself on service but also on quality rebuild kits including brakes, transmission, steering, engines, axles, and swivels to name but a few.