Go time!

We dedicated the last month to getting ready for the Mongol Rally. There was enough time as we knew for a year we’d be going and had a lot of conversation what and how to do it.

The biggest question was space. Our Pierre isn’t the smallest car in the world, but is also far from being the biggest. This usually wouldn’t be a problem, but this time we’d have quite a lot of stuff with us. It’s good to have more than one spare wheel, and some additional fuel storage wouldn’t hurt us. We decided to get a roof rack. But what should it be shaped as?

The conventional choice would be a rooftop cargo carrier. They are easily obtainable, they come in all shapes and sizes and are quite durable. But anyone can buy one. I wanted to have something different on our roof. After a short deliberation two things came to mind. Barrels and waste bins. We didn’t have any suitable barrels at our disposal. The waste bins are a different story. They are absolutely everywhere. We tried two out in no time.

Planning

The roof rack planning started immediately. The first drafts were very complicated. I thought the fabrication could cost a fortune as I wanted the rack to be made out of aluminium. Which I cannot weld. I can’t really weld anything, but at least I had access to the welding equipment. But this equipment was not suitable for aluminium welding. That’s why the roof rack design evolved constantly. In the end we decided to go down the basket shaped route.

The shape, however, was only the beginning. We still had to find someone willing to weld it. It took a lot of time. After a couple of months, I found a local company which was willing to take on this huge task. And it all took so long, we only had a month until the start.

This was just one of the thing that took longer than expected. And it was quite the same with everything else. We wanted to have a roof bag, fog lights, additional headlights, camping stuff…

Well, you get the idea. A lot of stuff to do or get, and the time was just flying by.

Our non-existent experience also meant we had quite a few problems. Let’s take the additional front lamps as an example. They required additional wiring, switches, brackets and setup. Each and every step took longer than expected.

Switches

And when everything was finally completed the test showed a problem. The lamps did a great job lighting the road, but they also lit up our dashboard. Which is great for the night camera shots, but unfortunately it meant we didn’t really see out of the car. Which makes additional lamp kind of pointless, doesn’t it? The troubleshooting took some additional time.

Then there were some other things to do. The cargo net needed to be fabricated, Pierre needed some TLC, we needed to buy basically everything. Oh, and the paperwork wasn’t finished at all. And we had one whole week before we needed to set off.

There were also some unforeseen events. Just before the start our Pierre started crying. Coolant, of course. The parts have arrived 3 days before the start and I was still working on the issue on the day of our departure.

Mateja spent the whole last week shopping. She was roaming around Slovenia for 4 days searching for the things we needed. I was really happy she’s a part of the team.

Also, our parents were helping a lot for which we are grateful indeed.

Departure

A gorgeous Saturday, 20.7.2019, finally arrived. A huge pile of spare parts was still waiting, and all the other stuff was still unsorted.

The day was intense, the packing was interesting. And it took a lot of time to sort and pack. The planned departure time came… And went. I didn’t want to rush as we had plenty of time on our hands. We needed to arrive at the start line after 12:00 the next day.

More or less ready we set off just after 15:00. We set off on this trip, on this adventure, on the Mongol Rally.

Roof rack on paper
Roof rack mount
USB chargers and voltage meter

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