They already had a VOLVO C303 built in 1976; a great machine that started life as a military vehicle in Sweden. It can still be spotted on beaches in the Netherlands, being used by beachcombers. That says it all: light, reliable and not afraid to get knee-deep in water.

 

On the road in a travel box

Martine and Andrew Hoogenboom were introduced to Twiga at a Belgian meeting back in 2013. "We wanted to build a camper van that was not too big, under 3500 kg, and that was suitable for use on off-road terrain. Not one of those heavy-duty monsters you see so many of here." They already had a VOLVO C303 built in 1976; a great machine that started life as a military vehicle in Sweden. It can still be spotted on beaches in the Netherlands, being used by beachcombers. That says it all: light, reliable and not afraid to get knee-deep in water.

The process

Andrew is a keen DIYer with very specific requirements for his 'travel box' on wheels. So the drawings flew back and forth between him and Twiga. A low centre of gravity and low weight were essential to the design. This was a challenging aspect from which Andrew and Twiga learned a lot. Andrew opted for bamboo panels for the cupboard doors due to the beautiful structure and relatively lightweight material. Andrew is tall, so a folding roof was an obvious choice. Of course it has a sub-frame made by Twiga with two front suspension points and one rear suspension point. He has worked his magic with this suspension, something we wouldn't recommend to anyone. The photos speak for themselves: on cross-country terrain in Budel, this VOLVO proved to be an excellent off-roader. The collaboration was a success: the flexibility of the builders combined with Andrew's skills resulted in an exceptional vehicle.

The journey

Andrew (1971) and Martine (1974) carried out a few small scouting missions and took to the road in Africa in 2016 and 2017, to the admiration of everyone. They began in South Africa and then moved on to Namibia and Botswana. The plan was then to travel to Kenya and possibly Ethiopia. Wherever the sun took them, until their money or enthusiasm ran out. Sounds very familiar. ļ The vehicle. The VOLVO has a three-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine located in the middle of the vehicle, just behind the front axle. The fact that the living unit can be tilted is therefore very convenient, in case work needs to be done on the engine. Because the vehicle is equipped with portal axles, it has an enormous amount of free floor space, totalling about 40 cm! One very characteristic feature is that the driver's windscreen can be folded up, allowing insects and dust to enter. And of course the cool breeze! It has two fuel tanks of 120 litres each and two water tanks of 80 litres each. All in all, it has a weight of 3300 kg! What a beaut! You can follow their journey on www.4x4travelbox.nl. We eagerly follow them and every other ambassador.

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