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Old 10-14-2007, 10:56 AM   #1
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2009 African Caravan

There are some thoughts blowing around Airstream at Jackson Center, Ohio for a 50th anniversary of Wally Byam's African caravan from Cape Town, Union of South Africa to Cairo, Egypt adventure. This could involve as many as 50 Airstream trailers (probably fewer, but hey... 50th/50 trailers OK?).

This is preliminary. More in the gossip overheard department, but it is in the hands of the Airstream and Thor executives as of earlier October. There is more to just a group of trailers being towed on good, bad and terrible roads. There are tow vehicles, gasoline, repairs, contacts from one area to another, water supplies, medical contacts, etc. etc. etc. Does this whet your appetite for a trip... six months was thrown around, but today it could be done with much less time for traveling and... of course poking around the country side.

Those real Rockdockers out there need to contact Airstream and push for this ultimate adventure of a lifetime. The Wally Byam CD shows the 1959 caravan in a tour guide's eye, but trust me, there is a need for those with off road experience. You would have to have the "free time" for a three to six month perilous life time adventure here guys.

When details are or ever ironed out between those putting money up front in this world adventure... what next? Mongolia. China. Australia? There will be a need for experienced out backers, rockdockers and bushwackers to infilitrate the asphalt travlers on a trip of this magnitude. No grease under those finger nails... next.

Airstream trailers. A world known tow vehicle. Maps. Detail planners. Rockdockers and Boondockers united to survive a trip of a lifetime. Am I interested? Are you interested? Damn right... but the dogs have to come.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
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This is a 9,000 mile trip as estimated by reliable sources. Any African trailer experience out there? Hello.... Hello.... What ARE the roads like on eastern African terrain? American Embassy help? Any suggestions?
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund
There are some thoughts blowing around Airstream at Jackson Center, Ohio for a 50th anniversary of Wally Byam's African caravan from Cape Town, Union of South Africa to Cairo, Egypt adventure. This could involve as many as 50 Airstream trailers (probably fewer, but hey... 50th/50 trailers OK?).

This is preliminary. More in the gossip overheard department, but it is in the hands of the Airstream and Thor executives as of earlier October. There is more to just a group of trailers being towed on good, bad and terrible roads. There are tow vehicles, gasoline, repairs, contacts from one area to another, water supplies, medical contacts, etc. etc. etc. Does this whet your appetite for a trip... six months was thrown around, but today it could be done with much less time for traveling and... of course poking around the country side.

Those real Rockdockers out there need to contact Airstream and push for this ultimate adventure of a lifetime. The Wally Byam CD shows the 1959 caravan in a tour guide's eye, but trust me, there is a need for those with off road experience. You would have to have the "free time" for a three to six month perilous life time adventure here guys.

When details are or ever ironed out between those putting money up front in this world adventure... what next? Mongolia. China. Australia? There will be a need for experienced out backers, rockdockers and bushwackers to infilitrate the asphalt travlers on a trip of this magnitude. No grease under those finger nails... next.

Airstream trailers. A world known tow vehicle. Maps. Detail planners. Rockdockers and Boondockers united to survive a trip of a lifetime. Am I interested? Are you interested? Damn right... but the dogs have to come.
This has been discussed at some length, here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f347...van-24626.html and here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...etown+to+cairo and here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f347...etown+to+cairo

Bill
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:07 AM   #4
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There have been several threads on this topic before.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...van-36850.html
is a good one that deals with the risks involved.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f347...van-24626.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...ion-31388.html
are others.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
There have been several threads on this topic before.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f288...van-36850.html
is a good one that deals with the risks involved.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f347...van-24626.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f286...ion-31388.html
are others.
Richard,

I beat you by four minutes. You just need to type faster.

Bill
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:31 AM   #6
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Fire up the Thread

Thank you for directing me to the prior posting of 2006. I was disappointed to see that the last posting was some time ago.

Using used, refurbished trailers is nonsense. Airstream would use ten days of production time to "crank out" the Safari Traveler trailer. Axles with the 12 inch disc brakes, 15 inch wheels and tires, solar panels, NO air conditioner/microwave and other unnecessary appliances that use 110 or 220 volt hookups.

You are correct in using 16 foot to 25 foot trailers is a tested reality to off road travel. We know. We do it, but the majority of enthusiasts have not tried crossing a culvert made for a pickup in a 25 foot trailer... ever. It is an art, not for the unexperienced. Even the US Army trained its helicopter pilots before using a Huey in combat. Somehow you must weed out those people with enthusiasm and match them with a hard knuckle traveler into the back country. The chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Ask those who climb K2 or Mount Everest... or a 14teener in Colorado. You can die if not prepared for the 20% of real off road travel.

Airstream and the tow vehicle supplier will get millions of dollars of advertising and public relations kudos. The participants supply their time, experience and lives doing this caravan. Travel to Cape Town and from Cairo would be paid by the participant. Sponsors would cover the equipment, contacts and ultimate corporate self interest to see that this is successful. Food, clothing, gasoline, maps, embassy assistance to iron out details from country to country... provided.

The status would elevate the sponsors. Satellite video conferences. Web site exposure... live conversations. It may only be an adventure in those minds seeing Africa as mostly third world without roads is not true. This would be a cake walk compared to 1959. Of course the Congo and Ethiopian deserts probably are close to the 1959 reality.

One forum thread, a dozen, a hundred to various sponsors would be needed to get corporations interested. Shake the trees and see what nuts fall out. Myself included. The world is not the same as it was in 1959. Politics is a rougher road to travel than the desert shifting sands that can swallow your trailer. 2009 will be here before you know what is happening. I think it may be too late to pull a stubborn Missouri Mule out of its prone position before it is too late. We participants are the ACTORS and stunt personnel. Not the supporters of corporations that will benefit very much for a successful and interesting promotion and testing of equipment and materials. Lets PUSH, PUSH, PUSH.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:39 AM   #7
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Some Capetown to Cairo participants are involved here, but the enrollment & organization is coordinated elsewhere. There is a lot of planning going on and I get bits of info periodically about them talking to the factory -- not enough to tell you accurately. Maybe one of them will pipe in...
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:45 AM   #8
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Amazed

Does anyone have a picture of a flamingo with its' head in the sand?

I have looked on the State Dept. Web Site on travel. No pictures but plenty of leads.
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique (a personal favorite), Kenya, and who could forget Uganda; and...., of course the Triad of Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:48 AM   #9
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Personal safety is not what it was in the 50s a lot more people do not like us since then. We probably need to do somethaing about this as a nation. (that is only political things you will see me say) A caravan of flashy American trailers through poor countries is not an ambasador type trip but a huge potential for kidnapping.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:00 PM   #10
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For more info listen to episode 42 at theVAP.com. It sounds like a lot of caravanning clubs make the trip every year. The VAP discussion does get into safety.
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund
Thank you for directing me to the prior posting of 2006. I was disappointed to see that the last posting was some time ago.

Using used, refurbished trailers is nonsense....
hi ray....

nice 2 read your enthusiasm traveler!

we update this public thread as needed and when time is available...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f347...n-24626-3.html

the last post was just a few weeks ago.

it's time to try the search function BEFORE posting duplicate or incorrect info.

also this thread is in the wrong place. the trip ISN't a rally and it ISN't a wb' event...

it's an 'international' caravan... and there is a entire sub forum for worldwide travel issues...

Global 'streaming - Airstream Trailer & Motorhome Community

IF you are interested in going there are a very few openings so contact me or others ON the trip.

since EVERY thread on this topic decays (as this 1 has already) into how dangerous and dumb and unwelcome, blah, blah blah...

virtually NO ONE going cares to debate this crap any more....

we ARE informed, we are aware, we get the risks and we've moved on...

myself and others will occasionally post into the public linked thread noted above.

but not into every new thread on the same debate.

some new units, some old units, some argosy units will make up the chain.

given trip expenses, the cost of a NEW trailer, INSURANCE, shipping twice universally compatible PARTS and so on...

suggesting 'only new trailers' might also be "nonsense" so getta grip rock man...

and again IF you'd like to go or learn more about going contact me or other ccc caravanners.

cheers
2air'

the vap episode on the trip is a very informative intro, so go there and download and listen!
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:19 PM   #12
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How far South do you need to go?

Hello Zair,
Please send me an email at eklundray@earthlink.net

It is easy for those "in the know" to point out what is happening. Look at it this way, I posted and I DID get some immediate answers. If I had time, I could search the web, forums or all organizations that might be involved in a venture of this kind.

I think you have answered many others' questions.
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