JeepMud Rigs From Around the World International Around the World Trip

This page is the beginning of a long term goal here at to circle the globe in a Jeep.  The tentative plan is to travel the world utilizing as much land as possible, avoiding boats and aircraft as much as possible.  This trip is in it's extremely early planning stage.  Any ideas or advice that you can lend would be greatly appreciated.  (

Step 1: Research
I have been inspired by others who have attempted to explore the world in this most basic way.  My first exposure to this type of an endeavor was the around the world trip of two Americans, Jim Rogers and his wife Paige, in a heavily modified Mercedes SLK/Gelaendewagen hybrid.  I followed his trip which was dubbed, the Millennium Tour, through his website.  Along with his wife and his custom Merc, he also was followed by a support staff of two men in a standard Mercedes Gelaendewagen.  Though clearly aided by seemingly endless resources and a ton of connections, a trip like this seemed like an attainable goal, one that is possible for a couple of guys like us.

His website detailed the things that are needed in order to get a trip like this started.  The first and most important thing that is needed is money.  This necessity is the foundation to any global trip.  For, I think we would need to investigate the possibilities of sponsorship.

Another inspiration for me (the site that actually inspired me to get this process going) was ihana.comTwo British friends (Tom and Barry) were tired of the daily grind in England and decided to take a trip to South America in a modified ex-MOD Land Rover Defender 110 panel truck.  They were not sponsored and footed the bill themselves.  (although I bet they wish they were)  What I was really impressed by was the way they did their trip.  There was no real game plan.  They knew where they were starting and that was enough.  You can tell that it was a great trip when they describe it as their trip as, "The story of wicked travels throughout Latin America".  For me, that is inspiring.  

Unlike Jim Rogers' trip, these guys did not look like they were sleeping at 5 star hotels and having gin and tonics while watching the polo match.  They were regular dudes who got dirty when needed and knew how to have fun.  Their website detailed everything from the best discos in South America, their favorite tracks they listened to along the way split up by music genre, and even a spread of some of the hot women they met along the way.  This trip was a lot closer to what I would envision our journey to be like.  You have to get by with your streets smarts and your wits; not your pocketbook.   

There are other things that I have thought would be necessary as well.  The most pressing thing is we would need to acquire is the ability to repair the vehicle ourselves.  We know our way around a toolbox, but no where near the knowledge we would need for a trip like this.  It would really put a kink in our trip if we were stuck in a remote area with a broken down truck.  I would suggest that a course in basic repair and upkeep of our vehicle is a must.

The most recent catalyst for my desire to do this trip was the book Long Way Down by Ewean McGregor and Charlie Boorman. They drove around the world on two BMW GS1150 motorcycles. They started in London and drove to New York over land except for the Bering Straight which was by airplane. This was one of the best books I have ever read. It showed that this endeavor can be completed with good planning, support, and dedication.

Step 2: Envisioning a vehicle
We started to talk about the best possible 4x4 to use to circle the globe.  The few rigs that we have in mind are the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the Land Rover Defender 110 and the Toyota Land Cruiser.  They would need to be heavily modified and fortified for the long trip.  We have tossed around ideas like a pop top, a kitchen, even bullet proof glass and minimal explosive protection.  Remember, the world is a dangerous place and we plan on crssing a large part of it.

After some research, there were two companies that I found that were the types of groups that we might need to hire to assist us in getting out rig together.  The first is called AEV Conversions.  They are based out of the USA in Montana.  They are an aftermarket company that heavily modifies Jeeps.  A great resource if we decide to go American.  The other is Mantec Services Ltd based out of the UK who upgrades Land Rovers, specifically Defenders.

Mantec Services U.K Ltd was established in 1989 as a family business. Their range of products were conceived and designed specifically for Land Rover vehicles based on their experience of preparing a Land Rover Defender 110 for independent overland travel. They gained a lot of insight on the requirements for this type of trip when they crossed the Sahara desert into Central and West Africa. Their designs and ideas for the first products were developed during and after this trip and has tried and tested on many expeditions following.

I also think that the best power plant for this trip is a diesel engine.  The majority of the world runs on diesel, especially the third world, and I believe this would be the most prudent choice.  

Step 3: Estimating expenses
The following numbers are very preliminary and are loosely based on a 1 year trip.

vehicle - $25,000 to $35,000
modifications - $5000 (lift, axels, suspension, winches, skid plates, armor, etc.)
shipping fees - $2000 (freight for moving the vehicle from continent to continent)
personal transit - $5000 (for us to jump from continent to continent)
living expenses - $10,000 (day to day expenses)

Step 4: Researching possible sponsors
e-mail us with ideas

Step 5: Start to plan the trip
The drive would start in Chicago and end in Chicago. Places that we would like to hit along the way is London, Cairo, Mongolia, as well as others to be determined.

More info to follow soon.  Please e-mail us if you have any ideas or suggestions.

page first created on 1/27/2005
edited on 2/1/2005

edited on 12/6/2008

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