3 Things you think you need in your Expedition Truck, but …

Considering buying or building an Expedition Truck? Then you want to think twice about making room for these 3 things.

But before we tell you more about them, you might wonder how did this top 3 list came to existence?

We’ve been around a lot of people who are planning their dream expedition truck and who’ve traveled with their expedition truck. We noticed 3 things people strongly believed they needed in their Expedition Truck, but eventually confessed (rather reluctantly) it was a waste of money and space. 

Although we can’t tell you what you need, and you likely strongly disagree with this list now … we did warn you. 

Bathroom sink

Having a bathroom sink in your expedition truck simply because you are used to it at home or because it is what others do, is not to the smartest thing to do. 

Space is premium in an expedition truck. 

A bathroom sink in any overland vehicle or camper, takes up proportionally a large amount of space. Additionally it requires extra supplies that need to be purchased and extra time to install it all. 

As an end result you will have a sink – in a now cramped bathroom space – that is likely too small to wash you’re hands in without making all the rest wet. And good luck with brushing your teeth without getting sticky toothpaste on the faucet. 

Once you hit the road, you will then miraculously discover that when you take 2 steps further you have a far more comfortable and fully functional sink in your more airy kitchen. Bye bye bathroom sink. 

Generator

Most Expedition Trucks today have their roof covered in solar panels. If you have not thought about this yet, put it on the top of your “MUST BE INSTALLED” list. 

And when you plan your electrical system and usage right, 99% of the time you don’t need anything else. 

Thus, for the 1% of the situations you might want a back-up plan. When we started the build of truck our first thought was, like many others, to purchase a generator and make some room for it somewhere. But then it hit us. Those generators make a lot of noise. So imagine yourself wild camping at a magnificent, deserted spot:

Expedition Truck-Sea side Romania -Overland Travel-Terratrotter
  1. Sunny days

    When the sun is shining your solar panels charge your batteries. No need for a generator then. Except when you insisted on having an air conditioning in your truck, that you want to run longer than an hour. To enjoy the AC, you need to move inside the truck instead of staying outside enjoying the wonderful scenery. On top, you will now no longer hear the birds and the leafs, but the less tranquil noise of your generator. You can say goodbye to stealth camping. And when you do have some other vehicles camping next to you, they will not appreciate you running your noisy and smelly generator. Thus, when having an AC running in your truck is absolutely a necessity (but please do check out first how others manage to get agreeable temperatures in their home on wheels), we advice you to move to a campsite and plug into the mains.  
  2. Rainy days

    But what if the sun is not shining for several days, and your heating system is requiring more electrical juice. Then you still have several options:
    • You hit a campsite or any other place where you can hook up your truck to the mains until your batteries are topped off again.
    • You install a battery combiner like we did. This connects the batteries in your living unit to the starter batteries. When the truck’s alternator is running it can also charge your household batteries. Thus, go for a drive (or less ideal let your truck run stationary) and your batteries are in no time fully charged. 

Additional Tip: Make sure that you have several ways to heat up the water in your boiler/calorifier (also while driving). This will way you will never run out of warm water. 

1200liter fuel but only 120l water

We have seen it, an expedition truck boosted to have the capacity to take on 1200L of fuel but hardly any water (1/10 of it). That really makes sense …not. 

Nowadays it is easier to get fuel than clean drinking water. Not convinced yet?

Then let us ask you the following questions:  Right at this moment where is the closest place where you can fuel up your vehicle? How long did it take you to come up with an answer? If you are in an unfamiliar place your GPS will mostly likely helped you. However, when we ask you where it the closest public place (so not at your home or acquaintances) where can you fill up your water tanks with clean drinking water? How long did it take you to find an answer now. Many will eventually come up with a campsite as an answer. Now, is this campsite open during off-season? 

There is also another reason why you might want to rethink you fuel vs water supply. When you’re wild camping at beautiful spot, you don’t (or barely) consume fuel, but the water level in your tanks will drop. You really don’t want to be in the situation where you have to pack up and leave that special and beautiful spot to look for water. And yes many do have filtration systems that could supply a remote village for a year with clean drinking water, but never use it. 

So do you really need that much diesel? What if instead you use some of that space and weight for water and food supplies. It will give you definitely more time to actually enjoy your travels and surroundings. 

Happy Travels!
Nicole & Elmer


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9 thoughts on “3 Things you think you need in your Expedition Truck, but …
  1. Thank you for the tips, these are always useful.

    To assist, please check Top in 3rd para “…… it was a waist of money and space” it should be “waste” 🙂

  2. Hi Nicole and Elmer,some very good points there, we have a tip up sink in our bathroom which I hate I’ve never been a fan of them. If we are staying in a remote area I take a bowl of water outside to get washed in, we also have an external shower that I make use off complete with blown air heater vent to keep you warm when getting dried off.
    I hate generators as they are too noisy.
    In the next few weeks we’ll be getting a larger water tank made and fitted in the van as the present one is too small.
    We never carry a tv or a microwave, and we don’t have an air con system.
    We hope that you are both fit and well?

    1. Hi Barry,

      Good plan of instilling a larger water tank. You will not regret it.
      We’re doing both well. Many projects in the pipeline. And we still plan to do some traveling in between 🙂
      Hope the two of you are doing well too!

      Nicole & Elmer

  3. very good school of taught……which comes from experience

    Thank you for sharing Nicole and Elmer …. have you sold your truck ?

    Still waiting fro Krug to complete my Project

    1. We hope that the waiting time is not too long anymore. Or convince them to sell the truck to another buyer, and hit the road with ours. You still have a chance to purchase it 😀

  4. We are in the USA and here most, if not all, motor homes come with a generator and AC. Why? Is a good question. Many of the campers are campground queens. They don’t really stay off the grid. They only time they are unhooked is when they travel from one campground to and other.
    When we started to rebuild our van camper we ran into the very stuff that Nicole talked about. Why do we need a sink in the shower area. With 300 watts of solar panels, we really to never use the gen set that came with the coach. We also can charge our house batteries with the engine running if we need to.
    I would add one point to Nicole’s list to keep in mind, Weight! This is one point many forget or ignore. Weight even if you are running a with 10,000K carrying capacity will bite you in the end. Weight is fuel cost, weight is limiting as to where you can go. Try crossing an old bridge on a back road made from old timber that use to only carry horse carriages now you what to drive a 10,000K coach over it? How good is you insurance?
    I’ve seen overlandes carrying TVs, stereos bigger than you would find in many homes. OH, if you think the sound of a generator is bad, try having to hear head banging sound for 24 hours at 65 decibels.
    Let’s add the four wheeler and the skis. Then the bikes, hand glider, and the one meter long outdoor grill.
    To sum up, I agree with Nicole, you really have to think hard about why are you out there in the wild and what do you “Really” need in you rig.

  5. Good summery. Agree to most of your points accept less volume for fuel. Space for fuel help you to be more economical when it comes to different prices along your trip. Picking up cheap fuel to overcome regions which are expensive will save a lot of money. Cheers Roland

  6. Our rig == 1997 Ford CF8000 ExpeditionVehicle.
    Our situation == boondock exclusively since 2003.

    We share our time between Baja Mexico and Oregon. We schedule our travels to look around RecreationVehicle shows and RecreationVehicle rallies on the way.

    In our limited experience of only a few decades of full-timing, we experienced American RecreationVehicles with three sinks. Why stop there? Another two could be fit someplace.

    If a RVers’ goal is to replace the cat-lady from the front-page of the daily fishwrap, an even half-dozen sinks ought to put them in the running.

    I know they get my vote.

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