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The Plan

There are several elements to a project like this and at first, it’s going to seem daunting. But remember what Buddha said? “How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time”. He didn’t, he was a vegetarian, however Chinese philosopher Lao Tze said “A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step”. Which is the same principal, and saves an elephant. Even a metaphorical one.

First step, understand what you want to do. If you haven’t read The Vision section yet, go and check that out, then come back here. Once you have your vision, you can break down the elements of any plan.

The actual travelling part comes at the end, when all the other stuff is achieved. So, you can leave that bit until later. However, part of building an Overland truck is understanding where you will be travelling through and to and therefore you will need to have completed that vision bit. Got that? 😊

Below are the basics you want to get laid out so you can plan. You may have come across them before, but if you use the 5 W’s. Who, what, when, where and why?


How many are travelling and who are they? Are you close, not so close? This will have an effect on your sleeping and bathroom arrangements.


What are you going for? Is there a secondary purpose? I read about one couple travelling who were going to pick plastic litter up off remote beaches so they built storage space for full recycling refuse bags.


Do you have a timeframe? How long have you given yourself to complete this plan, before you leave for foreign shores? However long it is, it won’t be enough. Apply Hofstadters Law* and build a contingency in. When also applies to where. Climates vary and don’t forget when you go South of the Equator, seasons reverse. Spring becomes Autumn and Summer becomes Winter etc. Great if you deliberately want to avoid one type of weather, not so great if you drive slap into rainy season.


Go high level for the time being. Concentrate on continents and climate. Remember you need only info for the build. Four season trucks will have more thermal insulation than three season trucks. If you build for three season only, it will be cheaper, but you are going to have issues in cold climates. 


I love Hofstadters Law. It’s tongue in cheek, like Murphy’s Law but it’s funny because it’s true.

Now you have a framework to build on and it will help guide your decisions. 

My plan was far off. Way over the horizon and involved downsizing my house when suddenly cheaper vehicles became available. Sure, they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. But then I didn’t need what I was looking for and nor could I afford it. At that point I was able to change the plan and everything aligned. Imagine juggling the tumblers on a lock and going round and round and then suddenly ‘click’ the tumblers line up, lock undoes and the door opens. 

This does sound like I’ve just contradicted my own advice further up the page, but without knowing where you are on the baseline, you can’t necessarily change the plan to meet any new parameters. If you get my meaning.

Anyway, once you know the truck you are looking for, you can begin to scope the living quarters plan. You can do this earlier but you will end up with so many variables. If you know your truck, you know the size you can put on the back. For more on that, go to THE BUILD section.  

I created the following plans to help me understand what I was dreaming up, and also to keep track of costs. It’s important (unless you are so rich you don’t care) to keep an eye on costs because there are so many facets, you will very quickly ramp up costs. E.g. I’ve already spent £750 on vehicle shipping fees moving Rosie twice because I don’t have a licence. It costs £1200 and a week’s holiday off work to get the licence.

Attached are blank versions of spreadsheet templates that I made one for tracking costs and one for plans. I’ve done them in open format in case you don’t have MS Excel. To be honest anything works that can add up. And for plans, it’s basically electronic squared paper with coloured sections.  

You can also use 3D engineering modelling such as AUTOCAD, freeware such as sketchup, or there is a specific van one out there. I was lucky in that a member of our owners’ group was a CAD expert and mocked these up for me and they were a godsend as they enabled me to see where I would need to put things and where important things like water tanks would fit.  

Download Cost tracker & Plans Spreadsheets

Trip Planning

Apologies if you came here looking for trip planning tips but this needs a section all of its own and right now, it’s simply a high-level list from The Vision section. 

Eventually that will begin to get split down in to more detail. For instance, the ferry from Denmark to Iceland goes via the Faroe Islands. And you can stop off either on the way there, or on the way back from Iceland at no extra cost. But right now, I have no idea how feasible that is. I mean I would love to go and see the place but when depends on when I leave and when the ferry goes etc etc.

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