Camperized off-road vehicles: advantages and tips for travel and adventures, Morocco

Pubblicato il: 08 May 2024

How to perfectly camperize an off-road vehicle for your next road trip? Read the travel diary of Alessandro and Elena from "Viaggiatori su ruote"


  • Vehicle: Mitsubishi Pajero 1995 nickname "Herbie"
  • Pakelo Travellers: Alessandro Lorieri, Elena Santucci
  • Ages: Alessandro 33, Elena 31
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Jobs: Mechanic and Nail Educator
  • IG: @viaggiatorisuruote
  • YouTube: @viaggiatorisuruote
  • Special Traits: Alessandro is as precise and pernickety as only a Virgo can be. Elena is perpetually indecisive, but with clear ideas.

9 stages in 22 days (20 December – 6 January), through Morocco with an old but restored 1995 Mitsubishi Pajero. Covering a total of about 2,000 km between the desert and the old Paris-Dakar tracks.

van 4x4 viaggiatori su ruote_marocco

Morocco with a camperized off-road vehicle: the travel diary of "viaggiatori su ruote"

E: The idea for this trip was born in early 2023, to restore our dear old Herbie, a 1995 Mitsubishi Pajero, to then head to Morocco.
We choose the destination by ticking off a long bucket list we wrote some time ago. Based on the available time and the season, we adapt the best destination. Creating a good itinerary is not easy and especially not quick. We took about a month to organize it. Usually, this style of travel is not expensive; often, you sleep ‘freely’ so you don’t pay for accommodations. For this reason, we can classify it as a low-cost trip, but there may be unforeseen expenses regarding vehicle maintenance.

We embark in Genoa, and after about three days we find ourselves on the coasts of Morocco at Tanger Med. The first stop where we spend a couple of days is Chefchaouen, better known as the Blue City. We get lost among its countless colourful alleys and begin to savour the first scents of the place. After a day of driving, we manage to reach Fes, a city famous for its tanneries. We pass through Ifrane, also called the little Switzerland and considered the cleanest city in the world, then Midelt, and continue to descend until late evening when we reach the Jurassique kasbah where the fantastic host Zahid welcomes us with open arms. Zahid reveals to us the presence of a road that would take us to a panoramic point with a breathtaking view overlooking the gorge between the mountains. Finally, we start some off-road kilometres. After enjoying this fantastic place, we head south, and after driving all afternoon, we stop for the night at the gates of Erfoud. We cover the last kilometres that separate us from Merzouga, passing through Carcel Portuguesa, to the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Since it’s Christmas Eve, we decide to spend these festive days right there at the edge of the desert before starting to travel a track that would take us to Zagora.

After the holidays, it’s time to start the eagerly awaited stage, a track of about 180 km that would take us from Merzouga to near Zagora. The track is quite well known, since it’s also a stretch covered by the famous Paris Dakar rally. The landscapes are wonderful and the track is fun to drive through: from the fech-fech on the river banks to sandy stretches, not to mention rocky stretches too. We manage to cover about 20/30 km a day; the track also offers stretches of well-beaten sand where we manage to reach speeds of 70/80 km/h, and driving at those speeds on sand, even if beaten, is pure fun! The terrain changes constantly, turning into a proper stony ground that forces us to drastically reduce speed, and to cover those few kilometres that separate us from Zagora, it takes us most of the day. After the last night spent driving towards Tangier, with light rain, we board the ferry and bid farewell to Morocco!



  • How much money do you need for a camperized off-road trip in Morocco?

E: We have been travelling this way for several years now and we know how to manage ourselves quite well. Every time we leave, we track all expenses and at the end of the trip, we sum them up. Depending on kilometres travelled, etc., we need about €35/50 per day all-inclusive. But since we know very well that these trips are not without their surprises, to be able to cover any inconvenience, when we set a budget for a particular trip, we always consider the maximum daily expenditure multiplied by two. For example, for our 22-day trip to Morocco, we had estimated a budget of €2500, but in reality, we spent only €1160.

  • Which stops would you consider must-sees?

E e A: Those who know us know that we don’t love cities, but one cannot deny the charm of Chefchaouen (the Blue City) and Fes. But what will truly remain forever in our memories and what we recommend not to miss for those who love this style of travel – and not just them – is surely the marvel that nature offered us, starting from Erg Chebbi which, although small, offers some worthy dunes; the track where we spent 3 consecutive days that took us from Merzouga to Zagora; and let’s not forget the Middle and High Atlas mountain range with its very generous extension. Seeing is believing!

  • How did you prepare your Mitsubishi Pajero?

A: The maintenance part before departure is always as scrupulous as possible. We try to use high-quality products to minimize any mechanical problem. Knowing that we were going to face rough and sandy terrain, we focused on everything that could receive the greatest stress. For tires, we chose BF Goodrich All Terrain, and I must say that even while travelling very inflated on sand, with the car fully loaded, they had excellent grip. We replaced a good part of the front end (heads, tie rods, linkages), checked the bearings and the various CV joint boots. Luckily, the suspension set-up was still in excellent conditions, so we didn’t have to replace anything. Although the vehicle was in perfect conditions at the start, as a precaution, we took along a spare wheel bearing, some heads, linkages – which over the years we understood are the most subject to wear – alternator and pump belts, a diesel filter, and an oil filter. Obviously, along with the spare parts we always carry with us many tools so that we can work autonomously on the vehicle at any time. Before leaving, I always check or change all the oils and antifreeze. Even though the oils weren’t very old, for this trip, where the use of the 4x4 transmission even for long distances was essential, I preferred to replace them all for peace of mind. Starting from the front and rear differentials, passing through the gearbox and the reducer, of course the engine as well, all replaced with Pakelo oils conforming to the specifications of the manufacturer. Last but not least, we also flushed and recharged the entire cooling system with Pakelo Red Coolant coolant/antifreeze.


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