Doutzen Cruiser

Who is she?

Our model. Our pride. Our lovely. Our precious. Picked up in Germany for only 900 euro, so she could bring us from Holland to South-Africa, this girl aids us in our quest for a brighter world. Being a Volkswagen Transporter from the year of 1984, this van needs some quality time now and then, but we’re happy to give her that in return of our save passage across the world. Because we are three healthy young men, it’s not strange that our supermodel is named after that other Frisian supermodel.

Facts, modifications and equipment

Doutzen is perfectly shaped consisting of:

  • Volkswagen Transporter type 3
  • Building year: 1984
  • Color: Orange
  • Engine: Diesel 1600cc
  • Camper edition, including 2 stove kitchen, table, refrigerator, and loads of storage space.
  • She contained a toilet, but who wants to shit in the living room?
  • She had a 60 liter watertank, impractical placed below the car.

To get to Africa with a little bit of luxoury, we added the following things:

  • Bookshelves, as an imperial to put stuff on the back
  • Helping springs at the back,
  • 220v power supply, to feed the laptops and chargers
  • Luggage-rack, custom build in Egypt for 25 euro’s
  • Inhouse entertainment system, a pair of Bose speakers gives enough sound
  • Third front seat, don’t leave anyone in the back
  • Water filter, although not used so far

To keep her going on the road, we brought some spare parts:

  • Alternator
  • Water pump
  • Start engine
  • Belts
  • Water hoses
  • Second spare tire
  • 70 liter of spare diesel tanks
  • Oil and fuel filters
  • Chain crane 2ton, you never know
  • ..and plenty of tools to fit it all together

Ups and downs

Dripping acid - 26 feb, Ethiopia, 16500 km

Only 1 minute is our second battery able to hold on to his power and give power to our laptop when the engine is off. The acid was out of our kitchen battery, somehow a hole was covered with tape to prevent it from leaking. We placed a bold with rubber and glue, and hopefully it won’t leak again.

Mysterious leaking  fluids - 16 feb, Sudan, 15300 km

Unknown was it when liquid came below the pedals. After two days of driving and refilling brake fluid safety wasn’t guarantied, so by further examination it seemed to be the clutch pedal-cylinder. After two pairs of rubbers, a lot of spilled fluid, professional help and three days later we found out it leaked again. After giving up we loaded with a big bottle new fluid and decided to go further with a leakage. Two days after it stopped leaking and the reservoir stays on the right good level. Mysterious!

Screaming electricity, no handbrake - 16 feb, Sudan. 15300 km

After filling up the water system, the motor was started to de-air the system. A screaming sound came from the alternator, for us reason enough to take out the heart of the electric power

Steaming again - 16 feb, Sudan, 15300 km

While repairing the break fluid leakage, we had the engine running for electricity and music. Then another water hose gave up. Again a burst at the clamp, what we had fixed in a wink of an eye.

Gasping for air - 1 feb Sudan, 14800 km

For the first time this trip we found out that our homemade dust prevention didn’t work proper, the main filter was stacked.

Steaming - 2 feb, Sudan, 14700 km

While eating dust and driving slow through the dessert one of the hoses bursted next to the clamb. In the burning sun the whole car needed to be unpacked for Her treat.

Getting robbed - 24 jan, Egypt, 13300 km

Doutzen got to much attention in Cairo. A fool tried to get to her without love and care and smashed the small window in the right front. Nothing has been reported stolen and a piece of cardboard does a quick fix.

One week later we custom-cut a brand new piece of glass for her. Not being safety glass we won’t expect an accident.

She’s got the jack - 5 jan, Egypt, 13100 km

Somehow between Greece and Israel we lost the jack. Although a jack ain’t hard to find, only one kind of jack is right for our top model. Not settling with less we finally found a Mercedes jack which fits like a glove.

Black day, total loss - 19 dec. till 23 dec, Egypt, 11900 km

Totally shocked like it seemed the end of our precious and trip. A sleeping Arab in a Mercedes 200E didn’t paid attention and rammed his front in our precious. Screaming and grinding came Doutzen to an hold, looking without a left side into the dark and endless Sinai desert. The police and insurance wouldn’t really help at 1 o’clock in the morning and we paid 100 euro to toe her to Suez, the closest city at 300km distance.

Local craftsmanship and good use of a hammer and a blowtorch put her on her wheels again within 24 hours. Three days later she drove happily into Egypt again. Although the suspension, door and paint still ain’t good, she still makes it to the other end of the world.

Shaking axles - 15 dec, Israel, 10700 km

She was making a rattling sound and we stopped her right away on the highway in Eilat. The right axel was only holding by one bolt. Half an hour later all the bolts were tightened  and Doutzen cruised again as never before..

Getting hot - 2 okt, Turkey, 4300 km

Doutzen was getting hot and here temperature started to rise for the crazy traffic in Istanbul. A loose water-hose on the radiator let all her water go and she needed a cold refill.

Loose wheel bearing - 2 sept. 2008, Greece, 2450 km

While we inserted brand new wheel bearings, in Greece there was apparently to much space on them. Although it’s normal to have a little bit space on the bearings on a Volkswagen Transporter type 3, Doutzen didn’t liked here wheels bouncing up and down. A friendly Greece mechanic pressed the bearings this time in the right way and of we went.

Losing a tire - 28 aug. 2008, Netherlands, 2km

She lost the right rear tire. Doutzen came screaming and grinding to a hold near Beetgumermolen. In the dark we couldn’t find the missing tire, but were we able to pick one from a donor-van. 2 hour’s later Doutzen was pushed back to the starting line and after an quick fix we could drive again. A broken sealing-pin was the evil mal-function and posponed our start with a day.