Nordic Road Trip Plans and Preparations
The North is calling again!
On 27th April we are embarking on an adventure I’ve dreamed of for a few years.
We are heading to Denmark and Norway for a three-month trip where we hope to drive up to the Arctic Circle then down into Finland before crossing to Sweden and looping back to the UK.
This was a route we hoped to do last year but house sitting bookings limited the available time and we had the amazing trip to Shetland instead.
To be in the far north for midsummer is the idea, to experience those magical White Nights where the sun never sets.
I’m not entirely sure where we’ll be for actual Midsummer: either Norway or northern Finland.
Nordic Road Trip Plans and Preparations
The map above looks like the trip is well planned, but those dots simply show an idea of the route we’ll take. We shall roam with a loose idea but no firm plan, hence Sweden is completely researched as yet.
I’ve filled Google Maps with little gold stars of places and things I’d like to see, with the help of Pinterest, blogs, vlogs and guidebooks. So far, Norway is the most starred country I’ve researched, Finland is coming nicely along.
The only fixed dates at the moment are three ferries: the return ferry from UK to the Netherlands and the ferry from Frederikshavn, Denmark, to Oslo, Norway.
We have four days to drive from Hook of Holland to Frederikshavn and I’d love to go via Aarhus, as I’ve read quite a few blog posts raving about it!
This won’t give us much time in Denmark, but hopefully we’ll have enough time on the return to see a bit more, I’d really like to see Copenhagen in the summer as it was swooningly beautiful in winter.
I am super excited, not least because I’ve never been to Norway and I’m pretty sure it is going to blow my mind!
I’m also looking forward to properly living nomadically in the van again. We have been living in it over the winter (well, I didn’t for my 5 week jaunt to Finland in January), but it has been mostly stationary – on a campsite for much of the beginning of the year, then on our friend’s drive recently.
This static time has given us a good opportunity to prepare the Thundertruck for this trip, to make a few tweaks and changes.
Preparing the Truck Camper for the Nordic Road Trip
We’ve attempted to lighten the load somewhat, to take a bit of strain off the pick up.
We’ve removed the bike rack – and the bike – off the rear of the camper and we’ve finally got around to removing the heavy and unused satellite dish from the roof.
This satellite dish has been replaced with a small and lightweight roof-mounted 4G WiFi antenna, that should hopefully make it easier to keep connected on the road.
We’ve gone through our belongings to remove anything unnecessary and unused. It’s amazing how easy the stuff adds up, all the little things you collect even when you try not to – I’m sure we don’t need both a cafetière and our beloved AeroPress for making coffee!
Last summer we upgraded the old solar panel with a flexible lightweight modern one and found it to be extremely efficient. Often it would fully charge the leisure battery then all the excess sun-power would go to waste so Chris has spent the weekend trying to make space for a second leisure battery to maximise this free power.
This has added weight though. These batteries are super heavy, but as there will be 24hr daylight for a good part of the trip, this should give us plenty of power for our electronics. The solar panel works even with overcast sky and a second panel that is on order will be fitted before we set off.
Not carrying a bike means we don’t need to have all the obligatory bicycle paraphernalia with us either: no bulky helmet, lock etc. The bike had been bent in a prang, which we’ve never gotten around to fixing, so pointless taking it with us.
Our gas system (for the stove, fridge and heating/hot water) runs on LPG (it’s a Gaslow system). Research has revealed that LPG is not available in Finland. We will have to fill up as near to the border as we can in Norway and try to make it last for the entire 4-5 weeks we shall be in Finland.
Chris has ordered a connector so that in an emergency we can buy bottled gas. This wouldn’t be ideal though, as we’d then be stuck with a non-exchangable bottle, plus we have nowhere to put it! We shall have to be frugal with our gas use.
We’ve replaced our camping chairs as they were old and damaged. We only used them a handful of times last summer, such was the weather! They’ll have to live in the pick up as we used to strap the old chairs to the now removed bike rack.
Other bits and bobs we’ve done in preparation for this trip are ordering enough eco toilet tabs to last the trip so we don’t need to try to source them; checked we have all the legally required things for driving in all the countries we plan too – high vis vest, warning triangles, etc; organising insurances for travelling abroad; and gone through our food cupboards.
With just over three weeks to go, the countdown has begun!
Pin it for later:
Try these posts:
Unexpected things I love about living in a van after 5 years of van life!
Homes With Wheels: My Life In Campervans From vintage VWs to the present day.
Our New Tiny Demountable Camper Home Introducing our Truck camper before we moved into it.
6 Ways Shetland Will Amaze You! Puffins, perfect beaches, astounding geology…
If you have any tips, ideas, and recommendations, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!