We initially thought of buying a new car, but soon gave up the idea and decided to drive our 6-year-old SUV itself.
BHPian airbus recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
What’s wrong with this car?
While returning from another visit to a car showroom, I asked my family. Serious planning for this road trip started with this question in mid-February 2022.
During mid-2017, we began to follow travelogues on Road to London and started contemplating a road trip to our native place in Assam. The year 2022 was giving us a perfect window for this once-in-a-lifetime road trip to Assam, plus we were also looking for a good break after Covid-19-induced restrictions during the previous two years.
Planning and Preparation
Being a BHPian as well as a member of multiple enthusiastic WhatsApp groups, I was regularly getting updates from fellow members having a thirst for adventure with all the latest and greatest ideas, information, adventures and other details to be emphasized while preparing for a long road trip.
First and foremost, we needed a good vehicle. From October 2021, we hopped from one car showroom to the other in search of a new vehicle, which would give us a comfortable ride throughout our journey. We gave up the idea of purchasing a new vehicle and decided to drive our six years old battle tank, when we were inspired, motivated and encouraged by Bikash Moharana, a hodophile and a member of the Bengaluru TUV Owners club. He, being a solo driver, did road trips from Bengaluru to Ladakh and Odisha using his Mahindra TUV3OO.
We got the ball rolling for this road trip in mid-February 2022 by planning the drive route as well as giving a transformation to our car. I started this thread.
It was decided to use the Central India route for the onward journey and the East Coast route for the return journey.
- Day 1: Bengaluru to Kurnool and night halt.
- Day 2: Kurnool to Seoni and night halt.
- Day 3: Seoni to Varanasi. Stay 2 nights.
- Day 5: Varanasi to Muzaffarpur. Stay 2 nights.
- Day 7: Muzaffarpur to Gossaigaon and night halt.
- Day 8: Gossaigaon to Gohpur. Stay for 2 nights.
- Day 10: Gohpur to Sivasagar.
The plan was to stay in Assam for one and a half months and work remotely during this period.
- Day 1: Sivasagar to Khetri and night halt.
- Day 2: Khetri to Barapani. Stay for 2 nights.
- Day 4: Barapani to Guwahati. Stay for 2 nights.
- Day 6: Guwahati to Bahalpur and night halt.
- Day 7: Bahalpur to Malda and night halt.
- Day 8: Malda to Kolkata. Stay 4 nights.
- Day 12: Kolkata to Puri. Stay for 2 nights.
- Day 14: Puri to Visakhapatnam. Stay for 2 nights.
- Day 16: Visakhapatnam to Nellore and night halt.
- Day 17: Nellore to Bengaluru.
Mahindra TUV300 T8 (December 2015) with little less than 36K on ODO.
I got the tyres replaced at SLD Tyres, Domlur. I opted for Ceat Czar H/T 215/75 R15, the same as the stock tyres because stock tyres never gave me any trouble.
I installed SensAiry TPMS sensors in 2020 and during tyre replacement, technicians also checked that the sensors are secured properly.
Then I went to Sireesh Auto, Marathahalli and met Zaid Iqbal, the Service Manager and requested him to prepare the vehicle for a 10,000 km road trip. They kept the vehicle in the service centre for two days. Total service and parts cost was ₹18,613. My normal yearly service cost used to be less than ₹10K, but extra expenditure here was due to coolant replacement, two vacuum modulators and AC evaporator cleaning. Later I got a new battery and changed the number plates to HSRP. I have spoken to my RSA service providers and noted down their phone numbers in my diary.
Here is what my cockpit looks like:
Being the only driver, I tried to adjust my biological clock with the driving time for more than a month and stopped my afternoon nap. Both I and my wife went for a health checkup.
Our family friend Mukesh Sharma da suggested creating a small WhatsApp support group to track us live during our trips. Accordingly, I have created a WhatsApp group with Mukesh Sharma da, my friends Mrinal Singh Raja and Pankaj Lahon, and my brother Bulendra Gogoi. Mrinal Singh Raja suggested creating a Facebook page and live stream videos during our trip. This helped us to keep our son (11.7 years) and daughter (9 years) somewhat busy while we were on road.
My wife and daughter had planned dress codes for the family on different days during our road trip.
The Team and the Machine:
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