The Dream Trip – Saab 900 and a Toppola

Posted on 02. Jan, 2007 by in 1990-1999, 2000-2009, 900, Sweden, Toppola



Catharina and Bert Öhman out of Sundsvall, Sweden have recently decided to do what a number of people are doing these days by packing up the Saab and heading for the hills on a road trip.

I am surprised that I have not heard about their trip until now. As of now, they must be in South East Asia. I hope they had a good new year and we look forward to them keeping us updated on their progress!

Photo and Text Credits: Catharina and Bert Öhman



Catharina is 42 years and Bert Öhman 47 years. We live in Sundsvall, Sweden. We are married since six years, and we have been living together for 15 years. Catharina has her own business in marketing and communication. Bert works in PC-support and got unfortunately laid off as our trip started.

Except for traveling our passion is skydiving. We have been skydiving for quite some time, Catharina for 14 years and Bert for 24 years.

Our first plan was to make a trip by sail boat to the Caribbean’s. We bought a boat, a Catalac Catamaran, 30 ft, that we had for a couple of seasons before we realized that saling was not for us. It goes ever so slow and the wind is always in the wrong direction. We decided to sell the boat.

But we were still in for some time off and adventure. We decided to go for a trip in our SAAB 900, from year 1992 with a Toppola camper instead of the boat. We expect to be traveling for two years and are heading for China. Along the way we will visit quite a few countries. If our money lasts longer than two years we might even stay longer, if the don’t last for two years or if we don’t think it is fun anymore – we go home earlier.

It is nice to be able to enjoy the luxury of taking the day as it comes and do exactly what we want.

Travel Plan

Travel plan by car to China
This is a rough travel plan for our two year long trip by car/camper. The route is open for improvisation. Maybe we will find an irresistible place along the way where we want to stay for a while…

Part 1: Europe, May – September 2005

Our plan is to leave Sweden in May 2005 and take the route through Eastern Europe down to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. We plan to visit the following countries at a slow phase: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. We will stay in these parts during the summer.

Part 2: The Middle East, September – October 2005
In the end of September we will go further south to Syria, Jordan and Egypt. In Egypt we will also pick up a fellow traveller from Sweden. Her name is Anneli, and she will travel with us all the way to India. This means that we will be three persons in the front seat for approximately 800 miles.

Part 3: Asia, November 2005 – June 2006
Now it is time to head for India. In November 2005 we will transit Iran and Pakistan to arrive in India in early December, were we will stay for six months. While we are there we also plan to pay a visit to Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Part 4: South East Asia, July 2006 – February 2007
The next step is to visit China. We want to be in China in the summer when it is nice and warm. Hopefully we are able to bring our car there. If that is not possible we probably need to ship the car from India to Thailand or Malaysia. Myanmar is closed for transit, and the only way around it is trough China or by ship. After China we plan to visit Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. Vietnam is also a country where it can be difficult to bring a car.

Part 5: Home to Sweden again, March 2007 – May 2007
It is now time to slowly head back for Sweden…


Our car a SAAB 900, 1992 with a Toppola camper is bigger than you think. A spacious double bed covers the roof of the car. And we have made a completely new interior for this trip. We have built stashing for clothes, food, kitchen were etcetera. The kitchenette is equipped with zinc, tap water, a combined stove/heater and a 40 litre refrigerator that runs on solar energy.

There is also a small closet, safe, stereo, 12-220 volt converter, battery chargers, TV-antenna for a computer with a TV-card, portable shower, camper chairs and camper table.

Of course we also have tools, spare tire, extra gasoline, jumper cables, shuffle, tow line, snow chins, repair manuals, fire out.

Despite the size of the camper we have managed to fit in a foldable table and two seats in the in the rear where there also is room enough stand up straight.

It takes a whole lot of smart solutions to make room for two persons and all this equipment. This is really compact living in extreme!

The weight of the camper is only 140 kg (+ our equipment). To drive it fells like a normal car. But everywhere we go people seems to think that this is a really strange vehicle and laughs and points at us. But that’s OK with us, it is always nice to spread a little happiness…

For more information on their trip, please visit The Dream Trip

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