Hi Jed great to hear things are going well with the preperation for the trip.
As you say it's best to biuld in a few extra days to the trip for repairs, sight seeing etc.
We have just returned from the east of Morocco and due to breakdowns had to miss out on a couple of the places we had hoped to see
but thats life, and it's certainly given me an excuse for an extended return trip in 2015.
If you get a chance visit Bou Artha (if it's not too far off your intended route) the place was a real culture shock after spending a while traveling through desert and mountain towns and villages, thats all I'm going to say about the place it may not be to everone's liking but
I wish we could have spent a little longer there and hopfully I will return there on my next trip for a longer look around.
The boarder is nowhere near as scary as some would make you believe and getting through was quite a funny experience watching the locals arguing with the customs officers, over here if they shouted and gesticulated at them in the same manner I think there would be a need for the bulk purchasing of lube and rubber gloves.
The country is so diverse, the people are very friendly and unlike the other north African countries I have visited are not at all pushy and constanly begging although that said a few cigarettes some cooking oil and pencils and pens for the children are greatfully recieved, and the scenery well you'll see for yourself in a few weeks.
Bon Voyage !!!
Seek not excess, God hateth he who roams !
Defender 300TDI - 110 www.4x4eurotours.com