This is the vehicle before we started any work, a brand new Land Rover 130 Crew Cab. We originally were looking at second hand Left Hand Drive Land Rover 130s and actually found a really good one at Foley's but we decided to start with something we knew the history of i.e. a new one. This Land Rover was originally going to be a demonstrator for Caffyns in Lewes, England and is fitted with windowed canopy, County pack, air conditioning and cubby box.
It's a serious piece of equipment and actually quite nice to drive. the puma 2.4TDCi engine is surprisingly torquey and pulls no problem. In fact we are often overtaking on dual carriageways, although the 82MPH limiter is probably a good idea as it is not a motorway cruiser!!
This is the finished article. Trojan hardtop fitted with two lockers each side, roof racks (both second hand and modified), howling moon roof tent with under room, side awning, twin water inboard stainless steel water tanks giving 80 litres of pumped water, solar tank, fully racked out inside for carrying equipment, Engel fridge freezer, full mains hook up electrics, twin battery system,12v electric outlets, work lamps sides and back, amplifier and external speaker points, jerry can holders, kitchen locker, reversing system with output in flip up dvd head unit, shower and cubicle, porta potti, drive a way movelite awning and the usual camping equipment.
The Land Rover has twin 40 litre water tanks which are filled from outside through these external fillers. One is provided on each side of the rear hard top. The biggest benefit is that there is no need to take hoses in to the rear load area thus avoiding potential spills.
The tanks are fabricated in stainless steel and are made to use up dead space in front and on top of the wheel arch. Water can be pumped from either tank through the pumps that can be seen. The longer term plan is to have one tank for hot water and the other cold. Until then the solar tank and kettle are our only source of hot/warm water. The set up is not attractive but it works, unlike Trek Overland's first attempt which leaked terribly. You can see the water stains from the first system which was ripped out!!!
Of the four side lockers two have a dedicated purpose and the other two are merely for storage. This is the electrical locker incorporating a mains hook up point, polarity switch, mini breaker switch and two 240v outlets. In addition there is a 12v inverter to provide 1000w power through two 240v outlets. To take advantage of being on mains hook up we also have a built in battery charger hard wired to the batteries. Two 12v outlets are provided in the locker, however there are multiple outlets throughout the vehicle. Finally there is audio/viso interface with the head unit in the cab which allows external speakers or a TV to be plugged in.
I have no idea what this is. My wife says its called a KITCHEN, but that means nothing to me. I do recognise the wine glasses, but apparently all the other tools are needed to make food!!! You will also notice the hose which connects to the water tanks and provides water for washing dishes. Unfortunately that is another concept I'm not aware of.
The rear of the hard top is racked out to take "Really Useful Boxes" of varying sizes. It means we can gain access to individual boxes without having to remove everything. At the very top you will see the camp table nicely stored away. The Engel 45 fridge is mounted on a pull out frame and pulls to the extreme rear of the Land Rover. This provides easy access to the beer, sorry I mean food. Space is optimised and behind the fridge you'll find the Porta Potti. The layout of the rear is the second attempt by Trek Overland, the first attempt involved minimal racking and having to move everything to get to the bottom box. In addition the fridge was lashed down at the extreme rear of the vehicle and was always in the way.
After 9 months of planning we've probably over done it with the equipment. As they say a picture says 1,000 words.You can see the jerry cans which will be relocated to the roof and the camping gaz cylinder will go as these are not available in the US. You can also see the transformer we had built to take 110v 30amp RV hook ups and transform it to 240v 16amp. Behind the jerry cans is the Honda EX 1000 generator. From this photo you maybe able to see that the roof tent is actually different from the photos showing it erected. Originally it was suppose to flip out to the right hand side, unfortunately Trek Overland put it on the wrong way round!! This meant that with the under room attached it was impossible to gain access to the rear of the Land Rover. That explains why none of the photos show the under room. When we spoke to Trek Overland about getting it changed to what we requested, they suggested changing from a 1.40m wide tent to a 1.60m wide tent which would mean the tent could still flip out over the rear and would be wide enough to allow the tail gate to open. The revised tent arrangement works well and Trek Overland upgraded the tents free of charge.
So you thought that was a mess, but the rear seats of the crew cab were also loaded with equipment that needed to be packed. A bit of advice - draw up a list of everything you need then half it!!
After 4 hours of packing this is how the back looked. A lot more tidy!!! To the side you'll notice our VW Golf R32 with the tail gate open. Yes we did end up taking a car load of equipment back home again!!! All the equipment is fully lashed down for shipping. When we get to the US the equipment at the very rear (tool box, blankets, transformer and generator) will be relocated to allow us to get luggage in the rear.
At the business end of the Land Rover it is fairly standard 2008 Defender. One exception is the flip up Kenwood Hi-Fi. This makes reversing really easy with the rear mounted camera. To the left hand side of the steering wheel there are three switches controlling the side and rear work lights. I must say the new 2008 layout is great and almost car like.
To make sure we are seen, well for some it would be fairly easy to miss a 3.5 tonne Land Rover!!, we've added reflective strips to the sides and rear. You can also see the rear light guards that were fitted by Conrico. I was always a little worried that the rear lights were too vulnerable to damage.
Here's the front end showing reflective strips on front bumpers and ahead of the indicators. We also got Conrico to fit front lamp guards to the front and we changed the lights to left hand drive lenses.
Here the jerry cans are now fitted complete with the white cover. The Land Rover already looks like military vehicle, so we were keen to have the jerry cans covered up. We also added a cover on the spare wheel thanks to the Land Rover Orphanage's cheap offer on E-Bay. Hopefully this will protect the spare wheel from harmful UV rays. If you look carefully you will see the steering guard which Conrico fitted. Karen says its really nice because its shiny!!!
People always ask about the tents. Unfortunately I do not have many photos of the complete set up, however this shot taken at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2008. It shows the 1.40m roof tent and the awning with side walls erected. We received loads of interest at the festival, although there was also Defender 110 with a similar set up at the festival. You can also see a common theme in our photographs, lots of wine drinking, and why not??
This is what it is all about, enjoying a drink in the sun away from the rest of the world. This photo was taken in Spain 2008 on the first trip. Things did not go well, the water system leaked everywhere, the hard top let in water at the rear when there was a lot of road spray, we had to delay the holiday by two weeks as the Trek Overland had not completed the work and the day before we left the Land Rover was delivered without any internal racking and full to the roof with parts that should have been racked and packed. But worst of all the Turbo had a fault causing a loss of power, usually when overtaking!!!
The Turbo was changed by Roger Young, however the vehicle still seemed to be a little "off song". I asked Conrico to check it out. These guys appear to have found the root cause of all my grief, a faulty connector on the wiring loom and a loose wire. After a couple of brief drives the Land Rover seems to be running really well. Many thanks to Conrico for their professionalism, excellent advice and the enthusiasm of the technicians and personnel who were really helpful in providing practical advice. The guys and girls at Conrico have also provided a spares/service package which will hopefully see us through our year long trip.
Just in case you forgot what the website was called!!! Orange on grey makes it really stands out, although there is a debate about whether it is been applied straight. If you've seen it on the Land Rover let me know what you think.
Ex-Military Land Rover 90 (78 KF 12) - NOW SOLD
Some photos of our departed Land Rover 90 which is now living in Inverness. Here are a few photos......
The original pioneer fittings off the rear of the vehicle now reside in the garage. It's a bit of a climb up in the cab when there's no side step
After the worst winter in a long time the 90, albeit cold and icey on the inside proved valuable.
Old & New
Old and new side by side. The '65 was bought for its galvanised chassis, but proved better than the '66 it was going to be the donor for. After a quick tidy up and MOT it was sold to a chap in Perthshire.
looks very Farm Fresh with blue wings and new doors in primer. When bought it was running on chip oil. It was completely choked up and would not rev. After a clean out of the fuel system it was running great.
Rare chance to enjoy a run out and picnic in #5.
The 2011 90 replaced the army 90 and has towed a few Series Land Rovers and carries Mopeds on the back....don't ask its another vice.
This is #4, bought on impulse so we could get our hands on a Series. The chassis is bent as it had a rear end shunt and the bulkhead is completely shot. It'll be a retirement project, but in the meantime it serves as a bed for the cat.....
This site is not specifically dedicated to the Land Rover, however if you want more details regarding what we have done and how we did it, please contact us and we will be only too happy to share more information with you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.