Welcome to our page totally dedicated to the 5th and possibly finest member of our team. She is a 1995 Land Rover Defender 110 – which for those of you who don’t live and breath Land Rovers means she is 19 years old this April. She has a 2.5l 300TDI engine, which most Land Rover enthusiasts and especially the overlander’s, say is the finest and best suited engine for what we are planning due to the relative simplicity and lack of excess electronics.
She was bought from a wonder family in the Midlands, who’s children were truly devastated seeing her sold, but I just had to have her. Luckily for us, they had previously equipped her for a trip down part of the west coast of Africa and as such, a large amount of the adaptations that are commonly done prior to trips like this have already occurred.
Adaptations so far:
- BFG All Terrain tyres x 6
- 2″ lift with Heavy duty suspension front and back – this helps the vehicle deal with the extra weight involved
- Raised air intake – helps prevent dust being sucked into the engine, and also aids in deeper water
- Nice good quality sounds system – we need decent music enroute
- Safe (not telling you where sorry)
- Central Cubby box
- Comfy, Exmoor Trim high back seats, front and back
- Extended range fuel tank
- Split charge battery – this means we have two, one of which the car uses, one of which our devices can use
Equipment we have already:
- High Jack lift
- Sand ladders – however I’d quite like to sell/swap these for waffle boards as they are lighter but do the same job.
- Jerry cans x 2
- water jerry
- water filter with tap/shower adaptor
- various spares – I’m afraid my knowledge is not quite such that I fully understand what they all are yet.
Still to do/get:
- The current roof rack is high sided – we are planning on selling this one and replacing with a lighter and flat one suitable for roof tents.
- We want to be safe – and for this reason we plan to install a roll cage. Various benefits from internal or external, but given the size of myself and Ben – we probably need to retain as much space inside as possible – plus internals are pricier
- spare wheel carrier – this takes the weight of the spare wheel off the rear door and transfers it to the chassis. We still need to find storage for the other one though.
- roof tent/s +/- ground tent – we haven’t quite decided whether to have two roof tents, or one plus a tentipi type thing. My concerns are – not having enough internal storage if the roof is full of tents. But also, having potentially much more weight on the roof if we fill half with other equipment – full jerry cans, spare wheel, water etc all probably add up to more than a second tent.
- Intergrated water storage – we will have personal water bottles, but it makes for neatness and better planned storage to use one of these. Ideally it will be on the opposite side from the standard fuel tank – better distribution of weight. But it may be under the rear seats.
- Mini fridge – optional, but would be nice to have a cold beer occasionally (not in Sudan)
- a second even more secret safe – i’ve got some ideas – and I will be chatting them through with the relevant people
- extra security to the doors – standard Land Rover locks aren’t brilliant, so we will be looking at adding to/replacing with good quality padlock type things.
- Drivers side rear door is in a poor state at the base, and I’d like to get that fixed prior to leaving
- I really want to have the chassis cleaned, treated and covered in a decent protection before we leave – although the African climate is less destructive.
- The rear door is in a bit of a poor state and could do with replacing.
All in all, it’s time consuming, shoulder breaking (you try lying on a road with your arm straight up in the air for hours) and expensive. If anyone is able to help provide, fit or purchase some of this gear, please do get in touch. We will keep you updated as things evolve and eventually this page will include the final list of vehicle preparations.