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 Setting up a Defender for Touring

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Vixen
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PostSubject: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:20 pm

Thought I'd do a thread on how my ex & I set up our Defender for touring, with lots of pics.

We had a bullbar (pretty well essential in Aust), a roof rack and rear ladder to access it, and a swing away rear wheel carrier with bracket for highlift jack. It also had a long range fuel tank of 127litre capacity, HF radio, UHF radio, 12v compressor and 67litre water tank.



First thing was to build a drawer in the rear cargo area. Because the door does not open past 90deg, you cannot have a full width drawer, but the spare area is perfect for fitting in 2 folding chairs and long items such as a spade & fire spike.



Then a self made cargo barrier. We made our own as the proprietry ones take up a fair bit of room with mounting brackets behind rear seats.

Also a couple of side storage boxes under the windows



Between the storage boxes and the cargo barrier is the water tank. This tank originally sat in the rear footwell of our Stage 1 when the kids were small enough not to need the leg room. It fitted perfectly across the width of the Defender. Capacity 67 litres.



We did a trip when the Defender was new, no storage and found it a right pain having to unpack half the gear top get to recovery gear etc as nothing had a proper home. So.......next came a layer of boxes which were removable. The long one at the most rear of the cargo area for recovery gear eg hand winch, snatch straps, tools etc, which would then be the first items on opening the rear door.





The engel fridge we mounted where the smaller of the rear seats was mounted. This seat was permanently removed for the fridge mount.



under the fridge mount was the pump and outlet for the water tank. The tank was filled via the rear sliding window.



Fridge insitu



Under the fridge was also a good place for small items like a folding step to make access to the fridge easier for me.

On really long trips where fuel was likely to be a problem eg the Madigan Line trip across the Simpson we did in 2008, we had a 120litre plastic fuel tank that we put behind the seats (removed rear seats completely). While not ideal as it was infront of the cargo barrier, it certainly made remote trips possible.

You can also see the HF radio mounted to the fridge support box. We also had a UHF radio for car to car contact mounted to the rear of the cubby box.



To transfer fuel from it to the vehicle fuel tank, we had a schraeder valve on the tank which was hooked up to our in vehicle compressor. A 30sec burst was all that was needed to pressurise the tank enough to force fuel out via a hose pipe into the main tank.



We also had dual batteries shoehorned into the box under the passenger seat, with a marine switch to allow isolating one battery. One battery was good for running the Engel fridge for 3 days, so we could comfortably camp statically for 5 days before needing to re-charge the batteries with a run. Where lots of people prefer deep cycle batteries, we always used 2 starter batteries and found the system worked well.

We discovered years ago that unless everything has a nice space, the corrugations on Australia's outback roads will soon shake, rattle and roll everything to pieces. So things need to be in contained units.


Last edited by Vixen on Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:52 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:11 am

Good stuff, lots of info in there.

Just one thing, if you set up this vehicle with your ex ... who got the Landy? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:20 am

Nice setup.
Interesting idea with pressurizing the aux tank to transfer the fuel. I take it check valve was fitted between aux and main tank?

Raf
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Vixen
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:19 am

Tom Mc wrote:
Good stuff, lots of info in there.

Just one thing, if you set up this vehicle with your ex ... who got the Landy? Wink

He did Crying or Very sad But don't worry.....I still ended up with 5 Land Rovers to play with, and one is currently undergoing changes to become the new touring vehicle Wink


Last edited by Vixen on Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vixen
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:24 am

sgt_raffie wrote:
Nice setup.
Interesting idea with pressurizing the aux tank to transfer the fuel. I take it check valve was fitted between aux and main tank?

Raf

No...what you do is attach your compressor hose to the schraeder valve, run the compressor for about 30secs. It puts enough pressure into the tank to force the fuel out through another hose which was run into the main tank fuel filler. This hose was removed & stowed once fuel transfer was finished. Quick 30sec bursts when the flow slowed down. Took about 10mins to move the fuel to the main tank.

The Defer itself also had a long range fuel tank fitted, which IIRC was about 127litres capacity.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:58 am

Plus one of those Aussie electric fuel pumps for jerricans I saw in one of your Birdsville photos. Excellent idea as those 'cans can get mighty heavy when filling the old fashioned way.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:54 pm

Very neat set up! Very Happy
Did you make drawer/storage units yourself?
As you have said, traveled first time with loose boxes not best and a drawer would make a lot of sense.
What thickness of wood did you use? ie, how to make strong enough without adding extra weight to Defender.
I'm living in Canada so the water storage would be useless to me most of the year Laughing
Look forward to pictures of new touring vehicle.

camo388
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Vixen
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:28 pm

Hi Camo...yes the drawers were home made out of 19mm ply (marine or form ply it is called over here, has a brown coating to make it water resistant). A complete box was made first, then the drawer to slide into it, so probably reasonable heavy. We didn't use slides but put those teflon pads onto the bottom of the drawer and it slid in and out quite easily.

The other boxes, which were all removeable, were made from 12mm ply IIRC. The whole lot then covered with marine carpet.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:45 am

Great LR Overlander, sorry to hear that you didnt get to keep it, Hope your new one will be as good.

I Like the idea's of the storage, the draws etc, my previous job was bench joiner so
im hopeful that i can get it looking as good! Im new to off roading and im looking to
get in to overland travel, ive only done traviling in the UK, camping mostly, i used to
have a caravan but ive swaped it for a tent and a fue 4x4 mods. Ha.
In the future i hope to have a perpose built travle trailer.

Keep up the good work!


Jason
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camo388
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Thanks for your quick reply,
I have in mind to use a similar set up into my 110. Thinking of sleeping area down one side and above pull out box and maybe 6 or 8 small boxes in a frame along other side. A tent isn't much deterrent for a hungry bear.
Most of the 90/110 we have in a local LR club are ex-military so very basic. A common practice is to glue carpet underlay to body panels to reduce road noise but more importantly to add insulation so we can drive them with some comfort during the winter.
Did the storage units reduce the road noise enough or would you recommend adding some kind of sound proofing first?
Not trying to be sticky beak but I'm interested in learning some of the good and bad points of your set up so I can try and avoid having to rebuild twice.

Thanks, camo388
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Vixen
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:34 pm

To be honest I can't say I really took much notice of road noise. Defenders are noisy anyway compared to other less utilitarian 4x4's.....and on corrugated or rough road everything seems to crunch, squeak & grind regardless.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:54 pm

you can say that again my 130 must be the nosiest of all as no one can here the cb when speak on it but who cares its a defender

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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:31 am

Pretty much my dream vehicle there, although I would've used a hard top instead of sw, and more aggressive tyres.

Where did you sleep? In a normal camping tent?
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:35 pm

landroverjack wrote:
Pretty much my dream vehicle there, although I would've used a hard top instead of sw, and more aggressive tyres.

Where did you sleep? In a normal camping tent?

One of the joys of desert travel...rain is rare, so are animals, and so are people. We swag it most of the time Laughing
If we are going anywhere near people we chuck the tent up, and just use the swag inside it.

I agree the side windows are a pain. You don't see many hard tops over here...maybe they weren't an option, just as the 90 wasn't in the past.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:00 am

Vixen wrote:
landroverjack wrote:
Pretty much my dream vehicle there, although I would've used a hard top instead of sw, and more aggressive tyres.

Where did you sleep? In a normal camping tent?

One of the joys of desert travel...rain is rare, so are animals, and so are people. We swag it most of the time Laughing
If we are going anywhere near people we chuck the tent up, and just use the swag inside it.

I agree the side windows are a pain. You don't see many hard tops over here...maybe they weren't an option, just as the 90 wasn't in the past.

Were you doing any serious off roading with that water tank, as I am trying to work out the best way to install one in my landy? I dont want water sloshing around a huge tank so I am debating what to do... Possibly a few smaller tanks sitting between the wheel boxes on the floor just behind the rear bulkhead. Do you have any advice?

Jack

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Vixen
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:18 am

Jack, if you have baffles inside the tank you get minimal sloshing.
Depends what you call serious off roading. We didn't do vehicle busting, just because I can stuff....but it did some pretty harsh off road stuff on touring trips.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:38 am

Vixen wrote:
Jack, if you have baffles inside the tank you get minimal sloshing.
Depends what you call serious off roading. We didn't do vehicle busting, just because I can stuff....but it did some pretty harsh off road stuff on touring trips.

Thanks, just me being a dork.. Didn't realise you can get them with baffles doh doh

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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:00 pm

landroverjack wrote:
Vixen wrote:
Jack, if you have baffles inside the tank you get minimal sloshing.
Depends what you call serious off roading. We didn't do vehicle busting, just because I can stuff....but it did some pretty harsh off road stuff on touring trips.

Thanks, just me being a dork.. Didn't realise you can get them with baffles doh doh

To be honest I don't know if you can or not. That one was custom made to fit in the rear floorwell of my old S3 Land Rover. So it fitted perfectly in the rear of the Defender also . Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:06 am

Vixen wrote:
landroverjack wrote:
Vixen wrote:
Jack, if you have baffles inside the tank you get minimal sloshing.
Depends what you call serious off roading. We didn't do vehicle busting, just because I can stuff....but it did some pretty harsh off road stuff on touring trips.

Thanks, just me being a dork.. Didn't realise you can get them with baffles doh doh

To be honest I don't know if you can or not. That one was custom made to fit in the rear floorwell of my old S3 Land Rover. So it fitted perfectly in the rear of the Defender also . Very Happy

Look what I found! Can't believe it as all the dimensions seem to be exactly what I was looking for! It also has two baffles inside so will help reduce the sloshing. The only let down is the fact the fittings are on the end where there is not enough room for them, but they do say they can change that...

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/motorhome-water-tank-900-x-430-x-200-high-70-litre-/120608556083?pt=UK_Campervan_Caravan_Accessories&hash=item1c14d48433

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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:15 pm

Looks just the ticket. Handy company to know, I will save them in my favourites for when it comes to my build.

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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:04 am

.


Last edited by Biodoctor on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:09 am

Once upon a time I competed in the Welsh Hillrally in a team of two Range Rover Classics. We I was sponsored by a company who made alloy wheels. We turned up at the start line with both vehicles decked out in a pretty new livery complete with the manufacturer's company name emblazoned all over them.

Off we went on the Prologue Stage and within a few minutes the wheels on both vehicles starting cracking! In fact big lumps were being torn out of them. To cut a long story short, we ended up visiting the nearest independent Land Rover specialist to buy 10 rusty old Rostyle RR wheels and having all the tyres swapped. Looked so funny after that to see our alloy wheels-sponsored team with manky old steel wheels racing around the stages. Good, this pegged back the arogant sponsor who said his wheels were "rally proof" ... I don't think so.

Needless to say, no problems after that. Well, with my driving yes, but the wheels were fine. Embarassed

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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:42 pm

Biodoctor wrote:


Nice looking truck vixen ,one thing I would change are the alloy wheels ,if your unlucky enough to damage a rim your stuffed ,as alloy will probably crack if you hit it ,steel rims can be hammered back into shape.

Yep...spare set of Disco 1 steel rims with tyres just for trips. Alloys are fine around town but not outback Wink
The steel wheels were in possession before the defender as 6 weeks after it was delivered, we kitted it out and took it on a 6 weeks trip into the simpson Desert


Anyway...as I said....it's not mine anymore.


Last edited by Vixen on Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:12 pm

all the years iv been driving off road on steels and alloys,,,never damaged an alloy wheel,,,,but i did crack the rim on my 101 and that was steel,,,,,, :shock: bawling

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PostSubject: Re: Setting up a Defender for Touring   Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:57 am

Rock-crawling in a 101FC, now that I'd like to see. Twisted Evil

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