Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > 4WD Overland TRAVEL

4WD Overland TRAVEL NON-technical 4WD TRAVEL forum, for subjects specific to TRAVEL with FOUR wheeled vehicles.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Overlanders Handbook - everything you need to know, available NOW!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15 Jun 2004
Stephano's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 897
Best Defender Configuration?

Leaving aside its age or series, what do you all think is the optimal Land Rover Defender configuration for overland traveling? As examples, let’s say the UK to Cape Town and back or the UK to Australasia.
Obviously the number of passengers makes a difference so I’d be interested in your replies for parties of either two or four.
So what do you think? Travel light in a 90 or enjoy the space in a 110? Soft top, hardtop, side windows, what’s Best?

Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 16 Jun 2004
Runner's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 302
90 - better offroad but much less space - too little for overland really, though I know folk who've done it.

Go 110, though there are folk who go for 130s too

Hardtop (HT) - more secure (less doors to potentially open), just a huge loadbay in the back so limits you (with comfort) to two crew, driver and passenger in front. You can create all sorts of storage options, false floors, jerry can lockers, etc etc. I prefer HTs.

Many like the County Station Wagon (CSW) as you can get more ppl in it but lose out in kit space (and you cant sleep stretched out in the back - thats a personal thing, some do, some dont)

In short - for two people, a HT is ideal. More and you need a CSW. (or a second car, or folk who dont mind strange seating in the back of an HT with few windows) Get small windows put in the HT so you can see to pull out at T-junctions. Ideal overland HTs are available as ex-UK military. Look up www.defendercentre.co.uk (I think thats the site) for ideas as to cost.

Dont get a soft top - thats asking for things to get stolen.

Ask away - I have both versions and have overlanded both. Each has good and bad points.
__________________
'91 LR 110 Def/Disco hybrid "Elsa"
Bring me the horizon....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 16 Jun 2004
Stephano's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 897
Excellent information/advice. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17 Jun 2004
Runner's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 302
If you're going to buy one in the UK, get an ex-military 110.(3500 quid upwards from a dealer with a warranty) (Preferably ex-Air Force as they are used more gently than Commando and Army trucks). They are already set up with extras like heavy duty suspension, jerry can lockers, XCL tyres and so on, and some have snorkels and winterising gear. Theyve also been meticulously serviced since new and many are also Waxoyled. However if you get an ex-Commando one, check it's not one of the Beach Assault or Wading versions as they often have heavy seawater corrosion, though that's not always so.
They come with the 2.5 diesel engine (nonturbo) which is low in power but extremely reliable and tough. With care it will return 70mph on motorways and about 22mpg and Ive had it climbing big Saharan dunes with no dramas. Perfect overland truck - indestructible and extremely reliable

I paid 7000 sterling for my ex-Commando winterised truck five years ago from the Defender Centre in Stourbridge and it's been simply fantastic.

After fitting (and then overlanding) a fold-out double bed and a single bunk above it (perfectly ok, a bit of a tight squeeze) I am now running a boarded-out back with a false floor with storage lockers underneath and living space above. Ive just put a roof tent on as well, which is a great bit of kit. Wagon will be at the Billing Land Rover show with two other overlanders in July if you are in the UK then.
__________________
'91 LR 110 Def/Disco hybrid "Elsa"
Bring me the horizon....
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17 Jun 2004
Stephano's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 897
Yes, I hope to be there. I went to Billing a couple of summers ago to a Japanese Car Show and enjoyed it a lot.

Hopefully, I’ll be at the HUBB meeting first and then Billing the following weekend. I’ll look out for you as I still have a few questions.

Actually, I’m feeling a bit disloyal looking at Land Rovers. I’ve had Nissan Patrols (91 & 93 models) for the last 10 years ago they are superb in the desert. They just wouldn’t be much use for long distance travelling and the fuel bills would be a bit on the high side.

Stephan
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 18 Jun 2004
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 473
I started with a Nissan Patrol in Aus before I moved over to a succession of Discoverys, Defender and Range Rovers. I have a fully kitted up 110 which I've driven across Aus and Africa. However when thinking about replacing about it, I came down to two options 1 being a 100 series landcruiser (Aussie spec diesel) but my end choice is a 130 Crew cab. This is for the following reasons - 1) your unlikely to do extreme offroading when overlanding where as the extra space will be useful. 2) I want a crew cab as single cabs are often cramped (I'm 6ft 4" so space is important). Also that means I can leave one rear seat in for guides, other travellers whilst being able to remove the other two and have eletrics fitted such as a fridge, etc. 3) The reason for a pick up is that I want three way access to the rear compartment. I would get a specially made module tray which could be accessed from three sides with a low profile frame above so a roof tent could go above but not above the roof line so the wind profile is down. I was thinking about the newer 2.8 300TDI as I heard it had a lot more power through the range. With the extra carrying capacity I would put in larger long range tanks, a generator, etc and still have space to carry my kayaks, bikes, inflatable boat without it turning out like my current 110 which ends up looking like an African truck stacked 4 foot above the roof line.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 18 Jun 2004
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Southern England
Posts: 204
I have had both station wagon and hard top. I would say that possibly the st wagon is more adaptable due to extra doors enabling you to get at cargo easier but downside is more glass to get broken by thieves. But they make better day to day cars in europe. At the mo I run a hard top - cooler and more secure, but only 2 seats and access to fromt behind seats can be difficult. But nice square cornered load area stops things sliding. To get a expedition load in a st wagon you'll have to unbolt the seats and belts and the put then all back again...I prefer hard tops, extra passengers will have to make their own arrangements.

Andrew.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 23 Jun 2004
Gipper's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
Posts: 733
Having done West Africa for 5 months in a 90 300Tdi, I would say that it is very good for the job, as long as you sort out a good storage system - the 110 is a better overland vehicle as it is easier to fit 2 or 3 fuel tanks a large water tank and generally carry a greater load of spares and equipment. The Guys are spot on with the Hardtop/Station wagon comparisons - the Hardtop for 2 people is unbeatable and really works well, the station wagon is a much more usable vehicle for more than 2 people and after you have finished your trip.
For me the 90 is still the perfect overlander - with a roof tent - in the Sahara I could drive anywhere I wanted and run rings around overweight 110's and Landcruisers - with the 110 you fill the space available and before you know it its full to the roof and access for things becomes difficult - which ever vehicle you use pack light - use good quality lightweight gear and take enough to be comfortable -if something doesnt have at least 2 uses leave it at home.
The 300Tdi is a great engine, in the 90 it has the perfect combination of power and economy, in a heavy loaded 110 in soft sand it is a little underpowered but acceptable - the low range makes up for this to a certain extent, and for travel in Sahel conditions it has enough power - and fuel economy that Land Cruisers can only dream of...
25000 km I averaged 28 mpg
Best 32.5 mpg on sealed roads in Mauritania with the wind behind !
Worst 24 mpg in hot soft Sahara sand
thats pretty good.....but its beceause I kept the weight down....
Having driven the 130 Extensively off road in all conditions I would avoid it, the Ramp break over angle is not good for Sahara Travel and it is even easier to carry too much gear it - when loaded the 300Tdi is not powerful enough to give it good cross country ability, you need to be looking at a 4 litre + turbocharged 6 cylinder diesel - nissan or mazda conversion.
if you need any more info no problem, Cheers Grif
Ex Dragoman/Encounter Driver, Land Rover/DR650 Overlander
__________________
Cheers
Grif

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 23 Jun 2004
Stephano's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Abu Dhabi
Posts: 897
Thanks, Grif.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 23 Jun 2004
Runner's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 302
Gipper - good point, Id forgotten that. If you have a big bag, you tend to fill it

There are some nifty conversions about for 90s such as fold-out rear side panels to allow sleeping space across the vehicle etc....

Im wondering abotu a 90 as a daily drive at the mo as they are much more agile in traffic, and having trundled a 110 (and lately a TLC too) through Cairo, Marrakech and Amman etc Im all in favour of nippier, smaller wagons in cities!
__________________
'91 LR 110 Def/Disco hybrid "Elsa"
Bring me the horizon....
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 23 Jun 2004
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dubai
Posts: 192
There are some very valid points there about a 90, but one thing extra thing that does go in favour of the longer wheel base is better ride quality, the shorter the wheel base the worse it is.

For a different approach have you considered an 80 Series LC or a Disco.

Col Campbell

[This message has been edited by Col Campbell (edited 23 June 2004).]
__________________
An aussie escaped from london, now in Dubai.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 25 Jun 2004
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Bracknell, UK
Posts: 38
Just to add to the 90 option... Colin Clements from Journal Overland travelled extensively through Africa in his 90.

More info here http://www.overland-network.com/jour...dvantages.html

------------------
www.bigsky-adventures.com
__________________
www.bigsky-adventures.com
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 27 Jun 2004
Gipper's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
Posts: 733
Yeah Col, I agree with you, the longer the wheelbase the less pitching and better directional stability (hence Comp Safari/ Paris Dakar all have 100+inch wheelbases)
- But I'm used to driving Overland Trucks and Big Dirt Bikes so live Beam Axles and Coils feels like a Bentley to me anyway !

My 90 has Heavy Duty Shocks, Heavy Duty Dual Rate springs, Front and Rear anti roll bars, Ventilated discs all round, BFG 265/75/16 Mud Terrains on Disco steel rims, and between big dunes in the Sahara I can do 80kmh+ ( on a long Sahara leg if you have the right conditions - theres no point driving in low range on a table top- drive to the conditions ) easily with excellent stability and handling - you can 4 wheel drift (gently) around the little dunes no problem - its more fun on a bike though !
While im mumbling on about suspension, - dont fit lift kits to your nice overlander...they raise the C of G - which is something you dont want to do for dune driving and upset the handling and stability on Corrogations, not to mention changing angles of axle components and putting extra strain on UJ's, most overlanders ive met who have fitted a lift kit just before they left have had real fun and games with breaking bits or extra wear.
A LWB (110 or Landcruiser) is definitely a good choice - more chassis room for fuel and water tanks, etc.
I would like to convert a Discovery Commercial though, 3 Door with rear seats - remove the double seat and put your fridge there, keep the other one for co driver when you have a guide in the front seat. No rear glass to let the sun in, saving weight and better security, more room than a 90, smaller than a 110,can sleep in the back, very, very capable off road, lots of accesories available, plenty of room for underside tanks (-though will be more expensive than Defender ) better for cruising on highway than Defender and a bit more comfort and space....Hmmm....... No, It wouldn't be any good...I wouldn't be able to put a Mug of tea on the wing when im fixing it...I'll stick to my 90 !!!
Stephano (or anyone else) if you want a photo of a well prepared 90 let me know - no problem
Cheers 'Gipper' Grif

[This message has been edited by Gipper (edited 26 June 2004).]
__________________
Cheers
Grif

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
http://gipperstravels.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 27 Jun 2004
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dubai
Posts: 192
Colin Clements now seems to have converted his 90 to a 110.

http://www.overland-network.com/bigsky/landy.htm

I really dont think there is any perfect vehicle, they all for their fore and againts, what it really comes down to is what you want and what you want to do with it, or adapting what ever you already have to save buying another vehicle.

Col Campbell
__________________
An aussie escaped from london, now in Dubai.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 28 Jun 2004
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Southern England
Posts: 204
I cannot agree that 110's are more cumbersome or awkward to drive in city traffic. They're only as long as an ordinary car, plus you have the extra visibility due to height. I put stick on wide angle mirrors on my main mirror glass to remove blind spots (on my hard top). You can now buy extra wide angle main mirrors too. The 90 may be more agile on paper but unless you want to drive like a frustrated rep I can't see that a 90's alleged extra agility is worth the loss of space. The extra body length is a safety bonus if you are rear ended too - it does happen you know.

Andrew.

[This message has been edited by Andrew Baker (edited 27 June 2004).]
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:26.