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Have you driven a LWB through Middle East, or North and West African Cities ? or tried to park there ? - yeah the length is not much different, but the turning circle is not very good on a LWB vehicle, whichever Marque you have - LR or TLC which if you live in a city after a while does become a pain for parking.
My point was cross country and Sahara soft sand capability, the fact you can travel in a 90 and still have everything you need - with the correct preparation.
As for accidents...whatever 4wheel drive you are in will be better than a car.
I use both a 110 and a 90. At present the 110 has the edge, but I've had it longer (more time to prepare) and it has the rooftent (that spoils you!).
Packing the 90 well is the key. I'm going to fit a drawer and cubby and refit the tiedowns (I use Peli cases for packing). The fridge will fit on top of the drawer, Pelis next to the fridge and a cargo net slung from the (inside) roof. Also have a Tuffy console up front.
I have also got lots of piccies of a prepped 110, please mail me and I will send some through (not sure how you post them up on this site). See my mail on the Tech forum for what kit it's got. I would go for a 110 anytime, as it offers the option of sleeping inside, which is essential for those times when you turn up in a big city at dusk. Turning circle - you never notice what you're used to, same as the noise, the dust, and the fact that you only have to do a trip to Sainsbury's and your hands are inexplicably smudged with grease.
But back to your original question...My girlfriend (now wife) and I lived for a year out of the back of a Series III 109 on a trip through the ME and Asia, and spent a long time planning how to kit out the next car properly. We bought a Defender 110 and used our experiences to make it more habitable. It is quite surprising how spacious and comfortable you can make it! The main details of how I would configure a 110 is as follows:
1. We have added a lifting roof from Foley (not cheap at >£2k) but this gives us a comfortable and secure bed which takes up no space when driving. It also gives full standing headroom all the way from the rear door to the bulkhead, and a clear roof.
2. Strip out the box-section "seats" in front of the rear wheel arches - wasted space, use for internal storage instead.
3. Fit an external / gas locker behind the LHS rear wheel arch, above the exhaust - again this is wasted space, and you need a locker which you can keep gas and barbeques and other mucky stuff without it impinging on the inside of the car.
4. Fit a water tank in the awkward angled space behind the bulkhead - I challenge anyone to find a use for this space otherwise. Also keeps the wieght low and between the wheels
5. Fit a Mantec fuel tank where the filler pipe goes - this is an extra 45 litres, giving you 125 litres in total. (although they are a bu&&er to fit)
6. Replace shocks, springs, bushes, tyres and rims before you go on a big trip (rims not essential if you carry 2 spares)
7. We built a "kitchen" down the LHS of the car, with gas stove, sink and coolbox all below a hinged worksurface, with storage below. Maybe overkill but it works for us.
8. Think about your basic daily functions - sleeping, cooking, eating. Where are you going to store bedding so it doesn't get mucky? Are you happy with cooking outside every night? What if there are a crowd of 20 locals watching (again) What if it's freezing? (often is in the Sahara) Where are you going to eat? Outside? Where are you going to store a table and chairs? Think these things through, it gets very tedious a month into the trip when you have to unload half the car just to eat your dinner.
Hope this helps - mail if you want some photos
[This message has been edited by ollieholden (edited 27 August 2004).]
At the end of the day guys, everyones own vehicle is what they need, some happy with a SWB, some happy with a LWB, The LWB is definitely better for a longer trip, for the reasons we have all said, but the SWB is still an option - its just down to the individual requirements and budget.
Stephano, I dont have a website, Tried to email you a Photo or two , but would not deliver, let me know an alternate email addresss I can try, Cheers, Grif.
Stephano - Sorry I missed you at Billing, and Ive been away in the Pyrenees since.
Its all pretty subjective - with a 110 you can carry a bit of extra luxury kit and if needs be, sleep inside the wagon in dicey areas, where a roof tent might be unsafe. There are those who have arranged access from their roof tent straight to the cab via the sunroof, that's always an option.
The sleeping-inside option, should you like it, can rule out RR Mk1s and Discos as well as 90s, but not 110 Station Wagons and Hardtops.
If it is just for 2 people the 110 Hardtop is perfect. We just completed our trip from Milton Keynes to SA a month ago and even though we did not plan very well we anticipated too much. People talk aircon and luxury stuff like that but to be honest you soon adapt and start experiencing Africa the way its meant to be if you keep it basic. Feel free to get in touch directly if you are keen to find out more firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for the advice in Saudi earlier this year, Have a great xmas and newyear,
Originally Posted by Stephano
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?
Our set up for 110 Defender - Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11
Some great info here!!
Our prep of our 300 TDi 110 Hardtop is listed on our travel site along with photos and a film of the finished beast
We have had no MAJOR issues on the trip so far bar a couple of things we did in Western Sahara after a VERY HOT time in the desert (clutch slave cylinder piston seal went and so did the seals on the fuel pump).
Top 10 things we found that have really been star buys / investments for us so far have been:
Brownchurch water filter - pays for itself 5x over! and ensures you are drinking clean water where ever you are
Aux fuel and water tanks have helped extend range without the need to carry lots of jerry cans / take up bulky space
Side lockers for stashing kit in a secure manner
Lockable cubby box
Fitting curtains on rear, passenger and driver windows - really helps avoid opportunistic eyes from peering in
Rear (yellow) Bulldog door lock - highly visible deterrent
Padlock hasps on all 3 doors - again helps deter opportunists
Fold down rear door table - home made from off cut of aluminium
BF Goodrich ATs: No problems so far and rubber wear even after a lot of desert action has been acceptable. Side walls are VERY strong
Warn winch - not used until we got to the tropics BUT if you want to venture off road in the mud you will need one.
Spending time with some 4x4 mechanics that know what they are talking about before we started the trip was a great help in our prep phase.
Another vote for a 110 over a 90. We took our 200tdi 90 to Tunisia in or around 2002, and had a great 2 weeks camping with it. Since then we've changed for a 110 and currently have a crewcab. I think the panel van is probably the best. Having driven both, the 110 soaks up the roads and makes long drives way way more relaxing.
BIG vote for fitting the water tanks, extra fuel tanks etc, then you dont end up with a load of heavy gerry cans on the roof which you see all over the place. Obviously done by folks that dont plan to corner too quickly :-)
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