G’day I’m Brett. And this is part 6, the
final installation of my Land Rover Defender expedition camper build. As well as carrying
a spare tyre on the rear, I’ve decided to take a spare tyre carcass mounted on the bonnet.
I decided not to include the rim in order to reduce weight.
This was mounted by simply using some marine stainless steel hardware and a 3 way strap
from Boab. Due to the additional weight of the tyre on the bonnet, I’ve installed 2
bonnet latches. These stop the bonnet from popping open while travelling off road.
To charge my secondary battery I’ve installed a 130 watt solar panel permanently mounted
on my roof. This is connected to a 20 amp regulator. The solar panel mounting brackets
I made incorporate 10 watt LED floodlights. These are controlled by a switch on the dash.
I’ve fitted a dual battery voltage meter. The top shows my primary battery and the bottom
shows my secondary battery. I’ve also made up a simple shovel mount.
This utilises a pair of Quickfist rubber clamps. I’ve installed a new steel winch bullbar
from TJM. This model is much stronger than my previous bullbar and provides a much better
approach angle. I’ve installed a 12000lb winch with Dyneema rope. To connect the winch
I ran some 50 mm square 0B&S battery cable to the front, and then used a busbar to connect
the smaller 3B&S cable to the winch. This allows for much greater amperage and voltage
to make it all the way to the front of the vehicle, thus increasing winch efficiency.
Inside my Mulgo Exbox, I’ve fitted a battery switch in order to cut the power to my winch.
This is a Blue Sea Systems 300amp continuous unit. To protect my steering linkages, I’ve
installed an APT Fabrications steering guard. I made up a couple of mounts in order to install
my Hi-lift jack on the rear. I wasn’t able to install the complete jack as it fouled
on my lights, these two lights and stopped my rear door from opening, and as I installed
my rear door kitchen table on the back, I want to ensure I can open the door fully.
So I put the rail on the back and moved all the moving internals and stored them on the
inside. This keeps them all clean and ready to go the next time I need the jack. It only
takes a couple minutes to put the 2 pieces together and start jacking.
To increase my fuel capacity I installed a Long Range Automotive 65L drivers side sill
tank. Rather than have a second fill point on my
vehicle I had my original Land Rover filler modified into a Y-filler. This allows me to
fill both tanks from the one point. The kit comes with a fuel pump to transfer fuel in
to the main tank. It also comes with its own fuel gauge which I mounted on my dash. The
tank protrudes only a few millimetres below the lowest point of my chassis.
I’ve mounted a side awning as well for when it’s raining or I need some shade. For some
privacy I’ve made a full set of curtains for the inside. These are made out of a heavy
duty jute and simply attach by using Velcro around the edges. For additional storage space
I’ve added some netting on the roof. Now I’ve made the back of my Defender so
that I can sleep inside. I made up 2 bed platforms this top one unbolts slides forward and it
gives me a full space area for up to 2 people to sleep inside. To support the secondary
bed platform I simply made up 3 pieces which fit together and provide a strong support.
Once the 2 side beams are in place I simply slot on the top piece.
With the rear mount in place I simply slide forward the top piece and then fit it securely
using the same bolts. This gives me plenty of area
for sleeping. Quite comfy with still plenty of headroom. Both platforms are made out of
12mm marine ply and use some strong aluminium stripping around the edges in order to increase
the support. It’s plenty strong to support my own weight. I also installed a second fire
extinguisher this can be accessed from the driver’s seat.
In order for me to sleep in the vehicle and get some ventilation, and not have mosquitos
get inside and bite me all night I bought a set of Window Sox. These are just slip on
units with really fine mesh which would stop any mosquitos or midges getting in while the
windows are open. I fitted a pair of Mulgo side rails for added
body protection. For long range communications I’ve installed an HF radio. These are capable
of transmitting something like 2500 kilometres so that if I need help I can always get it.
I’ve mounted the very large antenna on the rear. This will protect it from any impacts.
I also installed a Sensatyre tyre pressure and temperature monitor. This alerts me if
my tyre pressures or temperatures go outside the set range. On the rear door I installed
a fold down table to use as my kitchen. This includes 2 pouches to store my utensils and
my camp stove is nearby. I upgraded my suspension with a pair of Land
Rover heavy duty front springs and a set of Koni Raid 90 shocks. Some rear dislocation
cones were also added. Due to my gearbox and transfer case going BANG I was forced to replace
them with a pair of Ashcroft Transmissions reconditioned units. My new transfer case
includes 2 modifications to increase reliability. The first is a steel bush which supports the
head of the intermediate pin. In the long term this will reduce oil leaks and transfer
case whine. The second is a heavy duty cross pin in the centre diff which increases strength.
I’m installing a Detroit Truetrac limited slip differential in the rear axle. I chose
this unit as it is a simple design using gears not clutch packs. It has no electrics or air
lines, and doesn’t need special diff oils. The unit requires no maintenance. If one of
the wheels begins to spin it will transfer up to 3.5 times more torque to the wheel with
greater traction thus helping to maintain forward motion. Compare that to the standard
open diff where if one wheel begins to spin all power is transferred to the spinning wheel
and the vehicle can stop. And to complete my expedition Defender my
website address so people can follow my progress along the way. Thank you for following me
over the last 3 years during my Defender expedition camper build. Please follow me on my website
RoamingTheOutback.com while I travel around Australia over 12 months. Also please subscribe
on youtube, like my facebook page and join my mailing list. Thanks.