Help? Kitting out a Defender

General disccussions on Land Rovers in Africa

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chrisratay
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Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby chrisratay » 01 Aug 2015 17:06

Hi! I'm new to this group and to 4x4 overland travel - been thru 90 countries on by moto and looking for the next Adventure...

Have a deposit on a Td5 Dual Cab 130 which will suit our needs - 4 doors, plenty of storage. I don't live in Africa, so doing this from afar and appreciate any comments/advice. Here are some questions to get started...

1) Vehicle Inspection:
- Where around Cape Town can I have the truck inspected?
- Approximate cost?
- Any special instructions?

2) Aluminum Topper/Canopy - looking for a 5 door option (2 each side, 1 on back), all lifting up. Will have 2 drawers installed in truck bed, 1 for fridge/gas burner stove, the other for ammo boxes.
- What are the "must have" features?
- Things to consider when buying?
- What brand do you recommend/avoid?

3) Rooftop Tent - Like the features of the Howling Moon Stargazer (can see the stars) which will open over the bonnet.
- Any thoughts?
- Other brands with similar features?
- What about a 270 awning?

4) Fuel/Water Tanks
- Where to mount?
- Things to be aware of?

Thanks so much for your help!
Chris
Former motorcycle world traveler (~90 countries), making the switch to a Defender 130 Td5 Dual Cab so we can carry more fuel/water, go further, not sleep on the ground, and get into more trouble = meet more people!

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Re: Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby pretdave » 03 Aug 2015 17:56

Cmon guys . Many of you have ideas you can pass on. Those in the Cape Town area in particular...
A visitor to africa needs advice...

Cheers
Dave
Defender 130 TD5 2000 GALACTICA
www.clrc.co.za

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Re: Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby chrisratay » 03 Aug 2015 18:33

Thanks Dave!
I got the inspection sorted, but ideas/comments for kitting out (items 2-4) would be greatly appreciated!
Chris
Former motorcycle world traveler (~90 countries), making the switch to a Defender 130 Td5 Dual Cab so we can carry more fuel/water, go further, not sleep on the ground, and get into more trouble = meet more people!

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Re: Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby DuncanRuss » 26 Aug 2015 18:41

Hey Chris,

Welcome to the Landy Family.

1st thing is where do you plan to travel? I assume this is not your first time to South Africa.
As far as fuel tanks go, the bigger the better. Remember you going to be loaded with gear, and
you will pay a price on fuel consumption. Water tanks again the same as fuel, you can never carry
enough water.

There were a few threads here regarding overlanding, I will try and find them and send them your way.

Cheers

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Re: Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby Lunsriem » 07 Sep 2015 14:17

Roof tent: Its a personal choice, but on related sites you'll see many people of the opinion that ground tents are better (that includes me). As long as you are aware that the fuss that a roof tent is required for African bush is a bit overrated.

Fuel and Water: Built in is 120 litres and I carry up to three jerry cans for diesel, I found it sufficient around all our neighboring countries and up North; I suppose that'll do for the type of expeditions you tackle till you venture in somewhere completely unique.

Also controversial is the 2 stroke oil issue. Especially to the East and North, read through the 2SO posts. If still uncertain, fill up at reputable stations - lets just say it could be possible that some chaps in some of those markets might add paraffin to the diesel, and you want to avoid conducting lubricity testing on your Defender out there.

The side awning is a good idea, some campsites have good shades, but you'll probably find good use for your own shade. When staying over on a camp for a few days, I always pitch the gazebo - a lightweight alternative - but similar to the tents, I can leave everything in place and drive off for game viewing.

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Re: Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby pretdave » 07 Sep 2015 16:59

Thanks for the feedback guys. We can do with a few more replies. Remember , there is no absokutely best way to kit out your Defender - but the more suggestions we get , the easier it is to select what best suits...

Cheers
Dave
Defender 130 TD5 2000 GALACTICA
www.clrc.co.za

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Re: Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby naks » 07 Sep 2015 17:15

Sorry guys, I'm a bit late to the party...

Chris, when overlanding, the #1 enemy is weight, and placement thereof. My recommendations are purely based on my personal preferences and physical abilities:

1. Ground tent - it keeps the weight down and most importantly it keeps the centre of gravity down.

2. Drawers - a must IMHO, but keep in mind that the fridge will be very high up if you put it on top of the drawers. I have mine next to the drawers, since both myself & SWAMBO are short.

3. Extra fuel tank is a must, on the 130 you can have one under the rear bench IIRC.

4. Water tank is also a must, I would recommend you fit this as low as possible to keep the c.o.g down.

5. Awning - I am hearing very good things about the Eezi-Awn fox, one of those 270 degree type of awning.


As for fitment centres, I cannot recommend R&D Offroad enough - very professional work and most importantly, they listen to what the customer wants and then execute this with very good quality material. Check them out: http://randdoffroad.speedi.co.za/

Some photos of the work they did for me, which included fixing the poor workmanship of the previous drawer system I had done by someone else:

Image

Image

Image

Image
--
2010 LR Defender Puma 90

Image

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pretdave
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Re: Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby pretdave » 07 Sep 2015 18:28

Some good points Naks. I personally identify with the suggestion that weight is a big enemy... Dont try to take everything - if you do take too much you will find that it is not enough... you will require many spares because of the resulting breakdowns..
A simple rule I have is that when overlanding in dry areas I will not add soap solution to the windscreen washer bottle-keep it pure water (I guess a little ethyl alcohol would not do it any harm...) In the event of a breakdown/stuck in sand etc , an extra 6 litres of water can help survival for a few more days..

You are correct - there is space for a 50 l tank under the rear seat. Can be diesel or water. On a major trip I run with 72 l in the main tank , 50 l in the auxiliary tank , and another 50 l carry separatly in two jerry cans . I like the extra jerry cans - gives you a chance , if the main tank is punctured and you lose all your fuel.
Same thing with water ... put it all in one tank and you could lose all to theft... clean water is a great luxury for locals in some ares. So most of my water is carried in small bottles ..more secure and easier to fill.And small bottles tuck in to many small areas...
I carry a spare set of safety goggles - yes ,really. In the event of a windscreen breakage , eye protection is needed to carry on driving..

Dave


Dave

naks wrote:Sorry guys, I'm a bit late to the party...

Chris, when overlanding, the #1 enemy is weight, and placement thereof. My recommendations are purely based on my personal preferences and physical abilities:

1. Ground tent - it keeps the weight down and most importantly it keeps the centre of gravity down.

2. Drawers - a must IMHO, but keep in mind that the fridge will be very high up if you put it on top of the drawers. I have mine next to the drawers, since both myself & SWAMBO are short.

3. Extra fuel tank is a must, on the 130 you can have one under the rear bench IIRC.

4. Water tank is also a must, I would recommend you fit this as low as possible to keep the c.o.g down.

5. Awning - I am hearing very good things about the Eezi-Awn fox, one of those 270 degree type of awning.


As for fitment centres, I cannot recommend R&D Offroad enough - very professional work and most importantly, they listen to what the customer wants and then execute this with very good quality material. Check them out: http://randdoffroad.speedi.co.za/

Some photos of the work they did for me, which included fixing the poor workmanship of the previous drawer system I had done by someone else:

Image

Image

Image

Image
Defender 130 TD5 2000 GALACTICA
www.clrc.co.za

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chrisratay
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Re: Help? Kitting out a Defender

Postby chrisratay » 08 Sep 2015 04:27

Thanks again - Some great comments!

I'm coming to Capetown early October for a week to select/buy a canopy, drawer system, fridge (to go in 1 drawer along with stove or other boxes), roof rack, Howling Moon Stargazer tent, extra fuel tank, and other bits-n-bobs. I'll have Nekkies at Gateway Offroad Centre help with the mounting (I'm buying the truck from him). Any other ideas/suggestions helpful and welcomed.

If anyone is around Capetown Oct 4-8 and wants to meet up, just let me know. The wife and I will be back to Capetown around Dec 1st to finish up and start our "shake-down" trip through Botswana, Zim, Lesotho, and back to Capetown.

Here is a rough map idea for our trips. We travel for Dec-Jan, park the vehicle for 10-months, then start again.

Image
Former motorcycle world traveler (~90 countries), making the switch to a Defender 130 Td5 Dual Cab so we can carry more fuel/water, go further, not sleep on the ground, and get into more trouble = meet more people!


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