We have been traveling with our Landrover Defender 110 for a few years now. When we bought it, it was configured as a two-seater (which results in lower road-tax in The Netherlands; ‘grijs kenteken’). This was great! We had plenty of space in the back and the extra pair of doors made our stuff really accessible. We had a simple but functional interior made from plywood, a pile of screws and some angled pieces of iron or aluminum. Nothing really fancy, but it served our needs perfectly.
In 2012 and 2015 we were blessed with the birth of our son and daughter. Besides the turmoil of becoming mom and dad for the first time and being responsible for other, little people that really depend on you, we had to think about our travels as our Landrover would not house the four of us! We decided to keep it and convert it into a four-person expedition vehicle. The first step was to remove all of the interior and then install seats in the back After that we tried to imagine how we could further transform our Landrover in such a way that it would cater for our needs in the coming years.
We created an inventory of all of our wishes. Over time this list grew longer and longer and we understood that we could not possibly realize everything in our vehicle. The space inside a Defender 110 is simply too small. After careful evaluation of all of our demands, we were left with the following items:
- Places to sleep for 2 adults and 2 children
- Road-legal seating for 2 adults and 2 children with child-seats
- The fridge/cooler has to be reachable from the front seats while driving
- 1 box (30x40x20 cm) of clothing per family member
- 2 boxes for plates/cutlery/pots and pans
- 2 boxes for food
- A place to mount our Coleman stove (explicitly NOT on the rear door)
- 2 persons must be able to sit inside (not on the normal seats)
- Water and electrical stuff should all fit in ONE compartment
We made a 3D sketch of our ideas. We stuck to the use of plywood because this has served us well in the past. We are in the process of creating a similar lay-out with aluminum profiles and thinner sheets of plywood (7mm instead of 15mm). These materials can be seen with several companies that create interiors for expedition vehicles. It is also used for the construction of flight cases. Biggest advantage of this system is that they are fast to build because there is virtually no finishing work to do, just assemble it and you are done. The looks are very different to the color of varnished plywood, which we happen to like. Read more about it in our next posting.