This is Rafiki, the overland Land Rover Defender 110. It’s our home on wheels, our expedition vehicle. It takes us wherever we like; from the wet grassy fields in The Netherlands to the highest peaks of the world and everything in between.
Over the last few years I, Tobias, have been converting this vehicle for overland travel. Kitting it out with everything that came to mind. From a compressor fridge to a rooftop tent, from a bullbar to a solar panel. Ready for a weekend camping trip or a one-year expedition through the most remote corners of the planet.
Let me give you some vehicle details and then explain what’s on the truck.
The Defender is ready for an overland expedition, but what makes it so complete and competent? Let's find out below!
Our roof rack is made by Tembo 4x4 in The Netherlands. It’s a fully aluminium powder coated roof rack, specifically made for the Land Rover Defender 110. This well made piece of kit is the basis for our roof storage and is designed very well. The aluminium frame and floor panels are constructed with slots for easy mounting of accessories.
The rooftop tent is our main sleeping area and is a soft-top version, a foldable type so to say. It’s the type that saves space on the roof rack. When in use it gives us a 140x240cm bed area with a memory foam mattress, which is just awesome!
Have you ever hit the road with a campervan? Than you know storage space is always an issue. And whilst the Defender isn’t a small vehicle, it isn’t huge either. These storage boxes are placed on the roof rack and provide us with the necessary extra space for our lightweight but bulky items.
Check out the detailed page about the boxes here!
The world opens up to you once you install a solar panel. This environmental conscious accessory lets you charge all your devices with the power of the sun. It provides us with electricity for our fridge, laptops, phones and camera gear.
You'll find the detailed page about the electronics here.
This item has been on the Defender since the beginning. It changed spots a few times, but we currently have our Front Runner jerrycan holder mounted on the back of the vehicle. It’s home to our water jerrycan that we use many times a day. This is where we fill up our Dopper water bottles and get water to do the dishes. No drinkable water in sight? Check out the Lifesaver jerrycan below!
You'll find the detailed page about the jerrycan holder here.
The tough front-end of the vehicle is created by the bullbar. A standard Land Rover Defender is pretty tough, but a bullbar makes it a real expedition overland vehicle. It makes the Defender look the part, but it also protects the headlights and front-end of the vehicle. Also note that other drivers will take you more seriously with it, great when exploring the center of Napels.
Check out the detailed page of the bullbar here.
Ultimate traction and durability is what you’re looking for when hitting the road. Our all-terrain tires from BF Goodrich provide us with peace of mind when the road gets dirty. They’ve seen every type of terrain; tarmac, sand, water, mud, gravel, rocks and snow. It will handle it self and get you where you want to go, with ease and comfort.
The Van Lock from Thule creates an extra barrier for thieves to get inside the vehicle. Every door of the Defender has been secured with additional locks. These are the ones that stand out the most, but are also part of the tough look of the vehicle.
Ever messed with fluids inside your overland vehicle? It sucks! That’s why we added the side locker, to store the messy bottles of oil, cooling water, brake fluid and WD-40. It fits nicely in the rear wheel arch
Check out the detailed page of the side locker here.
Ones you get stuck, which isn’t too often with a Land Rover, recovery boards are essential. We don’t have a winch, so we rely on traction to get us out. These Tred Pro Recovery boards are mounted on foldable brackets to create an outdoor table as well.
We’ve installed a snorkel to keep our air filter cleaner. It raises the air intake and let's Rafiki breath in the fresh clean air. It also raises the wading depth, so theoretically we can drive through deeper rivers. Better safe than sorry, but we’re not looking to test out the maximum.
Check out our detailed page about the snorkel here!
The chequer plate provides some additional sturdiness to the vehicle. On the wing tops next to the bonnet it’s strong enough to sit and stand on.
Check out the chequer plate mounting page here.
Normally the spare wheel is mounted directly on the rear door. But experience has pointed out the door isn’t able to hold the weight when overlanding. That’s why we installed the spare wheel carrier.
Rafiki came from the factory with a 65L plastic fuel tank, standard for a TD5 Defender 110. Whilst this is perfect for general use in Europe, we installed an extra 45L fuel tank in the rear wheel arch on the right hand side. The useless space is perfectly used this way, giving us a total of 110L of fuel which is good for about 1000+km.
If the 110L of fuel isn’t enough we can always fill up the 20L jerrycan that’s mounted on the roof rack. It fits nicely in the Front Runner jerrycan holder. I wouldn’t recommend to keep the weight this high up, but it’s nice to store it away like this.
The Land Rover Defender’s inside is great for long-term travel. The base of the interior consists of many cabinets that stow away all of our gear and belongings. Whilst this is the main purpose of it, it also provides an additional bed. Great for when the weather turns really bad or we don’t want to stand out.
One of the most important features is the compressor fridge. It keeps our veggies fresh and the beer cool. This version can even be set to -18 C. In combination with the solar panel it can run indefinitely.
The space below the fridge is where the Coleman Stove lives. This dual burner stove works on a multitude of fuels. We mostly use petrol, but once in a while we’ll let it burn through some white spirits or Coleman fuel to keep it in good shape. The Coleman Oven perfectly combines with the stove, which is great for baking bread or making lasagna.
The Lifesaver jerrycan is the newest addition to our drinking water arsenal. We’ve never experienced any problems with our drinking water in the past, but our luck will probably only last that long. That’s why we’ve bought the Lifesaver jerrycan. It’s a pressurized jerrycan that filters out any bacteria, viruses or other contaminants. Keeping us safe, healthy and hydrated whilst on the road.
We have reviewed the jerrycan after a 6+ month trip through Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal.