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Nick Elton overland truck

Work in progress: The Mercedes 1823 expedition truck of Nick Elton.

“I am actually still working on the vehicle now but I expect that by October I will be sufficiently far enough through the build to make it worthwhile displaying. I don't know how much interaction you expect but I am happy to bring some basic tools with me to demonstrate some of the skills I have used in the build”.


Before and after shots of Graeme Arnold’s Iveco Daily 4x4 self-built overland camper.

“I have been a carpenter most of my life and now teach carpentry at a local FE college, so my practical experience may well be of interest to budding self builders”.


Graeme Arnolds Iveco (2)
Graeme Arnolds Iveco (1)
Rich Clayton Iveco 2

Another 4.5 tonne Iveco Daily 4x4 Camper, this one owned by Rich Clafton.

If you think you've heard the name before, it's because he used to own a famous orange & black striped 101FC Land Rover expedition camper called "Tiggurr".

His new Iveco camper has already done trans-Africa, Australia and West Africa with previous owners, now it's being refurbished by Rich to tackle Central Asia and Africa.

Well well, a third 4.5 tonne Iveco 4x4 Camper has just booked in. Although still in South America at the moment (February 2012), according to owners Phil & Angie ... "If plans come together nicely we should be shipping back from Uruguay during the summer to UK".

Since 2004 the trio have visited much of West Africa, then an on-going adventure unfolded that saw them in 2007 journey through Turkey, Central Asia, Russia and Mongolia, then Eastwards to South Korea. The journey continued in 2009 to 2010 through the Americas, then 2011 will see them back in Brazil and then South Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and maybe even Antarctica?

Their ‘Footprints’ website can be found here -

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I don't know, you wait all year for one to turn up, then four appear all in a row. Incredibly, a fourth Iveco 4x4 camper has just booked in.

Complete with a hydraulic bike rack at the rear, this crew-cab Iveco belongs to Mark Hadley of Southam, Warwickshire.

Known to one and all as ‘The Tardis’ (the motor, not Mark), sits on 900 x 16 mud tyres giving “greater ground clearance and a higher cruising speed … at a price”. Like the man says, “it’s not ideal for the M6, but it looks the business”. I've a feeling they proved their worth during their last little outing - Christmas in Morocco!

Mark Hadley Iveco 4x4
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The 1989 Td5 ex-military Rapier Land Rover 130 owned by Harry Foster of Middlesbrough, a font of all knowledge when it comes to Land Rover Defender and Range Rover Classic campers. The custom-made anti-roll bar alone is worth viewing. Made utilising Land Rover parts, it incorporates a half-shaft one side, the other boasts a free-wheeling hub device for adjustment. It certainly does what it says on the label, it eliminates roll almost entirely!

As with all the display vehicles, owners like Harry will be in attendance throughout the weekend to advise and help wherever possible.

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A great base for a camper, this ex-British Army Reynolds Broughton RB44 is the proud possession of Kevin Edwards of Chesterfield. He had the rear alloy body specially made to his exacting specifications, right down to a rolled top rather than the more usual - and let's face it - 'cheaper' square edges often found on self-build conversions.

If you want to know about Reynolds Broughton 4x4's, best ask Kevin as he has even met the designer of the RB44! He will be delighted to pass on his knowledge gained over the years about these highly capable vehicles.

WebsterWagon - tent

Originally imported from the USA, whether the 'WebsterWagon' will ever be seen again in this country we're yet to discover. The intention is to ship this Eagle pop-top demountable Toyota Hilux camper to South America in the near future ... time will tell!

Have you ventured into that part of the world? I ask because I know its owners (also called Webster coincidentally ... that's convenient!!!) are attending specifically to meet fellow overlanders in order to pick up general tips, advice and routes that fellow travellers could pass on about the continent.

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Leyland Daf T244 expedition truck complete with an impressive 20ton central winch.

Similar to many 4x4 campers, this one started off life in the MOD (Ministry of Defence). Originally a radio comms box, the body was converted by its new owner John Provan to tackle the rigours of Africa – mind you, that’s easier said than done.

As John explains, “First we have to sell our house, but in the current climate that won’t happen very soon”.

One day John, one day!

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Charlie Cooper1

This rather lovely-looking Land Rover Defender 130 Demountable Camper is far from just a showpiece vehicle, for it’s used by owners Charlie & Lizzie Cooper on all of their holidays near and far.

Granted, in some people's view their tour of Scotland this year may not rank as highly as a trip to the Mongolian Steps or the Atacama Desert, but if their mesh door keeps out those irritating midges, then their pride 'n' joy will have served its purpose!

One of the finest looking campers on the road, or off it for that matter, we are delighted they will be displaying their 'mesh door' at ADVENTURE OVERLAND for the inaugural show this October.

Nick & Linda Robertson LR130

Hailing from the market town of Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire up in Dumfries and Galloway, this 1998 Land Rover Defender 130 TD ex M.O.D. Media Vehicle is the latest acquisition of Nick & Linda Robertson.

Currently being converted into a camper, it’s first outing will be a little excursion into Eastern Europe, then, if all goes well, they will be paying us a visit at ADVENTURE OVERLAND en route back up to Scotland. The best laid plans of mice and men?

We're all rather hoping the colour scheme will be somewhat lighter in colour before they venture east ... can't think why?

Truck painted (1)

Although yet to be confirmed, we are rather hopeful of enticing Andy & Mandy Sparks to display their ex British Army Leyland DAF 4 tonne GS 4x4 truck at ADVENTURE OVERLAND.

Yet another vehicle that is still undergoing construction as a camper, we really couldn't care if it finished or not ... just bring it!!!

Truck painted (3)

Okay, we know that campers can come in all shapes and sizes, but this has to be the strangest yet. The pride 'n' joy of one John Hicks of Leicestershire, John uses this beast as a "motorhome" (his description, not mine) to stay the weekend at events like steam rallies ... and now of course ADVENTURE OVERLAND.

"I have always been interested in expeditions ever since 1962", explains John, "when several of us went in three Land-Rovers round the Mediterranean. It is a long story, but in a nutshell - we set off with the intention of going to Ethiopia. Three of our party got there, and the rest of us finished up in Algeria, helping at Beni Messous Hospital with various engineering projects.

For the anoraks - sorry, the enthusiasts out there - who like to hear the facts 'n' figures, it is a French 1959 Berliet 6x6 cargo-carrying gun truck. Originally a NATO vehicle based in France,


the multi-fuel engined beast has only ever done 3,030 km from new, that's only 1,883 miles! Nearly forgot ... the beast only achieves 3 or 4 miles to the gallon!!! Surely there must be a better descriptive term than - “achieves”?

Yoda130 beast 2 - photo 4
Yoda130 beast 2

After the beast I bet you’re expecting the beauty? Well it is in a sense, although you have to have a rather vivid imagination to see the potential of this ugly duckling. Let's just call it - a 'swan in the making'.

Bought by Kevin ‘Yoda’ Bond in May 2012, apparently the 127 was originally made by Land Rover Limited for the Dakar Rally, although at present the V5 states it is a V8 Hi-Cap 110 camper! As you can see, when purchased it was a real rust-bucket, although the bonus was it already had a 3.9 litre turbocharged Isuzu diesel engine fitted (approx. 135PS peak torque is 330Nm at 1800rpm are the impressive figures). Besides, it's a Landy so the replacement chassis and body parts are all readily available, plus of course relatively cheap compared to foreign-made vehicles.

As you can see, it’s slowly rising from the ashes and pretty soon it will be ready for an M.O.T. Let’s hope it passes, for Yoda fully intends driving it down from Aberdeenshire to display at ADVENTURE OVERLAND. Now that’s dedication! Okay, it still won’t be a beauty for a while yet as it's not due to receive its shiny new paint job until November, but as ‘work in progress’ seems to be a common theme with many of the display vehicles at the show, this 127 will fit in a treat. "Winter projects" they are called, well, it has been that sort of summer.

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Ever seen a Discovery Camper before? Well nor had we until John and Amy Davies of Llanelli happened along. It seems that following
a 1 month long trip to Senegal on motorbikes, then a 10 month overland trip to Cape Town in a Santana PS-10 with a roof tent, the decision was made to build the Disco Camper as by this time the Davies family had well and truly "got the bug for overland travel".

Lengthening the Discovery’s chassis by 900mm and building a steel frame, aluminium-clad body, they then set off on a 3 month trip though Eastern Europe in 2011.

It’s now up for sale if you are in the market for something totally unique. Why are they selling it? Simple, it’s about to be replaced by a brand new custom-made Defender 130 Camper built to their precise specifications, which incidentally if finished in time, will also be displayed at ADVENTURE OVERLAND. Itchy feet or what?

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Darren RR-4
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Darren RR-1

Originally a Spencer Abbot ambulance conversion, current custodians Darren & Bonnie acquired this 1983 Range Rover Classic in 2009 and converted for their 12 month trip through the Middle East and Africa.

Modified with an upgraded Isuzu 2.8 turbo diesel, heavy duty suspension and camper conversion including fridge, oven, grill, sink and solar panel, it covered over 25,000 miles on the trip. Departing from the UK, they travelled

through the Middle East, along the East coast of Africa to South Africa, through Namibia and back through Central Africa to Kenya, before eventually being shipped back for a few repairs; hardly surprising.

An extensive record and guide to their overland journey can be found via their website -

Darren RR-5
Darren RR-3

compartments that hopefully, according the man himself, “will take some finding in the event of thieves ruining our day”. Nice one!

Some great details of the build, including insights into the fixtures and fittings of the ‘clean look' interior can be found on his excellent Trip Truck site -

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Chris Lovell 1

From the sublime to the ricdiclous, only ridiculous it ain’t. Here’s a real camper if ever we’ve seen one – A 1987 Land Rover 127 ex R.A.F. Airfield Ambulance based in the East of England until 2003, it instantly became known as ‘Bertie’ when its new civilian owner Chis Lovell and partner purchased it in from the MOD in 2004 with a ‘barely-run-in’ 20,000 miles on the clock – he then started ‘his’ conversion.

Keeping the original Rover 3.5L V8 engine, mainly ‘coz he loved the sound (we’d all go along with that), the first job was to convert it to LPG. Adding 2 x 120 litre LPG tanks equates to 500 miles between refills, so when you add in the standard 80 litre petrol tank giving a further 250 miles, collectively it can now cover 750 miles non-stop if required. Not bad for a “gas-guzzling V8”. It’s ironic, it may still be a V8 but enviromentelists are still blind to the fact that LPG is one of the cleanest forms of fuel around!

According to Chris, “For long-term overseas travel to exotic destinations, military drab with a big red cross is not ideal, but as a UK ‘stealth’ camper it’s great! People just assume you’re supposed to be there and leave you alone! So far, the furthest we’ve been is to Spain and the Western Isles of Scotland, but as a keen paraglider and surfer I’m often off in him camping in Wales and the South-West. The latest plans are to drive to India and Nepal next year, although having seen our friend’s 130 Pulse conversion, I’m seriously contemplating an ‘upgrade!” Nah … it’s great the way it is!

That’s what is lovely about 4x4 vehicles, they adapt to suit every taste, budget and lifestyle, not to mention that all-important quality … independence.

Nigel Evans1

It’s obvious what you’re thinking – what is an ordinary, everyday Mercedes Vario 814D van doing in this section? We know because we thought exactly the same! Well, apart from the fact it’s fully kitted out internally as an overland campervan, by the time it arrives at Whilton Mill it will look somewhat different on the outside too.

Owner Nigel Evans informs us that his ex-police van is currently in the workshops of Qualiti Conversions in Southampton, “having a 4x4 system drive fitted along with diff locks, larger wheels and a single wheel conversion.“ Yep, got to agree, it’ll be a very different beast.

Here we have a 2005 Mitsubishi Canter 4wd with a home-built fibreglass foam sandwich box on the back. 4.5 tonne gross.

Completely self-contained, it just needs sunshine, diesel, water and food in, grey and black water back out. Diesel cooking, hot water, space heating, engine preheat. Hot water from engine. Vacuum loo.

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Tom Baker1
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According to Tony, “we are still learning and adapting Jabba to our needs. The next addition will be a roof tent, more batteries and a vinyl wrap. Our plan is to complete modifications by mid 2013 and set off for a world tour sometime late 2013 or early 2014 depending on work and family commitments”.


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Another Mercedes Vario 814D panel van (an ex-police Vario attended the show last year), this one being a 1996 7.5 tonne ex-army example.

According to owner Paul Longden, the Mercedes was "converted to a global overland vehicle between 2009 - 2012".

As with all the Display Vehicles at ADVENTURE OVERLAND, Paul will be available throughout the weekend to chat and answer questions about his pride 'n' joy.


Owned by David Longdon, this is another Ed Perry (Overland Vehicles Ltd.) new build. It was pretty much the first into his workshop and definitely the last out" according to David, "so I have watched all the others being built along side it".

It was finished in March 2012, when Ed shut the doors on the business, since when we have done numerous shaking down trips, 10,000 miles and we are presently in Croatia, we still have a list as long as my arm of stuff to do but everything works well now for long trips.

Our brief spec is:

A standard MOD surplus 4 tonne general service truck, Leyland Daf T244 with a 5.9 litre Cummins turbo diesel, permanent 4wd, high and low ratio, centre diff lock, ex. reserve, 1992, bought from Withams with 15,000 km on the clock.

Running on standard Goodyear R.20 x 12.00 G388 tyres but will change these for new Michelin XZXs when I win the lottery.
Stretched the chassis/wheelbase by 400mm to accommodate a 5,600mm structural composite box with 100mm thick walls mounted on a steel sub-frame and four point torsion free mounting.

320 litres diesel tank plus 2 No. x 20 litre jerry can holders, chassis mounted, - theoretical range, 1,900 km / 1,200 miles.

360 litres /80 gallons, fresh water, 100 litres / 22 gallon, grey tank.

2 No. x 17 litre toilet cassettes.

Eberspacher diesel heater and 80 litre hot water calorifier.

8 No. x 12 volt x 110Ah leisure batteries = 440 Ah at 24 volt
ie. c. 220 Ah useable.

Sterling battery charger and 240 volt inverter.

1 No. solar panel, produces about 5 Ah.

2.5 kVa Dometic, diesel, self start generator.

Dometic air conditioner in the box.

240 volt, 24 volt and 12 volt systems throughout.

Propane, 3 No. burner hob, oven and grill.

Webasto diesel hob.

175 litre Waeco 24 volt compressor fridge and freezer.


Satellite TV.

Sure Flow water pump and Nature Ecology water filter.

Provision for roof tent and double bed in the dining booth.

- and probably loads of other stuff but most importantly a full size shower, very comfortable bathroom, memory foam double bed.

David Longdon3

NOTE: Below are just a small sample of the many amazing Display Vehicles that attended AO`14.

Will your vehicle qualify as a Display Vehicle for AO`15? If so, then simply contact Tom McGuigan at for eligibility.

Tom McGuigan
(Event Director)

The pride ‘n’ joy of one Roger Crocker, this 1987 VW 4x4 Syncro Pickup “with a very noisy 5 Cyl Audi in the rear” is not your usual camper … but it’s regularly used for ‘wild camping’. It stands out so much that he constantly gets stopped in the street with people asking questions about it - apparently kids really love it! This is a prime example of why vehicles displayed at ADVENTURE OVERLAND 2014 are every bit as much about the owners and what they get up to in them.

With the intention of transporting the family around the world (the family being Ron, Georgie and Ralph the dog), this 1986 Mercedes 407D ex-German Red Cross ambulance is currently being converted into a full time adventure vehicle.

”Yes, it's not a 4x4” says Ron, “but that should just make things more interesting. The conversion is nearing completion and the show coincides with our planned return from our 'first test' trip to Southern Spain. And shortly before we head to Scandinavia to test the heating and insulation”.

On hand throughout AO`14, come and have a chat with Ron & Co. and see how it should/shouldn’t be done. After all, there is more than one way of skinning a cat … just ask Ralph!

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Another 4x2 DIY conversion, this one being a DAF50 series. Owner John Wright converted it to a camper with large lockers to carry motorcycles. It’s since been to many parts of Europe including way up north to Tromso in Norway.

John will be available to discuss the conversion, what went wrong, and how he would do it differently next time around … if there is to be a next time of course!

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Based on a Land Rover Defender 130, this specially-built Northstar demountable camper, the pride ‘n’ joy of Martin Dover of Dorset, was clearly built to go places.

As a standard camper unit it has H&C pumped water, shower, flush toilet, heating, fridge, four burner cooker/grill and two double beds, but as Martin and his significant other didn’t need the lower double, he has constructed a fixed table instead of the standard drop down table. Also fitted are the creature comforts of a satellite TV, a DVD player and an 80W solar panel.

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Martin Dover10

"We put the camper on for the first time in September 2011” explained Martin, “and within a week set off on a 3000 mile shakedown trip to Croatia visiting 10 different countries in just 15 days! Since then it has done an overland off-tarmac trip through Spain and Portugal, a wierd trip to France and Spain via Northumberland (we live on the South Coast) and this year a trip to the Isle of Man and Ireland.

Despite the large rear overhang the truck is remarkably competent off-road, alhough I must admit we have had to fill in ditches with rocks to prevent grounding on a couple of occasions.

For us it is the perfect combination of camper and working truck. With the camper demounted the full capabilities of a Defender 130 Hicap are utilised - greenlaner, gardeners hack, builders truck and play-day off-road toy!”

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As life is not all about big, expensive conversions most of us can never afford …

Dave Sykes from the Isle of Man is in the process of an unusual build - its a short haul overlander based on a Sprinter 4x4. Part campervan, part dayvan, but also running big AT tyres, diff locks etc., and capable of camping off-grid for 3-4 days without issue.

According to Dave, “We did a lot of overlanding in normal 4x4s before we had kids, but with two under 5s needed to find a way to keep our hobby going in a more accessible way. And finding 4x4 campers with proper forward facing seats is harder than you'd think!

The interesting bit (for me at least) is that we've done this in a MWB, low roof van - but still got 5 proper forward facing seats and sleeping for 2 adults, 2 kids, plus sink, cooker, porta-potty, etc, etc. Its been an interesting build - and we've still got to finish it (solar panels, low profile roof rack, mounting for waffle boards, etc)”.

A practical compromise to a regular family’s travel needs on the road, Dave and Bruce (the Merc was named by Sykes Jnr. after the great white shark in Finding Nemo) will be on hand to pass on knowledge gained during the build.

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Whilst in the self-build mode, this has to be the ultimate example of the genre - a campervan conversion for under £50.

With the interior built almost entirely out of recycled or reclaimed materials, Dylan Phillips of Pembrokeshire has created his very own “Amazing Space” in the rear of a 1986 Land Lover 110 High Capacity pick-up sporting a fibreglass Truckman Top.

Now that’s what you call a ‘budget conversion’!

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J Read Jones - 1

Yet another interesting vehicle, this being the Bucher Duro 4x4S owned by James & Jen Jones of Coventry.

Built by Bucher-Guyer AG in Niederweningen, Switzerland, the 'Jonesmobile' was originally brought to the UK as a civian demonstrator, then converted to a hardtop camper in 2010.

Boasting 3 Torsen self-locking differentials, 3750cc GM engine, Mercedes gearbox, torsion resistant frame and De-Dion suspension, similar models are still in service with the Irish and Swiss armies.

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As a reminder ...

Interesting display vehicles are very welcome at ADVENTURE OVERLAND.
To qualify as a Display Vehicle and to have your pride 'n' joy featured here,
simply email Event Director Tom McGuigan at with
a photo or two, plus of course a few words to accompany the shots.

Don't forget, in the main only vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are eligible to be included
in the Display Vehicle section * e.g. demountables, 6x6 conversions, 4x4 campers, etc.
but any interesting vehicles can be featured here and included in the display line-up.

Importantly, the owners of these vehicles will also be available thoughout the weekend at
ADVENTURE OVERLAND to answer your questions about their vehicles, the conversions,
the on-board equipment, and of course their travel experiences.

Overland campers/expedition trucks become part of ADVENTURE OVERLAND
... we don't leave them in the car park!!!


part sponsored by:-

"Seminar Sessions"

sponsored by:-

"Bush Mechanics Area"

sponsored by:-

"Camper Conversions Zone"

sponsored by:-

"Bike Adventure Zone" sponsored by:-

"Navigation Knowhow" sponsored by:-

"Bushcraft Activities Area"

sponsored by:-

"Health & Medical Zone" sponsored by:-


in association with:-


ADVENTURE OVERLAND delighted to support the voluntary charity groups:-

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