together the greatest display of overland campers and expedition vehicles
ever seen before in the UK. These were both self-built and purchased from
specialist companies, so it was therefore fascinating for visitors to be able
to meet and chat to the actual owners about their vehicles, their past travels and experiences, their
on-board equipment and kit, and of course chew the cud about their future excursions.
Of course, as an incentive for the first event it helped that entry as a Display Vehicle was free of
charge, but even with entry fees now applicable to all vehicles (including Display Vehicles) the display
is still be amazing. The line-up for AO`13 for instance was incredible!
Why are all vehicles attending now being charged? It's simple - the cost of holding events somewhere
as prestigious as Stratford Racecourse is treble that of other venues. It does mean however we now
have really good facilities such as toilet blocks, showers, laundry, etc.
So sorry, if as an owner of a Display Vehicle you were expecting free entry, it ain't goning happen. To
be brutally honest, the show has to pay its way and everybody has to do their bit. If it can't, then
ADVENTURE OVERLAND will simply cease to be.
It is however still possible to attend the show as a Display Vehicle, for we still don't want to see you
merely parked up in the car park. Once again there will be an area for Display Vehicles - twice or even
three times larger than the previous allocation - and judging by the feedback it will be filled.
SO ... WHAT IS A DISPLAY VEHICLE?
The general rule is that Display Vehicles are all-wheel-drive vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, as a line-up of
standard Land Rover 90s/110s, or Toyotas, Nissans, Mitsubishis, etc. with a basic roof tent would quite
frankly be boring. Compare those to an Iveco Daily 4x4 camper, or a Mercedes Sprinter 4x4, Ford
Transit 4x4, Reynolds Broughton RB44, ex an military Land Rover 127 or 130 ambulance converted into
a camper, Pinzgauer, Renault 50 4x4, pick-ups such a Ford Ranger demountable motorhome, etc. and
you can instanly see the difference. I won't even bother listing all the large expedition trucks such as
the Leyland Daf T244 or Bedford TM, they are clearly over 3.5 tonnes!
This is the general rule, but if you something exceptional that doesn't fall into the 'over 3.5 tonnes' or
'even all-wheel-drive' criteria, then please enquire. We hate to see unusual vehicles sitting in the day
visitor's car park, so please ask about eligibility.
Upon qualifying as a Display Vehicle, during the show when you're not walking about yourself, you will
be able to chat to the public about where you and your pride 'n' joy have roamed ... or plan to roam!
The other bonus is that Display Vehicles will be sited a lot nearer to the heart of the showground than
the campsite. Being nearer the action at the centre of the showground is no bad thing!
PLEASE NOTE: I have decided against deleting previous year's Display Vehicles as not only will the majority be returning again this year, but it gives a good indication of what the show is all about.. Tom Mc (Organiser)
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”.
Errrr … YES PLEASE!
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”.
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 - www.philflanagan.com
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!
it into the workshop over Christmas 2011 and have been flat out converting it at weekends and any free nights possible. It is a torsion free body clad in aluminium, although weight is not a problem as she's plated at 16 Tons!”. Pictured middle and right, how the vehicle looks in June 2012.
Another ‘work in progress’ vehicle, another welcome addition to the ever-increasing display line-up.
A tad bigger than an Iveco, this is the Bedford TM all-wheel-drive expedition truck of Martin Howdle. “I’ve still got the inside to fit out” explains Martin, “but we plan on taking it on a shake down trip to the Scottish islands summer `12”.
“We have been using it for 3 years going to military shows and the odd week away but decided to go all the way and do a proper conversion on it. I pulled
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.
Left: Another demountable camper, this one owned by Barry White (no relation to 'the Soul legend') of Sheffield. Based on a Toyota Hilux, the body is a Ranger conversion.
Right: Unfortunately I didn't manage to speak to the owner of this Niche Marketing converted Landy, but we are rather hoping he too will be in attendance.
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.
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.
Yet another interesting display vehicle, this one being one third of FUDOO (Foolhardy & Useless Desert Overland Outfit). The other two thirds of the squad are a Toyota Landcruiser and a Mitsubishi Delica. See www.fudoo.org to find out what FUDOO is all about.
Guy ‘Woody’ Wood will be displaying his overland prepared ex-army Rapier Support Vehicle Foley-modified 130 Land Rover Station Wagon. Both owner and vehicle have tackled “Morocco x5 times, Switzerland, France and round Scotland a few times.” For good measure he’ll also be displaying his overland prepared motorbike.
As he himself says, “I'm more than happy to chew the fat with visitors to ADVENTURE OVERLAND about Morocco, as I think there is some unwarranted fear about going there." Well, you've had your invite!!!
Always a popular choice for camper conversion, pictured here touring Iceland is Roger Hill-Cottingham ‘s 1976 ex-RAF Rapier Missile Tractor Land Rover 101 Forward Control.
Originally a petrol V8 rag-top, fed up with 12 mpg Roger replaced it with a Perkins Phaser 4 litre turbo, welded up an aluminium framed body, glued aluminium sheet to it and fitted it out inside.
Improvements were added over the years including an Ebespacher diesel fired water heater (a.k.a. central heating!) hot and cold pumped water, solar PV panels, etc.
Another Land Rover Defender 130, this one being a Double Cab
configuration owned by Toby Barnes-Taylor. Amongst a spec sheet as long as your arm it boasts a Quad Tech box that includes three internal divisions - equipment, cooking, luggage - not to mention a self-designed custom-built roof rack to suit.
His pride ‘n’ joy was built purely with ‘family overlanding’ in mind. According to Toby, “I had a complete epiphany to give my children a thousand adventures and memories.”
The plan is to tackle Portugal and Morocco during the summer of 2012, back in time for ADVENTURE OVERLAND, then off again next Easter to …………. well, you can ask him yourself at the show, apparently the man has a ‘cunning plan’!
the European mainland - Nordkapp in Norway - all the way down to Cape Agulhas in South Africa, the southern-most tip of Africa.
We are delighted to announce ... the start line for their epic adventure "Kapp 2 Cape" will be from the showground of ADVENTURE OVERLAND at midday on Sunday 7th Ocotober 2012.
Preparation has been ‘interesting’ to say the least, for whereas folk will often just order accessories from companies, this couple decided to construct as much as possible themselves. Pictured here for instance are the storage drawers that Oyvind built, while Sheelah & her trusty Singer attacked with gusto anything that could be sown or stitched.
Along with giving talks in the Seminar Marquee (see the Show Summary tab on the menu above for details of this new attraction), the couple will be on hand to pass on knowledge gained during their preparation – and likewise hear back from you any last-minute tips and advice you may be able to tell them!
It is our intention to give these amateur enthusiasts a right royal British send off, so if you are around please make yourselves heard!!!
MAJOR DISPLAY VEHICLE
Featured here is “Brodie”, the Toyota Landcruiser VX of Sheelah Turner (South African) & Oyvind Helgerud (Norwegian), and the three of them intend travelling from the most northerly point on
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!
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.
Personally I thought he was completely wrong and mentioned the fact. What to him is still a building site, to many others (myself included) this is the perfect way to see how he is tackling the age-old problem of storage, how his wife designed the shower base to suit her specific requirements, how he's insulated the camper and what materials were used, how he went about building the professional-looking body - I think you're getting the picture. To me vehicles under construction are far more enlightening than any showroom model. Thankfully Dave has come around to my way of thinking, so therefore we will be seeing his handiwork at the show after all - even if only 75% complete; phew!
Owned by Dave Lees of Stockport, this rather nice Land Rover 130 Defender ex-military Rapier Command & Control Vehicle nearly never made it to ADVENTURE OVERLAND at all.
Why? Well, although it looks every inch the finished article, in reality this self-built camper complete with scratch-built bodywork is very much 'work in progress' as the interior is still undergoing major surgery ... basically it's only half-built!
Put it this way, when I asked Dave if he could bring his pride 'n' joy down to Whilton Mill as a display vehicle he said, "No way, people don't want to see a half-finished vehicle".
Now here’s a vehicle you don’t see every day – a Mk.2 Mitsubishi Pajero camper!
Completely self-built, the first outing of Richard Fenton’s pride ‘n’ joy was a little excursion to Morocco in 2008 on an Atlas Overland tour. Boasting a list of improvements, upgrades and modifications as long as your arm, it has to be seen to be believed.
Truly unique, I have to say I’ve never seen another of its type, so we are delighted Richard will be on hand thoughout the weekend to point you in the right direction should you wish to tackle a similar project.
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?
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!!!
Here’s an unusual vehicle for you. Actually, it isn’t even a display vehicle at all as technically this Land Rover 130 will form part of a Trade Stand at the show. A recent acquisition of Azoura Tours, up until now it hasn’t even seen much action with its new owner who lives in Austria.
According to Adrian Aderyn, “it has only ever taken ½ dozen Austrians on a 2-week trip to the Orkneys so far, but like its predecessors (110s & Discovery), it is heading to Morocco in October … plus again in January & March over the Atlas and a run along the Algeria border. This will be its 'bread & butter' trip”.
Driven by Adrian himself, the vehicle will be coming over from Austria especially for ADVENTURE OVERLAND. One thing is for sure, the 130 is certainly going to be racking up a fair few miles with it’s new custodian!
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”?
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.
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?
At present we know nothing about the history of this Austrian-built Pinzgauer 410 Camper, other than the fact its owned by Noel Cooper of Market Harborough in Leicestershire.
... and, Noel will be displaying his neat little 4x4 at ADVENTURE OVERLAND. I suppose that's all we need to know, for we can ask him ourselves in person next month!
His camper by the way is the only Pinzgauer to date that has booked in,
something that has surprised us given how capable these vehicles are - they make excellent overland vehicles. This being the case, if you know of any owners out there that would like to join Noel, then please let them know about the show; thanks!
Based on a Mitsubishi L200 with a German-manufactured Bimobil cabin, this high quality, demountable expedition/leisure 4x4 vehicle has been used over the past 5 years for Climbing and Mountaineering trips within Europe. Featuring a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and living area, it has comfortable living accommodation for 2/3 people - it even has a heated bed!!!
This versatile vehicle has a fully winterised self-supporting cabin, with a quick and easy dismount system, so it can be left at base camp while you can go off and adventure in the truck. This combination gives the versatility in a sub 3.5 ton vehicle which can reach the most inaccessible areas and support you in the most inhospitable weather conditions. The pick-up load bed can then be easily refitted at home and used as a regular vehicle.
Based in Manchester, UK, this camper owned by Darren Oliver could be yours as it will be up For Sale at the show.
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 - www.afritracks.com
We present to you "Colonel K", Vince Martin’s ex-military Leyland Daf T244 boasting permanent four wheel drive and a full torsion free system.
Constructed by Overland Vehicles early this year (2012), the rear is an aluminium-clad steel frame body with double insulation.
Spec-wise, the list is endless, so we’ll
try to be brief. Best take a deep breath though … It is fitted with a permanent double bed, a table and bench that converts into another double bed, full bathroom with shower, wash hand basin and cassette wc with a SOG filter, 300lt water tank, 150lt grey water tank, air-conditioning in the living area, 8 leisure batteries (yes … EIGHT), solar panels, a 3 KVA generator, lots of storage including a roof box, winch on front and rear, bike rack on the back to take 2 dirt bikes with a winch to hoist and lower bikes (naturally!!!) and for good measure, a protection framework of stainless steel. All in all, a very nice conversion.
Meet ‘Gorgeous George’ (it’s just George actually, I couldn’t resist - Ed), a rather special Land Rover Defender 110. Now we feel
that with so many ‘expedition-prepared’ 110s around, these are not entirely suitable for the Vehicle Display as once you’ve seen one 110, you’ve seen them all – hence the “Display Vehicles must be over 3.5 tonnes” rule - then a character like George ambles along and you just have to make an exception – so here he is.
Totally self-built by owner Steve in every spare moment over a 6 month period, George was designed with a sole purpose in mind - more or less an entire circumnavigation of Africa – down the East coast to Cape Town and back up North via the West coast route. Who knows, the little drive across the top may well be tackled as well.
To this end, George has been equipped with a whole heap of goodies, some of which you can see in the photos. Now more or less complete, the next stage is to begin saving up for the main event, hopefully in 2 years time. Yep, these things take time … and of course money. One day Steve, one day.
Yet another expedition truck has just surfaced, and you thought they all resided in Continental Europe – WRONG!
Just back from a 1,600 mile maiden voyage to the remotest parts of mainland Scotland, this 1994 Leyland DAF T244 converted by Steve Wigglesworth must have had a bit of a shock – previous to the trip, the truck
had only ever done 509.3 miles in its entire life! Previously it led a sheltered life as reserve stock of the British Army (quite literally) originally intended as a communications truck, so the shake down trip was an important step to realising its full potential.
The striping by the way is just a mock up as the British Summer defeated Steve in his quest to have the truck ready in time for ADVENTURE OVERLAND. The whole project, now 90% complete, was built outside on his driveway, but clearly that didn’t stop him working his magic on that interior … it looks stunning! It even boasts a couple of 'secret'
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 - www.triptruck.net
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.
Here we have Carolynn Hoy and Ernie, her trusty Landy. Named after Ernest Shackleton of Antarctic fame, Ernie, Carolynn and co-driver Ann recently completed an epic 16,000-mile Antarctic to Arctic fundraising journey in aid of Karting for the Disabled (KfD).
Every year Carolynn completes a fund raising activity and has in the past cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of the charity, however, last year was the really big one. Entitled “Antarctic 2 Arctic”, Part 1 of their adventure began in January 2011 when together
with her friend Ann they shipped the ex-army Land Rover ambulance to Buenos Aires. From there they drove 2,000 miles south to Ushuaia, the most southern city in the world, then headed north following the coast of Chile, into Bolivia and along the infamous 'Death Road', Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, through all the Central American states to the USA.
Having to leave the Landy in Phoenix, they returned to the UK in April for a Formula Kart Stars race - Carolynn’s day job -then almost immediately rejoined Ernie to continue their journey (now called Antarctic 2 Arctic Part 2 – what else?!) north through 'Death Valley', Yosemite and the Rocky Mountains of Canada and into Alaska.
The last 500 miles of their journey took them along the aptly named 'Ice Road' (the equally infamous highway featured in the “Ice Road Truckers” TV series) right up to Prudhoe Bay, thereby completing their marathon trip in April 2011.
Accompanied by none other than Ernie himself, we are delighted that Carolynn will be attending ADVENTURE OVERLAND and giving a talk about her Antarctic 2 Arctic trip in the Seminar Sessions Marquee on Sunday morning.
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 ex electric board Renault 50 van, which owner Dave Lawton converted into a camper five years ago. This however was only phase one. Last winter he also converted it to four-wheel-drive using parts normally fitted to an RB44.
Unfortunately, as Dave has to work on Sunday 7th October he can only attend
ADVENTURE OVERLAND on Friday evening and Saturday until 17:00. If therefore you would like to meet the man to discuss how he got the vehicle got to this stage, you now know when he will be around … and when he won’t!
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.
DIY vacuum-insulated compressor fridge. 600w solar. Electric bed lift for space. Solid walls, post stressed roof drops for containerised shipping (several hours conversion). Single rear wheels. Parabolic springs. 3 point mount.
Home to Aussies Julian & Ali Lawrence, they left Oz in April 2011 to drive through SE Asia, China, Mongolia, Russia, and into Europe.
The summer months were spent in Scandinavia, the plan now being that after displaying their Mitso at ADVENTURE OVERLAND, hitting Morocco seems right for a ‘northern winter’. The idea is to return to Australia next year through Iran, Stans, Tibet, Nepal and India.
Various photos of build and trips can be found on Julian & Ali's website -
Begun in December 2011, the camper conversion on this rather splendid expedition truck has just been completed. Self-built by Angela & Ian Woolliscroft, it is based on a 9.5 tonne Mercedes 4wd fire engine.
Using an aluminium sub frame mounted on a three point system, the body is composite and they fitted out
interior themselves. “I guess it will never be finished” says Ian, “but we have had a few short trips in the UK so far”.
Where to next we wonder? ANYWHERE is the short answer, with that truck the possibilities are endless. As the great narrator ‘Del Boy’ Trotter would say … “The world is your lobster Rodney!”
Another great Landy …
well, apart from the colour (each to their own!!!) this being owned by Welshman Tom Baker currently residing in the Republic of Ireland.
It is a 1992 Land Rover 130 4-berth coach-built motorhome, constructed by the now defunct Expedition Vehicles of Portsmouth. Naturally it has all the creature comforts – air con in the cab and rear, inverter, full kitchen, toilet, shower … you get the picture!
All in all, a very nice conversion that when commissioned 20 years ago must have cost a pretty penny. Delighted Tom will be popping over the Irish Sea to visit us.
Meet Tony Evans and 'Jabba', an ex military 1992 Leyland Daf. Purchased with 20,000 miles on the clock, the box was built for him by Ed Perry of Overland Vehicles as Tony wanted a different build to the standard 'Ed Perry truck'. His specification included using composite construction and an interior more suited to family travels. The scene was set!
Following Tony's design for the accommodation box and interior layout, the build began March 2011 and finished early August 2011, just in time for the family's first outing to Lake Biscarrosse, France. The trip was a great success and has been followed by 2 weeks Skiing in France, 3 weeks exploring Morocco and 3 weeks in Cornwall.
After one year and more than 10,000miles the only mechanical problems have been a broken throttle spring on the way to Morocco and a broken half-shaft caused by some overly enthusiastic off-roaring without engaging the diff lock – admittedly Tony’s mistake!
Early January 2012 he added the rear hung 'Quad Box' and a 450cc Quad bike, which has given him easy to use independent transport and unmatched off-road exploration capability - makes perfect sense!
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”.
Clearly a popular base for a camper, here is another ex RAF Defender 127 Ambulance originally built by Marshalls of Cambridge.
According to owner Les Skidmore of Buxon, Derbyshire, “The previous owner had a conversion done from V8 petrol to 200Tdi and resprayed in Tangiers Orange.
Now I’m converting to a camper it is still very much 'work in progress', but it is useable so I can display the ‘Dream Catcher’ at ADVENTURE OVERLAND.
Here we have the Leyland DAF Camper of Bob Gold. His plan is to go round the world taking about 10 years. This has been delayed by 18 months when Ed Perry at Overland Vehicles went bust in March 2012 leaving him with a part-built job which he has been finishing off and correcting several items which had been done wrong. The trip will start in early Feb 2014, the first port of call being Sicily. Then in April the idea is to cross to Albania and the Balkans, then
Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. Ferry to Georgia then the Stans, Iran. Pakistan and India by Novemberish.
He wanted a vehicle which would allow him to be independent of civilization for up to 30 days … looking at the spec sheet, believe me, he’s certainly achieved his aim. However, there is one thing rather special about this truck that makes it unique ... it's an electric vehicle!
I kid you not! "Our all-electric system works very well", Bob reckons, "It does away with the need for a generator and gas, hence there is no need for air vents which let in lots of dust on unmade roads."
The spec is rather impressive too:-
620 lt fuel, 400 lt fresh purified water and water purifier (purifies from virtually any source, as used in disaster areas), 360 Amp hr Lithium Ion batteries capable of being fully charged from flat in less than 2 hours so we don't need a noisy generator. 4 solar panels, 5kva inverter, composting toilet so no need for chemicals, induction hob, combination microwave, large fridge/freezer plus 80 lt freezer, A/C in both living area and cab. A garage, which lowers to the ground by hoist contains a small motorbike, 2 spare wheels, 5 hp outboard for the fold flat Port-a bote and 2 folding push bikes. We also have 17500 lb winches front and back and a hydraulic leveling system. Heating is via a Eberspaker diesel unit.
As Bob says, "I could go on but I won't."
Incredible, top that if you can!
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.
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.
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.
Boasting difflocks front and rear, raised suspension, big MT tyres on flashy alloy rims (his words not mine), and satin black paintwork as it “saves cleaning it”, he rebuilt it a few years ago after suffering “too much bodywork damage greenlaning a campervan of similar vintage”. Now used for off-roading whenever time allows, it takes the family’s mountain bikes out onto the local moor and tows the caravan to all sorts of Motorsport events. “The muddier the better” is Roger’s philosophy, “its great fun towing a caravan across a field and up a muddy slope!”
Now aged 65 going on 25, the family have been wild camping since the late 80s. Have to say, his rides over the years are impressive – 2 x Land Rovers (80” & 86”), 4 x Austin Gipsy Mk.4, 3 x Lada Niva, 3 x Fiat Panda Sisley 4x4,
and these days – 4 x push bikes, 2 x caravans, 2 x 2.7 Twin Turbo Audi Quattros and 2 x VW Syncros.
And if you’ve never seen a 4x4 VW Syncro before, for many haven’t, Roger and his pick-up will be in the company of Club 80-90 Syncronauts who have a Club Display Stand at AO`14 alongside Campervan Culture, a trade stand specialising in VW Syncros.
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!
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!
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.
"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!”
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.
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’!
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.
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 email@example.com 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!!!
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