How To Live In Your Land Rover

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(Land Rover Owner, April 2006)

From roughing it it the back of a 110 to living in the lap of luxury in a Foley 6×6 motor mansion, your Land Rover can be your home-from-home.

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Living in your Land Rover is a lot more practical and achievable than you may think. Whether your idea of adventure is a peaceful weekend in Scotland or going globetrotting for two years, turning your Land Rover into a home-from-home isn’t as eccentric as it sounds. It’s a good idea if you like getting back to nature – whether that be in Alaska or Aylesbury.

And it is a concept to suit every budget. A few quid spent on a sleeping bag and some basic utensils will be enough to fund a delightful lakeside weekend in a 110. Equally, you could spend a fortune on a full-blown six-wheeler conversion with beds, cooker, shower and toilet, for that expedition into the wilderness.

The inherent adaptability of a Land Rover makes it an ideal vehicle for customising into pretty much whatever you want it to be. On this page, we’ve shown how easy it is to get comfortable in the back of a 110. There’s room for a sleeping bag (remember to stick a foam mattress underneath!) and it will be nice and snug outside of the depths of winter. But the world is a bigger place than that and for a full-blown expedition there are some great conversions.

Foley 6×6 Global Camper

This superb conversion is right at the top of the Land Rover camper tree. It’s got everything you could ever want for extended overland travel and long-term adventure. Its uncompromising design makes it a superbly capable off-road explorer.

“My wife Sandy Methven and I have just returned from a two year, 75,000 mile journey around the world, in this amazing 6×6 Defender,” says Micheal Groves. “It’s awesome off-road, even with a five tonne load. The Ashcroft underdrive, an ultra-low crawler gear, and diff-locks on all three axles make it almost unstoppable.”

Nicknamed Nyathi, which means buffalo in several African languages, the Defender certainly lives up to its heavy-duty bovine name, but how did this beast evolve?

“After a previous adventure, driving through Africa in a Five tonne Bedford truck, I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted and who I’d ask to build it” says Micheal.

“The most important aspect of a project like this is to keep control. Work out where you can afford to compromise, but keep in mind what’s important to you. For example, make sure you’ll be able to maintain the vehicle when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere. Don’t try to do too much with one vehicle, you might need two vehicles for two different parts of the trip with different challenges.”

“The reason I chose Foley Specialist Vehicles to build our 6×6 was because they welcomed our input and ideas, rather than telling us what we could and couldn’t have. Peter Foley also gave us very good advice, especially regarding the construction. Originally, we’d been advised by other experts to keep the camper body separate from the truck cab, but Peter said: “Do it right and a combined body won’t break.” He also suggested slightly softer springs for the middle axle and firmer ones on the rear, These ideas proved very successful.”

So, what is it like to live in?

“Compared to the standard 110, the 6×6 is more stable on-road with little roll, and keeps to the straight and narrow a lot better. Off-road, it’s much more comfortable, clambering majestically over obstacles with less jarring and crashing.”

“We found that the huge lift-up roof provides a great sleeping space and the numerous storage bays worked well, too. Moving the front seats further back also improved comfort in the cab. Overall, there’s not I would do differently next time.”

“One thing I might change is the construction of the body. This one is incredibly strong but a bit heavy. Next time I’d go for a slightly lighter framework and lighter panels. This is because, when Nyathi is fully laden, she nudges around five-tonnes, so the engine and transmission are always working very hard.”

“The only drawback to keeping it as a daily driver is parking it! Plus the money tied-up in it, which is why it is for sale.”