Our Equipment

Our vehicle is a 2015 Land Rover Discovery HSE, diesel, with 100 000 km on the clock. No mods have been done to the engine or the drive train.  The spare wheel has been removed from under the car and replaced with an 80 litre auxiliary tank (front runner) which takes our total fuel capacity in the car to 170 litres and gives us a range of over 1000 km if driven with care.  Because of the aux tank a bracket had to made to hold the spare wheel on the back of the car.  This is mounted onto the bumper.  After trying Front Runner they don’t stock this anymore , then tried Arcotech who had no stock and would take only a minimum order of 5 pieces.  They kept me hanging for months until they finally admitted that they could not meet my deadline.  I then called Outback Extreme and spoke with Frank who designed a bracket and made one up for me.  So far on this trip with the amount of corrugations we have driven over, this bracket has held up well. Thanks to Outback Extreme for their effort, especially Frank

For the rear of the car I designed and made up some drawers and a kitchen out of cardboard and went to Alu-glide trailers to have them made up out of aluminium. With the basic structure built I could then paint and modify and add clips and handles etc.  It all works so far and is pretty functional but a little noisy when going over the corrugations.

The rear seats where removed to make place for a 40l Engel fridge which I borrowed from a friend.  Thanks Marco.  Also in this space is a 60 liter water tank and a portable water filtration unit that a friend and myself designed and made up.  Works like a bomb. Thanks Stewart. The bolt holes in the floor pan, that held the seats, had new bolts put in with tie down brackets that I made up myself. It is here we keep all our camera gear, the drone and clothing .

Further back, on top of the drawers we have 3 ammo boxes with various goods in them and a large comprehensive medical kit that I made up with input from Kenneth at Netcare 911.  Thanks also to Mande and team at Netcare, who if things go really bad, have the means to cassavac us out from anywhere in Africa.  I also completed a level 2 medical course which is offered by Nocsa, to be a little more prepared to help if the situation called for it. Packed in the back is a tool box with some tools that I hopefully will not need to use.  The oil leak will never be repaired.

On the roof I have a full front runner roof rack with the rear third having expedition rails attached.  On the roof is a table tray holder, a second spare wheel bracket, a gas bottle bracket and twin jerry can bracket that holds one jerry can full of diesel and another with water. Also on the roof is a roof top tent that I bought second hand and refurbished and modified by building a sunroof into it so that the stars can be viewed on a non rainy night.

on top

Electrics was the biggest headache with no companies interested in fiddling with a Discovery 4 and running wires through the car.  In my off road caravan I use Victron products and believe in them so, after speaking with front runner, G4 and Bush Power who all made promises but did nothing I called Gerrit from Victron with my design and explained what I wanted.  I went out to his offices and we spoke about the design in detail.  He had many good suggestions and eventually I took his recommendations to a company called Smart Power Solutions and met with CJ who put everything in place really professionally and with care and detail. I would highly recommend him for his work quality and with Victron supplying everything you need, you have a comprehensive solution that all works well together.

 

In the rear I have an additional Hella plug on the right of the car (landrover has a standard cigarette lighter on the rear left ).  On the back door lid CJ mounted 2 LED lights and a switch so that when the boot lid is open the light shines down on our work space.

taillights

The “power plant is a 90 AH battery with a 800W inverter, a battery charger, a regulator and multiple outputs for Hella, cigarette lighter, USB and 220v.  This all fits into a compact package that sits behind the drivers seat . CJ also had an extension box made that houses multiple USB plugs and a 220v plug.  This can be moved around the vehicle to where ever it is needed.  The whole contraption is charged from the car battery with a DC to DC charger and battery power regulator, with the wiring being run from the engine bay into the rear seat wells.  From the engine bay a second loom is run up to the roof rack which has the 2 side lamps connected facing left and right and the light in the Roof top tent.  The light bar on the front of the roof rack is wired on the same loom and activated with a switch on the main pillar to the right of the driver. My thanks to Gerrit of Victron and CJ of Smart Power Solutions for their input, quality and professionalism.

extension elec
plug extension box

Another small mod that we made was “our office” and this is a table that clips into the dash above the cubby hole allowing the passenger to work on the PC while travelling.  This has proven very useful.

Office
Our work space

For air the Land Rover has a built in ARB compressor in the engine bay.  For tyres, and this is really my biggest concern about the D4, namely the 19inch rims which cannot be changed to 18inch. Recently Good Year released a triply ply side wall 19 inch, the only company to do so in SA to date, with a fairly knobbly tread and I had these fitted.  So far so good with using them in the sand at 1.2 bar heavily loaded.  Unfortunately I did pick up a puncture where a stone took out the centre of the tyre between the tread.  I plugged this.  So apart from that I am very happy with the tyre. I carry two spares that are shod with Hankooks.

 

Thats it very simply and it all works but not all of it we have had to use thank goodness.

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