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It is a simple mantra really - “keep it light”. No excess weight. None. Every kilo we carry increases our fuel cost,
With our goal of keeping it light, we have decided not to buy any of the fancy (= heavy) storage solutions. We are designing the interior ourselves, and aim to make it simple but functional, and as light as we can create without compromising strength. We will be using a combination of Wolf / Ammo boxes and Really Useful Boxes inside a lightweight frame.
This is the plan for the storage and interior.
and the likelihood of getting stuck. With this in mind, we have started thinking about what equipment we really need on the trip.
The base board is 9mm plywood screwed into the vehicle using the existing points in the floor. It is cut to fill the complete floor just past the wheel arches.
The load guard has been positioned so that there is space for two Wolf boxes lengthways between the guard and the tail gate. It was a bit of a fiddle as the load guard slopes slightly. The load guard is held in place using the fixtures for the seat belts.
Storage system with drawers
For the storage system we have used 18mm plywood (glued and screwed). The first level fits between the wheel arches and leaves enough space on the one side for our two gas bottles. On the other side we are using "wings" to extend the space all the way to the side of the vehicle. The structure has been designed to hold four Wolf boxes, with the remaining space filled with two bespoke 9mm plywood drawers.
The second level is similar to the base level, but reaches all the way to the side over the gas bottles. It can also hold four Wolf boxes and two bespoke 9mm plywood drawers.
The third level will hold all our personal belongings, and probably also the cooker. For us it is important to have easy access to the cooker so that we don't have to unpack anything to put on a brew! Priorities!
We struggled to come up with a layout that included the cooker in a sensible spot. Finally, a joint effort and half an hour peering into the back of the vehicle, we had a Eureka moment. So, the bottom right Wolf boxes were removed, and replaced with: (1) a home made storage box at the back, (2) a shallow spice drawer in the front with space for the cooker on top. All sorted!
The load guard provides perfect support for the chosen water tank. We have decided on a 50L upright from Frontrunner. It fits nicely between the wheel arches and the sides of the vehicle with easy access to filler cap and tap.
The fridge sits behind the driver. We have set our eyes on the National Luna Weekender 50L that provides both fridge and freezer capability. It will sit on a 18mm plywood board, using the National Luna base board to secure it.
Behind the passenger seat we will install a small seat from a Land Rover 90/110 to be used for guests and guides. It will also sit on the 18mm base board.
Between the fridge and seat we plan to build a storage space for books, maps and other small items. We also plan to use the floor space as much as we can for (organised) storage.
On one of our testing trips we found we needed some shelf space around the fridge when packing and unpacking it. I am planning to create a shelf structure on the door where it is easy to temporarily store the contents of the fridge.
A big priority for us is to acquire a fridge. We are currently choosing between a 40l Engel fridge, and a 50l National Luna "Weekender". Engel is well known, widely used, and very reliable. However, the refrigeration technology is Engel specific, so it would be more difficult to repair en route should it (unfortunately) fail. The National Luna model we are looking at has a small freezer compartment, in addition to fridge space. This is worth considering. Also, National Luna uses traditional refrigeration technology, so could be repaired more easily en route, if needed. National Luna is edging ahead at the moment ...
Other equipment we have is:
We still need to add:
Update: we opted for the National Luna fridge, mainly due to traditional refrigeration technology
Living in the great outdoors, our first thought is to the "roof" over our heads. The big question: to rooftop tent or not to. We haven’t completely decided whether we want one yet (remember the mantra "keep it light"), but most likely we will make the investment. So far, we have investigated a few brands - Eezi Awn, Tentco, Howling Moon to name a few. We'll keep the page updated as we progress our decision making.
Update: we have invested in a second hand Howling Moon tent. It has already made a trip through Africa, and requires a little love and attention to bring it back to full function.
As camping enthusiasts, we are well equipped already. We have:
Not too much more to add: