I decided to convert the Green Rover into a heavy duty long range
expedition vehicle, I first had to decide what kind of a car I
wanted. I feel that this is a very important step. If you don't
know what you want the finished design to look like its too easy
to add great modifications that work very well by themselves but
don't work well with each other. Its also very easy to forget
I decided that the car needed to:
- Be a self contained camper that would provide basic amenities
for a month and longer in the field and carry enough supplies
to be out a week without petrol, water or food stops.
This meant large fuel and water capacities and a refrigerator
instead of a ice chest. I felt a toilet and a hot water shower
capacity was a must. I defined the camping tasks that the
design needed to accommodate such as sleeping, meal preparation,
after meal clean up, personal hygiene and storage for needed
items. The design needled to optimize for these tasks
as much as possible within the given interior space. This
helped me define what the end design needed to accommodate
and where best to put it for best task workflow. Anyone
can put up with just about anything for a weekend, but the
true test of a camper design is if the camper would like to
go home and relax after a couple weeks out camping or prefer
to stay out on the trip.
- Be a more capable off road Land Rover than she was when she
came from the factory.
This meant keeping the center of gravity as low as possible,
minimizing exterior protrusions and that everything had to
be rugged and well secured. The running gear, suspension and
wheels had to be strengthened and improved upon where possible.
- Be set up for one or two person camping, and have space
in the rear interior for a large dog when packed.
This meant That the rear interior area had to be as
open and wide as possible. All cabinetry had to be
along the side benches. Everything had to fit into cabinets
so storage space had to be maximized and as much stuff as possible
moved to unused space. The design needed to include two front
seats, beds and chairs in back.
- Be safer than she was from the factory.
This meant uprating the brake system, providing additional
impact protection, designing a safer way to jack up the rear
of a 109, adding a fire extinguisher, first aid kits and emergency
lighting. I wanted to improve the barely adequate wiper system
and speed up windscreen demisting. I also wanted to add head
rests for whiplash protection.
- I wanted the car to remain Land Rover as much as possible.
There are many variations of Land Rovers designed for many
missions. This created a large pool of components that "look
right" and will work well together. I wanted the look of a design
that Rover might have created.
With these design specifications in mind, everything I looked
at was examined for its suitability as part of an overall system
that focused upon task work flow and comfort. I looked
at as many expedition equipped and modified Land Rovers as I could
find, as well as camper conversions and RVs. I
spent time laying under the Land Rover to look for unused space
outside the normal interior space where things could be placed. As
the design progressed I used cardboard furniture mockups as needed
in order to see what fit, and how things worked together to enhance
inside living and camping task flow.
I made to meet the design criteria were based upon a combination
of the best features I saw and my own ideas.
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