tonypark

Pimping my (safari) ride

30 posts in this topic

As discussed elsewhere, I thought I'd show off my pride and joy - my 1997 300Tdi Land Rover Defender, named Broomas. There are also some pics here of my wife, who is also pretty special.

 

Broomas, incidentally, is named after Brumas, the first polar bear cub born at London zoo, back in the sixties (Mrs P had a toy brumas when she was a kid in pommieland). Broomas (the spelling comes from Broom-Broom, reflecting his frankly awesome top speed of 120kph) is a good name for our Landy because, like a polar bear, he is big, white, and cool.

 

But enough of all that... He's a bit of a work in progress and I thought I'd share some of the additions and modificaitons we've made to him, most borne out of our travels in him so far. We have another (very old) Land Rover, living in semi-retirement in Zimbabwe, and learned a lot from him (his name is Tonka - Tonka Tough), but whereas Tonka was a short wheelbase Landy, Broomas is a 110 (long wheelbase), so we have much more room to play with, and more space to fill with junk and gadgets.

 

Broomas lives with friends in Joburg. (We're Australian and spend 6 months of each year in Africa where I write and research my books). It's not easy as a foreigner to legally register and own a vehicle, but it can be done (bit of a bureautcratic nightmare - but we got there in the end). Lest you think he some flash joburg town car that never goes off road, I can report that Broomas has served us well already on trips into Zim, Botswana and Namibia. We're off to Zambia next week.

 

So, without further adieu, say Howzit to Broomas and his colleciton of gadgets:

 

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This pic (above) shows Broomas with his easi-awn T-Top roof top tent. It's canvas and very big and heavy duty. The 'T' top refers to the extendable bit at the back that overhangs the vehicle and provices extra shade and shelter when getting stuff out of the back. Very handy in wet weather. On the side, apart from my wife, is our easi-awn awning. This is lightweight and springloaded and retractable - like pulling out a roller blind. Nice bit of kit.

 

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OK, this is a neat south african invention - a circular braai (barbeque) grid that fits nicely over the second spare tyre that we mounted on the front. Defenders didn't come fitted with bonnet mounted spares (unlike old series Landys). Both the bonnet tyre mount and braai grid come from SA 4x4 company Frontrunner.

 

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And at the other end of the truck is Mrs P's pride and joy, her new Frontrunner four ammo box slider. This is like a drawer, or sliding tray, in which four sturdy plastic boxes sit. Here she keeps her pots and pans and food condiments and whatever other stuff girls use to cook with. My cooking skills start and end with the braai grid.

 

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Above, Mrs P opens the tap on our Frontrunner 40 litre water tank, filled in the left rear wheel arch. We never bothered with a water tank on the old landy, but now I don't know how we lived without it. Very convenient and a must for carrying drinking water into places like the Okavango Delta. Very handy on the game count, too.

 

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Here's Mrs P reaching for goodies inside our South African made National Luna 50 litre fridge/freezer. This thing goes like a polar bear after a penguin. It'll go from ambient temp - up around 28 degrees celcius, down to minus 20 in about 20 minutes. It is awesome. It has a digital temp control, which I like, and is run off a second deep cell battery, mounted next to the truck's main battery under the front passenger seat.

 

Camping is all about refrigeration. There isn't a problem that can't be put into perspective over a cold beer - other than not having a cold beer. That is the ultimate overlanding disaster. For many years we used a South AFrican 'Zero' gas, 12V and mains absorption fridge. While not as cold as the compressor driven National Luna, the Zero was reliable and you didn't need a second battery for it (we mostly ran it on gas). We've now got the old fridge mounted further forward in Broomas and use it to store our fresh fruit and veg. We don't run it, but it keeps the salad stuff out of the sun. We don't refrigerate any of our fresh produce. Mrs P wraps lettuce, tomato, cucumber etc etc in newspaper and keeps it dry and out of the sun (in the old fridge, with the lid cracked open. It lasts way longer than refrigerating it, and doesn't take up valuable beer room in the fridge. I also carry the old fridge as a back up in case the National Luna packs up. Remember, it's all about refrigeration.

 

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Did I say that camping was all about refrigeration? Yes, I think so. Above, you'll see our back-up for the back-up, a good old fashioned coleman cold box (or esky as we say in Australia). It's good for storage, as well as keeping things cold. When we went into the Okavango recently I packed it with big tubes of block ice. I lopped off a bit of ice each day to keep my daily beers cold in a smaller cool box (I have about three cooler bags/cold boxes in the truck storying bits and pieces), and provided ice for Mrs P's g and t. We could have used the national luna for the beers, but it's better for a long trip to run it at very low temps as a freezer and store all the meat in it. The more you open a fridge the harder it has to work to keep its temperature and this further drains the auxilliary battery. Having said that, once your meat is frozen solid it'll stay that way for days at a relatively mild minus 4 or 5 degrees celcius and this isn't cold enough to freeze beers over a short period.

 

Also in this pic you'll see, at top left, one of the shelves my mate Riaan and I fitted into the vehicle's roof space. There's a matching shelf on the other side. It's a bit of off-cut chip board covered in carpet and bolted in. There's lots of nooks and crannies in a Landy that can be filled with custom storage space and unlike, say, a Land Cruiser or a Range Rover, you don't think twice about drilling holes in the aluminium body and bolting things in place.

 

As for other storage, I've got holders for two jerrycans on the roof (one fuel and one extra water), and a water proof rubberised roof rack bag that holds our big ground tent, and chairs and a fold-up table. We have a ground tent for when we're staying longer than a day or two in one spot. The roof tent's good for overland trips where you're changing locations every couple of days, or parks where the camps are unfenced and dangerous critters prowl and night. Setting up the big tent in places such as kruger allows us to get away quickly on game drives, without having to pack up the roof tent.

 

Inside the truck there are a couple more plastic storage boxes.

 

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Lastly (for now) above is a canvas load bearing rig for AK 47 magazines and hand grenades, as worn on the chest by the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. I cut this little number of a dead guerilla in Afghanistan. Ooops... no, sorry, I acutally bought it at the souvenir bazaar on the base in Afghanistan that I rarely left during my military service. (I spent 99 per cent of my war behind a desk).

 

You need storage for little bits and pieces and my Afghan chest webbing now carries mozzie repellant, sunscreen, cable ties, lighter, bungee cords etc, instead of weapons of mass destruction.

 

Well, that's it for now. I hope you like Broomas, and perhaps you've got some pics to share of your own vehicle?

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Wow, Tony, I'm so impressed! To me it looks perfect. I shall obviously have to keep on buying the books to keep this

 

beauty in tip top condition. I wish you and your wife many successful African wanderings. I'm so jealous!!!!

 

 

 

 

Jan

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noice...

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Thanks Jan and Zam.

 

Yes, Jan, please buy more books as Broomas needs some nice custom made storage bins built into the side of his body, just aft of the front doors. We're planning on making one the cellar (ie the smuggle box to get more booze past pernickety, crooked African border officials).

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I'll have to brush up the Photoshop skills to kit my 4x4 up to safari standards. You can tell that it will take a little time for me to complete the art work and then I'll post photos. :D

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And money, Twaffle... don't forget the money. I don't really want to add up what we've spent on Broomas - too scary.

 

Tonka is coming down to SA from Zimbabwe in Feb - some aussie friends are taking him for a drive - so when and if he arrives I'll take some pics of his layout to show how a 4x4 can be fitted out on an extreme budget.

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Wow, great Landy. When I eventually get out, I'll expect picking up at Joburg please... Hasn't Dik Dik still got those old Safaritalk magnetic signs you could put on her sides?

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Your Broomas is beautifully pimped. And your wife is beautiful too. Happy travels to you all.

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He is, as you Aussies would say, a BEAUTY!

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Thanks Atravelyn, on all counts, and yes, Kavey, Broomas is a ripsnorter.

 

GW, regrettably, as a hard top, Broomas only has two seats - one for me and one for the wife - but we have been known to transport the odd game scout and national parks employee on the roof. So, mi roofrack e su roofrack. Or perhaps I'll fit a tracker seat up on the front fender for you!!! Best bring the Remington to fend off the carjackers.

 

On a semi serious note you may notice from the pics we do like our stickers. How about some Safaritalk car stickers? Fund raising initiative?

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Ah, Tony. very nice. You know how to hurt a guy. Reminds me of my fully decked out Troopy which the missus & I had for a 2 year trip around Oz.

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gallery_1_143_117687.jpg

Tony, these are the magnetic signs Dik Dik had done up for my South Africa road trip on his Ute. I'm sure he's still got them. Drop him a line and put them on the Landy. If you ever get fed up with them, (or me) you can peel them off easily without damaging paint...

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Couldn't stop laughing at the names - Broomas, Tonka, Troopy. I didn't think many people christened their cars (my husband affectionately calls our 4x4 Crocuty) but nice to know that the madness is widespread :)

 

Your Broomas is a looker, Tony. Happy travels.

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Yes, Sangeeta, someone once said to me that you should never name a vehicle because then you get too sentimentally attached to it, and you can't treat it as just a machine. Of course, a Land Rover is not a machine. Each has a unique personality. We have friends in Australia who have two, a little old short wheelbase series II called Grommit and a big white TD5 called Mzungu. Of course.

 

GW, I thought you were joking about the magnetic signs! Sadly, they won't affix to the aluminium body of the land rover but the artwork looks great. I'll be seeing Dik Dik in December so I might investigate using the artwork to get some stickers done. what do you reckon?

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gallery_1_143_117687.jpg

Tony, these are the magnetic signs Dik Dik had done up for my South Africa road trip on his Ute. I'm sure he's still got them. Drop him a line and put them on the Landy. If you ever get fed up with them, (or me) you can peel them off easily without damaging paint...

 

Photo taken in Kruger Park at Tropic of Capricorn on main N/S tar rd about 15 km north of Mopani ?

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The magnetic signs don't stick to landies as they're aluminium!

 

Very nice landrover Tony! Which areas of Zambia are you visiting?

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I must say that the magnetic signs didnt come off the Isuzu to easy either. Somehow GW melted them to the body.

 

Nicely kitted Tony, you will still appreciate sleeping in a bed when you get to CT. I remember my old series III called Hippocrockadonkey. Made it from Durban to Cape Town and back and then we ran out of money. Also with RTT and fridge.

 

You should see my new ride has been pimped. I raised the suspension by 4 inches and installed a long range tank and now added 33 inch tyres.. Will post some pics later.

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Nice one, Dik Dik... sounds like you're turning the Jeep into a Monster Truck with those huge tyres.

 

Egilio, it's just a quick trip to Zambia, to see friends who live near Livingstone. After that we'll drive to Siavonga and cross to Kariba for a houseboat for new year's eve.

 

Thinking about Kafue next year.

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This is what my Jeep looked like without the new tyres. - If you look carefully you can see the suspension lift and the long range tank. :D

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This is what it looks like with the new tyres.

 

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Made me chuckle :D

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Dik Dik, lekker, ek se! Haven't I seen you in the SA 4x4 readers' rides section?

 

Thanks for a fun stay in CT.

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Posted (edited)

Hey there, its so nice to see we are not the only people obsessed with their landy. We have recently aquired our '88 V8, also a hard top with two seats (although previous owner fitted backseats..which will be leaving the vehicle shortly).She is called Armour-dillo.

 

We have all these ideas and are documenting it step for step.... we first fitted a new nose complete with 8000 pound winch. What a bargain when we realised we get the winch too on purchase. River crossings should be easy now...cast the hook over the river,hook on a tree and press "play"....wallah!! Bushveld waterskiing in its own glory! hehehehe :)New nose pictured here

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Yesterday we gave her some brand new boots and now she looks so stylish and handles like a dream!

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Quite a few things next on the list and suggestions are welcome on where to go...we have Pretoria and the East Rand easily available.....

 

3 second 2man tent (we have a larger tent already for `longer stays)

fridge/freezer

ammo box drawer system (custon made design)

 

Also, anyone have a suggestion on a good mattress to use? Air matrresses really"let us down" in the past! Literally!!

 

As you can see,,,Armour-dillo is an empty shell and we are going to have the time of our lives fixing her up and having adventures.

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Keep us posted on Broomas please....its so interesting to see peoples ideas!

Edited by OurLifeInSlowMotion

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That second image isn't the right link, let me know what it should be and I'll edit it in...

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Posted (edited)

aha!! I have learnt how to edit my posts and now the pictures are there :D..... that pic should show up now?? Im getting there, lol.

Edited by OurLifeInSlowMotion

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Yes, ideal. Looks like a great old Landy. V8? Petrol? Must cost a fortune to run... With regard to the tent, are you going to have it roof mounted? Don't forget that vital beer fridge...

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