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Land Rover Defender 130 Dual Cab "The Millimeter"


Our Defender has found a new owner.
He is planning to take the Defender to Perú and use it as escort vehicle on tag along tours.


The vehicle

The vehicle is a white Land Rover Defender 130 Dual Cab driven by the standard Td5 Diesel Motor (stick shift) with cloth seat covers and tinted windows.
The vehicle is a 1999 model but has only been registered since 2001.

The vehicle is allowed to carry 5 passengers. Depending on the installed seat configuration 2+1 or 5 passengers may sit in the vehicle.
Due to it's height of only 2.05 m the vehicle fits into most of the garages and can be shipped overseas in a container (better security).


Self sufficiency

Fuel capacity is 200 liters of diesel in 1 main tank and 2 additional tanks (with fuel pumps). This results in a range of 1500 km
2 spare-wheels are stored thief-proof inside the container.
The purpose built roof rack is strong enough to hold 3-6 additional jerry cans and 2 additional spare wheels.

120 liter potable water are carried in 2 leak proof tanks.


The back-section

The back-section is built on a steel frame covered with Alu sheets.

A "Beduin" roof tent is stowed away dust-proof in a drawer, accessible from the backside.
Two gibbets and 2 poles stabilize the tent when opened.
A second tent could be mounted on the roof rack.

Access to the tent is accomplished by a telescopic ladder (We used a Telesteps ladder []).

On the left side a Hannibal Awning of 2,5 x 3,5 m can be unfolded. It is self-supporting and tent poles are only used on heavy wind and rain.

All the baggage is exceptionally easy accessible by 2 big hinged hatches supporting 2 tables.
Despite the huge payload, the vehicles point of gravity is extremely low.

The inner life of the back-section has been adapted to the measurements of the proven Rako boxes ( The boxes can be fixed by clamping sets should the terrain get rough.

The 48 liter stainless steel WEMO fridge ( without deep freezer is driven by an external Danfoss compressor. For the temperature-management an Ecotronic circuit (Wemo) has been built in. It cools the fridge down by additional 5 degree celsius when the vehicles electrical voltage is sufficiently high.

The Rako boxes, which can also be used as drawers on rails mounted to the hinged tables, make up a perfect kitchen.

Potable running water is made available with a water pump (SHURflo Whisper King) with water-pressure regulator and is filtered (water filter: a coarse filter pre the water pump, a fine particle filter [0.1mm sieve] and a Seagull 4000 filter post the pump). The content of both freshwater tanks is controlled by water-gauges (Votronic).

Due to 120 liter water in 2 switchable tanks (leak proof!) and the water filtering system used to fill the tanks, water should never be a problem. The water tabs of the water tanks are mounted outside the back-section and are lockable (no water mess inside the vehicle while loading water)!

An external 230V power inlet allows connection to campsites electricity while all doors of the vehicle are still closed

A 3. battery is installed to drive fridge, water pump, light a.s.o. and can be charged by the also installed battery charger and conditioner.

The back wall in the driver's cab accommodates a wardrobe and a small clothesline. Also mounted in the cab, very close to the kitchen and is a 6 kg fire extinguisher.

Also the console in the driver's cab is built on Rako boxes and has 2 sections. Tanks to the rim on the cap of these boxes, maps, pencils and the like don't fall between the seats.

4 persons can comfortably eat on the big table (118 x 78 cm). It fits into a compartment in the back-section.

A huge mozzie tent as big as the awning itself can be attached to it.
The Alu frame of the awning is appropriate to be used as clotheshorse. A smaller clothesline is permanently fixed to the floor of the unfolded roof tent.

The whole setup relatively comfortable also during bad weather due to it's extensive and big awnings.
Also during sandstorms, food contained more tucker than sand ....

On the right side is a second hinged table, mainly used for repairs and maintenance.
Also on the right side there is room for a large 80 x 60 x 33 cm Rako boxes (ideal to stow away backpacks, sleeping mattresses a.s.o.).

A toilet-tent can be mounted under the roof-tent.
Access to clothes and manicure cases is ideally accomplished through a door at the backside of the back-section.
The PortaPoti 345 chemical toilette is normally installed in the driver's cab in a special compartment which can also be used as a auxiliary seat (including seatbelts).
The loo can easily be removed from the furniture and placed in the toilet-tent.
A 3rd seat can be mounted in the driver's cab instead of the toilet-compartment.

The lower backdoor is at the same time the support for 2 original Defender jacks, used to stabilize the vehicle during the night and also mount point for a bench vice which makes repairs easier.

Everything on this is optimised and each Millimeter of space is used up. Due to this the mechanics building the vehicle gave it the name "The Millimeter".


Extensions and Upgrades

A sunroof is mounted on the roof rack which keeps the cabin cool. The air-snorkel is also used as support for the external GPS antenna. The CB antenna (76 cm; 27 MHz) is mounted on the top at the back end of the roof rack and performs equally well on all sides.

The installed 27 MHz CB radio (40 Channel AM/FM Maycom AH27) connected to the external antenna, can be removed from its support and can be used as a handheld transceiver when battery pack and flex-antenna are attached.

The GPS / PC-connection between the Garmin GPS 176 Color (which is connected to the external antenna) and the PC is installed and makes navigation easy. A 12V plug for the PC is also pre-installed.

Radiator protecting steel-mesh and protectors for head- and back-lights are mounted. A mounted makrolon plate additionally protects the headlights from flying debris.

The winch (Husky 10 mounted on the bull-bar) is connected to a separate battery which is normally run in parallel to main battery. It can be separated by a switch should the motor stall to avoid the main battery to run flat.

An 80%-Diff-Lock on the rear axle helps in critical situations.

Flood lights mounted to the A-bar and also to the rear of the vehicle provide good illumination.

Custom-built galvanized steel sills on each side of the cabin are used for body-protection and attachment points for the high-lift jack. Without these points, the backside of a 130-Defender cannot be jacked up using a high-lift jack. Also at the backside of the back-section are 2 additional points for jacks mainly used to stabilize the vehicle when the tent is "pitched".
10 mm Alu underbody protection guarantees protection for the steering mechanism. The mudguards are covered by Alu sheets allowing climbing on to the vehicle.

The Hayman-Reese tow-bar is rated for 3.5.tons and can also be used for recovery if a correctly rated shackle-assembly (WARN Winches) is fitted.

Since standard "bridge-elements" have proven to break, Peter (our brother in law) designed new elements which are good for 2000 kg each. The elements weight 11 kg and are stowed at the right side of the back-section.

The "bridge-elements" were tested by jacking up the fully laden vehicle on one side to increase the weight to one element even more. There were just a few Millimeter bowing under load visible (as expected). Meanwhile the elements were already several times used to temporary rebuild parts of a road, for recovery and also for simpler things as balancing the vehicle while camping.


Experiences and adventures with our "Millimeter"

We put the Defender through their paces in Niederbipp during a SIBESA-driver's-training.
Axle movement is fantastic and thanks the very low point of gravity tilting the vehicle was never a problem.

In Tunisia the final product finally proved it's quality.

It also smoothly managed the bottle-neck near Douz, a sand dune barrier of roughly 400 m including an difference in elevation of about 30 m in the first half of the way up.
The 80%-diff lock in the rear axle contributed its part in such difficult situations.

A 1.75 m long drawer (accessible from the rear end) allows carrying reasonable equipment ....

... which also was extensively used in Greece to cleanup and rebuild roads ....

The recovery-gear carried along matches the weight of the vehicle.
They were found very useful and were successfully used in Greece.

Where ever we go ... "The Millimeter" is a trusty companion which never left us in the lurch.

It brings us to the loveliest places, should it be in the mountains ....

..... or in the middle of a desert.



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