An armchair in the dunes: 2002 Range Rover L322 Td6


Hamish Cole takes his luxurious 14-year-old Range Rover to Morocco

An armchair in the dunes: 2002 Range Rover L322 Td6
A-bar and lamp protectors are genuine Land Rover items

 

I bought this Range Rover new in September 2002. It was initially used as our family car, darting off to the continent as often as possible, and could on occasions be seen in remote rural areas on hunting and fishing trips. 

Although this isn’t a pampered vehicle, it has never let me down and has always gone wherever I’ve pointed it. Only once did we have an intermittent niggle with the air suspension, but fortunately this just turned out to be a faulty sensor. 

Regular servicing at our local main dealer Hillendales Land Rover (now called Farnell) was worth the investment, as the Range Rover was kept well primed and ready for setting off at a moment’s notice. 

Over the years very little was changed on the vehicle, but in 2014 my son and I decided to go to Morocco with LRO’s Adventure Club. We looked for some bolt-on kit but without much luck, so some adaptation was called for. 

I bought an expedition roof rack and asked my local blacksmith at Kerfoots A6 Trailers to complete it by fabricating a spare wheel carrier and clamps for jerry cans.

An ARB side awning was also fitted, along with a couple of ARB swag tents, which sit on the ground – worth every penny because my son is 6ft 7in tall, so a roof tent was out of the question. I took the rear seats out to make room for a couple of military air-portable cases loaded with spare parts, including alternator, turbo,
brake components... 

This had the added benefit of flattening the rear floor area, allowing a 50-litre Ironman fridge-freezer to fit on top of them. No split-charging system was needed because the fridge monitors the current drain on the battery, and prevents it from draining too far.

We used a hand-held CB radio so that it could be used outside of the vehicle if my son and I were both on foot, and a portable Britpart compressor was also carried. Lastly, I installed the two spare wheels – one in the original boot space and one on the roof rack, both with matching 255/60 R18 General Grabber ATs on stock alloy wheels.

Off to Morocco we went and the Range Rover took everything thrown at it. On the way it acquired the nickname ‘The Armchair’ due to the amount of leather, aircon and other creature comforts. After three weeks and 5000 miles, we arrived back in the UK without having had a single mechanical issue – except for sand and dust everywhere, which we’re still cleaning out! 

Final calculations showed the vehicle returned 27.8mpg, which we reckon is quite impressive for a luxury beast like this.

 

This owner review appeared in the May 2016 issue of LRO. Current and Back issues are available to download on digital devices here. Please note, we only hold stocks of the the last three back issues. 

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