What's the story?
Custom-Campers boss Ralf Hilwerling is a true Land Rover fan - his first was a brand-new 1998 Defender 110 300Tdi, for which he naturally built a pop-up roof and fully-fitted furniture. ‘Just six weeks after I’d finished it, a customer insisted on buying it. He’s been driving that vehicle for 14 years now; we’ve even done trips together. Then I bought one of the first Defender Td5s in Germany. I converted that one too, of course.’
‘Everything is handmade to the customer’s specification. We can make standard, off-the-shelf versions but most are customized to some degree. For example, if the customer has big feet, we make the roof sides a little deeper, if they’re not so tall, we make the bed a little shorter to increase space inside the vehicle.’
The pop-up roofs have an aluminium ‘sandwich’ top panel. It’s very strong – you can walk on it, even if you weigh up to 100kg. The sides of the roof are usually fabric but they do have an option that has solid sides if required.
The bed is in the roof, on a slide-out system. This means that with the roof closed, there’s still a comfortable amount of headroom to allow sitting ‘downstairs’. Even with the roof closed there is still room to sleep in the Defender as the furniture units are designed to be made into a double bed.
Our favourite bit?
There’s no doubting the high-quality finish. Ralf and his company have considerable expertise and experience of creating stunning conversions and camper bodies.
And the verdict from LRO writer Mark Saville?
If you want a Defender like this one, it’ll cost you £61,000 including taxes. It’s not a small amount of money, but if you’re investing in an overland adventure, then this might fit the bill.
Engine: 2.4TDCi l Brakes: ABS (four-channel) including electronic traction control (ETC) l Wheels: HD steel rims