What’s the story?
After sleeping in a roof tent on his many trips to Morocco and Tunisia, Phil wanted something more comfortable and convenient. It needed to be basic and fairly inexpensive, so he came up with the idea of a homemade box body with pop-up roof.
Phil Brownell’s homemade camper adventure started in autumn 2011, just after the Yorkshireman bought his 2010 Defender 110 hard top from a main dealer in Kent. The 110 had started life as a Land Rover internal fleet vehicle based at the former Upper Heyford RAF station near Bicester. Phil was looking for a 110 HCPU (High-Capacity Pick-Up), but couldn’t find one that hadn’t been thrashed to within an inch of its life. Instead, he chose a heavy-duty hard top as the next best thing, although he knew he would have to convert it into a pick-up before starting on the box body.
Phil tried and tested some of the kit on previous Defenders so, rather than buying another lot, he re-used equipment from his last Land Rover, a Td5 double cab.
Our favourite bit?
Its solid box body holds everything you’re likely to need, including a comfy bed, a fridge and electric power hook-ups for campsite use.
And the verdict from LRO writer Jerry Thurston?
This very lively Defender is the modern nomad’s ideal Defender. It’s got plenty of grunt to attack dunes and rough tracks and has a great range.
Vehicle: 2010 Defender 110
Engine: 2.4-litre TDCi
Torque: 355lb ft
Top Speed: 95mph
Gearbox: Six-speed manual
Transfer box: Standard
Suspension: Land Rover heavy-duty coil springs and dampers
Brakes: Standard discs
Wheels: 16in Wolf
Tyres: 235/85 R16 Cooper Discoverer STT