Overlanding with kids - A Scandinavian adventure - TRIP REPORT

nick_the_fish

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I thought I'd post this here, its not a new build...more of a re-model but couldn't think where else to put it.

Back in 2011 my (then girlfriend, now wife) brought a 105 series with 26k miles on the clock and, having expeditionized her we spent 9 months driving from London to Cape Town. It was awesome.


I know how you guys love a few photos so here we are
2011_07_04  02.JPG
2011_08_21 01.JPG
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DSCN1799.JPG




Anyway since that trip we’ve got married and had a few little’uns who are now 4 and 2 and so we are ready to start adventuring again. We’re going to start with something a bit smaller and easier while the boys are so young, so we’re off in May for 10 weeks around Scandinavia, with hopefully a quick trip into Russia and coming back through the Baltics. It’s a pretty well worn route but I’m sure we’ll find some adventures along the way.


The route is going to look something like this
Full route inc Russia.png


The general plan is to make a bee line to the south of Sweden for a few days to look at castles and stuff, then over to the Norwegian fjords where we’ll weave around trying to fit in all the best bits, then up as far as Trondheim and back into Sweden to explore the Vildmarksvagen and the Wilderness Way then up to Storuman, working our way up and back into Norway to Bodo, ferry over to the Lofroten Islands. We’ll head through the Lofroten Islands and back towards Sewden along the E10 across to Finland and checkout the Finish Lakelands. Depending on the political situation we’d love to drive over to St Petersburg then back into Estonia, checking out various national parks of the Baltics. Again depending on visas etc it’d be fun to go into Kalingrad before making our way back across Germany and back up to the Peak District for a well-earned cup of tea.


Before going on the Africa trip we ripped the back seats out of Brenda (wifey named the landcruiser after her childhood pet chicken) to fit in the fridge and water storage, so we’re going to need to do a host of re-jigging to fit everyone and everything in. For security we also installed a solid bulkhead between the boot space and the cab which I’d like to keep if possible.


So, the to do list (to be fair a lot of this is already done – I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time….)
  • Rip out everything from the back seat area, build new frame/ plinth
  • Install 2 child seats and fridge
  • Install leisure battery with split charge system inc voltmeter
  • Fit awning
  • Remove roof tent and fit roof top storage boxes
  • Install rear working light and internal lights so we can see
  • Install air horn
  • Figure out water carrying solution (I’d like to have a 60 ltr water carrying capacity)
  • Fix the power steering pump
  • Replace all the worn bushes
Will do an update in a few days when I have some photos
 

Dave_S

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Braver than me - when we had little ones I just built a 4x4 Camper rather than carry on with the Landies and Cruisers! Looks like a good route - be really interested to hear how you get on. :)
 

clivehorridge

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Watching this one Nick, with interest.

What a lovely looking 105, I like the ambulance doors, I've got the same on my Euro spec 80... :thumbup:

Fabulous photos too, we're lucky you weren't posting them at the time the 2017 calendar was being populated, we wouldn't have stood a chance! :lol:
 
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chapel gate

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Now having a 7 month old, ive also got to put the back seats in and rejig my camping set up...

nice pics btw.
 
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Guy OJ

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This sounds familiar!

My boys are 4 & 2, and a couple of months ago I removed the fridge from the back of my Discovery and reinstalled the seats.

Now thinking of selling the Land Rover and my wife's Skoda to buy a Land Cruiser do-it-all vehicle for daily life and adventures.

Watching with interest!

Cheers.
 
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uHu

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....The general plan is to make a bee line to the south of Sweden for a few days to look at castles and stuff, then over to the Norwegian fjords where we’ll weave around trying to fit in all the best bits, then up as far as Trondheim and back into Sweden to explore the Vildmarksvagen and the Wilderness Way then up to Storuman, working our way up and back into Norway to Bodo, ferry over to the Lofroten Islands. We’ll head through the Lofroten Islands and back towards Sewden along the E10 across to Finland and checkout the Finish Lakelands....
Looks like a great adventure. Worrying a bit about the value of it for the kids, but with ma and pa around all day, I suppose it will be great.
With that map you will miss the midnight sun tho'. It's really something special with 24 hrs sunshine. I would extend north to Finnmark, make sure to stop by Juhls in Kautokeino, and then on to Finland. I you need to cut somewhere to compensate, that would be the inland part of middle Sweden, which is really boring. Nothing but trees. You can't even see the forest because of all the trees.
 
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nick_the_fish

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Right time for an update (apologies for the photos they are taken with my iPhone not my SLR). Thanks for all the comments and the interest in the thread.

The second battery is in with a National Lunar solenoid

IMG_3593.JPG


I found the NL monitor to be basically useless so I took it out and put in a simple voltmeter with an inline switch. Its connected directly to the battery although there will be some voltage drop so its not totally accurate but its enough to give me an idea of how much juice there is left so it will do the job.
IMG_3595.JPG


We ripped everything out of the back seat area and put in the new frame, fridge plinth and inverter mounted out of the way under the plinth

IMG_3576.JPG


Then the new Frontrunner water tank went in

IMG_3583.JPG


then the fridge went back in

IMG_3585.JPG


and finally the seats

IMG_3586.JPG


The water tank was bloody expensive for what it is but it has to be said its a super efficient use of what would otherwise be dead, or nearly dead space. The 41l water tank will be supplemented with a 20l jerry can which will give us 60l in total and will also be used to haul water from lakes and rivers up to and into the water tank. I'm not yet decided on wether to just put a bit of hose onto the valve and leave it at that, to wether to plumb in a tap with a locking lever mounted by the seat.

I've also ordered an ARB winch bumper which should be here soon.

Still lots to do but getting there.......
 

Rosy

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Nicely done mate, really clever use of the space in the back, you've save the price of a fridge slide AND got access to cool drinks without having to pull over all with the bonus of two seats!

Just wondering why you went with the inverter under the fridge rather than up higher where it might be easier to access?
 

nick_the_fish

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Hey Rosy, to be honest I hardly ever use the inverter. The only thing I might use it for is maybe charging a laptop. Everything else is run off 12v. I put it under there to keep it out of the way and to stop it getting damaged (!). I agree when I do need it access is a little awkward but I think it will be so rare I don't see it being a problem. A trade off really to use the space higher up for other things.
 

nick_the_fish

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The seats are from Exmoor trim . They are the basic ones but they do much fancier ones. Unfortunately they're for land rovers (booo hisssss) so they aren't simple to fit. That was part of the need for the new frame I had made up.
 
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Bert

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Right time for an update (apologies for the photos they are taken with my iPhone not my SLR). Thanks for all the comments and the interest in the thread...... Still lots to do but getting there.......
Hello NTF. Loving the build, and I think the seats look great even though they're for LR's. Good heads up on the Lunar gauge too.... cheers
 

trektheandes

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Very useful thread, looking forward to seeing more. Clever use of the fridge to stop tired kids fighting with each other! What is the sleeping plan if you are taking off the roof top tent? Ground tent?
 
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lockie

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great pictures!
looks like you've got a pretty good setup coming along there!
cant wait to get back out adventuring myself!
 

StarCruiser

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Nice installation there Nick. I like the battery clamps with the multiple bolts. Where did you get those?
What I am seriously concerned about is your lack of fuses up close to the battery. If any of those cables chafe through (the one disappearing behind the wing is particularly vulnerable) you will very soon have a fire on your hands. With the smaller cables you are far better taking from a fusebox fed by a larger cable if you have several, but individual fuses in line would do just as well. It's also a good idea to cover the larger cables in split conduit. The largest cables don't need to be fused if they are above the size that won't be damaged under a short circuit. In other words they allow the battery to discharge before they ignite anything.

On the voltmeter you won't get any voltage drop if you have wired it directly to the battery with no other load connected on the same wires. Voltmeters put such a minuscule load on as to be negligible and it is load that causes voltage drop.

Get those fuses on there Nick, now. You have to think of normal service and in the case of a crash that doesn't destroy the battery but crushes cables causing a short circuit. Fuses need to literally connect at the battery terminal post. Then we can both sleep at night.
 

nick_the_fish

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Thanks @StarCruiser . Really appreciate you looking out for me - electrical things aren't really my strong point and its a steep learning curve.

The way the circuits off the leisure battery work is as thus (with proposed actions in bold based on my understanding of your comments): There are 4 cables running off the leisure battery +ive terminal:

  • 1 is a large cable (with inline fuse) that runs to some buzz bar mounted in the cab, however the fuse is near the buzz bar rather than the battery. From this comes a number of circuits to different items (fridge/ inverted/ work light/ internal light etc) and each of these sub circuits has its own fuse. (see photo). I WILL MOVE THE INLINE FUSE NEXT TO THE BATTERY
    IMG_4029.JPG
  • There is then a very small cable that is dedicated to the volt-meter that runs directly from the battery to the voltmeter via an inline switch and an inline fuse, however the fuse is near the voltmeter in the cab. - BASED ON MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE ABOVE I WILL RELOCATE THE FUSE TO NEAR THE BATTERY
  • 2 of the cables are for the air horn - the larger one runs to a nearby relay and has an inline fuse which is just out of shot, the other smaller one via the switch mounted in the cab which does not have an inline fuse. FIRSTLY SHOULD I BRING THESE OFF THE BUZZ BAR RATHER THAN THE BATTERY? SECONDLY I WILL PUT AN INLINE FUSE INTO THE SMALLER CABLE CIRCUIT
  • The large cable that comes from the intelligent solenoid is also fused just out of shot.
Hope that all makes sense. I actually think I can get it sorted without too much work. I guess I'm the poster child for the 'why you shouldn't play with electrics if you don't know what you're doing' campaign

I'll order a small fuse box and get it mounted over the weekend.

Thanks once again SC. Oh and i'm pretty sure the battery clamps came from 12voltplanet but I can't seem to see them there any more.
 

nick_the_fish

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@trektheandes yep the plan is to sleep on the ground for this trip. Its a bit of a shame because we loved the roof tent and i'm sure the boys would love it, but we really need the storage space on the roof. Also in Scandinavia there aren't as many creepy crawlies that can kill you, but the next Africa trip will require some more thinking....
 

StarCruiser

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Nick, I know my post was a bit strong but I hope you understand (you mentioned kids… enough said). Believe me you have fitted some fuses so that puts you off the short list for poster boy I'm afraid.
Now,
1, Yes, put the fuse next to the battery. I'm assuming you have sized the fuse to protect the cable. On the Busbar/fusebox, although this type fusebox is widely available and perfectly good enough, they need some care in wiring as they are all separate. You have three choices, 1, replace the whole with a better quality fusebox with an integral busbar. 2, remove the busbar and its connections to the fuses. Strip the thick wire long enough to bridge all the fuse terminals and solder to brass, uninsulated blade terminals and apply some insulation (hot melt glue is good), 3, replace all the short connections from the busbar with stout wire that just fits in the yellow crimps (6mm), move the busbar away a bit and connect new slightly longer link wires.
Order is best to least best.
2, voltmeter, yes, relocate the fuse.
3, Air horn cables. Just put inline fuses right close to the battery that protect the cable and that will be fine, no need to move to the fusebox but you can if you really want to.

Now, looking at the wires you've got cable tied to the bracket close to the fuses. You could really do with wrapping these wires in tape or split flexi conduit to give these some protection. You can get cloth loom tape, wrap with black insulation tape or better still wrap in a very long spiral with black insulation tape and cover with split conduit.
At the very least, protect it where it can run and chafe the insulation. Look at the iriginal looms and imitate them. This all assumes you have sized cables and their fuses correctly for their loads.

A lot of what you have done looks to be correct with the crimped on terminals. Always check these by trying to pull the terminal off the cable, if it stays put it's ok.
 
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