Choosing a Land Rover

Diesel Land-Rovers are more economical to run than the petrol ones (which can be pretty thirsty).

I bought mine from Foley Specialist Vehicles Ltd, Waltham Abbey, 01992-787343 -- they seem to be very good.

Advice and comments from friends

Interestingly, all the LandRover enthusiasts I knew at the time of choosing my Land Rover are ordained!


I'll admit I've gone soft, but the old 110s with cart springs all round bounce too much for my liking and rattle a lot. The noise is very wearing after long distances.

It will last for ever but it will cost you. Sometimes the top halves of doors rust significantly to he point where they need replacement or repair as a well as the bits noted.

From what I've heard so far, the major places to look for rust are the bits of the chassis that hold the suspension ("outriggers"?) and the bulkhead -- is that right?

With old ones you are likely to find that over the longer term there will be some major work needing to be done on the transmission, especially if the vehicle has been used for towing. One which has never had a hook on the back is always a better proposition for any 4WD.

Engines often need a rebuild - petrol is thirsty, but older diesels are unbearably noisy and haven't enough performance. Some people fit different engines, suh as Isuzu diesels, but these add a lot to the cost. The consolation is that if you have an old one and it gets no worse in the five years you run it (I plan to run mine for a lot longer than that!), you won't have lost much in capital except the mark up from the dealer who supplies it.

Thanks -- what I'm now wondering is which makes a better camper -- a 110 hardtop station wagon, or a 130 crew cab with box body?

I'd prefer the station wagon - does it have a double skinned roof? - keeps a lot cooler in summer than the single skin ones.

The problem with the 130 (other than not getting as good condition for the same price) is that there's no door from the cab to the body... and apparently with the seats down it's possible to get bikes (pedal) into the 110 without taking their wheels off, and the back is long enough to sleep in -- any experience of these?

The back of my vehicle is long enough, in theory, to sleep in and the seats make into beds. In practice the back is always so full of camping gear there isn't room to sleep in it, but the thought's good!

The real devotee is course Geoff, who has no doubt taken his to the south of France again.


While it is possible to sleep in the back of a 110 - I have done it - it isn't easy. Getting pedal bikes in a 110 with their wheels on is quite possible - I have carried up to 3 inside. If the 130 crew cab back is long enough to sleep in (there are different models, and it is not possible with all), I would go for that one as a camper - despite the fact that there isn't a door between the front and back. The only time size is a problem is with parking, but a 130 isn't that much more difficult to park than a 110.

The best Landrover camper is probably the 110 with an ambulance body - but these are very difficult to get hold of, and I have only seen one on the market in the last year. Alternatively, there is a "Camper" conversion, where the roof is replaced by a special roof which can be raised, and the back is fitted out properly for camping. Must admit have been thinking about a "Crew Cab" for the next time I change, and building a camper back end, if I can't get an ambulance conversion.

As an alternative, I have seen a camper conversion wich fits on the roof rack - bacicaly, a tent on top of a landrover - it was very roomy, and only took a few minutes to erect.

The things to look for which really make a difference are:-

Security -- Hmm - theft of the vehicle isn't usually a problem - althoughy they are popular with "ram-raiders!" - I have found theft from the vehicle more of a trial - thus far three radios in the last three years. Best bet is probably get a good loud alarm fitted, with an ultrasonic sensor, and also us a steering wheel lock - the standard sort is quite sufficient. May be a good idea to hide the presence of the radio by fitting it in a centre locker, as I am about to do when I replace the one stolen just before I set off for France.

The original idea

I was originally thinking of getting the even larger kind, but I'm very pleased with what I've got.

picture of LandRover 130 Crew Cab

Originally I wrote of my plans:

I hope to get a nice practical LWB Land-Rover, preferably diesel, either a station wagon or a crew cab, in autumn 97. I'd take good care of it, as a long-term investment, and get a Tracker fitted so it wouldn't be so much a fret-thing, and I'd hope to be able to use it in all sorts of practical ways -- handy for helping out friends moving house, and so on. PAS, towbar would be good too (and perhaps even a winch).

Other sites with advice

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 22:10:12 GMT Daylight Time 2007