Keeping it simple is a lifestyle choice. Brett’s classic 200TDi Defender is a rare beast and a veteran outback tourer.
Why did you choose this particular 4X4?
I wanted a simple non computerised vehicle, something I could have a go at fixing should it break down in the middle of nowhere. I also loved the Defender’s basic interior and its ability to be highly customised.
I particularly wanted an older vehicle especially one where if it got scratched I wouldn’t care. My truck has acquired quite a few scratches and dings now, all of which add to its character and tell a story.
I think watching the Bush Tucker Man explore Australia in his trusty Land Rover Perentie as a child may also have had something to do with my choice.
What have you built this 4X4 to do?
I’ve created a long range touring vehicle suitable for two people. For solo travel I can carry 185 litres of diesel, at least 70 litres of water and two weeks supply of food. Fully loaded at 3 tonnes I average 8km/L giving me a safe 1400km range.
Travelling solo I was sure to install some top quality communications equipment on-board, fitting an Icom IC-400pro UHF radio and a Codan NGT AR HF radio with autotune antennae.
Being a member of the VKS-737 HF network also meant I could radio for assistance or weather updates as required. I also carried a GME Accusat MT410G GPS equipped Personal Locator Beacon and SPOT Gen3 GPS satellite messenger in the event I required rescue.
I wanted minimal fuss when setting up camp so I built a two piece rear bed platform in the back. This allowed me to pull up at a site and within two minutes have my bed set up. Great for those long days on corrugated tracks.
Where have you taken it and what are some of your favourite tracks/destinations?
I spent 10 months travelling solo around Australia in 2015 covering 30,000 kilometres.
I particularly loved the outback Victorian desert parks of Little Desert, Wyperfeld and Murray-Sunset National Parks.
In June 2008 I completed a 3 week solo Cairns to the tip of Cape York trip, my first big adventure. My favourite track was the Googs Track in South Australia.
It’s referred to as the little Simpson Desert with 363 dunes to cross. Didn’t see a single other vehicle on the track during my 3 day crossing.
The walk up to the top of Mount Finke offered spectacular views. Ruby Gap Nature Park in the Northern Territory was also particularly beautiful, driving in along the dry sandy riverbed.
Would you set it up the same again and if not, what would you change?
Having spent three years equipping my Defender ready for my trip around Australia, I had plenty of time to think over all the modifications and I’m very happy with how my truck has come together.
Given additional funds I would get a Mulgo Pop Top camper conversion, so I would have more room when sleeping inside. Although I was fairly comfy during my travels, having additional room to stand up in would be great for those weeks when it rained continuously.
What future mods do you have planned?
I feel that my truck is “complete”. Although in the future I would like to fit a Detroit TruTrac Differential in the front to match the rear along with some Maxidrive uprated halfshafts.
Is there anyone that you’d like to thank for their help/assistance with building your 4X4?
I’d like to thank my dad for giving me a hand during the installation of some of the accessories and Daniel Fluckiger from the Expedition Centre for creating some great Australian made products for the Defender and his valued advice and assistance during my trip.
You can read more about Brett, his Defender and their adventures by visiting his site Roaming The Outback.
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