Next on the agenda was a visit to the 2014 Donnington 4×4 show, we had previously visited the show in 2013 with our good friends Dave & Julie Sharp, back then Dave had just purchased a Defender 90 and was looking at kitting it out, where has we were only there to enjoy the day and look around.

Now in 2014, we were in the market for a few bits of equipment for the 110 and top of the list was a RV5 Oztent, the 30 second tent.

I had been speaking to Brendan of Overlander 4×4 who had been extremely helpful On the phone, with advice gained from his own land rover travelling experiences,

He was a well travelled man. He had invited us to his Stand at the show to meet him.

Sadly we never got to Brendan’s stand (sorry Brendan) due to visiting the TUFF-TREK stand first where we impressed with and purchased one of Tuff-Treks Side-mounting Awning’s complete with 6 sides instead.

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We thought at the time, it was just what we wanted, and the quality appeared very good, delivery was quoted around 6/8 weeks.

We were now well into February and we were on with planning our first trip away, which was going to be to the Carpathian mountains, one of the last wilderness areas of Europe, and ideal for us as we could visit our Holiday home in Bulgaria afterwards before returning home.

Easter came and went, during that time I worked on the insides of the vehicle, extra power points, dog guard, rear window guards for extra Security and a way of carrying cargo in the rear.

We (that is Tina) didn’t want to remove the 4 rear dickie seats, so anything I did, had to work with them remaining in place. (Cheers Tina)

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              Split charging unit

 

May Day weekend arrived, and still no Awning had arrived from Tuff-trek, But we did have the chance of trying out our roof-tent for the first time.

Local GWOC-GB Region, Yorkshire wings were having a camping weekend at Squires Café, a local biker meeting spot, did we fancy going – Yes please…

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                      Pitched on the kart track

We arrived on the Friday to be informed by the camp commandant to pitch our tent in the field, and park our car over in the car park?

We took him outside and showed him our Tent, 8+ feet up on the roof of our Landie, Oh! Shit, I hadn’t planned for anything like that, he said.

Once he got over his amazement of our roof-tent, he soon sorted us a pitch, on the old Kart trackon the edge of the field, With the roof-tent deployed, we settled down to a drink or two with friends.

Has the drink flowed and day turned to night, talk around the camp table slowly turned to how my wife, Tina was going to get up into bed!

We are both in the upper 50s age bracket, Tina is only 5 foot tall and is not the most agile of people, plus she does like a drink or two with the Girls…Well! don’t we all…

The talk was, will she get up there, and how do you go to the toilet in the night.

The latter, I had already solved with a funnel and a piece of tubing which ran down and under the Land rover. ( and yes it works )

As for Tina getting up into the tent, it wasn’t a problem. (She had been practicing) So those of our friends who had stayed up to watch, were severally disappointed When she climbed up with ease and bid them Good Night.

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                                Tina up in Tent 

The Weekend was a great success, we both slept extremely well, and the Land rover with the roof-tent setup was the most photographed vehicle at the event.

Finally, 3 days before the May spring bank holiday weekend the Tuff Trek Awning Arrived.

Surprisingly it didn’t take a lot of fitting, and as we headed off to the balloon Festival At Kirkby Lonsdale Cumbria, we were both looking forward to trying it out.

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          All set up, in The Calm before the Storm

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                       Fully enclosed living space

Thursday and set up, this was the only dry day of the weekend,  we were hit with heavy rain and gale force winds over the next four days. a total wash out.

Still on the plus side, our set-up had weathered the storm well,  fully water tight and no leaks,

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Half the fun of owning a Land Rover, is getting it mucky!

Its now November 2014 one year on, after first buying the Defender 110, we have  had a great year, even though we didnt get to the Carpathian Mountains like we planned due to a little health scare I had, but that trip is still on the Cards.

Instead we put together a some what hasty trip to the French / Italian Alpes, which turned out brilliantly spending two weeks exploring old trading routes, Military Roads and tunnels in the Mountains. Returning home via, Italy, Austria, Germany, and back across France, but thats another story which I will tell real soon..

The Tuff-Trek Awning is sadly gone, due to letting us down on Holiday in europe, it just couldnt cope with this years Changable European Weather,

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A great looking set-up but…..

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sadly it started to come apart

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Stress points only single stitched

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Velcro coming away due to only single stitching again

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Eyelets over crimped

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Stress area single stitched again, coming away & leaking

In fairness to the UK importer, he was totally surprised and offered a full refund or replacement, and passed on our photos and notes to the factory, hopefully this was a one – off ,

We replaced the Tuff Trek Awning with a Oztent RV5 Purchased from Brendan at Overlander 4×4 which was our original choice,

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Trying out the RV5 Oztent in the Dales, we now have the choice of on the ground or up on high.

Although at just over 2 metres long when packed we had to find away of carrying it on the 110 with our roof tent.

How’s this……my custom made carrier Brackets

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Fully tested on and off road, our Oztent Carrier works a treat 

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We are planning to add a Oztent Foxwing Awning before the start of the 2015 season. Yes they are slightly more money than others on the market, but after checking them and others available on the out, the Foxwing is much better quality in our opinion.

Its been a good first year with our Defender 110, plenty to do, and learn, lots still to do, and I am sure 2015 will bring much more of the same, but thats one of the great joys of Land Rover ownership.  Roll on 2015.

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Snow in August in the french Alpes on our Holiday, I will tell that Story soon.

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In August 2015 our beloved Land-Rover seen in these photos was Stolen

Thankfully the thieving scumbags couldn’t steal our many “Appy” memories Travelling in it.

However ! Should you EVER come across our Green TD5 110 Reg Number FP02 YVV

Please let us know, we would love to meet those who took it.!!

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