With no rear view through the back door the rear view mirror (possibly required for Kenya?) and wiper and motor were removed; the wiper, heated rear window and rear washer switches were utilised as switches for the additional lights. The standard rear door panel was replaced with a chequered panel (needs to be packed out with square section aluminium tubing to clear the central door locking mechanism) to which a drop-down table and other items were attached.
Be prepared for dust to get everywhere! We didn’t have air conditioning but didn’t miss it as we were happy to have the front flaps and windows open particularly in game parks: shut windows would mean we couldn’t take in the smells and sounds of Africa. It also means photography is not at its best through glass. We lived with dust in the front of the vehicle but endeavoured to keep it out the rear where the food etc., was stored. I ended up putting heavy duty dust seal on the back door to supplement the standard door seal; that helped.
In the absence of air conditioning, two small 12 volt fans were set up in the roof on the internal section of the roll bar behind the front occupants to provide cooling when the windows were shut, for example in heavy traffic in towns or where there were tsetse flies (we kept a couple of fly swats for such occasions – they fit nicely in the screen vents). Occupants with long hair beware of nearby fans!
Seed & wading screen
Seeds and butterflies are a reality and can easily clog the intercooler and radiator causing overheating issues. When driving through long grass or in the butterfly season it is best to cover the front grille with a fine mesh net. I fitted ours to the bull bar that did the trick most of the time but seeds could still get behind the screen in thick fruiting grass. I supplemented this by covering the whole of the front with a meshed ground sheeting held in place with clips. The fitted screen also had a solid section that could be rolled down to prevent water powering into the engine compartment – I never used it.
With the vehicle being so high it was difficult to reach to the back of the rear shelf and also to look in the fridge; a double step bolted to the tow bar solved this problem.
The vehicle came with a Land Rover tow bar but the standard tow ball was replaced with a tow ball & jaw and pin one. This has a sturdy pin in addition to the usual ball and allows a safer and more secure means of attaching a rope or strap. It does, however, make it the lowest point on a gradient.