I Turned My Truck into a 4x4 EXPEDITION RIG
I'm Eva, and I've spent the last three years of my life traveling solo to some of the world's most remote and off-beat places. From horse trekking alone in Mongolia, to living in Pakistan for a year and spending the first three months of the pandemic stuck on a remote island off the coast of Yemen before making my way back home on a cargo ship, it's been one hell of an adventure, but recently I decided it's time for a change. I've been dreaming of being completely free and independent with a little nest of my own, so I bought my dream truck, a Land Rover Defender, and started converting it into an off-road overlander slash mini camper. In the previous episode, I set off on my very first shakedown trip to test the Defender and the build that we've created so far. I found a whole bunch of issues.
In today's episode, I take the lessons from last week and give the Defender a proper expedition makeover. Work on the car has, of course, continued, and I'm really excited to show you some of the upgrades that we've got in here because this thing is now looking like a proper expedition vehicle slash tiny house because that's what it is. First of all, as you can see right above me, there's a new ceiling, so it's not actually going to end up looking like this because I'm going to be adding a ceiling lining made from really soft velvety fabric soon, so it's going to be a little bit different compared to what it is now, and then in addition to that, of course, we've got these cupboards on both sides, and these are just so handy and so useful because they are installed in a spot where I just wouldn't be using that space, so it's really awesome to have this extra storage really, really helpful and last, but not least we've also got these shelves over there, and we're gonna be installing another set on this side, so I'm gonna have more shelves everywhere and after we're done with this part we're gonna move on to electricity, power, heating, alarms, electronics all that really, really fancy stuff that I don't know how to do so I'm gonna have to give Odyssey to a professional. I'm proud to announce that finally, the entire car has been insulated. After a lot of mental and physical gymnastics, it's done.
I got some really lovely velvety fabric to line the ceiling here just to break up this sort of plywood style, and the real test is here, so I'm trying to see if the fabric will actually stick to the plywood using the glue that I have. So far, I don't know, but it's only been half an hour, and apparently, the glue takes 24 hours to work. I don't know why but this part of cutting the fabric makes me feel so stressed, so stressed. And here is the real test. Let's see if this thing fits on the ceiling. Oh my god, I think it's...
Oh no, are you kidding? I think it's just a little bit too short. I know this is not the professional way to do it, but I don't care, I'm not the professional in this video. Damn it! If I had only cut one centimeter extra, I wouldn't have this problem right now.
Ready? Let's do this! This, I can already tell, is going to be a very delicate job that I should definitely not mess up. Gluing on the ceiling lining has definitely been a bit more physical exercise than I expected but we're almost done, and I can't wait to see the results. Everybody's been telling me from the other side of the car where they can actually see the progress that it's looking really good.
Let me finish up, and we'll take a look. And the roof lining is done. I haven't seen it yet, I haven't seen it yet. I'm about to turn around and take a first look.
Yeah! Oh my god, that looks super cool. It's super professional, it looks like a home, check this out. Really awesome, and when you touch it, it's so, so cuddly. Who would have thought that a cuddly ceiling is all you need to put a smile on your face? I knew that cuddly ceilings were a thing. As you might remember, in episode two of the Defender series, I tried to make curtains for the truck. Now, as you may also remember, that didn't exactly work out very well.
They were terrible curtains, so I've decided to just redo them from scratch with the skills that I had acquired first time around, so I'm now making a beautiful new set of curtains in two colors and hoping that they turn out better than the last pair. If they don't, that means I should probably just give up on sewing. The next day, I was planning to drive to Germany to get some serious expedition-level gadgets added to the Defender, so it was time to go to sleep.
It took me hours and hours the next day to get to Hanover in Germany, but I'll tell you all about that in just a minute. Fast forward to when I reached my "campsite" in Germany. Not every single day in overlanding life is glorious. As you can see, this is not the most beautiful of places, not the most scenic of places, but I've got some cool company it seems. There might be a dog in their van, which is awesome. I got myself some pizza, that is definitely glorious, and I'm sleeping out here.
Guten Morgen from a car park somewhere in Germany. Not the most romantic setting but not the worst. I've got a really big day ahead of us today. Actually, let me get changed and get back to you real quick. That's better, it's a bit chilly out here, which is weird given that it's the middle of summer, but then again, we are in Germany, not exactly a most tropical country.
So I've come all the way out here for a very specific reason. Odyssey here is getting a bit of a makeover in a very special workshop here in Hanover. In a very short while, it's going to look very, very different. I'm going to have a washroom, not a toilet, a shower, and a new bedroom, and a bunch of other cool things but first, let me tell you about the journey. Well, let's start with the first thing, which is that Google maps told me it would take me five and a half hours to get here, but since I am now the slowest car on the roads, it took me eight and a half just on the German autobahn where everybody drives at 150km/h and I maxed out at 100.
You know, it hurts the ego a little bit, so I have to remind myself that I may not be able to go fast, but I can go anywhere. I just realized this morning also that I don't actually have a mirror in here, so I'm using a side view mirror to do my morning routine, which may not be the best solution in the long term, but the thing that I am most excited about, the thing I'm most excited about today that not only am I getting a whole new bedroom in the car, you'll see, you'll see I will also have an actual shower very soon which is super exciting because this has been an okay solution but long term I don't think this thing is gonna work. One rule, leave it better than you found it.
All right, it looks like I finally arrived. It looks so big and cool, and there's all these adventure cars outside. Oh my god, I'm so excited to see what it looks like on the inside and what the workshop is like. It must have so much more stuff in there. I'm super excited to show you guys around the Front Runner showroom because this place honestly feels like a playground for adults.
This is Odyssey before her makeover. Oh yeah, by the way, that's the name I gave to my Defender, Odyssey. We'll give her a proper christening next week, though. Note how she looks right now. We took off the old refractor to make space for a very special top rig from Front Runner.
Next time you see her, she's going to look very different. All right here, here we've got Patrick, one of Front Runner's engineers. He's taking Odyssey away, only for a couple of days, though. She's about to undergo an almost complete transformation, so next time you see her, she's going to look really quite different. Bye. Two days later Front Runner asked me to come back to pick up my Defender.
I can hear her, I can hear her! Oh my god, she's coming, she's coming, she's there! This is an actual expedition vehicle. This is not just like any car. Check this out. Oh my god, look at this thing, this... I don't even know what this is for.
I guess it's for getting the car out of trouble, I don't know, but there's a tent on here, there's a whole like beautiful giant roof rack, there's a marquee, there it is and look at that what is that? That is like survival kit, right? It's a tank. And check this out with a beautiful tank on top and an amazing light bar here this is... Okay, she's ready for like, every adventure, any adventure, right? Thank you! All right, ready for a tour, let's do it. We got pretty far today, but this still isn't everything.
After a couple of days in Germany, I drove back to Poland to get some more things fixed up. The final result will blow your mind, I swear. Today is a pretty big day because Odyssey has gone in for surgery here at Rayo 4x4, which is a off-road sort of service center here in XYZ in Poland. So we are changing the fuel pump, which is a pretty big deal, and we are also removing the immobilizer because that has been causing me a lot of grief and stress over the last few weeks. So right now, I honestly, I'm feeling like a stressed-out soccer mom, and I hope that everything goes well. But the upside is that I get to walk around and check out all these cool Land Rovers that they're fixing up here, and some of them are so amazing.
Odyssey will be like them one day. Oh yeah, while I'm here, there's one more thing I really want to say, and it's that there's something I just didn't know about before getting the Defender. After publishing some of my videos about the car and about the conversion, I've been getting so many comments from Toyota Land Cruiser owners saying that I bought a piece of junk, basically, to explain the context, there is a huge rivalry between the owners of Toyota Land Cruises and the owners of Land Rover Defenders don't ask me why, I don't know, it's a thing, it's really a thing, and there's one thing I'd like to say to that, chill it's just a car, and also one more thing, Defenders are so much better than Land Cruisers. Haha, I said it! I had asked them to do one very important thing for me, which is the mount for their drop-down tailgate table from Front Runner, so this table is actually universal, so it can fit on, I believe most cars tailgate doors, but you need a custom frame, like a custom mount, and that's what Rayo did for me, it's super cool, it's looking really nice, really professional just like perfectly composed with the tailgate table, so, I'm super, super excited.
All right, well, I guess it's time for me to drive into some fields somewhere with epic music in the background and show you just how awesome this expedition vehicle is looking right now. Let's go! And welcome to my new bedroom. This tent is so cool. I have been dreaming of this setup for such a long time, and obviously, up here, I'm safe from bears, snakes, wolves, maybe even people. Yeah, in any case, this is a spot from which I can observe the world and just enjoy.
Next step setting up the living room. Oh my god is going live! So, when you fold all these things out, the tent, honestly just looks like a beautiful flower, and then the awning makes everything huge, and it looks like an apartment. And I still need to show you how I set up the shower cabin, which is one of the most exciting parts of this whole shebang. Let's do this. Here is my shower arm, and it extends out like so.
There's people on motocross bikes here, sorry about the noise. Anyway, next step, the water. Okay, here we've got the shower magic, a bunch of pipes, and of course, a very important item for privacy, a curtain. This is just too good.
It's so good in fact that I'm not going to show you the shower cabin just yet. I'm going to have to make a whole episode dedicated to the theme of how I shower living in my Land Rover Defender coming in a month or so. Make sure you tune in, make sure you subscribe, hit that subscribe button, don't miss it, it's gonna be fun. In addition to the amazing tent, the awning, the shower, the max tracks that you saw on the side of the truck, we also added a couple more things to the Defender to make it an actual livable space. So you've seen the tailgate table, which is like one of my favorite things about the car, but there's a couple more things, let me show you. Very cool feature that we added that's going to come in handy in really remote areas or if I'm going, you know, into the countryside or into the mountains for several days at a time is this water tank that we built into the underside of the car, so it doesn't actually take up any space.
It's really cleverly installed and built-in. And here we've got a little vent inside my kitchen compartment, that's where I'm going to be pouring water in, and here is a little tap where I'm going to be getting the water out, it's pretty smart. Another super cute little gadget that is insanely smart because it takes up no space, but it's probably super, super useful is this. This is an actual barbecue grill kind of thing, so you take this off. So for example, if you're veggie like me, you can put some veggies and cheese on this side separate it from the meat for someone else if they eat meet and here you can just have this space for keeping things warm and storing them, so clever.
And then it just goes back up on the wheel, and you hope that it doesn't fall off. And so that's it, you've seen it now, this is my overlanding rig, my expedition vehicle. I spent the last six or seven weeks converting the Defender into this expedition machine into a livable space, and honestly, I'm ready to go. I know it's not very long, I know it's not a long time, there's people who spend years turning their vehicles into, you know, proper rigs, but I just came to the conclusion that while I could spend months just tinkering with every little detail, changing things, adding things I'm just so happy with what I have here today, it's more than enough, I don't need anything else, in fact, I don't even want anything else, all I want is to go because that's the point of having a car like this, isn't it, to go, so I'm about to go, it's gonna be so, so, so good. In the next episode, I'm going to be moving into the Defender full time.
I'm going to have to add a few more essentials to make the truck a livable space, like power, heating, and maybe a toilet. You'll see all of that next week, but most importantly, I'm about to set off on my first expedition. If you want to follow along, make sure you subscribe to my channel. Keep exploring, and I'll see you in the next episode of the Defender series.
Okay, I have two more little things at the end, if you're wondering about those wonderful drone shots, who took them. Well, actually, the drone took them itself. Most drones today, DJI drones anyway, have this like automatic setting where you can set the drone to rotate around this specific point of interest, and it just does it automatically, so that's how, and then secondly, very, very importantly Defenders are still way cooler than Land Cruisers.
All right, that's it.