Well - after 48,361km and now having proper tools, a garage and some spare time, Nick set about doing modifications to Dassie to make her into the 4x4 we wished we had when we started but why make the changes and what did we do......??
- Our interior build was rushed and basically shook itself to bits - now used proper plywood
- The fridge was poorly located and a pain to access - relocated / access from window
- We lacked the ability to sit inside the rear when it was cold/ wet - fitted new seats
- We lacked privacy - some times you just want to be alone / use laptop / eat in private etc...
- Storage was not ideal - we took too many boxes - installed 2x lockers
- Rooftent - fly sheet good for shade but not a good design, poles fall out in heavy wind / tropical rain - upgraded tent to Howling Moon - much better design / stronger flysheet / add on room
- Lacked ability to carry a guide, awkward to carry people - installed 2x rear seats (above)
- Sleeping inside – Impossible in original design, we have now changed this, with basic sleeping deck converted from floor panel
- Lack rear shade – Out tent opened over bonnet – we now have changed to open over rear / have add on room
- Camping table – Too small and not stable – longer type better
- Camping chairs – Ours were too basic and you get tired of sitting in one for 366 days - upgraded to bigger ones
- Roof bag – Good, but rotted in sun - now use a metal box - better and much more secure
- Rear work lamp – Old bulb uses too much power & is too heavy – fell off! Replaced with LED
- Solar panel - 40 watt panel too small. Now have 90 watt panel (5.3 amps)
- Use a solar regulator - limits battery drain and over charge - can see what the status of battery and solar charge / draw is. Can set to suit different needs
- No side windows - Fitted aluminium (solid) windows - secure and let in lots of light when open
- 2nd spare wheel - moved from roof rack to bonnet (frees up space)
- Water tank fill - added exterior cap so can fill from outside
- Moved water filter and changed shower output pipe - more compact and better design
We are still tweaking things but the basics of Dassie 2.0 are now complete and we just need to iron out a few more issues. A recent shakedown trip has shown that most of the changes work well. The final jobs are now focused on finishing the water system and fixing the solar panel to the roof box on a frame that will allow us to remove it and place it in the sun when we are parked in the shade.
If you want to make contact with Burnco, the people that did an AMAZING job on our side windows and fabricated our aluminium storage box, their contact details are below. They did a great job for us, on time, offered honest advice and were very competitive on price. They really know about 4x4 / overland prep and if you were shipping your car to SA to do Cape Town to London or have just finished your trip and need some work doing, I would really recommend you make contact with them for any bespoke modifications.
Panel Beaters & 4x4 Manufacturing
Tel: +27 21 949 1713
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
website at www.burnco.co.za
Happy to take questions on your own build.