Three days at Drifta Headquarters, and the 76 Series LandCruiser smells like Harvey Norman, looks like a touring monster and we’re grinning like fools.
If anything speaks volumes of the workmanship at Drifta Camping and 4WD in Gloucester it’s the three year old drawers we have that look and smell like the three day old installation we had fitted out on top. The marine ply and bootliner provides an aroma of 50% adventure and 50% furniture shop every time we open the drawers.
Now fitted with the #driftadrawerbridge and gullwing boxes the whole cabin smells of wanderlust.
We arranged for Jeremy our auto electrician from Advanced Installation Service – 4WD & Safari Sydney to call in for his 12v expertise. Including a second Goal Zero Boulder 90 panel for the roof to keep the fridge running, which is now plugged into a single merit socket.
LED lights installed in the gullwing boxes are providing some non-intrusive lighting, field testing will show how ergonomic it is and whether we need more, but these do have two levels of brightness.
Peaking our inner nerd, we can now monitor the I/O of the battery system, with a tidy NASA Marine BM-1 Compact monitor. Now the confidence in the new Goal Zero installation can be quantified.
A 200w pure sine wave inverter and extra USB and cigarette ports went into the gullwing boxes, light banter on the voltage demands of Apple Macbook Pro versus Windows Surface Book ensued, inevitably.
Considering the rear view mirror is now a decorative piece we also invested in a camera, plugged into the Hema HN7; we can see where we’re headed, in both directions. Something tells me this will be one of those budget conscious wins in urban driving confidence. The footage is grainy on the 7″ screen and colour hue interesting but so far both on and off road, the detail is discernible. Certainly more so than before.
The kitchen gullwing box shelf location was decided on ergonomics, I wanted it shallow enough from the top to feel secure and allow large items to be removed unhindered in the bottom, I also wanted some space to mount lightweight and annoying items like our camping plate/bowl set on the wall of the box. I cant claim it was sized on purpose but thus far, everything is fitting in like it was. Albeit nothing has been secured just yet.
The cups fit stacked under the tap…
The only hindsight moment was that we did not replace the interior card in the cargo area, if we had – the extra 4-5mm of space would have allowed our Snow Peak cookset to sit in the bottom of the box without rubbing. As it is now – corrugations would get the better of them, so they will live in the newly dubbed food drawer for now with the camp oven.
The revised fridge divider wall, now supporting the shelf or bridge across the gullboxes, I have dubbed the Drifta Drawer-Bridge (boom-tish) is now home to the Projecta folding 80w solar panel, folding step ladder, unused SolarScreens, SnowPeak and Uniflame camping tables.
There is still room up there, and I have a few options. i.e. Thermarest sleeping pads, foam camping mats. The SnowPeak fitpit and Thunderbox camping toilet may live somewhere lower as they’re reasonably heavier but I will deliberate in the field.
I have need of MaxTrax storage now I have deleted the mount in favour of solar power, the cargo barrier fits this role perfectly (really, I measured and strapped them on) but further campfire chin-scratching required…
If not already apparent, first impressions are good, overwhelmingly good. The rear of the wagon has been upgraded from a solid drawer and fridge system to a rock-solid touring solution.
My only excuse as to why it hasn’t been properly packed out and organised is due to the overwhelming amount of storage space now afforded to me. Whilst the kitchen kit was ceremoniously exhumed from the drawer already, the other side is still empty in awe.
A microadventure is on this months calendar so this will assume control and necessity for the debut. Not sure what level of Tetris we’re now on, but so far, I am impressed.