Final vehicle prep and shipping!


So the time has finally come! We have been so busy in the past few weeks that we haven’t had a chance to post as we go.

When we got back from Nepal and Malaysia on 24th Feb it gave us until 19th March to finish the Troopy and get it fully packed for shipment to the UK.

We had a few large-ish jobs to be done, namely replacing the motor on the winch, fixing a persisting yet slight transmission

leak and repairing some cracked welds on the rear wheel carrier. Once these irksome tasks were complete we moved on to what I would call the sexy part of the job. The finishing touches.

We ripped every panel out of that vehicle and cleaned it on the inside only. 20 years worth of Aussie dirt had collected behind the panels but once cleaned we realised that all of Jeromes’ medical equipment could be easily stored behind the paneling on just one side of the vehicle.


This is all of Jeromes’ medical supplies for just 6 months. All fits neatly behind the paneling on one side of the car.

On the other side of the Troopy right at the back door we mounted an overkill water filtration system.


It consisted of a 20L per minute @ 80 PSI pump going into filter one (One micron -to filter out the particles of sediment and algae) leading to filter two (.5 microns – removes chlorine, giardia, taste and odour) leading to the final filter at .2 microns that deals with all of the bacteria and pathogens.


The system was hooked up via hoseline to the 60L bladder tank at the front of the vehicle. A second hose ran from the tank down the other side of the troopy to the left hand rear door with a tap on it. With a flick of a switch the pump comes on and you have sterile, tasty water. Designed by Jerome – too good!

IMG_1624 IMG_1620

Next we stored all of our spare Troopy bits behind the rear left panel surrounding the jack. Between the rear door and wheel carrier we made and mounted a bracket to hold a 10L jerry can for water. Using wire and a padlock we can keep it secure.


10L jerry can for water – will sit between the spare wheel carrier and the door.

We also mounted a half size alloy ladder to the rear left door. It is hung from the lip of the rear door and bolted onto the door at it’s base. I’m a little worried that the ladder may pull on the door so we will need to keep an eye on it.

On the drivers side of the car we have fixed three extendable tent poles along the bottom of the roof cage. You can extend each pole out from the car and hang a tarp around it for a makeshift bathroom!! This was my idea and although some may view it as ghetto I love it! Quick, cheap and easy to set up. Plus the poles always stay mounted to the roof cage and the tarp folds away or can be used for other tasks afterwords.


The ghetto shower tent. Love it!

For the roof cage I designed and made three wooden, lockable, watertight and waterproof boxes. Box one was built to store a second set of wheels for Jeromes’ chair. It also can hold all of the wheel spares such as tubes and puncture repair kits. The second box holds a mini chainsaw (which ROCKS and has seen us through a few trips). It also holds the fuel and oil as well as some other spare liquids such as gear oil and power steering fluid. Box three is a general box and currently holds two camp chairs, two inflatable Exped mattresses, a two burner stove and hoses, the tarp, the Foxwing awning side connectors, Jeromes Free wheel (a fourth wheel that clips on to the front of his chair) blah blah blah. It holds a shitload of stuff!! It means that bar the tent and spare tyre on the roof – everything lives in a box. The boxes are fitted with padlocks so we can pack up/unpack super quick and our stuff is kept safely on the outside of the car. It’s a great place to keep stuff dry and clean whilst driving too. The boxes are bolted to the roof cage with U-bolts.


The boxes for the roof cage

To prevent anything being removed or unbolted from the roof we have run a removable zig-zag of stainless steel rope wire/cable across the cage over our gear. The wire can be padlocked as well as the boxes that it protects. A brilliant idea of Jeromes.


We mounted the high lift jack nice and low on the drivers side side bar.


A while ago we bought a bead breaker from a 4WD expo so we thought it would be prudent to test it out. The breaker came with a video on how to use it and it certainly helped! If you know what you are doing you can take a punctured tyre from a rim and replace it in minutes. A piece of equipment that we hope not to use……


And lastly we bought some spade holders that mount to the side of our roof cage to hold…. yes, you guessed it – the spade.


We sent the beast off to get detailed on the outside which cost $120.00. At last we had finished the troopy! We gathered all of our stuff together and lined it up on the floor next to the Troopy – just in time for it to rain the heaviest rain that I have seen in a bloody long time. We shoved everything into the garage and the next day proceeded to load up the vehicle.


All our gear for 12 months (minus clothes). Not bad we reckon

This was meant to be the most stressful part of the process for us so far but it went perfectly. Everything has it’s place in the Troopy and we have so much space left over. We slipped all of the roof contents (including the massive boxes) into the rear of the troopy for shipping with ease. We even got the huge spare tyre in there.



We drove the Troopy through Sydney to a container loading depot in Sydenham. We had built the Trroopy around the dimensions of a 20ft sole use shipping container and knew it would be a very tight fit. Turns out that we had 18mm clearance between the roof of the car and the entrance into the container!!!!



So in the end we have shipped the Troopy from Sydney to Southampton, UK with a transit time of 45 days. Including all fees it has cost us AUD $5,100.00, plus the Carnet at a cost of AUD $1200.00. A Carnet is like a passport for your car and allows you to drive it through a whole plethora of countries. If you are going travelling overland – you will need this.


Check out this video – it looks like a magic trick!

OK so that’s it for now – I guess we will be back on the blog when we hit the UK on 23rd April. Bon voyage peeps…….


Categories: Australia, Trip Prep, Vehicle prep | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Final vehicle prep and shipping!

  1. Hi jess. I realise ths post is a little old now, but we just stumbled across it and it could be something of a gold mine to us. We are planning to ship our troopy to the UK next year, for a four month trip around europe. We have been looking into shipping and are getting mixed results. Would you still have your quote on file, and would you be willing to forward it to us. Any other advice you could provide would also be awesome.
    Taf and Sue

    • Hi mate,

      Happy to help you out. What’s your email address and I’ll forward it on to you. Was like $5000 all up with our own container.

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  4. John

    This is great guys… Just stumbled upon your blog tonight – we recently gave our work notice that we’re heading away for a year from January 2015 and we’re looking at a route similar to yours.

    Many thanks for all the tips – we’re planning to ship our “Troopy” (which may or may not be a Defender; it’s a Defender) from Aus to the UK too. Who did you guys use for the shipping?

    Looking forward to following your progress.

    • Hi John! Firstly – thank you for taking interest in our blog! Fantastic to hear that you and your partner (I assume) are also planning a crazy adventure too. In reply to your question: We obtained about 4 shipping quotes. (I can dig around for the exact companies). In the end we chose Taurus Logistics who I believe are actually based in NZ. They are a large and established company whose prices were on par with the rest. In fact there was hardly any difference between quote prices. Taurus had a great breakdown of the fees and responded quickly and accurately to our queries. I don’t know if you know much about shipping but the basic options for shipping a car for us were: RoRo (Roll on roll off.) Car gets driven onto the ship and strapped down for transit. It is simply driven off at the other end. Benefits: Cheapest shipping option. Downfalls: You can’t pack your personals inside the car – it has to be pretty much empty. Also it’s not as safe as containerised shipping for obvious reasons. Next option would be a sole use 20/40ft container. Car gets driven into container, strapped and shipped etc. Benefits: The container is yours. You get to put all your stuff in and around the car, plus you have the security of the actual container. Downfalls: Most expensive option compared to RoRo or a shared use container. However, if you have heaps of stuff like us it worked out to be the most cost-efficient as we filled the car! OK so next: Price. Most quotes are valid for 30 days so you have to pop a deposit down to secure the price. Prices fluctuate heaps depending on the local economies, time of year, global issues etc. I’m talking by thousands sometimes. For us we ended up paying $5,100 AUD. Included: ‘Packing’ the vehicle into the container, taxes/charges at port of origin, actual shipping fees, unpacking etc. The whole lot. Just remember to supply the correct paperwork to customs in the UK so that you are exempt from import tax/duties. Your shippers should give you the form and you should post your Carnet ahead to your English agent to send on to customs to get stamped. If you like we can forward on any info that you need. We delivered the car to the shippers yard on 26th March. It spend 47 days on water via Singapore and 4 days clearing customs in the UK. We picked up the Troopy (unpacked from container) on 19th May from Southampton Port. Insurance in transit: Always expensive. Options: None, Total Loss, fully comprehensive….. Our quote for full was approx$1700, total loss was $1300. I chose no insurance. Each to their own. It worked well for us, nothing broken, dented or missing. OK so enough info for now! Hope it helps. So you both have quit work nice and early. Would love to hear about where you guys are going from and what sort of work you plan to do yourselves on the car etc. Do you have a blog going at all? Anyhow if you want any info at all just pop an email. Jerome is just about to post up a list with pics of all the mods on the troopy as we are behind on that part. Take care and good luck to guys. Jess

      • John

        Hey Jess

        What a reply – many thanks.

        You assumed correctly, the other half of the equation is my partner. We don’t have a blog yet, but she’s keen to get one going. When I say “recently” I mean we told work last Friday! We’ve been talking about doing it for years but I only finally plucked up the courage to press the button last week. Soon as we’ve got one going we’ll let you know the blog details.

        We’ve got plenty to do to the 110. It’s currently set up very similarly to yours (sleeping platform in the back with storage underneath. Not quite Drifta standard however, much more rudimentary. It works well but we’re likely to get Daniel at to cut the top off (he’s helped us with some mods to date). Looking forward to seeing Jerome’s next update.

        The shipping aspect of the exercise is the only bit we’re entirely unfamiliar with. We’d heard there are ways you can take your stuff with you RoRo, but I was concerned about security. One suggestion was to bolt in a sheet of temporary ply behind the front seats and change the lock cylinder to the boot (i.e. from the front doors / ignition) making a secure area which can lock up when you leave the car. We might container over and, if possible given all the gear we’ll have, RoRo back when it doesn’t matter as much if everything gets nicked.

        Did you guys use shipping agents here in AU? There seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around about the process. I saw one person suggesting you had to itemise every single thing in the car for UK customs. Not sure we’re brave enough to go no insurance, but avoiding wasting $1,500 is a solid incentive.

        Very jealous of your UK passport! This Schengen Area 3 months on, 3 months off business is the pits.

        Thanks again

      • Hey John – no probs. Yeah I have heard of Mulgo – we actually almost approached them about chopping our vehicle up a bit but instead went down a different path. Great company though from the conversions I have looked up on the net. Yeah I like your RoRo idea. It wasn’t an option for us and I’m not sure sure just how much stuff you could get away with popping behind that panel in the vehicle. As you say – shipping can be a real grey area. So our shipping Agents are Taurus Logistics. They gave us a quote with full breakdown. Origin fees charged in AUD, shipping fees in USD and destination fees in GBP. I can forward you the quote and you can see what things you need to look for in a shipping quote. Inventory wise – yes you must provide a detailed inventory. E.g box 1: kitchen cutlery. Box 2: bedding – sheets, pillow cases etc. I went one step further and provided a full breakdown of contents. If you get insurance you will need to list all belongings and mark their individual values down on a provided spreadsheet. The insurance price will be charged at around 3-4% of the total value of goods. If something is missing or broken that is not on the inventory tough luck. It’s not hard work to provide an inventory. We simply did a test pack on the vehicle and Jerome wrote down everything as we shoved it in the vehicle. Pop me your email address and I’ll just forward the original shipping quote to you. see ya

      • John

        Yeah Daniel (Mulgo) is a champ. We’re a bit anxious about cutting the roof off as it isn’t exactly “stealth” camping with the roof popped, but we’ll do some sort of setup that allows us to stay incognito if necessary by sleeping on the floor.

        Any quotes you can easily shoot through would be great. Starting to get some quotes through now (a bit north of what you guys managed) and they all seem to be in a different language! My gmail address is knodes85.

        Hope the Troopy is doing ok over there in Land Rover land.

  5. Lindsay

    Great work! I’m looking forward to seeing the next post, when you’ll be in the UK! Awesome setup you’ve got going on with the troopy. I think I might even steal your Ghetto shower tent idea (when I get something to put it on again)!

  6. Melanie Bray

    Great blog guys the Troopy looks amazing, loving the shower! Remember your mummy on St Georges day when you arrive! I think I will be 45 this year!!!!!!!

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