(ex) Australian Army Land Rover Part 4 – a gallery from roving around Australia in the Rover

(ex) Australian Army Land Rover Part 3 – modifications and upgrades and a COVID-19 ANZAC Day

You may remember from my first post on the ADF Land Rover 110s that I was quite critical of the specialised Regional Force Surveillance Vehicle (RFSV) variants, scoffing at the top-heaviness, the excessive width and the poor departure angle of the vehicle with the mass reduction components mission kit fitted.

Who was I kidding? The RFSVs are an awesome vehicle, so since that was written I have basically been working at turning my own vehicle into a functional replica of an RFSV.

RFSV-esque modifications and specialised equipment already on the vehicle includes:

  • Power steering
  • PTO winch
  • Heavy duty clutch
  • Long travel suspension
  • Disc brakes
  • 12V dual battery system with isolator in place of the original 4 battery 24V auxiliary power system for radio use
  • Frontrunner Cub Pack box on the slide in the driver’s side FFR battery locker
  • RFSV split rim wheels and Goodyear Hi-Miler Xtra Grip tyres – in storage
  • RFSV brushbar
  • RFSV brushbar side rails
  • RFSV dual spare wheel carrier on passenger’s side
  • RFSV underslung dual jerrycan carrier
  • Repro RFSV dual jerrycan carrier on rear driver’s side.
  • Repro  RFSV side-mounted jerrycan panniers

I will be keeping the original roll bars (Roll Over Protection System – ROPS) as well as the current hard top panel and  3/4 Land Rover Defender roof rack. Future mods include the fitting of RFSV footwell kick vents, a second internal fuel tank on the passenger’s side and potentially a turbo for the Isuzu 4BD1 engine. That’s probably everything I’ll ever need for this vehicle – until I start tracking down and bolting on parts for the Australian Army SRV-SF Special Operations Vehicles, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Here’s some pictures showing the evolution.

My vehicle on the first big trip back in 2017 – over to Western Australia. Seen here at a spot on the edge of the Great Australian Bight.

 

Camped at the WWII Gorrie Airstrip in the Northern Territory in 2018. Awnings and dual jerrycan carriers have been added among other things,.

 

At a Perentie Land Rover camping trip in New South Wales in late 2019.

 

RFSV dual rear wheel carrier and reproduction RFSV side baskets being fitted. RFSV split rims swapped out for British military style “Wolf” rims and BFG mud tyres. I still have the RFSV wheels and tyres, but will use these ones for daily driving since the tyres are easy to replace off the shelf, unlike the Goodyear Hi-Miler X-Tra Grip tyres they replaced, which are not available in Australia new.

 

Detail of the reproduction RFSV side baskets. Designed to carry three jerrycans on either side of the vehicle to extend the range. Here I have one water jerrycan, a ration tin and a fuel jerrycan.

 

Interior of the vehicle with fridge in place. I have travelled all around the country using this fridge freezer – a Waeco CF-40 model and it hasn’t let me down. Usually a tucker box is carried as well. This is a repurposed WWII 3 inch mortar box.

 

RFSV Mission Kit brush bar fitted. Note the vehicle’s original Army Register Number (49-215) has been stencilled onto the brush bar. This was for ANZAC Day 2020 – more on that below.

 

The vehicle’s previous owner had named the Rover “Frankie” after an army mate of his who died in a training accident. I saw no reason to change the name and this year for ANZAC Day I had it stencilled onto the bonnet, where it will probably stay at least until this time next year.

 

ARN stencilled onto the rear. The rear license plate has been moved to the dual spare wheel carrier.

 

RFSV side scrub rails fitted to the brush bar.

 

Today, the 25th of April, is ANZAC Day. Usually, we would attend the local Dawn Service and then the 10am service in town, but in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not permitted and all public ANZAC Day services around the country have been cancelled. Instead, folks were encouraged to Stand-To at dawn in their driveways with a candle to mark the occasion.

I gussied up the Rover with various military accoutrements, secured an Australian National Flag to the B-pillar and a WWI configuration Australian Army slouch hat to the bonnet and drove through the streets of my town, hopefully enhancing rather than detracting from the townsfolk’s experience of a very different ANZAC Day. I was glad to see so many people Standing-To. It almost made up for not being able to commemorate the day properly. Lest We Forget.

Anyway, here’s some pictures of “Frankie” all dressed up for this morning’s Stand-To drive past.