If you’ve seen the videos of the Camel Trophy you know that those guys got stuck a lot—like buried in ooey-gooey mud to the door handles, or swamped to the roof line in a river. If you haven’t seen the videos, trust us, they’re worth checking out on YouTube. They are fun and campy, and show these guys and gals getting Range Rovers and Land Rovers buried in the muck and mud all over the world.
One thing that was very important to them and still is important to those of us off-roading today: recovery. Like many of the Camel Trophy events were, the Ultimate Adventure is (and always has been) sponsored by Warn Industries. Warn makes winches that are second to none, and you guessed it—we’re bolting a Warn winch to the front of the Derange Rover. We know we can trust the Warn to pull our official vehicle of UA 2018 up, out of, and over whatever may stop it.
ARB has been making winch bumpers for 4x4s that get used all over the world since before this Range Rover was new. Pairing a Warn XD9000 with an ARB bumper is to combine the parts from two off-road icons to ensure that the Derange Rover will be well suited for self-recovery as well as other UA-related rescues. The XD9000 requires a 3/8-inch spacer kit and places the winch mounting foot forward. To mount the winch, we started with the bumper on the floor and used the top two bolts to hold the winch to the bumper.
Land Rover did a pretty good job of providing tow points to the Range Rover, in that it has them front and rear. But the factory tow points are a bit lightweight for our plans. Our Range Rover isn’t exactly stock, so we will be beefing them up, replacing them, and increasing their ease of use so when a Warn winch is not in use, a VooDoo towrope can be used to lend a tug. Up front, tow points on a retro-cool ARB winch bumper will allow for a VooDoo-based tug. Out back, a Warn receiver shackle bracket will turn the Deranged Rover’s factory rear 2-inch receiver into a very durable trail tow point.
With Premier Power Welder as the Official Onboard Welder of UA 2018, we also preview the Derange Rover’s on-board welder so if anything breaks on the trail we will be able to melt metal and fire up power tools to make a repair.
Lastly—spoiler alert!—check out the Camel Trophy–inspired paint job on the Derange Rover.
The roller fairlead has to be modified to fit the modular foot-forward design of the ARB bumper. Pull the pins out of the side two rollers and remove the rollers. The fairlead is held in place with two bolts that also grab the lower feet of the winch. Two large bolts pass through the bumper and fairlead holding the rollers in place.
The whole ARB bumper is very well designed, but the D-ring shackle mounts leave a little to be desired. We made a template and had some 1/4-inch plate pieces cut by our buddies at Rob Bonney Fabrication. These plates run from the D-ring shackle back to two of the main anchors for the bumper. We cleaned off the powdercoat and welded them in place. We will also have to trim the bumper’s “wings” just for of the front tires for tire clearance. Most Range Rovers don’t wear 38-inch Falkens.
We decided to beef up the factory rear bumper and add some tube to help protect the rear quarter-panels of the Derange Rover. Our buddy Mike Lee Austin (sitting down on the job) came over to lend a hand one Saturday, so we set him to the task of boxing the bumper and bending some more 1 3/4-inch tubing. We used 3x1/8-inch plate to box the bumper once the corner tubing was in place.
To add rigidity to the tubing that we added to the rear bumper, we made these runners out of 1.75x0.120-wall DOM and a cleverly cut piece of 2x4x0.120 rectangular tubing. We will weld the round tubing in first and then add the gusset made of the rectangular tubing to the top. This will help triangulate this rather long runner off the rectangular frame of the Rover and hopefully keep the added tube out of the rear fenders on sharp drop-offs.
This length of 1.5x0.120-wall DOM will help keep the rear corners of the bumper in place, which will hopefully keep the rear corners of the Rover roughly in place. If we need to remove and reinstall the bumper we can cut the tubing and add some brackets to make the whole system bolt back into place. There shouldn’t be any reason to remove the rear bumper—unless it gets mangled on the Ultimate Adventure.
Tow points front and rear are very important on the UA. If you are not getting stuck, you ain’t trying hard enough. The Derange Rover will probably get stuck and will help rescue other adventurers when they try hard enough. For a super-secure rear tow point we added a Warn receiver shackle bracket (PN 29312). This thing is as strong as the receiver and frame it is mounted to. On the Derange Rover that receiver is integrated into, not bolted onto, the frame.
With one of our Warn D-ring shackles attaching a VooDoo rope to the Rover, we are ready to receive or give a big ol’ tug when the going gets tough for any of the UA’s very capable off-road rigs. VooDoo ropes are available in 1/2-, 3/4-, and 7/8-inch diameters in green or black. These kinetic ropes stretch 28-38 percent, allowing smaller vehicles to snatch larger vehicles from a variety of stuck situations. These ropes are made of 100 percent, 12-strand nylon single braid and are resistant to water, UV light, and abrasion for a long lifetime of use. The ropes are coated in polyurethane for durability and come with either a large loop or an integrated soft shackle on the ends. VooDoo also offers soft shackles (which we love) and winch ropes.
Carrying tools on the trail is a given, but most folks don’t think to bring a welder. As you know if you’ve followed the UA for any number of years, we almost always bring a welder or two. This year Premier Power Welders is the Official Onboard Welder of Ultimate Adventure, and that is a great pairing since nine times out of ten whenever we welded on the trail on events past, it has been with a Premier. To this end, we are outfitting the Derange Rover with a Premier so we can make metal-liquefying trail repairs anywhere. Our Premier came with leads for stick welding on the trail, which is just what we need.
The Premier Power control box supplies power to do stick, MIG, and TIG welding when equipped but is also great for charging batteries, and has a 115-volt DC (maximum 2,300 watts/20 amps) power outlet jack for nonfluorescent lighting and brush-type power tools: grinders, drills, saws, blenders, frying pans, blow driers, and more. Finally we can bring our hair dryer on the UA!
Premier sent us a modified alternator to work with the Cummins R2.8L Turbo Diesel. Since this is a relatively new crate engine, we will be beta-testing the alternator and helping Premier ensure that everything works as expected. Installation is straightforward using the supplied instructions. Premier is family owned and operated in the U.S. by off-road enthusiasts—just the kind of company we love to support. Welcome aboard, Premier!
Clackamas, OR 97015