Side locker and jerry can stowage

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For those of you who have crawled around the underneath of a Land Rover you will be aware that there is a lot of unused space. This is particularly the case with the 127 with it’s elevated bodywork; there is a huge amount of unused space under the floor.

The "rock slider"

Although ambulance body is roomy (for a Land Rover) there never seems to be enough storage; also my boots are at times decidedly antisocial. I was also contemplating how best to carry additional fuel or water. I did not want to put any unnecessary load on the roof, I’ve had enough of rock ‘n roll, and the space under the body work was enticing! After many hours of lying underneath the vehicle, measuring up and thinking long and hard the following solution looked feasible.

By lowering the skirt of the bodywork with a side panel and attaching this to a horizontal panel, at roughly the same elevation as the bottom of the chassis, quite a large area could be enclosed; joining the side panel and the floor could be achieved using some steel section that could be attached to the chassis outriggers and, if sufficiently strong, would also double as rock sliders. An access door could be constructed through the existing side-skirt of the ambulance body without cutting through the aluminium sections that form the body framework. My vehicle had the advantage that the lower part of the body had been clad with chequer-plate that I could easily cut out to form a door. Furthermore removing the small skirt beneath the side doors would also allow 2 standard 20 litre jerry cans to lie on the “rock sliders” and the floor, resting up against the chassis.

It worked and I admit I was pleased with the result. I had a large storage space/locker for boots, rope and other odds-and-ends, that was easy to access and also I could carry an additional 80 litres of fuel or water in four standard jerry cans. There was also some extra bonuses.  By moving and/or protecting the fuel lines, that rest on the top of the chassis, sand ladders or waffle boards (actually sheets of ply) could be slid in across the width of the vehicle through the side door. Additionally the floor panel and sides of the storage boxes effectively protected the chassis from road dirt that tended to accumulate in the nooks-and-crannies that can become the focus for corrosion. The jerry cans are secured with a length of galvanised bar and a padlock; when they are not in use there is a side step.

Some construction details. The “rock slider” sections were fabricated from some of the U-section steel that was recovered from the stretcher bases in the original ambulance. Steel extension pieces, that are bolted onto the chassis outriggers, were welded on and the front of the section cut and bent so that it could be bolted onto the outrigger that supports the engine bulkhead. The steel for the skirt and box floor was also recycled from the ambulance stretcher boxes. A steel strip was welded along the length of the chassis and the box floor/base of locker was bolted to this and to the "rock slider" using stainless steel bolts. The additional side-skirt was pop-riveted to the body framework and to the outside of the “rock slider”.  The locker lock and hinges are stainless steel and were bought on EBay from “Bestonfabs Horsebox Bits” although this firm no longer seems to be trading (2016).

Click on the thumbnails below for a bigger picture

Steel floor to lockers

Inside of locker showing chassis outrigger

An internal view of the locker floor panelling

A 40 litre lpg gas cylinder fixed underneath.

Step below driver's door and jerry can stowage space.

Jerry cans in place