Hugo’s Biggest Adventure – Panamerica 2015

So Guy and I are going to be shipping Hugo off to Halifax Nova Scotia in July! The plan is to head across Canada up to Anchorage, Alaska, and then down the west coast of the US and into South America. Stay tuned for more info on this later!

Panamerica Part 1 – Halifax NS to Anchorage AK

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Panamerica Part 2 – Anchorage AK to Sacramento CA

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Panamerica Part 3 – Sacramento CA to La Paz, Mexico:

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Panamerica Part 4 – Mazatlán, Mexico to Panama City, Panama:

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Panamerica Part 5 – Buenaventura, Colombia to Uyuni, Bolivia:

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Panamerica Part 6 – Uyuni, Bolivia to Ushuaia, Argentina:

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Panamerica Part 7 – Ushuaia to Buenos Aires:

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Water Tank and Side Cubby Boxes



I order to successfully use Hugo for camping and adventure, water storage is an absolute must. We decided to go for the Front Runner 36L water tank that fits under the back left wheel arch.


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The back left wheel arch where the water tank fits.


Water Tank after fitting

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The wheel arches on Defenders are dead space, and when storage is so precious, finding any way to use that space is necessary. On both sides of Hugo we fitted a cubby box. Each one will hold 2 x 20L jerry cans, although for us, one will hold jerry cans and the other a propane gas cylinder for the hob (coming soon!)

The dead wheel arch space – panels cut out in preparation.


The cubby boxes riveted and glued in place:

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Sitting Pretty

Hugo’s seats have had a bit of a makeover. The driver’s side needed a new foam insert as it was a little worse for wear, and both seats have a lovely set of new seat covers from – very highly recommended.


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Let the Joinery Begin..!

So it’s time for Hugo to get some internal storage. As part of this he will also be getting fridge and a sink/hob! Guy built all the cupboards himself and he’s done a grand job of it at that. The exterior of the cupboards are built using lightweight plywood from C.A.K Tanks.

Cupboard 1

This cupboard is the cupboard which will house a Waeco CR-50 Coolmatic Fridge, a Smev 9222 Sink and Hob Combination Unit. We purchased both items from Jackson’s Leisure Supplies – excellent customer service! Before he got started using the lightweight ply, Guy built a template to use first. Measure twice, cut once!


The template pieces in place

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As well as the sink/hob and fridge, this cupboard also houses a water pump and water filter.

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Cupboard 2:

Much easier to piece together, this cupboard will be for general storage.

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The finished cupboards:

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As we had some leftover ply, we also decided to construct a folding table. This was also a requirement for motorhome insurance.


Hugo’s First Adventure

While we have spent as much time as possible this summer doing work on Hugo, we couldn’t quite let ourselves not have an outing with him at least once before the summer holidays come to an end. So, very last minute, we decided to take him out last night to a campsite in Husthwaite near Thirsk. And what a lovely campsite it was too. It comes highly recommended for you campers out there:


lots of pitch space and lovely weather





Shielding our sausage breakfast from the wind


A chair affair

Apologies for the rhyming titles.

So now we’re onto building Hugo some furniture, hurrah! We decided to build chairs to fit in the space just behind the bulkhead as this would mean more head height further back where we will need to be able to stand for cooking etc.

Building these chairs also meant Guy got to play with his new pocket-hole Kreg drill bit and screws, it’s all exciting stuff.

Basic frame in place.


The base of the chair lifts up to create what I am calling ‘shoe storage’ (Guy is still sceptical on that one) and the space behind the chair back will be known as ‘board-game storage’. We need somewhere to keep scrabble right?!

Amy testing it out:





Sneak peek up close at the chairs (and our messy living room):

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The finishing touches (i.e. carpet):


 The chairs in their rightful place:

Complete with made to measure upholstery foam. Still need to cover them but comfy enough for now.

Seat covers

Cushion covers created by yours truly, very happy with the overall look!