Real Dormobile Stuff
Intro > Dormobile features
A lot of Dormobiles have become separated from parts over the years and new owners wishing to restore their Dormobiles need to know what may have come in their Dormobile. This section provides what information we have gathered about Land Rover Dormobile furnishings and options.
Land Rover Dormobile conversions were made between the late 1950's (Series II) to around 1974 (series III) with the largest grouping built into into series IIA 109 5 door station wagons. While 109 three door Dormobiles were an option, evidently very few were actually built. By the time the Land Rover Series III was introduced, Dormobiles built on the 109 regular was not on the option list. There were no known Dormobile conversions performed on 88's.
Martin Walter built five 3 door Range Rover Dormobiles during the 1970's for a special order. They had a lift up roof, 2 cloth covered top bunks, no cooking facility or reclining seats.
LR625 and LR626 versions:
Here is an excerpt from a Martin-Walter brochure:
LR626 designates that the caravan conversion was built into a five door Land Rover station wagon (upper and lower beds). LR625 designates that the caravan conversion was built into a 2 door 109 regular (Upper beds but the lower beds do not fit). The difference between the two versions dictates what furniture each version will accept.
I have figured out part of the code used on Land Rover Dormobile commission plates.
The Code is:
Before 1962 and early 1962: Martin Walter reference number only
Late 1962 and 1963: 2 or 4 berth configuration, last digit of vehicle year "." Martin Walter reference number
1964 and newer: Martin Walter reference number "." Year of vehicle "." 2 or 4 berth configuration
James and Kelley's four
berth 1968 land Rover Dormobile is 38419.8.626
While customers usually chose from a list of options available for LR625 or LR626 caravan conversions some people chose to have special conversions made.
This Dormobile was ordered without a pop up top or furniture behind the seats. It received Dormatic seats that folded down into a bed, a Dormobile roof rack and front gerry can mounts ( A Land Rover option not a special Martin Walter option). The Martin-Walter ID plate had "special" stamped into it. This vehicle spend most of its years in Africa and now resides in the States.
A second Dormobile was found with the same configuration. The plate on this 1964 Dormobile is stamped using the 1964 code but without the 626 suffix. Martin Walter reference number followed by a dot, followed by the last digit of the model year.
Some Dormobiles, such as this one converted for Barbara Toy only received a pop up roof (presumably with the roof cots), roof rack front sun shield and no caravan interior features.
John Hess has the serial number and factory log information to show that this vehicle was a 109 regular that was converted by Martin Walter and loaned by the publicity department of Rover to Barbara Toy. This photo shows the pop up roof and a Martin Walter Dormobile optional rack above an optional Dormobile front roof tropical shield.
What the customer ordered and the number of doors on the Land Rover dictated the final product. The side benches in the rear of a 109 regular are higher than those of a 109 station wagon plus the 109 regular has a bulkhead behind the seats. All this means the standard Land Rover Dormobile furniture common to the 5 door versions will not fit into a 3 door. All the Martin Walter factory converted 109 regulars that I have so far learned about either came with custom Martin Walter made furnishings or no interior furnishings.
Enough about the platform, its time to discuss the furnishings and options. The "standard" Land Rover 626 version came with a side lifting fiberglas roof, two folding roof bunks, a set of 4 Dormatic seats that could fold into a double or two single beds, a table that was stowed on the inside of the back door, a cooker/sink kitchen unit at the left rear corner, a vertical stacking of 2 plastic water bottles at the right rear corner and either a wardrobe or refrigerator and stand just forward of the water containers. The wardrobe and refrigerator had either a fold up seat or a chemical toilet.
All the metal cabinetry inside the Dormobile is painted in Silver Hammerite. If you are in the U.S.A., Ace hardware stores either carry Hammerite silver paint on the shelf in rattle cans or they can special order it for you.
Standard 626 Land Rover Dormobile features (and a few options):
A note to Dormobile restorers: As Land Rover Dormobiles pass their 40th birthday more and more owners have become focused on restoring them to "as came from the factory" condition and accessorizing them with as many optional extras as possible. It is important to note that Martian Walter purchased their accessories ready made from other companies. It was more a matter of what was offered at any time at a good price than having an exact style. Purchased parts changed their form and finish as the manufacturers introduced new versions of their products and price influenced the brand or line of accessory products that Martin Walter sold in their Dormobiles.
I am suggesting that the restorer not focus on a particular version of a part that Martian Walter purchased when several versions were correct, unless that you know for certain that a particular version was purchased by Martin Walter at the time your Dormobile was outfitted. Also do not to forget that Martian Walter purchased off the shelf accessories that were available to other caravan purchasers and likely in retail outlets. That ever elusive chemical toilet or stove part just might turn up in a period caravan being broken up for spares or on ebay under a category other than Dormobile.
Optional Extras list, October 1967
Acrobat file for April 1969 price list (1.4MB & fuzzy)
Standard 626 Land Rover Dormobile features:
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Copyright 1996, 2004 by John Hess, 2005 by TeriAnn Wakeman and John Hess All rights reserved