Land Rover Dormobile

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Roof Racks

The two racks shown on the left are the original Dormobile racks. They only differ in the accessories added AND by the clamps that hold them to the vehicle. Roof racks were standard fitment on Dormobiles ordered directly through North American Land Rover dealers.  They were an extra cost option if the Dormobile was ordered directly from Martin Walter.

Brownchurch made a larger light duty roof rack. This rack was also made out of light duty thin wall tubing. It stuck out over the windscreen with front attachments to the bottom of the windscreen. This provided around twice the roof storage space and kept stress off the windscreen. But the thin wall tubing flexes easily and there was minimal diagonal bracing. It was not unusual for the front legs of the rack to bend to the side when the car was at a side angle and was jarred. This destroyed the legs and warped the rack.  The Brownchurch rack was built to come apart into a package small enough to be shipped by common carrier.


The Brownchurch roof rack was a popular after market rack.  It was made from 3/4 inch dia. thin wall steel tubing and was lightweight.  The top disassembled into a size that could be shipped.

The rack was much larger than the optional Dormobile rack and it had front braces anchored at the base of the windscreen to keep weight stresses from breaking the windscreen off road. But there were no braces in the rack to protect from lateral torsion. Heavily weighted racks tended to bend their legs off roading on a sideways on a hill.  Few of these racks survived undamaged.

It is my understanding that the last Brownchurch Dormobile roof rack was built around the early 70's and that they have since lost their original build drawings.

Brownchurch roof rack

L. R. Bits in the UK makes a selection of roof racks specifically for Dormobiles.

In 1998 I designed a Dormobile roof rack based upon the overall dimensions of the Brownchurch roof rack but much stronger and with diagonal bracing to stand up to torsional forces.  The Rack was briefly put into production by British Pacific before their roof rack fabrication company ceased business.

The inside rail load space is slightly over 40 inches by 57 inches. It is made from 3/4 inch rectangular galvanized steel tubing, so tie down straps can be attached anywhere .

The rack as six mounting points. Two at the rear, two at the middle and two on the front at the base of the windscreen. Properly mounted, the weight rests primarily on the front and rear legs with the center to take up extra weight and torsional forces. The rear and center legs are diagonally braced in two directions for torsional strength.

Since any roof rack adds wind resistance it was important to me that it be easily removable. The rear and middle legs are attached with gutter clamps (No holes in the body). The front mount features a quick release. The mount base stays attached to your windscreen's bottom bolts. You just pull a pin from the base of each leg to separate the front legs from the car. This eliminates half the work to mounting and unmounting the rack.

Front Gerry Can Mounts

Optional factory fuel can mount for early Series Land Rovers

Lucas LS516 parking lamp

2 top lens mounting systems were used.  One is shown on the right using a stock turn signal lamp in a single lamp housing and a Lucas # LS516  front parking lamp.

Land Rover optional front bumper mounted gerry can holders were occasionally ordered as part of a Land Rover Dormobile conversion.  Illustrated is the early style for Land Rovers that have their headlamps mounted on the radiator bulkhead. The turn signals and parking lamp holes in the wing are covered with sheet metal and the lamps are mounted to the top of the wing.   Since these are Land Rover optional parts they are not diagnostic for identifying a Dormobile.

liights for wing mounted fuel can side view of Dormobile wing top marker lamp housing

Wing top Turn signal housing



Night parking warning lamp

Dormobile night parking lamp

This photo shows a L.E.P. night parking lamp.  It is mounted on the driver's side behind the front door about 2 inches below the front external roof latch and is used as a warning lamp for relevant traffic when camped alongside a road during the night.  The clear lens faces forward, the red towards the rear.  It is illuminated by a single low wattage lamp.  I believe this was an option to meet a UK regulation in effect sometime during the 1960's and '70's.

LEP parking lamp for Land Rover Dormobile


Insect Screens

Martin Walter offered an option of insect screens for the rear side door and the rear side window for 109 station wagons.  In addition there was an optional insect screen for the roof vent.

Optional insect screen over rear side door

The side window screens were made from rectangular steel bars welded together then galvanized.  The metal insect screen runs over the top and folds under the screen.  It is held in place by being pressed between the body and frame. The screen frame for the rear side window is held in place by four bolts attached to rivnuts added to the sides of the top.  The screen frame for the rear side doors have top hooks that hang the frame from the door and a pair of bolts through rivnuts to hold the screen bottom in place.

Optional insect screen for rear side window

Problem areas with the optional screens are that air flowing past them at highway speeds tends to make noise and their weight can sometimes cause the rivnuts to come loose.  This is especially true for Dormobiles that drive through high brush that strikes the flat edges of the frames.


Auxiliary Lighting

Below is a scan from a Lucas parts book, dated 1967. It shows the Road lamp and fog lamp that are listed in the Martin Walter options list. Road Lamp, Lucas 6LR Ranger and Fog lamp, Lucas 6 FT Ranger. Unfortunately, the Lucas lamps with the number 6 in the description are called Pathfinder, and the lamps that are called Ranger have the number 7 in the description. Go figure.


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