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While the 90 has the payload and capacity for short duration overland travel through Europe, it does not quite have the payload for an extended trip to remote regions. Rather than sell up for a long wheelbase vehicle, we have taken the decision to tow a trailer allowing us the option to take it or leave it at home depending on the nature of our travel destination and required capacity. It will likely house all spares and fluids, cooking gear and a few other bulky items such as mountain bikes, kayaks etc.
The trailer is an Ex-military Widetrack ‘Sankey’ MKIII (actual manufacturer is Reynolds Boughton) designed for the military to tow behind the Snatch/Wolf 110 Defenders. These are well made trailers with overrun hydraulic disk brakes, leaf springs & NATO coupling device among other things. For those importing these trailers with the rotating Nato pintle hitch the following TUV approval document may prove useful if the authorities are not playing ball FV987958 TUV.
The chassis, springs and axle will need a sand down and re-painted. I will renew the dampers, service the brakes and start to customise it to our needs. The 1st thing will likely be a roof rack system to take the roof tent, large table and waffle boards. I will also get the body sprayed Epsom Green to match the D90 and then start on the interior.
August 2012 – I have finally installed a 50L water tank complete with sink unit which slides out from the front compartment. An on demand pump is plumbed in to two taps (1 unfiltered & 1 filtered via a Nature Pure unit). A 75ah leisure battery sits in a battery box with attached ancillary fusebox. There is a little room left to house our 40 x 30cm storage boxes in this area. 50cm LED strip lights have been installed using courtesy light switches on the door openings.
April 2013 – After 3 months on the road the trailer is proving to be a very capable accessory to the D90. It got finished off in Epsom Green not long before we left Bristol and everything installed as I wanted it with exception to a sliding rear drawer. Instead we opted for 2 lengths of lashing rail (cheers Alex) to hold down boxes. The main reason for this was lack of time but in hindsight it has kept it very simple and it is easy to remove about 50% of the total trailer cargo (and weight) in less than 5 minutes. It will also allow the trailer to be filled with other items like fuel and water jerry cans should they be required for future trips. Everything has held up well with only the latches requiring tightening. I should have re-wired the electrics before leaving as they are in a bit of a mess but they are all now functioning fine. The other minor concern is the door seals which can sometimes let in a little bit of water but this is only a minor inconvenience (until the Siberian river crossings!). Roof tent, rack and mounts for the table and waffle boards are all holding up fine after 10,000 miles on the road. I will try to get some new photos up at some point in our trip to show the detail.
2015-2016 Major Overhaul (The Rig MKII)
After our 42,000 km journey towing the trailer from the UK to Australia in 2013 a number of items required attention:
Design faults requiring attention:
The majority of the work is now complete and the trailer is, in many ways a lot better prepared than it was when we left the UK early in 2013.
The roofrack has been replaced with a track/rail system from Rhino Rack with HD bars supporting the rooftent. We no longer use the table or waffle boards and in doing so removed about 28 Kg from the roof. All hairline cracks and fractures have been welded/repaired and the 2nd spare removed. We no longer plan to travel with a 2nd spare. The awning bracket has been replaced with two telescopic poles bolted to the body of the trailer. This keeps the weight of the awning vertical and allows it to be stored lower when in transit. This was the only major fault with the original trailer design. Door seals have been replaced with single piece lengths and latches upgraded.
Whilst this work has been ongoing I have added ply sheeting to the base of the trailer to add rigidity and spread the load. For the water tank I have added 17mm ply to the base and sandwiched it with another board on top. the chassis and axle has been painted also.
Work left to carry out includes rewiring the inside (lights, 12v outlets, inverter, water pump) and repairing the rear door lock mechanism.
Some Trailer Statistics
Overall Length – 325cm
Overall Width – 165cm
Overall Height – 182cm (Inc. RTT)
Weight – 700kg (with RTT)
Payload – 559kg
Gross weight – 1259kg
Wheelbase – 223cm
Hitch Height – 70cm
Wheel Size – 255/85r16 (on HD Rims to match D90)