Carrying Range Rover Spares and Emergency Supplies

Houston, we have a problem!
Why Bother?
Spare Parts to Consider (Classic)
Spare Parts to Consider (P38)
Spare Parts to Consider (Mark III)
Tools & Manuals (All Models)

Tire Repair, Fire Extinguishers, Flares
First Aid & Survival Equipment
Where to Stow it (Classic)
Where to Stow it (P38)
Where to Stow it (Mark III/L322)
A Final Note

Why Bother?
We now address the in-vehicle stowage of spares, tools and survival equipment needed for mechanical problems, fires and strandings in the outback. The true Range Rover enthusiast is often many miles from the pavement and beyond the reach of the AAA tow truck, so it pays to carry a selection of spare parts, tools and emergency supplies. Even if you never venture far from civilization, some of these things are useful to carry anyhow. Since even basic Rover spare parts cannot be obtained from the local auto parts store (as I discovered when a radiator hose gave out on the Olympic Peninsula!), keeping them permanently in the vehicle is a wise precaution, on or off pavement.


Spare Parts to Consider (Classic)
The leading causes of breakdown in the boonies are the ignition system (coil, ignition leads, distributor cap, rotor arm -- courtesy of Lucas, inventors of darkness), cooling system (belts, hoses, thermostat), or fuel system (fuel filter, fuel system relays, fuel pump). Most of these items, except the fuel pump, are practical to carry and replace with simple tools. Instead of spare hoses you can carry a hose repair kit, but this is a second best option as some leaks can't be easily repaired.

The starting and charging system is another documented "strander" in the Classic, as I can testify from experience. The starter relay can cause a certain amount of strife when it fails; however the good thing about this and the many other relays sprinkled throughout the vehicle is that a single part number covers most of them. The Classic's alternator is a well-known failure item -- a spare is probably not practical to carry but if that ignition light stays on after startup, abort the mission and hightail it to the nearest source of parts and service before a dead battery shuts the engine down.

I recently got a good suggestion from Theo on the Classic RR Forum, who also carries a spare brake light switch, since if this goes out you can't get the tranny out of Park!!

Spare Parts to Consider (P38)
Although Classic owners would never admit it, the P38 breaks down less often than earlier models, due to improved technology. But, even the best engine can occasionally fail to start, so it is still wise to take precautions. In the ignition system, there is no distributor cap or rotor arm to fail, and an ignition coil failure is unlikely to strand you because there are three others to get you home. Spares to carry include a crank position sensor (from which the EFI system gets its timing signals), cam sensor (ditto), and ignition leads.  In the cooling system there is only one belt to carry instead of four, but hoses and a thermostat are still needed. In the fuel system the same considerations as in the Classic apply -- a spare fuel filter is easy to carry, a spare fuel pump a bit less convenient. Instead of spare hoses you can carry a hose repair kit, but not all leaks are easy to repair this way.  Relays on the P38 are no longer made by Lucas, but even Siemens relays might fail, you never know! Two part numbers cover most relays on this model. Theo's idea mentioned above for the Classic might not hurt either -- a spare brake light switch, since if this goes out you can't get the tranny out of Park!

Spare Parts to Consider (Mark III)
I am still getting to grips with the RR III and its foibles, so have not yet compiled a good list of items that are most likely to fail. Based on owner reports of failures, however, high on the list would be a spare front driveshaft. Other likely candidates might be a spare plug and lead, and maybe even a spare ignition coil (there is one for each cylinder). As on any  cooling hose repair kit would also be high on the list. Spare drive belts would also be good -- note that the new model has two of them, instead of the more common single serpentine belt.

Tools, Manuals, etc (All Models)
Everyone has different ideas about what tools to carry on off road expeditions. Whatever you decide on, keep in mind that all Range Rovers have a hodge podge of metric and SAE fasteners. So, don't forget both metric and SAE wrenches, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, pliers, vice grips, hammer, hacksaw blade, electrical tester, wire and tape. A proper multimeter rather than a simple electrical tester is needed, due to the prevalence of semiconductors in the electrical systems.

On expeditions I also bring the shop manual. In the case of the 4.0, you need both the shop manual and the Electrical Trouble Shooting Manual. For the RR III, a paper shop manual is not readily available, so a notebook computer or some other means of accessing the RAVE CD might be necessary.

Tire Repair, Fire Extinguishers and Flares
Punctures and more severe tire wounds are among the most likely mechanical trail hazards. I like to carry two spare tires, so when I ruin a tire I don't feel I have to abort the adventure and run for the nearest service station. In any case, a tubeless  puncture repair kit with the push-in plugs is a comforting item to have along. This can be used to "band aid"  even large holes temporarily in an emergency. A fire extinguisher suitable for electrical and gasoline fires should be mounted within easy reach of the driver -- it's no use stowed away in some inaccessible position. For the 4.0/4.6 there is an official accessory fire extinguisher, but any vehicle extinguisher will do. Ground and aerial flares are a good thing to have in case you need to attract attention.


First Aid and Survival Equipment
A good first aid kit and manual are obvious necessities -- possibly supplemented by a snake bite kit if you venture into snake country. It is also wise to carry a package of miscellaneous survival items such as water purification tablets, compass, mirror, space blanket, fishing line, wire saw, candles, sunscreen, poison ivy antidote, spare flashlight batteries, duct tape, etc.  More suggestions on emergency equipment can be found the Vehicle Recovery Equipment  and Packing & Organizing Expedition Gear sections of these pages.


Where to Stow it (Classic)Under Rear Seat
Fortunately, Range Rovers abound with normally overlooked nooks and crannies in which these and other items can be stowed out of sight without intruding on the passenger or load carrying areas. For example, the space under the driver's seat can be accessed by raising the controls to maximum height and removing the plastic side cover (one screw and a hook-and-loop fastener). Don't put anything here which you may want when the battery is dead!! A spare ignition coil and a 12 volt tire pump fit easily. A rain suit is also stuffed in from behind the seat. In the pocket behind the seat are first aid and snake bit kits. A fire extinguisher is mounted on the front of the passenger seat base-- inconspicuous but ready to hand.

For the space under the right (60%) rear seat I fashioned a cardboard container (photo at right) of triangular cross section with a hinged lid, holding a hose repair kit, spare hose clamps and heater hose, thermostat, spark plug, electrical relays, bungie cords, etc. Under the left seat are the jumper cables and tow strap. (The built-in hitch receiver is an ideal tow strap anchor point, so carry a hitch pin). A spare top radiator hose of the generic flexible variety with no molded bends fits neatly under the rear of these seats.

Stowage inside spare tireHidden inside the spare wheel is a gallon of antifreeze and a quart each of engine oil and transmission fluid (doubling as power steering fluid and even transfer case fluid on 89 and later models), while a spare bottom radiator hose is coiled in the outboard rim of the wheel. (Try getting one of these $50 tee-junctioned monstrosities from the Boonieville Auto Parts Store!) In front of the wheel but still hidden inside the loadspace cover support is a good place for a box of miscellaneous survival items such as water purification tablets, compass, mirror, space blanket, fishing line, wire saw, candles, sunscreen, poison ivy antidote, spare flashlight batteries, duct tape, etc. Similarly, inside the cover behind the wheel is room for emergency ground and aerial flares, a puncture repair kit, and a funnel.

In pre-1990, non CD-equipped models, the area behind the carpet flap on the right hand side of the loadspace, where the tool kit and jack are located, will also hold a husky shovel, pick, axe and pry bar (see "Carrying Vehicle Recovery Equipment in Range Rovers"), with room left over for such items as spare belts, gear oil, and fuel filter. A bottle of octane booster (get a brand that is safe for catalytic converters and oxygen sensors) is handy for refueling at back country stops where super unleaded is not available.


Where to Stow it (P38)
On the Mk II Range Rover, I used the same basic arrangement except for finding the space under the drivers seat was full of computers. The space under the rear seats, however, was adequate for storage of the tow strap and a package of miscellaneous spares, while the spots for the rain suit and fire extinguisher were the same as on my Classic. The available stowage is increased by the presence of the glove box, and larger pockets in the doors and the seat backs -- which I use for first aid supplies. There is also a useful stowage area tucked into the right side of the loadspace, for which an official storage accessory is available.

Spare Wheel Compartment:
The spare wheel compartment under the loadspace floor is a great storage area on the P38. For one thing, the inside of the spare wheel  is bigger and more usable than on the Classic, especially on models with the 18 inch wheels. This space is very useful for storing spare parts and supplies that would only be needed in an emergency (there is even an official accessory for utilizing this space more efficiently). Like me, Kevin Kelly (who kindly supplied the photos below) removed the molded foam insert to the left of the spare wheel that holds the jack, giving even more storage room. 

4.0/4.6 Spare Area

Spare Area Packed

Above: Cavernous spare tire area under loadspace floor in RR P38 (well, it's cavernous if you remove the spare tire!!)

Top Right: Kevin Kelly's storage arrangement for spares and recovery gear

Bottom Right: Canvas stowage bags and Craftsman bar and 1 1/16" socket to replace stock lug wrench (Photos by Kevin Kelly)

Lug Wrench

Kevin reports: "I  removed the OEM foam thing that Land Rover uses to hold the jack, wheel chucks and lug wrench to open up a little more space. I packed the OEM jacking stuff and padding and keep it in a duffel bag. Since the OEM lug wrench has been know to fail (bend in to the shape of a pretzel) I added a Craftsman 18 inch breaker bar with an extender and 6 point socket. There is still room in the bag for a bunch of other tools. I even have room for a second duffle bag where I keep a set of jumper cables and a 110-12Vconverter."

Recovery Gear Stowage:
The large area in the spare tire compartment makes it possible to stow vehicle recovery gear here; this is a very good option if you do not often use it. Kevin chose this arrangement on his 4.6.  Those who need to access this gear more often may opt for stowing it on the roof as I did on my P38 (see the vehicle recovery gear page).

Where to stow it (RR III/L322)
On the RRIII, there is no room under the rear seats but both front and rear doors have good storage pockets. There is also plenty of storage room under the loadspace floor -- the spare tire compartment has quite a bit of spare room around its periphery (photo below left), and there is a large separate storage compartment under the floor on the right hand side of the loadspace (below right).


Storage around the spare wheel

Stowage compartment

Loadspace of RR III, with spare tire compartment lid opened to reveal significant empty areas (white arrows) that can be used for stowage of spare parts and emergency supplies. Shovel and pick are positioned for fast access while still enabling spare wheel compartment to be opened.

Spacious stowage compartment provided under right side of loadspace floor.
Some owners have used this spot for a spare battery. (See dual battery installation page)

A Final Note
Keeping all these supplies permanently stowed assures they will be along when needed, simplifying trip preparation. They are all out of sight and do not impinge in any way on the normal passenger and load carrying areas. One final suggestion -- it's a good idea to carry a workshop manual, the dealer list available from Land Rover of North America, and a list of parts vendors and service shops.






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Page revised February 9, 2012