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Feature Vehicle Interior :: Troopy Girl’s Land Cruiser VDJ78

Scrolling through Marlee Calabro’s @troopygirl Instagram account is like a soothing balm for the nervous system. Often parked on sugary sands with aquamarine waters in the background, her white Land Cruiser VDJ78 Troop Carrier’s interior is so clean, so minimalist, and so well-laid-out that it has inspired the interior design of a handful of Troopy builds in the US. The view from the Mulgo pop-top bursts with unimpeded views of Australian beaches and sunsets, while white timber cabinetry and vinyl flooring lend to a delicate feel, contrasting with the rugged style of overland builds that we’re used to.

In May, Marlee, her brother, sister-in-law, and nephew piled into the Troopy and embarked on a trip on the Gibb River Road in Kimberley, Western Australia. “With the double seats fitted, two swags on the roof, and a sense of adventure, we all comfortably fit and lived out of the Troopy for three weeks without a need to tow anything,” she says. How did they make it work? Here is a look into the interior of Calabro’s Land Cruiser VDJ78 Troop Carrier.

Sleeping Quarters

Based out of Sydney, Australia, the Expedition Centre supplied and fit this 70-Series with a Mulgo pop-top. She explains that the Mulgo stood out against its competitors due to its internal locking, hinges, and three large-screened windows. “It only adds 35 millimeters to the height and has clean lines following the shape of the Troopy. There are also integrated anchor tracks on the roof, making it a fully load-bearing roof platform, with a watertight but breathable Airtex canvas, a 120-millimeter bed width, and [is] certified Australian-made.”

The benefits of the pop-top don’t end there. “Another of my favorite things about the pop-top is the ease of setup/packup,” she says. “I can be driving along one minute and in bed the next if I wanted. It takes 20 seconds to set up and about a minute to pack up.”

The bed lies on a separate platform that is tucked out of the way until needed. Bedding includes sheets, two pillows, and a doona (duvet).

Kitchen Items, Food, and Water Storage

The interior of Calabro’s Troopy is a minimalist’s dream. She stores most items within white timber cabinets, which also house an EcoHeat induction cooktop in the top drawer. An eight-piece titanium Tefal Ingenio Fusion induction pan set is her choice for cookware due to its removable handle and space-saving design. A bamboo cutlery tray holds all cooking and eating utensils, while her Corelle dinnerware set is stored in the second drawer. A Dometic SMEV basin was also installed in the cabinetry.

Marlee stores food in a plastic tub in a cabinet beneath the drawers, while water storage is mounted in multiple places, including 150 liters in two underbody-mounted tanks, one 90-liter mount, and one 60-liter rear mount.

troopytroopy interior
troopy interiortroopy

Camp Life: Table, Chairs, Clothing, and Toiletries

Out of sight but not out of mind, Calabro’s custom-made timber camp table is stored in a long cabinet, while two Front Runner Expander camp chairs are packed away behind the passenger seat. While clothing is housed in a cupboard behind the driver’s seat, she says there is room for improvement as she would like to install shelving within.

For Calabro, highlights include ample storage and functional and versatile features. “For example, the long cabinet stores the camp table, provides storage, functions as a small couch, and a small bed,” she says. “When fitted with a piece of ply fitted snugly on the top drawer, it also doubles up as a table, used mostly during bad weather for eating meals, working on the laptop, planning the trip, or playing cards.”

troopy interior

The interior configuration changes when Marlee embarks on trips with three or more people, which speaks to the modular nature of the build. “I use the large cabinet behind the passenger seat for storage when doing a longer trip with one or two people. The cabinet can be removed so a double seat can be put in its place. The seats are Techsafe. The double seats also have child seat anchors for the little ones.”

Calabro keeps toiletries in a small cabinet underneath the sink for easy access. Electronics are stored within easy reach of the driver’s seat; her laptop sits on an overhead shelf above while her mobile phone is secured on a Quad Lock dash car mount. Finally, scuba diving gear (other than the tank) fits in a large cabinet behind the passenger seat.


Solar and Electronics

The Troopy’s solar system includes two 120-watt solar panels mounted on the roof, an iTechWorld 140-watt solar blanket, a 200Ah Enerdrive lithium battery, a 2,600-watt Enerdrive inverter, an Enerdrive DC to DC 40Ah battery charger, and a 12-volt smart charger. “The powerpoint [is] located behind the driver’s seat; I should also put one at the rear of the vehicle by the water pump switch,” Calabro explains. “I do most [of the] cooking on the rear door drop-down table and currently run an extension lead from the powerpoint behind the driver’s head.”

Reading lights at the head of the bed provide ambiance and practicality, containing two USB ports each. “This makes it easy to charge phones, batteries, GoPro, etc., overnight,” she says.

Tools and Spare Parts

MaxTrax are stored in a large cabinet behind the passenger seat, and Calabro also carries a snatch strap, snatch block, tree protector, shackles, a camp shovel, and tire repair kit. An ARB air compressor lives “under the bonnet.”



  • Mulgo pop-top
  • EcoHeat induction cooktop
  • Dometic SMEV sink/basin
  • Tefal Ingenio Fusion induction pan set
  • Two underbody-mounted water tanks, 150 liters
  • One 90-liter water mount
  • One 60-liter rear water mount
  • Custom-made timber camp table
  • Front Runner Expander camp chairs
  • Techsafe seats
  • Quad Lock dash car mount
  • Two 120-watt solar panels
  • iTechWorld 140-watt solar blanket
  • Enerdrive 200Ah lithium battery
  • Enerdrive 2600-watt inverter
  • Enerdrive DC to DC 40-amp battery charger
  • Enerdrive 40-amp/12-volt smart charger
  • ARB air compressor

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Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. As Senior Editor at Overland Journal, you can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or writing about the unsung women of overlanding history. @desktoglory_ash