Overlanders?

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by Juany118, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    Just wondering how many people here are into over landing. I am going to be Subaru picking up a Subaru Outback in the near future and plan on some mods for that purpose but nothing crazy; just AT tires, undercarriage shields, cargo basket and maybe a bumper guard.
     
  2. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    been at it for a while

    now trekking involves some sort of vehicle or at least a set of feet other than my own

    trucks Jeeps (2 & 3 wheelers are in my wake now) boats mules(4-legged)

    go forth cautiously

    unless you have alternate means of transportation take baby steps one at a time

    BONNE CHANCE
     
  3. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    Ive done a lot of back roads exploring in the past, and gotten hugely stuck many times. I dont know the exact description of overlanding, but I dont think it really takes much vehicle mods to do a LOT of back roads or back country exploring. Id say spend some time doing it before spending money on vehicle changes. If you want to change it because you like the style, do whatever you like, if its to add usefulness, Id see what your real needs are and what the basic vehicle lacks in actual capability before spending time and money making changes, regardless of what well meaning enthusiasts will suggest as "necessary".

    Some of the most useful changes I made were so the vehicles were to be more sleep friendly. In the current vehicle, a 4runner, I made a dog platform in the back. It serves more than one purpose. Besides the dog liking to see whats going on when driving, it gives storage space under the dog, I get to use the floor space twice so to speak. if I want to sleep in the back, I can put my legs under the platform, the dog still has a place to sleep, and gear can go on the dog bed on the sides, in unused space under the platform, beside me, or in the front seats. If i did anything else, id remove the middle seats and deck it over for storage underneath. I dont recall hauling humans yet in the middle seats in the 3 years ive had the 4runner, the seats are always folded down for the dog. YMMV of course.

    Ive rarely needed or used rooftop storage capability for average camping. With my current injuries, I cant do much on the roof anyway. The factory top rack has been more than adequate to carry the lumber and other bulky stuff I wanted to carry there on rare occasions on the 2 suburbans I had before the 4runner. I did try a rooftop cargo basket, the wind noise was pretty annoying, I took it off. Just wasnt worth whatever possible minimal benefit to put up with the noise. For extra carrying ability ive come to like the hitch mounted carrier. I modified a folding adapter to raise the carrier about a foot so it doesnt drag, and makes it a handy height to get stuff out. I ended up making an 18x18 box the length of the carrier. It hasnt affected my mileage, is extremely handy for groceries or whatever and keeps the inside from getting cluttered. The carrier is nice for carrying dead deer, garbage to the dump, and other stuff you dont want inside also.

    Speaking of noise, I used to only buy deep lug traction tires. I bought a truck with good grade all season tires and was very surprised at how well they did in mud and snow. Ill never buy noisy tires again, ever. If I cant get in or out with good all season tires, chains are the next step. I dont know how noisy the tires you want are, but there isnt any amount of noise im willing to put up with every time drive because of the comparatively small amount of time I spend on questionable roads or trails. Your use may vary, but you were asking.

    I consider bumper guards to be deer catchers. They will likely improve the odds you can drive after hitting a deer or other animal so the radiator doesnt hit the fan or motor pulleys. I havent had one in a long time and have still been functional after hitting a deer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  4. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

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    I still have a heavily modified 1995 Toyota Cruiser but unless you’re going to get serious about going where only fools tread, I’d stick to forest roads and walk all water covered areas.

    When you go oversized tires for more clearance, you need to consider gear changes, rock gardens call for armor, mud/gumbo calls for a winch and then you have either on board air or other means of airing back up. Everything is expensive and when you consider the amount of time you’ll be spending in the backcountry opposed to freeway/street driving - it’s not for everyone but if it’s for you - I wish you the best, as I enjoy my time trying my best to stay upright, dry and dent free.
     
  5. Todd1hd

    Todd1hd Supporter Supporter

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    Google Overland Expo East. You just missed West.
     
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  6. R Stowe

    R Stowe MOA #61 Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    I’m the web editor at OutdoorX4 magazine. I have a lot of friends with crazy trucks and rigs of all shapes and sizes. I drive a 2001 Tacoma with 33” AT tires, a 2 inch lift from Old Man Emu, an ARB bull bar, full sliders, a snorkel (more for dust than water, but I’ve been known to hit some deep crossings), and light armor underneath. That being said I’ve taken it a lot of places with few issues. Your on the right track. Focus on protection and self recovery. Skids, a good jack for fixing tires in a bad locale, traction boards can be life savers, and maybe look into some kind of sliders for your Subaru. Rocker panel damage can really suck.

    I think the “overlanding” name mostly has to do with longer trips that involve putting together a route that avoids the more common ways of getting to your destination. Forest roads, back roads, class IV roads up north etc. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up.
     
  7. RickS

    RickS Supporter Supporter

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    image.jpeg I'm not planning on driving to the tip of S America, but I drive a lot of forest service roads, ford creeks and rivers, and can drive over limbs if I have to. I'm building a practical, dependable vehicle, but I have been on Expedition Portal's website and see the awesome rigs on there. I'm to old to climb up into a rooftop tent so I won't be doing that, but there are great ideas for making your vehicle the way you like it. Good luck and have fun!
     
  8. bam7765

    bam7765 Supporter Supporter

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    thats cool! do you have a build page anywhere?
     
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  9. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    Had a 4 JKU that I built for this very purpose and I no longer have it. What happened you say, wife got a trail edition 4 runner, no comparison in comfort, fit and finish and how they drove. I drove the Jeep over 2k on one trip and when we got back I knew it was over, why travel so uncomfortably when I lost so little ability in trading to the 4Runner. I think the Subaru is a good route to take since the ride quality has been very good in the ones I’ve been in. The highway miles away thing is really a big deal. For me overlanding is just taking a vehicle trip to remote places, mostly off road, to camp......you know paradise.
     
  10. Madwell

    Madwell Supporter Supporter

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    My wife and I have enjoy overlanding. I just finished mounting a roof top tent on her truck this evening.


    3A1EF63E-6416-4658-A43F-BC902952DF61.jpeg
    626018B6-4AD6-4917-9224-3F6476FF084C.jpeg
     
  11. RickS

    RickS Supporter Supporter

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    No, sorry. It's got a 6 in lift, the gearing is changed, and 285/75/16's. I bought it from an 18 yr old girl whose dad is a shop teacher and had built it for her. I've lowered it, she had really wide 35's on it. I added the shell, a swing away tire, gas can, hi lift jack holder. It's fun but my wife says a few more years when I'm too old to climb that high I will have to sell it! I think I will trick her and tie some paracord on a milk crate so I can pull it up after I get in.;)
     
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  12. Duncsquatch

    Duncsquatch Heed the call. Supporter

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    Just get a small dirt bike or dual sport motorcycle for $2,000 or less used and a carrier to put it on the back of your car and you can go anywhere without having to do any mods
     
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  13. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    The main point was being able to get to places in State and National Forests, that would normally be out of reach when bringing the fiance, dog and 5 year old. If it was someplace I could take a dirt bike to I would just hump in with my back packing gear.

    As others said I don't think the mods I would need are that much. Might not even need new wheels a set of half decent AT tires like the Maxxis 771 Bravo's might well do the job. It's more about just making the idea of flat tires, and a damaged under carriage less likely when going on what can be rutty and rocky fire roads and the like in the Mid-Atlantic. By rocky I don't mean boulders, rather the ones that can shred a side wall or get knocked up into a transmission pan.

    Thanks, I may well do that. I am picturing this as a "phased" transition to see if it's something the family really enjoys. So start with maybe just the tires, splash guards, basic extrication gear, a plug kit, etc. and of course start with easier destinations. Then if the interest remains add additional modifications as time and $ liquidity allow.

    I will likely take you up on your offer once the ball starts rolling
     
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  14. R Stowe

    R Stowe MOA #61 Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    Sounds great. I’m not super up to date on the Subaru scene but I can point you in the right direction. I’m sure there are some good events in your area as well. Often times that’s the best way to get eyes and hands on a product before you commit.
     
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  15. squishware

    squishware Troubleshooter Supporter

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    Suburus are good in snow. They are not an offroad vehicle. You can take it offroad but adjust your expectations.
     
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  16. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    I hate to bring this up, but your rooftop tent... it isn't on the roof. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!

    I just recently became aware of the term "Overlanding" as applied to camping. It used to be called "Car Camping" a few years ago. I have been watching Overlanding videos on YouTube. Mostly, they involve trucks or SUVs that have been heavily modified so that they can go over terrain that any 1967 VW Bug could handle in it's sleep.

    I seriously watched a guy add about $20,000 worth of accessories to his pick-up truck that did absolutely NOTHING to improve it's roadability. The items involved a sliding drawer system for the bed of the truck, a cargo rack so he could add a "rooftop tent", big screen GPS system, a digital tire pressure monitoring system (okay, maybe this would help on different terrain), front and rear facing cameras with real-time monitoring, a drone docking station and solar panels mounted on the hood of the truck. Granted, this all looked pretty cool but it was all for bragging rights in front of his buddies at the mall.

    I'll stick to car camping, it's cheaper. By the way, I'm waiting for the arrival of my own rooftop tent for my FJ Cruiser. The solar panels are next...

    Steve
     
  17. R Stowe

    R Stowe MOA #61 Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    The “overlanding” market has boomed in the last few years. That has pros and cons. To me the overlanding portion that makes it different from just backroads/forest roads/ off-roading etc is in the interesting route finding and getting off the beaten track. For example I’ve been from WV to NC on 80% forest roads and other unpaved routes ( it was not a direct journey) at the same time I’ve led a small group up Hurricane Creek off of I40 for a half day. To me the difference is an overlanding trip versus a quick off-road trip. Don’t let the folks that are just drawn to the lifestyle represent all of it. There are posers in every bunch, and while I don’t fault them for wanting to be identified with a particular group, I also don’t give them too much credit or thought.
     
  18. Theangrywelder

    Theangrywelder Tracker

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    You wouldn't happen to be looking for an editor or a writer would you?
     
  19. DKR

    DKR Guide

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    How about the run down on that bicycle?
     
  20. R Stowe

    R Stowe MOA #61 Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    I'm always looking for web contributors. We're 6 issues a year so a lot of our engagement is between print runs and the site is how we can in touch with readers. If you don't mind to send a sample via PM on here that would be great. Paddling, hiking, biking, etc. pieces are also encouraged. We're all about adventure travel and activities, and if a 4x4 is a portion of it, great, if not, no big deal.
     
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  21. Madwell

    Madwell Supporter Supporter

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    Nothing gets past you it will be a roof top tent when it gets put on my FJ.

    I tend to agree with you on the vehicle mods. Both my wife’s truck and my FJ are mostly stock and are quite capable off road while still being pleasant to drive everyday.
     
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  22. Theangrywelder

    Theangrywelder Tracker

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    If I can add my two sense, if your planning to use the Subaru for your base vehicle I would do exactly as you suggested, start small with tires, plugs, portable air compressor, mud / splash guards, and find out what your interest are so that you might figure out what you want the rig to ultimately become. However, if you find your self getting into the "Overlander" life style or are interested in the more extreme aspects of off roading then I would suggest buying another vehicle, one that replacement parts are cheaper, with larger after market support and is easier to modify and cheaper to maintain.

    The one thing that you will quickly learn, which everyone seems to forget to mention is, the increased amount of maintenance that goes into an off road vehicle. For instance, if you play in the mud more than rocks, then your big concern is anything that rotates or moves i.e., constantly replacing wheel bearings, brake pads, seals, U-joints, the axles need modifying in order to move the breather higher up on the vehicle so that your not filling the axle with muddy water or clogging the relief valve and blowing seals. The same goes for the transmission and bell housing, starters, alternators, any other electrical components. All of this is beyond the increased tire size of course. However, increasing the tire size has its own set of problems and limitations beyond what size tire will fit on your vehicle. Once you start getting into the world or really big tires, 37" and larger, then the stress point moves into breaking axles and drive shafts when you bounce the vehicle. Think rotating mass and shock load. If you decide to get into rock climbing or rock crawling, that has its own set of problems and issues that you need to deal with for maintenance. Keep in mind, a vehicle built for mud bogging doesn't make the best rock crawler as well and vise versa. When you start building for one specific task the vehicle loses capabilities in the other so plan ahead and buy parts according to that plan if you want to save money in the long run.
     
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  23. RickS

    RickS Supporter Supporter

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    @DKR It is a Yuba cargo bike. I've owned it for about 10 yrs. I had an electric assist system on it for about 3 yrs and rode it every day. It used to be blue so I had it painted and set it up for hunting and fishing, the tubes on the back hold a takedown fishing rod and an extra barrel for a NEF single shot, I usually take along 357/12 gauge but have others. It will carry 400 lbs plus the rider. I am getting old and don't like carrying a big pack so I drive to the end of a road with the truck, ride the bike to where I need to on the trail, camp and have a small pack or versipack that I carry while in the woods. I can resupply out of the truck when I need to. I will probably add back a electric assist and put a solar setup on the truck to recharge the bike battery.
     
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  24. DKR

    DKR Guide

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    Thanks!

    I'd love to see a separate thread with pics of it in use if you have such.


    [​IMG]
    I've been known to take a bike, lunch and a radio out for day trips.
     
  25. R Stowe

    R Stowe MOA #61 Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    @Theangrywelder makes a great point. I have installed a differential breather extension and tube on my Tacoma. Just because it's not bumper deep doesn't mean you can't do damage crossing water. If you're just on forest roads you shouldn't run into anything too crazy, but that type of mod is worth checking into. He's also dead on as far as more maintenance. I purchased lifetime rotate, balance, and alignment with my tires and use the heck out of it.
     
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  26. RobOz

    RobOz Guide

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    Neat looking stuff
     
  27. Forestree

    Forestree Treeforest Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Overlanding is newer term to me (kind of like bushcraft was) and like @PMSteve said, it looks like car camping, but with a vehicle that can get you further out. Guess I’ve been an over lander and didn’t know it....gonna add that one to my resume! Sounds better than car camper too :D

    I love truck camping....but only where I can actually get away from other people. Public lands out west are great for this as well as other low population areas with public land. In Louisiana, there are tons of legal unmaintained backroads on public land where, outside of hunting season, you likely won’t run into another person (better have mud tires and a winch!) Here in NC, on public land it seems that most all the backroads are gated off and escaping from the crowd is more challenging.

    My last Toyota truck was modified and I spent a lot of dollars on it....different lift kits and suspension parts, 32” super swamper tires, air locker, skid plates, winch and bumper, lights, etc. That doesn’t include stuff that got broke or worn out (u joints, cv axles). I always figured what’s the point of doing all that stuff and not using it! Well of course that ends up being more money from punching a hole in your muffler or crushing a body panel....if you didn’t break something then you aren’t having fun :eek: As much as I loved that truck, I don’t miss it....much.

    Oh yeah, if you care about your paint job....might as well stay home!

    The only off road modifications I’ll do to any of my future vehicles is good tires and a winch. That with a 4x4 vehicle, good tool set, air compressor, tire plugs and camping gear will take me most anywhere I want to go. I don’t much care about my paint job which is the first hurdle to get over :D But I’ve lately been mostly focusing on escaping the crowd on foot, which is much easier than in a vehicle here.
     
  28. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    I am pretty sure I know the difference since I have owned a Subaru for 10 years, then before that a S-10 Blazer ZR2 for 10 years and then before that was responsible for a Military Humvee. I will next acknowledge that I consider a Subaru what some call a "soft roader".

    That all said, with the exception of rock crawling (which most stock SUVs can't handle) ultimately the main wall you hit with a properly equipped Outback (meaning you have the proper protection installed) is the lack of 4 Low because ground clearance isn't even an issue, again compared to stock SUVs (it has more ground clearance than a stock Grand Cherokee).

    Now while I will never spend the money necessary what you can do with a Subaru is to a large extent limited only to what you are willing to spend after market from companies like this https://lpaventure.com/.

    Trust me, I used to think there was a huge difference. There is indeed a difference but for most practical off road purposes, 4 Low is the main difference. Does that limit the Subaru? Sure it does. Does it mean it's only good for snow and not off road? Not in the least, if you are willing/able to equip properly. Again this is not including rock crawling or when you need more than a foot of clearance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
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  29. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    I actually did check that out. I am on duty that weekend and it's within driving distance BUT getting off is really tight and I have screwed most of the guys junior to me already this summer, don't want to make any enemies lol
     
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  30. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    Your post reminded me how I used Rhino Liner spray to protect the rocker panels on my S10 Blazer ZR2 back in the day. I am not going that crazy this time though. This is more about being able to say just drive through a National Forest on the forest roads, or get the family a bit deeper into those woods for a camping trip. My fantasies of "go where no truck has gone before days" are done ;)
     
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  31. Todd1hd

    Todd1hd Supporter Supporter

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    Man that's too bad, it's quite the event if you like Adventure travel.
     
  32. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    I know, maybe next year.
     
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  33. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

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    I'll supply build specs on 2 of my vehicles - one was a 2001 Toyota Tundra while the other is a 1995 Toyota Cruiser. I purchased the Tundra new and the Cruiser used after it was built by Slee. I added a little after Slee's build but the vast majority of the "good stuff" was done by Slee. I still have and use the Cruiser for my daily driver and all off-road activities I choose to do - the Tundra was sold to a Cali young man and that puppy is still running whatever trails he chooses to run.

    I've hit most trails in Arizona around the Mesa area, some in New Mexico and Colorado plus Johnson Valley, Rubicon and a few other Western Trails. Taking by-pass routes wasn't considered.

    1995 Cruiser:
    The starter, alternator and engine wiring harness on the Cruiser were replaced during the summer of 2010. I replaced the water pump, fan clutch and belts in December 2011. The transmission was again flushed at 210,000 miles with synthetic fluid.

    I have the Toyota repair manual.

    It does have an annoying gear whine.
    Build Specs:
    1. Slee front bumper with Warn M12000 Winch w/MP superline.
    2. Interior Winch Controls.
    3. Slee rear bumper with tire carrier.
    4. Slee tube sliders with the driver’s side containing the air tank for the York on board air compressor.
    5. Slee Transfer case skid plate.
    6. Complete 5" lift using OME springs, shocks and adjustable spacers.
    7. Double Cardan front driveshaft.
    8. ARB lockers front and rear.
    9. Re-geared to 4.88.
    10. Toyota oem Cup Holder.
    11. Toyota oem Hand Throttle.
    12. Toyota oem Center Diff Lock Switch.
    13. SuperLift Tru-Speed Calibrator.
    14. Front Heated Seats (driver and passenger).
    15. IPF 170 Watt Rally Auxiliary Lights.
    16. ARB Safari Snorkel.
    17. 2nd Interior fuse box (under passenger seat).
    18. African Outback drawer system.
    19. Custom cargo barrier.
    20. Driver side A-pod W/engine & transmission gauges (autometer 7537 & 7549). Used AutoMeter Dual Gauge Pod 20111 for 99-2001 Acura Integra.
    21. Replaced oem power steering reservoir with KRC reservoir.
    22. Preventative head gasket replacement by Slee offroad at 115k miles as a preventive measure.
    23. Alarm w/ remote starter.
    24. Uniden CB.
    25. TH-9000 Ham Radio – I have a tech license and run 2-meters.
    26. Auxiliary backup light.
    27. Garmin III GPS mounted in driver side sun visor.
    28. 2 " receiver adapter.
    29. LED map & dome lights.
    30. Toyo 35” AT’s – the spare is an unused new Goodyear MTR that is at least 10 years old. Coming up - Copy.jpg
    2001 Tundra sale anouncement:
    This 2001 Toyota Tundra Limited 4X4 Access Cab will have 147,000 miles fairly soon on the odometer, which is off by 10% due to gear ratio. The truck is usually my daily driver and hunting/expedition/rock climbing vehicle. It has all the factory limited features which include all weather guard package, premium sound, off-road package, cloth captain’s chairs w/ driver’s powered, auto-dimming mirror w/temp and compass plus a VIP RS3000 security system. After market items are 3-linked up front, 4-linked in the rear, Hi9 3rds in Spidertrax 9 housings with 5:14 gears and ARB airlockers, Bobby Long dana 60 CV Joints, Solid Axle Industries knuckles, high steer arms, kingpins, 35” tires, (may also include 35” krawlers on Trailready beadlocks) The frame is lifted 6" and re-enforced with 1/4" steel plate, 2" tube sliders welded to the 1/4" steel plate, custom rear bumper is fabbed from 3/16" tubing and bolted to the frame and has a detachable drop bumper making it legal in most States, front bumper is an ARB with a 10K Warn winch with 125' of 3/8" poly line, Steering is hydro-assist using a Red Neck Ram and a modified 1990 Toyota pickup steering box, there is a 35-gallon fuel cell in the bed of the truck, the transfer case is from a V6 Tacoma, it’s a manual twin stick mated to a 4.7 Marlin Crawler box and is protected with a 3/16” skid plate, has an auxiliary Setrab power steering cooler mounted in front of the radiator, a Howe power steering reservoir w/filt er, Coilover shocks on all 4 corners, CB radio, Amsoil dual oil filtration unit has been installed since the first 500 miles, bed is X-Lined and the under carriage and sliders are POR-15 treated, all diff fluids/transmission fluid/motor oil/greases/ have been full synthetic since the first 500 miles, interior is in excellent shape. Rear passenger quarter panel has minor rash.

    I can add that Marlin Czajkowski, owner of Marlin Crawlers, choose this Tundra to be the 1st Tundra to have his "twin sticks" installed in. When I exploded the case on the Rubicon, Marlin himself came to my rescue with a new unit and we installed that puppy alongside the trail.
    Marlin's trick toys.jpg

    straght on front.JPG

    Rubicon Springs Bridge.jpg

    Bumps.jpg

    If you can't do some or all of the work necessary to build your rig to stay operational on the trail - it's best to stay off the rough patches, as it will cost some serious coin for labor charges and not all off-road builders possess the same skill sets, so make wise choices in both aftermarket items and builders. In most cases, just run what you got and use good common sense out there - there's lot of trails an old VW bug can still run, as well as a stock 150 or whatever.
     
  34. colter

    colter Still Learnin' Supporter

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    "Overlanding" is a way to sell parts. Get a beater rig, baseline it, learn how to work on it yourself and go exploring. The more mods you do, the further off the beaten path you can go, and more breakages happen.

    I was given a 96 Cherokee 4x4 a few months ago, and have been living out of it since. I baselined all the fluids, fixed the 4x4 linkage, installed a switch so I could turn on the electric fan at low speeds, and am waiting for a steering box brace and spacer so I can install the new gear box.

    I carry all my tools and gear in plastic totes strapped down in the cargo area.

    Go basic- I'd skip the Subaru and get a Toyota with real 4wd, preferably manual shift. Pickup a factory full service manual. Do all your own maintenance. Learn about any quirks your specific vehicle has. (Xjs have a tendency to kill crank position sensors, so I carry a spare) Go exploring and you'll figure out what improvements to make.
     
  35. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    I just use the term because it kinda makes sense to me. Go from point A to point B, not always on pavement... Be able to live out of your vehicle.

    The reason I will be using my 2017 Subaru Outback is because I just got engaged and also now have a 5 year old step daughter.

    Now why did I pick Subaru? From my history with 4 wheel drive (HUMVEES, S-10 ZR2, Jeep) and Subaru is that the Subaru, with some mods (starting with tires, skid plates and maybe a canister filter bypass) will get me everywhere I plan on going, has the cargo space needed, and it has the benefit of having excellent road manners, in budget.

    That's always the rub. I could buy a full on 4x4 but in my budget range it wouldn't be able to do double duty as the "family car." If I had the cash I would have just gone all in on a 4Runner or Tacoma crew cab and dealt with the fact it wasn't QUITE as comfy on the road but $$$ is $$$ and I need to balance the hobby with the family.
     
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  36. Ithica

    Ithica Tracker

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    My Overland (car camping) vehicle is a stock 2002 Toyota 4-Runner SR5. I went back to Michelin Destination LTX M/S tires which work fine in AZ and on Western Michigan forest roads. Who needs the road noise and vibration from out of balance tires? I carry a tow strap, jumper cables, small shovel, hatchet, extra scissor jack, and a couple of short pieces of 2 X 6 to put under the jackets. I have used the tow strap and jumper cables several times to help others. Somehow I have used enough judgment to avoid getting stuck in mud/sand or high centered.

    I tent camp and use better quality tents that are suitable for heavy rainstorms and wind. I have noticed the last few years that there are a lot of Walmart tarps draped over cheap tents in Michigan campsites. I think it is worthwhile to have a small screen house during the peak bug season in the Northwoods areas. I carry two small poly tarps, one for under the tent and one inside the tent. All tent floors leak during rain storms. The inner tarp keeps the moisture away from your sleeping bag and clothes. This is a good tip that I picked up from a Cliff Jacobson book. It also adds life to the tent floor by keeping it cleaner. When backpacking I use a lightweight groundsheet inside the tent. I carry a couple of folding camp chairs. Sometimes I carry a small folding table. I usually carry my Hennessey Hammock and tarp.

    I have looked at the rooftop tents and think they are more bother than they are worth. The vehicle needs to be pretty level for comfort, they are not roomy, the ladders are pretty sketchy and they take a fair amount of time to set up. I'm over 60 so I don't have the agility to climb up and down the ladder without a moderate risk of mishap. The rungs on the ladder are too thin for me to climb in bare feet. Plus I am not afraid of bugs and wild critters. Another consideration is the time and effort to install and remove from the vehicle and storage.

    In Arizona, the Forest Service has been gating the seasonal forest roads and closing access during the muddy periods. I have no interest in running in a vehicle pack with off-roaders so there is no need for a highly modified vehicle. I think it is better to have a stock vehicle that is well maintained and a Visa card. I do usually carry a 2-meter handheld radio since I am a ham and AZ has great repeater coverage.

    This past year I have run across a pair of MAN AWD Expedition Overland trucks in southern AZ. They looked like they cost $500K plus and had license plates from the Netherlands. Once was in the RV section of the Gilbert Ray CG in Tucson and the other at the Burnt Coral CG on Apache Lake near the Roosevelt Dam. Both campgrounds have paved drives. Seems like a lot of money to spend to drive on pavement and graded gravel roads just to post Instagram and Pinterest photos.
     
  37. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    The only thing I would say is related to the tent. I have had tents in torrential downpours and thunderstorms and a good bathtub floor, if properly cared for, has never leaked on me.

    Thanks for the gear advice.
     
  38. DKR

    DKR Guide

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    Last time I did any serious off-roading was in one of these

    [​IMG]
    a M-151-A1 kitted up as a radio jeep (MRC-108) - Warn which was added to the front bumper & commercial off-road tires.

    Now, I'm happy to stay on trails.
     
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  39. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

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    Staying within your family budget is a must and using good common sense on the trail driving stock vehicles is a prerequisite for a fun & successful outing.

    I highly recommend a hydraulic jack or two in place of a scissor jack - just carry several blocks of wood to provide a solid base in mud/sand and sufficient lift range. When airing down, one can roll a bead if not careful and having on board air is a blessing. I currently run a York compressor on the Cruiser, which makes easy work of airing up 35” tires but with the Tundra I carried a 10# CO2 tank similar to the Power Tank secured in the bed box.

    Once you get into fairly serious off roading in rock gardens and going places where only fools go - on board air comes into its own running air tools when making repairs, changing out tires and blowing crud out of tight spaces etc. On every run I’ve participated in, a couple of us had on-board air for use by all. Marlin’s taco had an on-board welder and he’s saved the bacon of several off readers broke down hopelessly on the trails. Great Guy to be with.
     
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  40. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

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    I ran one of those as a 15 yoa kid - belonged to the Civil Air Patrol. I managed to somehow shear the oil pan plug off and lost all the oil. Idiot light came on and I shut her down but had to walk out about 12 miles to the closest farm house to use their phone to call for help. Almost needed a blood transfusion after the mosquitos got through with me. Got stuck a lot in sugar sand and boggy areas - no winch, just a lot of cording roads and Armstrong.
     
  41. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    I would not say I do overlanding because most of my riding is on at least gravel roads but I do have 4 wheel drive. I have a Honda Side by side when I want to get way off road so I don’t tear my truck up.

    That said I do get off the beaten path a lot camping and fishing.
     
  42. Madwell

    Madwell Supporter Supporter

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    B793484C-0401-46FC-9B77-7DE3AD4B86E2.jpeg 57001C5C-B55A-4966-9DAB-9A1F6D210206.jpeg

    DEC0ADDB-A2C2-44F9-A318-40D93516BC06.jpeg


    This was our maiden voyage in the rooftop tent. This tent is very easy to setup we didn’t make it to our camp til after dark. I would estimate it takes around five minutes, getting the cover off is the bulk of that. The sleeping area in the tent is roughly as wide as a queen bed and maybe a foot longer. The tent came with a 2” foam mattress we added a 3” air mattress on top of that. Sounds excessive but let me tell you it was excessively comfortable. The only bad part of this trip was seeing all the trash left by previous campers. We cleaned up what we could.


    I realize this style of camping isn’t for everyone. For my wife and me it represents a compromise. I get to camp and be in the woods she gets to be off the ground and sleep comfortably. She also gets a kick out of driving her truck off road.

    Thanks for looking
     
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  43. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    I am laughing with the introduction of the Jeep Gladiator....A lot of overlanders have jumped on the option. For years those of us in pickups have been told how much better the Jeeps and Land Rovers and SUV types are better than pickups....now all of a sudden a pickup is the best new option....I will stick with my Full Size Chevy.
     
  44. Lead Dog

    Lead Dog Guide

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    You bring up a great debate. Obviously the answer is different for everyone and their particular needs. The traditional SUVs might be better equipped for rougher off-road trails, but the pickups offer a lot of capacity and versatility.

    You are spot on regarding everyone jumping on the Gladiator bandwagon. It is novel being a Wrangler with a bed, but how much off-road performance is lost due to the longer wheelbase and rougher departure angles versus what is gained by the Wrangler underpinnings? It seems very much like the Scrambler. Doesn't exactly fit the bill for either department but the hybrid makes it curious. It is definitely the ticket for some people, but not for most.
     
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  45. Theangrywelder

    Theangrywelder Tracker

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    I want to add my two sense to this change jar if you don't mind. I have always had pick up trucks. I built several specific rigs using pick up trucks as the base - rock crawlers, mud trucks, hunting and all purpose off roading vehicles. However, I just finished building my 4runner and I still think pick ups are the way to go. The trucks are safer, not as top heavy, more options for load out, better access to cargo. If I were to build another serious off road vehicle I would defiantly use a truck as the base for that vehicle.
     
  46. Lead Dog

    Lead Dog Guide

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    I agree that pickups offer great versatility and are the right choice for many overlanders. I sometimes long for one when things start running tight on space. If I am by myself, I have no problems. When I start adding passengers, space starts disappearing fast.

    It really depends on how you are using your vehicle. It also depends on to what degree you want to modify your vehicle. There are many people that are more interested in the adventure and less interested in the buildup. They will have very different needs than others.

    If you want something that sees mostly off-road use, it is hard to beat a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon right out of the showroom. Nothing really matches their 4x4 capability. Sure you could add a solid axle to the front of any IFS vehicle, but do most want to incur that expense? And I have experienced plenty of tight trails that were just too small for a full-size pickup (or even one of the Tacomas that sometimes runs with our group). Obviously you could also bob the tail of a pickup, but again, is that what everyone wants? Some yes, others no.

    There are also people that depend on the passenger count of their vehicles. A large family may demand a big SUV with three rows just to fit everyone. Hard to find that feature in a truck.

    Vehicles are like knives which are like dog breeds which are like boots which are like... There are specialists and there are generalists. But no single one will satisfy every person in every situation. Such is the variety of life! People need to get out there with what they currently have and start enjoying. They will learn along the way and will make an informed decision as to what is best for them when the next purchase happens.

    Hopefully we all make the time to get some dirt under our tires!
     
  47. Theangrywelder

    Theangrywelder Tracker

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    I agree it's hard to beat a Rubicon for a turn key off road vehicle. To be honest, I have given them serious consideration but the price is still a little high for me. However, it is nice to have vehicle with front and rear lockers from the factory, and the only real accessory that you need to add is a winch. With that setup and a good set of tires you will have a vehicle that will go anywhere. I will say, for now, I like the 4Runner. I don't do a lot of series off roading anymore so I am not to worried about lockers and approach angles or articulation anymore; today its more about enjoying the environment, the creature comforts of the vehicle and the company I am with.
     
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  48. Lead Dog

    Lead Dog Guide

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    This vehicle was designed for extreme overlanders!
     
  49. Lead Dog

    Lead Dog Guide

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    Since we were talking about SWB versus LWB vehicles... :)

     
  50. Juany118

    Juany118 Scout

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    When it comes to Pickups vs SUVs I especially liked this video. He doesn't really pick a side, even though he is a "Ute" guy

     

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