What a crazy couple of years it has been. We have been hard at work building out our overland/ camping setup. There have been many updates to the truck, trailer (yeah we have a trailer!), and our gear. This post will give a full run down on what we have done to the truck. There will be individual posts to follow that go into deeper detail about each update. As a reminder we built out a 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel. This thing has been a great vehicle for us (with the exception of gas mileage!). We started with a stock truck and have been building it out since day one Let’s take a look.
Every good overland vehicle needs a good suspension foundation. We tried a couple of different options before settling on the fox racing elite series shocks. We are running bypass coil overs in the front providing a couple of extra inches of lift. The adjustable bypass shocks allow us to adjust both high, and low speed damping. With a turn of a knob we can make a dirt road feel like fresh pavement. In the rear we are running coils from Dobinsons along with the fox racing elite adjustable shocks. The springs provide 2” of lift with 500-800lbs of extra weight. The stiffer spring, paired with the adjustable shock, allows us to reduce rear end sag without making the ride harsh.
Wheels and Tires
We are currently running the stock wheels and have not found the need to go aftermarket. We are running 2” spacers from Bora Off-road to give us a wider and more stable stance. The spacers also allow us to run a larger tire with minimal rubbing. The tires we are currently running are Nitto TerraGrapplers in a 295/70 R18. These tires are great on most surfaces, they handle gravel and dirt trails with ease. They are wearing really well and we have had no issues with them.
We do a lot of day trips and camping trips with our truck. We got tired of lugging a heavy cooler, buying ice, and dealing with mushy food packaging so we bought a fridge! The fridge is the F40C4TMP 53 Quart Refrigerator from Amazon. This fridge has low voltage protection which is great, but we didn’t want to have to worry about the starter battery at all so we decided to go with a second battery. We have plans to change this system soon but as it stand we are running an Optima Yellow Top AGM battery. The battery is fed from the starter battery/alternator when the truck is on via a KeyLine Dual Battery Isolator. When the truck is off the battery is topped off with a 100w solar panel (from Harbor Freight) that is mounted on the roof rack. The panel feeds through a small pwm solar controller that is mounted in the bed of the truck. Between the second battery and the solar panel we always have cold food!
Exploring in the day time is great but there is still so much to do and see at night! We love night adventures so we definitely needed some additional lighting to assist the LED headlights on the rebel. Our goal on this build was to create a rig that anyone could afford to build so with that in mind we turned to harbor freight for some great off road lights. We started on the front bumper with four 3” cube lights. We have two spots and two floods up front. Moving up to the windshield you will find two flood lights mounted on ditch light brackets. Mounted on the rack just behind the cab we have a 50” light bar with a mix of flood and spot lights. Underneath the truck we have eight waterproof rock lights that illuminate the ground underneath the truck. We can wheel with confidence even when it’s pitch black out! All of the lights connect to an Auxbeam 8 Gang Switch Panel under the hood that runs to a sleek switch panel inside the cab.
One of the best things about having a truck is the ability to haul all of our gear easily. We have a soft topper over the bed to provide a strong but lightweight cover. Over the soft topper we have a modular rack system built by Datin Fabrication. The rack allows us to mount all of our gear (jack, traction boards, fuel pack, fire extinguisher, and an awning). With all of that gear mounted to the outside we have plenty of room in the bed. The bed is finished off with a liner from bedrug and provides a great place to store gear or to hang out if the weather is bad. We have a large first aid kit, refrigerator, and a recovery gear bag in there for every adventure! Check out our gear list for what we carry in the back! (If you buy something it helps us out! We have some additional updates coming soon so stay tuned!
There have been other improvements made along the way but these are the big ones. This truck is super capable and has taken us to some pretty dope places. We are excited to continue to refine the truck and get out there and adventure with it!