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Old 07-13-2019, 07:50 PM
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Overlanding on a Stock Jeep JK/JL

Guys/Gals,

Please don't take this as any disrespect for the hardcore rock-climbing/mudding crowd. I love what most have you have done with the platform. But for the recreational owner, I believe the stock JK/JL setup is really all you need. Aside from some very basic mods and add- ons. The stock set up can do just about anything. This makes having the wrangler as a daily driver ideal.

I've had friends that spent thousands on mods over the years on their Jeeps, only to have to constantly re tinker to make it run right, re order parts, etc, etc. I have noticed that almost every upgrade comes with a downside, usually diminished road performance andrequires further upgrades to address the problems the upgrade caused. (Spare tire issues, speedometer recalibration,inner fenders, gearing, driveshafts, and on and on.) It's a cycle of, "if I did this, then I need to do that". The cycle seems endless.


I had a 2013 JK-4 door sport. I added Willy Wheeler wheels, AEV front and rear bumpers, some cosmetic and comfort mods and add ons for the interior, and I found that as long I wasn't rock climbing or in deep mud, I was "A-ok". I had the JK for almost 4 years and did my share of trails in the northern and central California area. Back then, It was set up as a hunting rig (Quail in central cali, hog and Deer in northern Cali), but I spent 2-4 days at a time living in it. Never had a fridge, just used two coolers, prepackage meals, rotopax for gas and water, I can't recall the name of the roof rack, but It was not permanent and used to hold camping gear, stored in dry bags. Mostly when I stopped, I used a hammock, a couple of times, I slept in the back with an air mattress.


Now that I have a 2019 JL, I plan on the same. I want to do some light trail riding in central Florida (Ocala)...2-3 days max on the trails. Some longer durations in Georgia, when its deer hunting season. I'll outfit with anything that is not permanent and go wth a modular game plan. When I return back to civilization, I prefer the stock look on main street roads.

Does anyone else go overlanding with a mostly stock wrangler?

Would like to hear your experiences. Please share photos as well.

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Old 07-13-2019, 09:14 PM   #2
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I don't think most would consider 2 or 3 days or even 5 or 6 days overlanding. sounds more like car camping which jeeps are excellent at doing.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:20 AM   #3
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Overlanding has a time requirement? I don't think so. Overlanding is about exploration rather than using a machine to conquer obstacles. The destination is the goal rather than the trail itself. It's sad that Moab has become more famous in the last 20 years for it's vehicle-busting trails than for the incredible scenery through which those trails travel. For too many, the obstacle is the goal. They might as well be in an amusement park on the outskirts of Chicago. Perhaps someone will take the hint and start building challenging off-road amusement parks in urban areas around the country. It might ease the overcrowding in Moab.

And I agree with the OP in that nearly every major mod I've done to my Jeeps ended up requiring a new mod to address issues caused by the initial mod...and on and on chasing perfection. When I bought my first Jeep, we were pretty much all overlanders...though I don't remember ever hearing that term until years later. And at that time, rock-crawling meant getting down on your hands and knees. I expect my stock Gladiator Rubicon will get me to most of the places worth going around here...if it ever arrives.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:28 AM   #4
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Overlanding has a time requirement? I don't think so.
It was an attempt at a little humor but reading some of the Overland forums and magazines one would think in order to be considered an overlander you need to be self-sufficient carrying supplies for at least a month at a time .
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:34 AM   #5
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Overlanding on a Stock Jeep JK/JL

Overlanding describes self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. Typically, but not exclusively, accommodated by mechanized off-highway capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping; often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and often spanning international boundaries. While expedition is defined as a journey with a purpose, overlanding sees the journey as the purpose.

Overlanding is about exploration, rather than conquering obstacles. While the roads and trails we travel might be rough or technically challenging, they are the means to an end, not the goal itself. The goal is to see and learn about our world, whether on a weekend trip 100 miles from home or a 10,000-mile expedition across another continent. The vehicle and equipment can be simple or extravagant - they, too, are simply means to an end. History, wildlife, culture, scenery, self-sufficiency - these are the rewards of overlanding.

https://overlandjournal.com/what-is-overlanding/
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Moabite View Post
Overlanding has a time requirement? I don't think so. Overlanding is about exploration rather than using a machine to conquer obstacles. The destination is the goal rather than the trail itself. It's sad that Moab has become more famous in the last 20 years for it's vehicle-busting trails than for the incredible scenery through which those trails travel. For too many, the obstacle is the goal. They might as well be in an amusement park on the outskirts of Chicago. Perhaps someone will take the hint and start building challenging off-road amusement parks in urban areas around the country. It might ease the overcrowding in Moab.

And I agree with the OP in that nearly every major mod I've done to my Jeeps ended up requiring a new mod to address issues caused by the initial mod...and on and on chasing perfection. When I bought my first Jeep, we were pretty much all overlanders...though I don't remember ever hearing that term until years later. And at that time, rock-crawling meant getting down on your hands and knees.


In essence, people have been doing this for years. Car camping, hunting and scouting hunting areas in their jeep/truck. Extended road trips...etc etc. I guess its now called overlanding. I see the community and term has berthed a niche market (overland expo) and the small to medium sized companies that benefit. This is all good for everyone that is into it. I just think, again that unless you a dedicated rock climber/mudder, a stock jeep with some small mods can do the job. At least that is how I am going to roll.

If I ever wanted a rig to live on, on the road, then i would get a land cruiser mod out it out to make sleeping comfy or a full sized truck and then put a camper on it. Just my thoughts.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:17 AM   #7
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My 2015 JKUR is pretty close to stock and used as my DD. For recreation, it is used in much the same way as yours. It has all the capability that I could need or want. IMHO, the mod cycle can quickly add complexity to the point of diminishing returns.

R
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:46 AM
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My 2015 JKUR is pretty close to stock and used as my DD. For recreation, it is used in much the same way as yours. It has all the capability that I could need or want. IMHO, the mod cycle can quickly add complexity to the point of diminishing returns.

R
Here are my planned mods for my 2019 JLU.

1.Wheels (Moab or Rubicon OEM). Waiting on some bay offers to come through. Will ensure the wheels are M/T.

2. Seat Covers (all weather).

3. Rocksliders (still researching).

4. Detachable roof rack (still researching).

5. Rotopax (water and fuel). Will get 2 gallons of each.

6. Front bumper with winch and LED lights. (still researching)

7. LED lights in place of stock lights. (I do this to all my vehicles).

8. Two yeti coolers (already have them). one for drinks, one for food.

9. Recovery kit (just in case).

Add camping gear, which I already have and I think I can handle just about everyone the state of florida and georgia has to offer. I'll just have to be weary of deep mud.
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JLBlue View Post
Here are my planned mods for my 2019 JLU.

1.Wheels (Moab or Rubicon OEM). Waiting on some bay offers to come through. Will ensure the wheels are M/T.

2. Seat Covers (all weather).

3. Rocksliders (still researching).

4. Detachable roof rack (still researching).

5. Rotopax (water and fuel). Will get 2 gallons of each.

6. Front bumper with winch and LED lights. (still researching)

7. LED lights in place of stock lights. (I do this to all my vehicles).

8. Two yeti coolers (already have them). one for drinks, one for food.

9. Recovery kit (just in case).

Add camping gear, which I already have and I think I can handle just about everyone the state of florida and georgia has to offer. I'll just have to be weary of deep mud.

while I love my Yeti 50 Tundra it now sits at home 95% of the time since I bought an ARB 50. The ARB 50 carries over 2X the food and beverages as the Yeti does even tho they are both rated at 50qt simply because no ice is needed and the ARB is considerably lighter than the Yeti when both are loaded.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:04 AM   #10
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I have steel bumpers, winch, a roof rack w/large basket and a cargo carrier on the back. I had to upgrade my suspension to handle the extra weight of that stuff alone.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:36 AM
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[QUOTE=pkdailey4;34423877]I have steel bumpers, winch, a roof rack w/large basket and a cargo carrier on the back. I had to upgrade my suspension to handle the extra weight of that stuff alone.[/QUOT

Hmm. I had roof carrier and AEV front/rear bumper on my 2013 JK. Never upgraded my suspension. Maybe I should have, but I'm not down with the whole suspension mod. I've never been on a jeep that seemed to drive better on the road with suspension upgrades and I spend 95% of time on the road.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:50 AM   #12
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Why are you talking about the road? Arent you wanting info on overlanding in a stock Jeep? If I add 600+lbs to my Jeep before I've loaded my junk in it and all over it, I want it to be level and up out of the dirt so I don't have to turn back at the first obstacle I come to. It's like pulling your trousers up so you're not walking around town with your pants on the ground. Where you drive your Jeep and how you wear your pants is your choice.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:22 AM   #13
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The stock suspension is horrible for off road, at least my Willys Wheeler was. And that was before I added all the steel bumpers and other stuff that made it a complete disaster. - Way too soft and bouncy to the point it was driving me crazy.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:31 PM
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Why are you talking about the road? Arent you wanting info on overlanding in a stock Jeep? If I add 600+lbs to my Jeep before I've loaded my junk in it and all over it, I want it to be level and up out of the dirt so I don't have to turn back at the first obstacle I come to. It's like pulling your trousers up so you're not walking around town with your pants on the ground. Where you drive your Jeep and how you wear your pants is your choice.
Because, unless you have a dedicated overloading rig, you are going to put road miles. Moreover, you will put road miles to get to you off road destination. Unless you plan on trailering your ride
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:19 PM   #15
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If you are on the road 95% of the time and off road 5% of the time, build your Jeep for the 5%. The 5% is more demanding and requires dedicated equipment that is purposefully built in order to come out the other side relatively unscathed. If you focus on the 95% or don't take the 5% seriously, you're setting yourself up for failure.

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Old 07-16-2019, 08:36 PM
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If you are on the road 95% of the time and off road 5% of the time, build your Jeep for the 5%. The 5% is more demanding and requires dedicated equipment that is purposefully built in order to come out the other side relatively unscathed. If you focus on the 95% or don't take the 5% seriously, you're setting yourself up for failure.

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That's actually some pretty sage advice. I'll take it! I think my current plans are good for the off-road conditions in Florida and Georgia. May tweak here and there as I experience the terrain.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:22 PM   #17
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You can certainly middle of the road it... (small lift, etc)

While I consider overlanding to actually be something that requires at least 2 weeks and hundreds if not thousands of miles, even a 2-3 day adventure is crazy fun. We adventure all the time (2-3 days), and overland (2 weeks+) occasionally... Last adventure that wasn't just camping was Mojave Road in early January, 3 days and 150 miles.

https://www.dangerousroads.org/north...jave-road.html

Here's the thing... When I load for an adventure, I am adding around 1000#'s and it sags my springs significantly. For an overland trip, even worse... If I was on stock springs, I would almost be bottomed out. The ice chests, fire wood, recovery gear, tools, air compressor, camp gear, etc... It's a lot of weight. There are setups that will not lift you too high and will carry MUCH more weight. You might find it rides a little different on the road, yes... But it will be SOOO much better off road that you won't even think twice.

I believe Rancho has a new 2" Sport system for JL's with their latest version of the RS9000 shocks that would be a good fit for you. @Rancho Maybe Matt can chime in here.

Here's a few images from that adventure.









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Old 07-20-2019, 10:08 AM
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You can certainly middle of the road it... (small lift, etc)

While I consider overlanding to actually be something that requires at least 2 weeks and hundreds if not thousands of miles, even a 2-3 day adventure is crazy fun. We adventure all the time (2-3 days), and overland (2 weeks+) occasionally... Last adventure that wasn't just camping was Mojave Road in early January, 3 days and 150 miles.

https://www.dangerousroads.org/north...jave-road.html

Here's the thing... When I load for an adventure, I am adding around 1000#'s and it sags my springs significantly. For an overland trip, even worse... If I was on stock springs, I would almost be bottomed out. The ice chests, fire wood, recovery gear, tools, air compressor, camp gear, etc... It's a lot of weight. There are setups that will not lift you too high and will carry MUCH more weight. You might find it rides a little different on the road, yes... But it will be SOOO much better off road that you won't even think twice.

I believe Rancho has a new 2" Sport system for JL's with their latest version of the RS9000 shocks that would be a good fit for you. @Rancho Maybe Matt can chime in here.

Here's a few images from that adventure.










Thanks I'm actually going to look into this.
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