2008 Suburban 2500 Heavy Duty Overlander

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Rank V

Influencer I

Selah Wa
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My last rig was a 1990 Suburban 2500. I loved that rig, but my wife did not. It started to have some transmission issues, and it just was not a great rig to tow my 30 ft travel trailer. It only had 190hp stock and to fix the trans, add power, fix some other issue was more than I wanted t spend on a rig my wife hated.
The replacement is this 2008 Suburban 2500. More comfortable, more power, and my wife loves it and not only wants to ride in it, but she is OK driving it. Not only did I gain power to tow, I gains some MPG over the 1990.

The plans for this rig are mild. I want to sleep in the back, and be capable on the trail, but I don't want to do anything that can't be easily reversed should I need to.
First up is a sleeping platform. In the 90 I tried several different heights for the platform and we found that we liked it as low as possible to allow us to sit up and read or even watch something on a tablet. So, there will be no drawers under the bed. However, I did make some lift out panels in the front to allow for storage under the front where the seats were. I added a pull out table that allows me to cook and do food prep under the tailgate protected from some sun and rain. The platform is all 3/4in cabinet grade plywood, it still needs a second coat of shellac. The big grey thing in the pictures is the tri-fold 6in mattress. We are getting old and comfort on the trails is the most important thing, keeps my wife happy.

Next up is the roof rack/storage/awning etc. The stock Suburban comes with a rack, but no cross bars. I used some Super-Strut to make those. I added a Hi-Lift mount and made some mounts for my traction boards out of all-thread and aluminum bar. I mounted the awning I had from my 90 on the right side. I ordered a 39x84 roof rack to go in the middle to give me roof storage.

I removed the winch from my 1990 and it will go behind the front bumper with a hidden winch mount from Rough Country. I ordered it, but it has not arrived yet. I also ordered some tow hooks/recovery points to install at the same time.

As this is my only vehicle (my wife has hers too) I use this to go to the airport every week. It is parked in the airport parking lot 5 days a week while I am gone. I will be removing the jack, awning, and traction boards and only install them before a trip unless I can find a way to lock them on. It is a small airport and I have not had any issue with theift yet, but why give them incentive.

I will update this as I go. No, I do not plan to add a big lift or heavy steel bumpers. With care and good driving skills, this will take me anyplace my wife and I want to go.