Why are there so few Silverado overland rigs?

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Pike

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Hi guys.

Random thought...but as I consider more overlanding equipement investments into my 2016 Silverado...I wonder why the universe of Silverado's being used in this capacity is so small? I've had a few trips in mine now and there are a few things that come to mind, in terms of limitations:

1. Size. Pretty sure only the Power Wagon or other larger 3/4 ton trucks are larger than my rig. Pretty sure there's alot of trails I'll never be able to do simply because I can't fit. But...this is a full size overland vehicle issue and not just a Silverado problem.
2. Turning radius. Sorta hand in hand with the first point...my ability to turn, say on a switchback, seems pretty limited.
3. 4X4 performance. Not sure this is much of an issue...my rig has never had an issue, but I lack front lockers or even the ability to lock my rear diff on command. The G80 is fine if you understand how it works, but I'd think that e-lockers will always be preferred. But...I haven't found anything my truck can't go through, so perhaps this is another issue that's more theoretical than reality. I did learn how much it sucks to not have a disconnecting sway bar since I broke mine on a recent trip to Big Bend. +1 Power Wagon.
4. Chevy reliability. The 5.3L V8 that's in mine will probably outlast us all. The rest of the truck? Well...it's not Toyota.
5. Approach/Departure angles. No issue so far...was able to do anything I needed to in Big Bend including the 'Shelf' section on Black Gap Road in the NP. But...that's one trail. Not sure how I'd fare in more boulder-ridden trails out west.
6. Lack of aftermarket support. It's no Toyota...but I think I've been able to get most everything I need or want.
7. The wheel wells. They're square. Tires are round. Thus...to properly fit my 35" KO2's I have to have a truck on a 6" lift. Impacts both visibility AND mpg.
8. Perception. This could be the main thing...there's not kick ass Overlanding series where the guys tool around in Chevy's...pretty much every single one is one giant Toyota commercial (effective ones at that). So perhaps this is more my perception than reality.

OK...so that's alot but what I've considered. I'm curious what the community thinks. Honestly thinks...so have at it and don't worry about hurting feelings. I am really hoping to make an educated decision on how to proceed and getting some brutally honest, outside perspective will be a huge help! Here's a photo of 'Black Betty' on her lastest adventure, to Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas.

 

[DO]Ron

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Well you said it yourself..
The rest of the truck? Well...it's not Toyota.
No all fanboyism asside, I got no clue lol. Trucks that big aren't sold here, trucks like a Toyota Tundra are only available trough direct import, nobody actually sells it here. But our country is totally not set up for big rigs like that.
 
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Raul B

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I think it just comes to preference. For a while there were pretty much no fullsize overland rigs... when I first started building my F150 I was getting soo much backlash from people saying that a fullsize will not work as a overland rig.....

I do see more power wagons mainly because of their quick disconnect of their sway bars....

that being said... I am seeing a lot more fullsize rigs being built as overland rigs....
 

Pike

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I think it just comes to preference. For a while there were pretty much no fullsize overland rigs... when I first started building my F150 I was getting soo much backlash from people saying that a fullsize will not work as a overland rig.....

I do see more power wagons mainly because of their quick disconnect of their sway bars....

that being said... I am seeing a lot more fullsize rigs being built as overland rigs....
Honestly Raul...your rig was the biggest inspiration that building out my rig wasn't a folly going back to early last year.
 
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Raul B

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Honestly Raul...your rig was the biggest inspiration that building out my rig wasn't a folly going back to early last year.
wow... that's a great compliment... Thank You....

I have been in the aftermarket parts business for almost 12 years now... their will always be haters.... If your comfortable with the size of your rig then go for it.. who cares what everyone else says.... If you have an off rig you may encounter less aftermarket support like I did with bumpers but that can also be fixed if your willing to spend the coin to have things custom made....

If I can be of any assistance let me know.... I always hook up fellow OB members

-Raul
 

Ripley1046

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I'm just starting to modify my 99 Silverado. So far it's always done what I've asked of it. Reliability? 183k and counting. Rusty but trusty. Aftermarket support isn't great (or really existent at all) for a 99, but I am also not afraid to get creative. For now, I have the cap, good A/T tires, and I'm looking into more lighting options since the stock headlights are junk. Might do a small lift and bigger tires once I get another daily driver. I blew the motor on my last one a few months ago so the Chevy needs all the mpg help it can get right now.
 

Angel Sterling

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This thread makes me happy :smileycat:
Glad to see someone else sporting a bowtie! I do have a 2015 silverado but I've designated my Trax as my main camping unit.
Chevy is great! They do have flaws and they certainly aren't Toyota, but they perform just as great and have excellent dealership support throughout Canada.
My boss has a 2017 TRD Tacoma. He's driven my silverado. He almost prefers it. I know they aren't a fair comparison but my chev according to him has better riding/handling, better power, good torque, and looks sexy as hell.
Great looking truck btw!
Safe travels!
 
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Kevin108

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Everybody wants an offroad trailer but nobody thinks a fullsize works for an overland rig?

That's idiotic.

The JKU, FJ, and 4Runner are negligibly smaller than a K5 Blazer/Bronco/Ramcharger. That means virtually everything is "fullsize" now.

The Taco and Colorado are pretty much the smallest offerings at present if you want a truck and not just an AWD wagon.
 
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BradD

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I think what hurts the full-size overlander in general is the lack of aftermarket support compared to others like jeep, also the cost. Buying parts like bumpers are cheap for smaller vehicles compared to the full size. Size can be a hindrance but it just depends on how afraid you are of scratches and dents.
I personally love my 04 Silverado. Yeah she's long but being a quadrasteer I can turn as sharp as a wrangler and can load all the gear I want and don't have to think about weight whatsoever. The only negative to me is the mpg. That 6.0 doesn't know the meaning of fuel efficiency

Sent from my SM-G930V using OB Talk mobile app
 
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Smileyshaun

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I think a reason you don't see as many full size rigs is people get overlanding and wheeling a little mixed up . Do you need a ultra maneuverable rig to explore forest service roads and tackle the occasional trail obstacle ? No not really .personally I'd rather have a bigger rig I can fit stuff inside of and be comfortable rather then a smaller rig loaded to capacity with half my belongings hanging on the outside . Maybe partt of it is people with full size rigs just consider it car camping and smaller rigs consider it overlanding because it's so much work to make all their gear fit .
 

Smileyshaun

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I think what hurts the full-size overlander in general is the lack of aftermarket support compared to others like jeep, also the cost. Buying parts like bumpers are cheap for smaller vehicles compared to the full size. Size can be a hindrance but it just depends on how afraid you are of scratches and dents.
I personally love my 04 Silverado. Yeah she's long but being a quadrasteer I can turn as sharp as a wrangler and can load all the gear I want and don't have to think about weight whatsoever. The only negative to me is the mpg. That 6.0 doesn't know the meaning of fuel efficiency

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But once a smaller rig is lifted , armored up and loaded down with people and gear it will probably be getting around the same mpg as you , but you'll still have power and a bigger fuel tank
 

Pike

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Load capacity, mileage and range are all things my Silverado are pretty good at given her size. Fulled loaded I can get anywhere from 12-15 MPG (including having items strapped on top). Turning radius is pretty bad though...and pinstripes are definitely a thing. In my case...about $1000 to fix after a trip like this last one. I'm not one to be too concerned over them, but the rig is too expensive to just let be and not maintain it.

The lack of aftermarket support is a real concern though, without any doubt.
 

jordan96xj

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Many people drawn to the notion of "overlanding" were inspired by what they have seen or grown up with. Typically this notion is more international and has been visually dominated by certain European and international brands for 50-60 years or more. (Land rover comes to mind, but brands such as Toyota are well represented). So North American off-road capable vehicles just haven't been part of that image to any significant degree. So as folks emulate what they were inspired by, it is no surprise that they gravitate to that ideal. It's what they have pictured, what they have dreamed about, and they are just trying to make it real in their own lives. Which is awesome.

But if someone looks at "overland" based just on effect, or achieving a certain activity (like exploring and camping). Then really any off-road capable vehicle can become and adventure rig. Most of our parents didn't have Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, or 4Runners. But they got out there just the same, using what they had. In my family it was a plain-jane vanilla colored Jeep Wagoneer. And we adventured and explored all over the place.

So both groups share the same spirit. Which is great. It's just that one group attaches a certain "ideal" image to the activity, and others perhaps not. Nothing wrong with that really, as we all do it in various areas of our lives (ask 10 people what a race car should look like...you'll get 10 different answers....but one answer will be "don't care, just has to be fast"). Kind of the same dynamic here.

I would overland in a Chevy truck, if it was in my budget. Absolutely. It would certainly do everything and more that I would require.
 

FrankRoams

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But once a smaller rig is lifted , armored up and loaded down with people and gear it will probably be getting around the same mpg as you , but you'll still have power and a bigger fuel tank
Absolutely correct. I am dealing with this now in with my FJ Cruiser. I also have an F-150 and I have to say, loading up the F-150 to the gills and rolling out you would never know you were hauling anything except for the sag. The FJ cruiser on the other hand, I notice an extra passenger. lol.
 
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FrankRoams

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Turning radius is pretty bad though...and pinstripes are definitely a thing. In my case...about $1000 to fix after a trip like this last one. I'm not one to be too concerned over them, but the rig is too expensive to just let be and not maintain it.
Have you considered wrapping the truck? I know a guy that wrapped his 4runner and he intentionally drives it through stuff. The durability is impressive, to say the least.
 

Kevin108

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Absolutely correct. I am dealing with this now in with my FJ Cruiser. I also have an F-150 and I have to say, loading up the F-150 to the gills and rolling out you would never know you were hauling anything except for the sag. The FJ cruiser on the other hand, I notice an extra passenger. lol.
The worst thing about the FJ is the range. The mileage is to be expected but coupled with the 19-gallon tank it becomes a real weak point.

Yes, there is the Man-a-fre tank, but WOW is it expensive. It's also of a quality that isn't out of place in aerospace engineering, but that's not what most people need.

What I want is someone to make a kit that lets us add and/or swap to a tank from another vehicle, like an early Jeep Cherokee (20 gal) or a K5 Blazer (31 gal). New fuel tanks are readily available at less than $150 and would offer an affordable option for those who need more range but don't require a space-age aluminum tank.

(I have no done any measuring to see what would actually fit, nor do I possess any welding skills. By all means, steal my idea and make a million bucks on these things. Just give me a good deal on one when they're ready.)
 
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