Why are there so few Silverado overland rigs?

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ThundahBeagle

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Current setup.
Nice 2500 you have there. Kind of the direction I want to go, minus the rooftop tent. I'll sleep in the bed with an inflatable and a sleeping bag. But I like the lighting coming out of the sides of your cap.

I have a rack on top of my cap, so I'll use that for any extra gear or kayaks and such

Still unsure if i want to go to 35's. I may go as large as 33
 

Clrussell

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Nice 2500 you have there. Kind of the direction I want to go, minus the rooftop tent. I'll sleep in the bed with an inflatable and a sleeping bag. But I like the lighting coming out of the sides of your cap.

I have a rack on top of my cap, so I'll use that for any extra gear or kayaks and such

Still unsure if i want to go to 35's. I may go as large as 33
My truck is 35s, i started with a platform and air bed and now we are here.
 

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Clrussell

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Clrussell

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You could probably do alright fabbing those up and selling them. I for one love the look and utility of those big old Blazers and Broncos that had the spare on the back. That would be my personal preference
Maybe I’ll sell this one and build another one day. But for now I don’t have the time to fab for a second job
 

CCH185

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Note: If IFS sucks so bad for overlanding, why are Toyotas considered so great?

Haven't been here in a while, but this is certainly a worthy thread. Apologies for length, but I read through all 23 pages so I'm a bit inspired. My two cents is it doesn't really matter what you drive, but where you go. Just get out there. My first truck was a 1980 Dodge W150 short bed that had been retired by the Forest Service. The four speed manual had a granny low and with that and 31" all terrains, I drove it all over western Colorado in my early twenties. "Overlanding" as such did not exist back then, much like internet forums, we we just threw our camping gear in Roughneck tubs and didn't really think about it much. My biggest mod was swapping out the AM radio for AM/FM Cassette and installing a Skyjacker gun rack in the metal ceiling. I came perilously close to buying some double wiper blades, but caught myself in time. Since then I've mainly driven trucks for such use, including hunting which gets you out in some rough weather on rough roads. Have owned a '97 Chevy 1500, '01 1500 and now a 2013 2500 as far as my Chevy connection goes.

My last vehicle was a JKU with an AEV 2.5" lift and 33" tires. That would go anywhere I wanted to go. However, it was fatiguing on the highway and the gvwr was simply ridiculous. I figured out how to pack it for solo and duo trips, but it was simply ridiculous for hunting and my wife does the travel trailer thing and it was severely taxed loaded up and with a relatively light trailer. About three years ago, she decided she wanted a boat (didn't happen) which necessitated a 3/4 ton truck with truck camper. I found someone's toy 2013 2500HD extended (not crew) cab short bed with the work truck trim and 42,000 miles on it. It was already set up for a truck camper including air bags and had Rancho 9000 shocks installed on the back. I love rubber floors and it had a proper floor shift for four wheel drive. Checked the vin and it was also equipped with "skid plates" and a 34 gallon tank. Rolling off the lot, I knew it would be pretty capable once I removed the American flag/eagle decal from the rear window along with the matching bug deflector. We gave the truck camper a shot for a year, and she decided we should go back to a travel trailer. No problem. There are family trips and there are my solo exploration trips plus hunting. The rig does all of that just fine.

Pros: While I still try to take a minimalist approach to camping, I really don't have to worry about my kit overly much. Come hunting season, I'm simply good to go. I added a used ARE fiberglass topper that was set up with side doors and tool boxes. Removed one tool box to make more room for a sleeping area and have largely dispensed with a tent on solo journeys. Just SO much space and weight is a non-issue. It has a Thule rack for our canoe as well. Going down the highway is a joy compared to the Jeep which was simply work in strong winds at highway speeds. It tows our camper well and that is the only time the mileage dips from its monotonously consistent 12 mpg. However, with the big gas tank, that's still about 400 miles in range. It happens to be white, and is remarkably low key as my orange Max Trax are stored inside and there is no shovel strapped on the roof. I look like an oil field worker or plumber depending on the locale, so it doesn't stick out when parked. However, it is always equipped with the basics. All of the HD trucks are built with a long service life in mind. I fully expect this truck to go for a very long time. Finally, it's paid for.

Cons: Despite the IFS, it is extremely rough on washboards -- especially when lightly loaded. If anyone has a suspension suggestion for that, I'm all ears. Front clearance is poor. I have proven this by bashing the front bumper in a ditch to the point of replacement. I am getting a Road Armor Stealth Pre-runner installed. Don't love it, but it is superior to the factory by far as far as clearance goes, and does offer me the option of a winch which I'm mulling since so many of my endeavors are solo. However, in over thirty years of doing this sort of thing, I've never owned or used a winch and the Max Trax have been a revelation as far as recovery goes. Despite being a relatively short truck (about the same as a Suburban), the turning radius sucks. Tight trails can make turning around a 27 point turn sort of thing. The gas mileage can be critiqued, but I don't think most people that build up their Tacos or Jeeps and then overload them aren't doing all that great either. It won't go everywhere my Jeep did, but I also decided I'm not a rock crawler. If I can hike it faster than I can drive it, I'm just not that interested. Getting away from everything on rough roads with some tough patches and exploring is more my speed.

Mods: I like to keep vehicles as close to stock as possible when it comes to most things. The truck has decent clearance as is save for the aforementioned bumper. That is one virture of 3/4 tons versus 1/2 tons. As said, that bumper is getting replaced. The topper and Max Trax have been the biggest difference makers. Love the look of trucks without toppers, but always end up putting one on. Keeping stuff somewhat clean and protected is just too big a deal, and the bonus of creating a sleeping area that requires no set up beyond moving some boxes is no small thing. The bed is pretty high, and after multiple back surgeries, I'm not as agile as I used to be so I do carry a small step ladder to get in. That said, I would love to put in a bed slide to make things much easier. Due to the truck camper dalliance, I put on 18" factory wheels from a one ton as the aftermarket wheels were suspect in capacity. It's rolling on 275/70/18 Cooper AT XLT tires. I doubt I'll go bigger due to the 3.73 rear end and towing. Have not experienced any rubbing. Any other mods would really be organizational or maybe a suspension upgrade if there is something that will smooth out those washboards.

If you stuck with it this long, here's to just getting out in your Toyota, Jeep, Land Rover, Nissan, Dodge, Ford, Chevy or whatever and doing and seeing stuff. Sometimes I think maybe I had more fun back when I didn't realize how much stuff that I didn't have, but "needed" to do the things I was already doing.
 

MidOH

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King coil overs will drastically help that truck. But done right, they should still be very firm riding. Nothing you can really do, with only 8'' of suspension up travel, and maybe only 5" at the shock rod.

Toyota owners hate IFS to. They dump thousands of dollars into beefing it, and still grenade stuff regularly.
 
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Clrussell

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So what was the reasoning or idea to use Heim-joints over a standard, or heavy-duty, spindle with bearings for a hinge?
they are actually uniball styles.

but honestly because they were in stock at the local off-road shop, and it’s what he uses. It works great. Doesn’t rattle, swings stiff enough that it doesn’t try closing on you constantly. I’ve stood on the end of it open with a 35 in the spare mount and it’s as solid as the bumper itself
 

ThundahBeagle

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Note: If IFS sucks so bad for overlanding, why are Toyotas considered so great?

Haven't been here in a while, but this is certainly a worthy thread. Apologies for length, but I read through all 23 pages so I'm a bit inspired. My two cents is it doesn't really matter what you drive, but where you go. Just get out there. My first truck was a 1980 Dodge W150 short bed that had been retired by the Forest Service. The four speed manual had a granny low and with that and 31" all terrains, I drove it all over western Colorado in my early twenties. "Overlanding" as such did not exist back then, much like internet forums, we we just threw our camping gear in Roughneck tubs and didn't really think about it much. My biggest mod was swapping out the AM radio for AM/FM Cassette and installing a Skyjacker gun rack in the metal ceiling. I came perilously close to buying some double wiper blades, but caught myself in time. Since then I've mainly driven trucks for such use, including hunting which gets you out in some rough weather on rough roads. Have owned a '97 Chevy 1500, '01 1500 and now a 2013 2500 as far as my Chevy connection goes.

My last vehicle was a JKU with an AEV 2.5" lift and 33" tires. That would go anywhere I wanted to go. However, it was fatiguing on the highway and the gvwr was simply ridiculous. I figured out how to pack it for solo and duo trips, but it was simply ridiculous for hunting and my wife does the travel trailer thing and it was severely taxed loaded up and with a relatively light trailer. About three years ago, she decided she wanted a boat (didn't happen) which necessitated a 3/4 ton truck with truck camper. I found someone's toy 2013 2500HD extended (not crew) cab short bed with the work truck trim and 42,000 miles on it. It was already set up for a truck camper including air bags and had Rancho 9000 shocks installed on the back. I love rubber floors and it had a proper floor shift for four wheel drive. Checked the vin and it was also equipped with "skid plates" and a 34 gallon tank. Rolling off the lot, I knew it would be pretty capable once I removed the American flag/eagle decal from the rear window along with the matching bug deflector. We gave the truck camper a shot for a year, and she decided we should go back to a travel trailer. No problem. There are family trips and there are my solo exploration trips plus hunting. The rig does all of that just fine.

Pros: While I still try to take a minimalist approach to camping, I really don't have to worry about my kit overly much. Come hunting season, I'm simply good to go. I added a used ARE fiberglass topper that was set up with side doors and tool boxes. Removed one tool box to make more room for a sleeping area and have largely dispensed with a tent on solo journeys. Just SO much space and weight is a non-issue. It has a Thule rack for our canoe as well. Going down the highway is a joy compared to the Jeep which was simply work in strong winds at highway speeds. It tows our camper well and that is the only time the mileage dips from its monotonously consistent 12 mpg. However, with the big gas tank, that's still about 400 miles in range. It happens to be white, and is remarkably low key as my orange Max Trax are stored inside and there is no shovel strapped on the roof. I look like an oil field worker or plumber depending on the locale, so it doesn't stick out when parked. However, it is always equipped with the basics. All of the HD trucks are built with a long service life in mind. I fully expect this truck to go for a very long time. Finally, it's paid for.

Cons: Despite the IFS, it is extremely rough on washboards -- especially when lightly loaded. If anyone has a suspension suggestion for that, I'm all ears. Front clearance is poor. I have proven this by bashing the front bumper in a ditch to the point of replacement. I am getting a Road Armor Stealth Pre-runner installed. Don't love it, but it is superior to the factory by far as far as clearance goes, and does offer me the option of a winch which I'm mulling since so many of my endeavors are solo. However, in over thirty years of doing this sort of thing, I've never owned or used a winch and the Max Trax have been a revelation as far as recovery goes. Despite being a relatively short truck (about the same as a Suburban), the turning radius sucks. Tight trails can make turning around a 27 point turn sort of thing. The gas mileage can be critiqued, but I don't think most people that build up their Tacos or Jeeps and then overload them aren't doing all that great either. It won't go everywhere my Jeep did, but I also decided I'm not a rock crawler. If I can hike it faster than I can drive it, I'm just not that interested. Getting away from everything on rough roads with some tough patches and exploring is more my speed.

Mods: I like to keep vehicles as close to stock as possible when it comes to most things. The truck has decent clearance as is save for the aforementioned bumper. That is one virture of 3/4 tons versus 1/2 tons. As said, that bumper is getting replaced. The topper and Max Trax have been the biggest difference makers. Love the look of trucks without toppers, but always end up putting one on. Keeping stuff somewhat clean and protected is just too big a deal, and the bonus of creating a sleeping area that requires no set up beyond moving some boxes is no small thing. The bed is pretty high, and after multiple back surgeries, I'm not as agile as I used to be so I do carry a small step ladder to get in. That said, I would love to put in a bed slide to make things much easier. Due to the truck camper dalliance, I put on 18" factory wheels from a one ton as the aftermarket wheels were suspect in capacity. It's rolling on 275/70/18 Cooper AT XLT tires. I doubt I'll go bigger due to the 3.73 rear end and towing. Have not experienced any rubbing. Any other mods would really be organizational or maybe a suspension upgrade if there is something that will smooth out those washboards.

If you stuck with it this long, here's to just getting out in your Toyota, Jeep, Land Rover, Nissan, Dodge, Ford, Chevy or whatever and doing and seeing stuff. Sometimes I think maybe I had more fun back when I didn't realize how much stuff that I didn't have, but "needed" to do the things I was already doing.
Sounds like a similar setup to mine but mines a 1500. I used Bilstein 5100's to raise my front and about 1.8 inches, but I dont know if they work for the 2500 HD. I also removed that air dam at the bottom of my front bumper. Clearance is a lot better.

Sometimes I think "next time I'll get a 2500" but I keep thinking it's more expense and more tow/haul than I need.

I'm not rock crawling, and the things we did in the 80's with a 2wd Ford pickup regular cab long bed...let's just say I wouldnt think of treating that truck so badly today. Down forest roads with a load of cordwood in the back, we got in and out OK.

I like these full sizes for the reasons you mention...theres very little need to "jenga" a storage solution. Camp topper on it, just throw your stuff in and go. Move it over and inflate the air mattress, get the sleeping bag out and take your nap. Tailgate is workbench and / or a table, or a bench.

Comfort driving on the highway is something no Jeep can even come close to.

So to me, better all around solution
 

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Note: If IFS sucks so bad for overlanding, why are Toyotas considered so great?

Haven't been here in a while, but this is certainly a worthy thread. Apologies for length, but I read through all 23 pages so I'm a bit inspired. My two cents is it doesn't really matter what you drive, but where you go. Just get out there. My first truck was a 1980 Dodge W150 short bed that had been retired by the Forest Service. The four speed manual had a granny low and with that and 31" all terrains, I drove it all over western Colorado in my early twenties. "Overlanding" as such did not exist back then, much like internet forums, we we just threw our camping gear in Roughneck tubs and didn't really think about it much. My biggest mod was swapping out the AM radio for AM/FM Cassette and installing a Skyjacker gun rack in the metal ceiling. I came perilously close to buying some double wiper blades, but caught myself in time. Since then I've mainly driven trucks for such use, including hunting which gets you out in some rough weather on rough roads. Have owned a '97 Chevy 1500, '01 1500 and now a 2013 2500 as far as my Chevy connection goes.

My last vehicle was a JKU with an AEV 2.5" lift and 33" tires. That would go anywhere I wanted to go. However, it was fatiguing on the highway and the gvwr was simply ridiculous. I figured out how to pack it for solo and duo trips, but it was simply ridiculous for hunting and my wife does the travel trailer thing and it was severely taxed loaded up and with a relatively light trailer. About three years ago, she decided she wanted a boat (didn't happen) which necessitated a 3/4 ton truck with truck camper. I found someone's toy 2013 2500HD extended (not crew) cab short bed with the work truck trim and 42,000 miles on it. It was already set up for a truck camper including air bags and had Rancho 9000 shocks installed on the back. I love rubber floors and it had a proper floor shift for four wheel drive. Checked the vin and it was also equipped with "skid plates" and a 34 gallon tank. Rolling off the lot, I knew it would be pretty capable once I removed the American flag/eagle decal from the rear window along with the matching bug deflector. We gave the truck camper a shot for a year, and she decided we should go back to a travel trailer. No problem. There are family trips and there are my solo exploration trips plus hunting. The rig does all of that just fine.

Pros: While I still try to take a minimalist approach to camping, I really don't have to worry about my kit overly much. Come hunting season, I'm simply good to go. I added a used ARE fiberglass topper that was set up with side doors and tool boxes. Removed one tool box to make more room for a sleeping area and have largely dispensed with a tent on solo journeys. Just SO much space and weight is a non-issue. It has a Thule rack for our canoe as well. Going down the highway is a joy compared to the Jeep which was simply work in strong winds at highway speeds. It tows our camper well and that is the only time the mileage dips from its monotonously consistent 12 mpg. However, with the big gas tank, that's still about 400 miles in range. It happens to be white, and is remarkably low key as my orange Max Trax are stored inside and there is no shovel strapped on the roof. I look like an oil field worker or plumber depending on the locale, so it doesn't stick out when parked. However, it is always equipped with the basics. All of the HD trucks are built with a long service life in mind. I fully expect this truck to go for a very long time. Finally, it's paid for.

Cons: Despite the IFS, it is extremely rough on washboards -- especially when lightly loaded. If anyone has a suspension suggestion for that, I'm all ears. Front clearance is poor. I have proven this by bashing the front bumper in a ditch to the point of replacement. I am getting a Road Armor Stealth Pre-runner installed. Don't love it, but it is superior to the factory by far as far as clearance goes, and does offer me the option of a winch which I'm mulling since so many of my endeavors are solo. However, in over thirty years of doing this sort of thing, I've never owned or used a winch and the Max Trax have been a revelation as far as recovery goes. Despite being a relatively short truck (about the same as a Suburban), the turning radius sucks. Tight trails can make turning around a 27 point turn sort of thing. The gas mileage can be critiqued, but I don't think most people that build up their Tacos or Jeeps and then overload them aren't doing all that great either. It won't go everywhere my Jeep did, but I also decided I'm not a rock crawler. If I can hike it faster than I can drive it, I'm just not that interested. Getting away from everything on rough roads with some tough patches and exploring is more my speed.

Mods: I like to keep vehicles as close to stock as possible when it comes to most things. The truck has decent clearance as is save for the aforementioned bumper. That is one virture of 3/4 tons versus 1/2 tons. As said, that bumper is getting replaced. The topper and Max Trax have been the biggest difference makers. Love the look of trucks without toppers, but always end up putting one on. Keeping stuff somewhat clean and protected is just too big a deal, and the bonus of creating a sleeping area that requires no set up beyond moving some boxes is no small thing. The bed is pretty high, and after multiple back surgeries, I'm not as agile as I used to be so I do carry a small step ladder to get in. That said, I would love to put in a bed slide to make things much easier. Due to the truck camper dalliance, I put on 18" factory wheels from a one ton as the aftermarket wheels were suspect in capacity. It's rolling on 275/70/18 Cooper AT XLT tires. I doubt I'll go bigger due to the 3.73 rear end and towing. Have not experienced any rubbing. Any other mods would really be organizational or maybe a suspension upgrade if there is something that will smooth out those washboards.

If you stuck with it this long, here's to just getting out in your Toyota, Jeep, Land Rover, Nissan, Dodge, Ford, Chevy or whatever and doing and seeing stuff. Sometimes I think maybe I had more fun back when I didn't realize how much stuff that I didn't have, but "needed" to do the things I was already doing.
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Nice post..........................

Thank You for the detailed post. It raises a question for me however. That is, I thought a 34 gallon fuel tank was not available thru GM. At least in my generation 2001-2006.5, you could only option the standard 25 gallon tank with the extended/short bed body style. Something that the under bed spare would not fit in such a configuration due to space limitations. I guess they either modified the fuel tank design, or modified the cross frame for it to fit. Long bed pickups did not suffer this limitation.

That extra 9 gallons is a nice buffer when your away from easy fuel access. I have not done a long hwy run in many years so my highway MPG is unknown, but I suspect it is in the 19 MPG range with no trailer give or take (city=15.4 uncorrected). It is the LB7/5 Speed Allison, 48 state model. So no EGR, or Def:grinning:, or traction control. Something I have come to appreciate vs newer models with all the safety features that are mandated.

I have not kept up with GM IFS durability issues in the newer models, but if they are now offering front diff lockers in the 'Colorado-IFS", I do not see why it can not be a option in the HD pickup line. The needed engineering I'm sure, has been done already. That indeed would be a nice option, along with some more protection option's on the undercarriage.
 

Wile_Coyote

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nice post..........................

Thank You for the detailed post. It raises a question for me however. That is, I thought a 34 gallon fuel tank was not available thru GM. At least in my generation 2001-2006.5, you could only option the standard 25 gallon tank with the extended/short bed body style. Something that the under bed spare would not fit in such a configuration due to space limitations. I guess they either modified the fuel tank design, or modified the cross frame for it to fit. Long bed pickups did not suffer this limitation.

That extra 9 gallons is a nice buffer when your away from easy fuel access. I have not done a long hwy run in many years so my highway MPG is unknown, but I suspect it is in the 19 MPG range with no trailer give or take (city=15.4 uncorrected). It is the LB7/5 Speed Allison, 48 state model. So no EGR, or Def:grinning:, or traction control. Something I have come to appreciate vs newer models with all the safety features that are mandated.

I have not kept up with GM IFS durability issues in the newer models, but if they are now offering front diff lockers in the 'Colorado-IFS", I do not see why it can not be a option in the HD pickup line. The needed engineering I'm sure, has been done already. That indeed would be a nice option, along with some more protection option's on the undercarriage.
Gotta agree with ya about the extra 10 gallons. Before my last trip I fabbed up a couple of mounts; 1 for two 5-gallon gas cans, and another for two 5-gallong water jugs.
I mounted the gas cans on the drivers side so I could easily fill the tank with 10 gallons of juice without having to remove the gas cans.

20200926_162130.jpg
 

ThundahBeagle

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That pinstriping is righteous!
I looked at that pinstriping and thought the same thing, but then saw the door handle and a small section near the edge of the door was not pinstriped - like it was super dirty and someone had cleaned the handle and touched part of the door edge? And yet, the dirt looks pinstriped. So, is it tore up, and the handle was replaced?
 

Wile_Coyote

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It's just dirty, and very well pinstriped. The Door handle is a little cleaner due to me grabbing it, and you can see where I close the door with my finger tips. Here is how the pinstriping happened.
Those gas tanks, and water jugs sat on top through all of these branches.
.
.
 

MOAK

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Note: If IFS sucks so bad for overlanding, why are Toyotas considered so great?

Haven't been here in a while, but this is certainly a worthy thread. Apologies for length, but I read through all 23 pages so I'm a bit inspired. My two cents is it doesn't really matter what you drive, but where you go. Just get out there. My first truck was a 1980 Dodge W150 short bed that had been retired by the Forest Service. The four speed manual had a granny low and with that and 31" all terrains, I drove it all over western Colorado in my early twenties. "Overlanding" as such did not exist back then, much like internet forums, we we just threw our camping gear in Roughneck tubs and didn't really think about it much. My biggest mod was swapping out the AM radio for AM/FM Cassette and installing a Skyjacker gun rack in the metal ceiling. I came perilously close to buying some double wiper blades, but caught myself in time. Since then I've mainly driven trucks for such use, including hunting which gets you out in some rough weather on rough roads. Have owned a '97 Chevy 1500, '01 1500 and now a 2013 2500 as far as my Chevy connection goes.

My last vehicle was a JKU with an AEV 2.5" lift and 33" tires. That would go anywhere I wanted to go. However, it was fatiguing on the highway and the gvwr was simply ridiculous. I figured out how to pack it for solo and duo trips, but it was simply ridiculous for hunting and my wife does the travel trailer thing and it was severely taxed loaded up and with a relatively light trailer. About three years ago, she decided she wanted a boat (didn't happen) which necessitated a 3/4 ton truck with truck camper. I found someone's toy 2013 2500HD extended (not crew) cab short bed with the work truck trim and 42,000 miles on it. It was already set up for a truck camper including air bags and had Rancho 9000 shocks installed on the back. I love rubber floors and it had a proper floor shift for four wheel drive. Checked the vin and it was also equipped with "skid plates" and a 34 gallon tank. Rolling off the lot, I knew it would be pretty capable once I removed the American flag/eagle decal from the rear window along with the matching bug deflector. We gave the truck camper a shot for a year, and she decided we should go back to a travel trailer. No problem. There are family trips and there are my solo exploration trips plus hunting. The rig does all of that just fine.

Pros: While I still try to take a minimalist approach to camping, I really don't have to worry about my kit overly much. Come hunting season, I'm simply good to go. I added a used ARE fiberglass topper that was set up with side doors and tool boxes. Removed one tool box to make more room for a sleeping area and have largely dispensed with a tent on solo journeys. Just SO much space and weight is a non-issue. It has a Thule rack for our canoe as well. Going down the highway is a joy compared to the Jeep which was simply work in strong winds at highway speeds. It tows our camper well and that is the only time the mileage dips from its monotonously consistent 12 mpg. However, with the big gas tank, that's still about 400 miles in range. It happens to be white, and is remarkably low key as my orange Max Trax are stored inside and there is no shovel strapped on the roof. I look like an oil field worker or plumber depending on the locale, so it doesn't stick out when parked. However, it is always equipped with the basics. All of the HD trucks are built with a long service life in mind. I fully expect this truck to go for a very long time. Finally, it's paid for.

Cons: Despite the IFS, it is extremely rough on washboards -- especially when lightly loaded. If anyone has a suspension suggestion for that, I'm all ears. Front clearance is poor. I have proven this by bashing the front bumper in a ditch to the point of replacement. I am getting a Road Armor Stealth Pre-runner installed. Don't love it, but it is superior to the factory by far as far as clearance goes, and does offer me the option of a winch which I'm mulling since so many of my endeavors are solo. However, in over thirty years of doing this sort of thing, I've never owned or used a winch and the Max Trax have been a revelation as far as recovery goes. Despite being a relatively short truck (about the same as a Suburban), the turning radius sucks. Tight trails can make turning around a 27 point turn sort of thing. The gas mileage can be critiqued, but I don't think most people that build up their Tacos or Jeeps and then overload them aren't doing all that great either. It won't go everywhere my Jeep did, but I also decided I'm not a rock crawler. If I can hike it faster than I can drive it, I'm just not that interested. Getting away from everything on rough roads with some tough patches and exploring is more my speed.

Mods: I like to keep vehicles as close to stock as possible when it comes to most things. The truck has decent clearance as is save for the aforementioned bumper. That is one virture of 3/4 tons versus 1/2 tons. As said, that bumper is getting replaced. The topper and Max Trax have been the biggest difference makers. Love the look of trucks without toppers, but always end up putting one on. Keeping stuff somewhat clean and protected is just too big a deal, and the bonus of creating a sleeping area that requires no set up beyond moving some boxes is no small thing. The bed is pretty high, and after multiple back surgeries, I'm not as agile as I used to be so I do carry a small step ladder to get in. That said, I would love to put in a bed slide to make things much easier. Due to the truck camper dalliance, I put on 18" factory wheels from a one ton as the aftermarket wheels were suspect in capacity. It's rolling on 275/70/18 Cooper AT XLT tires. I doubt I'll go bigger due to the 3.73 rear end and towing. Have not experienced any rubbing. Any other mods would
Note: If IFS sucks so bad for overlanding, why are Toyotas considered so great?

Haven't been here in a while, but this is certainly a worthy thread. Apologies for length, but I read through all 23 pages so I'm a bit inspired. My two cents is it doesn't really matter what you drive, but where you go. Just get out there. My first truck was a 1980 Dodge W150 short bed that had been retired by the Forest Service. The four speed manual had a granny low and with that and 31" all terrains, I drove it all over western Colorado in my early twenties. "Overlanding" as such did not exist back then, much like internet forums, we we just threw our camping gear in Roughneck tubs and didn't really think about it much. My biggest mod was swapping out the AM radio for AM/FM Cassette and installing a Skyjacker gun rack in the metal ceiling. I came perilously close to buying some double wiper blades, but caught myself in time. Since then I've mainly driven trucks for such use, including hunting which gets you out in some rough weather on rough roads. Have owned a '97 Chevy 1500, '01 1500 and now a 2013 2500 as far as my Chevy connection goes.

My last vehicle was a JKU with an AEV 2.5" lift and 33" tires. That would go anywhere I wanted to go. However, it was fatiguing on the highway and the gvwr was simply ridiculous. I figured out how to pack it for solo and duo trips, but it was simply ridiculous for hunting and my wife does the travel trailer thing and it was severely taxed loaded up and with a relatively light trailer. About three years ago, she decided she wanted a boat (didn't happen) which necessitated a 3/4 ton truck with truck camper. I found someone's toy 2013 2500HD extended (not crew) cab short bed with the work truck trim and 42,000 miles on it. It was already set up for a truck camper including air bags and had Rancho 9000 shocks installed on the back. I love rubber floors and it had a proper floor shift for four wheel drive. Checked the vin and it was also equipped with "skid plates" and a 34 gallon tank. Rolling off the lot, I knew it would be pretty capable once I removed the American flag/eagle decal from the rear window along with the matching bug deflector. We gave the truck camper a shot for a year, and she decided we should go back to a travel trailer. No problem. There are family trips and there are my solo exploration trips plus hunting. The rig does all of that just fine.

Pros: While I still try to take a minimalist approach to camping, I really don't have to worry about my kit overly much. Come hunting season, I'm simply good to go. I added a used ARE fiberglass topper that was set up with side doors and tool boxes. Removed one tool box to make more room for a sleeping area and have largely dispensed with a tent on solo journeys. Just SO much space and weight is a non-issue. It has a Thule rack for our canoe as well. Going down the highway is a joy compared to the Jeep which was simply work in strong winds at highway speeds. It tows our camper well and that is the only time the mileage dips from its monotonously consistent 12 mpg. However, with the big gas tank, that's still about 400 miles in range. It happens to be white, and is remarkably low key as my orange Max Trax are stored inside and there is no shovel strapped on the roof. I look like an oil field worker or plumber depending on the locale, so it doesn't stick out when parked. However, it is always equipped with the basics. All of the HD trucks are built with a long service life in mind. I fully expect this truck to go for a very long time. Finally, it's paid for.

Cons: Despite the IFS, it is extremely rough on washboards -- especially when lightly loaded. If anyone has a suspension suggestion for that, I'm all ears. Front clearance is poor. I have proven this by bashing the front bumper in a ditch to the point of replacement. I am getting a Road Armor Stealth Pre-runner installed. Don't love it, but it is superior to the factory by far as far as clearance goes, and does offer me the option of a winch which I'm mulling since so many of my endeavors are solo. However, in over thirty years of doing this sort of thing, I've never owned or used a winch and the Max Trax have been a revelation as far as recovery goes. Despite being a relatively short truck (about the same as a Suburban), the turning radius sucks. Tight trails can make turning around a 27 point turn sort of thing. The gas mileage can be critiqued, but I don't think most people that build up their Tacos or Jeeps and then overload them aren't doing all that great either. It won't go everywhere my Jeep did, but I also decided I'm not a rock crawler. If I can hike it faster than I can drive it, I'm just not that interested. Getting away from everything on rough roads with some tough patches and exploring is more my speed.

Mods: I like to keep vehicles as close to stock as possible when it comes to most things. The truck has decent clearance as is save for the aforementioned bumper. That is one virture of 3/4 tons versus 1/2 tons. As said, that bumper is getting replaced. The topper and Max Trax have been the biggest difference makers. Love the look of trucks without toppers, but always end up putting one on. Keeping stuff somewhat clean and protected is just too big a deal, and the bonus of creating a sleeping area that requires no set up beyond moving some boxes is no small thing. The bed is pretty high, and after multiple back surgeries, I'm not as agile as I used to be so I do carry a small step ladder to get in. That said, I would love to put in a bed slide to make things much easier. Due to the truck camper dalliance, I put on 18" factory wheels from a one ton as the aftermarket wheels were suspect in capacity. It's rolling on 275/70/18 Cooper AT XLT tires. I doubt I'll go bigger due to the 3.73 rear end and towing. Have not experienced any rubbing. Any other mods would really be organizational or maybe a suspension upgrade if there is something that will smooth out those washboards.

If you stuck with it this long, here's to just getting out in your Toyota, Jeep, Land Rover, Nissan, Dodge, Ford, Chevy or whatever and doing and seeing stuff. Sometimes I think maybe I had more fun back when I didn't realize how much stuff that I didn't have, but "needed" to do the things I was already doing.
to answer your very first question. To be completely transparent I do not, nor will ever own an IFS equipped vehicle. They are that bad. However, the Toyota IFS will last nearly twice as long as domestics before failure.
 
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