Why are there so few Silverado overland rigs?

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JCWages

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New member here and I’m all in with my 2013 Silverado 4x. Retired 3 years ago and she is my on going project. It’s a great truck for Overlanding, Hunting, Fishing, all the things I love to do. Added the shell and did the interior myself, sleep down the middle. Did a Thule Storage Box on top along with Yakima Rack. Also added the ARB Awning. Up front I have the Light Bar with 3 ProComp Lights. Lastly I upgraded the tires to Falken 275R70-18’s and so far really like them. I don’t see many full size rigs out there but hope to see more soon!
Very cool! I like the decorative old school baitcasters. :) Perfect setup for a sportsman.
 

Tim Roberts

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I missed the reason for the switch. I've seen your Rubicon setup when you adventure with Chris (Venture 4wd) and it seemed pretty dialed. Are you going to do a rear seat delete on the Silverado and make a platform for Monty? :)
Got a picture of that rear seat delete. I would be interested in seeing that as I’m always looking for more space!
 

Desert Runner

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Looks great, go full size Overlanders
So I just found this thread, and had to revise my estimate of Silverado's being used out there based on the views and replies. My truck is stock, no lift, except for the front torsion bars being cranked for leveling. My question is finding a replacement for that PLASTIC air shield under the engine, and that huge none protected void behind the bumper. The inter-cooler is just waiting for a stick or branch to punch a hole. Anyone know of a company that offers real steel, not aluminum shields that would work in this instance? 98952
 

UltimaSanctus

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So I just found this thread, and had to revise my estimate of Silverado's being used out there based on the views and replies. My truck is stock, no lift, except for the front torsion bars being cranked for leveling. My question is finding a replacement for that PLASTIC air shield under the engine, and that huge none protected void behind the bumper. The inter-cooler is just waiting for a stick or branch to punch a hole. Anyone know of a company that offers real steel, not aluminum shields that would work in this instance? View attachment 98952
If you're talking about the piece that "protects" the serpentine belt, it looks simple enough that I was thinking about getting some 3/16" steel plate from a local metal supplier and remaking it for my Tahoe.

9e6ac00d52a75691c96b9aedb072a9a1.png

4 bolt holes, two bends, and I don't think the bulge in the middle has anything behind it so that can be ignored
 

Desert Runner

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If you're talking about the piece that "protects" the serpentine belt, it looks simple enough that I was thinking about getting some 3/16" steel plate from a local metal supplier and remaking it for my Tahoe.

View attachment 98979

4 bolt holes, two bends, and I don't think the bulge in the middle has anything behind it so that can be ignored
Yes ion that plastic plate, but also that area in front of it, and behind the bottom edge of the steel bumper.

Here you can see how unprotected that area is in reality. I once had a bookmarked company out of Canada, that made all types of REAL undercarriage plates and protection pieces for the Silverado. They catered to the oil fields up there and also did not export to the US market. I believe they were based either in Alberta or in BC.

If someone knows who they might be, send a link. It might not help the person in Texas, but the guy in Washington, yah, just maybe.

These were real protection, and not 'want a be' show pieces. They had brake caliber shields that for anyone living in snow/salt/sand areas, would see excessive Disc brake wear also.20170407_175133.jpeg
 
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jimbofoxman

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Yes ion that plastic plate, but also that area in front of it, and behind the bottom edge of the steel bumper.

Here you can see how unprotected that area is in reality. I once had a bookmarked company out of Canada, that made all types of REAL undercarriage plates and protection pieces for the Silverado. They catered to the oil fields up there and also did not export to the US market. I believe they were based either in Alberta or in BC.

If someone knows who they might be, send a link. It might not help the person in Texas, but the guy in Washington, yah, just maybe.

These were real protection, and not 'want a be' show pieces. They had brake caliber shields that for anyone living in snow/salt/sand areas, would see excessive brake wear also.
Have you checked out the forums at gm-trucks.com? I find it a good resource for stuff. Not saying they have a solution, but some guys are pretty creative on there. Just a thought.
 

Desert Runner

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Have you checked out the forums at gm-trucks.com? I find it a good resource for stuff. Not saying they have a solution, but some guys are pretty creative on there. Just a thought.
I have checked many different forums. You have either the pre-made show pieces, that offer more show than go, or the few that make real plates for 4-6 inch lift systems. Stock or sub 2 inch just seem to be step children. The ones I have seen, are home fabricated. I do not have access for steel fabrication. Any plate worth it's salt will not be bent with a 2x4 and your concrete garage floor. This is where jealousy of Toyota's comes into play. They get a Xmas smorgasbord of options and designs. Even Ford/Ram owners get some love.

As someone mentioned in this forum, GM has become the off-road sticker groupie, who slaps some stickers on their trucks, calls it a trim level $$$$ that has painted mirrors, an improved jounce bumper (suspension/shocks and calls it good. No real transmission skid (think the HD Allison), or a fuel tank skid (plastic). Even the paid magazine journalists complain about the front bumper lower plastic air dam. On a off-road trim vehicle, that should either be a delete or redesign piece.
 

Contributor I

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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.

THIS EXACTLY. Imagery like the kind you see on Instagram influences our choices. It's also easier for U.S. aftermarket companies to import or emulate what the international community is already doing (Equipt for example). Early adopters get to define the 'look' by default.
 

Tim Roberts

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Spent a couple of days in Arkansas with the Chevy. Please feel free to ask questions or give feedback on the video.

I like the video, very nicely done. That is some beautiful county and the Silverado looked great Overlanding through it! Looks like you sleep in the back, would love to see how you set everything up inside! I’m always looking for improvements on mine. How does the spear tire mount work for you in the hitch, does it move a lot?
 

Traveler I

I like the video, very nicely done. That is some beautiful county and the Silverado looked great Overlanding through it! Looks like you sleep in the back, would love to see how you set everything up inside! I’m always looking for improvements on mine. How does the spear tire mount work for you in the hitch, does it move a lot?
Thanks for the feedback! The initial plan was to sleep in the back with an air mattress. It was going to be sort of roughing it but since it rained a lot and the topper has a leak we decided to Airbnb the nights. Soon I’ll get a platform setup with an actual bed. The hitch mount works well so far. It does, however slightly move but it lets down for tailgate access and I got it for $50 from a fella who made it for his Jeep. I’ll definitely be making a walk around video of the current setup.
 

Corey Stockert

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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.

I completely agree with you I’ve grown up with Chevy and they’ve never let me down just like any vehicle you take care of it it will take care of you
 

MOAK

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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.
Using a full size rig has its drawbacks because of width, not articulated length. A big wide vehicle is much less maneuverable, oftentimes impossible to maneuver, on tight narrow trails that a narrower vehicle, even with a trailer can easily traverse.. geometry and spacial intellect are not idiotic premises.
 

MOAK

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I am going to say that it is harder to build the Silverado as an overlanding vehicle than if it were a Toyota or Jeep.

I say this as an owner of both a Suburban and a Cherokee. And an owner who overlands with both of them.

The Suburban is pretty much stock:




The Cherokee, though not heavily modified, has certainly strayed a good bit from stock:



It is far easier to modify the Cherokee. In fact, many upgrades can be done by using parts from other models of Jeeps. I have plans to upgrade my brakes with WJ components. I am running JK shocks. Many folks use WJ lower control arms. The list could go on and on.

OTOH, with the Suburban, I can't even find a winch bumper that I like, let alone replace the factory running boards with rock sliders. I will end up fabricating those parts from scratch. That is substantially more time, energy and money in order to achieve my goals. With the Jeep I can easily find parts that fit my needs or come close enough to fit with a bit of modification for less money and with less time and energy invested. That means more time and money available for fun.

And yes, I would lay the bulk of the blame for this on the shoulders of GM. I don't know what they smoke in their marketing department, but whatever it is it is pathetic. They are either coming up with some off the wall, crazy-ugly thing like the Aztek or they are doing something boring enough to put you to sleep like the Buick Rendezvous. Building a vehicle that is fun is not in GM's DNA anymore. If GM had any brains at all they would have produced a Suburban with a Duramax/Allison package like Ford did with the Excursion (there is a vehicle that has held its value well). And what other car maker has folded more brands over the not too distant past. Remember Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Saturn? Those have all disappeared within the last 15 years. And it is not that they didn't have potential, it is just that their potential was wasted and they were allowed to wither on the vine. From my perspective GM is just a decade or two behind Sears. And it is sad.
Agreed, GM is so far behind the curve they would have to move mountains in order to catch up with the Japanese, or the Europeans. I can only imagine what it would be like had they kept the core values they established with utilitarian vehicles such as the K5 blazer/jimmy, the Suburban or the older GMC trucks.. GM traded off their fine heritage for bling bling and it will be their downfall ..
 
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Desert Runner

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Agreed, GM is so far behind the curve they would have to move mountains in order to catch up with the Japanese, or the Europeans. I can only imagine what it would be like had they kept the core values they established with utilitarian vehicles such as the K5 blazer/jimmy, the Suburban or the older GMC trucks.. GM traded off their fine heritage for bling bling and it will be their downfall ..
GM does not have to do a copy of the Ford Raptor. They instead need to do as RAM did, separate from the Power Wagon. They need to at least offer some 'ala-carte' off road parts thru their parts department. While RAM/FIAT does not offer the full package, they offer upgrades not seen on the standard OEM offerings.

If GM did this business model, they would go a long way towards offering a competitive product. A Raptor has a lot of parts separate from standard F Series trucks. It would be much cheaper to offer things like.....bash plates, transmission SKID PLATES, fuel tank skid plates, etc, over a separate truck offering.

Toyota offers both a plastic, and a steel fuel tank skid, depending on the trim level.
My old 1985 F-150 4x4 with the basic 6 cyl. Engine came with a steel fuel tank skid. It also had that standard frame rail to frame rail skid plate as seen under the trucks and Broncos.

Offer the rear shock skids as the Colorado does for those who travel in rocks. Not everyone needs them but some owners would appreciate the option.