Home podcast Episode 14 – My Rig Upgrades and What They Cost
Episode 14 – My Rig Upgrades and What They Cost

Episode 14 – My Rig Upgrades and What They Cost


By Michael Murguia

Looking into buying your first overland rig? Congrats! You’re in for a wild and rewarding ride. Building your dream vehicle for wherever adventure takes you can be a long process full of research, planning, budgeting and creative problem solving. There are a wide range of vehicle upgrade/modification options available and it can quickly become daunting… and expensive. 

So, what upgrades and costs are required, and what are the optional ‘nice to haves’ for your overland build?  What about repairs and ongoing maintenance? If you add it all up, what is the true cost of ownership/yearly cost of an overland truck?

The FZJ80 on one of its first trips in April 2011
The FZJ80 after many trips and 140K+ miles in September 2019
OB 0000 Now

In this podcast, I sat down and figured out my costs on my 1996 FZJ80 since I purchased it in 2010 to figure out how much I spent over the past 9 years upgrading and maintaining OB 0000. I also get very direct about what I think is required, and what is not. 

True Cost of Ownership Chart

Because this topic is one of the most searched in the Overland Bound Forums, we even did a YouTube video on the topic. Check it out here!

What do you think? What are your requirements? Let me know in the comments. I hope this is useful and helps put you on the right path for adventure. 

See you on the trail!

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  1. Required and not required is very difficult for me. Every time i leave an off road shop, my money disappears. As soon as i upgrade one part the other parts don’t look that great.

  2. good article, food for thought but for me the must have is rig, tires, lockers, front floods, refrigeration, shovel. Factory jack and a few blocks of wood/plywood.Not required would be comms, armour, lift, snorkel. Optional, winch, awning, sliders. And please never pack a farmer/suicide jack.

  3. The best overland rig for remote travel is completely stock. Every mod stresses another part leading to breakage or another mod. Just get out there and drive. Spend the money on the trip, not the garage. Sure you need refrigeration, lighting, shelter from the sun and rain. But learn to drive a stock rig and learn to tread lightly, on the ground and the gas pedal.

  4. Just rebuild my 1992 Toyota truck 4×4 did mostly mysel from bumper to bumper mostly OEM parts for about $6000, went to Mexico mainland almost to the border with Guatemala and came back only my alternator when out but I carrying an extra one. No trying to create an issue but if I see those number I will never be able to afforded the overland experience

  5. Michael, yes absolutely I would like to share my experience with you. I lot to say. Let do a overland trip or we can meet in a coffee shop to talk about it. You have my info. Let me know. Heading to Baja on November The 13th to see the Baja 1000 race. Let me know my friend.

  6. The entire concept of Overland Bound is “It doesn’t matter what you drive”. So, the only real need is a reliable vehicle that can safely get you to where you want to go and back.

  7. As another data point – 2006 LR3 – Purchased used in 2007 for $23k, 12 years of maintenance $25k (including 15 Duratrac tires), Enhancements $9k (Locker, slider, winch, GPS, skid plates, roof rack) , Fuel $29k, Depreciation $13k, Insurance $7k, WOW, never added it up before!

  8. I’ve not been able to do as many off road upgrades as I would like but we are spent traveling in our 4Runner it does everything I expected to do I’m waiting for the factory tires to wear out before I buy the off-road tires I have a roof rack and Recovery gear. Last weekend my wife and I spent are time traveling the wine trails in Upstate New York and taking in the Fall Foliage I still think this qualifies as overlandbound. Even though we didn’t climb any huge mountains or go through any mud holes we had a great time. I am member number 15922 and I am overlandbound

  9. To be honest with you, that question hits a nerve!
    Maybe it should be asked “how deep are your pockets and your credit line while being subjected to this new industry in your face throughout the thousands of blooming pages of Social Media and Crowfunding called “Overlanding” this… and “Overlanding” that?
    I will retreat a few years, to 1964 to be exact, when for four consecutive summers, while I was born and raised in France, I hitchiked through Europe, dropped though the Middle East on my way to Uganda, back up North to Morocco to take the Ferry to Gibraltar, through Spain, sometimes Portugal and back to Central France. Shoes, a small backpack and a smile! A few years forward while I moved here, from 1976 to 1979, toured the Country on a Kawazaki 900Z1. Foam cooler, bungee cords and… more smiles. A bit more forward, when from 2002 to 2016, my Buddy Spirit and I on a motorcycle and sidecar again went homeless though the country camping over 5000 nights… From 2006 until only recently a few years back I started hearing this word “Overlanding” and all the apparatus that HAS to go along with it… HAS to?… Truly not. Should have? Not really… Could have? Of course you could… and have as I have seen in past visits to Overland Expo or stumbling on the imaginable I would call “luxurious” rigs and their accouterments.
    There were tires on their last breath, tents leaking, boots with holes in their soles, peanut butter and Jelly and day old bread when lucky, engines put back together with parts from Home Depot as the list goes and on… and a multitude of more smiles! I never called it “Overlanding”… Those were the true adventures with no funds and no credit lines…
    I read the comments and I almost hear the cries of the ones imploring “please… please… call me an Overlander even if I still have the factory wheels and tires and a Walmart roof rack…”.
    It truly hurts reading as such because any outing, on foot, motorcycle, bicycle, truck or car, tent or camper, are our inner adventures for the Soul and NOT, please, NOT dictated by what we use, by the latest and baddest money can buy because… reality check here… not everyone has the wealth or credit or even want those debts allowing them to rub elbow as with the Jones.
    For those I mentionned, please do not apologize anymore because you do not have this or that… If you only strolled in the Park on a Sunday afternoon and want to be called an Overlander, then be it… I prefer to just be a Traveler having done what I can with what I had…
    I am sorry and apologize if I come on a bit strong. A good Friend of mine is taking a break after 5 years “on the road” with a Ruckus 50cc [you read right…] from Prudhoe Bay to Terra Del Fuego and back on less than $500 a month! He hates being called an Overlander… as he shrugs his shoulder to such question above…
    Humbly, just an opinion.