So you bought your first rig, or you want to outfit your current setup even more…
Most Overlanders have one question on their mind when it comes to rig enhancement and improvement: Where do you start?
After attending the 2016 Overland Expo West, the Overland Bound Team walked away clear reminded: There are a TON of gear and accessory options for Overlanders, and chasing after the newest, shiniest thing can be very seductive (and expensive).
One of the best ways to filter through your options is to ask yourself three questions before making your decision to upgrade and modify:
- What situations on the journey am I preparing for? (Scope)
- How much of my budget do I have to allocate to the solution? (Cost)
- How long will it take to be “overland” ready? (Time)
Overland Bound’s core principle number two is,
“It doesn’t matter what you drive: The only requirement of an Overlander is that the vehicle serves the job required, safely.”
Consider this carefully! Our core principles: Core Principles on OB Forums
Once you distill down the functionality you are seeking, you can focus your time and budget on the solutions specific to you.
We asked Overland Bound Members to tell us about more about their vehicles, and how they made their modification decisions. Read on to learn more about what inspired them on their overlanding journey! Each member has different requirements!
What did you modify first?
Steve – Overland Bound Member #0202
Vehicles: 2008 Subaru Outback and 2016 Toyota 4Runner
“On both, tires! Road biased all-terrain Geolandars on the Outback, and BF Goodrich KO2s on the 4Runner with 50 miles on the odometer. Tires, because that’s the best bang for the buck on any non-paved surface when compared to stock tires. On both vehicles, this simple improvement opened a huge range of places I could go.”
‘Winterpeg’ – Overland Bound Member #2861
Vehicle: 2008 Toyota FJ Trail Teams
“First was a winch. I like to “Outfit and Explore” and make it back. My previous 4×4 did not have a winch and I got into a LOT of trouble with my wife because I was late for supper due to being stuck on a “quick” little detour on the way back home. Four hours later, and a long distance call to a friend to get me out, I was home. This was almost a decade ago and I STILL hear about this…”
Jeff – Overland Bound Member #0327
“Lighting. (It’s a) cheap and good way to learn about the simple parts to take on and off.”
Mason – Overland Bound Member #0364
Vehicle: 2010 Toy FJ with Off Road Package
“Tires and suspension – BFG AT. Road behavior with the BFG AT was bad (My FJ did not like them), so now I run GY Duratrack and they work very well. The street stock tires just did not work.”
Vehicle: 2014 Toyota 4Runner Trail Edition
“We cut a factory tire down on our first trail and promptly made our way to the tire store the very next morning for a complete set of BFG KO’s All-Terrain tires. Since this upgrade, we have NEVER had another flat.”
JDunk – Overland Bound Member #0446
Vehicle: ’06 Jeep XK (Commander)
“Lift and tires was the first thing. The XK is basically a massive station wagon from the factory: long
wheel base and comparably short ground clearance.”
Jordan B. – Overland Bound Member #0750
“For me all initial mods/repairs or upgrades were based upon gaining reliability. For me the rig being reliable is most important.”
What are your additional thoughts on this process?
“There are a lot of projects left to do: armor on the undercarriage, sliders, new roof rack, RTT, new lights, on board air… the list goes on and on. It’s a time thing. If I’m always working on the rig, I can’t enjoy it or the world it’s built to explore. Though, budget is a pretty big reason also.”
Long story short, it’s about tires and suspension first and foremost. After that, the sky’s the limit, but be sure to carefully consider the needs of the journey! Head to our forums to ask members directly!
As you endeavor to create or enhance your Overland rig… It doesn’t matter what you drive. There is no modification point that magically tips you into the Overlander category. If you feel the call of adventure… Welcome to the crew.
New to Overlanding? Looking to share adventures with an awesome crew of explorers? Become an Overland Bound Member by purchasing your Member Emblem. Each Emblem is laser etched with a unique Member Number that is yours for life.