GODZ MFG - Castle Rock, CO
Mastering the Art of Full-Size Overland Truck Build: A Comprehensive Guide from Goals to Adventure-Ready Truck
FULL-SIZE Friday Blog: Week 6
This post will cover:
Welcome back to Full Size Friday, we took a week off last week to tackle some other projects but we are back and excited to kick off the next chapter in FSF! This week is our 6th week and today we will begin to talk about the process of building a full size overland rig. In the previous weeks we have discussed buying the right truck for your goals and lifestyle. No matter if you are a Ford, Chevy, or RAM guy (or gal) these next 10 weeks of the blog are going to talk about products that can be added to any auto manufacturer. If any of you have moved up from the midsize truck world then you will notice some overlap of building an overland rig, but keep in mind that jumping up to the full size world means bigger and stronger parts are required to achieve the same goal. In the coming weeks we will talk about everything from a fridge vs. cooler all the way up to truck bed campers, so be sure to stay tuned.
Starting Your Overland Build + Factors to Consider
The first step in starting your overland build is honestly one of the most challenging, figure out your goals and what you hope to achieve with your truck. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your list:
- Will you put down more miles on pavement or dirt?
Everybody’s journey will look different. Sometimes we have to get on the highway, but the majority of us look for as much dirt as possible. Think of where you live and where you will travel to, how many of these miles are pavement pounding and how much time will you actually spend on dirt. These considerations will give way to what tire and suspension options may suit your build.
- When you’re on dirt, what does the road look like?
A graded forest service road looks a lot different than Moab’s famous Hell’s Revenge and Hell’s Gate. Off road is a broad term and you need to think about the majority of your travel, not the 1% of the time you tell everyone to ‘hold your beer’. Again, these considerations will dictate tires and suspension. It could also influence your sleeping setup as a trailer in Hell’s Gate would be, well….sketchy.
- Where are you traveling? Think of the terrain.
We live in Colorado, as such, we see a ton of snow in the winter but we still have access to the deserts of Utah and Arizona. With as much driving as we do, we still only run one tire year round and because of the weather and terrain we travel in, we opt for a soft, siped, all-terrain tire for the best wet weather travel and overall comfort.
- Will you be Pulling a Trailer?
Some of you may opt for a trailer over a bed rack, roof top tent or slide in camper. If you do, that’s totally fine, but if you are trailering your tire choices and suspension may need more attention to detail.
- What Trails will you be wheeling?
The forest roads of Colorado are vastly different from the Bureau of Land Management roads that you will find in Utah. If you have ‘tight squeeze’ considerations, think of the platform you want to build? ½ ton trucks are more narrow than their bigger ¾ and 1 ton brothers.
- How Far Off the Beaten Path will you Travel?
Are you more of a Motel 6 kinda dude, or possibly you want to go to the KOA because your wife says you needed a shower 2 days ago. Maybe neither of these options are in the cards if you are deep in the bush and will need large water tanks and solar to support you and your occupants.
The above questions are more of your general ‘ice breaker’ questions. These aren’t going to determine specifics but they will give you a general idea of what to start looking at.
Give some thought to what you WANT to do, that way we can talk about the nuances of how to do it. Over the next weeks we will discuss all of the following topics.
- Wheels and Tires
- Bed Racks, Tents and Campers
- Electrical and Solar
- Refrigerators and Coolers
- Communication and Navigation
The topics above will be covered in that order as it is a logical way for you to progress through your build. Take it from me, I built my Tacoma 3 times in 4 years because I never had a clear plan from the start. Now with a little more experience, GODZ MFG is currently building their 3rd RAM truck. Lean on my expensive mistakes and follow along over the coming weeks to build your best rig yet.