200 simple build family rig


Hey everyone,
I have been lurking on EP for a long time now. I have struggled with a vehicle plan for getting out with the family. I have finally picked a direction to go.

I bought a 2013 LC with 38,000 miles last summer and have had some time with it now to get an idea of what I want. I thought I was going to do some full blown build but now know that is well beyond my needs.

I am planning on trying to do as few mods as possible. Keep it simple and reliable.

It has stock tires on it now and they will need replacing soon. Thinking of replacing with BFG AT. Would love 33s. Other maintenance is all up to date.

I live in south Denver and plan on more day trips and overnights than long trips away. My passengers will be my wife and 3.5 year daughter. We will travel as a solo vehicle almost all the time. I will plan on being fairly risk adverse while still trying to be adventurous, in terms of terrain.

I am wanting to have a tent option and awning. I am leaning towards a roof top hardshell tent and a awning that attaches to rails.

I am in the process of building some drawers for the rear. I have a ARB fridge and slider for it. I pulled out the third row seats.

My list
Roof top tent
Tires -33s if possible

My questions to anyone who could help is

What Are your opinions on added weight on the roof? Guessing at least 150 pounds

Do I or should I change suspension for the roof weight issue or fitting the 33s? I would be leaning towards the basic OME stuff. Is there a step up that is in between that and the BP-51? Any opinions on ride quality? I am worried my wife will hate the ride.

I am thinking I will also try the foxwing style awning. Any opinions?

Am I just being a chicken? Should I build it up more? Just afraid of affecting the ride too much. Plus I think I just don't need the gear even though I like it.

I don't want to pull any kind of trailer. I carry some Traxx and other basic recovery gear and plenty other things all the time. My plan is to avoid adding expensive suspension, bumpers, sliders, electronics.

Thanks ahead of time for any help you guys have!


You could fit 285/65R18 KO2s without a lift for sure. The 285/70R17 is popular if you get 17" wheels. I'm not aware of anything between the basic OME and the coilover-based systems. The stock suspension is pretty cushy on the road... I didn't keep mine long enough to find out how it would do offroad... I expect it'd do just fine for the majority of terrain (for example, I was on a trip with a bunch of 200s offroading around Ouray and we had a couple completely stock trucks in the group that didn't have any issues).

With the added weight from the RTT, family, drawers, luggage, etc., you may close in on the stock GVWR. It adds up pretty quickly. That'd probably be the main reason to upgrade to something like the OME with springs matched to your vehicle weight. The OME setup is definitely sportier than the stock suspension... you'd need the BP51 or similar to have your cake and eat it too.

I'm pretty sure the Foxwing fits over the spoiler in the rear... folks seem to like it. I have an Eezi-Awn Series 2000 and love it.

In terms of the overall build, it depends on what you want to do. You'll be able to cover a ton of ground with stock + tires... it's a capable truck.


* OME 91005 Strut
* OME 2702 Front Coil with 2-inch lift

* OME 61029 Shock
* OME 2722 Rear Coil with .75-inch lift (upgrading to 2723 or 2724 soon due to payload)


Understand you want to keep it as close to stock as possible...good choice. Of the many mods one can do to a cruiser, I'd recommend you take a hard look at some sliders. One shot is all it takes to ruin your day!


Personally I like building things like the LC in one of 2 ways. As simple and close to stock as possible - add 33" all terrains and sliders and be done with it, or fully built with everything. The problem I have with a "mild" build is that my train of thought goes something like: add some sliders, good time to add skids, add a small lift and 33s, looks funny now without a front bumper, ok let's add a winch and lights while I'm in there, huh now looks weird without a rear bumper, ok now time for a roof rack, wow now those 33s look small time for 35s, oh shoot now it's time for gears and lockers, might hit some water on the trail let's add the snorkel, what about storage and power in the back - drawers and dual battery, etc. etc. A "simple" build plan can get wildly expensive, and forums such as these and IH8MUD totally normalize this somewhat irrational behavior and spending which makes it pretty dangerous. Realistically there are very few places a stock 200 on 33s and sliders won't go that one with $20k in add ons will (assuming both have the same tolerance for body damage).

Full disclosure - I virtually always end up putting far more money and mods into any vehicle I own than I originally intended, and I have to admit I'm really liking my set up 200 :)



The process never stops. This is new for me to try and be conservative. I like projects but I am trying to keep this from being one right now. I am also building up a 54 m37. That is taking the $$$ right now.


You might check into the adjustable bilstein struts for the front, to get up to 1.5". Also there is an OEM spacer that gives a nice level stance. Those will help clear 285s, but not needed. Go see Slee and you'll get excellent guidance.

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