Jeep Gladiator Build Thread - 18 months around Australia with The Road Chose Me

Jim K in PA

Adventurer
Hey Dan - I only caught the first and second vids, but will catch up. Glad to see you are still keeping it Jeep. You had me worried! :D
 

Jim K in PA

Adventurer
BTW - I just installed the York OBA setup on my (now old) LJ Rubicon. Crazy how that truck is now two generations back. Aftermarket support is moving on with the model changes. :(
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hi All,

During my three years around Africa I relied heavily on my solar setup, which was fantastic. I have a lot of electronics to charge, and I enjoyed having a fridge so much I consider solar an essential addition for my overland vehicles. Free electricity just makes sense to me, and it means I can stay in one place for days without having to start the engine.
The primary way I want to improve the Gladiator compared to my Africa Wrangler is to keep the entire build lighter, so this time I've chosen a flexible 100W panel that weighs just 4.2lbs.

In this episode I mount the panel to my Rhino-Rack roof rack, starting the build-out of the entire isolated dual battery setup, which is so far ahead of what I designed and built last time I'm calling it "21st century dual isolated batteries". More to come on that in future episodes.


I still have A LOT of work to do on this build, and something tells me I won't be finished in 2 weeks like I had planned originally!

-Dan
 

VanIsle_Greg

I think I need a bigger truck!
Watched your newest vid this morning with my coffee and breakfast Dan. Good stuff, and that panel install looks great! You are doing a trip I have thought about many times, I still need to get myself to AUS before I am too old to enjoy it. heh

Looking forward to all the updates. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.
 

Mass_Mopar

Don't Litter
Dan
Love following you on your travels around the world. I may have missed it, have you outlined your sleeping accommodations for this trip yet?
Cheers
Nick
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Dan
Love following you on your travels around the world. I may have missed it, have you outlined your sleeping accommodations for this trip yet?
Cheers
Nick

Thanks Nick!

I'm discussing the bed/sleeping plan and getting input from my supporters over on Patreon, and the plan keeps evolving.

-Dan
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hi all,

It's time to start designing and building the rear storage compartment in my Gladiator that will take the space of the 60% rear seat delete.
I'm one again using aluminium (ALUMINIUM!!) tube and plastic corner connectors, which worked flawlessly for me in the Africa build.
I really like this system because it allows someone like me without much woodworking skill to quickly build lightweight boxes for storage.
This system is super light, it's simple, and it works. That is everything I'm looking for!


-Dan
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hi All,

In today's update I continue work on the rear storage box for the Gladiator.
I've decided to skin the lightweight frame I built with marine plywood and then I'll cover it with automotive felt to make it blend into the back of the Gladiator.
Dad and I also work to design and build a strong door with a fancy latch for the box, and it's all finished!

This storage system is inexpensive, lightweight, strong and simple to make at home with basic tools - which makes it absolutely perfect!


-Dan
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hi all,

In today's HUGE YouTube episode I install what I'm calling 21st Century Dual isolated batteries with solar into my Gladiator.
Using a state of the art DC-DC charger with built-in MPPT Solar charge controller, a lightweight Lithium battery and a flexible 100W solar panel, this setup is a huge improvement in every way compared to my Africa Jeep.
If you've ever wanted to learn about dual isolated batteries, and the what/why and how of it all, this episode is for you!

I'm confident this is the best setup on the market for my needs, and I'm already impressed with how quickly and efficiently it's charging the house battery - and I don't even have the solar connected yet!


Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help if I can.

-Dan
 

Marine

Adventurer
Will follow for sure. I lived in Adelaide for a number of years. Drove to the Northern Territory a few times. Best of luck to ya.
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hi all,

On the weekend I installed a Warn Zeon winch into my factory Rubicon front bumper using the Warn mounting kit.
For where I explore as a solo vehicle, I find a winch to be essential, and this option mounts the winch nice and low, meaning it's not blatantly obvious I have a winch, and it's also not blocking airflow into the radiator.
If nothing else, the winch is good insurance against my own stupidity like when I flopped my Jeep in Uganda, and got stuck in slick mud trying to turn around in Northern BC.

The winch kit is a straightforward install that is easy to do at home with hand tools.

-Dan
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hi all,

I just finished installing a set of Venom LED driving Lights from Lightforce, and I'm really impressed with the quality of the kit and the ease of install.
The Jeep LED lights are already the best I have ever driven with, and these driving lights still add an enormous amount of light.

I mounted them on the front bumper to keep them out of my line of sight, so there is no glare from the hood and so they're protected by the bumper hoop.
With the plug-n-play patch harness provided wiring was extremely simple, and I didn't have to cut or splice any factory wiring which I really like.
(I would prefer not to cut into factory wiring on a brand new vehicle if possible)

These lights push out 1 lux of light at 850meters! (half a mile), so the difference is staggering - I'll post some comparison photos with them on and off as soon as it stops raining!


-Dan
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hi everyone,

It's been a lot of work on my Gladiator build so far, and I have a lot to go. Of course, it's taking longer than I thought, and covid is messing with my plans.
In this video I give an update, and discuss a lot of the future modifications coming like suspension, an aux fuel tank, a water tank, rear canopy and more!


I had hoped that flying to Australia would get me away from COVID, but it doesn't look that that is the case.
As things sit now, crossing borders in Australia is going to be a lot harder than crossing borders in Africa!

I'll get the build wrapped up and hit the road ASAP and see what happens.

-Dan
 

kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
I have to ask, in the last video, are the tire tracks behind you, the ones that go down the grass hill and across the sidewalk, yours?
 

Forum statistics

Threads
186,276
Messages
2,883,983
Members
226,151
Latest member
Dgollman
Top