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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Hi all,

My latest project on the Gladiator has been to build and wire charging blocks to keep all my electronics charged up and installing lights on the inside for convenience.

It's funny how the small "insignificant" projects are the ones that take the most time on an overland build!


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Hi all,

For whatever reason when Jeep designed the Right Hand Drive Gladiator and Wrangler they mounted the steering stabilizer as the lowest point at the front of the vehicle. It actually has a HUGE bracket coming down low off the front axle, and it sits directly infront of the pumpkin - it's just begging to be smashed on a rock, and there are plenty of photos from people doing exactly that.

I'm all about upgrades that increase reliability and reduce the chance of problems on the road, so on this episode I relocate and upgrade the stabilizer to keep it out of harms way.


For anyone thinking about doing it themselves it's pretty straightforward and easy, just make sure you have a torque wrench, deep sockets and few different extension bars so you can get in where you need to!

-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Hi all,

I don't set out aiming to drive through deep water, though sometimes it's completely unavoidable.

The snorkel looks cool, though there is another job that needs to be done to prepare your vehicle for deep water - extending the breather hoses on the axles, transfer case and transmission.

This is another "Essential build" item you won't see discussed in magazines or shown off at SEMA, but it will go a long way to avoiding problems when you're in the remote corners of the world.

In the video I run through the why, the what and the how, showing exactly how I did it on my Gladiator.

LINK IN BIO


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Hi all,

For a while now I've been thinking an expedition around Australia would be a lot easier than my previous two - there's no language barrier, no borders, visas, I don't need to exchange money and of course there is MUCH more development. For all those reasons and more it was sounding pretty easy to me.

So much for best laid plans.

When I was planning this trip Australia had no covid and no restrictions of any kind, so while I was living in lockdown in Canada, this place seemed like paradise.

Now I'm actually here and ready to hit the road, the delta variant has escaped quarantine into Australia and I've been under a strict covid lockdown for many weeks, unable to go more than 5km (3 miles) from home. I also can't cross any state border, which makes an expedition a very difficult thing to kick off.

There is (hopefully) light at the end of the tunnel, but for now I'm trapped at Dad's house, unable to do any kind of travel.

In my latest video I explain how I got into this situation, how Australia got into the situation it's in and what my options are from here.
All my fingers a crossed the situation will improve sooner rather than later!


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Hi All,

Even though the build is not yet finished, we got out of lockdown and I decided to hit the road.
I literally threw everything in the back and went for it... and it was horrible.
I severely underestimated how much organization is required in the bed of a pickup, and so now I'm back at Dad's scrambling to sort out how to keep everything better organized.

For the first time ever I'm bringing toys on a major expedition, in the form of surfboards.
If I'm going to carry them, I want to make sure they're easy to use, safe and protected so they don't get destroyed during the trip

Here's how I'm doing that:


I've ordered a few things to help with more organization, and hopefully I'll be ready to hit the road again very soon!

-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Hi everyone,

The cutlery organizer I made for the tailgate table on my Africa Jeep was a huge success, and I always knew I would make another. I want my most often used items to be close and hand and super, super easy to use and put back, rather than have to dig through a drawer or tupperware container.
The organizer I made for Africa worked so well there was really no reason to change or improve a single thing!

If you want to make something like this to keep your cutlery close at hand, checkout my latest video where I show the process step-by-step.


Africa more than 5 years on the road the original still works as well as the day I made it, so I'm confident this one will too.

-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Hi all,

I'm packing to once again hit the road, and I can't help thinking about all the little details from my Africa Jeep that I miss on my Gladiator.
There are so many little things that were so great on that vehicle I didn't know about or didn't even appreciate, and it's not until I don't have them that I've started to miss them.

It's going to take a while until the Gladiator is a house on wheels rather than just a pickup with everything thrown in the back, and I'm enjoying the slow and steady transformation.


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Hi All,

I've been hard at work for the last week designing and building my drinking water tank, pump and filtration setup.
The system I had in my Africa Jeep was flawless and essential - it was easily the most used system on the entire vehicle and absolutely the most important.
I would do that trip without all the other systems in that vehicle before doing it without the water system.

In this video I talk through the design considerations, pros and cons, tanks, mounting and the whole philosophy:

In this video I get to work actually building it - mounting the tank, laying out all the components, bolting and plumbing it all together and then finally using the system at the end.

A solid drinking water setup is absolutely essential in an overland vehicle, and already I know all the hard work was well worth it, and I'll once again be relying heavily on this system.

Let me know if you have any questions about designing or building your own, I'm happy to help in any way I can.

-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Hi all,

I just finished installing the brand new EX full-width bumper from AEV. Made from stamped boron steel this bumper is not only extremely strong it's also lighter than steel options.
This bumper really looks the part, and has a ton of features that make it the clear stand out choice in my opinion.
The AEV bumper on my Africa JK has been brilliant, and I've really been looking forward to adding one to this Gladiator.

I also installed a Lightforce 20 inch LED light bar behind the skid plate in a place specifically designed for just that. I really like this option because it means I have a high performance LED lightbar mounted out of sight where people won't try to mess with it, and it doesn't scream "bling".

In my latest video I walk through the install step by step so you can see what is involved.


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Hi all,

Over the next 12-18 months I plan to drive the most remote roads on the planet, which means I have to carry more fuel.
I'm installing an auxiliary tank from "The Long Ranger", so I'll have a combined capacity of 153L or just over 40 gallons.
This should result in a range of around 700-800 miles (around 1200km), which I'm sure will be a game changer.

How exactly an aux tank is connected to the existing systems is an art in itself - you have to consider how it will be filled, how it will be transferred and used, keeping the whole emissions system legal and not reducing the break over angle. On top of all that, I want a tank that requires no exhaust modifications to keep costs down and so I can install it myself at home.

In this video I through all the features and factors I considered before choosing the Aux tank that I have.


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

-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Hi All,

Dad and I completed the install of the 70L (18.5Gal) Auxiliary tank into the Gladiator.
Now I have a total fuel capacity of 155L / 42 Gal, which feels like a huge level up on my previous vehicles.
It's so nice not to mess with jerry cans, funnels or siphon hoses - no stinky gas on my hands and it's all stored so low down and centered between the two axles.

In my new video I show the whole install process, then fill it up and transfer the fuel across into the main tank, showing how all of that works.
As a bonus, it turns out the tank is even bigger than advertised!

Using just hand tools in Dad's garage we completed the install without any problems, so you can too!


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Hi All,

For a shakedown trip of the new Jeep I set out to explore Grampians National Park, getting out hiking, wild camping and exploring all the remote corners of the park.

I'm super excited to be on the road again, and in some ways it feels a lot like I'm still in Africa - sleeping and cooking and camping in and around the Jeep all feels so familiar.

Roll on new Jeep Adventures!!


-Dan
 

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Honestly surprised you are sleeping on the ground. I thought you were going to do some kind of overland roof tent? Future plans? Will suk in the rainy season, IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Hi all,

What do you think is the most essential feature on an overland vehicle?

After 5 years and 100,000 miles through 56 countries, I feel very strongly it is living space.

Where you hangout when its pouring rain, when the bugs are bad or when you just want some down time will have a bigger impact on your enjoyment than anything else.

In this video I talk through what I've done with my past vehicles, and what I'm doing on my Gladiator to get living space.


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Hi all,

For my South-American adventure the Southern tip of the continent was the end point of the expedition.
For my African adventure the Southern tip of the continent was the mid point of the expedition.
Now in Australia the Southern tip of the continent is the start point!

In my latest adventure I set out hiking in Wilsons Prom National Park, reaching the Southern tip of mainland Australia to kick-off my Australian adventure the right way!


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Hi Everyone,

I've driven way over to the South-East corner of Victoria, a place I've never been before.
With a huge storm coming in I got a good chance to really put the new batwing awning to the test, and get the Jeep dirty in some deep-enough-to-make-you-squirm mud puddles.

I'm working hard on my filming, editing, music choice and pacing, and I really want to document this adventure on YouTube better than I ever have before.
I'd love to hear any and all feedback on this video - improving is the goal!


-Dan
 

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The sunsets at the beginning and end of the video were awesome!
I know it's a work in progress, but I still am amazed you didn't figure out some way of a roof top tent instead of the ground. The wrap around awning looks great, but after many trips to Moab and Jeep camping in general, sleeping on the ground is not fun anymore... but I'm also a bit older than you. Lol. :laugh2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Hi all,

For my latest adventure I'm out exploring Big & Little Desert National Parks, learning how to drive my Gladiator in deep sand in preparation for the huge deserts I plan to cross later in the journey.

I've never had an automatic before, so it's a learning process to figure out the right combination of settings, speed and gear.
It's nice not to worry about the clutch getting it off the line in the sand, though it strange not to be in control of the gear once I'm actually climbing the dune.
Manual mode is great, though I was surprised it holds the gear I've chosen and won't go lower, so it's up to me to bump it down gears before it starts to bog in the sand.

Clearly, I need to air down more (I was at 19psi), but this was more about learning about the Gladiator than it was about getting to the top.

In the adventure video I tackle sand dunes & water, find remote and isolated campsites and even have a few great animal encounters!


-Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Hi All,

After the desert sand and heat I have driven over to the "High Country" of Victoria, and I've been exploring on foot for a few days.
I went hiking in the stunning alpine, exploring a trail that crosses from one ski resort to another.
And yes, that is actual snow in Australia!!


Now I'm adding one of the final pieces of the build before I continue exploring the High Country with the Jeep!

-Dan
 
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