JEEP Overland Builds
Jeep Overland, The perfect off-road basecamp vehicle
Jeep has its place in Overlanding, just like it’s always been known as the original off-road vehicle. The funny thing is, this is an area that Jeep may not be the preferred or a first-thought option in the market. With the recent JL and JT options, we’ll help you understand why you should consider them.
Jeep Gladiator – The Jeep Gladiator is the perfect size for a family of 4 to hit the road. It provides plenty of room along with an off-road capability from the factory. Adding an auxiliary fuel tank for the gas option increases your range to cover more territory between fill-ups. With the right modifications, such as a 2-3” lift and 35” or 37” tires, along with base camp additions such as solar panel, rooftop tent, and drawer bed slides, the Gladiator is a great platform to build on and one that we currently run as a company vehicle. Jeep Wrangler JLU – The
Wrangler JLU is a great platform for a couple that doesn’t necessarily need the room a larger family would need. It’s a workhorse of a vehicle and a great option for a Jeep build that can be easily modified to tackle the toughest terrain while still providing on-road driving comfort.
Available Factory Options to Consider –
Jeep is a manufacturer that listens to what the consumer wants and adds those features as an option. The following are what we like and why:
Rubicon package gives you a front and rear Dana 44 axle with an electronic locker and sway bar disconnects. There is always an aftermarket option to upgrade to larger axles, air lockers, and regear. That being said, the Rubicon package would satisfy most consumers and should be a consideration when purchasing your rig.
Trailer Tow & Heavy Duty Electrical Group: Jeep and Ford have done a great job of making it easier to add aftermarket accessories. Accessory switches already installed in the cab and a harness that is already run through the firewall make certain aftermarket additions unnecessary, less capital intrusive, and more factory look. The package also includes a larger alternator and battery, which are nice additions considering you’ll have a higher amp draw with aftermarket additions on your build.
Integrated front camera: Although having a spotter whenever needed should be done, having a forward-facing camera is a very nice addition while off-road.
Factory Hardtop: One thing that is lacking is space in a Wrangler. If you want to add a hardtop, rooftop tent, and other gear, starting with a hardtop is a good option.
Cold weather package. Although the modern-day Wrangler still feels like a Jeep, it is more comfortable than the previous models. Adding the Cold Weather Package gives you a remote start, a heated steering wheel, and heated seats.
Powertrain: In the JL, you have three options with the 2.0L I4 Turbo, 3.6 Pentastar v6, and 3.0 V6 Turbo Diesel as an upgraded add-on. You are limited to the Pentastar V6 or 3.0 V6 Diesel for the Gladiator. Although the Pentastar V6 is a good engine, the turbo four-cylinder and V6 diesel are more favorable options when modified.
In Summary, Why Consider the JL Wrangler and Gladiator? Although Jeep has its cult following just like the Ford Bronco and Land Rover, it is a good platform that will serve you for many years.
The Gladiator and JLU are both great platforms, and it comes down more to what you want from them. Both are capable, but the JLU wheelbase will make it more trail ready. If your goal is to find the middle ground of comfortable and capability in a jeep overland build, then the Gladiator is the clear winner.