Jeep Gladiator Overland Build
Jeep Gladiator Overland Build, The perfect adventure vehicle
The JT gladiator model has brought Jeep into a new area to compete in. It’s the most capable mid-size pickup from the factory while providing a solid overland vehicle build platform.
Let’s start with the positives. The JT provides a comfortable interior for two to four and a 5’ truck bed for more of an overland build. With the Gladiator Rubicon, you have lockers front and rear, Dana 44 axles, and sway bar disconnects right out of the gate. The front seats are comfortable enough for longer drives and, depending on the model, provide good support off-road.
Now the cons. If you’re comparing the JT to other platforms for an overland build, the Gladiator is loud, not as comfortable, and you’ll experience more driving fatigue. There are aftermarket options that will make it more comfortable, but they will only go so far. It may be the most comfortable Jeep, but it’s still a Jeep.
Having the truck bed and getting gear out of the cab is a huge plus. This makes it possible to add a bed rack or topper with a sleeping platform on top and organize the interior. There are plenty of options for drawer systems, power management and even a full frame on a camper where the bed is removed completely.
We find 2.5” to 3” lift suites an overland build very well. If a Rubicon Gladiator, you can fit a 37” tire and go pretty much wherever you want. We have this setup on our company vehicle, which has performed flawlessly.
In summary, the Gladiator is a platform that will be perfect for some and not for others. We have taken our company build to Baja and covered multiple long trips with road fatigue not being an issue. The seats are comfortable enough and creature comforts such as a heated steering wheel and heated seats make driving enjoyable. We’re a fan of the diesel and with 30K + miles on the rig have only had minor issues that have been easily sorted.
If you want an overland build with a truck bed, it’s hard to argue against the Gladiator as a good option. Other options, such as the Tacoma or the Ranger, can be built well and drive better with the IFS front end. That being said, the Gladiator is in a league of its own, finding a fine line between comfort and off-road capability.