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Thread: Roof Rack + Snorkel = Overland?

  1. #21
    Old Timer GCM 2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayoflife
    to me, a well built jeep is a well built jeep and i unless i'm wrong, i thought that's what we all wanted.
    The photos attached are of my short lived foray with a Land Rover. It had a roof rack and snorkel, it was comfortable, quiet, had a great all aluminum V8, had a metric shit ton of room for gear, and had "some" capability. Emphasis on "some" capability. Bottom line, I got tired of watching jeeps going places, using only 50% of their capability while I was at 90% of my LR3's capability. My snorkel and roof rack were of no benefit when what I truly needed was larger tires than 285/12.5/18's, more suspension lift, and solid axles. I went back to a jeep, my 5th one. As you stated Eddie, a well built jeep is just that, a well built jeep.
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    Last edited by GCM 2; 04-25-2012 at 08:24 PM.
    2009 Black Rubicon Unlimited
    EVO Long Arm w/Envy Links
    EVO Front Double Throw Down
    EVO Lever Rear w/Double Throw Down
    Dynatrac Pro Rock 60's f/r
    PSC hydraulic ram assist
    Mastercraft Baja RS seats
    J.E. Reel 1350 drive shafts
    ATX Slab wheels
    40" Nitto Mud Grapplers

  2. #22
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    wow, that was a clean looking lr3. but, knowing you in person, i think it's pretty clear that a jeep is a better fit for who you are.

  3. #23
    Addict StrizzyChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayoflife View Post
    I really am starting to see the term "overland" as a cliche for a type of look and less of a definintion of capabilities. At least, I have yet to see or hear how people here in America who profess to have an "overland built" have a Jeep that is anymore capable than mine or most anyone elses built up Jeep.
    I think a few people hit the nail on the head. I have read in a few overland sites that the true meaning of overland is a somewhat uncharted and unplanned adventure where maps are not always availible to guide you. Also that an "overland" vehicle should not have superchargers, complex performance parts that are "less durable" than the stock parts that were optimized in the design of the vehicle. also to cut back on weight of the overall design to reduce wear and tear on the key components, as you will not be serviceable in your far out desination. If those aftermarket parts are just as, or more, reliable as stock while not placing to much wear on the vehicle, then I dont see how it too can not be considered as "overland"?

    I also think your right eddie, that its a cliche or nitch group to be affiliated with so you can wear birkenstocks and a fedora while smoking a clove cigarette and thumbing their nose at a trend of BA vehicles!

  4. #24
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    With the introduction of JKU's, the line between "overlander" and rockcrawler" builds is definitely more blurry.

    The TJ platform performed well at any off-road terrain (terrain depends on modifications). We all know it's biggest down fall was it's size; small, light payload, again small. When all you plan to do are day trips, these are non-issues. When you want to get out of cellphone service for a week plus (The Maze for example) these are issues. Before the introduction of the JKU platform, Tacomas, Land Cruisers, Troopies, Defender 90's, etc... were vehicles more suitable to long expeditions where resupplies are far in between. Here comes the JKU: bigger, more payload, more options. They can be built to outperform just about any other vehicle in the US when it comes to off-roading. This platform has the ability to be a daily driver/rockcrawler/overlander; unlike earlier generations.

    There definitely is an "image" to an overland built vehicle. Less radical in some cases, roof top tents and snorkels* in other cases. Because this category is so undefined a stock JKU, LR4, Liberty, Tacoma, 4Runner, etc would fit in right with a JKU on 40" tires with the build choice representing it's owner.

    That being said, I'm a Land Rover and Jeep owner. Is my D90 an overland or rockcrawl build with it's snorkel, limb risers, small roof rack, skid plates, ARB lockers, winch, hi-lift, and 33" tires? It goes from the best trails of Moab to the backcountry of the Southwest; day trips to week + expeditions. The truck is a representation what I love about off-roading: the wonderlust of venturing on a dusty backroad or feeling the truck walk over technical terrain (like that on Cliffhanger or Steelbender). With a stock 2012 JKUR in the works now, I have a clean slate. Will it rockcrawl or overland? Not sure, but it will be a well built Jeep.

    Everyone has their voice on this rockcrawl, overland build thing. The improvements in technology has increased the quality of components available to us. The serviceability of parts in the field less of an issue (coilovers and air bags are more reliable than 5-10 years ago). Your build is your build. Just build it well and know your reasons. See you on the trail.

    *An often overlooked benefit to a snorkel is the reduction in dust intake.
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  5. #25
    Knows a Thing or Two NAUJK's Avatar
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    Not sure

    I have had this question as well...
    When I think of an "overland" built rig all I can think about is Australia, going through the Outback and needing to be able to sustain yourself for a LONG time, more so than just doing the Rubicon in 3 days. I don't know what makes it what more capable to be considered on or the other. I do know that most Outback going rigs carry more than 1 spare tire because the heat can just trash the crap out of the rubber, just softens it up. I feel that overland vehicles are built for sustainability rather than being built for going over every and anything, or flex over a mountain. But I also don't feel that Moby for example is a "Rock Crawler" either...When I think of a Crawler I think of some "crappy" old rig that has nothing of what it used to be and looks more like a buggy than a Jeep, and no one cares if it rolls or gets dented and doesn't really have a sustainable set of gear with it.

    I feel what we see ourselves as, with Moby and our own rigs are a hybrid of the 2, they can sustain themselves and flex over basically anything, and do great on the road as well. This is a great question to ponder... cus I myself don't see how one would figure it out...
    2009 Wrangler X
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    --- Mike ---

  6. #26
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    I think historically "overland" wheeling was more about longer durations and exploring remote locations than crawling or dealing with technical obstacles. However, with modern vehicle platforms and equipment, I think it's less and less the case that we really need to choose one or the other. IMO the snorkel and rack aesthetic is mostly a remnant from the days when choosing a coil sprung, long wheelbase Land Rover was a real tradeoff vs. a leaf sprung CJ jacked sky high to clear big enough tires for crawling the Rubicon. That's not to say I don't like the snorkel-and-rack aesthetic -- I'm one of the biggest offenders -- I'm saying that it's mostly just that: an aesthetic choice.

    I think there are still differences in prepping for one style of trip vs. the other, obviously. Case in point, I left my rack and roof top tent at home when I was packing for Moab this year, and if I were going camping for two weeks in remote locations I'd throw them back on.

    The one aspect of "overland" build philosophy that I think all styles of wheelers could probably benefit from is the conscious tradeoff between upgraded or modified components and simplicity and reliability. This is a big consideration for true overland vehicles because you didn't want to have to replace some non-standard part in the middle of the Gobi desert, but although the implications may be less severe, you also don't want to be stuck in the middle of the Rubicon or on the side of the freeway trying to get to the trail.

    Basically, the farther you deviate from extremely well-tested and engineered OEM components, the more you open yourself up to potential failure. There are very few aftermarket component manufacturers that really approach OEM engineering quality levels. Throw in combinations of components that have not been rigorously tested together, and it becomes even more of an issue. I've seen tons of cases where aftermarket component X is rubbing, binding, breaking component Y from another manufacturer, or where "performance" mods (hemis, superchargers, headers, etc.) basically amount to one headache after another. Obviously there are a lot of cases where upgrades are worth the added risk and complexity, but I think a lot of times people don't really see it as a tradeoff in the same way traditional "overland" builders might.

    My two cents. Besides, how can you not think this looks at least a little cool?


  7. #27
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Awesome, I think some very interesting points have been brought up. But now, here's something that I'd like to add - most of the trail breaks I've seen have come from guys running under-built rigs that are overly weighed down and because of it, forced to push their vehicle harder than would be needed if it were built up with better components. In fact, most of the breaks I've seen have been drive train related (on my rig too) such as broken axle shafts, broken drive shafts, blown out ring and pinions and NOT, suspension related components. I should also add that by keeping all four on the floor through better articulation, you will have better traction and stability and thus require less skinny pedal to get you up and over obstacles. And, if you're really planning to carry that much weight, I would think it'd be wiser to beef up components that will actually feel the burden of it rather than focus on how to fix it when it breaks. While OEM components may be well engineered and well tested, I believe they are engineered and tested for the vehicle as is and NOT weighed down with an additional 2,000 lbs. of bumpers, armor and gear. For things like axle housings, axle shafts and drive shafts, it is my opinion that aftermarket components are not only far superior, they are also easier to repair should they break. Certainly, things like a standard 1310 u-joint is a lot easier to come by than an proprietary Rzeppa joint.

    So that it's clear, I have nothing against roof racks or snorkels, I was just trying to get my head around what exactly constitutes an "overland" build especially here in America.

    BTW, that is a badass pic Mike - I so want to do a trip like that

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayoflife View Post
    But now, here's something that I'd like to add - most of the trail breaks I've seen have come from guys running under-built rigs that are overly weighed down and because of it, forced to push their vehicle harder than would be needed if it were built up with better components. In fact, most of the breaks I've seen have been drive train related such as broken axle shafts, broken drive shafts, blown out ring and pinions and NOT, suspension related components.
    Sure, but most of the wheeling you guys do is NOT what would traditionally be called "overland" wheeling. Weighing a rig down with 2k lbs of bumpers and then taking it crawling over hardcore obstacles, and yeah you're going to break stuff. A stock Rubicon or very modestly built JK wouldn't even flinch at the type of terrain even most hardcore international expedition guys have to deal with on a routine basis let alone what we have here in the states. Stick a winch on a Rubicon off the showroom floor and you've got a rig that's way more capable and reliable than 90% of the classic "rack and snorkel" overland rigs out there.

    My point here is that if only intend to use your rig for "overland" style travel, you're not likely to need the added capability of many aftermarket components, and hence you're probably better off keeping your build super simple and closer to stock to avoid the risks that come with upgrading. Compatibility, reliability, suspension geometry changes, parts replacement in the field, etc. are all maybe minor risks, but they're greater than zero.

    The great thing about the JK platform and the current state of aftermarket components is that we can have our cake and eat it too. Throwing a pair of beefed up axles and well-engineered coilovers under a long wheelbase JK will likely only improve your comfort and carrying capacity for longer more remote trips, and also ensure that you don't break an axle if you do want to hit more challenging stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayoflife View Post
    For things like axle housings, axle shafts and drive shafts, it is my opinion that aftermarket components are not only far superior, they are also easier to repair should they break. Certainly, things like a standard 1310 u-joint is a lot easier to come by than an proprietary Rzeppa joint.
    I think this depends a lot on the part in question, and it cuts both ways. Yes, a standard u-joint will be easier to come by, though stock JK driveshafts are also quite plentiful in my experience. Can you walk into any old Kragen and pick up a replacement 14" coilover? (I actually don't know, I've never tried.) How likely is it that you'll be able to find a direct replacement for your rear passenger D60 Dynatrac axle shaft, should it break 10 miles in on the trail? You know, hypothetically speaking...

    In all seriousness, I think ease-of-replacement is pretty much a non-issue here in the states, where we can typically just make a cell phone call and have pretty much any part imaginable flown in overnight.

  9. #29
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmccurdy View Post
    My point here is that if only intend to use your rig for "overland" style travel, you're not likely to need the added capability of many aftermarket components, and hence you're probably better off keeping your build super simple and closer to stock to avoid the risks that come with upgrading. Compatibility, reliability, suspension geometry changes, parts replacement in the field, etc. are all maybe minor risks, but they're greater than zero.
    I guess that's where I get confused. Again, here in America, what exactly constitutes "overland" style travel?

    I think this depends a lot on the part in question, and it cuts both ways. Yes, a standard u-joint will be easier to come by, though stock JK driveshafts are also quite plentiful in my experience. Can you walk into any old Kragen and pick up a replacement 14" coilover? (I actually don't know, I've never tried.) How likely is it that you'll be able to find a direct replacement for your rear passenger D60 Dynatrac axle shaft, should it break 10 miles in on the trail? You know, hypothetically speaking...
    Touché. My reasons for pointing out drive train breaks is because of what I've seen happen on my own personal rig and, my answer to that is to build it bigger and strong. Needless to say, that's why I now run a full float Dynatrac Pro Rock 60. Really, it's what I would have wanted to run from the get go but, it wasn't available at the time. With a full-float setup, you wouldn't need to find a replacement shaft, just pull what's broken and keep going.

    In all seriousness, I think ease-of-replacement is pretty much a non-issue here in the states, where we can typically just make a cell phone call and have pretty much any part imaginable flown in overnight.
    And, that's why I specifically said, "here in America". While I may not be able to get a replacement coil over at a local Kragen, I know that I can have one FedEx'd to whatever town I happen to be stranded in. For me, I always try to carry enough resources to at least get me off the trail and from there, a simple call can take care of the rest.

  10. #30
    Old Timer GCM 2's Avatar
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    My original statement....

    Quote Originally Posted by GCM 2 View Post
    ....... This I know as a fact; my JK can go everywhere an "overland rig" can go, but an "overland rig" cannot go everywhere my rig can go. I'll go with my build. And one last thing, we use to call it camping. Thanks for your time.
    I stand by the above. I have almost two decades of time driving the traditional overlanding/camel trophy build Land Rovers (overseas: 90, 100, 110 series, stateside: Discovery I and II, LR3), I like Land Rovers, they have a very cult like dedicated following, just like jeeps. The main reason we got stuck and/or broke parts; gross vehicle weight, just like on a JK. Although being stuck was usually due to weight AND the ridiculously small tires with tiny footprints. Now for the roof top tents, everyone loves the ease of use and safety from natures ground threats, however the well kept secrets among overlanders is the roof top tent drawbacks. I have yet to meet one individual that loves the noise, the weight 120-200lbs (just the tent and not including the rack weight), the HUGE loss of gas mileage and the high load carry (high center of gravity= instability and rollover potential).

    For me the traditional overland build always limited where my team could travel and therefore made route choices more limited, equating to needing more bypasses, meaning longer routes, which also means needing to carry more fuel.

    My current build is reliable, rides great, and has go anywhere ability. I think like most sports/hobbies/lifestyles, the increase and advent of new technology and the bleed over of the technology between sports is awesome and it's the way we progress and learn!
    2009 Black Rubicon Unlimited
    EVO Long Arm w/Envy Links
    EVO Front Double Throw Down
    EVO Lever Rear w/Double Throw Down
    Dynatrac Pro Rock 60's f/r
    PSC hydraulic ram assist
    Mastercraft Baja RS seats
    J.E. Reel 1350 drive shafts
    ATX Slab wheels
    40" Nitto Mud Grapplers

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