Essential overlanding mods





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  1. #1
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    Default Essential overlanding mods

    Morning Folks

    i would be interested to hear views on what are considered essential overlanding modifications to a SUV or a pickup.

    I have recently purchased a 2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8l GD6 4x4 AT and have so far done the following
    • Replaced stock tyres with GY Wrangler Adventure AT x5
    • Kept the spare Dunlop AT25 which was brand new as a second spare
    • Added a TPMS which I had on my FJ - it is an internal system and has 6 sensors, 2 for the trailer
    • Adding out-of-coil airbags to assist the rear suspension which is lightly sprung
    • Replaced the Toyota towbar with a height adjustable one to have the correct tow ball height for towing a Bush Lapa Kewer
    • Added 2 x BH plugs, one at the towbar for the compressor - mine is portable - and for charging the batteries in the trailer via the alternator. The second BH is for charging a portable power pack that is used to keep a spare fridge/freezer running
    • Replaced the head unit with an Apple CarPlay unit which I had fitted in my FJ. This is a huge improvement from a sound point of view and I will be able to use maps and T4A on it. Unfortunately still need to use a Garmin Montana for the downloaded version of T4A. Why donít T4A spend more time in their navigation app
    • Added a Big Country drawer system and fridge slide after removing the Fortuner jump seats. There are just the 2 of us. Iíve added tie down points for storing the power pack and a 45l Front Runner water tank which we use for drinking water. The water in the trailer is for showering - COVID friendly - and washing up


    I am pretty much done at this point but have been thinking about a bash plate and rock sliders. Iím not aching to spend the money on these items though. Are they must haves for overlanding? I know there are many of you that have gone without despite having been all over. What are your thoughts?

    We are overlanders not off roaders so Iím not drawn to doing grade 4 and 5 type trails. But getting to a campsite sometimes requires clearing some tricky sections where extra protection could come in handy.

    Suspension wise, I am planning to use the stock coils and shocks assisted by airbags and will see how that goes. Iím hoping that this will be sufficient and that I donít need to do an old man EMU or Tough Dog or EFS woteva. The vehicle still only has 32k kms so a suspension upgrade may be considered when the stock coils and shocks need replacing . Or if I am forced to.

    Any thoughts
    Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD6 4x4 AT - Shadowfax
    Bush Lapa - iKewer - Dogmatix

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Voyageur View Post
    Morning Folks

    i would be interested to hear views on what are considered essential overlanding modifications to a SUV or a pickup.

    I have recently purchased a 2018 Toyota Fortuner 2.8l GD6 4x4 AT and have so far done the following
    • Replaced stock tyres with GY Wrangler Adventure AT x5
    • Kept the spare Dunlop AT25 which was brand new as a second spare
    • Added a TPMS which I had on my FJ - it is an internal system and has 6 sensors, 2 for the trailer
    • Adding out-of-coil airbags to assist the rear suspension which is lightly sprung
    • Replaced the Toyota towbar with a height adjustable one to have the correct tow ball height for towing a Bush Lapa Kewer
    • Added 2 x BH plugs, one at the towbar for the compressor - mine is portable - and for charging the batteries in the trailer via the alternator. The second BH is for charging a portable power pack that is used to keep a spare fridge/freezer running
    • Replaced the head unit with an Apple CarPlay unit which I had fitted in my FJ. This is a huge improvement from a sound point of view and I will be able to use maps and T4A on it. Unfortunately still need to use a Garmin Montana for the downloaded version of T4A. Why donít T4A spend more time in their navigation app
    • Added a Big Country drawer system and fridge slide after removing the Fortuner jump seats. There are just the 2 of us. Iíve added tie down points for storing the power pack and a 45l Front Runner water tank which we use for drinking water. The water in the trailer is for showering - COVID friendly - and washing up


    I am pretty much done at this point but have been thinking about a bash plate and rock sliders. Iím not aching to spend the money on these items though. Are they must haves for overlanding? I know there are many of you that have gone without despite having been all over. What are your thoughts?

    We are overlanders not off roaders so Iím not drawn to doing grade 4 and 5 type trails. But getting to a campsite sometimes requires clearing some tricky sections where extra protection could come in handy.

    Suspension wise, I am planning to use the stock coils and shocks assisted by airbags and will see how that goes. Iím hoping that this will be sufficient and that I donít need to do an old man EMU or Tough Dog or EFS woteva. The vehicle still only has 32k kms so a suspension upgrade may be considered when the stock coils and shocks need replacing . Or if I am forced to.

    Any thoughts
    Well done on all those mods. All are useful and necessary for comfortable overlanding. I would say that bash plates on the vulnerable components are essential as are rock sliders. I still use use my Isuzu Frontier (400 000 km) for overlanding and I include a pic of what can happen without rock sliders. The Isuzu has bash plates underneath - even over the fuel tank.

    Consider fitting high lift jack points on the four corners as well.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2001 Isuzu Frontier 4X4 DT280 LX 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Tourer)
    2011 JMC 4X4 Double Cab 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Work Bakkie)
    1973 Land Rover Series 2A 109" Ford V6 Kanniedood, Salisbury diff, galvanised chassis etc. (Hobby and Work vehicle)

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    It really depends on your definition of over-landing, but for "typical" over-landing i.e. an annual or bi-annual trip to a Southern African country, I doubt that any mods are essential.

    Perhaps a set of AT tyres to reduce risk of punctures.
    2004 Land Rover Discovery 2 Td5 ES

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    I just don't find a radio head unit an essential for overlanding

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Fontuin View Post
    It really depends on your definition of over-landing, but for "typical" over-landing i.e. an annual or bi-annual trip to a Southern African country, I doubt that any mods are essential.

    Perhaps a set of AT tyres to reduce risk of punctures.
    Define what you mean by "Typical" overlanding?

    Overlanding can be done in an old 4x2 farm bakkie without air conditioning with no mods at all. But if you want to be comfortable towing a Bush Lapa more than 100 km from any help with no cell reception with the wife needing some comforts up to level 3 4x4 as stated by the OP, some mods to prevent damage and ensure comfort will be essential.

    Perhaps a set of AT tyres to reduce risk of punctures.
    I challenge you to drive the 250 km long R355 between Ceres and Calvinia and many other dirt roads with a heavily laden overlander and ordinary road tyres.
    2001 Isuzu Frontier 4X4 DT280 LX 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Tourer)
    2011 JMC 4X4 Double Cab 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Work Bakkie)
    1973 Land Rover Series 2A 109" Ford V6 Kanniedood, Salisbury diff, galvanised chassis etc. (Hobby and Work vehicle)

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Fontuin View Post
    It really depends on your definition of over-landing, but for "typical" over-landing i.e. an annual or bi-annual trip to a Southern African country, I doubt that any mods are essential.

    Perhaps a set of AT tyres to reduce risk of punctures.
    He did fit AT tyres.
    2020 FJ Cruiser, 2020 Audi Q5S Tdi, 2019 VW Tiguan 4motion 2.0tsi(work vehicle), 2019 FJ Cruiser, Bush Lapa Kewer 2202, Fusion 17 boat-Yamaha FT100hp 4st.

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenhorn View Post
    I just don't find a radio head unit an essential for overlanding
    When I started overlanding in the mid 1990's with a Series 2A Land Rover, even visiting the Tankwa Karoo before it was open to the public, I used a pencil, compass, ruler and protractor with 1:50 000 and 1: 250 000 maps bought from the Department of Surveys and Mapping. No GPS nor cell phones then. Unless you want to go back to those, I would consider the radio head unit with GPS and T4A very useful.

    A pic taken just outside the then Western entrance to the Tankwa Park On the R355 tyre eating road when we were the only people visiting the Tankwa before it was opened to the public. Taken just after fixing one of the punctures on 6 ply tyres. For the OP, the galvanised channel steel rock sliders can be seen in this pic.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2001 Isuzu Frontier 4X4 DT280 LX 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Tourer)
    2011 JMC 4X4 Double Cab 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Work Bakkie)
    1973 Land Rover Series 2A 109" Ford V6 Kanniedood, Salisbury diff, galvanised chassis etc. (Hobby and Work vehicle)

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceHun View Post
    He did fit AT tyres.
    The statement was:

    Perhaps a set of AT tyres to reduce risk of punctures.
    In other words, maybe but not necessary.
    Last edited by Olyfboer; 2020/06/21 at 11:52 AM.
    2001 Isuzu Frontier 4X4 DT280 LX 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Tourer)
    2011 JMC 4X4 Double Cab 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Work Bakkie)
    1973 Land Rover Series 2A 109" Ford V6 Kanniedood, Salisbury diff, galvanised chassis etc. (Hobby and Work vehicle)

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Not essential but a long range tank is something I would like to fit. Carrying jerry cans on the roof is not ideal

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Half-Pint View Post
    Not essential but a long range tank is something I would like to fit. Carrying jerry cans on the roof is not ideal
    An excellent suggestion Half Pint. Nothing worse than fuel worries and lugging heavy jerry cans around if it can be avoided. The Isuzu has a 70 litre tank and I found that good except for very remote places. I carried jerry cans for those. The Series 2A Landy has two fuel tanks under the front seats and one at the rear giving a total of 150 litres. Selectable electric fuel pumps for each tank. Another pic where the OP can see the channel steel rock sliders and showing the filling caps for the front and rear fuel tanks. If you want to be comfortable overlanding, some mods will be very desirable.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2001 Isuzu Frontier 4X4 DT280 LX 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Tourer)
    2011 JMC 4X4 Double Cab 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Work Bakkie)
    1973 Land Rover Series 2A 109" Ford V6 Kanniedood, Salisbury diff, galvanised chassis etc. (Hobby and Work vehicle)

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  18. #11
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Half-Pint View Post
    Not essential but a long range tank is something I would like to fit. Carrying jerry cans on the roof is not ideal
    The Fortuner is fitted with a 80l fuel tank. As far as I know the extended fuel tank that fits is an additional 40l but this lowers the spare wheel by 10mm. If I ever upgrade the suspension and get a 50mm lift at the same time, then I will probably add the fuel tank. Until then I have the Bush Lapa which is designed to carry 2x20l Jerry cans in the nose cone.
    Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD6 4x4 AT - Shadowfax
    Bush Lapa - iKewer - Dogmatix

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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Voyageur View Post
    The Fortuner is fitted with a 80l fuel tank. As far as I know the extended fuel tank that fits is an additional 40l but this lowers the spare wheel by 10mm. If I ever upgrade the suspension and get a 50mm lift at the same time, then I will probably add the fuel tank. Until then I have the Bush Lapa which is designed to carry 2x20l Jerry cans in the nose cone.
    That spare wheel under the rear of a vehicle can be a problem. When my JMC was on the original tyres I had a rear flat on the dirt road between Fraserburg and Williston. Getting that tyre loose and the jack positioned on rocky dirt before jacking it up was a major hassle that resulted in me looking like i was dragged down the dirt road. You have to get the tyre loose before jacking as the vehicle can fall off the jack while you loosen the tyre with parts of you under the vehicle. Consider a rear tyre mounting.
    2001 Isuzu Frontier 4X4 DT280 LX 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Tourer)
    2011 JMC 4X4 Double Cab 2.8 Turbo Diesel (Work Bakkie)
    1973 Land Rover Series 2A 109" Ford V6 Kanniedood, Salisbury diff, galvanised chassis etc. (Hobby and Work vehicle)

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  22. #13
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    That spare wheel under the rear of a vehicle can be a problem. When my JMC was on the original tyres I had a rear flat on the dirt road between Fraserburg and Williston. Getting that tyre loose and the jack positioned on rocky dirt before jacking it up was a major hassle that resulted in me looking like i was dragged down the dirt road. You have to get the tyre loose before jacking as the vehicle can fall off the jack while you loosen the tyre with parts of you under the vehicle. Consider a rear tyre mounting.
    Thanks for the advice. I will remember to retrieve the tyre before jacking up the vehicle.

    Having a bumper mounted spare is practical but it has a few other consequences which are expensive. I would need to get a rear bumper which is really heavy duty and would probably necessitate a suspension upgrade. Iím also not that fond of that look on a Fortuner. I like it on the LC76 or 79 series but to my eye, it doesnít suit the Fortuner.
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Most cell phones now days has GPS, would rather spend that money on a long rang fuel tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    When I started
    overlanding in the mid 1990's with a Series 2A Land Rover, even visiting the Tankwa Karoo before it was open to the public, I used a pencil, compass, ruler and protractor with 1:50 000 and 1: 250 000 maps bought from the Department of Surveys and Mapping. No GPS nor cell phones then. Unless you want to go back to those, I would consider the radio head unit with GPS and T4A very useful.

    A pic taken just outside the then Western entrance to the Tankwa Park On the R355 tyre eating road when we were the only people visiting the Tankwa before it was opened to the public. Taken just after fixing one of the punctures on 6 ply tyres. For the OP, the galvanised channel steel rock sliders can be seen in this pic.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    The statement was:



    In other words, maybe but not necessary.
    For overlanding especially loaded and towing AT tyres a must.

    The point you made was moot as he fitted them already.
    2020 FJ Cruiser, 2020 Audi Q5S Tdi, 2019 VW Tiguan 4motion 2.0tsi(work vehicle), 2019 FJ Cruiser, Bush Lapa Kewer 2202, Fusion 17 boat-Yamaha FT100hp 4st.

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Dave, have you ever measured the Kewer towball weight with full jerry cans?
    2020 FJ Cruiser, 2020 Audi Q5S Tdi, 2019 VW Tiguan 4motion 2.0tsi(work vehicle), 2019 FJ Cruiser, Bush Lapa Kewer 2202, Fusion 17 boat-Yamaha FT100hp 4st.

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    Cool Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenhorn View Post
    Most cell phones now days has GPS, would rather spend that money on a long rang fuel tank
    If you're in cell signal you probably only need good tires and no long range tank
    If you are going into remote places then good AT tires, underbody protection, jacking points, recovery points and gear, extra fuel, duel battery, water storage and a fridge would be my basics. Even if you aren't planning on doing hardcore offroading you don't want to be to limited on track options.
    I'd start with the basics and add on as you need. Most of us, myself included have spent a lot to get what we consider the ideal vehicle for us, a lot of it is personal need and taste and not a must.
    Like Olyfboer I had on old 88 series 2 in the 90's and i drove it to Ethiopia with a spare and 2 metal trunks chucked in the back, no roof, doors etc. Fun but can definitely be done more comfortably.
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  29. #18
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceHun View Post
    Dave, have you ever measured the Kewer towball weight with full jerry cans?
    Never! I’m too scared to.

    Add wood and you have some serious weight upfront.

    Recently someone mentioned somewhere that the Kewer without fuel weighed 120kgs at the tow ball. He didn’t say whether he had a full water tank which sits just behind the axle. I’m sure Jannie has done his sums though.

    Ive only ever had 2 Jerry cans of diesel and 12 bags of wood once - when we went to the Richtersveld. I could feel we were heavy but it wasn’t ever a problem. Thinking about it, we did pack most of the wood near the back door to balance the load
    Last edited by Voyageur; 2020/06/21 at 03:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    Well done on all those mods. All are useful and necessary for comfortable overlanding. I would say that bash plates on the vulnerable components are essential as are rock sliders. I still use use my Isuzu Frontier (400 000 km) for overlanding and I include a pic of what can happen without rock sliders. The Isuzu has bash plates underneath - even over the fuel tank.

    Consider fitting high lift jack points on the four corners as well.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Absolutely love the Frontier 👌🏻
    For overlanding, dual battery system
    2017 Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 A/T

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    Default Re: Essential overlanding mods

    Geez you okes add craploads of garbage before leaving home. What happened to a cooler box, a gas stove, and some sleeping bags.
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