Sunrise on 2018

I don't really do New Years Resolutions anymore. I have found that they mostly do not work. What I try to focus on instead is changes of mindset and routine that can lead to more permanent change. This year my focus is going to be on improving my skillsets. I want to become proficient with my handgun, I want to learn first aid skills, and I want to become healthier. All of these things will require discipline and I think the best way to acquire discipline is to do things that take discipline. So the first thing I am going to work on this year is getting up before the sun everyday....starting today. 

I woke up and drove to the prettiest place I could find to watch the sun rise and welcome in the new year. It was a perfect start to 2018 for me. I hope to do a lot more exploring this year, it is one of the few things that brings peace to my soul. I hope you had a great start to the new year and I hope you have the discipline to make some awesome things happen for yourself this year. 

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My New Exploration Rig: 2000 Jeep TJ

Hey guys. I have a huge announcement to make! This is my new exploration rig. I traded my wagon and my Tahoe to my dad and got this 1996 Jeep Wrangler TJ. I have always considered myself a Jeep guy and I have pretty much been missing my Jeep ever since I had to sell my YJ a couple years ago. I am so stoked to have a Jeep again. The TJ has always been my favorite and its even my favorite color. 

As you can see it already has had a lot done to it so I don't really need to make any changes right away. I do have some ideas for future mods and I will as always post them here on the blog. Right now though I am just enjoying it and having fun driving it. I have a feeling this Jeep and I will go on some pretty cool adventures. 

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New Tahoe Project

This is my new project! It is a 1996 Chevy Tahoe with the Vortec 350 V8 and 4 wheel drive. My plan is to turn it into an expedition/camping vehicle with some bug out capabilities as well. 

My dad found it and helped me with the purchase. It has a blown motor so we were able to pick it up for $550 and he payed to have it delivered. Overall it is in pretty good shape actually. I can't wait to get started on turning it into something awesome. 

The interior isn't even that terrible. The seats are not ripped and are pretty clean. The carpet is pretty terrible, but I think it will shampoo out just fine.

We were able to pick up a motor for $150 and have already begun the swap. I am going to post the process here on the blog as we go. I think it should be a fairly smooth job. 

Originally I was planning on trying to flip it to make some extra money, but I may end up turning it into my daily adventure rig. For what I payed for it, I might as well just have some fun with it. So the goal for now is to get it running and safe so I can use it as my daily driver, and that will give me the time and ability to really start work on my Roadmaster and getting it fixed up and ready to sell. 

Upgrades

  • Lift Kit
  • Push Bar with Winch
  • Snorkel
  • Limb Risers
  • Roof Top Tent + Awning
  • Outside Lighting Solutions
  • CB and HAM Communications
  • Vinyl Wrap
  • Interior Storage and Cooking Solutions
  • Performance Upgrades

One of the things I have always wanted is a true overlanding vehicle. I love the idea of having a rig that can take you anywhere. It would be so cool having everything you need with you at all times to survive in the wild. The guys at Expedition Overland and Overland Bound have been huge inspirations to me.

I always thought I would build a rig someday out of a Jeep or Toyota, but the more I think about it, the more I think the Tahoe might be a great platform to build an overlanding vehicle. It is safe, reliable, capable (enough) off road, parts are easy to find, and it has plenty of room for gear. Also, for my needs, it is better suited for a family. 

I will be posting updates as I go. I am pretty excited about this build. I think its going to be a lot of fun. 

#Dadlife: My Expedition Vehicle

*Update: We still own this vehicle but it is now Courtney's daily driver. Follow along with my new build here.


This is my expedition vehicle of choice. It is a 2007 Jeep Commander XK with the 4.7l V8 and QD-2 4-wheel drive system.  I have a ton of modifications I still want to do to it. I want to turn it into a "go anywhere, be prepared for anything" expedition vehicle. I have made a lot of progress so far and this post is going to be a history of "Furiosa" up to this point. 

This is what she looked like when I got her, bone stock but still kinda cool looking. I always liked the Commanders and thought they were a bit underrated. Jeep has a long history with full-size SUV's and I thought this fit in the lineup quite well. 

We took our first camping trip with it after only owning it a couple of days and it did great. 

I then added a roof rack for some extra storage on our adventures. 

It didn't stay stock for too long. We quickly added a 3" Rough Country lift and 1.5" wheel spacers to get some more clearance and a better stance. 

It was then time to head off to Discount Tire for some new shoes. I started with 265/70 r17 Cooper Discoverer ATPs. I got a good deal on them used and they were pretty good tires. 

Time for some poser shots.

I added a Hi-Lift jack to the rack and blacked out the grill for a cleaner look.

I wasn't able to get an alignment after the lift do to some bad ball joints and I was stupid and waited way to long to fix them. I ended up wearing out the coopers in only a few months due to the bad alignment. I replaced them with some Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs of the same size and I have to say I like them so much better. They ride great, have excellent traction, and look really great too. I couldn't be happier with them.

I also blacked out the center section of the bumper. Plastidip is great is it not?

I picked up a large waterproof Pelican case at the Goodwill for $10. Can't beat that form some roof gear storage.

I also added some paracord to the grab handles and incorporated a holder for my little Ka-Bar knife in case I need it in a hurry, mainly if I need to cut out of my seatbelt in an emergency. 

Well that is where she sits so far. In the near future, I plan to add a push bar, limb risers, LED lighting, a winch, a rear storage solution, rear spare tire carrier, upgraded roof rack with ladder, skid plates...and more. It will probably take me years to do everything but that is the fun of it. I will continue to enjoy what I have and keep building it into something greater. 

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