Isuzu SUV Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
REALLY want to make my trooper into a bit of a mini/expo rig. my dream is to be able to travel around the world, just camping, hiking, and fishing. being 20, thats not really an option now, so my plan is a light expo build for the trooper, something i can take offroading/exploring/camping for the weekend, carry everything i need, and maybe the small boat on top. this summer me and some friends are planning a 2-week vacation. while all our friends are getting drunk, we'll be travelling around texas, oklahoma, and arkansas for 2 weeks or so, fishing all the big spots, camping whereever we can, and just exploring.

anyone havve their trooper or other truck set up like this? any ideas, tips, etc to get into this sort of stuff?

right now plans are 1.5" susp lift, has a 3" body lift
rock rails
front exo cage
front and rear homebrew bumpers
roof rack/boat rack
drawers or some sort of storage in the rear

anything else i should add?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,560 Posts
You don't need the body lift. Number one need for an expo vehicle in my opinion is reliablilty. Keep the mods mild and the tire size reasonable. The troopers work very well for this purpose out of the box. Both generations.
To me Expo is not about hard core wheeling. it's about reasonable back country travel with long highway stretches in between. Comfort is important. Spares are a good idea.

I like your idea of a fishing expo. My kind of trip!

1st thing is the roof rack for the boat!
Then figure out your storage solutions. I prefer keeping the interior stock for the versatility and packing in action packer type boxes. A cargo net or way to strap them down is a great idea just in case something bad happens on the way. The rest depends on the terrain you intend to travel. Some good AT tires, mild suspension lift of 2"s or less. OME stuff is made with expo travel in mind. Lot's of folks would say do lockers next but I prefer a winch. Lockers get you deeper into trouble and are a compromise on the street. Unless you have air lockers. A winch gets you out of trouble. Add some snatch straps, shovel, Hi lift jack. A CB or ham radio is a great addition.

Some folks get so caught up in the EXPO LOOK that they overbuild or waste money that may have been better spent elsewhere. They do things that limit what the truck works well for. Sit back and think hard about how YOU really intend to use YOUR truck. You don't need 35" tires and lockers to travel dirt roads back to the fishing hole usually.

I feel that FOR ME my truck is very well built and balanced for this type of tripping. That's what I had in mind when I built it. That and towing. The main thing I would like to add would be an air locker in the front. I have a nice LSD rear. And to install a winch and rock sliders. Feel free to check my build threads in my signature for ideas. So far this truck has done everything I've asked of it and more. Don't forget the tunes!





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
I am also building mine towards this idea.
I have OME 919 Springs that provide about 1.5 inch of lift. I have no desire to go higher. I currently have 31" A/T Tires, and will likely upgrade soon, to nothing larger than a 33".
My Roof Rack is ungodly large, but it offers carrying a 2nd spare tire, some parts in triage cases, spare gas, my high lift, I will also be sleeping up there, have not remedied that yet.
Will also be making a rear platform for storage and sleeping inside.

As previously posted, however, mechanical reliance of the vehicle is number one. These cars can take on a lot at factory with slightly larger tires. But, often these trips mean driving several highway hours before reaching a sever hour/day off highway adventure.
I live in Fort Worth, if you ever want to check out what I have so far, see how it rides, or need help wrenching let me know! I love working on these things.
Also, I will likely be making another trip up to the Kiamichi Trail in Oklahoma, it's the closest "mountainous" trail around. Also planning a trip down to the coast, Padre National Seashore, for camping and fishing, there is about 70+ miles of rural-ish beach that can be driven and camped on.
Check out these sites, www.expeditionportal.com
and most of these guys are located near us. http://www.centraloverland.com/forum/
But for everything you will need to work on in the Trooper, the Planet is a great resource. Before I ever posted, I read nearly all the posts relating to Troopers and something I was curious about.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,404 Posts
I agree. The trooper (first and second gen) is already pretty much an expo rig. It's capable right out of the box and well, it IS a box too so there is plenty of room to put all your stuff in there. Reliability is the most important thing if you plan on getting way out there. Also, expo rigs arent really built for taking the toughest lines. Expo drivers will pick the easiest lines just to keep themselves going. One other thing to consider when picking your bring alongs and mods is where will you be using it. If you were in the desert, you might want sand ladders for example. Just food for thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the only reason im leaving the body lift on, is because i purchased the truck with it installed. the previous owner made the rock sliders to match with the body lift, so thats a lot of extra cutting i dont want to have to do. it has a hardwired cobra CB in it, and an aftermarket headunit/speakers. im planning on trying the "expo" type build with the 35's and 3" BL + 1.5" susp because most of the time, its going to be used as a mud toy, and then for holidays camping trips and small expeditions. trying to build something in the middle. id also like to put together a dual battery setup. need some more gear too. i have all the camping stuff, ill need to pick up some silverware/dishes, maybe a small grill. also need a hi-lift jack, ihave all the other recovery stuff along with a set of tools specifically for staying in whichever truck im out messing around in. the front exo cage isnt really needed for the trips, but for the mud and trails we run out here, ill need it.

in the rear, i was thinking about making something like a set of drawers i could place in the back, with slanted sides on the drive side to act as seat backs, so i can sleep in the truck if the weather gets too bad. i could also remove the drawers/seats whenever i wanted. if i pull the back seats out, or just one of them, i should have plenty of room for me and a friend or two plus equiptment. the trooper has air shocks in the rear, so if it got serious, and we bought a small trailer, it could tow it easily
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,823 Posts
I agree and this is the route I'm taking...look for a build shortly
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let me know when you start your build, I'm planning on starting on the bumpers next week. Could probably share some ideas from each others builds
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,560 Posts
Hey Doug I've got a question for you. The expanded sheet metal you used for the step on the 'migo rock sliders. Got any scraps laying aound? Or something similar? I have a small "Little Pal" table top grill that I use for camping. I need a piece for the bottom to put the charcoal on. Haven't located any scarps around here and don't want to have to buy a big chunk new. I probably need something like 8"x18" or so. I can cut it down if need be. If you do let me know and I'll paypal you whatever you want for it and shipping. No huge hurry. I would just like to locate a peice somewhere before the GWNF trip. Thanks, Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,823 Posts
squatch said:
Hey Doug I've got a question for you. The expanded sheet metal you used for the step on the 'migo rock sliders. Got any scraps laying aound? Or something similar? I have a small "Little Pal" table top grill that I use for camping. I need a piece for the bottom to put the charcoal on. Haven't located any scarps around here and don't want to have to buy a big chunk new. I probably need something like 8"x18" or so. I can cut it down if need be. If you do let me know and I'll paypal you whatever you want for it and shipping. No huge hurry. I would just like to locate a peice somewhere before the GWNF trip. Thanks, Mark
I'll look to see if I have any extra...I need some for the sliders I'm going to build also
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,823 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,936 Posts
I built up my Trooper as an expo rig as well. You do not need a body lift. Really you can get away with no lift, but a mild lift is nice and will allow you to get over more rough terrain. There's no reason you need to go higher tha 2 or 3 inches for an expo rig. Just enough to give your belly some extra clearance while allowing for some bigger tires. Remember, you don't want to stress your CVs too much. And rock sliders would be nice, depending on how hard core you get.

Here is a list of stuff I think every expo rig should have:

1 ) Roof rack
2 ) Mud Terrains
3 ) Manual locking hubs
4 ) Locker
5 ) Spare gas carrier
6 ) CB
7 ) Offroad lights
8 ) Winch (still need to install mine)

The most important thing though, is the driver and a desire to explore!



Bart
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,560 Posts
Bansil said:
squatch said:
Hey Doug I've got a question for you. The expanded sheet metal you used for the step on the 'migo rock sliders. Got any scraps laying aound? Or something similar? I have a small "Little Pal" table top grill that I use for camping. I need a piece for the bottom to put the charcoal on. Haven't located any scarps around here and don't want to have to buy a big chunk new. I probably need something like 8"x18" or so. I can cut it down if need be. If you do let me know and I'll paypal you whatever you want for it and shipping. No huge hurry. I would just like to locate a peice somewhere before the GWNF trip. Thanks, Mark
I'll look to see if I have any extra...I need some for the sliders I'm going to build also
That's bizarre, I posted that up as a PM at work today not a general post. I was reading your post here and went to your profile to send the PM from this thread. PM for sure when I sent it. At work I work out of a work station mainly not a PC ( I have one of each). It does sometimes get backed up. Must have been what happened. Similar stuff happens in the work systems occasionally as well. I'd take credit for goofing up normally but I KNOW I hit PM on your profile. Note to self to be careful what I put in PMs at work. Oh well Thanks. Back to our regularly scheduled Expo topic. Sorry for the thread jack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,475 Posts
The first and utmost thing to an expo rig is reliability....without it, doesn't matter what else you have in/on or around the truck.

Our current 97 rodeo is exactly that...an expedition designed truck, ready to go at any and every moment.

With this however, the tranny fluid gets changed/dumped every spring; the entire cooling system was recently upgraded/renewed with a new radiator/hoses, etc, all fluids, bearings, etc get refreshed/repacked every spring, spark plugs, filters, etc you get the idea.

Whatever this truck needs maintenance wise it gets without hesitation; we've been to over 38 states across the country, have 200k miles of highway, back-road, side-road, trailway expeditions through mild terrain all the way down to river-beds, sandy valleys in the Vegas desert, all the way to the highest mountain road in Colorado.

In keeping the truck highway friendly as well as off-road friendly, and still average 23mpg open road, we chose to go no bigger then 32" tires, have the load warrior luggage rack, high-powered fog lights, custom trailer hitch, etc.

I do not recommend a body lift on a truck designed for all around use; mild lift is ok, but you will get more headwind.







Recently put new tires on it....these tires are amazing...very road friendly and ease thru mud like it's nothing.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
nfpgasmask said:
I built up my Trooper as an expo rig as well. You do not need a body lift. Really you can get away with no lift, but a mild lift is nice and will allow you to get over more rough terrain. There's no reason you need to go higher tha 2 or 3 inches for an expo rig. Just enough to give your belly some extra clearance while allowing for some bigger tires. Remember, you don't want to stress your CVs too much. And rock sliders would be nice, depending on how hard core you get.

Here is a list of stuff I think every expo rig should have:

1 ) Roof rack
2 ) Mud Terrains
3 ) Manual locking hubs
4 ) Locker
5 ) Spare gas carrier
6 ) CB
7 ) Offroad lights
8 ) Winch (still need to install mine)

The most important thing though, is the driver and a desire to explore!

Bart
I would also say that basic recovery kit, tow straps, snatch strap, tree strap and a Hi Lift are also essential.
I have winched myself out of a jam more than once, with either a hi lift or a ratchet strap.

And to the OP, the other reason for replacing the rear springs, is the towing capacity. I could not even imagine having all my stuff loaded down, and still using factory springs alone. However, mine were also shot.

Ramblin-that is a great Rodeo, and awesome you have had the opportunity to do all of that.
Those Duratracs, from what I can tell/read are one of the best compromises between A/T and M/T, which is ideal for an adventure.
Can I ask, how did you like the other two types of tires in your pictures. Geolander A/T and Dueler A/T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,936 Posts
shaneb said:
I would also say that basic recovery kit, tow straps, snatch strap, tree strap and a Hi Lift are also essential.
I have winched myself out of a jam more than once, with either a hi lift or a ratchet strap.
Yeah, that is all essential...shovel, water, etc. But I guess I was moreso thinking of plain old mods to the vehicle, no so much supplies, but yeah, definitely.

Bart
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
nfpgasmask said:
shaneb said:
I would also say that basic recovery kit, tow straps, snatch strap, tree strap and a Hi Lift are also essential.
I have winched myself out of a jam more than once, with either a hi lift or a ratchet strap.
Yeah, that is all essential...shovel, water, etc. But I guess I was moreso thinking of plain old mods to the vehicle, no so much supplies, but yeah, definitely.

Bart
I figured as much, I just posted that for the benefit of the person who reads this thread, builds a rig and gets stuck in the middle of no where wondering why no one told him to bring a strap :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ok, its official. one of my close friends has decided he wants to go 100% on these trips with me after seeing some pics/vids of what is on these trips. so, we compiled a list tonight. heres what we came up with. the body lift will stay on, only because i dont want to cut off the rock rails, and as this is a faily cheap build, i dont want to mess with a smaller set of tires.

trooper mods:
1.5" susp lift(919 coils??), has a 3" body lift
rock rails
new radiator
dual electric fans
front exo cage
front and rear homebrew bumpers
snorkel
roof rack/boat rack
front offroad lights
rear utility lights

in the cargo area, im going to build a drawer system, carpeted on the top. it will sit flush with the top of the wheel wells. carpeted on top. this way i can double my cargo area, and sleep on top if i need to. also going to run a set of 12v sockets into the back of the truck. its a 3-socket bar, and has a USB adapter built in. this way i can run stuff from the front and back. also going to build a small table with two foldable legs on one side. tall enough to rest the other end on the rear bumper.

stuff we already have:
2 two-person tents
sleeping bags
pillows
tool kit
mattress topper(i like to sleep comfortably)
hatchet
axe
flashlights
knife
utility tool
tow straps
machete
jumper cables
lawn chairs
10 ft jon boat(you never know where your going!)

stuff to be bought:
4 person dining set with container
3 hobo tools
frying pan
toaster pan
stock pot
solar shower
two 7 gal water jugs
first aid kit
2 burner camp stove
4 propane tanks(small)
outdoor lantern
cutting board
portable toilet
multi-spice container
water tight box
50 gal plastic tool box(for storing most items
hi lift jack

anything else yall think we will need? this will be at most 4 day trips. most likely, leaving friday afternoon, and returning sunday night/early monday. planning for 2 people, although a 3rd would be easy to fit, and a few extras of certain items. also, would 4 people fit comfortably in a trooper for 4 days? if only 3 go, id pull out the /60 section of the rear seat for more storage. priced it all out, and we can have all the equipment we need for about $500. not top of the line stuff, but good for beginners on a teenagers budget.

thoughts? getting paid tomorrow, whole paycheck has basically been spent already lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,475 Posts
shaneb said:
.

Ramblin-that is a great Rodeo, and awesome you have had the opportunity to do all of that.
Thank you....we've had lots of fun over the years with our 2 rodeo's...this is the 2nd one

shaneb said:
.

Those Duratracs, from what I can tell/read are one of the best compromises between A/T and M/T, which is ideal for an adventure.
Can I ask, how did you like the other two types of tires in your pictures. Geolander A/T and Dueler A/T
Geolander's were actually a great highway tire; I did not care for them in the snow, in mud they down right sucked and were very scary on ice.

They no longer produce that exact model, however, I had that same modeled tire on 3 different trucks, they were a great tire on my cummins diesel even on ice.....mud was the same though.

The duelers, were actually Revo's and are still produced today; they are a fabulous all around tire; their ONLY shortfall is mud....in rain, snow, sand, etc they never let me down.

I opted for the Duratracs this time around cause they are great in everything, mud included and are just as smooth, actually smoother at highway speeds then the Revo's were...and the pricing for them couldn't be beat.

I have 2 other trucks, when they're due for tires, they're getting the Duratrac's also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
I would put dual batteries on that list. Could be nice to have, especially when wheeling solo.

I've heard nothing but good things about those Duratracs Rambler. I think they will be my next street tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ive thought about a dual battery setup, forgot to mention it. i need to look into it, i think i can get a good setup for ~$60 plus a battery
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top