Jeep Gladiator Build Thread - 18 months around Australia with The Road Chose Me

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hey Everyone,

It's been another long time in the making, and it's time to kick-off my next major expedition.
I'm setting out to explore all the wild and remote corners of Australia over the next 18 months, in a Gladiator Rubicon I just picked up!
aussie-route-blank.jpg
(My route will have to be flexible because of the wet season in the North, and covid restrictions coming and going)

The plan is to explore all the wild and remote corners I've heard about all my life but I have never seen.
I'll cross the Simpson Desert, drive the old Tele Track up to Cape York, Drive the world's most remote road (The Canning Stock Route) explore Tasmania's wild west coast and a WHOLE lot more!

IMG_1466-sm.jpg
(They didn't let me keep the bow!)

In the past I've documented my two trips on my website - http://theroadchoseme.com
On the first one I drove a little 2-door TJ Wrangler 40,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina on the Pan-American Highway and then I drove a 4-door JKUR 54,000 miles all the way around Africa, covering 54,000 miles through 35 African countries.

I figure I need to get with the times, so on this trip I will document the build of my Gladiator and the trip itself on YouTube.
The first video introducing the Gladiator has just gone live, where I talk about the whys of what I'm doing, and why I chose a Rubicon instead of a different trim level.
The choices here in Australia are different to the US and Canada, which means my decisions are different.
Here's the intro video:

Over the next 6 weeks I will build this into my ultimate house-on-wheels Overland vehicle, and I have a lot planned and boxes have been stacking up for months now.
There will be a second gas tank, drinking water tank, filter and pump, a complete kitchen setup, fridge, front bumper, winch and lighting, aux battery, solar, custom made storage boxes, a roof rack and a canopy over the rear of the gladiator.
I will incorporate a lot of lessons learned from my previous two expeditions, and in many ways each system will be an incremental improvement from what I did previously.
It's going to be a busy 6 weeks.

I'm really stoked I get to build this vehicle with my Dad in his garage, we're going to have a lot of fun together!

I'll post the build of the Gladiator here in this thread, and then when I get underway I'll start a new "adventure" thread in the current adventures section of the forum.

I hope you'll join me for the ride!

-Dan
 

SVTRIT

New member
This’ll be great to watch! Thanks for sharing and good luck!

Driving a Jeep from both seats has got to be fun. How long before you stop going to the left side to drive it?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

1000arms

Well-known member
... I'm really stoked I get to build this vehicle with my Dad in his garage, we're going to have a lot of fun together!

I'll post the build of the Gladiator here in this thread, and then when I get underway I'll start a new "adventure" thread in the current adventures section of the forum. ...
Enjoy the build! :)

When you start your new adventure thread, please post a link to it in this thread.
 

1000arms

Well-known member
... Driving a Jeep from both seats has got to be fun. ...
Maybe @Dan Grec needs a steering wheel on both sides? He could mount a lifelike stuffed-animal dog with paws attached to a "suicide knob" on the steering wheel for a country's correct side, and do the actual driving from the "wrong" side. Nothing like seeing a "dog" driving to confuse the donkey-snot out of onlookers! :cool:
 

billiebob

Well-known member
This’ll be great to watch! Thanks for sharing and good luck!

Driving a Jeep from both seats has got to be fun. How long before you stop going to the left side to drive it?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
that is soo true. my rental in Scotland I got in the wrong side, got out, changed sides, and went round the round about backwards.
 

Hourless Life

Active member
So excited for you Dan! This time with your dad will be super special, and this journey you are about to undertake will cement you as one of the more knowledgable solo international overlanders of our time. We couldn't be more thrilled for you and are keeping tabs on all you are up to. Thank you for taking the time to document and share your journey. When your Australia book comes out we'll be among the first to have our hands on it. Safe travels, have a great time with the build and the best time ever! ~ Eric
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Thanks for the kind words and support everyone!

I still can't wipe the stupid grin off my face - I've had this thing exactly a week now and love it.
Driving on the wrong side of the road is taking some getting used to, though sitting on the wrong side of the car is the hardest part for sure. It's difficult to judge where the front corner is, and of course it's much longer than my JK was. The reversing camera helps, though I've never really used one before so I'm still getting the hang of the bendy lines.

In my latest video I run through the entire build plan for my Overland Gladiator:
- I discuss the engine and trans my Jeep has (I was so excited I forgot in the last video!)
- I do the FIRST thing everyone should do when they get an overland vehicle
- Dad and I dig into the modifications, pulling out weight I don't need, increasing my payload!


This build is going to be quite extensive while also being extremely functional. It's just getting started!

-Dan
 
Top