Sleeping: worth noting I just added a 2” Costco memory foam to a set I have and it was a game changer sleeping in a sleeping bag with that under me.
Good idea! I've thought about that and might look into it soon. The biggest downside is space because my backpacking pad take up almost nothing in my current set up.
As for the KO2s, How are they handling in the Montana “Mud” off road?
Montana actually isn't that muddy! we get a lot of snow and rain but the ground is pretty rocky and gravely underneath so it hasn't been much an issue.. yet. That being said, the KO2s don't do great in deep snow... not a lot does.. but i can see how a MT would shine above the rest here. However, because I plan on doing a lot of road travel as well as offroading I still think an AT is a better choice for me.
You mentioned an OEM LSD when you change gear sets.
I actually got a 4.9 diff set without an LSD. More on that to come!
Finally, Putting in onboard air is a great feature to have for airing up and down when off road. This would aid your air lockers should you choose to go that route.
I currently use 2 battery attached pumps (one per side and battery) for airing up. It's magical. No overheating, very fast and very easy. I've thought about hard mounting the compressors, but I can't seem to find a single advantage aside from a little more ease, and lockers (which i will never do in this rig). Plus having the detached allows me to share a compressor with a friend if they need an extra boost. I'll do a post about my air system and some other things soon.
What are your plans for an expedition trailer? Have you ever thought about building one?
Expedition trailers are pretty in right now.. but i'm not a fan. They are cool and allow for a lot more storage, but I have a few major drawbacks.
- An extra axle on the trail, without any extra power, is always an anchor. It makes everything harder: Obstacles, turns, power, climbs, everything.
- I want to stay as compact as possible
- I just don't need it. This current set up really has nearly everything that I need to camp and overland.. it's pretty awesome.
sometimes the simplest solutions are the hardest to come up with, but when executed are the most geniusMy generous wife and family got me an ARB 2000 Awning for Christmas this year! I love our current camping set up with the sleeping platform in the back of the Montero. If offers great protection from the elements at night, but it present a problem for normal “outdoor living”. We do not carry a tent with us when we camp, and standalone shelters are usually bulky. So when it rained, we would just hide out in the front seats of the car. Not exactly what we are hoping for in our adventures. So an awning became an high priority for our overlanding needs. The 2000 series fits nicely with the size of the Gen 3 Montero roof line.
Figuring out a way to mount the awning was a fun challenge. I made quick disconnect brackets that bolt onto the roof rack rails and allow me to quickly pull off the awning if I decide to go without it. The bolt on brackets mean the whole system can be transferred to a different set up easily as well. I am looking into a way to make additional brackets for the rear of the basket so that i can set up the awning over the rear tailgate when we are set up at camp. More to come on tha idea. In the mean time here’s the set up. Excuse the surface rust, I wanted to test the setup out before committing to paint. Very pleased with how this all turned out and i’m excited get out and enjoy the shoulder season more with some shelter.
A side note: My roof rack lights hang below the awning so that at night i can use them to light up everything under the shelter.
when you re-assembled these did you add new glue? have you had problems with condensation? Also, what headlight restoring kit did you use?The last step for the initial upgrades is HID headlights. I have always loved HIDs and find they to be far superior to halogens. They also look awesome. I ordered DDM tuning 8000k bulbs for the highs/lows and fogs. The High/low H1 bulbs are 55w and the fog 9006 bulbs are just 35w. DDM wiring was easy and straightforward I retrofitted the headlights with 2.5” projectors (cheap ones from amazon). This required me to put the headlight in the oven and head up the adhesive, separate the headlight housing and install the projectors. While i was in there i decided to paint the chrome trim a gloss black. The 01 and 02 monteros come like this and I like that look better. It helps distinguish the headlight from the turn signals and markers. After that I reassembled the housing, buffed it out with a 3m headlight kit, and the results were outstanding.
Here are some before and after pictures.