The “Puller” Project

landman

Well-known member
Hey All,

I’ve been meaning to start my build thread for awhile, but like all of you here, free time is hard to come by. Regardless, I am going to do my best to keep this thing updated.
Anyways, before I actually disclose what the “Puller” project is, I fill you in on my background. My wife and I are avid mountain bikers and rock climbers, so these sports have always lead us on amazing road trips and camping adventures. For over a decade we just tent camped and kept it really simple. Then we both started getting a little tired of that. The making and break down of camp, just got old after awhile, I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. Since the overland scene was growing so rapidly we saw plenty of cool rigs over the years, which really motivated us to build something cool. We wanted a rig that would provide a more comfortable living space thats easier to setup then a standard campsite. During this time my company worked with Scott Brady from Expedition Portal / Overland Journal on a little project. Scott invited me to the Overland Expo during that time and it blew my mind. It really opened my eyes to the overland scene and the amazing and creative vehicles that folks build. I left the Overland Expo and I knew I was going to start the process of building out my own adventure rig.

I guess you could say my first adventure rig was 1990 Toyota Pickup. That’s a whole other thread by it’s self, but long story short I out grew it (a wife and a husky) which lead us to our first bigger build (which is not the “puller“ project), a Sprinter Van. Like a lot of people, I saw cool sprinter vans on every corner, on every social media post, and on every youtube channel. They were just in love with the sprinter / vanlife experience. Indeed they look amazing and they were wildly comfortable inside. So my wife and I agreed that we needed to get one and build it out. After looking around for year we found a good deal on a 2017 Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 170 Extended with only 1,800 miles on it. It was still new. The guy I bought it from was selling it for a insanely low price, so I bought it. I built it out methodically for about 8 months. Here is a video we made of it:

Sprinter Van Video Click Here

We used the sprinter van for about 4 or 5 month on a lot of trips and realized that the van was actually not suiting our needs very well. There are a few reasons, first being the van was nice...it was actually too nice (as odd as that sounds). Mercedes 4x4 Sprinter vans are not cheap to start with. We have a decent background in building, so we did minimize our build cost by doing 99% of the work ourselves (the only thing we had someone else do was cutting and installing the windows). Still, all in our build costs us about $70,000 USD. That’s a ******** load of money (to me). So when we had the nose of the van pointed down some sketchy dirt road that looked like it might lead to a really special camping spot, we couldn’t bring ourselves to do it very often. Bashing it around, scratching it up, and generally putting a beating on it just felt crappy. It took all the fun out of exploring with it to be honest. The second reasons we sold the van was the over all costs of dealing with a Merceds product and more importantly how annoying the emissions systems are in the new Diesel engines. They are a huge pain in the ass for a ton of reasons. The last reason we sold the van is because we always wanted to keep the ability to flip the van for profit as an option for us. We noticed the market getting flooded with built sprinter vans and more noticeably box sprinter vans. Prices for nice sprinter vans started to (and still are) trending downward due to how many were on the market. With all the above we decided to sell the ol’ van and start with an entirely new build platform. This time we wanted to have a more capable off-road rig. Something that had a simpler engine dynamics. Something that would be fixable anywhere. Something that could handle 200k miles of dirt road without issue. Something time tested. Something different. Something a little more us and away from “trendy.” We wanted to go back to basics...kind of :)

Introducing the Puller Project (named in honor of Lewis Puller). Puller is a very rare beast. He’s a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9 L Cummins Turbo Diesel with a High Output Motor and a NON-53 engine block. It has that coveted and illusive 6 speed manual transmission. It’s bone stock and unmolsted with only 74k miles on it. Probably one of the rarest ones in the country considering it’s milage. All you diesel heads out there will know what a gem this truck really is. This bad boy will run till the end of the world, which is exactly what we want.

If that’s not cool enough, we’re working directly with @HiatusCampers to make the worlds first totally custom full-sized Hiatus Camper for Puller! We have big plans for the rig, but for now here are some teaser pics:

Hiatus Camper Website: https://www.hiatuscampers.com/

Hiatus Camper Expedition Portal: https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/hard-sided-pop-up-camper-by-hiatus-campers.210012/

IMG_6643.jpeg
CACFD1D9-19FA-4A4D-95F8-29D0C684C0F8.jpeg
014FB4A7-100B-47A0-A563-CF4873433180.jpeg
DBDA6F90-0FDA-45C4-B695-4A3A723BAA58.jpeg
858CA922-54A6-4C7A-B7EC-D440FCCADC0F.jpeg
261919E3-4763-4C6E-901A-7BC44B5DC235.jpeg

AC0BC4D5-E64C-456D-A464-48F0BAB33575.jpeg
5BC1C652-17E1-471B-9481-D8CAB4DB8DF0.jpeg

More pics on below post (Limited to 10 per post).
 

Attachments

Last edited:

86scotty

Explorer
As a recovering van addict I'm also really digging the HIatus. Can't wait to see how yours comes together.
 

landman

Well-known member
Ok, update time. Our Hiatus is scheduled to be completed and installed on the truck on February 19th! We are getting so close to the fun stuff (building the camper out). Here is a screen shot from @HiatusCampers instagram page of our camper in the process of being built, whoot whoot!:

FF6E40AE-AE89-4468-AE44-0C18E32EF239.jpeg

Now in the mean time we have been preparing to drive our Dodge (still sooo weird say that being a Toyota guy my whole life) up to Seattle from Tucson, Arizona. One of the first basic upgrades we made was slapping on some good A/T tires. That being said we HEAVLY debated going with a full suspending upgrade, lift, tires and the works. After many-many conversations here we decide to let “practicality” be the mantra of this build so we are sticking with 33” tires for now. Suspension upgrades are coming, but ill update that in a later post. For now, here are the newly mounted 33” A/T’s:

769AB184-E89A-4FC7-814C-AA0CD36F81F5.jpeg
8DBB54FE-666D-4A1E-B0B2-45C8441452F0.jpeg


Also, the FASS fuel system has been in for awhile but here is a quick pic:

736B4A76-3126-4C30-BEBD-5B450D1F4C24.jpeg

Lastly, although its small, it will be extremely helpful when the Hiatus arrives home, I installed a back up camera. The image gets posted to my rear view mirror when I engage the reverse gear, which is nice. Due to a small few grips about it, I might change it in the future, but its certainly fine for now:

075AB339-F7A9-4CD4-A8A7-56FCD64217D5.jpeg

Next thing that will arrive in the mail on Monday is my Amsoil dual bypass filtration system. This provides insane filtration (down to 3 micros) of my oil. Here is an example picture of what it will look like. Ill do a full post of the install of this thing next week hopefully:

4E9EAB53-F5D1-4075-98D4-5E03261A81C0.jpeg

Anyways, not too much happening right now, but I thought I would keep those who are interested updated. Have a great weekend out there.

-Landman / Puller Project
 
Last edited:

landman

Well-known member
I hope you all had a great weekend out there! Just wanted to provide an update. We ended up NOT installing the dual bypass filtration system on the Dodge. We just ran out of time before we needed to head up to Washington to pickup our @HiatusCampers. We didn‘t want to rush the install right before a 3,000+ road trip so we will have to just get back to when the truck is home.

That being said, due to my work schedule, I was not able to take my truck up to Washington for the install myself. Was super disappointed in that, but work is work and sometime you gotta put on your big boy pants. My brother stepped in for me to make the journey. Damn good man. Here are some pics that he took while driving through Nevada. He still has to go through parts of Idaho and then Washington. So more pictures to come as his journey continues. Here are some pics in the mean time.

(by the way the Hiatus should be installed on the 19th, so expect some pics of the first full sized Hiatus come the 19th or 20th!:
 

Attachments

landman

Well-known member
Well this happened today! The worlds first full sized @HiatusCampers Is here! Thank you so much to Hiatus, they are hands down one of the best companies I’ve had the pleasure to do business with. They are honest, super kind, and damn good at what they do. I simply cant say enough good things about them. If you are on the fence about getting one of these things, DO IT. It’s a game changer. I am going to help promote @HiatusCampers and will be willing to meet people here in the Southwest who would like to tour my Hiatus to get a in person feel for the product. I think Hiatus is going to explode in popularity in the coming years and I’m proud to be one of the early adopters :)

Also for extra context on the build be sure to follow along on instagram: @slowly.over.stones
 

Attachments

Top