Overland DIY

Best Affordable Overland Gear

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What is the best Overland Gear for your first build?

When building an Overlanding vehicle, the choices of overland gear & accessories are limitless. From rooftop tents, awnings, electric coolers to storage systems and portable showers, you have many options to consider.

Many people know the phrase “GO BIG OR GO HOME”. As funny as it seems, that little saying definitely doesn’t apply to the overland lifestyle. You do not need to have the best gadgets and tools to enjoy being in the outdoors and exploring the land around you.


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We believe it is best to start off with simple things and not let price tags limit your ability to get out and go whenever you want. Everyone has to start somewhere and with little space, you will need a well-planned strategy to meet specific goals for your vehicle. Stay tuned and I will show you how we got started with choosing our first overland gear.

Our First DIY Overland Gear Storage Addition

One of the first requirements we had for our jeep was that it had to carry 4 people, 2 dogs, and enough equipment for us to enjoy our Overlanding experiences. We wanted to make sure that any overland gear that we built or purchased would meet this goal.

The first addition we made was building a removable storage unit for the back of the Jeep. We wanted to build something to house a small cooler for day trips, a stove with easy access for meals on the go, and a comfortable space for the dogs to lounge on. After reviewing countless designs and videos online, we settled on the perfect layout. Here are some photos of our build:

Best affordable overland accessories: folding table for jeep storage system
We found this 4-foot folding table available on amazon or at your local Walmart for less than $40. Fits Perfect under the storage console.
DIy Jeep Build Storage Drawers for cooler, stove, table and cutting board. Overland Accessories.
We wanted a real wood look to the top of our storage area. We purchased some Pergo, glued to a cheap piece of plywood and cut out the shape with a jigsaw.
Wooden Jeep Storage Drawer Fronts
We Purchased these Antique Style Pulls from Amazon
DIY Jeep storage drawers.  Best DIY overland accessories.
Completed DIY Jeep Storage System

Stay tuned for a full article on the build.

Next up: Rhino-Rack

The next purchase we made was for a Rhino-Rack for the top of our Jeep. Living in Arizona means 24hr a day sun (well almost). Having some shade was a must for our travels. The Rhino-Rack was needed so we could attach an awning to the side of the Jeep. We chose a low profile roof rack (Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System) for the Jeep since we always park it in the garage. We wanted to make sure it would fit.

Low profile Rhino Rack overland accessory instsall.
Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System

Avoiding the Arizona Sun with a Smittybilt Awning

Now we have a great drawer system for the day cooler, stove, cutting board and storage. We can no fit 4 people and 2 dogs on some great outdoor adventures. But what about shade in the Arizona Heat? No problem.

Since we finally had the rack installed it was time to order the awning. Being first time Jeep awning owners, we wanted an affordable option to test the waters to see if it would be an addition that would get a lot of use. Smittybilt makes an awning in our price range that didn’t break the bank. We choose an 8’x6′ shade that spans the length of the hardtop (Smittybilt 2784 8.2′ x 6.2′ Tent Awning) It fits four people sitting on camp chairs perfectly with room to spare. This awning was well worth the investment and is one of our favorite overland gear accessories to date.

Smittybilt Jeep Awning setup for camping
Smittybilt 2784 8.2′ x 6.2′ Tent Awning on our Jeep at Black Canyon Lake in July 2019

Just a Few Simple Overland Gear & Accessory Additions

With a few new components for our JKU, we are on our way to a versatile off-road vehicle that we can enjoy for years to come. We are ready for all the adventures in our future. What overland gear are you dreaming about for your next build?

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