3 months to drive around the US-Build Questions

Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
16
Location
Portland, OR
Hi all,

I am preparing to drive my '99 LC around the US for the next 3 months or so. This LC is currently stock, save for some . I am trying to find good bumpers that do not weigh too much more than what they'd be replacing. I am conscious about gas mileage for this trip, and while I'd like to spring for some new bumpers, I do not want it to kill the already low mileage. What do you all think? Should I skip the bumpers and just stick with stock? I will not be doing a lot of heavy pure offroading, but I imagine I'll find myself on some fire roads/trailers/etc... while I'm out there exploring. I'd like to be able to mount my spare and a couple jerry cans on the rear bumper. Am I over analyzing this issue? Is the weight not as big of an issue as I am making it out to be? I really like the dissent bumpers, but will they kill my gas mileage?

As for the rest of the build, I'll be getting the ARB 2500 awning and accessory tent, and I'll be building a sleeping platform for the back of the cruiser. If I go with new bumpers I may end up adding some light bars, but only if I will not need an auxiliary battery to power them. This plan is very much still being shaped, so please, if you have any recommendations or thoughts at all let me know!

Cheers!
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
356
Location
Redwood City
Aftermarket bumpers totally unnecessary for the kind of trip you've described, IMO. If you're not going to go bigger than a 33" tire, then no need for a rear swing out, a 33" will fit in spare location. Yes front and rear bumpers will be heavy, and expensive, and yes your MPG will probably drop.

I'd focus more on getting your 19 year old vehicle in tip top mechanical shape for the trip.
 
Joined
Jun 23, 2016
Messages
2,505
Location
Wyoming MI
You need to worry more about the reliability than the add ones.
That means all fluids and filters, spark plugs, thermostat and heater T's.
Inspect the brakes and wheel bearing service.
Alignment, check the spare, make sure it's good and has air in it.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
361
Location
Austin, TX
Scratch the bumpers, take care of any maintenance issues (maybe even get ahead of some of them if the timing belt is coming up or anything like that), get your radio set up so that you can do bluetooth or aux cord, then focus on interior organization. Having stuff all over the place with no good storage locations will make a lot of stuff a headache (especially if you are sleeping in the truck on a sleeping platform.

Only thing I think would think worth considering to the outside would be a full length roof rack to provide a good storage location for waterproof bags/boxes, jerry cans, anything you won't need on a daily basis or would have to be moved out to set up your sleeping platform.

Solo trip or bringing someone with you? Should awesome, real jealous.

**Edit: also, go check out the expedition build section, a lot of useful information on longer term cross country exploring that applies regardless of the vehicle**
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 18, 2016
Messages
56
Location
Denver, Colorado
We did a 2 month road trip similar to what you are doing. Don't think you need bumpers.

What I found is for extended road trips, convenience upgrades are the biggest bang for your buck.

Here is what we had:
- Awning: Essential in my mind. It rained a lot when we did our trip. I love the FoxWing because it covers the back. Very nice when it is raining because you can access the back tail gate.
- 33" tires: Allows you to tackle a lot of trails and like other have said, you can put the spare in the stock location.
- Roof Rack: I went with the Front Runner. Probably not essential, but nice to be able to use the storage space up top.
- Yeti Cooler: Keeps ice a long time, but changing ice/water is a pain. If I did it again I would get a fridge.
- Tool kit and compressor: Just the essentials.

Items I have since gotten and recommend:
- As stated, a fridge. We have the ARB Elements 63 qrt. We also installed a secondary battery
- Drawer system: Nice to have a place for everything, especially camp kitchen items. Plus it doubles as a sleeping platform
- Roof Box: Again, nice to have storage that is out of the way.

Items I don't have, but would have been nice:
- Water storage system: We just use gallon jugs, but would be nice to have a higher capacity system.
- Roof Top Tent: We just use a ground tent, but I can see the appeal of a roof top tent.

The biggest thing I remember from extended travel is unpacking and packing up each night and establishing a system to do it quickly. Anything you can add to your 100 to accomplish this or make it easier will be worth it.

Second thing I remember is access to stuff, be it the camp stove to make a quick lunch or luggage to get warmer clothes. It becomes a pain quick if you have to unpack half your 100 to access items.

For example, now we put all our over night camping gear (tent, axe, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp table, chairs, etc) up in the roof box since we only need those items when we stop each night. Gear we need to access during the day stays in the 100.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
738
Location
Golden Colorado
Also replace coil packs and the EFI fuse
You need to worry more about the reliability than the add ones.
That means all fluids and filters, spark plugs, thermostat and heater T's.
Inspect the brakes and wheel bearing service.
Alignment, check the spare, make sure it's good and has air in it.
 

hifu

Ran So Far to Find a Clear Spot......capt B
SILVER Star
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
90
Location
Manteo, NC
If there r only the 2 of u doing your journeys I would recommend removing all seating in the rear. We bolted in a small platform about 10 inches off the floor and two large yeti’s sit behind the passenger and drivers seat. Add a small hose for draining. This also gives you storage underneath them
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
16
Location
Portland, OR
Aftermarket bumpers totally unnecessary for the kind of trip you've described, IMO. If you're not going to go bigger than a 33" tire, then no need for a rear swing out, a 33" will fit in spare location. Yes front and rear bumpers will be heavy, and expensive, and yes your MPG will probably drop.

I'd focus more on getting your 19 year old vehicle in tip top mechanical shape for the trip.
Great advice, I currently have 295 KO2's on the car, but do not have a spare. I've been told that size wouldn't fit in the spare location years ago, but when I go out and measure it looks like it will, any experience with that size? I'm definitely going to pass on the bumpers after reading these responses, seems totally unnecessary.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
16
Location
Portland, OR
If there r only the 2 of u doing your journeys I would recommend removing all seating in the rear. We bolted in a small platform about 10 inches off the floor and two large yeti’s sit behind the passenger and drivers seat. Add a small hose for draining. This also gives you storage underneath them
There will just be me for this journey, although I will need my middle row of seats when I get out to the east coast, so I'll leave the back row for sure, but I think I'll keep the middle row and build the sleeping platform so that it extends over the mid row when folded down. Thanks for the advice! I will definitely need a good cooler option....
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
16
Location
Portland, OR
We did a 2 month road trip similar to what you are doing. Don't think you need bumpers.

What I found is for extended road trips, convenience upgrades are the biggest bang for your buck.

Here is what we had:
- Awning: Essential in my mind. It rained a lot when we did our trip. I love the FoxWing because it covers the back. Very nice when it is raining because you can access the back tail gate.
- 33" tires: Allows you to tackle a lot of trails and like other have said, you can put the spare in the stock location.
- Roof Rack: I went with the Front Runner. Probably not essential, but nice to be able to use the storage space up top.
- Yeti Cooler: Keeps ice a long time, but changing ice/water is a pain. If I did it again I would get a fridge.
- Tool kit and compressor: Just the essentials.

Items I have since gotten and recommend:
- As stated, a fridge. We have the ARB Elements 63 qrt. We also installed a secondary battery
- Drawer system: Nice to have a place for everything, especially camp kitchen items. Plus it doubles as a sleeping platform
- Roof Box: Again, nice to have storage that is out of the way.

Items I don't have, but would have been nice:
- Water storage system: We just use gallon jugs, but would be nice to have a higher capacity system.
- Roof Top Tent: We just use a ground tent, but I can see the appeal of a roof top tent.

The biggest thing I remember from extended travel is unpacking and packing up each night and establishing a system to do it quickly. Anything you can add to your 100 to accomplish this or make it easier will be worth it.

Second thing I remember is access to stuff, be it the camp stove to make a quick lunch or luggage to get warmer clothes. It becomes a pain quick if you have to unpack half your 100 to access items.

For example, now we put all our over night camping gear (tent, axe, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp table, chairs, etc) up in the roof box since we only need those items when we stop each night. Gear we need to access during the day stays in the 100.

I'll be going with the ARB 2500 Awning and room tent attachment. I'm really hoping to get away without putting anything on top of the car. It will just be me out there, so I'm thinking I'll have one plastic tub filled with cookware/utensils/etc and one for personal items, which I'll store under the sleeping platform (I'm hoping to cut some weight by not building full drawers). I do a lot of GoLite backpacking so I'm fairly confident I can keep the misc items to a minimum and under control/organized. Then again, I could just be being naive and maybe I'll end up springing for a box while I'm out on the road if it becomes too chaotic.
 
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