Need money spending advice (1 Viewer)

Joined
Feb 24, 2016
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371
Location
Oviedo, FL
I am set to graduate from college this upcoming Spring of 2021. To say the least I need to get out of Florida and away from family. Instead of going straight into a career and what not, I've decided I want to work seasonal jobs for a year or two near some national parks out West (Wyoming, Montana, Utah, etc) and somewhere else like Arizona in the Winter. I want to get out and explore some while I have no real obligations. I will most likely take my time driving out there and camp the whole way.

I have around 5k I can allocate to mods for a relatively stock truck. Stock suspension, 285's Michelin Ms2's highway tires, Yakima crossbars, and a drawer system. That's about it. Maintenance is not a mod but I've maintained just about everything and I would drive to Alaska tomorrow in it.

I'm having a hard time making a priority list on things that I actually need and or would be beneficial. Here's the main things I've thought of

- Sliders (Seems most practical, would probably go white knuckle)
- Lift/Tires (Replace w stock height/AT's or 2.5" and 35's)
- Front Bumper (Probably not really needed)
- Hidden Winch in front bumper (Mainly considering because I'll probably be by myself a lot of the time)
- Skid plates (Always useful)
- Bowfin Roof Rack (Cool but probably not necessary)

Another part of me says forget all the mods and just drive and enjoy it as is.

Any advice would be appreciated.

kayak.jpg


Finished.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
1,357
Location
Surprise AZ.
Save your money. If your cruiser is already in tip top shape like you claim and your plan is to work seasonal jobs and just sort of hang out and camp, you will need the $$ more than your truck will.
I agree, if you are going to put money in it, make sure all PM is done and run it. As long as you don't go nuts wheeling it, you will be fine. Reliability is more important than capability. Out west, you can be out in the middle of nowhere with no friends in site and no phone reception. It can be a long, very dangerous, hike for help.

For me, I would get a good set of AT tires (I recomend BFG) and possibly a dual battery setup. Other than that, just carry spare parts, tools, a blanket and water. There are good posts here on what essentials you should carry.
 
Joined
May 20, 2007
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Riyadh and Auburn

Irish Reiver

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Oct 24, 2015
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Orlando, Florida
I agree with the others. Put your dosh in the bank so you have it when the need arises. I drove mine in stock configuration for over 2 years before i really started to understand what mods would make sense. Other than my snorkel almost every mod was the result of a "shlt, i wish i had a ..." moment
 
Joined
May 20, 2007
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Riyadh and Auburn
I think you are fine, as is, as already conveyed but I think the very first thing I would consider (if I did anything) would be to upgrade the suspension and tires. A "stock" height OME will get you about 1" over where you are likely sitting. That and some nice AT tires (BFG, Yokohama, etc.) would make the ride a bit more comfortable and capable off the highway. I would do that before sliders. In fact, I would suggest you stay away from places where you need sliders until you do some upgrades on the suspension and tires.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
597
Location
Lexington KY, Boston MA
Don’t need sliders- your on stock suspension and 285s, your not gonna be crawling on anything crazy (probably)

Don’t need a bumper- I still have a stock bumper, and I use it to push down half the woods anyway. It’s fine.

Don’t need skid plates- you have abig front axle that will keep stuff off your oil pan. Gas tank already has an ok one.

Winch- not a bad idea

Roof rack- your preference

Save your cash for fuel, and fun.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
58
Location
Chicago, IL
In my experience, the tires you have on are awesome - and their a solid size. The picture looks like you have a ton of tread depth, and I've had customers put 110k mi on those things on lesser part-time 4WD/2WD only trucks.

I'd do sliders and that is it.

If you're super worried about getting stuck in places from my 'stick with street tires' recommendation, get a winch.

Then PM the s*** out of it, spend the rest on gas.

Edit: Awesome sliding drawers!
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
709
Location
Indiana
As a former seasonal NPS ranger (Colorado/South Dakota), I can say that the money isn't terrible. You won't go broke. If you stay in seasonal housing, it's usually very reasonable. Current GS-4 Step 1 with basic locality adjustment is $14.96/hour. My rent was less than $200/month and included utilities.

Depending on your wheeling plans, a hidden winch wouldn't be crazy on price and would be useful. Otherwise, just save your money in case something goes south like a power steering pump or a head gasket.
 
Last edited:

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
9,026
Location
Deep East Texas
Lad, what you need is money SAVING advice.

I understand your youthful enthusiasm....but the 'Mods' you propose are better left until you have a steady, full time job somewhere and you have a place to work on it.

Enjoy your trek, don't waste your youth, have fun, be careful. Don't make any 'Life Altering' mistakes.

CALL your parents regularly, they will be worried.
 
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
729
Location
Bend, Oregon
Yep 5k is a lot of spending power for gas, adventures, food, emergency repairs, new tires when the existing run out, ski pass when you decide to stay out west, etc.

At most I’d find a 2” lift used from someone and then just run it. The truck will go nearly anywhere you want as is.
 

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