After years of overlanding in typical RV’s we learned that “Overland Rigs” are a thing. And if you have a metric ton of money you can buy them!
So we set out to build our own with all the features we valued and none that we didn’t.
We looked for almost 9 months to find the exact chassis we needed, the 2003 F-550 with a 7.3L Diesel, 4×4, 4:88 gears and a manual 6 speed transmission. We didn’t know exactly why we’d need all these specific options at the time, but years later it’s all been made clear.
We chose this chassis somewhat blindly, we were following in the footsteps of Gary Wescott and the Turtle V. Having never owned a big diesel truck let alone a 4×4, we I needed to trust that someone with such overlanding experience made those choices for some reason.
In doing my due diligence, researching Overland builds, I saw many projects running into problems because of weight issues. mini builds never wait until they were finished only to find they were overweight, over their GVWR… So in spite of the chassis appearing extremely overkill initially, I am glad we chose a heavy truck like this.
The Fabrication of the honeycomb composite panels that form the shell of our habitation unit is documented on our YouTube channel. The CAD was largely completed in Solidworks, but we also used Fusion, Autocad and Sketchup.
Once we had the Design fleshed out It was time to start the build, This was done over the winter of ’15-’16 in our two car garage. A majority of the work was done ourselves, we learned any additional skills needed to complete the task at hand, mostly from YouTube. Everything from TIG welding Aluminum to Pneumatics, Lithium Batteries to High Current solar arrays.
Our YouTube Channel does a really good job of showing how we built it, so much better than I can write here. So I’ll direct your attention there, But I will leave you with a photo gallery below, some of the stuff that happened before we started filming for YouTube.
I also wrote a summary of the project over on Expedition Portal, if you’re interested.