From Mild to Military Grade Wild: Here’s How to Transform Our Jeep Gladiator Into a Badass Overlander! (Video)

Relatively modest updates make a huge impact.

2020 jeep gladiator rubicon mopar

Here is an example of how relatively modest changes to our Jeep Gladiator Rubicon make a big impact and transform the truck into a proper overland rig. On this episode of ‘No Pavement Needed”, we finish the initial stage of the Gladiator build with auxiliary switches, off-road lights, a snorkel, a Decked bed storage system, and steel wheels wrapped in 35-inch BFG KM3 mud terrain tires.

All of the parts you see are designed to work together with the Jeep truck. They are warranted, and they can be ordered via Jeep Performance Parts. We went to our friends at Johnson Auto Plaza to get it all properly installed.

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Our Gladiator Rubicon did not initially come with the handy AUX switch control panel. One needed to be installed in order to control the additional off-road lights in a well integrated way. This took some doing. Our technician, Jackson, ran the wires and the switch module also needed to be programmed into the general computer controller.

Next, the hood needed to be taken off in order to make a precision cut and install the air intake/snorkel. While cutting the hood is a big deal, this is the way the Mopar snorkel installs. It looks mean, and it is (of course) functional to help the engine breathe cleaner air from up high.

The Decked bed drawer storage system also went in. It offers secure storage of our extra gear, and the top of the drawers still can handle a lot of weight (not to overload the total GVWR of the truck though).

The final touch. The most functional upgrade, and the biggest visual impact was made by the steel wheels and 35-inch BFGoodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires. Now, the Jeep has a suspension lift and larger diameter tires to offer much better clearance and off-road capability.