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Wes Siler’s Complete Ford Ranger Build
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Wes Siler had a laundry list of features he wanted to pack into his next vehicle. He needed to be able to sleep inside, go off-roading easily, park in small city lots, and drive comfortably on the highway. Is there such a thing as one adventuremobile that can do everything? Read his full review of the 2019 Ford Ranger here.
- With this truck, as you see here, I think I've created the ultimate practical adventure mobile. It is lightweight. It is versatile. And it is robust. And that theme continues throughout out it.
Let me walk you through and show you everything that I've done. And I think you understand why I think this thing is so hot.
- I'm going to using this truck everyday here in Montana, to go to the dump, to take the dogs hiking, to go skiing, do everything you see us do. But the event that I've created this truck for is my fiance and I's wedding next month, down in the southern Baja.
And so I want to be able to drive this thing over the course of a month, there and back, with all three dogs, in peerless comfort, with amazing capability, camping the whole way, and being super comfortable. I think this truck really does all of that.
Let's start in the front, and work towards the back. Obviously, the first thing to talk about is the truck. This is a 2019 Ford Ranger. When I think about using a truck for a build like this, I think about this stuff that it offers for the build, not just its suitability in stock form. And the Rangers are really special truck in that regard.
It's a midsize, the same size as a Tacoma or Colorado, or a Jeep Gladiator. And all those other vehicles have really, really low payloads, which really limits the ability for you to put stuff on or carry stuff in the back.
But not the Ranger. The Ranger has the highest payload in the class. Here in full four door form, the payload is 1,600 pounds. And so even with these bumpers, even with the camper, even with all this stuff on, I still have plenty of room to add camping gear, and people, and dogs, and stay within the truck's maximum weight rating.
So that means I'm safe on the road. I'm safe when I'm breaking. I'm not going to overheat the transmission. I'm not going to overheat the motor. And the Ranger really gives us that. And that's what makes it really suitable for a build.
So, I guess, starting here at the front, the first thing to talk about is this bumper. And this is a really nice, really robust, but lightweight hybrid bumper, that's part plate and part tube, made for this truck by Relentless Fabrication. It weighs probably half what an equivalent all plate giant [INAUDIBLE] bumper would, but it still lets me mount the winch and the lights. It provides me with really solid protection, both against off-road obstacles and the occasional road critter.
Thinking about protection, and thinking about the practicality of this build, if I hit a deer and hold my radiator on the way to Baja, our trip's over. I don't know what we're going to do. So I need to make sure that I can travel safely and reliably. And the bumper's a big part of that.
As you can see here, it's pretty obvious. We have a lot of light on this car. And the reason for that is, I want to be safe and confident at all times. These aren't legal to use on the road. In remote areas, I do use them. Be safe and responsible with them. But these can add, in the right hands, a lot of safety and a lot of confidence in your vehicle.
And the other thing I have this bumper is a worn VR Evo winch. I probably will not use it on this Baja trip. I use a winch probably once a year, at most. But when you're so stuck that nothing else will do, the winch is the one the thing you can count on to always, always, always get you out. And it just, again, if we're in the middle of nowhere, self supported, we run into trouble, I can trust that with my life.
Walking around to the side of the truck, you can see, we have nice, tall 34 inch tires, BF Goodrich k02's, probably the best all around all terrain out there. These are really neat, because they're only 10 and 1/2 inches wide. So saves you some un-sprung weights. And to clear these tires, I have an icon stage two suspension system. Really good ride quality. Really good on road hand dynamics, but all the off road capability that you might need. It's an awesome setup.
And then in terms of protection, rock sliders. Put a big bar down there. Don't worry about it. I'm not going to screw up my truck. Coming out of the back of the truck, you can see we, again, have a relentless bumper. Nice and simple. Adds protection. Gives us the ability to carry five gallons of extra fuel, 10 pounds of propane for cooking, full size spare right here, where I can get to it, even if I bog down in the sand or something.
And the nice thing is, all of this just comes out of the way. Then I have access to my bed. I also use this to mount my shovel. Got the DMOS shovel here. Just folds up, still nice and strong, just out of the way. If I need it, it's right here where I can get to it.
And then back here, you'll see, unlike a lot of builds, I keep my truck bed as a truck bed. And that means after this trip, I can pull this crap out. I just strap everything with straps, make sure it doesn't bounce around. And I have all this space securely to work with.
You'll see, I got Maxtracks mounted up here. The reason I came up here is, a, to save space inside the truck. And also, if I'm really stuck, I need to get to them, they're not buried. They're not under stuff. They're not in a place that's inaccessible. If I'm bogged down in the sand, and I just want to grab these and throw them under my wheels, they're right here where I can get to them. And that's just a smart place to keep them.
All right. So in the bed, start up here. Got a 10 gallon water tank from Front Runner, about two inches thick. Goes in the front of the bed. Takes up almost no space, and it gives me all the water that I really need for three big dogs, two people, cleaning and cooking, right here. It's awesome.
Comforts of home-- fridge runs off the solar panels on the roof. Means I have a cold beer everywhere I go, which is essential. And also, just nice, fresh, high quality food in camp every night. I don't need backpacking meals when I go car camping. Why would you? You know, we can be healthy, and have chicken breasts and kale if we want. We can have steaks. We have pasta. Whatever we want, we can carry in here and keep it fresh.
And then over there, I've got my tools, my recovery gear, in the Front Runner Wolfpacks. And those are just simple, robust, stackable, nesting cases that are just-- it's hard to say enough nice things about them. They're just black plastic cases. But they're just super practical and super nice. And I keep all my stuff in there.
And I guess next, let's go to the sleeping situation. It's pretty neat. This Go Fast camper incorporates a rooftop tent. And it sets up just like this. There you go. I got a place to sleep.
The thing on this truck that I'm excited about most is this awning I have not used before. It literally got mounted last night at 10:00 PM. So let's try to set it up.
And so whole idea with the GFC is that it gives you a really cohesive sort of cabana like living space. But you don't really get that cabana without the cabana. And that's this awning.
I mean, we can hang out here. We can cook here. If we need shade, if it's raining, we now have a place to cook, and to sit and eat, and to drink, and just hang out. And all of a sudden, this entire structure looks pretty damn neat, right? This is my new holiday house.
Just recapping this truck build, you know, this is just something that can still be a truck. It's a nice, comfortable place to hang out and sleep, and cook. You know, gets back on the highway and drives home at 85 miles an hour with [INAUDIBLE] cruise control set.
This is just as practical and as nice as I think a truck build can get. And I hope you can do just as well as this.