(Un)Lost Overland - 2020 Jeep Gladiator Launch Edition Build 3846

After waiting 12 wks for the GFC platform camper on our 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, Launch Edition, we picked it up on 8/11/22. Our intention is to do a fully dedicated adventure rig build, which will be documented here. Over the last 2 1/2 years we’ve tried two previous camping setups before landing on the GFC.

We started with a KB Voodoo Max Modular half height bed rack paired with a Tepui Kukenam 3. This setup lasted about 7 months before selling it. We loved the quality of the Tepui tent but a soft-sided roof top tent had enough cons in the setup and tear down department it wasn’t the ideal setup. Tearing down camp in the morning took too much effort and wanted something that accelerated our tear down and got us back on the road. Over this period we spent close to 90 nights in the tent. We knew at this point the RTT setup is what we wanted but needed to move into the hard-sided wedge design to overcome the cons of the soft-sided RTT. This camping setup took us to southern Utah 3 times, where we explored Moab, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion. We took this tent with us to Smoky Mountains and explored the Blue Ridge Parkway, Colorado and the entire front range were explored, and lastly out to the Badlands NP and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Moving into our second setup, we went with a RSI Smartcap Evo Sport paired with a Roofnest Falcon XL. The intention here was to increase the storage and bed buildout of the gladiator while also optimizing setup and tear down. It definitely fit the bill for what we wanted out of a RTT and bed cap. The quality of the RSI Smartcap was above any other bed cap I’d seen on the market. I’m a huge believer in their products. After building a custom kitchen pullout on a bedslide over time it became clear this just wasn’t going to be the right product for us anymore. We spent ~65 nights in this equipment. We traveled all over southern Utah again, Minnesota boundary waters, Texas hill country, and the Colorado front range. During this time we found out we were having a second child and got an Australian Shepherd. The growing family meant the camping setup needed adjusted again. Unfortunately this meant finding a buyer for a very expensive tent and bed cap. In late May I drove from Iowa to Cincinnati and met a fellow adventure Gladiator and made the sale.


This kicked off the purchase of the GFC and planning on the next build. Having bed access from inside the tent is just what we wanted and needed. This extra space provided by the removal of the floor panels in the GFC would allow us to add a second sleeping location in the bed of the Gladiator. Fast forward 12 weeks and here we are; a new build is underway with tons planned for it…

Current vehicle setup and accessories
2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, Launch Edition

  • Mopar 2 inch lift kit with Fox shocks
  • Fox 2.0 TS Steering Stabilizer
  • Steer Smarts YETI XD Pro-Series Adjustable Front Track Bar
  • Genesis Offroad Dual Battery Kit with (2x) Odyssey Group 25
  • Terra Acoustics premium front speakers upgrade
  • Baja Designs Squadron-R SAE fog lights
  • aFe Rock Basher hi-tuck Exhaust
  • Yukon 4.88 Gears
  • ARB Differential Covers
  • JE Design and Fabrication DripRail
  • GFC Platform Camper, #3846

Planned Build

  • Water & Dust proofing the Gladiator Bed
  • Yeti XD Adjustable Rear Track Bar
  • Hinge Steps
  • Interior lighting
  • Exterior trail and scene lighting
  • Power management including solar, lithium bank, and necessary controllers
  • 37 inch tire upgrade
  • Rear tire swing/carrier
  • Water tank - including shower/sink solution
  • 80 / 20 extruded aluminum cabinets and custom kitchen
  • secondary sleeping platform
  • 270 degree awning
  • ARB Twin air compressor
  • Warn Winch
  • Various storage and mounting solutions
  • Long Range America fuel tank
  • Digital rear view mirror

That’s the list so far, and I’m sure it’ll grow. Can’t wait to get into this build and share with you all the progress. I love learning from others experiences and will probably reach out if I have questions on something you did. Feel free to message me here and give me a follow on the 'gram @unlost_overland

Let’s get (un)Lost in all of this…

12 Likes

Love the build and loved seeing it in person. Looked great!!

1 Like

Appreciate it. Hope your travels after picking yours up went well.

This week the build made some simple progress. I went away from the 35 inch tire to Milestar Patagonia M/T (37x12.5r17). What a world of difference this made. The old M/T’s had about 35K miles on them and had started to cup. They were an extremely cheap tire and frankly so loud it began to hurt your ears after a few hours.

These new 37’s look great, fit the wheel fender lines perfectly, and are a major upgrade in the sound department. The ambient noise put off from these is amazing. I would highly recommend this tire.

FYI only 4x 37’s comfortably fit in the back end with the GFC on.

Obligatory side shot with tires installed. My aussie, Luna, decided to bomb the photo.

2 Likes

You will like those tires just put some 38s on my rig!

4 Likes

Dang @Trudog your truck is looking so good!

1 Like

38s without trimming?

Plenty of trimming involved!

2 Likes

Looks great. 38’s on a Tacoma, good work.

It’s been a busy couple weeks since getting the GFC but finally started installing some of the parts that have been sitting in the garage.

Baja Designs S2 Pro with an amber scene lens mounted via the internal frame. I use these to light up the campsite at night. I’m not overly excited about the angle but once Amazon arrives with some much need wire management goodies I’ll confirm whether or not this location will work for us.

Baja Designs S2 Pro with an amber wide cornering lens mounted via the GFC 90degree bracket. Loving the way this turned out and just had enough clearance from the upper lip on the tent to the top of the lights. We use these as chase lights when on the trail.

Both will temporarily wired up via an SPOD in the rear of the truck once I get our interim kitchen drawer system installed. The SPOD allows for strobe, flash, and dimming functions which is great. This comes from my prior build and will be used until I can get our 80/20 extruded aluminum rear storage system built out over the winter with a new power management system and controller.

Mods sitting in the garage waiting to be installed next:

  • Steer Smarts adjustable rear track bar
  • Hinge steps for the rear doors
  • OVS 270 Nomad Awning mounted via GFC universal brackets
  • MattGecko Upper and Lower LED light kit
1 Like