On our Expedition Gear page we’ll document several large installs on the outside of Troopy including a Specter Off-Road front winch bumper, Warn M8000 winch, Specter Off-Road/Wilderness Products rear swing-away tire and jerry can holder, a FrontRunner Slimline “Wind Cheetah” roof rack and Eezi Awn 2.5 meter side awning. See our installation photos below:
Nice to Have an Extra Hand (paw) at Work!
Rear Bumper. Matt and I (and Duke, of course) tackled the rear bumper / swing-away tire carrier install. It was not difficult except it was quite a project to break loose the old rusty bolts that held on the old hitch assembly - it took a breaker bar and at one point some extra “help” in the form of a pipe over the breaker bar, which promptly snapped the bolt in two - but we got it out! It was then a fairly straightforward process of mounting the new bumper, fitting the rear tire carrier and both jerry can carriers right and left. I think the install looks great. Troopy is starting to look like a proper expedition vehicle!
Front Bumper. I also removed the front bumper and did some prep work for the new bumper install fitted with the new Warn winch. I found out after opening the box that the winch didn’t come with the bracket to fit the solenoid controller to the winch itself. Oh Crap! I didn’t want to cheese together a homemade bracket in the shop, so I did a little searching on the boards and located a small shop in Louisiana called Searchers Off-Road Supply and Outfitters (www.searchers4wd.com). They fabricate a great solenoid bracket that locates the controller up on top of the winch facing upwards, so the metal backing plate and relays are protected under the plastic cover. See pics below
Roof Rack. A key element to carrying all our gear was the selection of a roof rack to carry our rooftop tent and extra fuel or water. I looked at many different manufacturers and styles. One of the critical components I considered was a low profile and at least one flat portion of the rack to attach the tent properly. My research led me to Frontrunner Outfitters with their Slimline racks. Made of heavy wall aluminum stock, these racks include a center track on the cross members to hold a variety of accessories. In our case we’ll have our rack hold our tent, 40L water tank and a dual jerry can holder.
Installation was a little more involved than usual since Frontrunner no longer makes racks for the 40 Series Cruiser. No worries - The 2.5 meter “G-wagen” rack we purchased was only a few inches too short in width. We just modified 2 sets of Thule load bars and bolted the rack to the bars for mounting. Cinch. Here’s a few new pics of the rack:
Eezi Awn Awning: We chose an awning from Eezi Awn for a number of reasons, the main being stout construction. Contained in a full aluminum enclosure, the fit and robustness of the Eezi Awn awning was evident from the outset. We had a bit of a challenge installing the 2.5M awning, as our shop project in modifying the Wind Cheetah roof rack to attach with Thule load bars had the bars extending quite a ways past the rack edge. Since you are supposed to install the awning on the side of the rack, this presented a problem - the bar extensions interfered with opening the clamshell awning enclosure. So, we installed "L" brackets on the outer edge of each of the bars and then bolted the awning to the "L" brackets using some big washers on the inside to spread the load from the bolts. The result was a very secure installation which stands the awning out away from the load bars. Problem solved - sure will be nice to have some shade in those 100+F degree Sicilian summers!
We Put on a Total of 4 Brackets
The Eezi Awn 2.5M Awning Installed - Starboard Side