Built To Go Beyond

Going all in on the ultimate overlander

June 2021 Feature Drew Riley

This article originally appeared in the April 2021 issue.

Photos by Derek Booher

So there’s this trend right now. It’s called overlanding...you might have heard about it. What some consider a way of life to explore the great outdoors, others think is an overpriced camping trip on wheels.

From budget to over-the-top, there are a lot of ways to get into overlanding. One of the common objectives with overlanding is to be self-sufficient, haul everything you need and the kitchen sink—gear, extra fuel, food sleeping quarters and supplies—to get off the grid for an extended period of time. On one end of the spectrum you can load up a clapped out s#!tbox with camping gear and some food, water and fuel for an adventure. On the other end of the spectrum you can spend a $1M plus on an F550 EarthRoamer with every creature comfort, amenity and offroad capability. There’s no one right way to do it. It all depends on your budget and needs, but it should be said it’s accessible to everyone to get out and do it. We’ve had this thought that a service truck would make a great platform to start from; it’s built tough, has tons of storage, they are readily available and it’s fairly cheap to pick one up used. Well the fellas over at BDS had a similar thought, to build an overlander based around a service truck, except for them that trick was a new 2020 Ford F350 CCLB diesel and, well, from the looks of it this wasn’t exactly a cheap build.

Project Go Beyond

Built in partnership with Ford Motor Company, project [Go Beyond], as it’s been nicknamed, started as a clean slate, an early production 2020 Ford Super Duty XLT that got overhauled to go beyond the standard capability and functionality of the already-capable Super Duty. Under the hood the workhorse 6.7L Power Stroke turbo diesel sends power to the new 10-speed TorqShift transmission, through the stock two-speed transfer case and out to the factory axles to turn the 40-inch Mickey Thompson MTZ P3 tires mounted on 20-inch Method 605NV wheels. The stock suspension has been beefed up with a BDS 4-inch radius arm system for a low, aggressive stance right at home on the trail, on the road, or wherever else it’s put into action. The lift features HD tubular radius arms, FOX 2.5 factory race series DSC coilovers and shocks, BDS steering upgrades, BDS full leaf packs and a Ridetech LevelTow air bag to support the additional weight out back. Lastly a set of Recoil traction bars were added to limit any potential axle wrap while still allowing offroad articulation.

Due to the taller ride height, Ford Performance Tremor running boards were added. These offer additional rocker protection as well as easier access to the command center of this truck. Stepping inside, the factory cloth seats were sent out, stripped and recovered in Katzkin premium mahogany/black leather with custom embroidered headrests front and rear. The factory stereo now features a Kicker VSS subwoofer behind the rear bench for more acoustic punch along with Kicker Bullfrog Bluetooth 400 speakers for when the crew finds camp and is ready to relax. The 6.7L Power Stroke, while mostly stock, features a few key upgrades for more power, but also reliability. An EZ LYNK Auto Agent was installed with a custom tune. An ATS deep transmission pan was added, along with ATS piping and a Ford Performance DPF-back exhaust system to keep it emissions compliant. To help with the range on long adventures, the factory 34-gallon fuel tank was pulled out and replaced with a TITAN Fuel Tanks 65-gallon unit.

Exterior Touches

Moving on to the exterior of this Super Duty, the factory Agate Black paint was used up top with Chroma Elite Copper on the bottom, broken up by a silver pinstripe to give this truck a unique, earth-tone-inspired color scheme. The factory front bumper was pulled to make way for a high clearance ADD Stealth Fighter replacement that houses a WARN Zeon 12-S winch and Rigid 40-inch RDS and 10-inch SR-series LED lights.

To help fit the 40-inch tires with minimal lift, a set of FiberwerX 4-inch bulged front fiberglass fenders have been added. The factory longbox, while great at hauling full sheets of plywood, was pulled in favor of a Knapheide aluminum service box for additional easy access (lockable) storage for camping gear, recovery equipment, mobile electronics, 12V and 110V power supplies, air compressor with storage tank, and more.

Next Level Features

To maximize space and allow easy access to the bed, a CargoGlide CG2200XL slide-out tray was added. This slide-out is used to store the full-size spare tire, a Dometic CFX-75DZW electric fridge on an MSA 4x4 drop-slide for easy access, along with a two-burner gas grill, also on a drop-slide. A modular bed rack was built to add storage for the Hi-Lift jack, awning, shovel, fire extinguisher, more Rigid lighting, RotopaX fuel and water containers along with James Baroud Evasion XXL hardshell tent with a walkout Rhino Rack pioneer platform above the cab. Outback the team at BDS built a custom rear bumper to match the front and work with the shape of the service box. This setup integrates additional lighting, recovery points and a hitch mount ready to handle any towing needs.

This Super Duty has a lot going on, but in a good way. The mods are tasteful and all build toward a common theme – comfort and capability. Whether you call it camping or overlanding, this truck is ready for the adventure. The crew from BDS says while this truck looks great as a company show piece, it gets used regularly on the weekends by staff out off the grid to camp, explore, tow trail rigs and, although limited this past year due to COVID, will be hitting the show circuit more in 2021.

 

Sources:

 

ADD Stealth

855-233-8992

www.addictivedesertdesigns.com

 

ATS Diesel Performance

866-209-3695

www.atsdiesel.com

 

BDS Suspension

517-279-2135

www.bds-suspension.com

 

CargoGlide

877-525-9535

www.cargoglide.com

 

Dometic

www.dometic.com

 

EZ LYNK

877-207-5530

www.ezlynk.com

 

FiberwerX

619-654-4451

www.fiberwerx.com

 

Ford Motor Company

800-392-3673

www.ford.com

 

FOX

800-369-7469

www.ridefox.com

 

Hi-Lift Jack Co

800-233-2051

www.hi-lift.com

 

James Baroud Evasion

www.jamesbaroud.com

 

Katzkin

888-528-9546

www.katzkin.com

 

Kicker Audio

405-624-8510

www.kicker.com

 

Knapheide

www.knapheide.com

 

Method Race Wheels

866-779-8604

www.methodracewheels.com

 

Mickey Thompson Tires

330-928-9092

www.mickeythompsontires.com

 

RotopaX

801-299-1885

www.rotopax.com

 

Rhino-Rack

877-744-6622

www.rhinorack.com

 

Ridetech

812-481-4787

www.ridetech.com

 

Rigid Industries

480-655-0100

www.rigidindustries.com

 

TITAN Fuel Tanks

800-728-4982

www.titanfueltanks.com

 

WARN

833-727-8784

www.warn.com

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IN THIS ISSUE

THE F350 SOUP BUILD!

June 2021

And here we are, on to a big lift kit upgrade on our F350 Soup Build as our latest project truck rolls on. We figured it was time to kick our off-road adventures up a notch, so we added the BDS Suspension Coilover 4-Link 4-inch lift kit on our Power Stroke. This kit brings tried-and-true stability, strength and caster control over factory radius arm setups...

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