Overlanding in 4xe

tactical_gnr

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Seriously considering outfitting my 4xe with a rooftop tent and other accessories (necessities?) for overlanding. Of course, there are always fun differences that the 4xe presents such as the shorter cargo area and charge port, so not sure what products will work.

Has anyone tried installing an ARB fridge in the cargo area or a roof rack that is capable of supporting a rooftop tent? It seems that the charge port would interfere with most roof racks that would be strong enough for the RTT. I recently saw the rhino-rack backbone system might work, can anyone confirm?

Thanks for your help!
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Low_Spark

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Seriously considering outfitting my 4xe with a rooftop tent and other accessories (necessities?) for overlanding. Of course, there are always fun differences that the 4xe presents such as the shorter cargo area and charge port, so not sure what products will work.

Has anyone tried installing an ARB fridge in the cargo area or a roof rack that is capable of supporting a rooftop tent? It seems that the charge port would interfere with most roof racks that would be strong enough for the RTT. I recently saw the rhino-rack backbone system might work, can anyone confirm?

Thanks for your help!
I don't have a RTT but I did order a backbone + pioneer platform for my 4xe. From my research it can easily hold enough static weight for an RTT + occupants (~750 lbs). The dynamic load rating is high enough for driving around with RTT as well (~200 lbs).
 

Jeeperz Kreeperz

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On a 6,000 mile trip right now with our 4xe. Not exactly overlanding. More like glamping.

Using the Rhino Rack Backbone, Pioneer Rack, RCL legs, iKamper 1.0 RTT. Dometic CFX50 fridge.

working great. Had to shoehorn the fridge in there, but it fits…barely.

will try to post pics when I get a better signal.

AEEA4407-800A-4CF1-987E-8230D1994959.jpeg
 
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tactical_gnr

tactical_gnr

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On a 6,000 mile trip right now with our 4xe. Not exactly overlanding. More like glamping.

Using the Rhino Rack Backbone, Pioneer Rack, RCL legs, iKamper 1.0 RTT. Dometic CFX50 fridge.

working great. Had to shoehorn the fridge in there, but it fits…barely.

will try to post pics when I get a better signal.

AEEA4407-800A-4CF1-987E-8230D1994959.jpeg
Your setup sounds a lot like what I’m looking to do. I’m looking forward to more pictures! Do you have a slider for the fridge?
 

Jeeperz Kreeperz

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Your setup sounds a lot like what I’m looking to do. I’m looking forward to more pictures! Do you have a slider for the fridge?
Everything works, but man…there are some tight tolerances, and I had to make numerous modifications to get everything squeezed in. This Jeep is a model of how to utilize every cubic inch available and pack the living daylights out of it!

Fridge slide is from DFG Offroad. I had it in my 2018 JL Sahara. Had to cut a little off the frame in the back where it meets the trim for the PHEV battery. Also, had to cut a corner (literally!) on the frame where it meets the tailgate - because I have a Trailgater table. Lastly, had to flip the strap mounts in the rear by 180 degrees, and drill a couple relief holes so the bolts for those strap mounts could sit in those holes to gain that extra 1/4”!

Here are some pics:

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cryptyk

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Great setup!

What else is installed on that left-side cargo area, other than the inverter?
 

Luvwine

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Looks awesome! Any concerns about being beyond the GVW limits?
 

Jeeperz Kreeperz

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Looks awesome! Any concerns about being beyond the GVW limits?
Yes, we are at about 1,300 pounds of cargo (including passengers). Well over the 850 pound limit. I added AirLift 1000 Air Bags to the rear coil springs. Just search in here - there is a thread on them, and I added some install and fitment tips. Absolute game changer. Without them, we had body roll, poor handling, spring squat, misaligned headlights, and a top-heavy feel. With them it corrected all of the above, and feels thoroughly planted. Just finished a 9-hour drive yesterday - with posted speed limits of 70, 75, and 80. I had it up to 82 for sustained periods, and it felt perfect.

Two ill effects it didn’t fix: decreased braking performance and low gas mileage of 16 on this big trip so far. 14.3 yesterday at higher speeds.

Best $100 mod for anyone planning to camp or tow on stock suspension.
 
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LongTimeListener

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Pro tip: You don’t need an RTT to overland. Up until a few years ago, most overlanders didn’t run them. Try it with a ground tent first and see if you like it. The most experienced overlander I know still uses a ground tent.

Not knocking RTTs. They have many obvious advantages. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. You’re putting a lot of weight up high, where it’s least advantageous. You have to figure out a roof rack solution. And between the two, you’re adding a lot of weight overall. Are you planning to add stiffer springs? If so, what about shocks and other suspension components? It can quickly become a game of infinite regress.

Instead, you could try out a simple 8 lb ground tent on a few trips and see how you Iike things.
 

Jeeperz Kreeperz

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What else is installed on that left-side cargo area, other than the inverter?
What is the electronics setup if you don't mind sharing!
It’s a carpeted box I created from the cargo load lid floor from my 2018 Sahara JL.

On the top section it’s just power distribution: 4 AWG wires coming in from battery on the left side, then 4 AWG passes through to inverter. Then some smaller gauge wire feeds a 6-circuit fuse block.

On the bottom section, I installed a 1,000 watt inverter; an 1,800 watt power strip with 120v outlets and USB; Bluetooth module for inverter; an ARB 12v (Engel-type) socket; and a WeBoost cellular booster.

In between is a flat shelf that we use for storing items that need to be charged. I put a plastic basket on there that holds all the stuff being recharged.

More Pics:

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ArtC

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Beautiful wiring job! Out of curiosity, who makes the pull out drawer above the fridge? Did you consider mounting any of the electronics in the tub under the floor?

Thanks,

Art
 

Jeeperz Kreeperz

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Beautiful wiring job! Out of curiosity, who makes the pull out drawer above the fridge? Did you consider mounting any of the electronics in the tub under the floor?
Thanks. Surprisingly, all the electrical stuff didn’t fail during our latest 6,000+ mile trip. And no electrical fires - which is always a bonus.

The drawer is kinda makeshift. It’s actually a lateral fridge slide from American Adventure Lab https://americanadventurelab.com/product/mass-wide-slide/
Sounds like AAL is working on an actual drawer - which would have been a better approach - if it existed.

The fridge slide is definitely overkill for the job, as we just used it for camp stove, pots, pans, utensils, etc. But I had a real tough time finding a drawer that was the right size to fit underneath our Vector GGB shelf, and this was the perfect size. It’s meant to mount to a floor or base. So I had to buy some cheap “L” brackets and additional bolts on Amazon to mount it underneath the shelf. I also picked up a cheap piece of aluminum at Lowes for the front to make it more like a drawer. Lastly, I bought some pick-n-pluck foam, and my wife spent the time to custom fit everything we wanted to carry. The drawer slides are way too heavy-duty for this application, but it worked flawlessly. This winter, I’ll probably do something different with the front - and powder coat it black instead of the weathered aluminum look we’re rocking now.

Let me put in a plug for the folks at American Adventure Lab. They were so very helpful, and rushed it out to me so I could have it the night before our trip to have time to install it. Great folks to do business with.

Here are a few pics of it being mounted with the ”L” brackets to the shelf:

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ArtC

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Thank you for the inspiration. I am weighing building something or buying off the shelf. You gave me a number of good ideas.

Art
 

Zacreth

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Just curious but is your fridge always on? I'm assuming it is but wondering how it's being powered without draining your batteries...
 
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