It can be been two a long time considering that we began modifying our 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon. Above that time, we have little by little and steadily upgraded the JT to finest healthy our desires. Our intention from the commence has been to establish the Jeep in a way that it could accommodate our family members of 4 and be able adequate to tackle a range of trails across the place. In the past year by itself, we have wheeled the Jeep in Utah, Tennessee, and North Carolina, and completed our greatest trek to date: a 6,200-mile spherical-trip to the Rubicon Path.
However the Gladiator’s mattress was a major providing place for us in the commencing, it truly is been 1 region we’ve struggle with. Off-street, we’ve smashed the taillights and dragged the receiver hitch far too numerous situations to rely. The rear bumper turned bent and bashed, as did the manufacturing facility bed-guards. Because we were being laying our 40-inch-tall spare in the mattress, we also sacrificed a huge quantity of place.
Rather of piecemealing a host of unique aftermarket options, we made the decision to do something a little bit more cohesive by changing the whole mattress with a single from MITS Alloy. Performing so may well seem to be like an extreme measure, but for us it designed the most sense.
The all-aluminum tray beds from MITS Alloy provide a huge amount of equipment storage, boost the departure angle noticeably, and actually broaden the flexibility of the Gladiator. We’ve fans of this design and style of Australian setup for years, and as soon as we uncovered we could simply get it in the U.S., we were being all-in.
Our MITS Alloy EVO2 Tray and Canopy was ordered by means of Mule Expedition Outfitters (the firm has retail destinations in Washington and Oregon) and mounted by Asheville Motor vehicle Outfitters (AVO). AVO is in Mills River, North Carolina, which is closer to our property.
In this tale, we’re diving into the specifics of the MITS Alloy EVO2 Tray and Canopy bolt-on mattress update and displaying how we’ve set it up to best match our requirements.
The EVO2 Tray and Canopy are individual parts. The bottom 50 percent is the tray. It can be established up as a flatbed with optional bedsides or configured as we have it, with a cover bolted to the leading. The midsize one we opted for is a little bit wider than the cab of the Gladiator and actions 5 toes, 8 inches from front to back again.
To install the mattress, we went to MITS Alloy’s East Coastline distributor, Asheville Auto Outfitters in North Carolina. There, AVO removed our outdated setup and bolted the MITS Alloy Tray on to the furnished Gladiator-particular pillar mounts.
As configured, our new set up weighed-in all over 850 lbs. To cope with that added excess weight, we put in a set of Dobinsons Spring & Suspension 440-660 3-inch rear springs. This set us back again to the 3-inch lift top we desired.
We realized that only functioning 3 inches of raise and a 40-inch-tall Nitto Trail Grappler may possibly create clearance difficulties with the new mattress. Supplied our Dynatrac ProRock XD60 axles are 72.5 inches vast, our stance is also a great deal distinctive that inventory. Considering that we didn’t want to elevate the Jeep any greater, we had our close friends at Ujoint Offroad trim out a non-structural part of the mattress that was rubbing at entire bump.
To make the trim seamless, Ujoint Offroad constructed a established of customized gap guards and significant-line fenders out of aluminum. These ended up then powdercoated to match and bolted in spot.
We could have reused our manufacturing unit receiver hitch, but we took full gain of the substantial-clearance departure angle of our new mattress. Ujoint Offroad developed us this custom made receiver, which sits a entire eight inches larger than the factory receiver and even more served to strengthen the Jeep’s departure angle.
Our MITS Alloy EVO2 Tray came with an 8-gallon, gravity-fed drinking water tank. Hidden at the entrance of the mattress, this tank makes excellent use of normally unused space. It’s also value noting that the tank is BPA free, so we can fill it with drinking h2o.
The new MITS Alloy EVO2 mattress combines a lot of of the functions we were being hunting at from unique firms (tire carrier, drawer program, and so on). On the rear of our canopy, we have a put for our 40-inch-tall spare, a 5-gallon gasoline can, and a 5-foot-lengthy slide-out drawer. The drawer even has a movable address that capabilities as a prep/perform space. It can be sealed and deep more than enough to keep merchandise these as our air compressor and a compact toolbox.
We purposely still left the driver facet of our cover box vacant. The plan was to preserve this spot no cost for luggage and miscellaneous gear that we require for our a variety of adventures. It does have a tray at the prime, which is a good location to store our spare pieces.
The passenger side of our cover is property to our Clearview Accessories Uncomplicated Slide fridge slide and MITS Alloy drawer technique. The fridge slide will make everyday living uncomplicated as it drops our 50-liter Rough State fridge down to a extra available level. The drawer is wonderful for dry-food stuff storage and gear that we want to get to swiftly.
On prime of the drawer procedure is a deck with tie-down factors at the again. This is the place we dwelling our electrical power program from EcoFlow. We are using the Delta 2 along with the expandable battery pack. This offers us extra than plenty of ability for our frequent weekend visits. We also have a portable solar panel that we can use if we are established in location for a although. We like this process more than a forever mounted a person as it provides us the flexibility to use the electrical generators for other points.
Both equally sides of the mattress arrive with packing containers that bolt into the rails less than the tray. Like the rest of the canopy, these are sealed from the components. We typically use just one to property all our restoration gear. The other side rotates storage roles centered on where by we are headed.
The initial purpose we stopped by Ujoint Offroad immediately after our first mattress put in (AVO is just up the road), was to install Ujoint’s new Gladiator roof rack. Our program is to mount a lower-profile rooftop tent on the MITS Alloy rack, then use the Ujoint rack for photo voltaic panels and a Pelican storage situation.
On the Trail
Upgrading to a MITS Alloy Tray and Cover is a key alter, and just one that we thought severely about for some time. The added width makes it a minimal tougher to see about with our stock mirrors, but we really like the extra place. The actuality that we can carry so substantially equipment in a effectively-structured fashion can make the bed way much more usable than our previous setup. We did have to dial a several much more turns of reduced-speed compression adjustment into our rear Fox 3. shocks, but the managing and journey quality are however exceptional. At the stop of the day, the EVO2 set up does specifically what we had been hoping. It supplies more room for our gear and considerably enhances the off-street shortcomings of the inventory Gladiator bed.
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- Asheville Car Outfitters 844/667-3687 ashevillevehicleoutfitters.com
- MITS Alloy mitsalloy.au/united states/
- Mule Expedition Outfitters 425/394-1111 dasmule.com
- Ujoint Offroadujointoffroad.com