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BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:59 pm

2015 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Laramie

The ROCKLANDER Build

Vehicle Objective:

The purpose of this build is to support our family of four, in both on and off-road adventures. The rig needs to serve a multi-purpose role of towing regularly and handling overnight off-road adventures. We're seeking a compromise between capable trail rig, tow rig and rock crawler.

Where it stands today:
[Updated: Sept 13th, 2017]

Image


SUSPENSION / AXLE:

ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN:

VEHICLE ARMOR:

ELECTRICAL / LIGHTING

COMMUNICATIONS
  • Yaesu FT 8900R
  • Larsen NMO2/70B
  • WeBoost Drive 4G-M (cellular booster)
  • Surecall 9 inch magnetic antenna

EXTERIOR APPEARANCE:
  • 15% Ceramic Tint on Drivers & Passenger front windows
  • 5% Ceramic Tint on all rear windows Windows
  • 5% Ceramic Tint glare strip on windshield
  • AVS in channel vent visors
  • Bakflip HD Tonneau Cover

INTERIOR MODIFICATIONS:
  • Husky Weather Beater floor liners
  • Koomus K2 Dashboard iphone mounts
  • RAM Mounts (RAM-B-316-1-202U) Universal No-Drill Vehicle Mount 18" Rigid
  • Ram Mount EZ-ROLL'R Model Specific Cradle for the Apple iPad mini
  • Mopar Rambox storage organizer

RECOVERY & EMERGENCY GEAR:
  • 48" Hi-Lift Jack All-Cast in Black
  • 30' ARB Recovery Strap
  • ARB Tree Saver Strap
  • x2 Crosby 1018534 Carbon Steel Shackle, 1" Size
  • x2 Crosby 1018534 Carbon Steel Shackle, 3/4" Size
  • x2 WARN 92093 Epic Shackle 3/4"
  • Automotive Fire Extinguisher
  • Road Flares
  • ARB Tire Repair Kit
  • x2 Viair 300P + x2 - 20ft air hose
  • MAXSA Innovations Escaper Buddy

PLANNED MODS:
(Still in the works as I evaluate our needs through trial and error.)
  • Dynatrac Free-Spin Hubs with DynaLoc hubs
  • 4.88 Regear
  • Synthetic winch line (either 3/8th or 7/16 probably 100ft)


VIDEOS OF THE RIG IN ACTION

phpBB [video]

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phpBB [video]

Clickable link for Tapatalk

Last edited by MikeKey on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:11 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:01 pm

WHERE IT BEGAN

A little backstory to fill you in. A few years ago I converted my wife's 2003 Chevy Trailblazer from daily driver into an expedition vehicle. The build and subsequent adventures made us fall in love with the west and off-roading in general.

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One day in 2013 we realized that we felt more at home in our "Adventure Mobile" then we felt in our three bedroom, two car garage home in Florida. The road was calling to us. The desire to leave Florida was growing.

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When we discovered we were expecting our first child, we dreamed up a plan to sell everything, change careers and travel across the country full time.

We grew tired of the rat race and living for the weekends and never having time to see or explore.

Fast forward to May 2015, and we set off on this adventure as a family of four living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.

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Our first truck was a 2010 Ram 1500. I modified it mildly to maintain towing performance. That included Bilstein 5100 adjustable shocks up front with 2 inches of lift and 5100's out back. Along with Tuff trucks coils that raised the rear 2-inches. And I upsized the tires with Toyo Open Country AT/II's.

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For our first year on the road, she was a strong performer. But where she lacked was still in off-road capability. While in Anza Borrego, CA, I kept coming up against the limitations of the stock 1500.

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We meet up with a friend who was pulling a 30ft Airstream with his 2015 Powerwagon over the New Year holiday. The wife and I began discussing upgrading to an HD truck. Specifically a Power Wagon. had talked about the desire to build another expedition rig.

We considered having the wife follow along with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, but we just didn't want the hassle of a second vehicle with this lifestyle. We thought about a diesel which would of been better for towing, but to make it really worthy off-road we'd need to mod the truck. And that was a sore point.

In choosing this lifestyle, I gave up the garage, and it's hard for me to shell out money to a shop on things I want to do myself. So if we bought a diesel, we'd still need to get work done. Which meant finding shops while traveling.

The Power Wagon was just ticking all the marks in the PRO's column for us. In March while in Las Vegas, we came across a 2015 Power Wagon Laramie that had all the options that our 2010 had minus a sunroof. And we jumped on it immediately. Buying out of state is a bit of a hassle, but it was worth the admission price. 8-)

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The Power Wagon could tow our Airstream, and give us the capability we desire to do things off-road in a mostly stock trim.

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Now to get started with the mods. :lol:
Last edited by MikeKey on Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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First Mods

Postby MikeKey » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:10 pm

First Mods


Window Tinting

I wasted zero time getting right to the modifications. For starters, traveling around the country with kids meant one thing for me. We NEED TINT. I don't like driving around in a fish bowel. And I decided to take advantage of the lax laws in Nevada.

I ended up purchasing Ceramic Tint which claims to block 90% of the heat. And went with 5% around the back windows for the kiddo's and privacy and 15% on the front windows with a 5% glare strip on the windshield. I had the work done by Precision Window Tint in Henderson, NV. They do excellent work.

The results, perfect:

Image

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After the tint was cured for a few days, I installed AVS in channel vent shades. I've been installing these on most of my vehicles for awhile. So the Power Wagon gets them too.

Image

Intake & Exhaust

Within the first week of ownership I was already giving money to the Jeff Bezos retirement fund (aka Amazon). I placed an order for a K&N intake and Magnaflow muffler.

We can all debate the worthiness of the next mod. Typically I'm a Volant intake guy. But K&N is the only one on the market for the 6.4L right now, so what the heck.

Image

I had also purchased a Magnaflow 12589 muffler. On my 1500 I had installed the Mufflex 14inch muffler. And I liked the sound. This time I thought I'd try something a little similar but more custom.

Took it to a local exhaust shop in town, paid $200 even to have it installed and have the trash can resonator removed. Was very clear about wanting it to be out of the way for ground clearance.

What he came up with was fantastic. I'm very happy with the results.

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You can check out an exhaust clip here. I waited a couple of days for the exhaust to break in before recording it.

phpBB [video]

Clickable link for Tapatalk



Amazingly there is no drone. To be completely honest, I was disappointed at first. It was quite. And I think I am used to dual exhaust. I've owned several Camaros, a Pontiac G8 GXP and Corvette. All of which had loud, dual exhaust systems.

But after a few days break in time, it became audibly louder. But it's not extremely loud in any sense. When you mash the peddle you hear it. When you are cruising, it's barely noticeable.
Last edited by MikeKey on Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby RustyPW » Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:01 am

Someone got bit by the mod bug. :lol: :cash: :cash: :cash: :cash:
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Mods to the PW; Nerffed Mopar RockRails, Wheel Well Liners, Bushwacker Pocket Fender Flairs, Garvmin dezl 560LMT GPS, Power Wagon Winch Kit, Line X Ultra Bed Liner, PIAA Headlight Bulbs, PIAA 580 Driving Lights (135 watt), PIAA 520 Fog Lights (135 watt), PIAA 520 ATP Off-Road Lights (135 watt), Locker Bypass, Modifed Rockcrusher Diff Covers, Mopar Utility Bed Rails and Tool Box, Warn Winch Wireless Remote Control, "el-cheapo" Inclinometer, Airaid CAI, Winch TPS Bypass, 35" Toyo's, Mopar Spare Tire Lock, 'T' Steering Linkage, Modifed PSC Steering Brace, P3 Brake Controller, Modifed Fusion "mall crawler" rear bumper , PIAA 1500 Back-Up Lights, 1Ton HEMI Tranny Cooler, Leer 100XR Bed Cap, Factory Tow Mirrors, CenterLine Rims 17x9-5.25 BS, Mag-Hytec Tranny Pan, AutoMeter Gauges, PSC Extreme Hydro Assist Steering, Carli Track Bar, Carli Ball-Joints, Dynatrac FreeSpin Hubs, Snorkel, RCV Axles, EBC Pads & Rotors, Aluminess Front Bumper, BIG Pul-Pal, 60" Extreme Hi-lift Jack, and more riggin' equipment, Carli Long Travel Air Bags, Bilstein 7100 Shocks - Carli Valving, MORE STUFF COMIN'.

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby Colibri » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:22 am

Looking good! Awesome that y'all are living on the road and seeing America too!
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby Vee » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:52 am

I love this build! We are retiring in few months and are going to fulltime in a 17ft Casita. We upgraded from a 2012 Ram 1500 with the same mods as you had in the suspension to our 2007 reg cab PW.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:23 pm

NIce! Casita's are great trailers.

Time to get the ball rolling here. Went ahead and placed an order for White Knuckle Sliders - just powder coated.
I thought about getting them LineX'd or the like, but I don't see myself bouncing off rocks. I'm more likely to bang against or actually slide down with my style of wheeling.

Order - should take 4 - 6 weeks for production. We plan on picking them up in Apple Valley, CA.

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby Reloaderguy » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:33 am

Nice!
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby 2011TXPowerWagon » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:58 pm

Dang, I'm jealous.

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:46 pm

Put the winch on the PowerWagon to good use today. Family pulled over to the side of the road to grab a picture and couldn't get back out - kept sliding further into the ditch.

Didn't have anything to use as a damper at the time, but oh well. Wasn't a hard pull. They were really grateful and that's all that mattered.

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby gun45boat » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:42 pm

Holy shit man,,,, I read your complete build YEARS AGO on the Trailblazer build.... You did a great job on that rig, and really took the time and built that trailblazer platform,,,, as I don't think that anyone had done a vehicle like the one before. Funny how small of a world it is!!!!! I think I even watched a few Videos of that rig in action... Again,,,, Years ago.

Welcome to the PW world, a much better platform for your needs (as I can see from the pictures)

Truck looks great!!!!!
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:56 pm

gun45boat wrote:Holy shit man,,,, I read your complete build YEARS AGO on the Trailblazer build.... You did a great job on that rig, and really took the time and built that trailblazer platform,,,, as I don't think that anyone had done a vehicle like the one before. Funny how small of a world it is!!!!! I think I even watched a few Videos of that rig in action... Again,,,, Years ago.

Welcome to the PW world, a much better platform for your needs (as I can see from the pictures)

Truck looks great!!!!!


Ha! Thanks man. Yeah it was an interesting platform to work with. Not ideal by any means, but unique for sure. It started our passion for Overlanding and wheeling though. :D
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:37 pm

I think the reason to own a winch is to help friends in need.

Three weeks of ownership and we used our winch twice in one weekend now!

A full-timing family who we follow on Instagram got their truck, and 5th wheel stuck in some pretty gnarly mud down near Lake Mead. We hadn't met them yet, but decided since they were only 2hrs away to head down and help them out.

This is how stuck they were:

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First, I winched out his truck. Which was easy enough.

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Then had him come back at an angle and try to keep the front tires on as much solid ground as possible. This way he could hitch up and drive forward. But the weight was still to much.

I hooked up the winch line and got it nice and tight. Then I had him drive forward on a thumbs up while I pulled in reverse using 4Low to keep the line tight. I figured this would keep his truck and rig from sliding back into the mud. And it all worked out.

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Not an ideal winching situation in the second round. Would have preferred to use a strap (if I had one at the time). That's a lot of stress to place on the winch brake. But it was only for a few brief seconds. And all appears well.

You can see video proof here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BEB4tdNqvdY/
Last edited by MikeKey on Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby adeluca73 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:00 pm

Rescuing a turd Ferd is always a good day, approved!

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Next Mods: Thuren: {Coils, Track Bar, Boggie Bumps, King 2.5's shocks} , on-board air, HID low CANBUS replacement, LED HI, BD LED fogs
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby 04Ram2500Hemi » Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:24 pm

Subscribing to watch your progress/adventures.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:35 pm

Exterior Mods:

On our first truck, I ran the BakFlip G2. I was pretty happy with it, so this time, I decided to go with the BakFlip HD tonneau cover.

Really happy with the quality of the product. Both top and bottom are aluminum with a UV resistant powder coat. Add on a 2yr warranty and made in America, and I'm a happy camper.

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If you own a Ram then you probably noticed that the antenna is flappy and bounces all over the place. I hate the factory antenna. Since we are always traveling we don't ever listen to actual FM or AM radio. 100% of the time my iPod is plugged into the truck.

So I swapped out the antenna for a [url="http://amzn.to/1TzpEqw"]7 inch model by AntennaX.[/url]

Image
Last edited by MikeKey on Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:00 pm

Spent the afternoon catching up on a few projects I was behind on. Mostly re-installing old hardware from our other truck into the new Power Wagon.

Becuase we travel and are on the go so much; I have a WeBoost Drive 4G-M cellular booster paired with a Surecall 9-inch external antenna. It works great, and there are plenty of places where 1X becomes 3G or 2 bars of 3G becomes full LTE.

For placement, I like the internal antenna on the dash just above the stereo.

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This works with our phones best, as I have two Koomus K2 phone mounts.

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I am not sure where I want to mount the booster itself. For now it's just in the lower center console.

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I also spent some time wiring up our dash cam.

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I'm running the Auto-vox B40-C dash cam. I've had this for over a year and half and it still works great. Shoots in 1080p, continuous and has a shock sensor that can lock your files to prevent over write in the event of an accident.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby adeluca73 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:53 am

Notice any change a/ the stubbie antenna?
2014 Ram PW SLT: Two tone Flame Red & Black
Completed Mods: Ram door sill guards, Front air deflector, WeatherTech slimline window deflectors, DiamondBack HD cover coated w/ Line-X, Mufflex MagnaFlow muffler & Resonator delete, Opti-Coat Pro 2.0, DeeZee tailgate strut, DeeZee ¼" fitted bed mat, Factor-55: FlatLink winch hook/Shorty Strap 3.0/Hitchlink 2.5, Warn Wireless Winch Remote, Locker by-pass, AEM dry filter, Truxedo LED bed lights wired into RamBox Connector, WhiteKnuckle sliders w/ full-length diamond plate coated in Line-X, Purple Cranium rear diff guard, AEV front/rear diff cover, AEV RAI w/ pre-filter, AEV ProCal (Bootleg'd), DOR Steering Box Brace, Phillips Hi intensity LEDs in cargo lamps & back-ups, triple anti-hop shocks, Truxx PW specific front 1.5" level, AAM 4.88's, custom black-out work, Line-X front/rear bumpers & wheel flares, 37" Nitto Ridge Grapplers, Plasti-dip PW wheels Black w/ Gunmetal metalizer, FilterMag kit, AMP Research BedStep
Next Mods: Thuren: {Coils, Track Bar, Boggie Bumps, King 2.5's shocks} , on-board air, HID low CANBUS replacement, LED HI, BD LED fogs
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:02 pm

adeluca73 wrote:Notice any change a/ the stubbie antenna?


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Like I said, we use an ipod 99% of the time. Never in one spot long enough to listen to the radio. That being said, I ran this same antenna on my 1500 and it was ok when we still lived in Tampa. But I noticed it was kind of sub par when we left the metro area.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby Reloaderguy » Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:24 pm

You might like one of these for your cell phone mount.

http://shop.bayougoatmounts.com/
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:45 pm

Reloaderguy wrote:You might like one of these for your cell phone mount.

http://shop.bayougoatmounts.com/


Thanks, I had one on my 2010 1500. I still have it. Didn't fit the 2015. With the larger screen I think the phones would be over the screen with the mount.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby olyelr » Tue May 03, 2016 1:51 pm

Hey MikeKey, looking good!

I notice your PW doesn't have the tow mirrors, yet your old 1500 did. Any particular reason for this? Which one do you like better? Can you see around the TT good enough without them? Thanks!
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby MikeKey » Tue May 03, 2016 3:41 pm

olyelr wrote:Hey MikeKey, looking good!

I notice your PW doesn't have the tow mirrors, yet your old 1500 did. Any particular reason for this? Which one do you like better? Can you see around the TT good enough without them? Thanks!


It just didn't have them. I've survived. I'd prefer tow mirrors.

And I haven't found anyone with power folding tow mirrors for sale yet. 1AAuto used to have them, but they haven't had them on their site in awhile. Supposedly there was an issue with the aftermarkets. They said they'd have them by the end of May. :angry: I am holding out for as long as possible to get power folding tow mirrors. But if it comes down to it, I might have to get manual folding.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby olyelr » Tue May 03, 2016 6:14 pm

MikeKey wrote:
olyelr wrote:Hey MikeKey, looking good!

I notice your PW doesn't have the tow mirrors, yet your old 1500 did. Any particular reason for this? Which one do you like better? Can you see around the TT good enough without them? Thanks!


It just didn't have them. I've survived. I'd prefer tow mirrors.

And I haven't found anyone with power folding tow mirrors for sale yet. 1AAuto used to have them, but they haven't had them on their site in awhile. Supposedly there was an issue with the aftermarkets. They said they'd have them by the end of May. :angry: I am holding out for as long as possible to get power folding tow mirrors. But if it comes down to it, I might have to get manual folding.


Dang, should have swapped them off your 1500.

So in your opinion the tow mirrors are better? My salesman is trying to talk me out them... says the smaller ones are easier to look out of and stick out just about as far... far enough to see around his trailer just fine. Hmmmmm, I think he's trying to sell me a truck...
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Postby FirerescuePW » Tue May 03, 2016 7:14 pm

He may be one of those people that adjust their mirrors so 2/3 of the view is filled with the back of the vehicle. My FD is full of them. They don't realize that the back end of the truck WILL FOLLOW YOU, and you don't need to see it, so it's best if the mirrors adjust out far enough to see around it or the trailer.

I heard stories of bad vibrations in aftermarket mirrors. Maybe that was the problem.
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