BoldAdventure's Build - 2015 Power Wagon Laramie

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BoldAdventure's Build - 2015 Power Wagon Laramie

Post by BoldAdventure » Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:59 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: MArch 11th, 2017]

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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
  • Axle Truss - Planned for Feb 2th, 2018
  • King 2.5 shocks - ordered - awaiting delivery
  • Thuren 3 inch rear coils
  • Thuren rear boogie bumps
  • Thuren front track bar
  • Synthetic winch line

VIDEOS OF THE RIG
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Last edited by BoldAdventure on Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:11 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:01 am

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 BoldAdventure on Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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First Mods

Post by BoldAdventure » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:10 am

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:

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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.

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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.

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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]

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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 BoldAdventure on Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:23 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

Post by BoldAdventure » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:46 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

Post by BoldAdventure » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:37 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 BoldAdventure on Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:35 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 7 inch model by AntennaX.

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Last edited by BoldAdventure on Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:00 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

Post by BoldAdventure » Wed May 04, 2016 11:10 pm

phpBB [video]

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:cheers:
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by Colibri » Wed May 04, 2016 11:29 pm

Nice man! You've got a seriously well trained wife/spotter!
Central Texas and Houston area
2009 5.7 auto quadcab
Carli 3” coils deaver leafs 3” kings with 4 tube bypass rear and fr/rr hydro bumps
Howe steering pump and gear with hydraulic ram assist
Custom tube bumpers and white knuckle sliders
Creative fab trussed axle. rem polished and cryoed 5.13 gears with arb lockers fr/rr
Sharadon stage 2 545rfe with 3000 stall edge converter
Lots of other stuff lol

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by RamGentry » Wed May 04, 2016 11:29 pm

Looks fun! :P
If I start listing Mods I would have to change the list daily
My build thread http://forum.powerwagonregistry.org/vie ... =13&t=3593

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by 04Ram2500Hemi » Thu May 05, 2016 8:26 am

Colibri wrote:Nice man! You've got a seriously well trained wife/spotter!
I was thinking the same thing. That looks like fun!
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Truxedo Deuce Bed Cover with Bed Lights, Black Line-X Rocker Panel, Custom Built Rock Rails Sprayed with Line-X, Front & Rear Bumper and Grill sprayed with Line-X, Husky Mud Flaps, Husky Floor Mats, Four VisionX Xmitter Low Pro Prime XP LED Light Bars Behind the Grill, LED Lights Mounted in the Rear Bumper, Heated Seats, Interior LED Lighting, NAV-TV, Camera Mounted in Front Grill, Custom Headache Rack, AEV Raised Air Intake, AEV Salta HD Wheels in Onyx, 285/75/17 Toyo A/T II Tires

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Tue May 10, 2016 7:27 pm

ARMOR - DIFFERENTIAL PROTECTION

I used Purple Cranium's half spider's on my Trailblazer build and they were good enough for most of the stuff I threw at them. After evaluating our needs with a lot of wheeling in Moab with no protection, I decided that the half spiders would be sufficient enough. I generally attempt to go over or around obstacles I could get my differential caught up on. But the occasional strike does happen.

FRONT
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REAR
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Thu May 12, 2016 5:29 pm

TIRE UPGRADE

After lots of testing in Moab, new shoes for the Power Wagon. I had considered 37's and given that we tow often I decided that 35's would be a better fit for capability and retaining power and mpg while towing (somewhat). So today I had Toyo Open Country AT/II's in 35x12.50 R 17 installed on the truck.

Perfect fit with no rubbing! And these tires are quiter than the Goodyear Durtracs, also a plus.

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:cheers:

Misc Additions

I also picked up this Hook strap from Pit_Slave today. I dig it.

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Thu May 12, 2016 9:30 pm

Also for anyone wondering, I managed to fit the 35's back in the spare tire location, I had to deflate to 25psi and then guide it into position. It's very tight. Hopefully, it won't be a problem. But it did fit.

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Really close to the panhard bar:
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Fri May 13, 2016 12:13 am

:roll: Believe it or not my bumper has been like that since we got it, with odd gaps on it. Like it wasn't installed properly. A matter of fact you can see how it looks pushed in on this video:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFF5r9uPvhK/

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Good ol' American build qaulity right there. :popcorn:

But the dent on the lower bottom we can't figure out. The last photo of the day from Hell's Revenge shows no dents. We kept checking out the truck during all our runs. So come Monday evening, I noticed that dent in the lower corner there. And I call the wife, like WTF is this. We don't know where it came from. It's a good dent and we should of felt it.

So our only two guesses being, the wife bumped a rock and we didn't notice, which would have to have been at the end of the trail, which seems unlikely. Or someone backed into us with their hitch. We just don't know. It's kind of freaking annoying. Seems like an odd place to hit us with a hitch. So I am leaning more towards rock, but I just don't know. :angry:

I would mind if I knew we smacked it, but not knowing when/how is super annoying. :rant:

Oh well. No ugly ass bumpers in my future, btw.
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Fri May 13, 2016 11:45 am

Reloaderguy wrote: The spare might not clear the diff guards.

My bumper is crooked too. I figure I'll eventually have it off so why bother straightening it.

I figure a good way to test will be to hitch up without WD, and then fill my 30 gallon water blatter in the bed and stand in it.

But, it would seem to me I'd hit the sway bar long before the diff guard.

I'll let you all know. Right now, fingers crossed. I'd like to keep my bed space. I'll be in Moab another two weeks as we have more friends joining us, so that's more time to hit the trails and get some real world flex testing. :wink:
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by olyelr » Sun May 15, 2016 11:16 pm

Well wheres the WK slider pics?!
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by 04Ram2500Hemi » Mon May 16, 2016 8:47 pm

Honestly I'm leaning towards a receiver hitch of some sort. The right vehicle and angle make more sense to me, and I think you would have heard/felt that had you done it on the trail.
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Truxedo Deuce Bed Cover with Bed Lights, Black Line-X Rocker Panel, Custom Built Rock Rails Sprayed with Line-X, Front & Rear Bumper and Grill sprayed with Line-X, Husky Mud Flaps, Husky Floor Mats, Four VisionX Xmitter Low Pro Prime XP LED Light Bars Behind the Grill, LED Lights Mounted in the Rear Bumper, Heated Seats, Interior LED Lighting, NAV-TV, Camera Mounted in Front Grill, Custom Headache Rack, AEV Raised Air Intake, AEV Salta HD Wheels in Onyx, 285/75/17 Toyo A/T II Tires

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Tue May 17, 2016 9:22 pm

olyelr wrote:Well wheres the WK slider pics?!
ARMOR - Rock Sliders

Well, I finally had access to a lift, and installed the sliders on the PW. These things are beefy and very well built.

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Installation on the passenger side was a breeze. The drivers side, will make you curse more than once. But the lift made the work easier. I was done with the installation in 3 hours.

Also made sure to use red Loctite on all the bolts. Now for the photos:

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SHOP RECOMMENDATION

If you are in Moab, there is a DIY hobby shop where you can go online and schedule lift time. It's great, and really convenient when you are traveling and need to work on your vehicle. Today was our first visit, and we meet with the owner Joe who is a really friendly guy. The shop has tools, including a welder and plasma torch and two 2-post lifts.

The name of the place is GOTOMOAB GARAGE http://www.gotomoabgarage.com/

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by coder » Thu May 19, 2016 7:15 pm

Looks good!
Vehicle: 2007 Power Wagon Quad Cab - Inferno Red
Suspension: Carli 3" Hemi Coils, Carli Control Arms, Carli King 2.5 Pin-Tops, Carli Stainless Steering Stabilizer, Carli Trackbar | Synergy 1" Rear Shackle
Performance: Magnaflow Muffler | Magnaflow Y-Pipe
Wheels/Tires: Toyo AT II's 35x12.5x17
Steering/Drivetrain/Axles: Carli Front Diff Guard | Dynatrac Ball Joints | Mopar HD Steering Gear
Miscellaneous: Line-X Bedliner | Locker Bypass Switch | Mopar Rock Rails | DieHard Platinum Battery G65 | Performance Friction Brake Pads | Weathertech Digital Fit Mats | Winch Thermal Protection Bypass

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by Colibri » Thu May 19, 2016 8:39 pm

Fantastic pictures! Enjoy the new sliders!
Central Texas and Houston area
2009 5.7 auto quadcab
Carli 3” coils deaver leafs 3” kings with 4 tube bypass rear and fr/rr hydro bumps
Howe steering pump and gear with hydraulic ram assist
Custom tube bumpers and white knuckle sliders
Creative fab trussed axle. rem polished and cryoed 5.13 gears with arb lockers fr/rr
Sharadon stage 2 545rfe with 3000 stall edge converter
Lots of other stuff lol

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by hutchman » Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:01 am

Really like your truck and lifestyle. How does PW tug the trailer?

Your Moab videos cost me some money on the 26th of May this year...... You sir are an enabler!! LOL!

I love my new PW!
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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:29 pm

The truck pulls the Airstream through all kinds of terrain like a champ. I love this truck

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Re: BoldAdventures 2015 Power Wagon Build

Post by BoldAdventure » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:37 pm

Just a few things.

KEEPING SCORE

Not a huge decal guy. But this felt appropriate. Need to get a top decal made to the effect of 6th Annual Power Wagons in Moab...

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Also added American Adventurist decal, fit us.

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LIGHTING UPGRADES

I replaced the factory Halogens in the projectors with DDM Tuning's HID Canbus system. The color temp is 5000 kelvin. I also installed their new Canbus LED bulbs in the high beam position, it took some work, but here it is, installed and inside the cover.

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I also added a Rigid 40-inch LED bar, D2 Driving and SAE Fog's. I ran all on separate power switches. I actually really like using the Fogs as DRL's and trail lights.

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Last edited by BoldAdventure on Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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