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Fullsize Invasion!: Large Rigs Prowl Gold Bar Rim At The 2017 Easter Jeep Safari

Posted in Events on May 22, 2017
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Moab is generally considered the Mecca of Jeep culture. Every year, Moab’s Jeep population explodes exponentially the week leading up to Easter for the annual Easter Jeep Safari hosted by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers ( However, regardless of the event being called the Easter Jeep Safari, lots of non-Jeep vehicles join in the fun.

Years ago, Jerrod Jones (former editor of Off-Road magazine), John Cappa (former editor of Four Wheeler magazine), and Stephen Watson (owner of Offroad Design) hatched a plan to get fullsize truck owners together during the popular week in Moab as a show of strength and solidarity in the big truck community, and Fullsize Invasion was born. That was six years ago, and the group has been steadily growing in popularity ever since.

For 2017, Fullsize Invasion did several runs during the week leading up to Easter. Several companies joined in on the fullsize fun, too. Daystar (, General Tire (, Offroad Design (, and Xtreme 4x4 Tours ( kicked in stickers, goodies and swag for participants.

We jumped in with the group and hit the ledges, stairsteps, and waterfalls of the Gold Bar Rim trail. The group contained Ford F-350s, Dodge Rams, various GM fullsize rigs, and many more. The Fullsize Invasion runs are a safe place, where anyone can run whatever they want, Jeeps included. No one is turned away.

To get even more Fullsize Invasion coverage, head over to or check out the Fullsize Invasion Facebook page (

David Hellman runs Xtreme 4x4 Tours in Moab, so that even folks without a 4x4 rig can experience the Moab landscape the only way an off-road adventure can. David brought out one of his tour rigs to cruise around with the other fullsize rigs. Each of the Xtreme 4x4 Tour vehicles are outfitted with top-of-the-line suspension components, drivetrain, and powertrain because failure is not an option.
The calm before the fun. All the rigs on the Gold Bar Rim trail run lined up, aired down and communed for a short bit before starting the trail. The mixture of vehicles ranged from Rams, Jeeps, Ford F-series trucks, and much more.
Brian Bohrer brought his ’96 Ram to Moab for its maiden voyage. Hazzard FabWorks of Spokane, Washington, custom built the rig for Brian with a custom long-arm link and Fox coilover suspension system front and rear, 3/4-ton Dana 60s, full hydraulic PSC steering, Trailready beadlocks and 42-inch BFGoodrich Red Label Krawlers.
Moab is full of stairsteps, ledges, and waterfalls. The extra-long wheelbase of a fullsize rig comes in very handy on these obstacles, allowing the front and rear tires more space between them so they aren’t always hitting the obstacle at the same time.
Todd Farrand of Mercenary OffRoad brought out a freshly built ’05 Ford Excursion to put it to the test. The Excursion is low-slung with a 4-inch lift and King 2.5 reservoir shocks and rides on Trailready beadlocks and 40-inch Toyo M/Ts. Beefed up with Mercenary Offroad Bumpers front and rear, Warn 12,000-pound winch, and plenty of lighting, the Ford is definitely ready for some action.
Also part of the Mercenary Offroad crew was this Jeep Wagoneer that bridges the gap between fullsize and Jeep. Set up on 39-inch BFGoodrich Krawlers and 8-lug differentials, the Wagoneer also has a diesel powerplant stuffed under the hood.
BDS Suspension debuted their ’17 Ford Super Duty at the 2016 SEMA Show and brought it out to Moab to get it dirty. The trucks rides on a BDS 6-inch four-link conversion with Fox 2.5 coilovers with remote-reservoir shocks. For traction, the big Ford uses a set of 38x13.50 Nitto Trail Grapplers mounted on 20-inch KMC wheels.
The “run what you brung” attitude of Fullsize Invasion is no joke, it welcomes everything including this heavily modified GM Crew Cab on 40-inch Interco tires.
Rockstar Kustomz is all about making a statement. This GM tow rig has been completely refreshed in every aspect.
This Chevy Suburban is a frequent Fullsize Invasion (FSI) member and has participated on the FSI trail runs for many years. The extremely capable rig is able to carry everything you need and then some.
Stephen Watson of Offroad Design is one of the founding members of Fullsize Invasion. For 2017, he brought his trusty GM truck and led a large portion of the trail run. The combination of bulletproof components and excellent driver skill allowed Stephen to go wherever he wanted.
John Mears, owner of Lost River Off-Road, is another frequenter of the Fullsize Invasion. His ’02 Ford Super Duty is set up for extreme overlanding, or “rocklanding” as we started calling it. ARBs, chromoly ’shafts, 40-inch Toyos, lots of armor, and a healthy 7.3L diesel allow John and his truck to see the world from a totally different perspective than the average off-roader.
The Dodge Ram is a great candidate for building a fullsize rockcrawler. Strong frames, coil and link front suspension, and strong motors combine to give the perfect starting point. Add some extra goodies like this 5.9L-powered Ram 1500 and you’re ready to go.
The Toyota Tacoma is not a fullsize truck by any means but when you add wider axles, 39-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/As, and lots of amazing fabrication work, it can fit in without any problem.
The Gold Bar Rim trail is littered with steep ascents and descents. Having a long wheelbase staggers when the front and rear tires come into contact with an obstacle. Just be wary of how much overhang you have on the back end.
A steep approach angle is good for more than just climbing up obstacles. Because the stock front bumper was swapped out in favor of a custom built high-clearance tube unit, this Ram was able to come down this waterfall without any issues.
Vintage trucks can play too. When it comes to wheeling capability a rig needs to be strong and reliable, both of which this GMC was.

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