One the hardest parts of conceiving a project vehicle is to figure out what gear will be part of the project, and finding a place for it all on the build. On Project 4Runner Backcountry, we knew we would be a carrying a ton of gear and wanted enough cargo capacity and gear stowage to be self-sufficient for up to a week with two people on board.
To meet that goal, we would need a way to carry extra fuel and water, as well as run a proper full-size spare. Other important elements to the 4Runner buildup were recovery gear storage, on board air, and a Fridge Freezer (what, you’ve never had ice cream on the trail?).
ARB’s Fridge Freezer is a crowd-pleaser, and unlike cheap 12-volt “coolers”, the Fridge Freezer is a true refrigerator/freezer that can keep beverages and food chilled—or frozen, without the hassles associated with sloshing ice. Recently redesigned, and now with four sizes in the line-up, the Fridge Freezer is always a draw on the trail. All Fridge Freezers benefit from a robust patented hinge design, front opening lid with EZ latch, drain plugs for easy cleaning, electronic temperature settings, internal LED lighting, and handles that are strong enough to be used as tie-downs. All models are powered by a Danfoss compressor and boast industry-leading efficiency. For example, once down to temperature, the 50-quart unit in Project 4Runner draws less than one amp per hour from a 12-volt power source. It is even equipped with a battery protection system, ensuring your battery has enough power to start the vehicle.
For our onboard air needs, Power Tank outfitted the 4Runner with a 10-pound C02 tank, along with a beautiful aluminum mounting bracket. We are big fans of Power Tank’s CO2 systems, and love the fact that they can air up our tires or run our air tools. With 33-inch rubber, our 10-pound tank should last us entire wheeling season, and because of Power Tank’s SuperFlow regulator design, airing up is faster than ever.
For fuel or water, we chose Expedition One’s stackable and patented Geri Cans. These cans are made from high-strength polymer plastic and hold four gallons of liquid. The versatile design can withstand 800 pounds of gear stacked on top of them.
With a goal in mind and products in hand, we headed to Off Road Evolution in Fullerton, California, to make our ideas for the 4Runner a reality. Check out some of the cool solutions we came up with to carry all of the gear, and see how we added functionality and user-friendliness to our 4Runner.