A JEEP NAMED KATE

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

HOW THE PROJECT STARTED

A few years back what was supposed to be a fun day of sledding to ring in the new year turned into a 24 hour long ordeal which led me to building a “go anywhere, do anything” rolling go-bag.  Read the story here.

READ NOW

WHAT WE STARTED WITH

In April of 2018 I purchased a 2016 JEEP Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon with no intention of building her to the extent that we did.

The first thing I did was take the kids up a local trail with some larger rocks and ruts and asked them if they thought we’d ever get stuck again, the answer was a resounding “NO!”.  And then to make sure they were totally comfortable with the rig I had them name her.  We ended up on “Kate” so thus began the story of “Kate the Jeep”.

THE PLAN

Overlanding was always something I was really interested in as a good friend of mine at work had built several offroad capable rigs one of which was fully outfitted for long excursions into the land.  He’d invite me out and while I’d be busy pulling out my cooler and unpacking my bin of items, his stuff conveniently packed out from select spaces in and around his vehicle.  That was a level of organization and attention to detail I had yet to achieve.

So when the idea of attending Overland West was mentioned by my brother-in-law, Chris, I jumped on it.  I drove out and was lucky enough to have had two other friends who already lived the lifestyle save me a camp spot.  Walking around the event I was floored by the demographic of 35-50 year olds with a passion for all things offroad and camping.  The spark was lit and I started approaching companies regarding the build-out of the rig.  Thanks to Luke over at RIGd supply we were able to get KC Hilites as our first partner with ICON following behind at the event and Goose-Gear expressing a strong interest as well.

I decided it was time to talk to the company I work for, 5.11 Tactical, and explain to them how I just came from an event where everyone was wearing our gear or using our bags.  In addition a majority of the rigs at the event had molle systems integrated into their builds whether it was behind the seats, in the rear cargo area or outside of the vehicle and an assortment of random pouches installed on them.  To me it was a clear bridge between our core consumer who spends his time being ready for the eventualities of his job and our aspirational consumer who though may not serve or is a former service-member still wants to be ready for any eventuality.  So I spoke to the CEO and CMO and they both saw the value and the obvious connection and endorsed the build with one catch, no budget would be allocated aside from very limited support in terms of the support of existing company relationships and marketing PR support.  So it was make or break and everything rested on my shoulders.

I created a full proposal of what I believed I could deliver in terms of both events and media.  I connected with my friend Alex with whom I had done some video installation guides in the past and brought our old format back to life for this endeavor.  I polished off the render and came up with this…

The render and ROI package gained momentum within the industry.  Slowly but surely some of the best companies in the offroad and overland industry came aboard the project.  Some moved by my reasons for starting the project (the whole thing about getting stuck a few years back in the other car) others the affiliation with 5.11 and some just liked the video installation guide format I had presented.  Whatever the reason, all of the pieces started to come together to ensure the success of the build.  And the sponsor list became truly incredible…

THE GOODS

5.11 Tactical

(1) Response CR1 Flashlight
(1) Station 3D Flashlight
(2) Rapid L1 Flashlight
(2) Hard Case 940 Foam
(2) Amp72 Backpack
(1) Amp24 Backpack
(1) Amp12 Backpack
(1) LBD Mike Lima
(1) Range Ready Bag
(1) UCR IFAK Pouch Med Mit
(2) 6×6 Padded Pouches
(4) H2O Carrier Pouches
(4) Light Writing Patches
S+R H3 Headlamp

Icon Vehicle Dynamics

Complete Front Stage-2 4-6.5” Coilover System
Complete Rear Stage-5 4” Coil-Spring Suspension System
Inner Fender kit
Front Hydraulic Air Bumpstop System
Centerline Steering Stabilizer

Icon Alloys

(5) Rebound 17×9 Rims in Satin Black

RIPP Supercharger – Installed by REBEL OFFROAD

XL Supercharger Kit

Diablosport

PCM / Trinity 2 PKIT

Goose Gear 

Floor Plate System
JK Side cubbies
Camp Kitchen 2.3
Drawer Module

KC HiLites

Gravity Pro 7” DOT Headlights
Gravity fog lights
Gravity Pro6 combo beam headlight
Rocklight kit
Gravity LED G46 A pillar
(3) 2” C-Series C2 LED Area Flood System
(2) Cyclone Light Kit

EVO MFG

1/4 Pounder Front Bumper
Stinger
Pro Series Rear Bumpe
Rock Skin Corners
Corner Lights
Pro Series JKU Bombers
Rear Tire Carrier
Radius Fenders
Vacuum Pump Relocation Kit

Cooper tire

Discoverer SST Pro 17x37x12.5

Mishimoto

Baffled Oil Catch Can

Kenwood

Dnx994s – satellite nav tuner
DRV-N520 – front camera
Idatalink maestro ads-mmr interface module
Excelon Speakers
Excelon XR-901s 5 Channel amplifier
D710 Dual Band Ham Receiver
Auxillary Ham Radio Speaker

Factor55

Ultrahook
Rope guard
Fairlead
Hitchlink 2.0

SPEC Clutch – Installed by GERO’S REPAIR SHOP

Spec Stage 3 JK Clutch

Carolina metal masters

Front and Rear Knuckle Grab Handles
ARB twin compressor mount
Front Passenger Grab Handle – Custom Engraved

DV8

Rock Doors
10th Anniversary Hood

FIND ME SPOT

(2) SPOT X
(1) Tracker
(1) Spot 3rd Gen
(2) Adventurer Plans
(1) 1 Spot Trace Plan
(1) Spot Gen3 Plan

Freespirit Recreation Tents

High Country Series 80″ Roof Top Tent -GreyBody/Black Fly
High Country Series 80″ Removable Walls – Tri-Layer – Grey
High Country Series 80″ Large Annex – Black
Readylight – Multi-funct. LED Solar Light – OD Green

Magnaflow

Rock Crawler Exhaust System

Off Grid Trek

200W Solar Panel
128W Solar Panel
28W Solar Panel

Genesis Offroad 

Dual Battery Kit

Odyssey Batteries

(2) Group34 Deep Cycle Batteries

Vector Offroad

JK E-Dock

Yukon Gear and Axle – Installed by – GERO’S REAPIR SHOP AND PREMIER WEST GEARS

Front and Rear 5.13 Re-Gear Master Kit
Nodular Iron Front and Rear Diff Covers

RCV Axles

Ultimate Dana44 CV Axle

JE REEL Driveline

1350 Heavy Duty Front and Rear Driveshafts

Outback Adventure Products

Trailgater

Superwinch

EXPi 10S (10,000 Pound Synthetic Winch)
EXP Wireless Remote
2570 Winch Rope Dampener

Camp Chef

Mountaineer 2 Burner Stove
Cast Iron Pans
Stryker 200 Multi-fuel Stove
MESA Aluminum Camp Table

RhinoRack

Batwing Awning
Pioneer Rack with Backbone System and Quick Mounts
2-Bike Carrier
Assorted Rapid Straps
Accessory Bars

sPOD

sPOD 8Circuit SE System w/Touchscreen

Team Tech Offroad

Universal Hand Gun Holster for Driver Side Mount
Hood Strut

Deadman Offroad

Complete Deadman Kit

Vehicle Wrap

Alive Wraps

Innovative JK Products

4 Tire Air System

RAM Mounts
67 Designs

Electronics/comms Mounts

ATTACK TRAIL

Crazy Beaver Shovel

THE TEAM

If it wasn’t for these 3 I don’t believe the project would have progressed to where it did within the time it needed to get there.  Alex (middle) brought his filming experience to the table while Jon from Castle Fabrication (far right) put years of fabrication know-how to use.

We documented the major pieces of the build and created video installation manuals in an easy to follow and relatable format.

Jon from Castle Fabrication really went the extra mile on the build.  Originally introduced to me by my friend, Tony, Jon was at first just excited to be part of a 5.11 affiliated build but quickly became a close friend.  A true fabrication shop Jon also understands wiring, is traditionally trained as a mechanic and is generally the guy that other shops send their rigs to to get work done that they don’t specialize in.  The amount of hours, hardware and attention Jon put into this rig would be very difficult to attach a number to which is why I consider him our greatest and most valuable partner.

IN THE MEDIA