unxpctd's 2021 75A Build Thread

unxpctd

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Hey gang! I've never done a dedicated build thread so I thought I would start one. I took possession of my 2021 Power Wagon, 75th Anniversary, on April 21st, 2021. It is build #1182. I have ordered a ton of stuff for it and will take photos as it's installed in the upcoming weeks/months. Sorry this is long...I love researching and documenting things...!

This Power Wagon is my dream truck. It will be paired with a 2020 Escapade Backcountry off-road camper. I have some done some minor modifications to it also and will document everything as I move forward. This thread will document everything! My dream is to explore the western US a bit now and half time after I retire and move west. I'm planning on Colorado somewhere and about 7-10 days off grid every month after I retire/move. I love National Parks/Forests/Photography and stargazing. This truck and camper will allow me to go just about anywhere for extended periods.

I was going to buy an off-road camper and new Ram in 2023 when I retire but got a helluva deal on this camper (used 5 nights last year) back in November. Couple that with Ram announcing the 75A edition of the Power Wagon and I couldn't resist.

My Power Wagon is Granite Crystal Metallic and has all the goodies except the Rambox and Tonneau Cover and dual alternators (which I probably should have gotten but oh well).

Onto the build! I'm planning on doing this in phases as it's taken a bit of a toll on my savings and I need to recover a bit!

Ordered:

MBRP 4" single side exit, dual tips, 409 Stainless: Will ship mid-May
S&B Intake: Received yesterday
Softopper in Black: Will ship in mid-May
Apeman Dash Cam: New / Received yesterday
GoPro Hero 8: New / Received yesterday
Blendmount mirror mount for the GoPro
Husky Liners in black / X-Act Contour: Will ship sometime in May
Carhartt Seat Covers in Tan: Will ship early June (ugh)
50% tint on front windows and 4" eyebrow on top of windshield: Soon
Mud Flaps: Mopar, ordered: Arrival in early May
AEV Smoke Window Vents: ordered: Arrival in early May
Wheel rings will be powder coated black: Soon
Pedal Covers: Received yesterday

This is all items to get the vehicle up to what I want for goodies and storage. The Softopper was my choice to keep weight down and I love the fact it can be folded forward if needed. I have multiple large plastic storage boxes that will go in the back. I'm debating on a bed storage unit (Decked System) but at this point it's cost prohibitive at $1500. I may eventually go with it but I'm going to try it out without it for a while. I'll probably get a Bedrug for the floor as my PW has the sprayed in liner from the factory.

Next phase, probably late summer is protection and lighting:

Dethloff Tranny Skid Plate
Maple Off Road 3-Bar Skid Plate (if needed)
Purple Cranium Rear Differential Rock Guard
OR a Rear Diff cover entire replacement (not sure yet)
Front bumper Light mount
Front Bumper LED bar
Switch panel for extra lights control
Rock Lights for wheel wells / under carriage
Extra back up lights - LED
Extra front side lights w/ Mounts - LED

It's going to be an extensive project that will take awhile. I plan on traveling and using the vehicle for at least 7 years...so I'll be putting a ton of miles on it. I can't wait!

The off road camping trailer is a 2020 Escapade Backcountry. It's made for off-road with the Timbren axle-less suspension. It weighs 2000lbs dry and pulls great. I drove from MN to VA to pick it up in November with my 2017 Rebel. It has a huge roof top tent and a 270 degree bat-wing awning attached to it. I've had the connections for these modified, pics later on in this thread.

The trailer HAD (1) 100ah battery with (1) 100watt Renogy solar panel. It's not an extensive powered camper and the power only needs to run a MaxxFan and the Fridge and charge a few phone/iPads/etc. I just don't want to run out of power off grid. I have purchased a second 100ah battery and a second 100watt Renogy solar panel. I'm going to run them in series, basically doubling the battery storage AND the charging capabilities. The solar panels are suitcase models that have a long extension and are portable so not attached to the camper. Total cost for upgrades will be about $500 total with small extras... It's only wired for shore power now (the outlets) but I'm going to direct wire a converter with plug in's to run directly off the battery for off grid purposes and charging of various camping items / phones / iPads, etc.

Sorry this got so long! I'll be updating this thread starting this weekend when I install my GoPro, dash camera and S&B Intake! I run a dash cam for documentation of stupid drivers (looping recording) and a GoPro for trip videos and future trail fun!

Couple pics of the truck and trailer (not together....yet!)


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It fit in my 82.5 inch tall garage door! Barely...but it fit! I won't be able to put 35's on it....yet....soon though after I retire. Figure I'll run these stock 33's until then. Don't want to store it outside!

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The camper behind my 2017 Rebel. Small Off-Road square drop trailer with a fridge in the back. I have had the roof top tent lowered to fit it my garage (without taking it off) and the awning is now articulating and can go up to various levels. The welding work cost $350 and the power coating of the new weld work cost $250.

I will update this thread as I move through this build! It's going to be an experience and I cannot wait! I wish I could retire now and start traveling...but alas...couple years left. Soon enough!

One last thing. I cannot express enough....my thanks to everyone on this forum. From starting here in 2017 with my Rebel to dreaming and wanting a Power Wagon...to making my dream come true. The opinions and photos and information has been and will continue to be invaluable! Thank you all!


-unxcptd
 

Tinman454

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That looks great. Can’t believe you didn’t go with ram boxes on your new truck after having them on your other truck. Did you find they weren’t as useful as you though? Good luck on your build, and please post your travels as you are about 10 years ahead of me but I want to do the same thing when I retire.
 

thkbaron

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2nd the ramboxes. also why don't you go with AEV flaps? They are super nice and cheap!
 

Airmousam

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Gonna be a cool build!!...I don't like ram boxes or the AEV flaps..different strokes I suppose....lol
 

Vexter

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Congratulations and looking forward to seeing your build!
 

unxpctd

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Been a busy weekend and early week but I got a few things done!

Installed the Husky Liners. Love these things. Had a set on my 2017 Rebel and had to get a new set for the PW.

Installed a set of Ram 2500 Amazon purchased pedal covers. So easy to install. The Mopar ones ($90) on my Rebel were a pain. These were $27 and went on easily and look great....and basically the same as the Mopar ones.

Installed my Apeman 660 Dash Cam (looping recording for stupid drivers). It's wired down to the passenger side and then I have an extension with a switch that goes up to the top of the dash. Flip the switch whenever I get in
and it turns on and starts recording.

Installed a new GoPro Hero 8. I had a GoPro Hero 3 in my Rebel. That GoPro was 7 years old and although it still worked I could NOT reconcile the fact it needed to record upside down. It didn't have it's own screen so I had the
GoPro "BacPac" on it...the screen...but it would not match up to the recording. I said screw it and bought a new GoPro Hero 8 w/ a 64mb micro SC card.

I paired that GoPro with a Blendmount that attaches to the rear view mirror. This was the ideal mounting solution. The Blendmount was made for the GoPro and is very tight. The cord will come out on the driver side...which I don't
like so I purchased a "L" attachment for the USB-C cable. The L will go into the GoPro and straight up so I can run the cord out of the way. This cord will plug into the AC outlet in the lower center dash. I don't keep this powered
on all the time, just for trails, National Parks, etc.

Today I also installed the S&B Intake. It took me a bit but a good video on Youtube really helped. Only lost 1 plastic connector that holds the shroud down....I'll get a replacement at my 1st oil change.

Also threw on my Pedal Commander PC31 (non-Bluetooth) that I had on my 2017 Rebel. Looked it up and it was the same model (PC31) so I figured I'd give it a try. Works like a charm! Currently in City +3...but played around
with Sport +1....she's a beast!

The install of the Pedal Commander and S&B threw no codes and it sounds great and looks good too.

She's coming together!

Awaiting my Softopper and MBRP Exhaust (Single Side exit, Dual Tips, 409 Stainless). Can't wait! Also awaiting the Carhartt Seat Covers.

Few pics from the last few days work:


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unxpctd

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That looks great. Can’t believe you didn’t go with ram boxes on your new truck after having them on your other truck. Did you find they weren’t as useful as you though? Good luck on your build, and please post your travels as you are about 10 years ahead of me but I want to do the same thing when I retire.


I really wanted to go with the Ramboxes as I loved them on my Rebel. With the camper being small (sleep/sit in only) I don't have room for all the camping and recovery gear. I opted for the Softopper (possibly Decked system later) to allow for storage of multiple camping items:

Solo Stove - Portable Fire Pit (check them out...amazing!)
Table for various stuff (will set up under the awning)
Camping Chairs
Kitchette table for Coleman Stove
Small Grill w/ extra 20lb Propane Tank (Weber Q1000 w/ stand)
(6) Aqua Bricks for water storage
Multiple storage containers for extra gear/off grid items
Recovery Gear / Jump Pack / Tire Repair Kit / Recovery Boards / Portable Air Compressor / etc.
5 Gallon bucket for You know what (#2)

I want to be completely self sufficient off road and be able to handle everything. I want to be able to go where 5th Wheel Trailers/Travel Trailers cannot go. National Forests have tons of room to camp for free for up to 14 days. I'm planning on 7-10 days per month
off grid after I retire. 20 days back at home then back to the back country.

I have (2) ratcheting cargo bars to hold all of the containers and gear in the back of the truck and the Softopper should keep everything secure. It will give me more room going "up" than a tonneau cover with the Rambox would have. Love the Rambox...just not
the best for this build and what I need it for.

Softopper emailed me....they are having major issues with getting metal for the braces...so now end of May. No biggie... soon enough!

I had considered the Leitner Active Cargo System...amazing stuff...but no rain protection. With all the gear in the back I want to keep it out of the elements as I'll be driving all over the nation with this rig.

I'm trying to come up with some ideas on how (and where) to mount a couple of Jerry Cans for extra gas. I may be able to work something out to put them on the camper wheel wells or something. Working on ideas.

While I love the Power Wagon...she's a thirsty beast!

More to come!
 

unxpctd

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2021 PW 75A
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6.4 Hemi
Oh...and I forgot to mention. I had my window sticker for my 75A laminated and I ordered a $20 12x18 frame from Amazon. I do have to come up with a black
background for it...but it looks great!

Figured I'd put it in a frame since it says "This vehicle was especially built for -Insert my name-" Soooo cooool...
 

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