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1999 Dodge Dakota Sport
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking I'm wanting to try some overlanding with my dakota. I love camping and do it when I can, also love my truck so what could be better. Planning a trip at the end of October for my first test trip. If anybody on here has experience I'd like some guidance on what I should add to my rig. You can see what is has in my sig. Been doing alot of gear research but it's be nice to actually start a discussion about it. Tia
 

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Maybe just your terminology, But I don't fully understand the question.
Are we talking about gear to turn the bed into a camping bed of sorts?
Or did I miss this completely?
 

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1999 Dodge Dakota Sport
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Expedition rig, 4x4 camping. It's going point A to point B with your 4x4 camping along the way, all by trail.
 
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I spent over three and a half months doing what I think you may be planning. I spent three to seven days back packing with my dog
at a number of places from Yellow Stone to Prudoe Bay, Northern Canada, The Bearing Coast, Skagway on the Chilcuth Trail.
Everything you listed is fine for your truck, except where your survival is concerned. Like a back-up battery connected to a solenoid
to charge both batteries while driving not drain main battery overnight. You did not a camper shell and storage to keep track of
your supplies. A satellite radio so when you are really in the back country where phone is just extra weight you don't carry.
Enough extra supplies for a couple weeks more than you think you need. After all, a fan belt or water pump are more likely to
strand you then any of the equipment you listed on your truck. Except for the things that I listed, I used a 2002 Dakota club cab 2wd.
Good luck on your trip. Daddyododge
 

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Howdy -
I am building my '02 Dak for what I call 'Rocklanding' - hard-core overlanding including real rock crawling. Most of the voodoo done to the truck is aimed at the hard-core off-roading and most of that has been very serious fabrication, but regardless I have done a few things aimed squarely at extended time away from civilization, including making room for a second identical Dakota 24 gallon gas tank, which in my book while a ton of work was a lot better than trying to secure 5 gerry cans full of gas as I'm bounding down the trails. That mod (involved outboarding the frame 3.5 inches per side just past the first cab mount) also gave me the ability to stow my 40" spare tire/wheel under the bed, which was huge considering the space it would have taken up in the bed, further allowing me more room to carry camping/cooking/travelling gear.

Along with the extra gas and at least one spare tire, I'd recommend front, side and tail armor, a winch, exterior lights, spare parts (alternator, ignition/fuel parts, etc), really good tires, a CB or GMRS radio, all tools, fluids, and a bunch more but those are where I'd start.

Here's a link to my build thread if it'd glean any ideas -

02 Dakota 4x4 Quad Cab 'Crawlorado Cruiser' | Page 22 | Dakota Durango Forum (dakota-durango.com)

- Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow you guys are serious. I won't be as hard-core as yall, everything you guys are doing is way out of my league. Our first trip is only gonna be a few days but maybe some day I'll go on a long trek. Going to the pick n pull Tues and gonna snag some spare part while I'm there. I was thinking ignition coil, rad hoses, t stat and a serp belt. Also gonna hit some store for some camping gear. I have most but could use some other little things.
 

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sounds good (y) . If you're intending to get back in the woods and/or be doing some real 4-wheeling I would also highly recommend a rear locker. Personally I prefer the 'automatic' lockers - these are all mechanical - no air lines of electronics to fail, and guarantee your rear axle will have power going to both tires and not just whichever one has the least traction. Places like Lokka, Aussie Locker, etc - they're commonly referred to as 'lunch-box' lockers. If you're interested and you can tell me what rear diff you have I can try to help determine which locker would work for your axle.

- Sam
 

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BTW your truck looks real good. If you really want to do the camping thing right there's always the option of a slide-in bed camper, and if not that then you could drop on a nice topper and build a roof rack around it and put a rooftop tent up there - pretty nice way to get out and still have a nice place to sleep off the ground.
 

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here's what our truck looked like before we went 'big' - we had 33x12.5 BFG KM2s, rock sliders



Also my good friend Alex at Rock Monkey Off Road installed a Aussie Locker. First I had to find an open differential (while these types of lockers 'replace' the spider gears, and even though the limited slip diffs do also have spider gears, it isn't the same - you can't put an automatic locker like this one in a limited slip differential) - and had to find a rear diff with the tone ring, so found a good used complete 8.25 axle from a 99 Dakota on Craigslist - it happened to also have a 3.92 R&P...which was a nice perk but not essential as we re-used the ring gear that was on my LSD carrier. Pulled my LSD carrier out, pulled the open carrier from the donor axle, swapped ring gears, reinstalled the open carrier, then installed the Aussie Locker. Smooth and easy, and totally increased the truck's off-road capability 100%
















and then I welded up a winch bumper and added front and side LEDs for night runs -



and now that it's got 40s under it all of the armor is being redesigned bigger and stronger
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh also I do have a shell on my truck and a truck bed sleeping setup for it. I've been looking at the lunchbox lockers but wasn't sure about street ability. I do like the price though ha.
111213
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's got an 8.25 open diff
 

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I've been looking at the lunchbox lockers but wasn't sure about street ability
they're completely streetable. I ran mine on the street for a long time and never had any problems. Yah they'll chirp or scrub a tire now and then and they can be 'clicky' which is normal, and to me the off-road benefits far outweigh the cons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've done research and they seem pretty good. Just seen some people saying they can be unpredictable sometimes but seems like you just have to learn how to drive with them. I've only questioned them cause where I live has more winding roads than city streets. Possible locking and unlocking too often but idk, I don't drive like an ass so I'm sure I'd be fine. The price, traction and ease of install seem to be well worth it. This truck is also my hunting rig so there's another pro for the locker.
 

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yah they can be a little quirky at times, but honestly I like a little tire chirp when pulling out on a corner - the ruu-ruu-ruu is kinda cool in an old-school way 😁😎
 

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I just did a week long trip with the wife between VT and NH. Nothing serious off road, but we camped and lived out of the back of the truck. If you're more into doing the camping than the offroading, under no circumstances should you get a roof top tent. They are the ultimate for street cred, but every time you have to move the truck you have to pack the tent. Every time you set up, you have to level the truck with blocks, L/R and F/B. Just not worth it for the guy trying to get off grid, camp, and maybe do trails in the area. I'm in an 04, 5spd. LSD in the rear with new clutches and springs. What I can say is that even though there is no locker, I still squak the tires on the pavement in tight turns. So I don't know what else I would need in mild off road settings.

That being said, for camping, your topper with the roof rack is already a great start. Your clothes can go in the back seat, I ALWAYS bring a full set of tools, complete with impacts for both sockets and nuts/screws. Otherwise I think you have a great start on it. Extra used parts are great (if you know they work). But on things like serpentine belts, my rule of thumb is to get a new one, and use the old one as my backup spare. The other comments around extra batteries could be solid. I run an 1 sqft solar panel to keep my camper battery topped up. Might be worth consideration mounted to your roof rack in lieu of an actual battery. Would provide enough power to charge electronics if you were off grid for several days. The best advice is to just get out there though. Record everything you need, and especially the things you didn't/don't so you can drop the gear and the weight.

From my last trip for example, I always bring impacts. Next time I can tell you my cordless sawzall is coming along too. Could have used it 10x for remote firewood harvesting of large branches and small trees. Would be good for cutting branches and things to help fill in under your tires to help get you un stuck should you ever need it etc.
 
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