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Building An Overlanding Rig : Part 2 – ARE CX Classic Truck Cap

Building An Overlanding Rig : Part 2 – ARE CX Classic Truck Cap

We are back with Part 2 of our Building an Overlanding Rig series, documenting a nice, middle-of-the-road approach to getting involved with a competent overlanding rig. As mentioned in Part 1, we wanted to create a capable build without wasting a crazy amount on mods we may never fully utilize. We wanted to build something capable of getting you well off the grid and into remote areas without excessive modifications.

With that in mind, we contacted the good folks at ARE to help us increase the load capacity of this rig. This is important for two reasons. First, we will pull a smaller square drop trailer for camping, which you will see in an upcoming article, and second, we will be taking our full-grown Bernese mountain dog, Mōka, with us on these adventures.

Mōka is too big to fit in the back seat area and the square drop doesn’t have a lot of storage, so we needed help. ARE to the rescue! We chose their popular CX Classic cap, fully customized on their website to our needs. This cap was a Consumer Digest Best Buy, and ARE describes it like this: “The CX Classic combines strength, style, and function. It is designed to look great but also offers many different options to fit your specific needs. It is a great choice for any lifestyle, work or play.”

Their easy-to-use builder tool created the exact cap we wanted a snap. We configured this cap with their OTR finish to closely match the Jeep’s unpainted roof. We also specified an ARE Ascend Roof Basket to expand load-carrying capacity. We finalized the spec with the following items:

  • Aluminum-framed tilt-down sliding Windoor
  • Outdoorsman Vented Windoors on both sides
  • Aluminum framed double T rear door
  • Dark Gray carpet headliner
  • Interior light option with prop switch

Once the cap was manufactured, we turned to A Better Truck Cap & Hitch in Parma, Ohio, to do the installation.

Why The ARE CX Classic Fits With Building an Overlanding Rig

This setup is great for an overlanding rig for various reasons, but here are some reasons I felt like this was an excellent fit for Project Gladiator.

  1. It expands the dry storage capacity of the truck.
  2. The products inside are easily accessible through the back or side windows.
  3. The interior lighting makes finding what you are looking for when setting up camp in the dark a breeze.
  4. The Ascend Basket allows additional weatherable cargo capacity and is a great place to mount lighting. (Stay tuned for an upcoming issue with a great lighting setup from Garmin, Oracle Lighting and Optima Battery.)
  5. The side vent windows and front window make the bed a comfortable place for Mōka and enable her to hear and communicate with us upfront.

Here are some additional pictures of this setup. Stay tuned for an upcoming article on the Decked CargoGlide 1000, which you may have seen in some pics. Overall, this rig is becoming more of that “everything you need, nothing you don’t” overlandimg vehicle we had envisioned. Keep an eye out for the next article coming soon!


Building An Overlanding Rig - Pt2 - ARE CX Classic Truck Cap - Moka


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