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Building An Overlanding Rig : Part 1 – PPF, Windshield Protection Film & Tint

Building An Overlanding Rig : Part 1 – PPF, Windshield Protection Film & Tint

In the past several years, overlanding has taken off. You see it everywhere, from how many people are out exploring, how many companies are making equipment for the space and how much coverage is being devoted online to the category. People enjoy this activity with various vehicles, equipment and trailers. You can jump in on a minimal budget or spend as much as you can imagine building an overlanding rig. 

With that in mind, we wanted to create a series that documented a nice, middle-of-the-road approach to getting involved with a competent rig without resorting to thousands of dollars on mods. We wanted something capable of getting you well off the grid and into remote areas without excessive modifications.

The first thing to consider is the vehicle you will be using. For this series, we chose a 2023 Jeep Gladiator Mojave. This model of the Gladiator is the first that Jeep has given the “Desert Rated” classification. It is comparable to the Rubicon, but made for higher-speed trail running versus rock crawling. It comes well spec’d with 2.5” Fox Shocks with remote reservoirs. It also comes with a rear-locking differential. This rig is reasonably ready to go right off the dealer lot.

Now that we have selected the vehicle, we wanted to make it look a bit better and prepare it for rougher use. To do this, we decided to have ceramic window tint installed on the front windows, add paint protection film to some high-wear areas and coat the entire vehicle with ceramic paint coating.

The first step was having some ceramic window tint by DUB iR installed on the front windows. This advanced nano-ceramic material looks great and matches the back factory-tinted glass, but it also guards your skin and keeps your cabin cooler. It effectively blocks infrared and UV rays. This isn’t your average window tint!

The next step was to protect the paint from damage by rocks and debris both on and off road. For this, we turned to Madico Protekt Paint Protection Film. This clear paint protection film comes with an industry-leading, scratch and chemical resistant top coat designed for exterior application on vehicles, boats, jet skis and RVs’ paint surfaces. Its durability and protective qualities against natural forces, road debris and other flying objects that may cause minor impact damage make it the superior choice among paint protection films. You can add this to any high-wear areas. This Jeep includes the entire front end, windshield surround, front of the hinges and door thresholds.

Next, a common problem on Jeeps and other vehicles used for overlanding is broken windshields. This can not only be a nuisance but can be costly as many insurance companies are no longer covering windshield replacement.

Well, the best offense is often a good defense, so we decided to have Madico ClearPlex Windshield Protection Film installed. Cracks and chips in windshields can be expensive and hazardous and ClearPlex is the world’s first and best-performing windshield protection film.

This SEMA Award Winning product has the following benefits:

  • Optically clear
  • Absorbs impact of standard road hazards
  • Reduces occurrence of rock chips, pitting, and bull’s eyes
  • Ideal for maintaining luxury cars and fleet vehicles.
  • Significantly less expensive than replacing a windshield, especially those with ADAS (Crash Avoidance Systems) technology.
  • Keeps windshield intact during an accident.
  • Protects against 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Faster run-off of rain and snow

Finally, the entire Jeep was coated with an industry-leading ceramic paint coating. This coating will make it easier to keep the vehicle clean and protect the paint from environmental damage such as insects, bird droppings, acid rain, etc.

With these four mods, we are on our way with this series. The Jeep now looks better, is more comfortable and has the paint and windshield protected from damage by rocks and debris. Stay tuned; we have more parts coming for this series to start spending time off-road.

Follow along with this series of articles to see how we tastefully modify this Jeep Gladiator to make it a more capable overlanding rig.





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