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Friday, June 21, 2024

8 Essential Interior Mods for Your Off-Roading Vehicle

Over the course of the pandemic, a lot of folks have gotten heavily into overlanding, camping, and off-roading. After all, it’s a great way to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air.

Over the last year or so, I’ve gotten quite a few questions from readers about what interior mods they should make to their rigs to make them more functional. The reason I haven’t addressed those questions until now is simply that I wanted to be sure I come up with suggestions that tick most of the boxes for most people.

In other words, I didn’t want to just slam together a list of mods and call it good. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time on overlanding and off-roading trips thinking about the mods I’ve made and which ones are the most important. That’s where today’s list comes from. 

Now, there is a caveat – the list of gear I have below is what I personally find useful for my needs, my personal preferences, and my vehicle. If you have a Jeep Gladiator and you have similar goals for your overlanding and off-roading adventures, then this list will be a perfect place for you to start shopping for your interior mods.

But, if you have a different vehicle, different needs while you’re off-grid, or simply different preferences regarding what mods you want to make, some of the items on this list might not be for you. However, this list is still a good place to get some ideas regarding what sort of mods are out there.

Regardless of what mods you add to your vehicle, though, a word of advice – make sure they are easily accessible from the driver’s seat. You don’t want to be fumbling around, trying to grab things behind you or on the floorboard of the passenger seat. Instead, find places to mount your mods that are easy for you to reach. Safety first!

Table of Contents

Essential Interior Mods: A Phone Mount

Essential Interior Mods 67 designs phone mount

One of the best mods you can add to your overlanding or off-roading rig is a good, solid phone mount. The key words here are “good and solid.”

The problem with so many of the phone mounts on the market is that they just don’t have strong enough springs to maintain a hold on your phone when you’re off-roading on bumpy trails. Any old phone mount isn’t going to cut it.

About a year and a half ago, I picked up the 67 Designs Universal Device Holder (shown above), and it has been a rockstar on and off the trail.

The clamp can accommodate phones that are 2.6-3.7 inches wide. The stainless steel springs and pins help the clamp hang on to your device and ensure that your phone stays right where you need it, as opposed to sliding around on the floor.

Essential Interior Mods 67 designs phone mount and ball

The mount includes a 20mm ball mount that allows the clamp to rotate 360 degrees for viewing the phone in portrait or landscape orientation.

Better yet, this phone holder offers single-hand operation, so you can mount your phone and unmount it without taking your other hand off the steering wheel.

On top of all that, this product is designed and made in the USA. The construction of it is absolutely impeccable, and you’ll find that it will be a trusted and reliable interior mod for your vehicle for years to come.

Learn more about the 67 Designs Universal Device Holder

Dash Mounting Rail

vector off road rail

Another of my interior mods that has proven to be incredibly valuable is a mounting rail on the dash of my Jeep Gladiator.

For about a year, I’ve used the Vector Off-Road E-Dock (shown above). It’s been a fantastic mod that has given me zero problems while providing me with tons of functionality in the cab of my truck. My only complaint is that it’s on the big and bulky side. And you guys have noticed in my videos that it’s a little bulky, too.

67 designs rail

So, in an effort to improve sight lines out of my windshield, I’m replacing the Vector Off-Road rail with the 67 Designs Series 55 Rail Mount. As you can see above, this one is tiny compared to the Vector Off-Road E-Dock.

I figured that the 67 Designs rail was an ideal option considering the good success I’ve had with the phone mount over the last year and a half.

67 designs rail close-up

In addition to being a low-profile option, the Series 55 Rail Mount offers tons of versatility…

You can add extra track balls, carbon fiber arms, and other mounts as needed. For example, I need mounting points for my phone, GoPro, and iPad, and this rail has all the room I need for those components.

Since the rail mounts in the middle of the dashboard, you can have your interior mods facing you and you can mount accessories that face your front seat passenger as well. As small as the Series 55 Rail Mount is, you can actually fit up to six accessories on it!

In other words, of all the interior mods on this list, a rail system like this can have the most impact on making your rig a functional and organized space for your adventures.

Learn more about the 67 Designs Series 55 Rail Mount

Essential Interior Mods: Safety Interior Mods – A First Aid Kit

Essential Interior Mods first aid kit

I think it goes without saying that when you’re off the grid, you absolutely must have a first aid kit in your vehicle.

I got the I GO Survival First Aid Kit, which has 251 pieces – so just about anything you could possibly need for basic first aid. The kit includes:

  • An emergency blanket
  • A flashlight
  • A poncho
  • A compass
  • A whistle
  • A CPR mask

Of course, the kit also includes gauze, bandages, sanitary wipes, gloves, and other first aid essentials.

I have this kit mounted on a molle board right between the two front seats, that way I can quickly grab it if it’s needed for an injury to myself or someone in my party, or if I encounter someone on the trail that needs help.

Learn more about the I GO Survival First Aid Kit

A Good Knife

Tops Knives 11.25 inches

There are a lot of good knives out there, but I personally prefer the knives from Tops Knives.

I actually have quite a few knives from these guys. I keep buying more because they are so well-made and well-designed. 

At 11.25 inches in length with a blade that’s 6.38 inches, this knife is the perfect size for bringing along on your overlanding and off-roading adventures.

As I explain in the video above, you can use this knife to dice vegetables, process game, create wood shavings for firestarter, and just about anything else you can think of.

While this isn’t the cheapest knife out there, it’s certainly worth the price of admission. You get a knife that has a fantastic blade, a comfortable handle, and gives you the versatility you need when you’re off the grid.

Learn more about the Tops Knives Silent Hero

Essential Interior Mods: A GMRS Radio

wouxan kg-1000G

The first radio I had in my Jeep was a CB, which I thought would be useful for situations in which I didn’t have cell service – which is quite often when you’re overlanding and off-roading. 

The problem is that no one that I go adventuring with has a CB! My solution to this problem was to invest in the Wouxun KG-1000G GMRS Two-Way Radio since my buddies all have GMRS radios in their rigs.

As I discuss in the video below, here’s a lot to like about this radio…

It has 50 watts of transmitting power, 30 GMRS channels, and eight built-in GMRS repeater channels. It also has FM radio capabilities and NOAA weather stations.

You can connect the radio to another KG-1000G unit to create a mobile repeater or a full base if you need.

From a practical standpoint, I like that there are three speakers – two in the main unit and one in the handheld mic. The LCD display is big and bright, and the buttons on the unit are backlit for easy use after the sun goes down.

I also really appreciate how easy this radio is to set up and use. In fact, it has one of the best user interfaces on GMRS radios that I’ve tested.

Now, you do have to get a license to operate a GMRS radio, but it’s inexpensive, easy to get, and lasts ten years.

Learn more about the Wouxun KG-100G GMRS Two-Way Radio

weBoost Drive Reach OTR Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit

weBoost Drive Reach OTR Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit

As I mentioned above, when you’re off-roading and overlanding, you spend a lot of time in places that have questionable cell service, if any.

And while a cell phone booster won’t do anything if there’s no signal to boost, if you have a shred of signal, you’ll find that one of these boosters can save your bacon.

I have the weBoost Drive Reach OTR Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit installed in my Jeep, and I’ve used it on multiple occasions to get in touch with my family to let them know if plans change while I’m out adventuring.

Essential Interior Mods for Off-Roading weboost

This device has two antennas – one mounted on the roof (shown above) and another that I mounted just behind the rearview mirror. The interior antenna needs to be within about two feet of your phone to give you the best results.

It’s compatible with all U.S. cell phone carriers, is built to withstand harsh weather conditions, and it’s easy to install, too. That’s not a bad list of features!

Learn more about the weBoost Drive Reach OTR Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit

Essential Interior Mods: A Solid Flashlight

A Solid Flashlight

For the longest time, I had a Bushnell tactical flashlight that I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, I misplaced it.

So, to replace it, I decided to go with the SureFire Fury Intellibeam Tactical flashlight.

At 1,500 lumens, you get a lot of light. However, one of the best features of this flashlight is that it has a sensor that detects the space you’re in and adjusts the light output accordingly. So, in your tent, the light output is less than what it would be if you’re outside in an open meadow.

Not only does this help save battery life, but it also helps save your eyes from being blinded with 1,500 lumens in situations where 250 lumens will do the trick.

This flashlight is built like a tank, too!

Oh, and that Bushnell flashlight I lost? I found it shortly after getting this one. But, hey…good to have a spare, right?

Learn more about the SureFire Fury Intellibeam Tactical Flashlight

Invest in a Jump Starter

Hulkman 85S Jump Starter

Having jumper cables in your vehicle is a necessity, but the problem is that sometimes when you have a dead battery, there aren’t any other vehicles around to give you a jump.

So, for that reason, I invested in a jump starter – the Hulkman 85S.

This little guy has a 12-volt lithium-ion battery cell that offers up to 2,000 peak cranking amps. That’s plenty for my Jeep!

When fully charged, you can get up to 60 starts off of one charge. This means that you can charge it up (which can be done in just 1.5 hours) and put it under the driver’s seat for future use.

I have a slow drain on my battery in my Jeep, so if I don’t start it for several days, the battery will be completely dead. For this reason, I’ve used the Hulkman on a number of occasions and have been very glad that I had it!

It’s not just for giving your car battery a jump, either – you can use it as a device charger as well. There are USB-A and USB-C ports to charge your phone and other electronics. You can use the 12-volt, 10-amp port for running 12-volt DC devices too.

Learn more about the Hulkman 85S

Bonus Essential Interior Mods: A Fire Extinguisher


A Fire Extinguisher

When I was looking around my truck, trying to decide which of my interior mods I wanted to share, I came across my fire extinguisher when I was looking for my Hulkman 85S. So, it became a bonus addition to the list!

Obviously, having a fire extinguisher can mean the difference between having a minor issue turn into a major problem. That’s especially true for me living in California, where a small vehicle fire could easily ignite a giant wildfire.

Models like the one pictured above are easy to use and easy to store underneath your seat. When it comes to safety, this is a must-have!

Learn more about the First Alert Fire Extinguisher

Add These Must-Have Items to Your Off-Roading Kit:

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