Everything’s bigger in Texas! In this instalment of RUX Rides we check out RUX Storyteller Alex Pelham’s full-size F-350 overland rig!
Describe your vehicle: make, model, etc.
My 2021 F-350 Tremor is both my daily driver and full-size overland rig. She’s in a perpetual state of progress, but that’s part of what I love about it. There is always something to tweak or upgrade or improve.
Describe your favourite feature of your vehicle.
Ooof, that’s hard! If I had to choose I would say the insane amount of storage on-board. I was traveling full-time with a 19’ overland trailer and storage was at a premium. Carrying around all the tools you may need, recovery equipment, seasonal gear, first aid supplies, and whatever was needed for setting up camp was a must. To get creative and stay as organized as possible, several storage solutions were implemented and they are ever-evolving to suit new and different needs.
For the exterior, the Decked Cargo Drawers system, Decked CargoGlide, Leitner Active Cargo System with GearPods, fuel & water storage containers, and accessory mounts, Front Runner SlimLine II roof rack, and storage packs were all added over time to keep finding new/unique ways to store things.
For the interior, I added Grey Man Tactical Rigid MOLLE Panels to the seatbacks with Last US Bag Tool Caddys to organize the boy’s toys, travel snacks, etc. I also added some other MOLLE attachments for their water bottles, hooks for bags, and miscellaneous items.
Best location/adventure you've ever had with your vehicle?
Dang, that’s tough. The best location…I’d have to say was camping & overlanding through the Bentonite Hills in Capitol Reef/Caineville, UT.
Oh man, how do I even choose the best adventure? It's not because each adventure has been without its struggles, but honestly, that's part of why I love exploring. I find myself drawn to challenging situations, and when I look back, it’s those memories that always tend to stick out the most.
Most epic stuck/breakdown/wrong turn?
I’m known to get myself into some pretty tricky situations, so unfortunately there are several to choose from. I’d say the most epic would have to be getting stuck in a blizzard that I didn’t know was coming through. I was on the 19th day of a 21-day solo trip and I was supposed to be heading towards home. I guess 19 days exploring southern Utah, northern Arizona, and pockets of Nevada wasn’t quite enough facepalm. So instead of heading east towards home, I decided I would head south and make a “quick stop” in Sedona, AZ and hike Cathedral Rock.
That “quick stop”, a poor selection in route, and my endless optimism ended up allowing enough time for a blizzard to hit as soon as I entered the Coconino National Forest.
Towing a 16’ overland trailer, I managed to slide backwards downhill when the blizzard first hit. I got stuck in the deep snow in complete darkness multiple times. And narrowly, and I mean narrrrrrowly avoided taking out an entire family that was standing outside their stuck vehicle on the outer edge of an exposed canyon. The trailer I was towing had a “lock n roll” hitch, which is a fully articulating hitch that allows the trailer and truck to essentially be on different planes (great for overlanding, not great at this moment), as I turned to round the corner the trailer lost traction and started swinging out towards the family and edge of the canyon.
Realizing what was happening, I hit the accelerator in hopes that I could straighten out the trailer before it collided and/or took us all over the ledge. By some miracle, it worked and we were all safe.
The 60 miles through the forest took 4 hours to get through and I don’t know if I have ever been so grateful to see the distant lights of a gas station.
Any advice to someone thinking of getting into a custom adventure vehicle?
- Know that it is a process and that it is always a work in progress.
- Don’t feel like you need to copy someone else’s rig setup. Figure out what your specific needs are and begin your build with those needs in mind.
- Don’t compare. We don’t all have the same budgets, experience, or needs. What you build is exactly what you need.