I decided to change things up quite a bit. With the release of the exciting new Suzuki Jimny, it caught my attention the first time I saw it.. I was hooked. I made it my mission to get my hands on one of these and accept the challange of creating a Micro Overlander.
Join me on my journey of turning it into a little beast, as I find the best products to enhance the vehicle and turn it into the ultimate Overlander.
The Evolution: Step by Step
The Tyres & Rims
This has been a difficult choice. With pressure from the dealership to keep the stock tyres, this was a combined decision between offroad performance and aesthetic.
Im sure the stock tyres would work just fine and probably last a good while and remain to keep good road noise and fuel consumption. However, for my needs and for pictures and durability the upgrade is going to definitely happen sooner than usual.
My decision is has been to go with a 215/75/15 BF Goodrich KO2, it has a solid reputation and is well known for its durability and performance offraod.
Roofrack and Storage
So this is a highly debatable topic, in South Africa there are two major manufacturers. The typical solution was not a route I decided to go down, I wanted to get the best product. The slimmest profile, allowing reduced wind resistance and noise and having solid welded beams, but still remaining light and durable.
This is where the Eezi Awn K9 rack comes in. They also have an array of storage options for fuel, water and recovery equipement. The future may even hold an awning for me.
Due to the size of the vehicle I have had to get rid of my old tent and chairs, they just wont fit comfortably int he vehicle. So I will be looking towards simple solutions, with regards to tent, I will be looking at the Malamoo Xtra 3 second tent by Oztent. Its not cheap, but its a beautifully designed tent and easy to use. Then ill be looking towards Frontrunner for their awesome chairs, and many other little practical items for around the campsite.
Power & Refrigeration
Again, the size of the vehicle has created an issue when it comes to space for a fridge and power. So I had to turn to one of the top South African outdoor specialists, National Luna. Their 52L Weekender fridge, is incredibly efficient in both space and power consumption, they also developed a new DC-DC dual battery system which I am incredibly excited to try out. With their products combined it really makes for a super combination. This is going to be exciting to also see some of their future products soon to hit the market.
Bumpers & Rocksliders
This is an element that will transform the vehicle and the way it looks; however the fantastic design done by the team at Wildog 4x4 Accessories, really worked at keeping the already good looks of the Jimny intact.
Manufactured out of 3mm steel; they are both strong and relatively light, coming in at 20kg's per piece. With very little impact on vehicle performance or fuel consumption.
The increased functionality of being able to climb on the vehicle without damaging it and having plenty of strong recovery and hi-lift jacking points; as well as mounting space for an ATV winch and front spotlights, its a huge boost to the vehicle.
Eezi Awn Batwing 270°
Holy cow! I wasnt sure how well the awning would fit on the Jimny, but it really surprised me! It looks great on the vehicle and even better than that, has been the first step towards turning the Jimny into a real Micro overlander, adding a powerful tool to the vehicle that can protect you from the elements! In the heat of Africa, shade is like gold!
Having the ability to wrap around the vehicle it covers the main camping access areas of the vehicle, like the fridge and storage compartments.
Eezi Awn Blade Rooftop Tent
I think this would be the most contravertial part of this build. With the weight restrictions on the roof and the raised centre of gravity; it would effect the vehicles handling on and offroad; but it would also bring a whole new level to our camping experience and open up a whole load of amazing opportunities.
I chose the Eezi Awn Blade; not only a beautifull designed tent; but its strong, spacious and comfortable. Eezi Awn is a leader in the Rooftop Tent space, worldwide! So I had to give it a try.
Lets see how it goes!