Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

I have an ambitious goal for my FJ. I want to meet up with a friend (next year at the earliest) who moved up to Alaska a couple years ago and go camping with him up in his new bayou (we're from Louisiana).

I want to piece my FJ to accommodate this trip from Louisiana > Alaska (some nights camping, some nights visiting family and street parking my rig a night or two), pretty much an overlanding rig set for weather that will progressively get colder (not freezing as I plan to go in the Alaskan summer). That's the ultimate goal for this rig, but I will also be using this rig to head to events and further south to do beach camping as well.

I'm starting with a bone stock 2008 TT with 163,xxx miles. So far I'm planning -

General fluid maintenance -
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Radiator fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Differential Fluid

General wear and tear items -
  • Brake pads
  • Brake rotors
  • Belts
  • Battery (having trouble cranking in the morning in this 80 degree weather) OEM Toyota again or Odyssey?
  • Tires (waiting on the DTD eBay $100 off $400 deal to come back) 285/75/16 General Grabber ATX or Cooper ST Maxx
  • Spark plugs

Upgrades -
  • Suspension - 2.5 Toytec front, Toytec rear struts with 650 springs, SPC UCA's
  • Headlights - Either just HID bulbs or projectors
  • Roof rack - Waiting for the Expedition One roof rack pre sale
  • Front bumper - Waiting for the Expedition One President's Day sale
  • Winch
  • Roof top tent - ARB for the cost most likely
  • Hi-lift jack
  • Drawer setup in the rear of the FJ cargo area
  • On board air compressor (either under the hood or where the OEM jack is)
  • Snorkel

What I'm mainly looking for are suggestions as to what else should be maintained/prepped/upgraded before driving from Louisiana to Alaska with the end goal of camping? I'm trying to stay in a budget of $10,000 total for everything. I'll be doing all of the labor myself, as I have access to an in ground rack on weeknights and weekends. I don't have the budget for fancy stuff but certain things I'm willing to put more of the budget towards if it's important (like suspension). I also usually buy things on sale so suggestions as to what other sales to hold out for would be great as well.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 08:57 PM
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

When i bought my FJ . the reason behind it was to make the Alaska drive . And i am doing that . But i also am doing a Bunch of other things as well with it . I went to Cruise Moab , Going to the Rubithon (most likely Not going to run the Rubicon just yet ) maybe just poke my toe in a little LOL . Then Its Back to Moab to wheel with the Big Dogs before making my way to the FJ Summit . From there its The Sierra Trek . Then the Rubicon for MCR .. I try and take it out at least 1 day a week just running logging roads or what ever i can find . My Fj is set up with alot of the same parts that you are looking to get . It is very capable . one thing i would suggest is Rear Lower Links and lower link skids . I also run FJtoyman shock skids . the 2.5 rear shocks are not cheap . . Rock Sliders are a Must . with Tires and suspension you are going to be real close to the half way mark of your budget . i have a ARB under my hood i just installed and i am happy with it so far . Not alot of real estate in the rear of the FJ .
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 09:24 PM
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

I think your list looks great. I'd skip the snorkel personally but don't let me stop you. You'll also want recovery gear for sure, spare belt and other spare parts you can think of. Set of tools, bug spray, knowledge of the workings on your vehicle which you'll gain in the garage weeks before hand hopefully.

Rock sliders and lower links are in case you plan to do some rock crawling but if your sticking to the roads I'd go without.

I would not go OEM Toyota battery BTW. None will last like the original as dealer replacements are generally cheap junk. Do yourself a favor and get a real upgrade via a deep cycle AGM marine battery and voltage booster.

Also you can add USB outlets if needed, fridge would be very handy. Awning? Tire plug kit? Portable battery jump starter? Medical kit? Bungees and straps for the roof rack (who knows if you might have to put things up there midway thru). You'll end up using all those little pieces of gear stuffed away in your storage drawers often.

Most of all just have fun! Most of us would love to do something like that.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 09:50 PM
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

And to add . Some sort of Fuel tank . the range of the FJ is not the best .
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 05:53 AM
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

I agree you need a plan for extra fuel, loaded down the FJ will be at best lackluster on mileage.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 06:43 AM
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

If you plan on crossing the border with firearms ( handguns ) know that they are prohibited in Canada, they won't get in , and you either if caught( you know you need to cross into Canada to go there, right ? ) . You can cross with hunting riffles and ammo , if you declare them at border. You need a Passeport and no criminal records... DUh, i know, but i have US friends that still don't know this...

I would bring spare parts like spare belt, tie rods, ball joints ( not that those parts are not available everywhere, but it will be faster if you break down and get to a mechanic, to have them in hand )

Which way are planning to come up ? Through the prairies, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan , or through British Columbia ? Also know that the gas up here is expensive... Right now it's around 1.30 to 1.45$/L that's about 5.30$/g for regular...Get some Canadian money if you don't want to get screwed on the exchange rate, or a good no exchange fee card.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 07:02 AM
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

Agree with all above answers, and would add: swap transfer case fluid and do a brake fluid and coolant flush. How are your pulleys and serpentine? Water crossings (would guess thereís lots of that in AK) tend to upset OE open pulleys. I have Gates pulleys and no issues. Also one of my favorite mods for my annual cross country drives is replacement side mirrors - TrailToys super wide angle...zero blind spot and huge sarety advantage IMO
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 08:29 AM
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

I would step back and reevaluate the list and separate what you truly need vs want for this trip.

One thing to consider is - gravel. You will see a lot of gravel, gravel is a *****. Gravel = dust.
Coilover covers on the front
Shock boots
Rad Rubber engine bay rubber
Snorkel would be good to elevate the intake out of the dust.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 10:32 AM
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

Read Tcao's AK Road trip thread. https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...adventure.html

No DUI convictions or you won't get across the northern border. Handguns have to be shipped to & from an FFL up there.

Love my Exp-1 Kodiak bumper and matching step/sliders!!!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Louisiana to Alaska Overlanding Rig Suggestions

All really great information! I actually did not know about the no DUI's to get into Canada, never even been out of the country. I have time to mull this over and piece it together as I go, but everything here is laying a great baseline to work off of. Also lots of stuff I didn't even think of, dust covers, pulleys, Canadian money, etc.

Thank you all for the help! I'm mostly a lurker, but if I can get things moving into motion, I'll update this thread. Time to start a spreadsheet with estimated costs and allocating my budget around.
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