Although for now, the V8-equipped Ford Ranger seems to be nothing but a fever dream, Ford’s mid-size truck does lend itself well to overlanding and off-roading builds. PaxPower can build you a Ranger Raptor, with RTR providing a more affordable alternative. And ARB now makes a winch-ready bumper for the Ranger. Also, at the 2019 SEMA show, Ford showed a bunch of off-road and overlanding-prepped Ranger builds. And now one of them, the Hellwig ‘Attainable Adventure’ Ford Ranger, can be fully recreated.
The Hellwig ‘Attainable Adventure’ Ford Ranger
Hellwig, Motor1 reports, started with a Ford Ranger XLT 4×4, one step above the base XL trim. The company then partnered with Old Steel Fabrication in Leona Valley, California, Offroad Extreme reports, to actually build the truck.
The team installed an Icon Stage 5 3” suspension lift kit, as well as Hellwig’s forged, adjustable rear sway bars and rear helper leaf springs. Hellwig then installed 17” Icon wheels with 34” Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires.
To accommodate the new tires and wheels, the Ford Ranger got Bushwacker fender flares. The build team also added Addictive Desert Designs front and rear bumpers with built-in rock sliders, and a Rigid Industries LED light bar. There are other Rigid Industries LED pods spread out all over the truck. Then the build team got on the amenities needed for genuine overlanding.
Hellwig’s marketing and international sales manager Mike Hallmark told Offroad Extreme that the build goal was to turn the Ford Ranger into something two people could live off-grid in comfortably for 2 weeks. And it seems like the team succeeded.
In the bed is a Yakima storage rack, with a Tepui HyBox rooftop tent installed on top. The bed also holds an ARB fridge and a Trail Kitchen, which slide out similar to Egoé’s Nestboxes. The Trail Kitchen includes a stove, sink, food prep area, and grille.
Attached to the rack and tent’s numerous mounting points are extra fuel cans, a shovel, and several Specialized electric mountain bikes. And helping power everything is a Goal Zero Yeti 1400 power station with solar panels.
How the Hellwig Ford Ranger drives
Hallmark told Offroad Extreme that the build team wanted to make sure the SEMA build did “more than just look pretty.” The team kept the Ranger’s max payload in mind when outfitting the truck. In fact, it’s thanks to Hellwig’s products that the Ford Ranger doesn’t sag in the rear.
Offroad Extreme found the Hellwig Ford Ranger to be very composed off-road. The new suspension and sway bars do keep the additional 1100 pounds well-managed, and the truck never bottomed-out.
Hallmark stressed that the Hellwig and Old Steel build team stuck to off-the-shelf parts. The only truly one-off piece being the custom audio head unit, and the whole build was done in only 3 months.
Nevertheless, the ‘Attainable Adventure’ Ford Ranger isn’t exactly cheap. The base Ford Ranger XLT 4×4 starts at $32,460; however, Hellwig’s base truck cost closer to $35,000. Add in the cost of all the mods, and Hellwig’s Ford Ranger would cost about $80,000.
To be fair, there are more-expensive campers. FiftyTen’s Gladiator bed camper, for example, doesn’t have a kitchen or sink but costs $32,800. Adventure Trailers’ Summit is cheaper, at $8900, but also doesn’t have all the amenities.
However, Motor1 reports those looking for a slightly more budget-friendly overland truck build can recreate Nissan’s Destination Frontier for about $40,000. But compared to the Nissan Frontier, the Ford Ranger is the better base truck.
Nevertheless, the fact that Hellwig was able to make a relatively-attainable, easily-replicable overland truck is something to celebrate.
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