YouTuber Proves Cutting a 2020 Jeep Gladiator In Half Isn’t Always a Bad Idea

There aren’t many reasons to chop a perfectly good 2020 Jeep Gladiator in half. Unlike most YouTube car content, this one isn’t some ridiculous stunt trashing something for clicks. In fact, this brutal video of the Jeep Gladiator living up to its namesake is just the first step in the owner going all-in on an overlanding rig. 

A red 2021 Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon, a stronger alternative to the Toyota Tacoma
2021 Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon | Jeep

This 2020 Jeep gladiator is going full overland

According to The Drive, Phil Kockerbeck, YouTuber known for Down2Mob Overland, sold his massive Dodge overland camper known on the internet as the “Dogdemahal.” His Dodge Ram conversion camper was liquidated to make room for a new rig built using a Jeep Gladiator. 

For the past year, Kockerbeck has been trashing his 2020 Gladiator from here to there. While overlanding in Colorado, the Jeep Gladiator suffered a snapped front axle after hitting a boulder in just the wrong way. 

The Gladiator then had to spend a little while in the shop, and Kockerbeck figured now was a good time to pull the bed and get after it. The plan was to convert the Jeep Gladiator as he had his Dodge, which meant it would have to have some frame trimmed, which meant busting out the Sawzall. 

How to convert a Jeep Gladiator to an overlander

2020 Jeep Gladiator with the bed taken off for overland conversion camper
2020 Jeep Gladiator overlanding conversion | Down2Mob Overland via YouTube

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The Bison Overland Camper shell is the key to this camper conversion. Kockerbeck and a friend removed the bed from the frame of the Gladiator, measured the frame, and pulled out the ol’ Sawzall. 

As the partner is manning the saw, Kockerbeck nervously watches as his 2020 Jeep Gladiator gets damn near cut in half. Of course, so much of the “nervousness” is done for the fine folks watching at home on YouTube. However, the frame of his new truck is still getting sliced in half—a fair cause for alarm. 

The replacement for the chopped frame is a tubular frame that Kockerbeck had commissioned to suit the overland camper shell and a mounted massive spare. This new tubular frame is wider than the original to support the size of the camper shell. Since his Jeep Gladiator runs 40-inch tires, the full-size spare also had to be accounted for in the frame size. 

Most of us don’t have to spend this much time and effort on where to put our spare tires, but also, most of us don’t run 40-inch tires. Kockerbeck mentions in the video that without this new rear frame section, he would have to keep the spare in the roof rack, which eats valuable space. 

Space is a consideration, but the spare weighs 160 pounds, which in the offroad sphere requires special attention to make sure all the weight is properly distributed. 

This camper conversion is going the distance 

Not only will the Bison Camper have the pop-up feature, Kockerbeck says he wants to be able to sleep in the Bison shell without having to pop the top. After a long day of off-road travel or even highway travel, there is real value in being able to merely pull over and get some sleep without having to set up the camper side of the Jeep completely. 

The frame modifications allow him and another to have enough room in the camper shell to sit upright and eat, hang out, and be indoors without being crunched up. 

As noted by The Drive, the final mods (at least for this round) will add the roof rack for his bike and Kayak. 

If chopping a Jeep Gladiator in half feels like a terrible idea, think twice. With the right tools, plan, and know-how, chopping a perfectly good Jeep in half might be the best thing you could ever do to achieve ultimate overlanding status.