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Build Thread TWExplor Build

TWExplor

Grenadier Owner
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The Purchase

In November 2023 we drove up to the RDS dealership in Pennsylvania to test drive the Grenadier. We only had a brief time with it but immediately knew that is was going to have lots of potential for how we intended to use it. Originally, we had our sights set on a pickup platform and a Alu-Cab Canopy Camper setup. We had looked them over at Overland Expo East and liked the possibilities in that build. However, the more research we conducted the more we switched into wanting a converted SUV based vehicle that had direct access throughout the interior and a roof conversion for our sleeping platform. The truck would need to be set up for myself, my wife and our midsize dog. After realizing the unlikely nature of getting an older Defender or Troopy we discovered the Grenadier and we have not looked back since.

So after our test drive we set about configuring our vehicle. We chose a Trialmaster in Scottish White with a few add ons like the winch, tow package, lockable wheel storage, checker plates, and the rubber floor mats. We were given a possible delivery date of August 2024.

Fast forward to February….and the first meetup of members from the forum, in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. During the discussion of all things Grenadier and builds and timelines it was suggested that if we wanted to see if any vehicles were available for sooner delivery that we should “call around” and see if we got lucky. So that is just what we did…..and since we had decided to switch colors from SW to Sela Green we went to work making our inquiries. Eight dealerships later we found exactly what we were looking for, spec’d just as we wanted it. But instead of being about 300 miles from our home it was 2,442 miles away in Boise, Idaho! Jake, from Lyle Pearson Ineos, found a vehicle that had just arrived at the port in Tacoma, and was slated to arrive at their dealership within the week. We verified the spec sheet, sent the deposit, and promptly called RDS to cancel our order with them. Jake, (not the same Jake) from RDS had been great to work with up until that point and had tried to find a Sela Green in our desired configuration but did not have any on hand. When we told him that we were going to try to find one from another dealership he genuinely appreciated the heads up and wished us luck. So once we confirmed our order in Boise, we spoke to Jake and as expected he was very excited for us and wished us well. Plus, RDS will still be our closest dealership, and where we would go for any eventualities.

A few weeks later, we were told that our Grenadier was ready for pickup, so on March 12th, I flew out to Boise, met with Jake and Nick ( another awesome guy to work with), signed some forms, got the full walk through, and by 2pm I was off and headed for Salt Lake City, Utah for the first stop of a 4 day solo 2,400 plus mile trek back to Virginia. Bad weather systems kept me from venturing through Colorado so I took the Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia route back home….just in time for the 2nd meetup of the forum group! If it wasn’t for them and their great idea to call around to different dealerships we would still be waiting for months…So a big thank you to Adam and Anand!!

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The Requirements

Our build design is being formed for our particular use case. We plan on using the Grenadier as a platform for vehicle based travel, recreation, and adventure. From short weekend fun activities to extended trips both domestic and international. So the build needs to allow for a variety of capabilities yet not be the center or “focus” of our experiences. More of a means to an end instead of it being the reason. With that purpose in mind, we envisioned the ability to travel, sleep, eat, and recharge as the primary functions of our design.


Travel

We want to keep the Trialmaster as stock as possible with wheels, shocks, suspension, etc. What we hope to improve is fuel capacity, navigational capabilities, and communication redundancies. (To fully realize the capabilities of the Trialmaster we are scheduled to attend off road and recovery training by Overland Experts)

Sleep

We need sleeping areas for two adults and one midsize dog, both within the interior, and for the adults, in a connected exterior location. For these purposes we have chosen to do a full roof conversion as well as an interior layout that allows for sleeping with the roof down for all three occupants. This also necessitated a complete rear seat delete (already accomplished!) in order to allow for an open space from the rear doors to the back of the front seats, and the center console.

Eat

We love food, especially good quality and nutritious prepared meals, even in far remote locations. That fact lends itself to a fridge, cooking equipment, and a clean water resource. The fridge will apparently NEED the ability to “make ice cubes” so that functionality will be paramount in fulfilling that requirement. We already have various cooking stoves (Coleman, MSR single and group cooking) that will be integrated within the design, at least in the short term. The water storage solution has yet to be fully conceptualized as new products are being introduced across the global Grenadier sphere of influence.

Recharge

On extended travels, especially when going remote, the ability to take a break, conduct some level of person hygiene, and actually “recharge” the various devices that enable the other requirements, is what is going to assist in keeping our adventures MORE enjoyable, for a longer period of time, and increase the desire and frequency to “get out and go”.
Accomplishing this is helped by designing the interior as a “hangout” spot as well as a sleeping platform, and having the ability to move the living space outside the vehicle. Also, a means of “rinsing the day’s activity” off, and an environmentally friendly means of “answering nature’s call” all make for a more pleasant experience. Lastly, configuring the electrical components to meet our uses will require additional sources of power and charging capabilities.


The Build

The first order of business, in designing the build, was to determine the payload capacity of our spec’d model. With a full tank of gas, and one 200lbs occupant, a weigh station reading gave us a weight of 6,340lbs. The GVWR on the sticker indicated 7,716lbs, so that gave us 1,376lbs to work around. If we want to keep the total vehicle weight to 80% GVWR then realistically we have about 1,100 lbs as our upper limit. We hope to not skirt with this number and will be trying to minimize our payload throughout the build process, and we know HOPE is NOT a plan!

The second action taken was to do the complete rear seat delete. This was hampered by my inattention to proper Torx bit size and a few stripped bolts. Luckily, I reread through the various forum threads, and discovered my error in using a T45 instead of the proper T50 when removing the Loctite bolts!! Even more luck shined upon me when I attempted to fit the T50 into the partially stripped bolts and there were just enough teeth to fully grasp the bolt….and out they came! We had previously placed a deposit with Ok4wd for the Alu-Cab roof conversion so that component of the build will be contingent upon the prototype being developed, tested, and delivered to the dealers.

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Today we completed a temporary battery compartment cover, and rudimentary sleep platform, so that we all (including the dog, Watson) can do some weekend excursions, and attend the Overland Experts training course (Watson too!) in April. We hope to learn, and practice valuable skills, and gain insight into how others are using their Grenadier’s as well as other vehicle platforms.

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So this is where we are at the present. Roof reserved, rear seats gone, and battery compartment covered. We are looking very closely at the Goose Gear plate system as well as the Pak Off-road footwell 40l water tank option. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be both compatible as the plate system “support and overhang” appears to intrude upon the rear footwell, and therefore not leave enough space for the water tank.

The build will continue…..
 

[ Adam ]

Photo Contest Winner
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Spectacular! I'm so excited to see where this goes - and fortunate to follow along locally!
 

anand

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Look at those super convenient USB chargers when you're laying in the temporary "bed" space!

I can't wait to see this build turn into reality in the coming months
 

TWExplor

Grenadier Owner
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Did a bit more of the rear seat delete by removing the rear seat back brackets and disconnected the lower portion of the seat belts and tucked them away inside the bracket trim panel.
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Removed and replaced the right rear cargo area trim panel to have a look around. Will probably not be doing much in that area as there are a lot of electrical components.
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Last thing today was to relocate the bottle jack to under the front passenger seat and remove the jack bracket. That frees up a lot of potential storage space (tested the fit of 2 Helinox chairs, or 1 tree recovery strap and gloves, or an axe in a sheath plus a 1L Nalgene in a holder).
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The left rear trim area may also be deleted but need to figure out about the inverter and whether or not it is staying. I saw someone else (can’t remember who) placed a WeBoost in an unused cavity space which looked pretty good.
 

[ Adam ]

Photo Contest Winner
Grenadier Owner
Lifetime Supporter
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Location
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Did a bit more of the rear seat delete by removing the rear seat back brackets and disconnected the lower portion of the seat belts and tucked them away inside the bracket trim panel.
View attachment 7850496
View attachment 7850498
View attachment 7850499

Removed and replaced the right rear cargo area trim panel to have a look around. Will probably not be doing much in that area as there are a lot of electrical components.
View attachment 7850500

Last thing today was to relocate the bottle jack to under the front passenger seat and remove the jack bracket. That frees up a lot of potential storage space (tested the fit of 2 Helinox chairs, or 1 tree recovery strap and gloves, or an axe in a sheath plus a 1L Nalgene in a holder).
View attachment 7850501

The left rear trim area may also be deleted but need to figure out about the inverter and whether or not it is staying. I saw someone else (can’t remember who) placed a WeBoost in an unused cavity space which looked pretty good.
I believe it was @Stu_Barnes
 
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