CUSTOM TRAIL TJ PICKUP
Don’t Wait For The Wrangler Pick-Up
When the opportunity of a $600 Jeep TJ presented itself, a rudimentary sketch plus a few crazy ideas suddenly became a giant project. I became the proud new owner. I’m an avid mountain biker who often takes off on multi-day backcountry adventures but I needed a way of getting further into the unknown to take my adventure seeking to the next level.
A small Jeep was ideal for getting into some of the truly remote spots, but I lacked a good way to mount and protect bikes and dirty gear. From these needs, the pickup conversion idea was conceived and the Getaway Jeep Project was born.
Over the next two years, I would end up stripping two budget TJ’s down to bare frames and slowly build them back up into one solid adventure seeking vehicle. Many of the usual suspects were added along the way, including mild suspension, body, and motor mount lifts, a slip yoke eliminator and tummy tuck, 35” rubber and a custom upholstered set of bucket seats.
What makes this build interesting though is the bodywork. A second set of cab corners were grafted onto the Jeep along with a custom built tailgate to close off the now shortened cab. Using factory corners in the new cab wall allowed me to modify a factory soft top by essentially removing the middle and sewing the front
and back halves together. This left the truck with a 35” long bed - good enough to haul a week or two of backpacking gear, but not long enough to haul the friend’s couch no matter how much they begged.
Over the factory wheel wells, small toolboxes were built (although they weren’t ready in time for these photos) which hold the basic repair and recovery equipment, but more importantly provide a base for the bicycle racks. Putting the bikes there, however, meant that the factory roll bar supports needed to be removed. To compensate for that loss of protection, a TMR Customs trail cage was added in front of the main roll bar.
Finally, the factory fenders and flares were removed and replaced with fully round truck fenders in a nod back to early Kaiser’s. This eliminated the usual TJ fender rot issues, gave lots of tire clearance, and being made entirely of plastic, they bounce off trees without any damage.
The Getaway Jeep is still a work in progress, but in time I hope to take it out on an epic Canadian road trip touching all the coasts and taking on remote stretches of road like the Trans Labrador and InuvikTuktoyaktuk Highways as well the option to take a hard left at any point, to investigate all the interesting trails or paths along the way. Learn more about the build by visiting pedachenko.com/jeep-project.