How To Survive 3 Years In Africa: Jeep JKU Walkaround with Dan Grec

Mar 12, 2020by Jason F

Dan Grec gave BROG a walkaround of his Jeep Wrangler Rubicon at the 2019 Roof Top Tent Rally.

Grec's incredible journey in the Rubicon began in Morocco and would take him over 54,000 miles — around the perimeter of Africa, through thirty-five countries.

The exterior of the Jeep is mostly stock. "A Rubicon is very capable in stock form already," Grec said. He didn't make any real modification to the base. It's got a stock engine, transmission, and axles. You almost immediately notice the hood vents though. While the Jeep didn't overheat, it often ran hot in the harsh climate of Western Africa. Grec cut the vents himself on the side of the road in Mali with an angle grinder. He's also added a mechanical cooling fan; a factory MOPAR part. "It makes a huge difference in airflow to radiator," Grec said. He mounted two, optima yellow-top batteries, which are isolated with a big solenoid. The second battery is actually charged by solar panels on Grec's roof to ensure continual power.

The biggest modifications to the Jeep were focused on 'creature comforts.' Grec needed a comfortable place to sleep, work, and cook. He also needed a way to get safe drinking water in Africa. His aim was to "enjoy a trip of that length ... [rather than] eating ramen and tolerating each day." Grec's rooftop tent is a modified Ursa Minor with allows him to stand up inside the Jeep. The original rollbar was modified and pushed back to create this space, but it opened the whole roof section.

For the issue of safe drinking water, which is critical in remote areas of Africa, Grec mounted a reservoir tank underneath the Jeep and covered it with a rock guard. He installed a water pump from an RV, added a 1.5 micron filter, and a UV lamp. This filtration system works a easily as turning on the tap in his Jeep. It allowed him to onboard water safely, no matter where he was in Africa.

For storage space, Grec constructed storage cabinets from metal tubes and corner connectors he found at Home Depot. It created a system of lightweight, economical storage for gear.

"I've spent a long time living out of this vehicle and I've been really happy with how it performs," Grec said. An amazing build for an amazing journey.

To hear more about Dan Grec's travels, check out:

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