Rebel Off Road in Laguna Hills, CA, has been known in the off-road and overlanding scenes as one of the premier Jeep shops in the nation. Since the early 2000s, many local Orange County Jeepers have been taking their rigs for the Rebel Off Road treatment and overhaul to get them ready for trail abuse and fun. What was once a local hidden gem in Southern California, Rebel Off Road started making noise in the Jeep scene after entrepreneur Bond Gilmer made the rounds across the United States, attending Jeep events. Over the years, Bond has gone to Easter Jeep Safari in Moab in Utah, King of the Hammers in Johnson Valley, CA, and to different Jeep jamborees more times than he could remember to showcase the workmanship of Rebel Off Road Jeep builds and educate enthusiasts about other high-quality components that they may not be aware of. A decade since Bond started the company, Rebel Off-Road has built a reputation of superior workmanship, high-quality product selection, and excellent customer service.







We had a chance to go on Rebel Off Road’s winter road trip earlier this year to the Eastern Sierra and discovered a few of the secrets to their success. Three newly upfitted Jeep Gladiators went on the weekend excursion. We left Rebel Off Road HQ in Orange County around sunrise and three hours later, we found ourselves admiring the jagged spires of Trona Pinnacles, which is less than an hour from the boundaries of Death Valley. Our pit stop at this desolate place lasted a couple of hours before heading to the scenic desert floor of Alabama Hills, against the backdrop of the majestic Mount Whitney near Lone Pine, CA.



The Gladiators were being driven on the highways and off-pavement like they were Hertz rental cars. Gas pedals were mashed to the floor on long uphill highway sections while launching and catching air on dirt trail whoops. We drifted around curves along loose gravel roads before going over boulders the size of Mini Coopers. More than six hours of “follow the leader” routine of vehicular abuse, we finally realized what Bond and his team were doing – TESTING. Not only were they testing how aftermarket products on the vehicles held up but also testing how the new Jeep Gladiator held up to the abuse.





Although there seemed to be an endless sea of high-quality parts used to put together these overlanding Gladiator trucks, there were three product categories Rebel Off Road was testing that stood out. It became apparent that these aftermarket upgrades deserve at least some consideration if an enthusiast wants to build a rig that won’t fall apart on its maiden voyage.



Bond confirmed on the following morning in Alabama Hills that product testing allows them to give companies feedback and recommendations on their products, and give him and his staff the confidence to sell products they believe in. The partnerships with brands they represent and the trust they developed in products they sell and use on their builds are things that have separated Rebel Off Road from both their peers and competitors.





Many Jeeps upfitted for adventure travel are notoriously heavy after adding a roof or bed rack and attaching accessories such as rooftop tents, High-Lift jacks, fuel cans, etc. Loading the trunk or truck bed with the rest of your overlanding gear and equipment makes it even worse. The axles that come standard on your Wrangler Sport may not be up to the task when they’re rolling on 37” or 40” tires while hauling several hundred pounds of gear over hundreds of highway miles and long stretches of bone-jarring washboard roads. Sooner or later your Dana 30 front and Dana 35 rear axles on your Wrangler will crumble under the heavy load. The heavier duty Dana 44 axles on the Wrangler Rubicon and Gladiator models come with stronger axle housing and larger diameter axle tubes. In general, they should be sufficient for occasional off-road and overlanding use.



If you’re heavy into overlanding, Rebel Off Road has done the homework for you. The three Gladiators were all upfitted with bulletproof axles that won’t succumb to the rigors of adventure travel, rock crawling, or even towing a heavy trailer. The Punk’n Orange Gladiator rides on Currie Extreme Dana 60 front axle, paired to a prototype Currie F9 low pinion rear axle that kind of resembles an F117 Nighthawk jet. The gray Iron Man Gladiator’s Dynatrac ProFloat XD60 front axle and Dynatrac ProRock80 rear axle provide this Jeep a solid platform that just won’t fail…pending a meltdown from the “Arc Reactor.” Lastly, the Daggi Orange Gladiator sits on a set of tough Spicer Dana 60 axles, fore and aft. Three Jeeps loaded to the brim and the punishing way Bond and his crew were driving them on the backroads of Trona and rock crawling through the maze of boulders in Alabama Hills, inspired confidence in us that these axles aren’t going to snap.



Rebel’s “homebrew” suspension system that was on all three Gladiators were equally impressive. The on-road manners of these trucks were unashamedly Cadillac-like in ride comfort. However, there seemed to be a hidden switch inside the cabin that allowed these Jeeps to perform high-speed driving in the backroads of Trona like they were trophy trucks. It was amazing that none of the Jeeps busted a suspension seal, sprung a leak, or broke a control arm after hitting jumps and catching some air. Rebel’s new 4.5” Recon suspension lift with optional single front coilover or DSS (Dual Shock System) kit using King Shocks felt so dialed-in as they soaked up bumps and jumps that kept the 40” Maxxis Razrs and Nitto Trail Grapplers planted on the dirt during our high-speed trail runs. “These are race-proven technologies and we use them on the Jeeps,” Bond intimated to us.



Organizing gear and equipment in your rig is probably the most important part when going on an adventure trip. There is nothing worse than not having enough space for the things you need for the trip. Rebel Off Road was testing their new XPLOR modular bed rack system, along with their already successful Halo Roof Rack. Their XPLOR racks come in full-size or half-size rack, with the half-size rack being shorter in height that allows you to mount a roof top tent on the rack and in-line with the Gladiator’s roofline for a more aerodynamic configuration. Bond put a lot of thought into this bed rack. He prioritized modularity, accessibility, security, and ruggedness during the design process. With the ability to mount Rebel’s carrier plates on the outside, inside and top of the rack, you can create the perfect setup for your next adventure. Perhaps our favorite option on this rack is the table mount that attaches underneath the top portion of the XPLOR rack. This allows you to run Lifetime brand tables tucked up and stored securely.



VEHICLE SPECS

#1) Punk’n Orange 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland with Full Rack

Armor / Bumpers / Sliders

Exterior Mods

Suspension and Brakes

Lighting and Mounts

  • KC HiLiTES Gravity LED Pro6 Single Pair Pack System (A-Pillar Lights)
  • KC HiLiTES A-Pillar Mounting Brackets
  • KC HiLiTES G34 (Bumper Lights)
  • KC HiLiTES C2 Flood Lights (6X)
  • KC HiLiTES Gravity LED Pro6 LED Light Bar 7 Ring attached to Rebel Off Road Halo Rack

Recovery Gear

  • Warn Zeon 12-S Winch
  • Warn Epic Fairlead
  • Warn Epic Shackles 
  • Warn Epic Hyperlink 
  • Warn Epic Winch Hook 
  • Warn Epic Sidewinder Shackles

Gear Storage and Organization

 Driveline

  • Currie Extreme Dana 60 (Front) 
  • Currie Extreme Dana 60 9” F9 axle (Rear)
  • 1350 Adams Driveshaft (Front and Rear)

Tires and Wheels

  • KMC Machete 17X9 Beadlock Wheels
  • Maxxis  Razr MT 40X13.50R17 Tires

Electronics / Communication / Mounts

  • Genesis Dual Battery System with Odyssey Batteries
  • sPOD Interior Touchscreen Switch Panel for 8 Circuit SE System Universal (In-cab) 
  • sPOD HD Switch Panel for 8 Circuit SE System Universal mounted in truck bed for rack light control 
  • sPOD Bantam mounted under the hood
  • sPOD Bantam mounted under rear seats
  • ARB Twin Compressor mounted under the rear seats powering the front/rear lockers and air chucks 
  • LUX Lighting Systems Max RGB color changing LED rock lights with RGB color changing controller for your Smartphone 
  • (2X) ARB 10900028 Threaded Socket/Surface Mount Outlet mounted in the back of the truck bed one of which is used to power the Dometic CFX 50W

Audio, Multimedia, Entertainment Electronics

  • RAM X-Grip Universal Holder attached to the rear-view mirror mount 
  • iPad Mini Cellular to run Gaia Maps

Camping Gear

  • Cold weather sleeping bag
  • Cold weather air mattress 
  • Cooking utensils
  • RotopaX  water storage
  • Char-Broil Portable Grill2Go X200 Tru-Infrared Gas Grill 

Camp Kitchen Gear

  • Tembo Tusk Skottle
  • Lifetime Tailgate Table 
  • Dometic CFX 50W Fridge with Dometic Fridge Slide

Miscellaneous Gear

  • Hi-Lift  Jack
  • Propane Canister
  • Electric Chainsaw
  • Tread Traction Boards
  • Rotopax Storage Container
  • Shovel and Axe Mounted with Rhino Rack Mounts
  • Air chucks (2X) mounted to the side of the XPLOR Rack

#2) Daggi Orange 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland w/ Half Rack  

Armor / Bumpers / Sliders

  • Genright  Jeep JT Aluminum Front Bumper with Winch Guard Bar
  • Rock Slide Engineering Rigid Rear Bumper 
  • Nemesis Industries Notorious Aluminum Fenders 

Exterior Mods

Suspension and Brakes

  • Rebel Off Road RECON 4.5″ Overland Stage 2 Kit
  • Front RECON coilover mounting hoops
  • Front RECON hydro bump mounting cans
  • King Shocks 2.5×12″ coilovers (2)
  • King 2.0 hydro bump stop (2)
  • Front sway bar link pair
  • Front track bar relocation bracket
  • King rear OEM series 2.5″ shock with finned reservoir
  • Rock Krawler Rear matching coil spring pair
  • 2x High Flex Front Upper Adjustable Control Arms with Johnny Joints
  • 2x High Flex Front Lower Adjustable Control Arm with Johnny Joints
  • 2x Front extended Swaybar links
  • HD Adjustable Front Trackbar
  • 2x High Flex Rear Upper Adjustable Control Arms with Johnny Joints
  • 2x High Flex Rear Lower Adjustable Control Arm with Johnny Joints
  • 2x Rear Extended Swaybar links
  • HD Adjustable Rear Trackbar
  • Rear Extended Length Brake Lines
  • Falcon Shocks Adjustable Steering Stabilizer, Rock Jock 4×4 Front and Rear Anti-Rocks, Rock Krawler Rear Quad Rate Springs

Lighting and Mounts

  • A-Pillar Lights KC HiLiTES Gravity LED Pro6 Single Pair Pack System, 
  • A-Pillar Mounts KC HiLiTES Pro6 mounting brackets, 
  • KC HiLiTES Gravity LED Pro6 LED Light Bar 7 Ring attached to our JT Halo Rack
  • A-Pillar and Halo Mounted lights are wired together to Factory Aux switch
  • Rigid Industries SR-Pro 10” Driving Light bar mounted in the hood scoop

Recovery Gear

  • Warn Zeon 10-S Winch 
  • Warn 1″ Premium Fairlead 
  • Warn Epic Shackles
  • Factor 55 Flatlink 
  • TRED Recovery Board
  • Hi-Lift Jack 48” 
  • Tabor Shovel
  • Nupla Non Conductive Shovel

Gear Storage and Organization

  • Rotopax Storage for Recovery Rope and Gloves 
  • Pelican Case Storm iM3100 (2X) 
  • Pelican Case Storm iM3075
  • Pelican Case Air 1637

Tires and Wheels

Driveline

  • Spicer 1350 Driveshaft for Jeeps Equipped with the Ultimate Dana 60
  • Spicer Dana 60 JT Front and Rear Axles with 4.88 gears and Eaton E-lockers (lockers are wired to factory aux switches)
  • Steer Smarts HD Tie Rod and Draglink

Electronics, Communication, and Mounts

  • ICOM Race Radio mounted inside glove box (wired to factory aux switches)

 Camping Gear

  • Tepui Ruggedized Series Kukenam 3 Tent 
  • Tepui  4-foot Awning
  • 0-Degree Coleman Sleeping Bag 
  • Air Mattress
  • Area Lighting from Tepui

 Camp Kitchen Gear

  • Tembo Tusk Skottle, 
  • Dometic CFX 50W Fridge and Fridge slide 
  • Lifetime Tailgater Table

Miscellaneous Gear

  • Power Tank 10 lb, 
  • Fire Extinguisher, 
  • Rotopax Fuel Container, 
  • Ram Mount attached to the Rear View Mirror Mount (used to hold phone which is powering Gaia Maps on to the 8.1” Media Screen

#3) Iron Man 2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport 

 Armor / Bumpers / Sliders

  • Rock Slide Engineering Rigid Rear Bumper with Rear Sliders
  • Rock Slide Engineering Step Sliders
  • Nemesis Industries Notorious Aluminum Fender and Inner Fender Liners
  • Rock Hard 4×4 Sport Cage

 Exterior Mods

Suspension and Brakes

  • Rebel Off Road RECON JT Overland Stage 1 Kit with King Shocks 2.5 coilovers and shocks
  • RockJock 4X4 Anti Rocks Front Sway Bar
  • Teraflex Alpine IR Control Arms
  • Falcon Shocks Steering Stabilizer

  Lighting and Mounts

 Recovery Gear

  • Warn Zeon 10-S Winch 
  • Warn Epic Shackles
  • Maxtrax Recovery Boards

Gear Storage and Organization

Driveline

  • Dynatrac ProFloat XD60 Front Axle and Dynatrac ProRock80 Rear Axle
  • ARB 4.88 Gears 
  • ARB  Air Locker
  • Adams Driveshaft, 1350 Front and 1410 Rear
  • S&B Filters Cold Air Intake
  • Borla S Type Exhaust System

Tires and Wheels

  • TrailReady HD20 20X9.5 Beadlock Wheel
  • Nitto Trail Grappler 40X15.50R20 tires

Electronics, Communication, and Mounts

  • Genesis Dual Battery System with Odyssey Batteries
  • sPOD Bantam with HD Switch Panel

Camping Gear

Camp Kitchen Gear

  • Tembo Tusk Skottle
  • Lifetime Tailgate Table 
  • Dometic CFX 50W Fridge with Dometic Fridge Slide
  • Coleman 2 burner stove
  • Jetboil

 Miscellaneous Gear

  • Rotopax 4 gallon gas storage
  • Rotopax 2 gallon storage
  • Krazy Beaver Shovel
  • Thunderbolt Products Axe