blue Ford Ranger overland build with popup tent

Tricked-Out Ford Ranger: Tour Cody Townsend’s Overland Truck

Accomplishing 50 ski descents across North America takes a lot of gear, including a great vehicle to get you there. Check out Cody Townsend’s badass Ford Ranger overland build.

Cody Townsend’s The FIFTY Project involves a lot of climbing and skiing, but also a ton of driving. “This is my rig, the thing I live and drive in for the entirety of winter, all around North America,” announced Townsend matter-of-factly.

How does he do it? To help us keep up with Townsend on winter roads and up backcountry trailheads, he enlisted the assistance of a 2019 Ford Ranger.

But it’s not just any Ford Ranger. In this episode, get a behind-the-scenes tour of the truck that’s been almost everywhere — from the cab to the bed to the tires. (There’s even a guest appearance by van-lifer, ski bum, and Oscar-winning filmmaker Jimmy Chin.)

Townsend’s Build

Townsend’s overland truck build starts with the Ford Ranger Lariat edition with Ford’s “Off-road” package, plus a GoFast camper and a bevy of storage and car-camping tools.

Over the years, he’s perfected the vehicle for his adventures.

Ford Ranger overland build
Cody Townsend’s Ford Ranger build; photo credit: Nate Simmons

He starts off with a 2.5-inch Radflow suspension lift. Townsend explained that he chose Radflow because the brand customizes the suspension for each order for a specific truck’s weight and needs.

“I can fly through potholes at like 60 [mph] and not even remotely feel them,” he said. On top of that, he runs Total Chaos Fabrication upper control arms. That all connects the truck to 34-inch BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires.

“I don’t have any rubbing or any sort of issues with it,” he said of the tire size choice.

cody townsend ford truck tour

To make it livable for the entire winter, he added a GFC camper to his four-door Ranger with a 5-foot bed. Under that, he has a custom-built deck for organized storage. On top, he mounted a Thule rack and solar panels. Inside, you’ll find YETI coolers and storage bags, as well as other common products for car camping.

“It is the most utilitarian truck-bed living system I’ve found,” he said.

Whether or not you’re building out your own vehicle, this video is a rad watch.

cody townsend 50 classic ski descents
Cody Townsend to Ski All 50 Classic Descents in North America: Watch
Nobody has ever skied all 50 classic ski descents in North America. Cody Townsend plans to do just that. This video kicks off a series with a descent off Denali. Read more…

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.