As we looked to the outside of the rig we were mainly focused on storage, lighting, and recovery tools. Burley was our main partner in the design and production of most of the custom exterior accessories of Bo, with the exception of the front bumper from Bostig! We got the Burley Motorsports awesome swing out tire carrier to hold our 16″ spare, xjack, and trasharoo. In addition we wanted Burley to come up with an expedition rack for us. Something we could put jerry cans in or anything else we came across. We decided we liked rotopaxs as they are small, can be easily mixed and matched and weren’t too bulky. We challenged Burley to come up with something that would hold them securely but also be versatile when we wanted to put something else there. What he came up with is a work of art. There is a rod that slides through the center of the packs to keep them from being removed and the bottom rail fits perfectly to hold them upright. Take the packs out and we have a basket that we can fill with firewood or a Honda generator . Beyond the rack, we asked Burley for a simple rear bumper that was more focused on functionality. I wanted something that complimented the front Bostig bumper’s elegant design lines yet wanted it to say I’m serious don’t mess with me and definitely not tubey looking. This unit also needed to be able to store a hi-light and feature true recovery points that could handle the weight of BO when pulled on. In addition we wanted a hitch for the odd trailer. Again Burley pulled out the stops, the bumper goes deep into the frame grabbing all of the mounting point with square tube and then exits into a solid recovery point on each side. We tried the GoWesty plate bumper and it just doesn’t compare. He made dual perches for the hi-lift on the bumper with integrated holes for the shackle of locks to go through to ensure no one walks away with your jack. He made us flat washer and twist nuts to attach from the top to prevent vibrations and noise, but the fit has been so precise we haven’t used them. We have been on rough stuff and it doesn’t move. Burley also made us up one of his custom front and mid section skid plate systems that he custom blended to the heavy duty Bostig trans and engine rear skid plate section. The Bostig and Burley skid plate units are definitely an awesome heavy-duty compliment to each other.
Moving to the front of the van, we had to tackle the front bumper. Jim and the guys at Bostig were putting the final touches on the NFB bumper, and we were pumped to get a prototype. It’s fully integrated into the frame of the van and has a winch mounting plate and recovery points that you can actually use. Its a beast for sure, and while its significantly heavier than the Plate Bumpers, its because its actually functional for mounting accessories and recovery. We went with a Xeon 10-S winch and it fit like a glove. Luckily the guys at Bostig put their CAD to work and spun around a computer model before we pulled the trigger on the Warn to be sure it would clear. Most winches will work.
We also needed to tackle lighting. We decide on a large 50-inch light bar from the guys at a Rigid Industries and some smaller sidelights and smaller light bar for the front bumper. The challenge was how to mount the big light bar above the windshield. Most other off roaders use the front pillars beside the windshield but on a vanagon there isn’t very much metal there to attach to. Burley came up with an awesome solution coming off the rain gutters but I wanted a solution that we could also remove. So we asked him to fab something designed back on standard mounting components that would allow us to quickly take it all down if we wanted. Or even move the lights to another type of vehicle.