Since I'm getting knee deep into this, thought I'd start a build thread chronicling the progress or the procrastination.
This is what we started with, an '03 Montero Limited we bought to replace our previous land barge, an '07 GMC Yukon, used to haul around four teenagers and one pre-teen. Four have since flown the coup so we downsized three years ago to the Monty. This is my second Gen III, my first was an '01.
We wanted a good sized SUV to support our kayaking and camping habits. I loved the driving position and handling characteristics of the Monty along with the room, interior design and appointments, the massive sunroof, and its 4X set-up.
It's genealogy begins in a rental car fleet in SLC, Utah, then to a private owner, traded to a dealer where I found it. It's only flaw was a non-functioning seat-fold mechanism on the middle row. I had it repaired and it has since busted again with the same M.O. My first one did the same thing.
I guess my first mod was the Thule Crossroad Railing mounts with 65 inch load bars which hosted a variety of kayak racks and currently support a RTT.
Next were the H&R 30mm spacers on all four corners widening the track and filling in the wheel wells a bit better. I updated the rubber with Cooper Discoverers ATP plus one in size and removed the stock running boards.
Next was the rear-hatch mod about which you can read here. A full tool kit, more recovery gear and defense mechanism are stored beneath the floor.
Shortly after, I bought through this site an Oasis II RTT along with an Eezi Awn awning, both of which have been remarkable. We opted for a light weight RTT at 39 lbs opposed to other RTTs weighing much more. It's provided the best sleep in our camping history, given much of that history has been on motorcycles and kayaks.
I picked up a different set of kayak racks, Thule's Hull-a-Ports to accommodate a sixteen foot boat while keeping enough space for the RTT and awning.
It was this coastal camping adventure that brought about the idea of building a rack of sorts that would get sleeping gear out of the way of loading the big stuff into the Monty's cargo hold.
Considering clearance, I lopped off the factory can and replaced it with a Glass Pack. And while it made for better clearance as long as you're watching out for the fuel tank as well, it worsened its exhaust note. At idle and around town it sounds throatier, but on the highway it turns into sounding like a perpetual grunt.
I added a CB to keep up with the local 4X club outings, mounting the antenna behind the spare tire carrier on its hardware.