skip to content
Driving Line Mark Logo

Sellin' the Motorcycle for 4x4 Freedom: Meet the Arctic Mojave Jeep Gladiator

Beyond their adventurous, fun-loving image, one of the things that’s made Jeeps so immensely popular is the way the represent a blank canvas for upgrades personalization.

Artic Mojave Jeep Gladiator in Mud

Better yet, their LEGO-like nature makes it very easy to swap parts and “expand your kit,” just like those little blocks we played with as kids. And well, sometimes still play with as adults.

Artic Mojave Jeep Gladiator

Even something as simple as taking the doors off can your Wrangler can make it feel like you are playing with life-size toy.

And that sense of LEGO-esque fun is one of the big things that’s drawn Dan Nelson into the Jeep world. Better known by his social media handle “@Arctic.Mojave,” Dan is the owner of the 2021 Gladiator you see here.

Artic Mojave Jeep Rear View

Good Bye Motorcycle, Hello Jeep

Prior to the Jeep, there was only one other vehicle that Dan had much of an interest in, and it only had two wheels. It was his 2015 Triumph Scrambler 900, and that was the machine that bit him with the adventure bug.

Artic Mojave Jeep Gladiator Front View

But as often the case, life and family happens. Vehicular changes are necessary. And so the bike was sold and in its place came the much more practical, but no-less fun, Jeep Gladiator.

Jeep Gladiator Off-Roading

While Dan says nothing can truly replace the connection and freedom of a motorcycle, the Jeep has won him over in entirely different ways and helped him evolve as a creator.

Artic Mojave Jeep Gladiator

During the three years that he’s owned it, the Gladiator has brought out not just his mechanical and adventurous side, but his creative one as well.

Artic Mojave Jeep Adventures

And it was through the Gladiator and the online Jeep community that Dan started to hone his photography and skills — calling on his earlier art education.

Shortly after buying the Jeep, he created the Arctic Mojave account, which has since grown a sizable audience of like-minded Jeep owners and fans. And becoming part of the influencer world has allowed him to truly make the rig his own.

Artic Mojave Jeep Rear View

Finding Your Creative Side

The name, as you can probably guess, comes from the Gladiator’s “Mojave” trim and its distinct white paint. The white on black contrast has been the primary aesthetic theme for the build, with some orange accents tossed in for the right amount of contrast.

Artic Mojave Gladiator Jeep Front View

Through the growth of the Arctic Mojave account, Dan has had the chance to partner with a number of big names in the off-road and adventure scene, including becoming a Nitto Pit Crew member.

Artic Mojave Gladiator Off-Roading

It’s no surprise then, that you’ll see the Gladiator running on Nitto Ridge Grapplers, a tire known for combining a distinct, aggressive look with an ability to handle any type of terrain thrown at it.

Nitto Ridge Grappler on Jeep Gladiator

Sized at 37x12.50R17, the Ridge Grapplers are mounted on a set of 17” x9 Quadratec Lynx Trail Gunner wheels.

Artic Mojave Jeep Gladiator

Quadratec has been another major partner on the build, supplying not just the wheels but also the bumper, winch, tube doors, roof rack and more.

Upgrades & Opportunities

Elsewhere, you’ll find Revolution Gear and Axle 4.88 gears, FOX shocks, Elev8 Off Road control arms, a full array of lighting from KC and Alpharex. and a Skycamp 3.0 Mini rooftop tent setup from iKamper.

Artic Mojave Jeep Gladiator Rear View

These upgrades (and many others) have transformed the Gladiator into go-anywhere adventure rig that can bring a long family, friends and all the gear you could need. 

Artic Mojave Gladiator Front View

Will a Jeep Gladiator ever give the same feeling of solitude and pure freedom as a motorcycle?

No, probably not. But Dan’s experience has shown that a Jeep can be every bit as fun and rewarding.

Artic Mojave Gladiator Off-Roading in Mud

Follow along with Dan's Jeep adventures on Instagram @arctic.mojave

Return to beginning of article

Recommended For You

Loading ...