The Birth of a Mountain Rig – 2004 Honda CR-V

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2004 Honda CRV Offroad

When living out of my car for two weeks, after I converted my Subaru wagon into a camper, I realized that having a vehicle that was built to suit my adventurous lifestyle was absolutely ideal. I also realized that converting a vehicle that spent the majority of its life as a racecar left a lot to be desired as far as amenities go.

stock 2004 Honda CRV EX 5 speed

This left me on the lookout for a vehicle that was stock, had a full interior, functional cruise control, and preferably air conditioning – simple enough. One brisk morning in Missoula, Montana I came across an ad for a 2004 Honda CR-V EX 5-Speed 4WD for sale. Long story short, it was in my driveway by early afternoon.

honda crv with offroad tires

Priority number one was maintenance: spark plugs, oil, upstream oxygen sensor, and replacing the knock sensor were all taken care of. The tires were also shot, so I opted for Mastercraft Wildcat A/T3 tires in a 215/70/16 to aid in traction and durability while taking on mountain passes. They were mounted on DRIFZ 308GG SPEC-R 16×8 +25 wheels that previously lived on my Subaru wagon camper.

honda crv lightbar

The wheels and tires completely transformed the look of the Honda CR-V, and that’s when the modding bug bit me. Along with everything mentioned above, these also found their way onto the vehicle within the first week:

  • LED Light Bar / Mount
  • Rally Armor Mudflaps
  • Spare Tire Cover
  • Key Fob
  • Scangauge II
  • Floor Mats
  • Roof Cargo Carrier
  • Buffed / Cleared Headlights

rally armor mudflaps on honda crv

While this is where the list ends as of now, it will be growing over the next few months. The ultimate plan for this vehicle is to purchase a rooftop tent and then create functional storage in the rear.
This CR-V even has a folding table made by Honda that secures under the floor in the rear. *Bonus*

swan valley montana
Jessica Ruth

After a week of driving, I am hooked on the Honda CR-V – even after I considered picking up a Subaru Outback. So far this has provided me everything that I have desired in a mountain rig – capable enough with 4WD/AWD, spacious, decent fuel efficiency.
The real test will start in a couple months when my aggressive spring travels start up!

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Ross M Perkins

Creative Wanderlusting Mechanic at Wanderlust Northwest
Thinker of stuff, Doer of things. There isn't much that makes me more happy than finding myself in new surroundings with camera in hand. Roadtrips are standard life procedures and the maps in my home are there to inspire me to travel even further. When it comes down to it, I just really like nature..