Bad Ass Builds: Wade Shoemaker

Bad Ass Builds: Wade Shoemaker

Wade Shoemaker (@wadeshoemaker) is an outdoorsman first and professional photographer second, but he spends so much time in the field or on the water it's hard to tell what's what. Wade built out his 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Denali Ultimate for versatility: it's a daily driver, pulls boats and trailers, and accommodates his "more is more" approach to packing. Wade also wanted his build to be subdued, avoiding unwanted attention in crowded parking lots. Check out his tastefully-appointed rig below, then check out his fascinating photography over at Recycled Rhetoric.


What were your goals when building out your vehicle?

Keep it clean. Keep it simple. Don't stand out. Impress up close.

GMC Sierra pulls small boat trailer out of water

Is the vehicle used for work, play, or both?

All of the above! Daily driver. Boat puller. Decoy trailer hauler. Etc.

GMC Sierra Denali HD towing a side-by-side on a trailer at dusk

Was the build done over time, or all at once?

Almost immediately. Truck was delivered with aftermarket tires. Lift was installed within two weeks of receiving truck. DECKED Drawers and CargoGlide were installed Day 2 of owning it. Shell took a few months due to build time. Rearview camera was installed within a week after shell was put on. New DECKED drawers were installed just before Thanksgiving.

Rear view mirror connected to backup camera for excellent visibility

What were some things you wanted to change?

Height adjustment, DECKED Drawers, and topper were the three biggest changes I wanted to see happen.

GoFast Camper installed on GMC Sierra pickup truck

What was the first modification, and why?

If we don’t count the tires or the DECKED system, it was the lift. A leveled truck looks and feels so much better than stock. Adds capability and comfort if done right.

Closeup of Skyjacker suspension components

What's your approach to cargo management? How do you use your Drawer System?

If it fits it ships! I treat each drawer like a game of Tetris. If there’s a gap anywhere, I try to figure out what could fit. Drawerganizer holds and Eno, loose ammo, game totes, flashlights, etc. The  Halfracks hold gun cleaning kits, tire patch kits, tools, extra gun slings, loose change, snacks, duck calls. Literally anything. As for the drawers, they handle my waders, wading vests, cases and boxes of shells, rolled up rain coats, and I go nowhere without the Uncharted x DECKED survival kit.

Man accesses DECKED Drawer System installed in bed of GMC Sierra truck

Do you have a favorite mod?

I really don’t. I’ve never been one to add just to add so everything I’ve put or will put on and in my truck will serve a purpose. The stuff I add is sort like having a 4 wheel drive option. I may only have to use it every now and then, but in those moments it's the most important thing I’ve got!

Close-up shot of aftermarket rear view camera mounted on GFC shell

What's next, are there any other upgrades on the horizon?

Looking ahead, there may be some changes to the bumpers but there will most definitely be some engine performance enhancements when I get close to that 100k mark and the warranty runs out. 😏

Mickey Thompson tires on GMC Sierra

Have there been any mods you regretted afterwards?

For a split second I regretted adding 37" tires. But I took care of that QUICK with a knife and some zip ties. Rubbing was BAD, but not for long.



GMC  2024 Sierra 2500 HD Denali Ultimate

Toyo Tires Open Country M/T, 37"

GFC  Platform Topper

Camera Source rearview camera

Skyjacker Suspension - C20350KX 3-3.5" Front Torsion Key, Upper Control Arm Lift Kit

Skyjacker Suspension - ADX 2.0 Remote Reservoir Monotube Shocks

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