Overlanding describes self-sufficient adventure travel to isolated destinations where the journey is the primary outcome. Often accommodated by off-road transportation in the form of off-road trucks or motorcycles and lodging typically includes a tent or a trailer. This type of travel can take place over long periods of time, sometimes even years, and can span many continents. Expeditions are characterized as an adventure with a purpose whereas overlanding characterizes the purpose as the adventure. Overlanding is an off-road approach to achieving self-sufficiency, self-actualization, and self-awareness. Through challenging the bounds of modern society, overlanders can experience the outdoors in a way traditional campers don’t have the opportunity to. This form of camping is becoming increasingly popular across the world.
The objective of this article is to highlight the most effective vehicles for overlanding and the most accessible as well. Accessibility can be defined not only through fiscal means but also through the accessibility of the model throughout where you might be traveling. If the vehicle was produced across many borders then it will be easier to find parts, repair, and won’t cost an arm and a leg to do. Ideally, an overlanding vehicle will be large enough to house passengers in addition all camp necessities for the duration of the trip. This vehicle should also be equipped with a large enough motor and torque to get of sticky situations (figuratively and literally) and should also have a winch for when the going gets rough. That being said, relative fuel efficiency is also advantageous so that fewer jerry cans can be stowed when space is at a premium.
Another option to consider is whether you’ll fit your rig with a roof-top tent, an adventure trailer, or if you’ll camp on the ground or in a truck bed tent. There are a number of options when it comes to lodging and the rig you select should reflect your choice. There are several trailer manufacturers that produce comfortable and versatile trailers with off-road use in mind. These trailers, depending on how you equip them, can showcase everything from freezers to propane stoves. Teardrop trailers can include a snug living space while others can accommodate a pop-up-tent similar to those you would mount on your truck. A trailer is one of the most comfortable options available while a roof-top tent can serve as a close second. One of the most agreeable camp set-ups would be something along the lines of an EarthRoamer, Sportsmobile, or maybe a custom designed Fuso-based camper. These options might appeal to someone considering a vehicle for camping at months at a time but also enter at a much higher price point than the aforementioned options. For the budgetary reason, I won’t delve into detail about these vehicles since the function of this article is to highlight the best overlanding vehicle and value should also factor into this analysis.
With a few clicks of your mouse, one can find a number of potential overlanding vehicles all for under $10,000 on local craigslist ads and in neighborhood publications. In today’s market, $10,000 can produce a very capable overlanding rig. Even higher-echelon vehicles such as the 100 series Land Cruiser can easily be attained for that amount. There are essentially two psychologies that can be applied to selecting an overlanding vehicle-Purchase a newer vehicle that will cost a bit more, but is already fairly capable from the factory or invest your money in modifications to be applied to an older vintage rig. A cost efficient option is of course the Jeep Wrangler (TJ). The Wrangler offers inexpensive parts, inexpensive entry cost, and impressive off-road prowess. The Wrangler’s number fault is its lack of space. With a Wrangler, a roof-mount tent is probably the best lodging allowing for more storage in the passenger compartment. A good friend of mine recently picked up a high-mileage 60 series Land Cruiser with a WARN winch, an ARB bumper, and a roof rack for about $4500 dollars. This goes to show that a great overlanding rig can be purchased economically. With maybe a $1000 dollars in parts this rig can be transformed into a reliable truck that will serve as a great daily driver and weekend overlander. What would your ideal overlanding rig be for under 10k??
Credits: Emmett Vick, ExpeditionPortal.com, and OverlandJournal.com