Overlanding...

Thread starter #1
I asked a question on here the other day and have not received a response. Maybe I did not ask it right. I am going to be putting together an Overland vehicle and doing a road trip to Alaska within the next couple of years. I went Jeep shopping yesterday to look at vehicles to build off of. I was wondering if anyone on this forum does this. It has been huge in Australia and Africa for years and is starting to blossom here lately. It involves either a 4x4 RV or a Jeep, SUV or truck modified as a self contained camper with pop-up roof tents, kitchens, refrigerators and freezers, etc. modified for off road and trail travel. In Australia and Africa the roof top tent makes sense because it gets you off the ground and away from snakes, spiders and scorpions in Australia and the predators such as lions and such in Africa. It also seems like a great way to explore, hunt and fish amongst all the unimproved forestry roads in the Southern Appalachians and beyond. If anyone on this forum does this I would love to hear about the modifications you have done, what has worked great and those that have worked not so great....If you are unfamiliar with this concept, google Overland Camping and Overland vehicles. I really am surprised it hasn't caught on big down here.
 
I saw your other post and this interests me too.

I think a 4wd Toyota Tacoma with lockers a winch and a light weight simple pop up would be awesome for exploring off the beaten path. I saw a lot of toyotas with pop ups in the desert in Southern California.

I have a 4 door 4wd f150 with a leer top and I have camped out of it a few times. It tows my boats well and I want to build or get a pop up for it but it is definately not a serious off road vehicle. The Toyota I had before it was a lot better for exploring off road.

Just my thoughts.
 

T-N-T

Senior Member
I would love to drop everything and take off on a long trip such as that

Hope you get your gear together and have a blast
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
Staff member
Hope you get it all together, Jay. Ol` Ben and me need to load up and go with you.
 
Thread starter #6
Hope you get it all together, Jay. Ol` Ben and me need to load up and go with you.
I was actually going to ask you since you are retired now. You can do builds from bare minimum to over the top. I am going to go about midway. I spent part of today with the Jeep dealer and the afternoon at Tuff Truckin' putting together orders for some early shake out trips this coming year. Want to do Colorado, Utah and Arizona on a trip just to get an idea with what works and what doesn't. I want to tweek the vehicle and start adding camping gear. Going with multiple battery set up and solar charging panel. You and Ben can do one of those Indian things out in Montana or there abouts and we meet up near Sweetgrass and head on up to Alaska. I am definitely going to do the Dalton Highway. It was not open to the public the last time I did an exploring/camping trip to Alaska. You really need to do something like this while you still can. That is my fear....not doing it while I still can. By the way, you bring your wife on something like this, I am taking Tammy. Got to have somebody to wash my clothes in the river and clean the pots and pans......
 
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Thread starter #7
If I was gonna do what you're talking about, I'd get a toyota 4-runner over one of the current versions of a wrangler (that I've heard are plagued with issues). It would also give you about 5,000 lbs towing capacity and you could easily take one of these along with you: https://www.jayco.com/tools/archive/2017-hummingbird/
Some of the places I want to go, independent suspension would not do so well. I have been on trails in N. GA. that created problems while my straight axle vehicle took it with ease.....Most of the problems with the Wranglers are due to cutting corners when modifying especially with lifts. The sway bar disconnect, front and rear lock differentials and the straight axle with a proper lift will come in handy if I want to get way off road. I am also a manual transmission person, so I am going that route which takes care of a number of the sometime problems. The Jeep vs. Toyota debate is the biggest debate amongst this crowd in the US while the debate in Australia and Africa is Jeep vs. Land Rover (Defender series).
 
Thread starter #8
It would also give you about 5,000 lbs towing capacity and you could easily take one of these along with you: https://www.jayco.com/tools/archive/2017-hummingbird/
If I do a trailer it will be long this line...http://adventuretrailers.com/trailers/horizon/
I have driven some of the unimproved roads of Alaska and the Rockies, what I have in mind you could not haul a trailer like the one you linked. There are river crossings, etc.....You carry a chain saw with you, not for fire wood but for clearing the trail, chain saw and winch are two of the more needed items on these trails, and yes they call them trails, not roads.
 

Timberman

Senior Member
Me and my boy are working on one. 2000 4Runner 4x4 2.5” lift. Still rough camping haven’t solved the puzzle of having a tent on top of the vehicle to Camp plus needing the vehicle to be mobile. Not to mention the expense of the rooftop tent. Even more if you look at a overland camping trailer.
 

Timberman

Senior Member
We have an air mattress for me inside the 4Runner he sleeps on an Eno it let’s us get on top of the game.
 

rospaw

Senior Member
If i were to do this it would be a Full size van with a factory ford Quigley 4x4 conversion. (E150 E250 E350) Buy one from the 70's all the way up to today at the ford dealership.
My pick would be a late 90's to early 2000's. Gas would be ok at best but a 7.3 diesel would be how i would roll! Good mild E rated 33" tires, parts are very common and on the road repair/mechanics easy to find. Just a ford van!
Full steel mesh roof rack from front to back with LED lighting on all sides. Long set of ramps for a side by side / ATV on the roof. All extra gear on roof including potable water. Small head, bed, sitting area inside the van. Both front captain chairs swivel for "den" sitting A roll out awning mounted (or could be mounted) on the side of the roof rack with poles stored on top. Small 1000watt honda gen also on top.
You can pick the color, I'll take care of the rest! :D

Oh heck! Tan with semi black wheels, bumpers, roof rack!
I feel better now! ;)

Like this
 

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Thread starter #15
Me and my boy are working on one. 2000 4Runner 4x4 2.5” lift. Still rough camping haven’t solved the puzzle of having a tent on top of the vehicle to Camp plus needing the vehicle to be mobile. Not to mention the expense of the rooftop tent. Even more if you look at a overland camping trailer.
I know they ain't cheap, but they are a lot less expensive than even a shabby camper and you expand your horizons of where you can get to and camp. Ebay has some name brand rooftop tents cheaper than they cost through specialist shops. As for the tents, once you get the hang of it they take a couple of minutes or two to take down. Those 4Runners are popular. There are lots of aftermarket modifications for them out there. I think roof top tents become more attractive the further you get into snake country. I ain't worried about snakes, but there are places I have been out west where seeing dozens of rattlesnakes a day is not uncommon. The roof top keeps them from seeking out your body heat on those cool western nights......lol.
 
Thread starter #16
If i were to do this it would be a Full size van with a factory ford Quigley 4x4 conversion. (E150 E250 E350) Buy one from the 70's all the way up to today at the ford dealership.
My pick would be a late 90's to early 2000's. Gas would be ok at best but a 7.3 diesel would be how i would roll! Good mild E rated 33" tires, parts are very common and on the road repair/mechanics easy to find. Just a ford van!
Full steel mesh roof rack from front to back with LED lighting on all sides. Long set of ramps for a side by side / ATV on the roof. All extra gear on roof including potable water. Small head, bed, sitting area inside the van. Both front captain chairs swivel for "den" sitting A roll out awning mounted (or could be mounted) on the side of the roof rack with poles stored on top. Small 1000watt honda gen also on top.
You can pick the color, I'll take care of the rest! :D

Oh heck! Tan with semi black wheels, bumpers, roof rack!
I feel better now! ;)

Like this
I was semi debating one that was up for sale not so long ago....those would be great in the South West where you would be in more open spaces. I have been on some forest service roads in N. Ga and NC that my Ram 2500 4x4 had a hard time on due to its size but was easy in a smaller jeep.
 

rospaw

Senior Member
I was semi debating one that was up for sale not so long ago....those would be great in the South West where you would be in more open spaces. I have been on some forest service roads in N. Ga and NC that my Ram 2500 4x4 had a hard time on due to its size but was easy in a smaller jeep.
You start getting west of here and you are less likely to run local type trails and many of the col/nev type trails are much less closed in that i have traveled.
I drive the Pizgauer in my avatar all over the back trails, paths ect here in N ga / ala /s tenn with not many problems other than 2 mirrors. It's about the size of a full size van. The jeep cj does much better but not for over night stays or more than 2 folks.

Another about a jeep wagoneer (?) is i don't think they are that dependable. :eek: I would go with a Toyota even a Nissan before a newer jeep wagon.
 
Thread starter #20
You start getting west of here and you are less likely to run local type trails and many of the col/nev type trails are much less closed in that i have traveled.
I drive the Pizgauer in my avatar all over the back trails, paths ect here in N ga / ala /s tenn with not many problems other than 2 mirrors. It's about the size of a full size van. The jeep cj does much better but not for over night stays or more than 2 folks.

Another about a jeep wagoneer (?) is i don't think they are that dependable. :eek: I would go with a Toyota even a Nissan before a newer jeep wagon.
That is one nice vehicle there. What is the range on one of those? Do you know if they can be run multi-fuel? I just keep thinking about a trail I took outside of Helen one time, stumbled across it after I crossed a small river. It just kind of petered out...I have a Dodge 2500 extended cab long bed. Thankfully it is loaded with back up cams, I had to back down the trail until I could find somewhere I could turn my truck around. With a Wrangler (which is what I should say I reckon instead of Jeep) it would have been easy to turn around. I was looking at a slide-in 4Wheel camper or an Alaskan but the wheel base on my Dodge is just too dang long for some of the places I want to explore. I took my Dodge exploring out in Wyoming and Colorado this past Christmas it did good for pretty much most of the places I went though. I did not have that added weight. I still might go with a slide in if on a couple of shake out trips before I go to Alaska it is not comfortable enough for me....I don't need much. I have been a ground camper most of my life. Slept on the ground in Alaska years ago but had my tent torn up by of all things, a porcupine.
 
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