Each year, thousands of RV, camper, and off-grid enthusiasts gather near Flagstaff, Ariz., for the Overland Expo. We were there this past weekend, May 20-22, to see the cutting edge in the category of adventure-mobiles.
If you need the ability to drive across Mongolia, haul your mountain bike, and sleep in your own bed, the Overland Expo provides some know-how, inspiration, and the tools to make it happen. The expo displays everything from minimalist setups to some of the burliest, most comfortable, and expensive vehicles on Earth. Some of these rigs go for a couple thousand dollars on Craigslist, others require a mortgage or a trust fund to finance.
There were plenty of big boys on display.
The custom built rig from ETL Overland, above: Built on an ex-military vehicle, this beast can sleep six people, holds 120 gallons of water, and can effectively be off-grid for a month at a time depending on water and gas usage.
This 1987 Mercedes Unimog was rebuilt in 2015 and is ready for a global adventure. Feel like making this baby your own? It was listed at the expo for a mere $225,000.
Global Expedition Vehicles has been making extreme travel vehicles for a decade, building their custom rigs on customer-chosen chassis. This is the Safari Extreme model on the M1078 Chassis, which is typically used for military vehicles. Safe to say it can handle most any terrain.
Earth Cruiser is an Australian-based company that specializes in making more approachable vehicles while still being extremely capable adventure rigs. These were some of the most functional, liveable vehicles at the expo. Shown here is the Earth Cruiser EXP pop-up. Also available are full hardshell models.
Of course, being an overland show, the event had plenty of more accessible rigs for drivers and their passengers.
Rooftop tents made a big statement at the show, with many vehicles sporting these rigs that add RV-like comfort to smaller vehicles.
Kitted out vehicles filled the show with eye candy for anyone who loves rugged vehicles, and homes that roll.
Of course no show is complete without a VW contingent, and this year saw some with a new-school pop-up.
A cozy place to chill, with a view from above.