GearJunkie Motors Editor Bryon Dorr explores all corners of the SEMA Show 2019 to bring us the top overland vehicles at the show this year. There was a diverse and impressive selection of builds!
The largest car show on the planet is the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas during the first week of November. The industry-only event is all about the automotive aftermarket. This year was the first where the overland industry was featured front and center, in an all-new “Overland Experience” area.
Overland builds have been a part of the show for over a decade, but they are now a major force at the show. Although there were a ton of eye-popping overland builds at the show, and it was extremely hard to narrow it down to just 10, here are our picks.
EarthCruiser debuted its new 2020 Fuso-based camper, the EXP. The camper has been refined with some well-thought-out ergonomics and systems upgrades, including a shower system that recycles its own water. The really cool part, though, is the Fuso truck itself, as it’s now gasoline-powered and fully upfitted by Earth Cruiser with high-end off-road components. This new Fuso 4×4 is ready to tackle some serious off-road terrain anywhere on the globe!
Mule BajaRunner RAM
Mule Expedition Outfitters built this beast of an AEV-outfitted Four Wheel Campers RAM flatbed for adventures to the remote beaches of Baja from its base in Washington State, hence the name “Baja Runner.” It’s a big, Hemi-powered monster that’s ready for adventure. Yokohama decided to show this truck off half dirty and half clean. For sure it turned some heads at the show, which is what it’s all about.
Adventure_Centric 200 Series
The Adventure_Centric Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series is one of the finest overland-built 200s I’ve ever seen. It’s loaded with all the best gear but thoughtfully and professionally put together. The cherry on top is the huge James Baroud rooftop tent.
Martin of DakarTundra builds uses and sells impressive overland vehicles. He’s had this 1984 Land Cruiser FXJ75 Troopy for 42 now, continually refining it. He showed it off in the iKamper booth at SEMA this year. It sold just after the show, and a crazy new build from overseas is already on its way to Martin.
5 Xpedition 90X Rockhopper
This heavily modified 2008 International MXT 4×4 truck on Mattracks was built to drive to the South Pole. The Xpedition 90X team has swapped in a Cummins diesel and hybrid drive system into this massive expedition camper vehicle. The team will be the first to attempt to drive to the South Pole with a hybrid vehicle, and the first Canadian team to make the trek in a single vehicle.
'The Road Chose Me' Jeep Rubicon
There was no more authentic and well-traveled overland adventuremobile at SEMA 2019 than Dan Grec’s 2011 Jeep JK Rubicon. Dan has just returned from circumnavigating Africa in this Jeep for 3 years. The URSA Minor pop-top provides a bed and living space while custom interior furniture/storage modules maximize the space. This Jeep has seen a lot! Check out Dan’s adventures on the YouTube channel “The Road Chose Me.”
There were Jeep Gladiators all over the show, but few could hold a candle to the impressive full-featured build that XOverland put together. The PCOR tray back and canopy system replace the rear bed and are great storage and mounting solutions for a full host of adventure accessories. See this rig in action in XOverland’s latest YouTube video series “The Great Pursuit.”
Advanced Accessory Concepts Ford Ranger
The Advanced Accessory Concepts team has taken a 2019 Ford Ranger XLT Sport Supercrew FX4 and turned it into an impressive full-featured overland adventuremobile. The main feature of this build is the AFN aluminum tray bed and canopy system, which houses a host of living systems and supports a Tepui rooftop tent. Quality parts from ICON, WARN, ARB, RIGID, MAXTRAX, and others ensure every aspect of this build is top-quality.
Truck Hero Jeep FC
This 1964 M677 Jeep FC Quad Cab was built by RSO Performance to show off a full host of Truck Hero products — and just generally pull everyone into the booth. It features a Rugged Ridge roof rack and lighting, a Rampage front bumper, and an AMP Research PowerStep. The big 38-inch tires and rooftop tent on the back round out this impressive machine.
Exploring Elements GX460
It feels a bit odd adding my own build to this list, but for sure I think it’s deserving. I built this 2013 Lexus GX460 for overland adventure travel here in North America. It has a ton of custom first-of-their-kind parts and a host of top-quality accessories. You can read about all the details of this build in “GearJunkie Editor Debuts Custom Overland Dream Machine.”