I went to the Expo last night. Other than a huge accident closing down Calgary's largest freeway, it was a nice drive. (What should have taken me 10 minutes to get out of the city took almost 90)
As I expected, the Off-Road Expo was mostly oriented to the most common vehicles in Alberta - Dodge, Ford and Chev full size. Very few Toyota, not a single Nissan and one Range Rover (more on that later). Lots of big, bling wheels and tires (38"+ tires), some quads, etc.
Some of the highlights were:
- A fully alluminum custom made trailer, similar in spec to an M101. Very well constructed and the sky was the limit for options. Base price was over $4k for just the trailer.
- A roof-top tent company was there, unfortunately their products, with the exception of the Magnoila, were in my opinion really poorly constructed. I wasn't impressed at all.
- Saw the work of a newer local fabrication shop. They have been making some very sweet roll cages and bumpers. I think I will have to stop into their shop next week.
- Some new HID headlamps specifically designed for the Tacoma. It replaces the entire headlight assembly and runs for about $1100 CAD as a full package. Of course they only had a Jeep version there to demonstrate, but I did see a pic of the Tacoma version.
- Had an excellent discussion with the editor of Canadian 4wd Magazine about hydraulic versus electric winches on smaller trucks. He is a big fan of hydraulic, but weight and the fact that Toyota pumps are so small make it not the best solution.
- Had a great discussion with an Alberta Government conservation officer about land use restrictions along the Forestry Trunk Road. They now produce these great free maps which detail what is and what is not allowed.
The highlight was chatting with two very nice fellows. The first was a Land Rover enthusiast and had his amazing Disco on display. I forgot my camera so I had to use my cell phone - unfortunately it didn't turn out well - I will post it up later. What an amazing truck! Beyond the custom roll cage, it was loaded with every possible feature from back-up cameras to ARB front and rear to a solid roof rack system. Very nice guy too. Hopefully he will take the time to check us out here.
I also spent some time talking with a fellow Toyota owner about 2M radio. Very nice guy as well. He mentioned plans for a 4 Wheel Camper so I gave him the URL for ExPo so he may chime in one day as well.
Overall, it was worth the trip. Not for the products they were advertising at the show though. What made the trip was the information I was able to learn and share by just chatting with people. The larger shows in the USA must be a blast
/ -- \ Pete Hartl - VE6PGH - 0VRLAND
EXPEDITION = (Encounters + Adventures + Experiences) x YOU