Expedition Vehicle selection thoughts?

Yet, tons of people take there TC off road every year with no problems. I think if you buy a quality TC and a quality truck you won't have many problems, unless you just want to beat the crap out of it for no reason.
A lot of people seem to get hung up on off road capability. An expedition truck may travel thousands of miles across a continent. 90 percent of those roads will be paved.
9.9 percent will be dirt or gravel. These same roads are used by the locals driving whatever car they have. .1 percent will be rougher, IE true off road. Talk to the people that are right now out there doing it. It is an eye opener.
Everyone is free to choose what they want. I think they are all cool. For me, I chose what is comfortable for the long haul. Cheers!
The sooner people realize that every decision made on these vehicles presents some form of compromise, the sooner they will realize there is no perfect solution - regardless of the money spent. And furthermore, the solution for one person/s is not automatically the solution for anyone else.

If you don't have a good sense for what exactly your use case is, then you are very likely going to be disappointed.

The key is knowing what capabilities you need/want and (hopefully) choosing wisely those features that you compromise on.

My 20+ years of truck camping/overlanding combined with 12 years in a SMB has given us great knowledge in those things that are important to us. And I will laugh in the face of anyone that blindly says "Oh, you should have gone smaller/gone bigger/spent less/reduced weight/etc" Because without knowing what we want to use our vehicle for, they are ill-informed to make a suggestion. And yet, even here on this forum people will ignorantly declare one choice is inherently better than another.

So if you don't know what you want, then just pick something and start there......its unlikely you will stay with your first choice.
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I'm looking for a self sustaining rig to explore North America. Fitting in shipping containers isn't a concern for me, but I'd like to keep the vehicle 25 feet or less in length. The budget would be $250,000. I am not at all opposed to a good quality used unit.

The requirements:

1. Really good off-road 4x4, rear and front locking differentials, winch, decent approach/departure/breakover angles, 3 point camper mount etc.
2. Have or be able to be modded for large solar+lithium battery bank. Electricity the main power source.
3. Bellow/portal access from cab to camper.
4. Large freshwater/grey tanks, cassette or composting toilet, large diesel fuel tank(s).
5. Must be 0F to 110F capable. Double pane windows, interior or heated tanks and lines. Air conditioning and heater systems that are commensurate with these temps.
6. Parts have to still be available.
7. A vehicle cab that you don't have to put ear plugs in at 65 MPH and doesn't beat you to death.
8. If foreign, must be left hand drive and registerable in the US.

I've been checking Unicat and Expedition truck brokers but haven't found anything that meets my needs yet. What route would you take for $250K?

It sounds like your needs would be well met by a GXV TURTLE. I had a GXV Patagonia built on an M1083 frame and loved the truck. Just sold it and waiting on delivery of my new GXV Turtle in December.
It sounds like your needs would be well met by a GXV TURTLE. I had a GXV Patagonia built on an M1083 frame and loved the truck. Just sold it and waiting on delivery of my new GXV Turtle in December.
Why did you switch from an MTV chassis to a pickup style chassis? What were the deciding factors for you?

How did your experience with the MTV platform inform your new platform decision?
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West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Zbane wrote, "There is a reason that truck campers aren't "expedition vehicles" when slid into pickup trucks. Those things start to have problems going over large pot-holes, let alone off-road and stay in one piece."
jefe here. This has certainly not been my experience. I can tell zbane has never even been in a well prepared truck camper out in the wilds when he says, "slid into pickup trucks." No one slides a truck camper, "In". I have no qualms about taking my lightweight rig and following anyone in a $300K expo-look rig. On a lot of hard-core off-road trips I was tailgunner as I had an on board welder and a lot of metal to patch frames, cross members, shock mounts, spring hangers, and driveshaft tubing/U-joints to reconstruct driveshafts on the trail, over the Rubicon; or out at 'The Hammers', always lagging way behind picking up the pieces. This was not my idea of a good time but all part of my learning experience.
Being 'expedition ready', and I don't even like the deceptive, romanticized term, "expedition" as there are no more expeditions, has more to do with the operator's technique, experience, and savvy, than the rig itself. A cadre of us hard-core TC players have taken our rigs to the end of sanity and returned.

But, we chose well knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. Having driven more than 1.7 million miles in 13-4WD's of all sorts, from snow queens to 16K pounds of rolling thunder, to rock crawlers; with each change of venue taking with you a certain amount of knowledge about what works and what doesn't. I'm always amused when someone at the end of some gnarly jeep trail says, "How did you get here in THAT?" Simply applied all my off road tricks and added what I know about physics after building a lot of 4WD's.

Have I pulled my camper apart yet after 174K miles; hundreds of nights off road sleeping in the box in any weather; any season; and 16 years of reliable service? No. Am I going to reveal all the tricks? No. The best teacher is doing it yourself; finding the flaws; learning your lessons and mushing on to the next build.
regards, as always, jefe
Below is a little clip of us running up the 'Diablo Dropoff', the wrong way on a one way sand hill with big moguls near the top in the Anza Borrego Desert. Some hints: T.P. 20 pounds on super single rims. Both upgrade axles with Eaton Tru Trac, torque biasing, gear driven limited slips; 4th gear low range until the moguls, then down to 2nd/low.
click on this for short vid:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bfj5y93wsd7vfkw/jefe does sand hill at dry wash of the devil Anza.m4v?dl=0
Seems someone wishes to have others view their perspective on terminology as the "correct" one.

"Slide in truck camper" is a phrase used in the business quite frequently:


Travel Lite has been manufacturing high quality slide-in truck campers since 1998.
Please click on the perfect Travel Lite truck camper for you.

And not sure what is meant by "there are no more expeditions".

  1. an excursion, journey, or voyage made for some specific purpose, as of war or exploration.

Everyone's definition of an expedition vehicle is different. But I think at the very top is large water carrying capacity. Most lightweight truck campers like yours have only 20-40 gal water tanks. That would eliminate it from consideration at the very onset.