Which Overland Vehicle and Why?

MAG00

New member
I currently own a '13 Jeep Wrangler 4dr that is heavily mod'ed (not overland style). I love it, but wonder what I would do for overlanding if picking a vehicle. With that...what vehicle do you like best for overlanding and why? Trucks - Jeep Gladiator, Toyota Tacoma, Chevy Colorado, other? SUV - Jeep Wrangler (4dr), Toyota 4Runner, other? Now I know most of it depends on terrain, number of people, etc. so I'll just say 2 to 4 people, varying terrain when off-road, travel could be long drive and up to a week. I know that's pretty generic but figured gotta start somewhere.

Really just would like feed back on what you think is the best all around vehicle for overlanding.
 

billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
I'd stick with that JKU and build it for better gas mileage extending the range and more comfort, better ride for longer days travelling. And 4 people, I'd do a small trailer, either teardrop or expo. And travel light, do your camping equipment shopping at a back packing, bicycle touring or mountaineering store.

I don't think you can beat the JKU, 2012 and up, for an overlander for 2 or 4 or 4 people.
If you want, need more space, you likely need more capacity too and I'd recommend a 3/4 ton Quad Cab pickup with a gas engine.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
What modifications have you done to your Jeep and why do you think they won't be applicable to overlanding? What exactly is your definition of overlanding?
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
Personally, I think a lot of people just throw GVWR and payload out the window when doing this stuff.
I would much rather have a lighter full size truck vs an overloaded smaller vehicle ( especially when off road for an extended amount of time )
Long term the vehicle will be happier, I think some people just HAVE to fill the vehicle up with stuff if they have any room left.....
 

MAG00

New member
What modifications have you done to your Jeep and why do you think they won't be applicable to overlanding? What exactly is your definition of overlanding?
Well, it's built more for off-roading. I've got Currie 60 axles with 4:88 gears and air lockers running 37 Nitto Trail Grapplers on bead locks. Additionally, have front/rear bumpers, 10K winch, On-board air, CB radio, various lights. So, it's definitely off-road capable. It drives fine on highway, but not really that great for long distance runs. That's why I say it's not necessarily great for overlanding. My interpretation for overlanding would involve both on and off road driving with some long road runs to get to locations.
 

MAG00

New member
Personally, I think a lot of people just throw GVWR and payload out the window when doing this stuff.
I would much rather have a lighter full size truck vs an overloaded smaller vehicle ( especially when off road for an extended amount of time )
Long term the vehicle will be happier, I think some people just HAVE to fill the vehicle up with stuff if they have any room left.....
I do agree that you can overload your rig and also understand your comment on a lighter rig. So , in your opinion, what vehicle do you like and why?
 

MAG00

New member
I'd stick with that JKU and build it for better gas mileage extending the range and more comfort, better ride for longer days travelling. And 4 people, I'd do a small trailer, either teardrop or expo. And travel light, do your camping equipment shopping at a back packing, bicycle touring or mountaineering store.

I don't think you can beat the JKU, 2012 and up, for an overlander for 2 or 4 or 4 people.
If you want, need more space, you likely need more capacity too and I'd recommend a 3/4 ton Quad Cab pickup with a gas engine.
Yea, I've thought about may be re-modding it some. Kind of toning down the off road portion of my build (see my comment on another post in this thread for build info). I've thought and looked into the trailer option. While I like it for some reasons, I kind of don't for others. For example, like it for hauling gear and/or using it as a base, but the con of having to tow it and possible tight spots.

Just curious, you say 3/4 ton quad cab with gas engine. If 3/4 ton, why gas in lieu of diesel? Costs, availability of fuel, ???
 

billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
why gas in lieu of diesel?
Cost first but also maintenance costs. An old 12valve Cummins or 7.3Powerstroke were great, simple reliable diesels but on anything built in the past 10 years, diesels in pickups can be incredibly expensive to keep running. That plus diesels only excel towing big trailers. As long as you are still keeping it light and simple, the gas engine will do everything you are asking.

There are no downsides to the gas engine. The only plus to a diesel is towing capability. There is a reason the Dodge PowerWagon only comes with the Hemi.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
I do agree that you can overload your rig and also understand your comment on a lighter rig. So , in your opinion, what vehicle do you like and why?
It depends on how many people, how much stuff you want to take, and where you want to take it. You still have too many variables listed in my option. It is basically unicorn hunting at this point. I would try and define a more clear set of goals. Listing the top 3 big trips you want to do can help to steer things also.

I think one major question that gets overlooked a lot, is if you want to camp AROUND the vehicle or INSIDE the vehicle. Supporting 4 people for a week out of a mid-size vehicle is an ask typically for most groups. The vehicle will be FULL unless you are great at leaving stuff at home. Supporting 2 people out of a mid size vehicle is possible, but if you want to sleep INSIDE the vehicle things get tough again. For actual 'Overland' work for two people sleeping INSIDE the vehicle a full-size truck is about the right fit. I have a soft spot for a regular cab longbed truck for 2 people. With 4 people, you will pretty much be limited to living outside the vehicle for an extended trip which limits the seasons you can use the vehicle, even in a full size vehicle 4-door truck, unless you go with a large slide in camper it becomes impractical.

Being honest about where you want to take the vehicle is another. I think most people don't really end up going on the Rubicon with an 'overland' vehicle, but most people like to think they could and maybe even overbuild their vehicles to support that. Then they complain about how heavy and burdensome the vehicle is when doing normal day to day stuff or commuting with it.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
My interpretation for overlanding would involve both on and off road driving with some long road runs to get to locations.
But are road trips what you want to do? A built Jeep meets plenty of people's definition of "overlanding," which we use to just call going 'wheeling and camping.
 

Oilbrnr

Active member
100 or preferably 200 series Land Cruiser is what I personally would look for as a generic answer.

Oh, on edit, you said why. Comfortable on pavement and off. Decently capable right out of the box. Good aftermarket support. Worldwide support. Over engineered. Can haul both people and/or gear. Proven engines and mechanicals.

Only downsides are cost of entry (though upside is good resale) and fuel milage isn't stellar.
 
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MAG00

New member
Certainly understand your viewpoint. To give some additional background.
But are road trips what you want to do? A built Jeep meets plenty of people's definition of "overlanding," which we use to just call going 'wheeling and camping.
Well, there are areas I would love to see but are a long ways to drive. So, I would like to plan for something that is road worthy (long highway trek) to get where we want to go but be able to handle some off-road too (not real extreme rock crawling or mud bogging).
A full size 4 door truck may be the way to go and can put a shell or bed cover for gear in the bed.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
You sound like ''camping''. Flying down the hwy as fast as possible to spend a week in one or two spots.

You're Jeep used to be the perfect ride for my overlanding. No highway. Zero. Nada. I point my truck SE down a dirt road and hit a campsite eventually. Lifted Jeeps that are sketchy on the hwy, or giant LMTV's that are dog slow on the hwy, overland perfectly fine.

Determining how you want to sleep, shower, and $h1+, comes before vehicle selection. Route choice should be weighed as well.

Nothing beats a fullsize for long hauls. I prefer gas. Diesel isn't required for my recent loads.
 

MAG00

New member
It depends on how many people, how much stuff you want to take, and where you want to take it. You still have too many variables listed in my option. It is basically unicorn hunting at this point. I would try and define a more clear set of goals. Listing the top 3 big trips you want to do can help to steer things also.

I think one major question that gets overlooked a lot, is if you want to camp AROUND the vehicle or INSIDE the vehicle. Supporting 4 people for a week out of a mid-size vehicle is an ask typically for most groups. The vehicle will be FULL unless you are great at leaving stuff at home. Supporting 2 people out of a mid size vehicle is possible, but if you want to sleep INSIDE the vehicle things get tough again. For actual 'Overland' work for two people sleeping INSIDE the vehicle a full-size truck is about the right fit. I have a soft spot for a regular cab longbed truck for 2 people. With 4 people, you will pretty much be limited to living outside the vehicle for an extended trip which limits the seasons you can use the vehicle, even in a full size vehicle 4-door truck, unless you go with a large slide in camper it becomes impractical.

Being honest about where you want to take the vehicle is another. I think most people don't really end up going on the Rubicon with an 'overland' vehicle, but most people like to think they could and maybe even overbuild their vehicles to support that. Then they complain about how heavy and burdensome the vehicle is when doing normal day to day stuff or commuting with it.
Certainly understand your viewpoint. And I do believe a lot of folks can "over build". However, a lot of people also have big plans and sometimes can execute them and other times life happens and are not able to.

To give some additional background and some of my thoughts.
  • There are areas I would love to see but are a long ways to drive. So, I would like to plan for something that is road worthy (long highway trek) to get where we want to go but be able to handle some off-road too (not real extreme rock crawling or mud bogging).
  • Can double as a daily driver.
  • I do have a wife and 3 kids (family of 5), so daily driver needs to accommodate 5 people.
  • We have a suburban 2wd for our family travels. But I would like something that me and my sons (or me and a friend or two) could take.
  • Don't really see sleeping in cab unless it's just me.
  • Kind of thought maybe a 4 door small truck might be a good option. Would give the versatility of having a pick up when home, can accommodate 5 people for in town, can have a shell or bed cover for gear when traveling, be smaller and lighter for off-road driving.
 

Trikebubble

Adventurer
Different strokes for different folks. For me, choosing a set-up is/was about dependability, reliability, long distance driving comfort, power, and some form of creature comfort in my camping set-up. For me their is no question that the compromise of having a full-size vehicle outweighs what I give up in the nimbleness of a smaller vehicle.

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