Overland Expo West – Report from Flagstaff
We have returned from Overland Expo, our shoes may still be muddy, but we are back. Though the weather was more in line with spring in the Rockies, the expo did not disappoint! If you want to meet a demographic of people who are ready for anything mother nature can dish out, including snow, in May, in Arizona, it’s the Overland clan.
The poor conditions may have scared off a few fair weather fans, but the expo was still hustling and bustling. This years Expo West boasted 30 additional vendors on site, bringing the total over 100! This is a clear sign of the growing popularity of overlanding!
The range of people who showed up for this event included anything from car camping to half million dollar rigs. Some of the expedition companies featured trips around their local states, to full-scale expeditions such as the Pan American Highway.
One of the main attractions was the Sportsmobile 4x4 Sprinter Conversion. Sprinter recently introduced the 4x4 option to North America in 2015. Sportsmobile was one of the first to get their hand on it. They beefed up the wheels, tires, and suspension and paired it with a full conversion on the interior. For more info on their products check out Sportsmobile.com
A well thought out interior sporting a fridge, sink and microwave. The van sleeps four with a pop up roof and the fold down bench seat. Base price for this conversion comes in at $110,000.
At the Overland Journal booth they officially revealed the Jeep Wrangler Africa Edition. Not to be ignored was this sweet BMW moto. Stocked and ready to take you anywhere in the world. I’ll take one of each please!
Check out more about the overland lifestyle at OverlandJournal.com
We stopped by the Unimog headquarters. These machines are not to be messed with on or off the trail. Check out some of their overlanding adventures at Perky Mogs Facebok Page.
Now this beast was one of my favorites. Built by Global Expedition Vehicles, their Turtle model is based on a Ford F550 chassis with a 6.7L Powerstroke Turbo Diesel power plant. This rig is ready to take you way, way, waaayyyy out there. The interior was efficiently laid out. Keeping the living unit a manageable size for both on and off-road driving. The Turtle is on my list of future purchases, maybe even add one to the rental fleet!
The competition was fierce but I think the most “popular” vehicle of the weekend was this deuce and a half. The campground had turned into an absolute grease fest over the weekend. Not only vehicles, but people fell victim to this slippery, shoe removing, Earthroamer devouring mud. This 6x6 behemoth was busy all weekend yanking people out of the campground and to safety. Anything from a 35ft A class to an Earthroamer was recovered by this retired military vehicle and other well equipped patrons.
We managed to stay out of the “rescued” category for the weekend. With the hard sided roof, propane heater, and some careful mud pit negotiation we stayed high and dry all weekend. Most of the time we cooked in the camper but we managed to catch a break in the weather for some grilling action.
We had a great time at the expo. Saw some amazing vehicles and met some great people! Already making plans for Overland Expo East in October! See everyone at the next one!