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Overland Expo Mountain West

At Race Dezert, we thrive in covering all things desert racing; this is how we started and will continue to do so. Although at our core we are also off-road enthusiasts, we love all things adventure and off-road. This includes the recent booming segment of off-roading known as Overlanding, otherwise known as vehicle-based adventure. So, after a two-day off-road trip through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, we made our way to the Overland Expo Mountain West in Loveland, Co. We thought why not check out some of the unique things Overland Expo has to offer.

We descend upon Overland Expo Mountain West for their first-ever event in Colorado; this makes the first stop of the yearly three events in the U.S. The excitement kicked off the weekend with the gathering of over 280 vendors in the industry with thousands of visitors who attended. Unfortunately, we were only there for half a day until we had to head back to California. 

There were dozens of different outdoor classes and roundtable events that included survival classes and industry leader keynotes. Even RAM Trucks as there with the RAM Ride & Drive program that allowed people to test out the new 700 HP Ram TRX and the extremely capable Ram 2500 Power Wagon. But what was the real treat was seeing all types of expedition vehicles and the latest and most innovative products in the industry. 

The truck that received the most attention was the highly anticipated TruckHouse BCT Toyota Tacoma Camper. This luxury adventure house features a single-piece carbon fiber composite shell with a modern interior with enough amenities you could live in it. They even put a passthrough cab on the truck going into the back. Although this truck house sits at 10ft tall, they outfitted it with long travel Total Chaos suspension, which was very interesting. Not too sure why it has long-travel suspension other than to be a “flex,” but it looks cool. Total Chaos makes a great product and has proven its durability and performance over the years. We are unsure of the weight, and they claim they don’t know it, but if they get out and jump it, that would be incredible. Overall, it seems that the build quality is exceptional, but it better be for the lofty price tag of $325k a comparable price to a luxury Earth Roamer truck. But you pay for what you get, which is just an exquisite and tastefully designed vehicle. 

One of the unique aspects of the Overland Expo is the sense of community it brings to the industry, so much so you are able to camp at the event. That is where we saw the real impressive vehicles like the heavy-duty Unimogs and utilitarian Mercedes G Wagons. There were just so many vehicles for us to check out, from giant mega International motorhome type builds to the simple tried and true 4runner builds.  

Vendors like Dometic and Factor 55 were able to display all their new products for the upcoming year and even selling products on site. 

But this 4runner stopped us in our tracks; everyone knows we enjoy a good build that outside the box, like Larry Maddox’s C10 converted to a Ford.  Built by RSG Metals Works in Englewood, Colorado, this was the first-ever solid-axle swapped 5th gen Toyota 4Runner known in the U.S. But that’s not its only party trick; it has a Tundra 5.7 V8 shoehorned into the engine bay. This was absolutely our favorite truck from the entire show, so much so I will be writing an entire feature on it soon.

Even Jeff Proctor had his Ridgeline Race Truck in the Honda Booth – an exciting and familiar sight to us.

Overall, Overland Expo Mountain West went off without a hitch; it was very interesting to see products that stemmed from desert racing, such as long-travel suspension and bypass shocks, being integrated into another segment of the off-road industry. More importantly, seeing this industry thrive, we are looking forward to more lateral integration between the segments, and maybe we will be at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona September 24. 

 

 

Chris_Wilson

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Looks like a lot of cool stuff there. Need to check out one of these shows in person.
I do wonder why the Toyota owners like those dorkel things. Certainly it can not be for dust since desert racing has 1000x more dust to deal with than any overland rig will ever see, and they are not used there. Nor can it be for water as you would have many other issues driving through 5 feet of water than just water in the intake. I guess it's a style thing? Or a place to dry out your underwear while camping?
 

Tube ride

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paranoid56

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Looks like a lot of cool stuff there. Need to check out one of these shows in person.
I do wonder why the Toyota owners like those dorkel things. Certainly it can not be for dust since desert racing has 1000x more dust to deal with than any overland rig will ever see, and they are not used there. Nor can it be for water as you would have many other issues driving through 5 feet of water than just water in the intake. I guess it's a style thing? Or a place to dry out your underwear while camping?
as a guy with a snorkel on his taco lol few things, have had them on every toyota i have from the 80s. highest i have been is water up half the windshield making the crossing in pismo many years ago. new taco has it because it gives me cool air and looks cool lol. i have only gone up to my hood in water so the stock one would probably have worked fine, but its nice knowing at least i wont hydro lock the engine. might fry some electronics, but lol
 

paranoid56

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i mean, i go overlanding/camping a lot in mine. gets covered in mud then i wash it. so its clean lol. i am sure 90% of overlanding jeeps never hit dirt, but its a jeep thing lol
 

AZ7000'

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That ding Dong show comes to flagstaff in a few weeks. The hotel parking lots will be full of those shiny money pits and sold out. They need to drop porta John’s all over the country park, hard to poop in a roof top tent.
My favorite is what good are sand boards and rotopax if they can’t be seen, Mount them boldly so the uv light can break ‘em down, no, nothing is uv resistant.
Maybe my favorite is really the trash a roo, $60 trash bag full of kale to attack attract I animals right too my back door!!!
 

AZ7000'

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Full disclosure, I have a rig w a factory dorkel and I added 2 “racks”
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paranoid56

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I think the snobbery is at any show lol there is always some douchebags and some awesome people. For me, i like going to just see what people are doing, same with offroad expo and sand show.
also when we go to the shows my wife and i have a roof top tent but with a annex part that attaches to it, and you poop in that section lol. toilet lid that sits on a bucket and a wagbag lol

I can say that my tacoma weights 7100lbs lol. the goal of overlanding is to add as much poop as you can lol
 

landshark

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Everyone we talked to was very nice and down-to-earth.H
Honestly I have been to two shows a few years ago, both had their share of not so down-to-earth folks and left a bad taste in my mouth as they say, but in all honestly most people out in the camping fields I bumped into were quite nice. There is certainly an insane amount of money into "overlanding" thats for sure, the variety of snorkels has gotten better as well. Maybe I am the snob??? :)
 

dan200

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I've been to two of these shows. Both in flagstaff. The people who run the show are awesome and as a vendor I think they do a great job.

FWIW the customers have all been really nice and quite a few make fun of themselves for "needing" the top of the line baja designs light bar while admitting they will never be going over 30 MPH on an dirt road.

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