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.