Overland Fever - Back Country Gear GuidePosted in How To: Body Chassis on August 1, 2011
If you’re like us, you long for the profound solitude that can only be found in the farthest reaches of the outback, away from the paved confines of modern suburbia. If this is your type of adventure, you have probably caught a case of overland fever. The symptoms include frequent daydreams about visiting vast regions of an unfamiliar countryside for prolonged periods of time. These dreams are typically followed by late-night computer sessions as you scour the web for ideas on how to set up your rig for overland travel. If left unchecked, this behavior typically results in meticulously packed gear stashes waiting at the ready for that rogue opportunity to discover the unknown. If the goal of adventure captivates your imagination and provides an easy escape from the monotony of everyday life then dare to dream big, friends. There’s a big planet to explore out there. While nobody claims to have a cure for overland fever, we suggest you study this guide and check back again in the morning. If the condition persists, take action immediately.
Why it’s cool: This quick shelter solution can be erected in just 30 seconds, thanks to a patented internal aluminum frame system. Aside from strengthening the structure for high winds and sudden downpours, it allows for effortless setup and packing away.
More info: OZ Tent, 877/673-6590, www.oztent.us
Why it’s cool: This replacement hardtop features a lid that opens over the hood of the Wrangler Unlimited (JK) to reveal a tent and sleeping quarters for up to four people. Aside from being convenient and comfortable, this sleeping arrangement is off the ground, away from critters, and offers a bird’s-eye view of your surroundings.
More info: Adventure Trailers, 877/661-8097, www.adventuretrailers.com
Why it’s cool: This tent offers all-weather protection in one convenient and easy-to-erect package. With options such as a floor space-adding annex and awnings to shade your camping area, the system puts a roof over your head in the outdoors. Now in its third revision, this latest version improves rigidity and waterproofing over previous models.
More info: ARB USA, 800/761-8159, www.arbusa.com
Why it’s cool: With a dry weight of around 2,000 pounds and a tongue weight of just 160 pounds, Campa Trailers are ready for any 4x4. Two 20-gallon water tanks are strategically nestled within the frame, and the modular design allows consumers to choose from a variety of tent configurations.
More info: Campa USA, 440/353-1917, www.campausa.com
Self-Sustaining 4x4 Vans
Why it’s cool: Using Dynatrac ProRock 60 axles, Dynaloc hubs, an Altas II transfer case, and Old Man Emu shocks and springs, Sportsmobile Overland 4x4 vans are in a league all their own. Each is as unique as the exotic places they allow you to reach, and Sportsmobile 4x4 vans offer comforts of larger RVs in a more nimble trail-capable package.
More info: Sportsmobile, 260/356-5435, www.sportsmobile.com
Why it’s cool: Through the extensive use of lightweight tubular-aluminum construction (no wood or fiberboard materials) Jeep is able to ensure long life and trouble-free towing of this 850-pound camper. It sleeps four and can be color-matched to your Wrangler. We like the fact that you can add one to the finance plan of your new Jeep purchase.
More info: Mopar, www.mopar.com
Why it’s cool: These trailers have low centers of gravity and are designed specifically for remote off-highway travel, adventure activities and expedition use. The XT140 model shown includes all the creature comforts you would expect in a rugged and versatile package.
More info: Bundu Gear, 866/557-3504, www.bundugear.com
JK Pop Up
Why it’s cool: This outfit has camper solutions for all types of popular buildup platforms, including the Ford SVT Raptor, Jeep JK, and Dodge Power Wagon. Made from lightweight aluminum and fiberglass, these pop-up campers provide gobs of shelter with very little effect on vehicle performance. Many custom options are available.
More info: Phoenix Pop Ups, 303/286-3921, www.coyoterv.biz
Dual Use Trailer
Why it’s cool: This dual-purpose trailer handles daily work use during the week and easily converts into an overland trailer for the weekend. These trailers are made in the U.S. and feature Timbren rubber suspension for a smooth ride.
More info: New Image Trailer, 805/890-4626, www.offroadtrailerz.com
Why it’s cool: This kitchenware is collapsible, heat-resistant, and easy to clean, thanks to silicone construction. You get a large bowl, a medium bowl, a large colander, two adjustable-volume storage containers with lids, two drinking cups, and a funnel.
More info: Front Runner Outfitters, 866/840-0321, www.frontrunneroutfitters.com
Why it’s cool: This dual-purpose system is lightweight and serves as a container to store a camping stove and cookware while also doubling as a work surface. The integrated silverware drawer, shelves and dividers fit most available lightweight cookware. Once set up, the arrangement makes meal preparation much easier.
More info: Kanz Outdoors, 818/894-6589, www.kanzoutdoors.com
Why it’s cool: This modular kitchen can be used with any vehicle type. Options include running hot and cold water, shower, stove, sink, lockable storage, fridge slide, refrigerator, and freezer.
More info: Warfield Off-Road, 909/363-6320, www.warfieldoffroad.com
Why it’s cool: Hydro Flask bottles are made from bacteria-resistant 18/8 stainless steel and feature double-wall, vacuum-insulated construction. The aerospace-grade material also prevents unwanted odors and flavors from forming. Backed by a lifetime warranty, this bottle will keep drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours. Each bottle sold allows the purchaser to donate five percent to a nonprofit charity of choice.
More info: Hydro Flask, 888/584-9376, www.hydroflask.com
Why it’s cool: Capable of supporting up to 500 pounds, these slides are available in front- or side-pull models to accommodate a wider variety of equipment such as fridges, coolers, stoves, and toolboxes. All of TemboTusk’s slides are made in the U.S.
More info: TemboTusk, 714/396-4549, www.tembotusk.com
Why it’s cool: Get peace of mind with a full line of lockable steel and aluminum security storage products for over 35 different vehicles. Tuffy boxes feature a high-security patented lock and latch mechanism, custom hinge design, weather protection, and a durable powdercoated finish. They’re made in the U.S.
More info: Tuffy Security Products, 800/348-8339, www.tuffyproducts.com/fw
Why it’s cool: AEV offers a comprehensive line of U.S.-made Jeep Wrangler accessories. The AEV product line includes bumpers, hoods, snorkels, tuned suspensions, body kits, skidplates, wheels, and V8 conversions—all with a unique OE-level of engineering.
More info: American Expedition Vehicles, 248/926-0256, www.aev-conversions.com
Why it is cool: The Alu-Box aluminum case collection provides dust and weather resistant protection for your valuable equipment. These cases feature all-aluminum construction, rubber sealing lid gasket, lockable latches, and spring-loaded handles. Cast aluminum top corners help to stack cases and prevent damage. The Alu-Box just might be the last box you purchase.
More info: Equipt Expedition Outfitters, 866/703-1026, www.equipt1.com
Storage on Top
Why it’s cool: Offered in an assortment of different configurations to fit the majority of popular builder vehicles, Baja Racks come in steel and aluminum. We like the way these racks contour to the natural body lines to create an integrated OE look.
More info: Baja Rack, 760/621-0171, www.bajarack.com
275-Amp Dual Battery Kit
Why it’s cool: When you need more electrical power for your overland adventure, this 275-amp kit packs a punch. Designed to allow accessories to draw from one deep-cycle battery while preserving the second battery for starting the vehicle and running life-critical systems, this system will not leave you stranded in the outback.
More info: Camel 4x4 and Outdoor, 800/698-6976, www.camel4x4.com
Solar Power Pack
Why it’s cool: This modular solar system weighs just 26 pounds but is capable of delivering hundreds hours of lighting, recharge a laptop seven times, or run a mini-sized refrigerator for up to three hours.
More info: Goal Zero, 888/794-6250, www.goalzero.com
Spare Tire Trash Bag
Why it’s cool: The Trasharoo is a trash bag that mounts to your externally mounted spare tire. It has a positive-closing cover that allows you to take your trash away without hauling it, or the smell, inside your vehicle.
More info: Trasharoo, 714/854-7292, www.trasharoo.com
Why it’s cool: This essential tool will air up your tires, mattress, or watercraft with its 30 cfm flow rate and minimum duty cycle of 40 minutes at 40 psi. It has a max output of 150 psi and comes with a 24-foot quick-connect hose, brass air valve connector, sand tray, built-in psi gauge and rugged travel bag. It’s all backed with a five-year warranty.
More info: TJM Products, 951/934-7150, www.tjmusa.com
Why it’s cool: This feather-light tent maximizes space-to-weight ratio by incorporating several smart design features. The interior can accommodate three adults, and the waterproof fly keeps occupants dry during the inevitable downpour. Unique features such as a light-diffusing interior pocket and a glow-in-the-dark stargazing chart put this tent in a class by itself.
More info: Nemo Equipment, 800/997-9301, www.nemoequipment.com
Why it’s cool: These rectangular LED lights consume very little power and feature 6061 extruded aluminum housings with a durable black powdercoated finish. A tough polycarbonate lens protects the LEDs against damage and prevents harmful UV damage. These lights are available in 3.9-, 10-, 33-, and 43-inch lengths.
More info: KC HiLites, 928/635-2607, www.kchilites.com
Why it’s cool: These lamps come with super-lightweight composite housings and scratch-resistant hard polycarbonate lenses. They are available in halogen or HID, with spot or wide cornering reflector designs, with or without anti-theft mounting options.
More info: Light Force, 877/510-9204, www.lightforce.net
HEMA map App
Why it’s cool: This app quickly turns your iPhone or iPad into a digital U.S. road atlas. It’s perfect for your next interstate road trip or outdoor adventure. For even greater detail, you can purchase topographic maps or marine charts from within the app, via the Digital Map Shop.
More info: HEMA Maps, www.hemamaps.com
guide to the Americas
Why it’s cool: This book is essential for anyone planning to drive overland through Mexico, Central and South America. Featuring color photographs and pictures, this book covers everything so that you won’t find yourself unprepared south of the border.
More info: America’s Overland, www.americasoverland.net
Ultimate Expedition Vehicle
Why it’s cool: Think of this rig as the mega-yacht of overland adventure vehicles. It combines the highest standards of safety, reliability, durability, and comfort with the go-anywhere ability of a Unimog. It features a 2,000-mile range in virtually any climate and terrain and serves as the ultimate base camp for the most extreme expeditions. We’ll have a road test of this bad boy in an upcoming issue.
More info: Unicat Americas, 415/515-6644, www.unicatamericas.com