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