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2019 Overland Expo East: Adventure Rigs Invade Infinity Downs, Virginia

Overland Expo East 2019 was one for the books with a record-breaking 12,500 attendees, 1,000 adventure vehicles, 188 exhibitors, and 55 media outlets. The event found a new home for 2019 at Infinity Downs in Arrington, Virginia, a change from its usual locale some 300 miles to the south. With its rolling hills, beginnings of fall color in the trees, and expansive acreage, Infinity Downs was an admirable location for the Expo. Overland Expo East could be enjoyed via a day pass for folks choosing to explore the show for the day, a weekend pass including two days at the show with vehicle-based camping, or the penultimate Overland Experience, which added access to specialized classes and programs, an attendee gift bag, complimentary beverages, and much more. For those who desired some excitement on the way to the Expo, the Four Wheeler TireRack.com Overland Adventure East concluded at Infinity Downs and included admission to the show for all participants.

Following Overland Adventure East, we immersed ourselves in the Expo, taking in the skills courses, product demonstrations, hot-off-the-grill food, and, of course, the rows of unique and diverse vehicles dressed to the nines in their overlanding best. Whether it was a luxury land yacht or a DIY bugout rig, we were there with eyes open and camera lenses ready. Flip through the following pages for a look into some of the machines, activities, and exciting new wares of the 2019 Overland Expo East. For more info on upcoming Overland Expo events visit overlandexpo.com.

Bert Garrison saved this '78 Jeep J20 from a certain trip to the junkyard and began the process of transforming it into his dream off-road adventure machine. The stock axles are held in place by a Rusty's Off-Road 4-inch lift kit and Rancho RS5000 shocks handle the damping. All Bert needed was a bit more clearance for the 33-inch BFGoodrich KM3 mud-terrains.
The interior was reupholstered during the truck's frame-off restoration in 1995 and has since been fit with GMRS, HAM, and CB radio communications and a removable center console. On Bert's to-do list is adding bucket seats in place of the factory bench.
Bert keeps a SnoMaster fridge on a slider in the J20's bed with a fire extinguisher within reach of the cooking area. What you can't see is the second battery, dual battery charger, auxiliary fuse box, and ARB twin air compressor all mounted within the Weatherguard box, and air chucks extending to both bedsides for any pneumatic needs.
The J20's AMC V-8 remained stock, however, Bert added an MSD ignition, Truck Avenger carburetor, FlowKooler water pump, battery isolator, all to make the old powerhouse a bit more reliable.
When participants of the TireRack.com Overland Adventure East arrived at Overland Expo East, show staff was on hand selling clothing, gear, and memorabilia from the event for participants and showgoers alike to take home.
Show attendees were invited to drive their personal vehicles through the obstacle course, with the aid and spotting of a guide, where hillclimbing skills, maneuverability, traction control, and articulation were all tested.
General Tire brought a fleet of vehicles to the show and invited participants to make their way through a test course demonstrating the capabilities of the company's off-road tire line. The JKU here is wearing a set of Grabber X3 mud-terrains.
LMTV-based expedition vehicles were a common sight throughout Overland Expo East. We've heard rumors of folks nabbing these machines at auction for under $30,000. Strap a camper to the back, fold out the denim-blue rug, and we'd venture to say you have a budget-friendly backcountry setup.
Three generations of Land Rover in one frame with the rightmost Discovery having recently competed in the reawakened TReK competition.
A beautifully restored '65 Land Rover Series 2A came to the show from Richmond, Virginia, dressed in a satin-blue paintjob.
We searched high and low, but this appeared to be the only overland-kitted Hummer at the show, with a color-matched off-road trailer in tow.
Though it might look like an Odyssey with its rear cut off, this Ridgeline with a Roofnest is certainly ready for more than pavement-bound adventures.
Topher Witkowski stuffed a 6BT in the front of his '93 FJ80 and likes to camp just as hard as he 'wheels.
His Dana 300 twin-stick T-case splits the power to the Dana 60 frontend with hydro-assist steering and an ARB Air Locker; and to the rear Chevy 14-bolt filled with 4.10:1 gears. Topher runs a three-link front and a four-link rear suspension setup with Fox coilovers and hydraulic bumpstops at each corner.
"Best Patina Award" went to this FJ45LV.
When you are finished ogling the heavy-duty tube armor on this Dodge Ram 3500, you'll notice the handle above the rear wheelwell that flips the bedside down like a tailgate, giving additional access to the cargo area.
Robert Lahr and his cat, Dolly Purrton, had all the necessary off-road capability and camping comforts in their '64 F-350 fit with a camper and a fold-down rear patio.
Porsche 911 on all-terrain tires? What it lacks in cargo space it sure makes up for in head-turning charm.

Cool New Products from the 2019 Overland Expo East

Overland Essentials
We cruised through the vendor show at Overland Expo East and found a few cool off-road products that you need to see!

Trail-Rated Trans
You might recognize the Tremec TR-4050 as what the editors of Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road dropped into the '64 International Scout 80 for the 2019 Ultimate Adventure in Alaska. With a 6.16:1 First gear and 0.76:1 Fifth gear, the gearbox mixes low-range capability with highway cruising. For more, check out shiftsst.com.

IFS Reinforcement
Looking to beef up the independent front suspension on your '95-'19 Tacoma, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser; '07-'19 Tundra; or '07-'19 Sequoia? RCV has CV shafts that are said to be twice as strong as the factory components and withstand increased operating angles, while still directly replacing OEM gear. Head over to rcvperformance.com for more.

Portable Solar
The wizards at 4thD Solar have dreamed up a line of portable solar panels designed for the rigors of backcountry travel. The company offers units to power everything from entire camping setups down to just your smartphone or tablet. Check them out at 4thdsolar.com.

Multifunction GPS
Need a navigation system that can point you to the outlet mall as well as through the backcountry four-by trails? Garmin has blended on-road usability with backcountry mapping and built all that and more into a rugged package called the Overlander. Read more about this unit at garmin.com.

Fab Fires
You know Fab Fours for unique and rugged 4x4 armor, now let the company add some flare (yes, it was intended) to your campfires with this line of fire pits. Modeled after either a Jeep Wrangler, Chevy HD, or Dodge HD, you can have a personalized and off-road centric flame containment system. See the lineup at fabfours.com.

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