2013 Overland Expo

2013 Overland Expo

2013 Overland ExpoThis year we spent a lot more time getting to know the people at the event!  We were given our own camping area for Tacomas and FJ Cruisers.  We had Demello Off-road and Icon Vehicle Dynamics join us as well. It was great to be able to camp with and get to know some of our amazing readers and better yet, we can now call them friends!  The American Adventurist forum and their group camped in the same section as us.  American Adventurist is an online social media community that promotes the values that are core to the American experience: Liberty, personal responsibility, self reliance, family, honor and integrity. American Adventurist is committed to achieving maximum positive social, environmental, and economic benefit to its members through its dissemination of information, discovery, and collaboration.  They and their group of like minded Toyota enthusiasts showed up and showed off their awesome setups. They had some great stories to share with us about their journeys from all over the country just to get to the event.  We do hope to hear more from them in the future!

The classes were very broad and extremely informational.  The Categories were:

  • Driving, Riding, Recovery
  • Maintenance
  • Planning & Logistics
  • Communications & Navigation
  • Safety & Security
  • Health & Housekeeping
  • Food & Cooking
  • Families & Kids
  • Art of Travel
  • Doing It
  • Consumer Panel Discussion

The classes that caught my eye all had to do with getting the entire family involved.  They had classes for: navigation for kids, family friendly cooking, the art of travel - all of which are focused on getting the entire family excited about the experience.

By having actual pro’s teaching you some of the tips and procedures that will help make your experience something that you will either want to continue your trip or more importantly, do again.  The best part of this event is that they not only teach these classes for vehicles like 4x4’s but also for the motor cycle group as well.  The interesting part of this is that if you go to some of the preparation  classes for the motor cycle group and you might pack a little lighter . . .

The night life is always very mellow.  The Expo puts on a film festival every night and there is always a happy hour event going on somewhere.  After all of the organized events are done, it’s time to find a camp fire and a good conversation.  The other option for something to do is to take the 40 minute drive up to Flagstaff and enjoy some great food and more importantly a good beer!   

The vendors this year were really loving on the Tacoma platform (as they should).  

Saturday was a lot of fun for sure. This year we made our first attempt at an onsite - live build.  With the help from our friends at both Baja Rack and Rigid Industries we were able to pull it off.  We definitely have some bugs to work out for the next live event, however, I think it went pretty well, it got built.  After the build I talked Clay Croft from Expedition Overland into joining me out on the “Land Rover Test Track”.  We both got a chance to take my truck out for a spin.  The track was an eye opener to say the least.  Inclines, declines, off cambers, and even a log bridge were some of the obstacles along the way.  I must say that it was a little surreal watching someone else take your truck out and put it through it’s paces(dsc_0140).  Then it was my turn.  It was nice how Land Rover runs the coarse.  It is required that a Land Rover trainer be in the truck for the ride along and their instruction.  “Turn left now”, “Let’s see how your truck will handle this obstacle”(dsc_0197), “Wow, these trucks are really put together well” are some of the comments that I got to hear.  My favorite comment was “Thanks for the ride I am truly impressed with how you have built this truck!”

Even though there was more fun to be had, it was that time!  Time to hit the road and dream about the adventures that are ahead of me.  Of course, there was that 11 hour drive as well.  I made it all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico, caught 4 hours of sleep, and was home before noon on Sunday.  Just enough time to catch up with the family before it’s back to work.

I have to admit that I am already thinking about and planning for next year’s Expo and my biggest hope is that more of you camp with us.  The invite is there!


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TOYTEC 1-2 Tacoma MAGAD3