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 Overlanding 
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Joined: February 28th, 2007, 7:47 pm
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Post Overlanding
Overlanding is the new off-road buzz word (well as of like 2 years ago it's really exploded). They have large expo, and new clubs coming up constantly. I find it odd, but the overlanders like to differentiate themselves from 4 wheelers. The basic definition being that four wheelers take day trips and overlanders make week or month long trips. Of course UC4x4 has done both, remember the week long summer trips to the Rubicon and Dusy? I think the biggest difference really is the rigs. Overlanding can be done in a stock rig, with very little gear. And most are street legal, a requirement for long distance trips that might connect dirt roads with by pavement. I also haven't met an overlander that trailers, although pulling a trailer isnt uncommon. I wonder how much different areas of off-road are growing? Racing (Baja 1000,500,250, mint 400 etc) and high speed desert racing is definitely growing. JK jeeps seem to be everywhere on 4x4 trails. And overlanding with almost stock Toyotas is a big thing (lots of toyotas in overlanding for some reason, possibly because of the part coming from other countries overlanding for years). I wonder with Ford's new mid sized rigs with sit (assuming they ever land).

[end open thought train]

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June 15th, 2017, 9:47 am
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Joined: September 25th, 2006, 8:46 pm
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Post Re: Overlanding
So we're gonna wax poetic on the evolution of four wheeling huh :goodfinger:

Ok I'll play along :mrgreen:

Overlanding used to be called tent camping. But there's too many damn people in campgrounds so it starts to feel like the suburbia you were trying to escape - cramped. So people look for a mild built 4x4 to get a little further away from their neighbor.

I think it really is just the evolution of things.

Pre 80s 4x4s were for work. Sure people ran the Rubicon and used their jeep to drive through the sand to get down to the river for swimming, but I really don't think many people thought of four wheeling as a sport.

Go back to the 90s and look at 4x4s with chrome on chrome, and don't forget the triple shocks with body-color-matching-boots.

00's saw rock crawling explode as a thing. A sport even with ultra4 and events like the Hammers. It culminated in the rock bouncers which many will say are excessive. Through a combination of technology and growth, the sport reached a point of excess, rock bouncers were too capable. Enter the overlander - far more practical with a light dose of legit 4x4 ability.

Look at TTC. I remember back in the day when the rig needed to be street legal and they judged on things like acceleration and braking. It slowly turned into $100K rock buggies and people lost interest; everything was too easy, it was boring to watch. The rock bouncer affect. Even that event more recently has drifted back towards production based vehicles. The overlanding affect.

The HUGE aftermarket for popular platforms like Tacomas and JKs certainly doesnt hurt. But then usually demand drives supply, it rarely happens the other way around.

I think you could also argue a huge part of the growth of overlanding is the relative reliability of vehicles. 20-30 years ago you didn't have quite the same faith in the reliability of a vehicle to take you way off the grid, and back.

As you've said UC has often run overlanding-ish trips. Drive to the cabin, drive to some trail, wheel, drive back to cabin, back to trail, wheel, drive home. And there's a certain charm in that. I've also had some really great times doing more hardcore wheeling, sticking the truck on the trailer and cruising home with the AC on. Guess there's no perfect answer!

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June 15th, 2017, 10:12 pm
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Joined: July 15th, 2007, 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Overlanding
Yay 4x4 Philosofising time.

I wouldn't say overlanding or the idea of it is new by any means, people just called it exploring. Hop in your 4x4, drive down some dirt road, camp, drive back. Backpackers just called it car camping.

I would say that off-roading (rockcrawling, exploring, racing, overlanding, whatever you want to call it) is getting more popular in general. National Geographic ran an article saying that the generation in their 20's and 30's travel to more national parks then any generation before, and outdoorsy activities in general are more popular then ever. Something about working and living in cities and in offices and wanting to escape to the outdoors more. Plus all the social media posts showing pretty places and spreading the word about places to go helps to. Couple that with manufactures releasing TRD pros, Rubicons, and Raptors with crawl controls, low gears, lockers, true 4x4 capability, and creature comforts galore you have more people interested in multi day offroad adventures. Spending two weeks on a dirt road or rocks in an air-conditioned seat with AC on, a memory foam mattress in your roof-top tent, and an onboard shower, is much more appealing to most people than a CJ7 or stock 85 Toyota. All of those great stock vehicles also have so much aftermarket support that you can build it to your hearts content with relative ease. Rooftop tents, pop out kitchens, on board showers, etc. make those long trips even more comfortable.

While overlanding can be done with a stock vehicle and a little bit of gear. I think the increase in overlanding popularity is with rigs with all the stuff mentioned above. When all is said and done they can get pretty expensive with the cost of a new vehicle, rooftop tent, small lift, sliders, racks, accessories your talking about 40-60,000 with relative ease. Throw in a small trailer that folds out into whatever you want it to for 5-10,000 and it adds up.

Personally I think off-roading in general isn't moving away from the capability of extreme rigs or buggies. I think its moving toward packaging all that buggy stuff into an enclosed vehicle with some degree of comfort, that is relatively street legal. Multi day trips like UA are becoming more popular then TTC, an I think fullsize popularity is on the rise due to the value they have to build in the used market. As for trailers. They are another tool. If UC wanted to do a weeklong multi trail and driving trip that would be awesome and I'd be happy to drive the rig around. If we are doing a trip at slick rock or the rubicon or Dusy ill trailer up so I have that option to get home. Also strapping a baby into a custom made vehicle that has an increased roll-over risk, doesn't brake as well (and doesn't have antilock brakes), doesn't turn as well, doesn't have airbags, doesn't have those nice metal tie downs for baby seats is fine on surface streets and trails. It's a bit more nerve-wracking at freeway speeds with people driving and not paying attention all around you. That is where the tow rig and trailer really add some piece of mind.

That was a fun thought process to dive into. to end. YAY 4-wheeling. And I think the increased popularity will only help keep trails and access open.

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June 16th, 2017, 10:13 am
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Joined: December 1st, 2008, 9:25 pm
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Post Re: Overlanding
well said all of you!

Now that the jeep is gone and I drive a 4runner with IFS then you can call it: daily driver-mall crawler-baby vehicle-overlander 4runner with A/C

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July 26th, 2017, 10:33 pm
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