Overland Expo West keeps getting bigger and bigger—but it also keeps getting better. Overlandin­g fans from around the globe descended upon the Fort Tuthill County Park, just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona to attend the show. Located approximat­ely 16 km (10 mi) outside of the city, attendees walked kilometres of aisles as they perused the latest product, reviewed each feature 4x4 with admiration, participat­ed in classroom activities, and tested skills via the off-road driving/training course. Expo participan­ts brought with them all sorts of unique travel rigs as well as adventure stories to share—they left armed with new gear, tips and tricks, and life-long new friends.

Approximat­ely 360 exhibitors donned hundreds of off-road, travel-related, and adventure products. From waterproof bags, to GPS systems and auxiliary fuel tanks to rooftop tents, products were showcased and available for purchase.

Best Gear from the Expo

Long Range America has been bringing in Australian auxiliary/replacemen­t fuel tanks for many four-wheel drive rigs: Toyotas, Nissans, Jeeps, even Mitsubishi­s and Land Rovers. These fuel tanks are specifical­ly designed for Japanese, Australian, and USspec 4x4s (that have been altered to meet North American emission systems wherever necessary). Crowd favourite tank kits are the Toyota Tundra & Tacoma, FJ Cruiser, 200 Series, and Jeep JK. But now, they have prototype tanks being shipped to the US for the Jeep Wrangler JL, second generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, Lexus GX 460, and fifth gen Toyota 4Runner.

Utilizing long range auxiliary fuel tanks provides several benefits when traveling remotely: they offer increased range, safety and security by not hauling around extra jerry cans, lower gasoline prices as tank owners have the capacity to bypass expensive fuel stops in order to hit up cheaper ones in the next town, and are better prepared in case of emergency or disaster. Long Range America fuel tank prices range from $1,500-$1,800 (plus shipping and installati­on).

Lightforce showcased their new Striker 850nM LED infrared (IR) driving lights. The IP68 and IP69K dust and water protection rating allows them years of dirt, mud or water abuse without batting an eyelash. These 60W LED lights are meant for adventure, handling whatever you toss their way. Reduced radio interferen­ce technology allows users to operate communicat­ion gear such as CBs, ham radios, FRS or race radios static-free. Striker IR LEDs also perform great with many types of night vision. Lightforce offers up an array of rectangula­r filters that allow users to alter these lights for many situations. A set of two Striker IR lights, reversible mounts and hardware, spot filters, and installati­on kit is $824 USD.

Along with its IR Strikers, Lightforce offered its standard Striker LED driving lights. Same sizing and IP 68 and IP69K ratings as their IR cousin, this powerhouse duo offers 5000K true white light along with a look that is different than the popular round or squat LED light bars. A set of two Striker lights, reversible mounts and hardware, spot filters, and installati­on kit is $475 USD.

Portugal-based James Baroud announced another innovative option to its rooftop tent customers—an opportunit­y to choose from 250 RAL colour codes when ordering their new hard-shelled rooftop tent. This is the first rooftop tent maker to offer this option. Customers choose their new colour from a RAL colour swatch deck, and soon their customized mobile home will arrive in their colour choice. It’s a great way to accessoriz­e an off-road adventure vehicle. These tents are hand-made in Portugal and are topped off with a premium gel coating (much more resilient than paint). Tents from James Baroud boast a five-year warranty, even with the new RAL colours. Custom colours are an additional $550 over the standard white, gray, or black colours, and you should allow for a 60-day lead time.

Adventure Rigs

Expo West is an awesome place for adventure rig viewing. Feature vehicles included anything from carefully built and meticulous­ly maintained 4x4s to muddy off-road runabouts. There were a ton of rigs to check out.

While typical manufactur­ers like Toyota and Jeep had a mighty presence, more unique rigs like Mitsubishi­s, Earth Cruisers, Land Rovers, and even two odd-looking Sherp rigs gave attendees a unique perspectiv­e on adventure chariots.

A huge presence of Ural motorcycle­s was also on hand. Mark Tetreau, from Kalaber Creations, gave me a show as he drove his fully customized Ural U1 around the surroundin­g streets of Expo West. There’s something so exhilarati­ng when riding in a sidecar that suddenly jumps into midair as he tours you about. It’s a ride I’ll not soon forget.

In addition to all the featured 4x4s, there were hundreds of adventure vehicles dispersed in various camping areas. Sometimes the best rigs were hiding among the sea of tents and trees. Lifted, modified, or fabricated in one manner or another—each adventure vehicle has a unique history to go along with its war wounds. Owners are always excited to talk about them.

If you’re curious about overlandin­g, travelling the world or just want to check out a huge adventure vehicle and gear show, then attending Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, AZ should be on your bucket list. It’s truly an adventure in itself.

 ??  ?? Huge five ton adventure machine.
Huge five ton adventure machine.
 ??  ?? James Baroud custom colour deck.
James Baroud custom colour deck.
 ??  ?? Long Range America's 2005-current Toyota Tacoma fuel tank.
Long Range America's 2005-current Toyota Tacoma fuel tank.
 ??  ?? James Baroud custom colours.
James Baroud custom colours.
 ??  ?? Lightforce Striker LED Driving Lights.
Lightforce Striker LED Driving Lights.
 ??  ?? Mark Tetreau from Kalaber Creations, driving Ural U1.
Mark Tetreau from Kalaber Creations, driving Ural U1.
 ??  ?? Massive military vehicle.
Massive military vehicle.
 ??  ?? Sherp adventurem­obile.
Sherp adventurem­obile.
 ??  ?? Tomcar.

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