How to Choose An Overlanding Vehicle

Open Road 4Two

What is the best overlanding vehicle, Easy answer - EarthRoamer! EarthRoamer, is the best overlanding vehicle! Wow, we are good at this! Next question please.

All kidding aside, an EarthRoamer may be the best overlanding vehicle money can buy, but only if you have about $750k to buy one.

Most of us will never have that kind of disposable income to spend on an overlanding vehicle, so this relatively simple question can be extremely difficult to answer. There are so many factors and follow up questions that need to be asked before ANYONE can even attempt to answer this “simple” question.
Recent overlanding trip we took with friendsJS Overland

What’s your budget? If your budget is a million dollars, then you already have our answer as to the best overlanding vehicle, it’s probably an EarthRoamer. For the rest of us, budget plays a huge role in determining what vehicle we will choose, and even then, that’s just the first question we must ask ourselves.

Will your vehicle be dedicated to overlanding or will it double as your daily driver? If it doubles as your daily driver, how far is your commute? How far do you plan to travel on your overlanding trips? Do you plan to travel throughout North America and beyond, or will you be taking weekend trips to your local mountains? Will you be staying in campgrounds with hook-ups or do you plan to disperse camp? What type of off roading do you plan to do? Rock crawling or easy to moderate trails?
2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Overland RigChili_Colorado_Overland

As you can see, the questions can go on and on…. But since you may be looking for real answers, we are going to tell you why we’ve chosen the vehicles we have.

We have two Toyotas in our garage. We have a 2017 Tacoma TRD Off-Road (Sake) and a 2016 4Runner TRD Pro (Katsu). At this point our 4Runner has remained in stock form, apart from adding some BFG KO2 tires, and a collar lift by Westcott Designs. We have some future modifications planned for her, so stay tuned for those! We’ve done a few upgrades to our Tacoma. To make Sake slightly more capable on the trails, we’ve equipped her with a 2.5-inch King mid-travel suspension kit, Camburg upper control arms and a set of 33” Toyo Open Country AT/3 tires. Both vehicles are more than capable for the type of travel we do. To this point in our adventures, we have shied away from the most difficult dirt trails and rock crawling, but who knows what the future holds for us?
Our 2017 TacomaOpen Road 4Two
Our 2016 4RunnerOpen Road 4Two

Why did we go with Toyota?

That is a relatively easy question for us to answer. We chose to go with our Toyotas because of their bullet proof reputation for reliability. Since both or our vehicles also serve as our daily drivers, reliability was our number one factor in choosing our overland rigs. Not only are our vehicles subjected to the abuse we put them through when we hit the dirt trails, but they also suffer through the abuse of our daily Southern California traffic commutes.

Funny story we like to share about Toyota reliability and being out on the trail. Not too long ago we were stopped on a trail with our hood open. Along came a friendly gentleman in an old Jeep Cherokee Chief. He pulled up next to us to ask if we needed any assistance. He was visibly disappointed when he found out we were just airing up our flat tire. He said, “Dang! I was looking forward to telling my friends at my shop I had to stop to help a broken-down Toyota! They’d have never believed me!” We had a pretty good laugh as we thanked him for stopping to check on us. That’s one of the great things we love about this community, great people!

Although we are fortunate enough to have two highly capable overland rigs, we didn’t start there. We started our adventures with a 2wd vehicle.

So here’s our suggestion to you: If you’re new to overlanding, the best vehicle to start with is the one you already have. You can always upgrade from there. Just get out there and start exploring, see if you like it, and then upgrade as needed.

We’re curious to know, what’s your overland rig and why did you choose it? Does anyone have plans to overland a new Bronco? How about an old Bronco? Wranglers? Gladiators? We’re huge fans of all the Jeeps and have owned several over the years. Leave a comment below. Who among us started overlanding with their 2010 Honda Civic or their Ford Fusion?

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We are a husband-and-wife adventure team, dedicated to hitting the OPN RD. in our Toyota Tacoma and 4Runner and exploring this beautiful land we live in. We share a passion for travel and all things exploring. We strongly believe that exploring elevates life experiences and connects people everywhere and are dedicated to supporting and assisting our fellow adventurers along the way. Join us on the Open Road as we travel anywhere and everywhere - Adventure Awaits, Let's Go!

Temecula, CA

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