Ram Trucks were in force in the packed Four Wheel Campers Village this year.
Expo West 2019 First Impressions
Overland Expo West 2019 proved to be the strongest year for the Flagstaff, AZ event since its inception, with sun and mercifully cool temperatures, and a smooth flow of people and vehicles thanks to Expo's organizers and exceedingly friendly and helpful volunteers. This year the vendor area encompassed seemingly every available piece of asphalt and gravel at Fort Tuthill Park, a tour de force of the growing popularity of overlanding, and the inventiveness of the companies emerging in this sector of the outdoor industry. Over the years the vehicles have gotten bigger, but also smarter and more efficient. We noticed more full-size vehicles than mid-size vehicles on the field, as more full-timers and families are considering the nomadic lifestyle. Mobile Cooling and boondocking power were the most sought-after components at the show, with MLO and Dometic teaming up to sell out an entire 26ft truck's worth of CFX Fridges
and PLB40 Lithium Batteries
at the event. The hardshell RTT reigned supreme as the quick-deploying option for SUVs, represented well by iKamper's Skycamp Series
and the lightweight Eezi-Awn Dart
. Solar, either fixed on the roof or portable, was a given on seemingly any built vehicle aside from an FJ Company resto-mod. Overland Solar doubled their supply of 120W Bugout
Panels, and still sold out in 5 hours flat.
The MLO booth represented both of these trends, with an #mlobuilt Lexus GX460 from @overlandv1.0 featuring an iKamper Skycamp 2.0 and a Tundra/ FWC Hawk Flatbed Camper
for @bound.for.nowhere featuring 2 x 160W Overland Solar
panels supplying juice to 2 x 100Ah LiFEPO4 batteries.
In a nod to a possible future of adventure travel, the talk of the show was the Rivian R1T Electric Truck, capable of up to 400 miles of range, fording depths of up to 3ft, and with a 0-60 time of 3 seconds. If adventure travel goes the way of Rivian the future will be both torquey, and quiet.
Bound For Nowhere Wins Cool Ride Contest!
We couldn't be prouder to have @overlandv1.0 and @bound.for.nowhere in our booth this year--we put our heart and soul into both builds, and were stoked to share them with the Expo community.
MLO's Eric Valdes with Rob and Avis from @overlandv1.0
On Thursday evening we participated in a line-up of the finalists for the Overland Expo Cool Ride Contest, and felt confident that MAK and Owen's Tundra had a good chance of winning given the traffic at their set-up.
After a monster first day at the show that saw our booth neighbors chatting constantly about their set-ups, the Friday night announcement that Bound For Nowhere had won was almost an afterthought. MAK and Owen received a $500 credit to spend at the show, which they used to invest in Garmin GPS gear to improve their navigation and safety margin while out on the trail.
The remainder of the weekend was a mix of sun and gusty winds, with everyone bugging out a bit early on Sunday ahead of a front that included snowshowers and rain. The adventure gods were truly smiling on Overland Expo this time around--looking forward to a big showing at Expo East this fall in it's new Virginia venue!