Part 14: Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ


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The Trip

We arrived at Overland Expo mid-afternoon on Thursday and there was an hour wait to gain access to the venue.  The line of vehicles stretched for miles and moved slowly.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

There was a huge line to gain entrance to the Expo.

We had other "truck buddies" that were attending Expo, but the camping was slap-dash and we were not able to get a site with our group.  We spotted Len who arrived earlier in the day and were able to park next to him.

Our three trucks were some of the larger vehicles at the venue.  Tents were crammed into available space.

We hooked up with Rob and Nina Blackwell and their Whiteacorn rig.

Eric and Rebecca came in their Fuso-based Earthcruiser rig.

Rob Pickering came in a customer's U500 rig with GVX box; he is selling this rig for his client.  Contact Rob at Terry Lee Enterprises in La Junta, CO if interested.  This is a clean setup with many special features.

Tony and Andy came in Tony's 6x6 LMTV with custom camper box.

Vince decided to move his camper box from his U500 to his new (to him) M935 6x6 truck.  Sadly, Vince's ride suffered a failed transfer case in the panhandle of Texas and required a tow to La Junta, CO for repairs prior to the Expo.

Another member of our group, Mark, had been busy building his own custom rig based on a Dodge Ram 5500 and an ex-military living shelter.

Just about every kind of camping setup was represented at the Expo.  Sprinter vans were quite popular and there were many there in multiple configurations.

There were a number of Earth Roamer rigs at the show.  These units are very expensive, but very capable.

Roof-top tents are en-vogue and they were very popular.  This is a great solution to keep from getting eaten by lions, but somewhat impractical given the danger of navigating the ladder at night when likely drunk.

Another variant on the roof-top tent.

This tent was unique in that it was self-assembling.  The ribs of the tent are air bladders and when inflated automatically raise the roof.  Great until the air compressor fails.

This rig is straight out of Africa.  This model of truck is the predecessor to Thor: a Mercedes Benz truck designated 911.

The older style curved hood trucks are common in 3rd world countries.  We saw many of these recently in Argentina.

The focus of the Expo was vendor displays and classes.  There was a river of humanity walking from the camping area to the displays.

We went to the vendor area and spotted a new GXV box mounted on a Kenworth chassis.  It seems that Kenworth has recently been purchased by Dutch Action Forces (DAF, which produces military vehicles) but does not make a cab-over 4x4.  This truck was custom built by Tulsa Truck with front axle and transfer case.

It was hot and the dogs were seeking shade.  Note the really, really wimpy guard for the bottom of the radiator.  This guard is made from 1"x0.125 steel angle.

This rig runs 426/65R22.5 tires which are wider than the 395/85R20 tires on Thor.

Like other GVX trucks, the spare tire was mounted high on the box.

There were several vendors with LMTV-based rigs.

A military box as a camper conversion.

This camper has slide-outs which make the quarters roomy.

This rig was a re-purposed trailer on LMTV frame.

I am guessing that the turning radius of this truck is very large.  It was a nice camper.

There was something for everyone.  There were plenty of camping trailers for sale; some were very innovative, but you are still sleeping in a tent.

This camper has a slide-out galley.

Got a spare million?  This truck is for you.

A conventional 4x4 pickup with an Alaskan Camper.  We had an Alaskan and it was very robust.

We left Overland Expo and headed south toward Phoenix.  North of Phoenix we spotted sahauro cactus in bloom.

Overland Expo was a bit overwhelming.  The vehicles in the camping area were packed in tight with minimum intra-camp distance.  There were plenty of vendors, but most of the vendors were not applicable to us, but interesting nonetheless.  I doubt that we will attended again due to the crowding and distance/benefit ratio for us.

We headed to Tucson to see family and spend a few days in the warm sun and then return to San Diego.

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