5thGenRams Forums

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • We have been battling an on and off issue with registration verification emails not being sent out with certain users. We have finally got the issue resolved so if you have tried registering for the site but have not received a verification email, just request another verification email when you log in and you should now receive it. If you still don't receive the verification email, send us an email at [email protected] and we will get it resolved for you. Thanks!

An honest talk about Overlanding

HotHareSpey

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
268
Reaction score
281
Hi everyone, I hope you all are well. Last night I was making dinner for the kids, drinking a delicious Malbec which is unusual for me but might become a new practice (one can always do with yet another character flaw) and opted for the company of a podcast I do not often listen to. But I saw that there was a guest whom I had followed his photography some 15+ years ago.

The conversation was laden with talk about how over kitted vehicles are in the midst of the recent Overlanding boom. And make no mistake, it is the golden age for OL accessories of every kind with only the imagination to limit possibilities.

A little context. You must understand that during the 90s there was a boom and a host of Overlanding forums full of wannabe Indiana Jones types, mirroring Camel Trophy, and pictures posted more for an effort of pretentiousness than sharing an experience. Which is ironic as the whole Land Rover experience via CT is oriented around team work.

A few people saw fit to profit off this and given that most of the forums bordered on Neanderthal like behavior and latent teenage obstinance that often ruined everything, expedition portal, journal, and the like were born. Lots of Y2K alarmists members but that eventually petered out to include some regular family oriented members.

Now with the introduction of Instagram and those original promoters of off road goodies having made their buck, they are now remarking how overcrowded American deserts, parks, and the like are.

That spending all the time getting “the shot” for their “likes” is what’s hip these days and how that’s wrong. Yet that’s exactly what they did. I agree 100% but I find the condemnation humorous. There is a post below of a member who took his family to many western Arizona locales with his 1500 and shared pics that to me looked like great fun. I don’t think he brought an AR15 or pretended that crossing the local Utah/Arizona desert was like driving London to Cape Town 😆

I’ve been Overlanding for decades and I thought I’d take my daughter out to see some of the grandeur parks and sites. I have the ORG on my V8 1500 and I’ve been debating on what to bring.

I really don’t want anything riding on top of the truck unless it’s a canoe. I’m thinking we could just throw everything we need in the bed: food, jet boil kitchen aids/charcoal grill, clothes, water, maybe a second spare, Max trax and a shovel, and a tent/sleeping accessories, water, a good book, some form of jack and platform that’s easy. I really do hate changing tires. No air compressor (so unnecessary unless you are scaling dunes) or winch or any BS I’ll never use. Plus the price of accessories is so ridiculous these days.

I see more roof top tents than I count locally and trucks laden with so much expensive accessories that the vehicle could have been paid for twice. It looks great but I don’t want to have to worry about my gear being stolen, what happens in an accident, rust/salt, etc

Minimalism is suitable and the back seat is so big my 12 year old can sleep comfortably should we encounter heavy rain. My truck is pretty efficient as I average 15/16mpg in 4wd in heavy weather. So I get 376-400 miles per tank in winter (?) and 17/18mpg in 2wd.

I also thought maybe we would just flip the backseat up and use the rear cabin as storage and sleep in the bed. But I’m guessing on long drives she might enjoy crawling in the backseat and snoozing but maybe not.

What am I missing?
 

RIRamGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2020
Messages
276
Reaction score
339
Location
Woonsocket, RI
For what it is worth here is an old post of mine. Also you can have your copilot put her playlists on a USB that way she can control the tunes and your phone can still be used for android auto/car play

Center is masks, charging for 2 phones and a Kindle, rechargeable flashlight, seat belt cutter/window emergancy tool, mints/gum, key to hitch pin, toothpick case, carmex, Kleenex, pen/pencil, notepad, snack bars, lighter, and there is probably more but it looks empty still
Ram Bins have Bungee's, cargo net, ratchet ties, 50' of poly rope, a spool of nylon twine, first aid kit, mechanic gloves, couple of red flags (for long loads), can of 'OFF', jumper cables, and a couple shop towels. The Bins do not look empty:rolleyes:
also added a bug out bag "B.O.B." https://realtruck.com/p/northwest-mojave-seatback-organizer/nws-st03000/
Plenty of room for blanket, towel, rain gear, multi-tool, flashlight, spare socks and t-shirt, extra phone cord, folding saw, screw/nut driver set, crescent wrench, winter gloves/hat, Schrader valves and tool, garbage bags, spare fuses, zip ties, electrical tape, walkie-talkies, compass, binoculars.....whew
 

Richard320

Ram Guru
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
1,344
Reaction score
1,263
Location
LA County, People's Republic of California
I put a hard tonneau cover on my truck early on, because I've been on long camping trips in the past without, and it $u|($. I suppose if you're in the outback, you're okay, but passing through a town to hit the grocery store, eat in a restaurant, or stay in a motel for a night for a shower, means leaving some gear exposed. Pulling in and spending ten minutes moving critical stuff before taking thirty minutes to eat gets old real fast.

Now the ice chest and the snack bag ride in the cab. Everything else is in the bed. If hurricane-force winds whip up and make the tent untenable, it would always be possible to load the cab with gear and sleep under the tonneau. Not much headroom, but at least fully horizontal and out of direct wind and rain.

I don't carry a mass of recovery gear because I'm not travelling too far off the beaten path solo.

I still haven't figured out the appeal of a rooftop tent. I haven't seen any tall enough to stand up in, and getting dressed is much easier with some standing room. I did the horizontal wriggling in and out of clothes business in my younger backpacking days. Too old now. I also would rather not be tied to the parking lot if I'm in a campground. One of my favorite camping trip memories involved a walk-in site maybe twenty yards from the parking area. It was a great spot, but all the people with trailers couldn't use it. Nor could anyone with a rooftop tent. And the parking area had a better than 10 degree slope! No good for a rooftop tent.

I also don't see the appeal of a mass of driving lights. On interstate or dirt track, who wants to be driving after dark? I like to be set up, relaxed, fed, and all cleaned up before the flashlights need to come out. Cooking and cleanup in the dark are only after unavoidable delays, not as a matter of course.
 

Pristine1

Active Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
66
Reaction score
46
Location
Arizona
What about a good ole fashion matching camper shell? My dad always had a shell for his trucks weather he kept them on full time or took them on and off the work truck as needed. You can securely bring everything you need and more. Plus have a back up place to sleep comfortably out of the weather.
 

LaxDfns15

Ram Guru
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
999
Reaction score
715
Location
Memphis, TN
If you don't want or don't like the RTT's, then I'd definitely suggest a camper shell. Gives you a place to safely store any and all gear you could need as well as a back up sleeping area like @Pristine1 said. It also provides the mounting points for kayaks/canoe since you mentioned that. That way you're not having to buy racks plus a bed cover and get them to work together. If you don't like having it on your truck all the time there are plenty of DIY or out of the box ceiling hoists for it in your garage (if you have the space).
 

JBV

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
118
Reaction score
101
i could go on a rant at length but i'll restrain myself. we like to camp. sometimes we even camp next to the vehicle. we used to call it 'car camping'. the whole overland thing has become utterly hilarious. essentially, we either have messed up priorities or we all simply have too much money when we make the vehicle that get's us there the entire focus of the trip and outfit it accordingly. i'll stop there.
 

Richard320

Ram Guru
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
1,344
Reaction score
1,263
Location
LA County, People's Republic of California
i could go on a rant at length but i'll restrain myself. we like to camp. sometimes we even camp next to the vehicle. we used to call it 'car camping'. the whole overland thing has become utterly hilarious. essentially, we either have messed up priorities or we all simply have too much money when we make the vehicle that get's us there the entire focus of the trip and outfit it accordingly. i'll stop there.
C'mon, rant! :LOL:
 

JBV

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2021
Messages
118
Reaction score
101
here's something i posted on a mountain bike forum i sometimes frequent.

everywhere i look these days i see more and more vehicles that are some form of overlander camping cars/trucks. i say some form because there are obvious hard core versions and even that's quite a range (and odd enough) but then there's some kind of head scratchers that seem to be going in that general direction. Subies and crossovers with awnings affixed to the roof rails and probably one of the many 3-4000 dollar tents on top.

maybe it's not strange at all, i mean i like to car camp as well when i don't have time for proper exploration by foot/canoe/kayak or when i'm focused on fishing for example. it's just the sheer amount of extremely expensive stuff involved, all strategically arranged on the outside of the vehicle. it just seems a bit out there no? wouldn't it be a fraction of the price, and a much more secure way to go to just put a canopy over the bed, put everything inside and maybe an 'i heart car camping' sticker on the bumper?

i like a flat tenting area as much as the next guy, but you can get a really nice and roomy car camping tent for under a grand and then you can put it away when you're done. am i missing the point though? is overlanding the very process of buying and securing this stuff to the outside of your vehicle, and maybe joining forums about overlanding and posting lots of vehicle pictures on your social?

i definitely spend money on outdoor recreation, no question, but it almost seems to me that there is way more discretionary income out there than the media leads me to believe. a lot of young people must have their RSP's and TFSA's topped up, their mortgages in hand and consumer debt under control to be dropping the kinda dough involved in all this OVD stuff. or i simply don't get it.

better?
 

jimchi

Active Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
157
Reaction score
199
888.jpg
 

lkjk

Active Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
99
Reaction score
72
here's something i posted on a mountain bike forum i sometimes frequent.

everywhere i look these days i see more and more vehicles that are some form of overlander camping cars/trucks. i say some form because there are obvious hard core versions and even that's quite a range (and odd enough) but then there's some kind of head scratchers that seem to be going in that general direction. Subies and crossovers with awnings affixed to the roof rails and probably one of the many 3-4000 dollar tents on top.

maybe it's not strange at all, i mean i like to car camp as well when i don't have time for proper exploration by foot/canoe/kayak or when i'm focused on fishing for example. it's just the sheer amount of extremely expensive stuff involved, all strategically arranged on the outside of the vehicle. it just seems a bit out there no? wouldn't it be a fraction of the price, and a much more secure way to go to just put a canopy over the bed, put everything inside and maybe an 'i heart car camping' sticker on the bumper?

i like a flat tenting area as much as the next guy, but you can get a really nice and roomy car camping tent for under a grand and then you can put it away when you're done. am i missing the point though? is overlanding the very process of buying and securing this stuff to the outside of your vehicle, and maybe joining forums about overlanding and posting lots of vehicle pictures on your social?

i definitely spend money on outdoor recreation, no question, but it almost seems to me that there is way more discretionary income out there than the media leads me to believe. a lot of young people must have their RSP's and TFSA's topped up, their mortgages in hand and consumer debt under control to be dropping the kinda dough involved in all this OVD stuff. or i simply don't get it.

better?
Depending on finances, at some point people shift from "what do i need" to "what do i want". Many people would say spending $5k on a mtb is outrageous, some people would say thats a crappy bike. it's all relative.
 

marin

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
35
I just completed 5 days off gravel driving through Death Valley, 2 people and a dog and here is the total gear that I brought with me and MPG:

- 70qt Pelican Cooler
- 2 Plano 56 quart storage (Food, Utensils, Propane, condiments, cooking gear, water, dog food, headlights, clothes, speaker, misc stuff)
- Small 4 person tent
- 2 tarps for shade and under tent
- 2 Self inflating mattress
- 2 Pillows
- 17in. Blackstone Griddle
- 5lb. propane tank
- Butane Burner
- Coleman Northstar lantern
- 2 Sleeping Bag (40 degree)
- Recovery gear
- Tool Bag
- First Aid Kit
- Hydraulic Jack
- Tire repair kit
- Viair 400 inflator/deflator (I am planning on mounting an onboard system so this would go away for future trips)
- 7 Gallon Water Container
- Jerry Can (5.6 Gallon Fuel)
- 2 lightweight folding chairs
- Folding Table

Everything fit in the bed of the truck under the cover. This is the gear I use for most trips because I am both on and off roads. Off road I was avg. 11.6mpg and on road 16.8mpg for this trip, there were 3 4runners and an extremely lifted Subaru on this trip, the only car that got more range than me was the subie, the Toyotas did have to exit the park to refill once.

On this trip specifically, I spent time in Vegas prior to Death Valley. I also do many kayak based camping trips so some of my gear is small and low weight so that I can pack it into the kayak.

I have been considering a RTT but if I do I would look to mount it low so it sits behind the cab. This would be for convenience because we move locations frequently and currently setup and breakdown takes time.

Lastly, if I am looking for comfort I pull a travel trailer which kills gas mileage to 10.8mpg and limits how adventurous I can get.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210411_183123751_HDR.jpg
    IMG_20210411_183123751_HDR.jpg
    194.8 KB · Views: 86

AdamChandler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
436
Reaction score
845
Location
Lebanon, NH
I'm not that old yet but over the last few years, I've stopped really worrying about how other people spend their money. Priorities, means, put it all on credit and pay it off later? Whatever man, your time & money.

As someone from the Northeast, the concept of Overlanding is hard for me personally because we don't really have that here. what I mean is, there are thousands of dirt roads where I live in northern NH but every square inch next to those public dirt roads are privately owned and posted signs every 100 feet. The Class IV / Class VI roads (unmaintained public roads) are usually too narrow for a truck like a Ram 1500 and again, you can't pull off and camp unless you forgo a fire. If you have an ATV, you can ride in ATV areas that permit them, again with strict negotiation with land owners and those rights are always being challenged and clubs do their best to ensure those relationships stay healthy

So I've grown to love motorcycle riding because our bikes which are street legal can explore those old public roads safely without worrying about clearance, drop offs and huge logs in the road..we just jump over them or drag our bikes under them but I'd never "overland" on any of those roads with a truck.

I feel like Overlanding is a west coast thing which is cool. Bike Camping & Car Camping are totally different kinds of equipment. I personally don't want to off-road a vehicle because it's too slow. I've been stuck behind a few jeep trains when I'm in Colorado and man, that just seems so boring. I point my wheel in the direction I want to go and give it throttle and these guys have cameras, spotters and are crawling at 2-3 miles per hour. It's just not for me but again, their time, money and hobby. It does make for some cool YouTube videos!

..one consideration. I don't have kids so I don't Bring the whole family along so a motorcycle works for me perfectly. Maybe if the only holiday I get is with my kids, that might bring me over the edge to stick a dirt bike on the back and some fancy tent setup.
 

HeavyRotation

Active Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
100
Reaction score
111
Location
Ugeen Orygun
I just completed 5 days off gravel driving through Death Valley, 2 people and a dog and here is the total gear that I brought with me and MPG:

- 70qt Pelican Cooler
- 2 Plano 56 quart storage (Food, Utensils, Propane, condiments, cooking gear, water, dog food, headlights, clothes, speaker, misc stuff)
- Small 4 person tent
- 2 tarps for shade and under tent
- 2 Self inflating mattress
- 2 Pillows
- 17in. Blackstone Griddle
- 5lb. propane tank
- Butane Burner
- Coleman Northstar lantern
- 2 Sleeping Bag (40 degree)
- Recovery gear
- Tool Bag
- First Aid Kit
- Hydraulic Jack
- Tire repair kit
- Viair 400 inflator/deflator (I am planning on mounting an onboard system so this would go away for future trips)
- 7 Gallon Water Container
- Jerry Can (5.6 Gallon Fuel)
- 2 lightweight folding chairs
- Folding Table

Everything fit in the bed of the truck under the cover. This is the gear I use for most trips because I am both on and off roads. Off road I was avg. 11.6mpg and on road 16.8mpg for this trip, there were 3 4runners and an extremely lifted Subaru on this trip, the only car that got more range than me was the subie, the Toyotas did have to exit the park to refill once.

On this trip specifically, I spent time in Vegas prior to Death Valley. I also do many kayak based camping trips so some of my gear is small and low weight so that I can pack it into the kayak.

I have been considering a RTT but if I do I would look to mount it low so it sits behind the cab. This would be for convenience because we move locations frequently and currently setup and breakdown takes time.

Lastly, if I am looking for comfort I pull a travel trailer which kills gas mileage to 10.8mpg and limits how adventurous I can get.
I spent last week in Death Valley, 500 miles of offroad, including lots of stuff that's not on the newer maps. No wildflowers this year, bummer. May have passed you on a trail.
 

Attachments

  • 20210406_220439.jpg
    20210406_220439.jpg
    231.1 KB · Views: 104

HeavyRotation

Active Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2021
Messages
100
Reaction score
111
Location
Ugeen Orygun
I'm not that old yet but over the last few years, I've stopped really worrying about how other people spend their money. Priorities, means, put it all on credit and pay it off later? Whatever man, your time & money.

As someone from the Northeast, the concept of Overlanding is hard for me personally because we don't really have that here. what I mean is, there are thousands of dirt roads where I live in northern NH but every square inch next to those public dirt roads are privately owned and posted signs every 100 feet. The Class IV / Class VI roads (unmaintained public roads) are usually too narrow for a truck like a Ram 1500 and again, you can't pull off and camp unless you forgo a fire. If you have an ATV, you can ride in ATV areas that permit them, again with strict negotiation with land owners and those rights are always being challenged and clubs do their best to ensure those relationships stay healthy

So I've grown to love motorcycle riding because our bikes which are street legal can explore those old public roads safely without worrying about clearance, drop offs and huge logs in the road..we just jump over them or drag our bikes under them but I'd never "overland" on any of those roads with a truck.

I feel like Overlanding is a west coast thing which is cool. Bike Camping & Car Camping are totally different kinds of equipment. I personally don't want to off-road a vehicle because it's too slow. I've been stuck behind a few jeep trains when I'm in Colorado and man, that just seems so boring. I point my wheel in the direction I want to go and give it throttle and these guys have cameras, spotters and are crawling at 2-3 miles per hour. It's just not for me but again, their time, money and hobby. It does make for some cool YouTube videos!

..one consideration. I don't have kids so I don't Bring the whole family along so a motorcycle works for me perfectly. Maybe if the only holiday I get is with my kids, that might bring me over the edge to stick a dirt bike on the back and some fancy tent setup.
Pffft, motorcycle elitist! Hahaha, you got it figured out.
 

marin

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
35
@marin our situations and travel style are near identical...just a couple thousand miles apart.

Love seeing other people enjoying themselves
Thank you, originally from New York so grew up backpacking and an occasional car camping trip. Similar to @AdamChandler only seen overlanding when moving out west, tried crawling with my built Discovery II but the waiting was boring so now back country and general exploring with some technical stuff, but only to get to a destination and not to see which rock I can crawl over.

I did love living in Pittsburgh and might move back that way. The west is nice but I miss the green.
 
Last edited:

marin

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
35
I spent last week in Death Valley, 500 miles of offroad, including lots of stuff that's not on the newer maps. No wildflowers this year, bummer. May have passed you on a trail.
Ha, small world, I was there last week as well, were you with someone else because I do think I past you when heading back to Saline Valley Road? I was camped out on the road coming down from Racetrack, we came down the night before.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top