Overlanding is used when referring to a journey into a remote location. Interestingly, the primary purpose of Overlanding is not getting to your destination; it is all about the journey.
However, Overlanding is, in some instances, likened to Off-roading. On the other hand, off-roading can be described by traveling on the rugged ground where you may witness four-wheeling or even rock crawling action.
Another striking difference between the two involves the time taken to complete either exercise. Overlanding will require more time compared to off-roading.
Since the essential part of Overlanding is in travel, it is crucial to be prepared to get the most thrilling experience.
That calls for the right Overlanding vehicle.
They say that the perfect vehicle is the one that you own. That cannot be the case when it comes to Overlanding.
Overlanding is more involving and requires a special kind of vehicle, probably a customized one.
The ideal Overlanding vehicle should have a 4WD system, decent ground clearance, and a set of quality off-road or A/T tires.
These features rule out most off-road vehicles from being Overlanding-worthy. For a deeper understanding of what features an ideal Overlanding vehicle should possess, I have provided a more in-depth explanation below.
High Ground clearance: Most cars or trucks with undercarriage protection or an off-road suspension are most likely to have high ground clearance. This feature is essential in an Overlanding as it lessens the chances of your vehicle scraping against uneven terrain, rocks, dirt, or whatever material may be lying beneath the car.
However, the higher the C.O.G. of the vehicle, the easier it is to topple over.
Undercarriage protection: Most Overlanding vehicles have undercarriage protection
High Torque Rating: Since Overlanding requires slow but steady movements, you will need a vehicle that can maintain stability and balance while getting over obstacles in rough terrain.
4WD: This is one of the most primary features an Overlanding vehicle should possess. That is because you will come across some situations that will require traction from all wheels for you to move forward.
Closely related to the 4WD feature is the locking differentials. Since Overlanding traverses the most rugged terrain, it is wise for your car or truck to have efficient locking differentials.
All-Terrain Tires: Even though the All-Terrain tires come as an aftermarket option, they remain one of the most essential inclusions in an Overlanding vehicle. That is because they offer unparalleled traction in all types of terrain. When standard tires skid and slide in muddy or sandy terrain, the all-terrain tires keep you steady and moving regardless.
With the features mentioned above, you can now have a clear picture of how a perfect Overlanding vehicle should look. Moreover, other elements come into play like the vehicle’s model, the type, and most obviously, the price. From conducting extensive research, we have sampled out the best Overlanding vehicles.
Ford F-150 Raptor
Equipped with several off-road drive modes, the Ford F-150 Raptor is an exciting choice for every Overlanding enthusiast out there. With its powerful 3.5-liter 450-hp V6 twin-turbo engine, this machine will blow you away with its powerful and fast drive. Its exterior conformation spots an Overlanding figure, owing to its massive ground clearance and wide-surfaced wheels.
The F-150 may seem more prominent than conventional pick-up trucks. However, its Baja-ready electronically adjustable shock absorbers and the wheel size get the situation under control when navigating around narrow trails.
The shock absorbers take full responsibility for keeping you comfortable on that rough terrain.
The interior of the Raptor is spacious enough to make you comfortable with a bumpy ride. Moreover, you can access different controls using an infotainment screen.
With a bead lock wheel technology, you can ride with low-pressure tires without worrying about the tires coming off the rim.
However, the F-150’s payload is unimpressive concerning its size.
Moreover, it would be harder for drivers who aren’t used to driving big-sized cars getting around narrow paths due to its relatively larger size.
Jeep Gladiator Rubicon
This Overlanding vehicle is packed with a plethora of off-road features.
The Rubicon offers an adequate payload capacity. Above all, the car’s hardware components much surpass the needs of any Overlanding vehicle.
The Gladiator checks the 4WD box, a significant feature that plays a great part in any traction.
The Gladiator has rear and front sports differentials and an electronic disconnect that decreases articulation. It has a low-range crawl ratio of 4:1. With its steel bumpers, wide tires, rock rails, and a 3.6-liter V6 engine, the 285hp produced will get you through even the roughest terrains.
On the downside, the cabin can sometimes get noisy during your overland expedition.
Land Rover Defender 110 300TDI
The Defender 110 300TDI first introduced in 1994 is a Land Rover model that, at first sight, spells Overlanding from its rigid chassis and off-road features.
Some might argue that the 300TDI is Land Rovers’ best engine. What we like about this engine for Overlanding is its simplicity. It’s reasonable for D.I.Y. mechanics to work on and be repaired in the field or on a trail.
The Defender is an easily upgradeable vehicle with parts stockists in several places around the world.
This characteristic is useful to prepare your vehicle for Overlanding since it may succumb to some destruction.
With the ability to upgrade suspensions, differential, lighting, and interior, among others, it’s possible to make a vehicle to suit your Overlanding style.
Boasting a combined fuel consumption of only 10.1L/100 km, the Land Rover Defender 110 300TDI becomes very affordable for long Overlanding trips.
Toyota Land Cruiser
It would be wrong if the Toyota Land Cruiser did not make it to this list.
Since 1952, Toyota has been a favorite choice for many, owing to its trademark reputation.
Even when the vehicle feels big, the off-road turn assist feature helps smooth navigation and makes the car feel smaller. This characteristic has caught the eye of militaries among other groups who would want to move fast in rough terrain.
The Cruiser features a rigid outer design that is ideal for Overlanding activities, as well as adequate ground clearance.
It packs a 5.7 381hp turbocharged V8 that gives you enough power to get you past the rough terrain. With a perfect hydraulic suspension system, the Land Cruiser keeps you at optimum comfort on a bumpy ride.
However, the gar gets thirsty fast and doesn’t have enough cargo space unless you install a roof rack to inconvenience.
Ram 1500 Hemi
The Dodge Ram 1500 model is a popular name when it comes to Overlanding vehicles.
The Ram 1500 brand encompasses several models, with the Ram 1500 Hemi being the most popular model.
Moreover, it is equipped with the hardware specifications of an Overlanding vehicle, among them being adequate ground clearance, steel Undercarriage protection, and a rigid chassis.
The car’s interior possesses the right amount of space that offers you maximum comfort during your off-road travel expeditions.
The Hemi is fitted with a hydraulic suspension system that absorbs the uneven terrain shock and leaves you feeling quite comfortable.
The 5.7-liter V8 engine on the Ram Hemi is not very economical on fuel consumption, just as you would expect. Still, the engine’s power is worth keeping it.
Moreover, the car has an 8-speed automatic transmission that makes it feel more energetic than other turbocharged Overlanding vehicles like the Ford F-150.
The hardware parts of the Ram Hemi 1500 are suitable for the rigors of riding in rough environments.
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
The Colorado ZR2 is a tremendously powerful Overlanding pick-up truck from Chevrolet that can be perfect for both on and off-road activities.
Packing a 308hp V6 3.6-liter engine under the hood. The Zr2 offers as much power as you need to cruise through the rough terrain.
The outward conformity of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 suits all off-road activities, with adequate ground clearance and steel skid-plates that help to protect the underside features of the ZR2.
Among all other elements, the ZR2 offers a payload capacity of 1100 lbs.
The interior of the Colorado ZR2 is spacious enough for you to get optimum comfort on an adventurous cruise.
On the downside, the cabin, though spacious, still feels cheap and ordinary.
In light of the above, we find that these vehicles offer the most ability for Overlanding and off-road activities, be it sports or adventures.
You should consider several factors when getting yourself an Overlanding vehicle, like fuel consumption, type of engine, durability, and cost, among others.
However, making the wrong choice does not spoil the fun. Almost all of these vehicles allow for customization to suit different off-road conditions.
Most importantly, these vehicles are durable as long as you take care of them.