Five Must-See Overland Builds
Everyone has an opinion on what “overlanding” is. It’s an activity that is hard to really pin down. Is it glorified car camping? Is it crossing international boundaries? Is it going remote for an extended period of time? Perhaps the best thing about Overlanding is that it can be whatever you want it to be.
Here are REVKIT’s top 5 overland builds to give you a little inspiration for your next expedition.
The Jeep JK is obviously a popular platform for all flavors of off-road shenanigans. This 2013 JK Sport is a budget-minded build, with a focus on functionality, but don’t let that fool you. This thing is fully capable of serious off-road action with plenty of money left over for actually getting out and enjoying it.
This thing starts off with a 1.5-inch Terraflex lift with Falcon 2.1 shocks. To enhance articulation, the JK sports a set of Teraflex Quick Disconnect Sway Bar Links. When the trail turns nasty, the links easily disconnect and swing up out of the way for unrestricted flex. When back on the street, quickly connect them for immediate reaction during sway bar loading to eliminate excess play.
Handling traction duties are 17-inch Pro Comp wheels wrapped with 33-inch AMP Terrain Pro tires. A good choice for long wear in demanding conditions, perfect for extended overlanding or daily driving and playing on the weekend.
Overlanding is all about being self-sufficient. To that end, this JK rocks an XRC Gen II winch bolted to a beefy Smittybuilt front bumper. It’s got the Rubicon rock sliders and oil pan skid plate to keep them out of trouble. All in all, it’s a solid build tailor-made for fun in the backcountry.
The Toyota Tacoma is another great platform for overlanding. Its stock build starts pretty darn capable and works as a blank slate to truly make your own. This 3rd-generation Tacoma takes the stock engine and re-gears it with 5.29s from the masters at Nitro. This easily powers the 305/70R16 Falken Wildpeak ATW3 tires on Method Race wheels. The whole thing sits on an ICON Vehicle Dynamics Stage 9 lift to take them places stock trucks couldn’t reach.
CBI Offroad supplies the skid plates and armoring, with their bumpers both front and rear offering protection and serving as the perfect mounting spot for a Smittybuilt winch and RIGID lights.
Add in a rear seat delete for the ARB fridge, a Tepui roof-top tent, and Rotopax containers, and you have yourself a vehicle purpose-built spending plenty of time outside. The custom wrap is a nice touch, too.
For many people, the Gladiator is the perfect overland platform, striking the perfect balance of legendary Jeep ruggedness and quality with truly epic cargo and towing capacity. There isn’t much on this 2020 Jeep Gladiator JT Rubicon that hasn’t been upgraded. Whether going to Moab for the weekend or driving across Africa, this machine is ready, willing and able. The stock 3.6-liter V6 is controlled by a Tazer Mini, it controls the Jeep’s electronics to optimize performance after tweaking things like your tire size, suspension, and gearing.
As we said, no stone was left unturned on this. Adams driveshafts, front and rear, Dynatrac Elite axles with ARB lockers, all sitting on a 4.5-inch Evo lift with Fox shocks. The whole thing sits on massive 40-inch Mickey Thompson tires wrapped around Black Rhino bead locks. To power those huge wheels, the Krawler was regeared with 5.38s. A whole host of the best-of-the-best in lighting illuminates the trail ahead and the area around this JT, like Baja Designs, DC Designs, and Nacho Offroad.
It’s obviously capable of calling almost anywhere home, and once you’re there, it’s the perfect basecamp. It’s equipped with a GoMammut roof-top tent and shower cube, a huge ARB fridge and awning, and even a 13-gallon water tank with a water heater! It’s safe to say that the Krawler JT does overlanding right.
This 2005 Grand Cherokee is dialed in. It looks mean, but most importantly can back up its bark. The 4.7-liter engine benefits from a Superchips tuner that improves horsepower, torque, and overall performance. It breathes in with a 100 Series snorkel and Ripp intake and filter and breathes out with a Flowmaster Outlaw Catback exhaust. You can almost hear the rumble it makes clawing it way up the trail.
This Cherokee WK rolls on sexy Method Racing Vex wheels with Falken AT3W tires sitting on Bilstein 5100s. Old Man Emu supplies an extra two inches of lift, and to handle that extra height, @Johnny Tran, Canine’s owner, upgraded the upper and lower control arms as well to handle off-road action while loaded up with all the gear and toys one likes to have when out in nature. The entire underbelly is protected with skid plates from ASFIR and Goliath in case things get spicy out there.
Overlanding means you’re bringing everything with you, so this Jeep rocks a Rola rack loaded up with a Hi-Lift jack, Maxtrax boards, Rotopax containers, extra gear boxes, and of course an awning from Roam Adventure. And illuminating the way after dark is a host of lighting from serious players in the industry like Baja Designs, KC, and Morimoto.
OK, here’s one you won’t see every day, as they were not sold in North America, Trailbreaker calls Italy home. This is a 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser LJ70 that’s powered by a 2.4-liter turbodiesel. These classic Land Cruisers are known as much for their capability and dependability, as well as their off-road adventures and rugged work applications. Its reputation for reliability and durability has made it a lusted-after truck for decades, especially here in the U.S., where you’ll only find imports.
This two-door machine SUV has a super-short wheelbase. And with racing suspension, custom heavy-duty springs and rods, and a Toughdog RTC steering stabilizer, this nimble can probably get to places and climb things that longer vehicles couldn’t. ARB lockers front and rear certainly don’t hurt there.
The interior is mostly utilitarian, with rubber floors, manual windows, no A/C, and a cool inclinometer/altimeter gauge cluster. Nice upgrades bring it into the modern era with a Sony 7-inch touchscreen SAAS gauges and a Kenwood amp. A backseat delete houses custom drawers and a fridge.
On the exterior, you’ve got a winch, ladder, and a good variety of accessory lighting. The roof rack carries traction boards, a jack, gearboxes, an ARB awning, and solar panels. It’s even carried a full rooftop tent. No doubt, this thing turns heads on the trail or at basecamp.