If you're anything like me, the thought of hitting the open road in a Camper is about as close to paradise as possible. There's something about being able to pack up everything and set out on an adventure that feels so free at a moment's notice.
And while campervans have been around for years, there's a new type of van gaining popularity among overlanders – the off-road expedition vehicle.
These epic vans are equipped with everything you need to explore remote areas and take on any terrain. If you're considering taking the plunge into Overlanding, this guide is for you! In it, I'll introduce you to the basics of Overlanding and show you how to choose the perfect expedition vehicle for your needs. So read on – your dream adventure awaits!
What is an Overlander Vehicle?
Overlanding describes self-sufficient off-road travel in a vehicle designed to keep you off-grid for as long as possible.
Overlander vehicles are like the Swiss Army knives of the automotive world. They're designed for people who want to be able to go anywhere and do anything, whether it's driving on the motorway or exploring a remote stretch of dirt road.
Overlanders are usually built on a 4x4 chassis with off-road tires and suspension. Most have a campervan element integrated into the rear of the vehicle. So they can be self-sufficient for extended periods. In other words, if you're looking for something that can take you places others can't, an overlander is probably what you're looking for.
What is Overlanding?
Overlanding is the process of driving an Overlander, typically a 4x4 off-road vehicle, to explore the world beyond the beaten path. Overlanders are self-sufficient travellers who rely on their skills and resourcefulness to get by, making them the ultimate road warriors.
While Overlanding can be done in any vehicle, it's usually done in a type of camper so you have everything you need on hand at all times. Overlanders typically head off into the great unknown with only a general idea of where they're going, making for some truly epic adventures. Perfect for anyone looking to escape the grind.
Is Overlanding the same as off-roading?
Overlanders are a different breed from off-roaders. Off-roading is typically done over a much shorter period. Overlanders are prepared to "rough it" in the wild for weeks or months. Overlanders typically have 4x4 vehicles outfitted with all the necessary gear to live off the grid. This includes everything from awnings and tents to portable kitchens and solar panels.
Off-roaders, on the other hand, typically stick to day trips or weekend camping trips. Their 4x4s may be modified for off-roading, but they generally don't have the extensive gear that Overlanders have. So, while Overlanding may be the new off-roading, it's really its own thing entirely.
What’s the difference between an Overlander and a Swamper?
A Swamper is a word used to describe a smaller 4x4 Volkswagen Transporter. These little off-road vehicles tend to be more about looks. Overlanders are the total opposite, sacrificing everything in the name of getting off the grid.
Swampers are still awesome vehicles. However, if you’re planning to drive to Africa, you’re probably better suited to an Overlander.
The different types of Overlanders on the market
Overlanders come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share one common goal: to explore the great outdoors. Whether you're looking to tackle some tough off-road trails or just escape the madness of the city, an overlander can get you there. But with so many different types on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
- The 4x4 off-grid: This type of overlander is built for those who want to go where no man has gone before. With 4x4 capabilities and plenty of storage space for all your gear, these rigs are ready for anything.
- The camper: If you're more interested in camping than Overlanding, then a camper might be more your style. These rigs usually have all the amenities you need for a comfortable camping trip, from a kitchen to a bathroom.
What is the best vehicle for Overlanding?
Overlanding has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people seek to explore the great outdoors. And while any vehicle can technically be an overlanding vehicle, there are certain qualities that make a good 4x4 off-roader.
First and foremost, a good 4x4 must be able to handle rough terrain. It should have high ground clearance to avoid scrapes and bumps and a robust suspension system that can absorb shocks.
A good 4x4 should be equipped with four-wheel drive, providing extra traction when driving on sand, mud, or snow. You’ll need plenty of storage space for all of your gear. Overlanding is all about being self-sufficient, and you'll need to bring everything you need. There are some genuinely amazing expedition vehicles out there. Some of the more popular base vehicles are:
These are the base vehicles that are most often used for Overlander conversions. They are reliable vans with loads of room and ground clearance. The last thing you need is to break down in the jungles of South America! Most importantly, these are some of the most reliable vehicles on the market.
How to customise your Overlander
Overlanders are something other than what you can buy off the peg. Most are built bespoke to your requirements. The possibilities are endless. But one of the most important things to remember is your power usage. You need to make sure wherever you are in the world, your equipment is going to last.
This is where solar systems, huge leisure batteries and reliable 12v systems come in. You need to know that your fridge isn’t going to drain your batteries overnight.
How much does an Overlander cost?
Overlanders are the ultimate off-road campers. They are 4x4s that are purpose-built for living off the grid, and they come with all the bells and whistles you need to make your off-road adventure a success.
But all of this comes at a cost, and Overlanders are costly. Expect to pay somewhere between £50,000 to £300,000 for an Overlander. Depending on specification.
Best Overlander Trips and Adventures
Overlanders are used for all sorts of different extreme adventures. You can sum it up in four words: Drive Around The World. Overlanders want a vehicle that is going to support them in doing just that.
Often people have sold all their worldly possessions to enable them to head off on adventures that most people wouldn’t even dream about.
It's about exploration and discovery. It's about getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immersing yourself in new cultures and natural wonders.
If you're thinking of embarking on an overland adventure, few places on earth can match Africa or South America for the sheer diversity of landscape and culture. From the deserts of the Sahara to the rainforests of the Amazon, these continents offer an endless array of possibilities for exploration. And with some planning and preparation, you can have the trip of a lifetime.
An overland camper is the ultimate adventure vehicle. It allows you to go places other camping vehicles can't take you and explore the world in a whole new way.
Now that you know a bit more about what an overlander camper is, and what sets them apart from regular campers. These adventure-mobiles are the perfect way to explore the great outdoors in comfort and style.
Wildworx has taken on several Overlander builds. Whether you’re looking to drive around Europe or heading to Africa. We can help you bring that dream to life.