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Anatomy of an Overland Vehicle

Far and away the most common question we get both online and in person is, “What makes up an overland vehicle?” (or some variation on that, like “I love your truck, what kind of stuff have you done to it?” or “Tell me MOAR!” etc.).

We spent some time this week creating a fairly comprehensive list of what all makes up our perfect overland vehicle. I say “our” because this recreation is different than many in that there is truly no one-size-fits-all vehicle setup. Actually, there’s not even one type of setup. Overland vehicles come in more shapes and sizes than shoes do, and every single one of them is unique because everyone’s idea of the perfect setup differs based upon their region, group size, terrain, average trip length, etc.

But for us and our use, our 1996 Toyota Landcruiser is just about perfect. Driving through Death Valley a couple of weeks ago we ticked over the odometer at 280,000 miles (over 150,000 miles since we’ve owned it). In our truck we’ve taken more day trips, had more long weekend adventures, and embarked on more weeks-long expeditions than I can count. And everywhere we have ever wanted to go, it has gotten us there capably and comfortably. To us, that makes a great overland vehicle.

Below is a detailed breakdown of most of the modifications and upgrades we’ve made to our truck.

PLEASE NOTE: We do sell and install far more items and equipment than is currently listed on our online store. Everything listed on our vehicle below is available for purchase and install at our shop. For example, we are full authorized and stocking dealers for ARB, Rigid Industries, Rotopax and many others, and although those items are not yet online we do have them available. Our pricing is competitive on everything we sell. If you need something not listed in our online store please call! We can create custom packages – even complete vehicle builds – and ship to you or your local shop.

Vehicle Specifications (from factory):

Make: Toyota
Model: Landcruiser (FZJ80)
Year: 1996
Engine: 4.5 Liter DOHC 24 valve Inline 6 cyl. w/ EFI
Horsepower: 212 at 4600 RPM
Torque: 275 ft-lbs. at 3200 RPM
Transmission: 4-speed Automatic w/ OD
Driveline: Full time AWD w/ individually-locking center, rear, and front differentials
Weight: 7,231 lbs. as currently built, fully loaded and ready for adventure, w/ driver and adult passenger
(Yes, we weighed it at the local dump out of curiosity :)

Notable mechanical modifications and other things you can’t see on our overland vehicle:

  • Motor and transmission replaced at 265,000 miles with OE from 80,000-mile Lexus LX450 donor
  • Part-time 4wd conversion with ABS kit imported from Australia
  • Dual battery system w/ smart isolator
  • In the next month: Converting all electrical to sPod Source SE system

Front View of Vehicle:

Adventure Ready Overland Vehicle, Front View

  1. Rigid Industries 50″ SR2 Combo lightbar
  2. Rhino-Rack/OzTent Foxing 2.5 awning
  3. ARB Safari Snorkel
  4. Custom HID projector headlights
  5. Rigid Industries Dually D2 Driving lights, amber
  6. Warn Zeon 12 winch
  7. Viking Offload synthetic winch line
  8. ARB Deluxe front bumper
  9. Rigid Industries A-series rock/camp lights (3 on each side of vehicle)

Side View of Vehicle:

Overland Truck, Side View

  1. Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform roof rack
  2. Rigid Industries SR-M2 Diffused LED lights (2 per side, at rack corners)
  3. Old Man Emu (OME) 2.5″ springs and shocks (medium front, extra-heavy rear)
  4. 18″ alloy wheels with 285-series (33″) BF Goodrich All-terrain KO2 tires
  5. Metaltech rock sliders
  6. Marks 4WD Part-time 4wd Conversion Kit w/ ABS Relocation Kit

Rear View of Vehicle:

Adventure Read - Overland Vehicle, Rear View

  1. Lafuma Low Elips camp chairs with storage bag
  2. James Baroud Grand Raid XXL rooftop tent
  3. Rigid Industries SR2 10″ Diffused light bar
  4. MaxTrax traction boards (x2)
  5. Hi-Lift Extreme jack
  6. Trasharoo storage/trash bag
  7. Engel MT60 Combi portable fridge/freezer
  8. Zarges K470 aluminum storage case
  9. Overland Solar 90W portable solar power kit
  10. YodaTEQ Antenna Mount
  11. Scepter 5-gallon fuel (x2) and water (x1) cans
  12. Delorme inReach Explorer satellite communications device
  13. Partner Steel 18-inch 2-burner stove
  14. Outback Solutions storage drawers (Roller Floor drivers side, Roller Drawer pass. side)
  15. Custom cutting board surface for rear gate
  16. 4×4 Labs dual-swingout rear bumper
  17. Worthington 10 lb. aluminum propane tank

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. We love to talk shop and even if your questions aren’t followed by a parts order we’d be happy to share any information we can.


One Response to Anatomy of an Overland Vehicle

  1. Overland Headquarters October 18, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

    Great article and list of some essentials of what makes up a proper overland vehicle! I’m going to link to it from our site

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