Natacha

My 87 VW Syncro. She's tough, she's lovely and looking for some trails. Twist her up, turn her on and lets ride! 

This is my recently purchased 1987 VW Vanagon Syncro 4x4 Westfalia Camper. This was really a bucket list item for me because of my affinity with the VW Westfalia camper line that has been presented for over 50 years. After being an owner of a 1965 Split window, 74, 76, & 78 2nd generation campers and a 91 Vanagon GL 3rd generation camper, I have finally reached the pinnacle of the production of the VW Westfalia camper with my 87 Syncro. Even though, many of the upgrades were performed by other master customizers prior to myself, there are plans in the works for the continuation of upgrades. 
Beyond looking fantastic she has a heart and soul that is strong and proud. Many of the beginning upgrades have to be credited to Mike at Rocky Mountain Westy and his team. . This was Mike’s pride and joy vehicle for over 5 years before being sold. She began life in 1987 as a VW Syncro Weekender with a Champagne paint job. It was taken to the next level of being something much more in 2006. 
Starting with the Subaru SVX EJ33 6 cylinder pumping out a hardy 230hp, she was equipped with Fox racing shocks all around for stability. A transmission de-coupler was added for more distant travel and less wear on drive train. An upgraded Kenwood KVX516 sound system with Subwoofer, after market 3 window pop top, a Viper alarm system with remote start, South African high output round headlights and grill , including 1000w Hella fog/spotter lamps, a Fox Wing awning, a customized frame mounted bull bumper front and back including a spare tire mount with Jerry can holder. And finally fully insulated with R13 for winter camping.
The next owner apparently owned the vehicle for a couple of years and then sold it to Mr. Craig Heihn of the Santa Barbara Ca. area where he dug in his heals and started again with the upgrades. Craig being a big surfer set out to make it a vehicle he would take to the Baja for surfing expeditions. He began to equip the vehicle with a 2” lift, 16”steel wheels, BFG TA KO 2 rubber, new electric truck fridge, Propex gas heater, and a 100w solar panel and new auxiliary battery. Rubber matting floor and new curtain set trimmed it out for his needs. 
Due to the paint clear coat starting to flake he pulled the trigger on a new paint job and under coating. The color chosen was a 1987 VW Marine blue that was not offered in the camper editions, but it should have been. He was so taken by the way of its looks he decided it was too nice to drive comfortably and caused him concern about using it whatsoever. 
He was so afraid of losing its perfection he decided to sell it on The Samba (a VW classified website). This is where my heart leaped from my chest and saw it for the first time. I knew after being a multiple bus owner that I had a relationship with this vehicle. I flew out to CA. and consummated the deal in August of this year and had it closed container shipped back to Asheville, NC. 
After now of 6 weeks of ownership I too have already dug my feet in and started with my own upgrades to this amazing machine. Beginning with a new big brake system, LED lights for brighter road lighting, new de-coupler switch for a faulty previous switch, steel front differential skid plate, new coolant level sensor, full air intake cleaning, new rear locking hub sensor, a interior steam and kiss on the cheek, she is purring like a kitten. 
The future upgrades to come are a full roof rack with ladder, adaption of hydraulic levelers for camping, hot water shower system, hi-lift jack and mount., Recaro front seating and rear back up camera to start. 
I understand that this is a Frankenstein in a sense and I am only going to play a part in what she becomes. I want to make sure and give credit due to the others who have had a part in making her what she is. 
None of us designed the body nor the Westfalia interior, we simply could see what we could do to make it better. I believe we are off to a good start and look forward to many future expeditions with other Overlanders. Thanks for giving her a thumbs up, I hope in time she will make everybody proud of the culture we are all a part of.

Thanks

Craig

PS. Yes, the previous owners name too was Craig. 

Craig Martinkus • 1987 VW Vanagon / Syncro

Van22.com

After traveling the world in 2010 through 11 to 27 countries on a BMW and sailing across the Atlantic ocean I am now starting a trip from Michigan to Patagonia in a 2001 E3 50 Quigley 4 x 4 van. The reason for this trip is to help promote travel and experiencing the outdoors to our younger generation.

Travis Rabenberg • 2001 Ford E350

BRAVO 1

As the proud owner, I am pleased to present the recently completed and re-purposed 1990 BMY M923A2, 6-wheel drive, Expeditionary Vehicle appropriately named:  BRAVO 1. 

Purchased in June 2015 as a surplus U.S. military 5-ton cargo truck, it had undergone a thorough reconditioning by the military in 2009; this included installation of a new Cummins diesel engine (16,000 miles) and automatic Allison transmission, undercoating, and Michelin 48” super-single all-terrain tires (11,000 lb. capacity each).  It has since been re-configured with an amazing number of surplus military parts and commercial features.  Weighing in at over 36,000 lbs., the overall dimensions are 30’ long, 8’ wide (plus safety mirrors), and 13’ tall.  A total of approx. 15,000 lbs. of added material and equipment is incorporated into the formal design prepared by the owner, which included detailed fabrication worksheets for use by the fabrication team. 

External modifications include removal of the short cargo drop-down sides, re-fitting of the exhaust stack to a horizontal configuration, the bed extended by about five feet, and the spare tire carrier relocated to the rear of the vehicle.  The expeditionary box is plated with 1/8” steel, welded to insulated 2” and 3” tube steel frame assemblies; windows are military grade insulated glazing protected by external brush guards.  Interior bunks and galley frames are also similarly heavily constructed. 

The underframe is fitted with a 77-gallon diesel fuel tank, two 50-gallon fresh water tanks, a 150-gallon grey/black waste water tank, and two storage compartments.  Waste tank hoses are stored in a specially designed rear bumper assembly.  BRAVO 1 comes complete with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), air brakes, and automatic tire pressure inflation system for use in highway, off-road, emergency, and run-flat configurations; an air hose provides auxiliary air supply to tires on stranded vehicles.  The primary entrance to the living/sleeping quarters is via a surplus MRAP-style collapsible stair that leads to the 5-psi certified, water-resistant, fully-dogged Navy vessel door. 

Upon entrance to the interior, a number of unique features are immediately evident:  a double bunk (surplus Navy berths), as well as a Navy ship’s wardrobe, and two securable safes with combination locks.  The galley-type stainless steel counter includes a sink, Kitchenaid under-counter refrigerator, and pull-out tabletop.  

BRAVO 1 is electrified through a commercial 50-amp, 120 volt service panel (military vehicles run on 24 volt), with breakers that feed the overhead/exposed LED lighting system, wall outlets, hot water tank, and combined heating/air conditioning/dehumidification system.  Cooking is accomplished with portable stainless electric burners and roaster oven, for both external and internal use.  Off-grid electricity is supplied by an external portable generator, with cabling to supply 50 amp, 30 amp, and 15 amp service.

Water is secured from two sources – from a stationary water source (i.e., campground), as well as the mobile 50-gallon tanks previously mentioned that feed an onboard transfer pump.  Included in this amazing rig is a full-service bathroom accessible via another 5-psi surplus Navy door that incorporates both a commercial-style pressure-tank-operated toilet and full shower.  Hot water is provided by a 19-gallon hot water tank. 

Rounding out the unique features of BRAVO 1, all walls are wrapped with walnut veneer plywood; included is a wall-mounted 42” flat screen TV with accompanying DVD/BlueRay player.  The main cabin ceiling consists of galvanized roof panels, which also line the bathroom walls, and ceiling.  A great variety of storage is evident – from the areas inclusive within the bunks, to the wardrobe, combo safes, galley cabinetry, and front-facing overhead bins. 

Last, but certainly not least, BRAVO 1 includes a movable ship’s-style ladder that accesses the roof-mounted emergency exit hatch.  This exit-way also leads to the forward observation deck – perfect for use as a photography platform to view nature in all its’ finest glory.  Further, note that the roof deck is designed to support several people once collapsible handrails have been installed – perfect for NASCAR mid-field spectator participation and pre-game sporting events.  

After fourteen months of fabrication, BRAVO 1 recently passed NC inspection, and is now commissioned as a legally operable vehicle on both public roads and rough terrain back roads.  As required by NHTSA  law, a total of 37 lights are appropriately stationed around the entire exterior for purposes of identification, illumination, and safety awareness.  Also, note that per NC law, a CDL is NOT required to operate this daunting vehicle.

This expeditionary beast is built rugged for off-road use, yet handles well in city traffic – being mindful, of course, that this behemoth has an unintended effect to promote curious and alluring stares by those being passed by.  Safe and secure in such an exceptional vehicle, one can be assured that there are few back roads and moderate off-terrain areas that can’t be conquered by BRAVO 1.

You are welcome to visit this extraordinary expeditionary vehicle at the Overland Expo in Asheville, NC!

Bruce Kibler • 1990 BMY M923A2

 

Roverlander Too

This is our Custom F250 overland expedition rig. Recently built, It Includes extensive modifications and amenities. Things such as 200 watt solar, 4-190 amp hour batteries, on board generator, 44 Gallons of fresh water, wet bath/shower, tile back splash, queen size bed with night stand storage, power awning, power roof hatch,roof top a/c, 3000 watt pure sine invertor, microwave, fridge, stereo, TV, slide pantry, Rotopax fuel cans, LED lighting, and much much more, all on a short bed chassis! We will be launching our 1 year + #ashevilletoargentina expedition from Overland Expo East. Looking forward to seeing you there! Please vote for my rig! Thanks

Scott Woodhams • 2002 Ford F250

WNDRR2

My wife, Melanie, and I started traveling full time 6 years ago. We are now on a multi-year journey clicking off countries around the world, having ridden in 39 countries to date. The motorcycle we are on now, a Suzuki VStrom 1000, WNDRR2, is one that we use in the Americas. We are now on the East coast of the US and headed to Mexico and Central America in December with our pup, Gypsy-girl. She is a 12 year old Puggle that has been riding since she was 8 months old having ridden over 100k miles including Key West, FL to Alaska and back and down through the length of the Baja. We will be riding with Gypsy-girl in the back case and pulling out trailer with our camping gear.

Greg Turp • 2005 Suzuki VStrom 1000

Coming Back Soon

My 1952 currently under going heart transplant hoping to be back on the trails soon with a new ticker! This is a dodge military ambulance the I am currently installing an updated engine in. Hope to have it at the next West Expo in Flagstaff. Sleeps 4 in the back. Brady Dressendorfer • 1952 Dodge M43 •

My 1952 currently under going heart transplant hoping to be back on the trails soon with a new ticker! This is a dodge military ambulance the I am currently installing an updated engine in. Hope to have it at the next West Expo in Flagstaff. Sleeps 4 in the back.

Brady Dressendorfer • 1952 Dodge M43 •

Fred the Tiger

Introducing Fred the Tiger. Fred is named after my wife's father who spent WWII sailing the world with the British Merchant Marine. Fred's travels on the North Atlantic and to Africa left him with an intense dislike of ice and monkeys; while we don't mind ice, we share his dislike of monkeys (no monkeys are allowed in our Tiger). Our hope is that Fred the Tiger will roam the world as successfully as the original Fred and always return home without being torpedoed.  A few years ago my wife and I decided it was time to see more of North America; like many grey-hairs we bought an RV. Our class B was nice in that it was not too large and was easy to drive and park. We found ourselves driving more and more on unpaved, often bad, roads (that seems to be where the good stuff is) and found the RV we had was not up to the task (things started breaking). We also realized we don't like campgrounds too much. I looked around for a more rugged vehicle capable of self-contained travel, one that we could purchase ready to go (I'm not much in the DIY department) and found that a Tiger Bengal TX would give us what we were looking for. Tigers are well built, have better ground clearance than a standard RV and ours is four wheel drive - also good for winter travel in our home state of Maine. Our Tiger is built on a 2015 extended cab, Chevrolet 3500HD, gas-fueled, 4WD truck. The exterior dimensions of the Tiger are slightly larger than our class B; it is a luxury having that small amount of extra space when cooking or when bad weather drives us inside for an extended period. The class B had a sofa that would convert into a very uncomfortable bed, the Tiger has a full time bed over the cab. Soon after buying the Tiger, I installed a Froli spring system under the bed - very comfortable. There is a passageway between the truck and the camper with a single folding jump seat in the extended cab area. The jump seat is for an occasional passenger or for a not so occasional dog. Our dog, Izzy, likes being able to move between the "dog cave" and the camper at will. We like having the crawl through between the camper and truck when the weather is bad. We made a few additions to a standard Tiger build; two we especially like are the extra solar panels and a composting toilet. The composting toilet frees us from the tyranny of a black water tank. The truck and camper are painted a brown tone that doesn't show dirt/mud and allows us to blend into the landscape (the top of the camper roof is white to reflect the sun). From the beginning, we decided to keep the truck as stock as possible and only make changes from stock as needs were identified. Our longest trip to date has been a two month, 11,000 mile swing from Maine to eastern Washington to New Mexico and back to Maine - a good shake down. The Tiger proved to be all we hoped it would be. It is comfortable to drive long distances and is a great place to live. Following this trip, the only change will be the addition of some better shocks. We found some wicked corrugations on a very interesting backroad in Utah (see upper left photo above).  A few details about the build: 350 watt solar panels, 440AH from 4x6 volt AGM batteries, oversized alternator, 2800 watt inverter/charger (a girl needs her hair dryer - even in the boondocks), no generator, propane for heat, hot water and cooking, electric refrigerator, dual awnings, composting toilet, wet bath, 33 gallons fresh water (filtered for drinking), on-board air compressor, airbag rear suspension, Aluminess rear bumper/storage box/spare wheel mount. We plan to add an ARB front bumper to give us some protection in the event of a collision with a deer or moose (not uncommon in our part of the world).  That's Fred the Tiger and why we think it is a cool ride. If you have questions, please stop by to see us at Expo East. We will be camping with some of our Tiger-owning friends, it should be easy to find us. Knapp Hudson • 2015 Tiger Bengal TX

Introducing Fred the Tiger. Fred is named after my wife's father who spent WWII sailing the world with the British Merchant Marine. Fred's travels on the North Atlantic and to Africa left him with an intense dislike of ice and monkeys; while we don't mind ice, we share his dislike of monkeys (no monkeys are allowed in our Tiger). Our hope is that Fred the Tiger will roam the world as successfully as the original Fred and always return home without being torpedoed. 

A few years ago my wife and I decided it was time to see more of North America; like many grey-hairs we bought an RV. Our class B was nice in that it was not too large and was easy to drive and park. We found ourselves driving more and more on unpaved, often bad, roads (that seems to be where the good stuff is) and found the RV we had was not up to the task (things started breaking). We also realized we don't like campgrounds too much. I looked around for a more rugged vehicle capable of self-contained travel, one that we could purchase ready to go (I'm not much in the DIY department) and found that a Tiger Bengal TX would give us what we were looking for.

Tigers are well built, have better ground clearance than a standard RV and ours is four wheel drive - also good for winter travel in our home state of Maine. Our Tiger is built on a 2015 extended cab, Chevrolet 3500HD, gas-fueled, 4WD truck. The exterior dimensions of the Tiger are slightly larger than our class B; it is a luxury having that small amount of extra space when cooking or when bad weather drives us inside for an extended period. The class B had a sofa that would convert into a very uncomfortable bed, the Tiger has a full time bed over the cab. Soon after buying the Tiger, I installed a Froli spring system under the bed - very comfortable. There is a passageway between the truck and the camper with a single folding jump seat in the extended cab area. The jump seat is for an occasional passenger or for a not so occasional dog. Our dog, Izzy, likes being able to move between the "dog cave" and the camper at will. We like having the crawl through between the camper and truck when the weather is bad. We made a few additions to a standard Tiger build; two we especially like are the extra solar panels and a composting toilet. The composting toilet frees us from the tyranny of a black water tank. The truck and camper are painted a brown tone that doesn't show dirt/mud and allows us to blend into the landscape (the top of the camper roof is white to reflect the sun).

From the beginning, we decided to keep the truck as stock as possible and only make changes from stock as needs were identified. Our longest trip to date has been a two month, 11,000 mile swing from Maine to eastern Washington to New Mexico and back to Maine - a good shake down. The Tiger proved to be all we hoped it would be. It is comfortable to drive long distances and is a great place to live. Following this trip, the only change will be the addition of some better shocks. We found some wicked corrugations on a very interesting backroad in Utah (see upper left photo above). 

A few details about the build: 350 watt solar panels, 440AH from 4x6 volt AGM batteries, oversized alternator, 2800 watt inverter/charger (a girl needs her hair dryer - even in the boondocks), no generator, propane for heat, hot water and cooking, electric refrigerator, dual awnings, composting toilet, wet bath, 33 gallons fresh water (filtered for drinking), on-board air compressor, airbag rear suspension, Aluminess rear bumper/storage box/spare wheel mount. We plan to add an ARB front bumper to give us some protection in the event of a collision with a deer or moose (not uncommon in our part of the world). 

That's Fred the Tiger and why we think it is a cool ride. If you have questions, please stop by to see us at Expo East. We will be camping with some of our Tiger-owning friends, it should be easy to find us.

Knapp Hudson • 2015 Tiger Bengal TX

1994 Toyota 4Runner Anvil Adventures

1994 Toyota 4 Runner, Anvil Adventures. I purchased this truck new in 1994. Traveled from the east to west coast in it. 213,000 miles. Overland East 2014 was the inspiration to put some new life back in her. A Three year project. Old Man Emu springs fo "Saggy Butt" , replaced all the engine hoses,wires&radiator. Hand built the reak deck and drawer system. Up graded the DC outlets for electronic Gizmoes, added the ARB bumper and Warn Winch. (Yes, I told my wife we "may" need that winch some day!)
Most recent addition was the Rino Rack rear awning , secondary battery system and PV for the ARB frig to keep the Beer Cold!
Come see us at The AnvilAdventures Camp Site During the Expo!
(Big Watch,pocket knife and Firm Handshake required!)

Dan Moranz • 1994 Toyota 4Runner

Morty Hits the Beach

"Morty" is our 2010 Sportsmobile, based off of the Ford E-350 diesel platform that was modified by Sportsmobile West, along with a variety of other companies. 

Sportsmobile did their "penthouse" electric top and custom build, giving an interior stand-up height of 6'10" with top raised. We carry 32 gallons of fresh water for sink and shower, 46 gallons of diesel for both the vehicle and Espar diesel furnace. Atlas 10 speed transfer case, Dynatrac front end, Aluminess bumpers/roof rack/ ladder, a Premier Power Welder in the rear and Superwinch Talon 12.5 with MasterPull synthetic line. Custom drawer system by Adventure Trailers in the rear, Hi-Lift custom mount up front. 135 watts of fixed solar on the roof with an additional 100 watt Goal Zero flex panel that fits inside the front windshield. Running on custom wheels with 35" BFG All Terrain KO2's. 

Inside we carry an Engel cooler, PullPal, and 6,000 lb dead-lift More Power Puller with synthetic amsteel blue line. We are using the Amsoil custom remote bypass filter system, and we also run auxillery transmission and coolant filters. On the rear we have a custom Joe Hauler that holds a dualsport motorcycle and up front a custom Aluminess hitch for the bikes.

Carl Reidemeister • 2010 Ford E-350 Diesel 

Lumpy Land Roaming

Picture taken in Green River, Utah on the Trans America Trail, which our family completed July 2015. 

We are the Stringer Family. Doug, Louisa, Kora, Jilly, Sephine and our dog, Trip. You can add Lumpy in there too. He is definitely a part of us. Overland travel has become a universal enjoyable adventure experience for our family.

We have completed 3/4 of North America in our travels over the last 7 years. Beginning in 2008, Lumpy has been transformed from a stock Ford F350 to a stellar beast of an overland machine helping us travel tirelessly and enthusiastically throughout this land and these people on this gift we call Earth.

All racks, bumpers, rock-sliders designed by Doug Stringer.

Doug Stringer • 2008 Ford F350

GO ANYWHERE CAMPER

Our cool ride is a Mitsubishi L200 Sportero V6 24V 6G74 engine fitted with a ¨incarvencamper¨ Pop Up Camper with all the amenities you will need or not (it depends on your demands) room for 2 adults and 2 kids, kitchen, sink, fridge/freezer, portapotty, battery charger, 2 solar panels, 110v/12v system, Honda 2000w generator, 5000btu A/C, Ironman double battery system with two Optima Gel Marine batteries, inside and outside LED illumination, 16 Gallons water tank with 12v pressure system and external shower. Old Man Emu Heavy Duty suspension, Mickey Thompson classic wheels and Dick Cepeck tyres, front bumper stealth custom made winch mount fitted with a Warn 9.5XP, custom made 6mm aluminum bashplates, Corbeau LG1 seats at front and 2 Recaro children booster Seats at back, TJM 150 psi air compressor with a 2 Gallons Viair Tank, rear ARB bumper, Safary snorkel and Level 3+ Armoured body. The build never end, after each travel we ever realize we n eed something more or something less. See you at the Overland Expo

Valerio Rivero • 2008 Mitsubishi L200 Sportero •

Nemo

The new and improved evolution of our worldwide expedition rig. This vehicle is equipped with a Bundutec electrically operated roof top raising tent that can be entered into from the floor inside the truck or from a ladder externally. She is equipped with 160 watt solar panel system that feeds all our electrical needs and all lighting is LED. She carries up to 50 gallons of diesel and 30 gallons of fresh water which can also feed the engine heated external shower which is temp regulated. Mechanicals are a TD5 engine with upgraded VNT turbo and performance allisport intercooler with Mastaz performance ECU. Trans is stock r380 with GKN electric overdrive, diffs are ARB air lockers driven by GBR heavy duty driveshafts. 12k lb front mounted husky superwinch and rear mounted 8k lb winch. All 6 wheels fitted with Coyote internal Beadlocks. Suspension is Old Man emu springs and fox racing remote reservoir shocks and Overtyme engineering castor corrected susp ension arms. Exterior protection and security is by a LRC custom built exocage who also supplied the custom extreme protection front bash plate. Interior comfort is supplied by custom recaro front seats and custom rear convertible storage/seating system, all kept toasty warm by webasto heating systems.. No a/c...we sweat like real men.. External decals are reflective for added visibility. Vehicle is equipped with multiple anti-theft devices and remote tracking that can shut down the vehicle from anywhere in the world.

Shayne Young • 2006 Land Rover Defender 130

G4 Navâda Passage Tribute

Land Rover LR3/Disco3 - All OEM off-road kit plus sliders, compressor, sump, and transmission skid plates. Garmin 8" touchscreen for navigation, entertainment, and software defined toggle on/off switches. Backup, dash, cabin, front bumper, and under chassis cameras. One of only a handful LR3s with ARB differential lockers. Overland Gear: Dual Battery, onboard Air, and 12v Fridge. Accomplishments: 8 time Uwharrie NC Safari leader, Potts Mt VA Trail rescue expedition, Rausch Creek PA Rovers-on-the-rocks competitor.

Doug Morrison • 2006 Land Rover LR3 / Discovery 3