Overland Expo returned to Redmond, Oregon for a second year. Including dozens more exhibitors, thousands more attendees came to the show. And with them came their amazing Toyotas.
As we always do, we scoured the parking lot and campgrounds to find our favorites. Of the literal thousands of Toyotas onsite we spotted a handful that tickled our fancy. In no particular order, here are our picks for the best Overland Expo of Pacific Northwest 2023.
We are kicking off the list with a heavily — but nicely — modified first-gen Tacoma. It’s a nice blend of subtle and overstated. We liked the tubular high-clearance bumpers, big mud tires, and soft-shell rooftop tent. You can tell this owner is both discerning and adventurous, which is one of our favorite combo’s.
70 Series Land Cruiser
This one is, obviously, owned by our friends at Overland Journal. This rig is new to no OJ subscribers, including us. Nevertheless, it was nice to see it in person. What’s more, it’s nice to see how, well, nice it is. It’s a clean, nicely outfitted rig. It’s a good thing it’s the turbo engine, too, because the naturally aspirated 70s are absolute dogs on the highway. Don’t fret, 70 owners, we say that with love.
70 Series Land Cruiser
This 70 Series is pretty different than the example above. It made the list because it was the tidiest four-door we saw on our tour. Plus the black paint was a standout.
We searched high and low for a keen first-gen Sequoia worthy of this list. When we spied this beauty, we knew we’d found it. Though it’s still sporting the stock front bumper, it has a suspension lift, riding on steelies, and the roof rack is supporting a rooftop tent, awning, and, recovery boards, and road shower. This V8-powered leviathan is ready for the trail.
Yes, we put a Prius on the list. Get over it. This thing obviously gets used — we could tell from the scratches and dings. So, we respect the hell out of it. Furthermore, it clearly has a lift, which allows for slightly oversized tires.
On the front is a bar supporting some KC lights. In the rear are a couple RotopaX, which likely extends the range of this rig by several hundred miles. Would we take on tough terrain with this beast? Nah, but it’s still sweet.
This was one of the most precise builds we spotted in the campgrounds at this year’s Pacific Northwest show. From the ARB bull bars and Safari snorkel up front to the iKamper over the cab on a Front Runners roof rack to the Leitner Designs bed rack over a DECKED Drawers System, this truck is very nicely outfitted.
There are a lot of heavily built third-gen Tundras out there. This one, though, isn’t one of them. Nevertheless, we respect it. I looks like a mostly stock Tundra with a Scout camper dropped in the back. Nothing wrong with that. This set up can get deep into the backcountry and stay there for a while — in style. This proves you don’t need to go crazy with your build to do it right.
FZJ80 Land Cruiser
There were a lot of 80 Series Land Cruisers in the campgrounds. This is one that stood out to us most. It had all the best mods — rear swingout bumper, roof rack, awning, snokel, sliders, lift, sweet wheels, and an ARB bull bars. This “KROOZR” is ready to cruise indeed.
Last but not least, we come to an FJ Cruiser that made its way from Idaho to the PNW show. We dug the pre-runner-style front bumper and rooftop tent. What really grabbed our attention was the swing-out rear bumper, which relocated the rear door-mounted full-size spare to the bumper. They did this, we presume, so they could load that rear spare with more weight. And that’s smart. Just because the rear door hinges can hold a heavy tire doesnt mean they can also hold trash, water and fuel. So, if you have an FJC, and want to add a bunch of gear to the rear tire, consider a swing-out like this smart overlander.