Powered by Toyota, Built by Overland Expo

Starting with the venerable Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road, we’ll be outfitting it with the best overlanding gear on the market today. Then Overland Expo’s staff of seasoned overlanders will take the rig on their own adventures throughout the year capturing stories, making memories, and demonstrating just how good the 4Runner and our ultimate gear is.



Thanks to the rise of overlanding, 4×4 trucks and SUVs are more popular than ever before. The handful of factory overland-ready rigs on the market are supported by hundreds of aftermarket parts makers that can transform a capable stock rig into a trail-conquering overland machine.

However, sifting through the virtual sea of parts to find the best, most solid and reliable pieces of equipment can leave your head spinning. After all, just because something looks cool doesn’t mean it’s tough enough to withstand a hundred thousand miles of overlanding.

To cut through the noise, and further inspire novice overlanders to get outfitted, inspired, and out on their own overland journeys, Overland Expo is building its own Ultimate Overland Vehicle.

Photo by Overland Expo


Why we chose the Toyota 4Runner, build gear chronicles and stories from the road.


The gear we chose for the Ultimate Overland Vehicle Build and why. 

Storage box: AluBox

We will need to store our gear when we’re on the trail. And since this is the ultimate build, we opted for the ultimate gear storage box: AluBox from Equipt Expedition Outfitters. AluBox specializes in aluminum boxes, cases, and containers, and offers a wide-range of standard box sizes to customers around the world for use in defense, industrial, emergency services, transportation, and recreational use. Their products ensure the safe transportation and storage for valuables, fragile items, and sensitive equipment.

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Drawers: Dobinsons Dual Drawer System

With an SUV, finding a way to secure gear in the cargo area is key. The best solution to this conundrum is with a drawer system. We chose the one from Dobinsons. Specifically, we picked the brand’s dual drawer system for 5th-gen 4runner with top slide and wing kit.

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Lighting Kit: KC | Adventure Further®

We went to our friends at KC | Adventure Further to provide the lighting kit for the 4Runner because they’re designing some of the highest quality, longest-lasting, and brightest lighting solutions on the market today. Plus, their light products are waterproof, dust proof, and adventure proof – which will come in handy once we put this rig to the test in the field.

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Wheels: Voyager 8303 By Mayhem Wheels

We built the Ultimate Overland Vehicle for adventure and needed a durable wheel to keep the 4Runner running on and off-road. We chose the Voyager 8303 in Dark Bronze by Mayhem because the wheels are made of a lightweight aluminum alloy which frees up the 4Runner’s horsepower yet is strong enough to endure the rigors of any trail we choose.

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Step Bars: Westin

From simply entering and exiting the vehicle safely to protecting the rocker panels in rugged terrain, Westin’s Outlaw Nerf Step Bars bars ensure easy access and superior vehicle protection. As one of the most trusted names in overlanding, Westin is an incredible ally for the Ultimate Overland Vehicle.

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Fridge / Freezer: Dometic

Fresh food is critical for any extended overland trip and Dometic make some of the best solutions for mobile cooling on the planet. When we started our Ultimate Overland Vehicle Build, we knew we wanted Dometic products on board.

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Power Inverter: Wagan Tech Pure Line 2000

If you’re adding solar power to your rig like we did, you’ll need an inverter. We picked Wagan Tech’s Pure Line 2000. All Wagan Tech’s models are RoHS compliant, CE approved, and ETL certified to conform to UL and CSA Standards.

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Front Bumper: ARB Winch Bumper

If you plan to outfit a winch to your overland vehicle or simply want more protection from animal strikes, a winch-ready front bumper is an essential piece of kit. The ARB Winch Bumper is an outback-tested design built to protect your front end and provide a seamless integration for your favorite winch.

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Snorkel: ARB Safari Snorkel

Few additions to your overland vehicle provide protection from extreme conditions more than a snorkel like the ARB Safari Snorkel. Designed to be tough and UV resistant, the Safari Snorkel provides clean and cool air to your vehicle airbox.

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Roof Rack: CBI Offroad / Prinsu Design Studio

CBI Offroad’s line of off-road body armor, protection, and rack systems match their motto: “Trail Proven – Adventure Ready!”

Whatever type of adventure you pursue, their off-road body armor will get you there with the style, functionality, and protection you need. CBI Offroad is a company that was founded on principles of quality craftsmanship and impeccable design for off-road vehicles.

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Rear Bumper and Skid Plates: CBI Offroad

We chose CBI Offroad’s 4Runner Swing Arm Rear Bumper and Skid Plates to protect our Ultimate Overland Vehicle Build because we love the styling and high-quality build materials. We know that this bumper and skid plates will protect the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Offroad for years to come. See their full line of body armor and protection for most vehicles on their website.

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Recovery Gear: 4×4 Recovery Kit by 7P

We threw the 7P 4×4 Recovery Kit into the ultimate overland build because… well…. if it’s good enough for the Camel Trophy veterans, international adventurers, desert diehards, and jungle junkies that make up the 7P Overland crew, it’ll definitely get our 4Runner out of any trouble it can find.

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Shocks: Radflo Suspension Technology

For smooth-as-butter offroad travel, we chose Radflo Suspension Technology shocks – designed to work seamlessly with the Total Chaos 2” Expedition Series Long Travel Kit on the 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Offroad.

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Power Management: REDARC RedVision & Manager30

Born in Australia, REDARC has 40 years of experience in manufacturing off-grid solutions for overlanding vehicles, RVs, and trailers. They make the most rugged, reliable, and innovative battery chargers, 12V management systems and trailer braking products on the market. So there are no limits to where you can go and what you can do.

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Generator: ALP Next-Gen Propane Generators

When you need to power accessories and gadgets during an overland journey, there are few better options than a portable generator. ALP’s next-gen propane generators eliminate most of the issues that plague gasoline generators. ALP propane generators don’t put off noxious fumes, can be stored inside, and require less maintenance.

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Tires: Firestone Destination M/T2

Unlike some tires on this list, the Destination M/T2s are relatively new, released just a couple of years ago. Maybe that’s why they’re not as prolific in the overlanding community as they should be — they’re too new to be tried and true. Nevertheless, they should be on your list for your next overlanding tire.

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Rooftop Tent: Alu-Cab

Shelter and shade are the most important considerations for any overland vehicle. We went with the Expedition 3.1 Rooftop Tent, Shadow Awn 270º Awning, and Shower Cube from Alu-Cab for sleeping, shade, and hygiene while we’re on the road.

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Winch: Superwinch

When it comes to performing an advanced winch-assisted recovery, Superwinch is one of the most trusted names in overlanding. When the going gets rough, having Superwinch on board the Ultimate Overland Vehicle will allow us to adventure further in even the most challenging terrain.

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Vehicle: 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road

Few nameplates are as synonymous with overlanding in the U.S. as the venerable Toyota 4Runner. And there’s a good reason for it. For five generations, this high-riding 4×4 has stayed true to its trucky roots. After all these years, the 4Runner is still built on a ladder frame. It sports a true 4×4 system with two-speed transfer case, solid rear axle, and optional rear e-locker.

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Builder: MULE Expedition Outfitters

We partnered with Mule Expedition Outfitters out of Washington and Oregon to help us build out the 4Runner not only because they are badass builders, but they also share our passion for using premium products.

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Solar Panels: XPLOR by Sunflare

The addition of solar to a rig allows overlanders to stay out there – wherever “there” is – which is why we chose to add a Sunflare XPLOR solar panel to the 4Runner. Sunflare has perfected a new, proprietary technology revolutionizing CIGS solar.

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Navigation: Overlander® by Garmin

A capable, reliable, high-functioning GPS is a must-have on any overland journey. We chose Garmin’s Overlander™, because of the wealth of functionality and cool navigation tools it provides, including a variety of map types and safety-enhancing options.

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We’re building the ultimate overland vehicle in partnership with these great brands. 

Forrest Tool


We’re beginning to look for partners for our 2022 Ultimate Overland Build!  Want to get involved?  Let us know!

All 4Runner photography courtesy of Toyota.

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Photo by Brett Willhelm, Willhelmn Visual Works

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