Roof Rack + Snorkel = Overland?

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
So, I've been having some conversations about suspension systems and the topic of "rock crawling" versus "overland" came up and I have to say, I have no real idea what building up a Jeep for "overland" or "expedition" wheeling is all about. I mean this in all seriousness but really, what constitutes "overland" anyway? More times than not, when we go wheeling, we plan extended camping trips, wheel across vast stretches of desert and/or mountains of which sometimes require carrying extra gas and water and of course, we always carry a welder and enough gear to not only recover and fix our Jeep with all its unique parts but, also for others with their specific parts. Having said all that, we always try to build up our Jeeps not to be a "rock crawler" or "overland expedition" vehicle per se but, to perform to the best of their ability on and off road - period. In fact, up until a few years ago, we honestly thought that "overland" referred to a Jeep that had a roof rack and a snorkel on it. So, I ask you - here in America, what exactly is "overland" wheeling and, how exactly does a Jeep built up for that differ from any other good Jeep build? Inquiring minds would like to know :yup:
 

MTG

Caught the Bug
Built for overland = install an AEV lift?

:cheesy: Sorry I saw the other thread and could not resist.

I am way too much of a noob to know...subscribed to be educated.
 

Sharkey

Word Ninja
I'm not sure what "overland" is supposed to mean either. Particularly here in the states, I think the more appropriate term would be a "wilderness" Jeep. To me, travel in the wilderness requires many things the most important of which are (1) the ability to self-rescue because of the inability to obtain assistance or reach civilization in less than one day's hike and (2) self-sustenance without the need for re-ration or support (food, water, equipment, etc.) from civilization for the period of time traveled.

Depending on your mode of travel, and the topography of what is to be traveled, the gear you bring to satisfy (1) and (2) above will obviously change. I fail to see how having a flip-top tent on the roof of a Jeep makes it more wilderness capable than another Jeep that has a 4-season tent or bivy sack stored in a bag in the back. Actually, I can think of many reasons why the latter would be a MUCH better way to go than the former. (If your Jeep becomes inoperable in the wilderness, it's pretty hard to carry your flip top tent on your back to use as shelter on your multi-day hike out...oh, and there is that whole weight savings thing.) I also fail to see how a Jeep with 35's and a standard lift is somehow more wilderness capable than a Jeep turning 40's with coilovers. The only argument I could see is if the distance traveled is so great that the relative difference in gas mileage becomes an issue which cannot be planned for through preparation (i.e. bringing extra gas). Here in the states though (particularly the lower 48), that problem seems unlikely.

I guess my point is that "overland" has become more of a cliche for a type of look and less of a definition of capabilities. If your Jeep is built to cover the terrain you plan to cover, and you have the ability to fix it and perform self-rescue, then the rest really comes down to what else you throw in the back and what you have between your ears, not how the Jeep was built. Just my .02.
 

zeddjb

New member
I'm not sure what "overland" is supposed to mean either. Particularly here in the states, I think the more appropriate term would be a "wilderness" Jeep. To me, travel in the wilderness requires many things the most important of which are (1) the ability to self-rescue because of the inability to obtain assistance or reach civilization in less than one day's hike and (2) self-sustenance without the need for re-ration or support (food, water, equipment, etc.) from civilization for the period of time traveled.

Depending on your mode of travel, and the topography of what is to be traveled, the gear you bring to satisfy (1) and (2) above will obviously change. I fail to see how having a flip-top tent on the roof of a Jeep makes it more wilderness capable than another Jeep that has a 4-season tent or bivy sack stored in a bag in the back. Actually, I can think of many reasons why the latter would be a MUCH better way to go than the former. (If your Jeep becomes inoperable in the wilderness, it's pretty hard to carry your flip top tent on your back to use as shelter on your multi-day hike out...oh, and there is that whole weight savings thing.) I also fail to see how a Jeep with 35's and a standard lift is somehow more wilderness capable than a Jeep turning 40's with coilovers. The only argument I could see is if the distance traveled is so great that the relative difference in gas mileage becomes an issue which cannot be planned for through preparation (i.e. bringing extra gas). Here in the states though (particularly the lower 48), that problem seems unlikely.

I guess my point is that "overland" has become more of a cliche for a type of look and less of a definition of capabilities. If your Jeep is built to cover the terrain you plan to cover, and you have the ability to fix it and perform self-rescue, then the rest really comes down to what else you throw in the back and what you have between your ears, not how the Jeep was built. Just my .02.

I think you said it all right there. I live in central WI and let me be the first to say that, we don't really any mountains around here. At least for me, when I want to go wheeling for a while there are tons of forestry roads/trails that can keep me busy. That being said, I built up my Jeep with a cost savings in mind. I don't wheel for a living and don't get paid to wheel and I don't have a lot of money to spend on awesome upgrades, however I have a winch (that covers the self recovery mostly), I carry some tools with me and I have a 4 inch lift kit with nitto mud-grapplers 35x12.5x17. I built my Jeep to get me though the terrain in and around where I live, but if I wanted to take it to more extreme areas of the country like the rubicon, I could do that too.

I agree that "overland" is definitely a cliche and I would argue with anyone who thought differently. :sigh:
 

JTRay

Active Member
I always thought overland was jeeps that took on open spaces, like the plains and meadows or like the outback in Australia that is what an overland jeep is to me. Just my :twocents:
 

Sharkey

Word Ninja
JKRay said:
I always thought overland was jeeps that took on open spaces, like the plains and meadows or like the outback in Australia that is what an overland jeep is to me. Just my :twocents:

I think your perception is the same as most people's. But it doesn't answer the question posed as to why one type of build (and what that type of build would be exactly) would be more suited for that kind of travel than another type of build. Using WOL's Moby as an example, why is Moby any less suited for travel across open spaces, plains, meadows, or the Outback than another Jeep? I don't think it is, but apparently some people do.
 

zeddjb

New member
I think your perception is the same as most people's. But it doesn't answer the question posed as to why one type of build (and what that type of build would be exactly) would be more suited for that kind of travel than another type of build. Using WOL's Moby as an example, why is Moby any less suited for travel across open spaces, plains, meadows, or the Outback than another Jeep? I don't think it is, but apparently some people do.


I think it's more capable or just as capable as any other Jeep. Like you said, it's perception thing that people have. There is no rhyme or reason to it, it's just the way people see things differently.

I would be curious to know WOL, how this question came to be. I know you said the topic came up, but was there a valid argument on the topic or was is just, "Hey I heard this somewhere..." kind of thing?
 

Sharkey

Word Ninja
I can't speak for WOL, but I can say I've read numerous comments where people discount advice about lifts on the basis that "they are building an overland Jeep, not a rock crawler" without ever taking the time to explain what they view as a legitimate distinction between the two. If they were talking about purpose built buggies then I might understand the point, but a JKU on coilovers seems every bit as capable to me as an "overlander", if not more so, than any other JKU build.
 

zeddjb

New member
I can't speak for WOL, but I can say I've read numerous comments where people discount advice about lifts on the basis that "they are building an overland Jeep, not a rock crawler" without ever taking the time to explain what they view as a legitimate distinction between the two. If they were talking about purpose built buggies then I might understand the point, but a JKU on coilovers seems every bit as capable to me as an "overlander", if not more so, than any other JKU build.

Right on!! If there isn't a valid argument then it's just one person's point of view over another.

:cheesy::thumb::thumb:
 

JTRay

Active Member
I think your perception is the same as most people's. But it doesn't answer the question posed as to why one type of build (and what that type of build would be exactly) would be more suited for that kind of travel than another type of build. Using WOL's Moby as an example, why is Moby any less suited for travel across open spaces, plains, meadows, or the Outback than another Jeep? I don't think it is, but apparently some people do.

I think really the overland look is exactly that a look nothing more, the suspension is the same as most who rock crawl, tires and more. There really is no difference. Moby for example now that he has the upgraded DTD front and rear is one of the best open land and rock crawling vehicle that can be built same for evo 1. The suspension is made to go fast on flat open country roads and play hard on rocks. Its the best of both worlds the only difference is the look. They both dont have a roof rack, or tent on top of their vehicle, and a snorkel. Besides that there is no difference to me at least.

Just thinking now the overland vehicles started in places like Africa or Australia to keep safe from dangerous animals like lions. The tent on top is to stay safe from snakes, lions and other dangers that can get to them if they were on the ground. The snorkel to cross rivers or creeks without killing the engine. Its really to stay safe from what is surrounding them and get out of crap to get home nothing else.
 

RDE2ROK

New member
WOW! What a topic. I think it just comes down to what you want to do. I have an RV to trailer my jeep to far away trips. I camp in a campground and wheel the area for 2-3 days. I sleep in my bed,have a shower and a good meal and my own restroom, I am out to enjoy myself and have a good time.Now that being said, I also have a roof rack to pack all the necessary supplies to go on a trip such as the Rubicon Trail. I don't want to be restricted to a certain type of trail.I want my jeep to be flexable. I realy like Rack Crawlin, but also "so called" expidition trails to sight see,explore and just have fun.So it just comes down to your own interpretation. If I want to do it! I want my jeep to take me there! Thats just my thoughts!:idontknow:
 
Last edited:

GCM 2

New member
Taken directly from "The Overland Journal",which is viewed as the predominant expert source for overlanding

About Overlanding

Overlanding is about exploration, rather than conquering obstacles. While the roads and trails we travel might be rough or technically challenging, they are the means to an end, not the goal itself. The goal is to see and learn about our world, whether on a weekend trip 100 miles from home or a 10,000-mile expedition across another continent. The vehicle and equipment can be simple or extravagant - they, too, are simply means to an end. History, wildlife, culture, scenery, self-sufficiency - these are the rewards of overlanding.


From this definition alone, I can use a compact rental car for overlanding. I have gotten the feeling from guys who build "overland" specific rigs :thinking: that there is some mystical thing that separates their "overland rig" from my build, which they consider to be a rock crawler.

This I know as a fact; my JK can go everywhere an "overland rig" can go, but an "overland rig" cannot go everywhere my rig can go. I'll go with my build. And one last thing, we use to call it camping. Thanks for your time.
 

MTG

Caught the Bug
GCM 2 said:
This I know as a fact; my JK can go everywhere an "overland rig" can go, but an "overland rig" cannot go everywhere my rig can go...And one last thing, we use to call it camping.

Good stuff right there!
 

Sharkey

Word Ninja
GCM 2 said:
This I know as a fact; my JK can go everywhere an "overland rig" can go, but an "overland rig" cannot go everywhere my rig can go. I'll go with my build. And one last thing, we use to call it camping. Thanks for your time.

Yep...that pretty much sums it up.
 

RDE2ROK

New member
This I know as a fact; my JK can go everywhere an "overland rig" can go, but an "overland rig" cannot go everywhere my rig can go. I'll go with my build. And one last thing, we use to call it camping. Thanks for your time.

:thumb: Well Said!:thumb:
 

zeddjb

New member
What I think...

From this definition alone, I can use a compact rental car for overlanding. I have gotten the feeling from guys who build "overland" specific rigs :thinking: that there is some mystical thing that separates their "overland rig" from my build, which they consider to be a rock crawler.

This I know as a fact; my JK can go everywhere an "overland rig" can go, but an "overland rig" cannot go everywhere my rig can go. I'll go with my build. And one last thing, we use to call it camping. Thanks for your time.

Good stuff GCM!! :cheesy:

I agree with you, my JK can also go everywhere an "overland rig" can go. All mystics aside though, does it really matter how people look at off roading? What I mean is, Rock-Crawlers, Overlanders, Mud-Boggers or Dune Buggies we all have our "vision" of what off roading is and it's that vision that binds us all together. I can sum up it up in one phrase and Eddie can flame for for stealing it but, "It's a way of life"...Period!! I don't think it can be said any better. ;)

You guys are awesome :thumb:
 

Indefatigable

New member
As someone from a much more wild and less developed nation than America.... America is just a bit too much developed with infastructure to partake in the more idea of overland or as we are more akin to call it, expedition.

You guys have done a great job creating recreational infastructure throughout your nation such that its not such a monumental undertaking for many and alot of experiences are achieveable for a huge proportion of your population. You have no idea how great your maps are!

Some of the major build differences we see between an expedition vehicle and rock crawler....

Gearing is more stock.
No armour
Usually runs a smaller tire.
Usually not a Jeep. More likely a LC, p/u or roomier vehicle. Though this is changing a bit with the JKU.
Our significantly less disposable income and higher cost of living probably is part of the slow accepance of the $$$$ JK compared to the more acceptably priced used trucks for these purposes.

An expedition type trip a few of us have been talking about is "The Canol Trail" . Starts at the Yukon border and heads NE. I think maybe 50% is driveable. The trail actually ends on the wrong side of the MacKenzie River at Norman Wells.

YMMV
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
Built for overland = install an AEV lift?

:cheesy:

:cheesy: no kidding. more times than not, that's what it seems like :crazyeyes:

I'm not sure what "overland" is supposed to mean either. Particularly here in the states, I think the more appropriate term would be a "wilderness" Jeep. To me, travel in the wilderness requires many things the most important of which are (1) the ability to self-rescue because of the inability to obtain assistance or reach civilization in less than one day's hike and (2) self-sustenance without the need for re-ration or support (food, water, equipment, etc.) from civilization for the period of time traveled.

Depending on your mode of travel, and the topography of what is to be traveled, the gear you bring to satisfy (1) and (2) above will obviously change. I fail to see how having a flip-top tent on the roof of a Jeep makes it more wilderness capable than another Jeep that has a 4-season tent or bivy sack stored in a bag in the back. Actually, I can think of many reasons why the latter would be a MUCH better way to go than the former. (If your Jeep becomes inoperable in the wilderness, it's pretty hard to carry your flip top tent on your back to use as shelter on your multi-day hike out...oh, and there is that whole weight savings thing.) I also fail to see how a Jeep with 35's and a standard lift is somehow more wilderness capable than a Jeep turning 40's with coilovers. The only argument I could see is if the distance traveled is so great that the relative difference in gas mileage becomes an issue which cannot be planned for through preparation (i.e. bringing extra gas). Here in the states though (particularly the lower 48), that problem seems unlikely.

I guess my point is that "overland" has become more of a cliche for a type of look and less of a definition of capabilities. If your Jeep is built to cover the terrain you plan to cover, and you have the ability to fix it and perform self-rescue, then the rest really comes down to what else you throw in the back and what you have between your ears, not how the Jeep was built. Just my .02.

Wow, that was well said and, I'd have to agree with you 100%. I've never given it much thought until recently but, I really am starting to see the term "overland" as a cliche for a type of look and less of a definintion of capabilities. At least, I have yet to see or hear how people here in America who profess to have an "overland built" have a Jeep that is anymore capable than mine or most anyone elses built up Jeep. :idontknow:
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
I always thought overland was jeeps that took on open spaces, like the plains and meadows or like the outback in Australia that is what an overland jeep is to me. Just my :twocents:

granted, this is a shot of moby's clone and moochie's JK but, we do a lot of exploring in open spaces like plains and meadow too :yup:

main.php


I would be curious to know WOL, how this question came to be. I know you said the topic came up, but was there a valid argument on the topic or was is just, "Hey I heard this somewhere..." kind of thing?

actually, the question has been coming up more and more recently and mostly with guys running kits like what AEV makes. their argument is that there's actually some kind of difference between an "overland" lift kit and what i have and that not everyone needs or wants a "rock crawler". of course, if you've ever riden in a JK with both setups, i think you would agree that my so called "rock crawler" not only far exceeds the performance of other short arm kits or ones that use relocation brackets off road but, it also far exceeds the performance in terms of ride and handly on pavement too. but hey, that's just me.

I can't speak for WOL, but I can say I've read numerous comments where people discount advice about lifts on the basis that "they are building an overland Jeep, not a rock crawler" without ever taking the time to explain what they view as a legitimate distinction between the two. If they were talking about purpose built buggies then I might understand the point, but a JKU on coilovers seems every bit as capable to me as an "overlander", if not more so, than any other JKU build.

exactly. if there really is a difference in how you build an "overland" jeep, i'd like to know what it is and why it's so much better than a jeep like mine.

Just thinking now the overland vehicles started in places like Africa or Australia to keep safe from dangerous animals like lions. The tent on top is to stay safe from snakes, lions and other dangers that can get to them if they were on the ground. The snorkel to cross rivers or creeks without killing the engine. Its really to stay safe from what is surrounding them and get out of crap to get home nothing else.

yeah, if i needed to ford really really deep water, a snorkel would be a must but, i can tell you from seeing it first hand, if you did ford water that deep in a JK, you would seriously screw up things like your seatbelts. once wet, they won't work anymore. also, compared to most overland jeeps i've seen, our moby sits SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER than them and because of it, never dunk down deep enough to need one. as far as sitting up high or carrying more supplies, i might prefer a trailer over a roof rack. we've done the roof rack thing on our old TJ as it really was the only way to haul in enough gear for 3 people and a dog but, i really really hated wheeling with it as it totally screws up your center of gravity and gets hung up in trees.

WOW! What a topic. I think it just comes down to what you want to do. I have an RV to trailer my jeep to far away trips. I camp in a campground and wheel the area for 2-3 days. I sleep in my bed,have a shower and a good meal and my own restroom, I am out to enjoy myself and have a good time.Now that being said, I also have a roof rack to pack all the necessary supplies to go on a trip such as the Rubicon Trail. I don't want to be restricted to a certain type of trail.I want my jeep to be flexable. I realy like Rack Crawlin, but also "so called" expidition trails to sight see,explore and just have fun.So it just comes down to your own interpretation. If I want to do it! I want my jeep to take me there! Thats just my thoughts!:idontknow:

well, exploring is our true love and what ultimately got us into wheeling in the first place. we've only built up our rigs to help ensure we can get to our planned destination. :yup:
 

wayoflife

Administrator
Staff member
From this definition alone, I can use a compact rental car for overlanding. I have gotten the feeling from guys who build "overland" specific rigs :thinking: that there is some mystical thing that separates their "overland rig" from my build, which they consider to be a rock crawler.

This I know as a fact; my JK can go everywhere an "overland rig" can go, but an "overland rig" cannot go everywhere my rig can go. I'll go with my build. And one last thing, we use to call it camping. Thanks for your time.

:clap2: wow, that was perfect and, i couldn't have said it better if i tried. :thumb:

I agree with you, my JK can also go everywhere an "overland rig" can go. All mystics aside though, does it really matter how people look at off roading? What I mean is, Rock-Crawlers, Overlanders, Mud-Boggers or Dune Buggies we all have our "vision" of what off roading is and it's that vision that binds us all together. I can sum up it up in one phrase and Eddie can flame for for stealing it but, "It's a way of life"...Period!! I don't think it can be said any better. ;)

that's the way i've always seen it and when i started to hear this rhetoric about "overland built" jeeps, i just had to stop and ask, what is the difference? to me, a well built jeep is a well built jeep and i unless i'm wrong, i thought that's what we all wanted. :crazyeyes:

As someone from a much more wild and less developed nation than America.... America is just a bit too much developed with infastructure to partake in the more idea of overland or as we are more akin to call it, expedition.

You guys have done a great job creating recreational infastructure throughout your nation such that its not such a monumental undertaking for many and alot of experiences are achieveable for a huge proportion of your population. You have no idea how great your maps are!

Some of the major build differences we see between an expedition vehicle and rock crawler....

Gearing is more stock.
No armour
Usually runs a smaller tire.
Usually not a Jeep. More likely a LC, p/u or roomier vehicle. Though this is changing a bit with the JKU.
Our significantly less disposable income and higher cost of living probably is part of the slow accepance of the $$$$ JK compared to the more acceptably priced used trucks for these purposes.

An expedition type trip a few of us have been talking about is "The Canol Trail" . Starts at the Yukon border and heads NE. I think maybe 50% is driveable. The trail actually ends on the wrong side of the MacKenzie River at Norman Wells.

YMMV

and, that is why i specifically asked the question in the way that i did - "in america". maybe if we were up in the yukon, africa, south america or the gobi desert, i might see where building a rig with specilized parts would be a disadvantage as things replacement parts would be hard, if not impossible to come by but, here in america, i kind of find the idea of purposefully building a so called "overland" jeep to not make a whole lot of sense. more times than not, the only real difference i see is that they have a jeep with a sub-standard suspension system, a roof rack and snorkel.
 
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