The Exploring Elements Overland Adventure Vehicle

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Our friends at Exploring Elements, an overland travel blog that covers adventure sports and gear reviews, decided to upgrade their vehicle last year to meet their growing needs on the road. Now with a full year under its belt, we decided to take a look back at the initial concept and design process to see if it’s meeting initial expectations.

When it came to choosing the vehicle they would build around, Bryon Dorr and Sarah Blessington, the people behind the project, made a list of requirements it had to meet. A few of the more important features included:

  • Light and nimble, able to fit in a shipping container.
  • International parts availability
  • Able to carry adventure gear including kayaks, mountain bikes, and camping gear.
  • 4x4 with low range
  • Diesel for toque and durability
  • A camper with full size bed, kitchen, office, and bathroom

After weighing the pros and cons of a wide range of rigs like the Ford RB E350 van, Land Rover FC101, and Volvo 303, Bryon decided on a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 extended cab with a Cummins Diesel. The Dodge won out thanks to its reliable engine, parts availability, and optimal size to fit a camper while still being small enough for tight trails and roads. It also didn’t hurt that the price was right when compared to some of the other more classic overland vehicles.

Once the vehicle was purchased, the build quickly commenced, with the centerpiece being the addition of the XP camper to replace the truck’s bed. The camper makes for an ideal home on the road, fully equipped with a fridge, sink, table, and bed, along with a pop top for ventilation and some extra head room.

A few of the modifications to the truck itself include:

One of our favorite aspects of this build is the thought and care that went into it. It’s one thing to build an overland rig on a huge budget, but Bryon focused on strategically building a vehicle that would get the job done at a reasonable price.

Stay tuned for more on the EEXP’s first year of adventure and check out Exploring Elements  here.

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