Jeff Takes us to the Overland Expo Northwest
Greetings. Jeff Johnston here for “RVing Today TV.” We’re at beautiful Redmond, Oregon, jewel of the Oregon High Desert, at the Overland Expo Pacific Northwest. The Overland Expo is an event that celebrates all things relating to overlanding and overland travel and adventure, equipment, people, education, accessories, all the things that relate to overlanding, and there’s a lot of components here and material that also relates to RVing.
We’re going to show you some of that. It’s pretty exciting. Eva Rupert: Yes, so overlanding is self-sufficient vehicle travel. So, overlanders themselves are doing all sorts of amazing adventures in the United States and internationally, as well. People have their vehicles that they live out of for extended periods of time, cross borders, head deep into the back country, and have all sorts of amazing adventures. That’s the spirit of overlanding.
The Expo drew somewhere in excess of 15,000 participants, including vendors, attendees, and staff. Many attendees camp onsite. Hanging out with old friends and making new ones is part of the fun at the Expo. The Expo is a good chance to speak directly with the manufacturer representatives of some of your favorite products.
Educational seminars such as this series hosted by Gary and Monila Wescott of the turtle expedition are always popular and useful activities at the Expo.
The larger Overlander rigs tend to be loaded with electronic devices and the wiring to support them. Extended self-contained travel time is the standard for these big fellas. Because Overlanders are usually self-contained and smaller vehicles, their equipment must, of necessity, be compact, durable, and highly functional if it’s going to win a spot in their limited available storage space. These factors make certain overlanding gear potentially attractive to RV owners, as well. Let’s take a look at a few items that may also apply to RV use.
We’re here at the Tailgater tire table booth. Tailgater, of course, is one of our favorite accessories we’ve come across in a long time, and Ward is going to show us something new here at the show. Ward Graham: So, recently, I’ve created a larger table. It’s four inches longer and four inches wider than the original. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you put a barbecue or something on it, it’s a lot more room and space. It’ll also fit a larger tire more comfortably. We have it done in aluminum also.
We’re wandering through the show and looking through some really cool items, and your carrier rack here really caught our eye. So, what do we have here? Kansas Sartin: Yeah, thanks. This is the Pakmule hitch rack. It’s 100% aluminum, including the tongue, so it’s lightweight. This unit only weighs 40 pounds. It’s never gonna rust. There’s no paint to chip off. It’s not gonna corrode. But it’s also large in size. In fact, this is our smaller unit. This one’s 10 1/2 square feet. We have two units that are 12 square feet, so about half the size of a short-bed pickup truck andnso the idea was how do we take up the real estate of modern-day vehicles and really allow you to utilize additional cargo space? It’s all welded. We build them in Texas out of 70% recyclable aluminum content, and then they lock in your hitch, so they’re not wobbling when you’re going down the highway. The design is easy to load, easy to go.
Lou Schaber: So, this is our body wipe. It’s 12 by 12. It is biodegradable material, natural ingredients, and this is your shower in a pouch. So, you can completely clean yourself off at the end of the day. Again, if you’re boondocking, you’ve been hiking, you’re dirty and gritty, it’s great if it’s nice and hot out. It’s kind of cool and refreshing, and it gets you clean on the go.
Jerry Lecuyer: All right, what we’re looking at here is a scuttle grill kit. It’s essentially a horodisk. We’ve attached a propane burner to. It has adjustable legs. It has a 10,000 BTU burner and various accessories. And you can cook anything you can think of, and there’s virtually no cleanup. You don’t have to clean up pots and pans. You treat it like cast iron. When you’re done, you wipe it out, oil it, put it away.
Jeff: Regular viewers of our show may well remember the review we did on the Omnia stovetop oven. It’s a really cool device for cooking on top of something like a Coleman stove. And we’re here at the booth. to learn a little bit about. some of the new products that are available for the Omnias. Dan Sunderland: Yes, Omnia’s got a few new things. So, this is a thermometer. This is going to help you keep track of really how long you’re baking. When that oven comes off, it is really hot, so we’ve got a nice trivet that you can slide the oven onto. Now we can move it around, give everyone a sample of what we’ve been cooking. I store all my silicon and all my accessories in a case like this, and just throw it in my truck, and we’re set to go.
Marcus Niemela: I’m here today, gonna give a brief preview of the Camino 88 camper, truck camper. It is a filon-sided, laminated to an asfel substrate. It’s 2 x 2 and 2 x 4 construction with a 2-inch closed cell spray foam insulation. All of our roof system is stainless steel. We have a stainless steel trim, stainless steel roof system, thermal pane windows. This particular camper has 60 gallons of water. And also what you see here is a new feature that we call the fish and ski box, which you can put a set of 195 centimeter downhill skis, poles. The other side, you can put fishing poles in, and it just, it’s on a drawer system. You secure it. by locking each end. Then you’re going to see a stainless steel shower with a dry bath system. The toilet slides in and out of the shower stall. Privacy door, sink, mirror, vanity. To the floor of the camper, we have a residential queen size bed. Above, you have an optional skylight. You have a entertainment package, communication package, pullout trash cans. There are just a plethora of options and accessories that we manufacture.
Troy Trimmer: Here today. we’re introducing the Aquaglide Deschutes 110 inflatable kayak. This is a great solution for the RVer, when premium quality of paddling products are important to you, but also space and portability and durability is really the factor. So, we use a PVC material on this. It’s proven with river rafting, you know, and other durable materials in the paddle sports market for many years. This is a single version. So, the Deschutes 110 is 11 feet long, designed for the single paddler. It comes with a skag on the back. and an extruded component on the bow here for great tracking. It doesn’t have an inflatable floor in it, which helps the paddler sit lower to the ground for more stability and just a nicer feel on the water. And so one of the nice aspects of the Deschutes 110 also is the size that it packs down into for storage and transport. Right, so, it fits into this bag here with extra room to spare for the pump. And also, it’s good to have a four-piece paddle that we make to also fit in here. You have room for a PFD launch and extra safety equipment, as well.
Jeff: Our four-legged friends are not forgotten at the Expo. Most RVer’s–well, many RVers have pets they take with them–dogs, cats, whatever. and we came by the Stunt Puppy booth here and happened to catch sight of something that looks really interesting. So, what is this that you’ve got there? Angela Hook: Yeah, so this is the Scout leash. It’s all about being prepared for anything, which is a good thing when you’re RVing. Basically, it gives your dog five feet of room to explore. It has a small amount of stretch, which we call the squirrel function. But if you’re in a high pressure environment, or maybe you’re somewhere that’s a bit more densely populated, you can shorten the leash to a static 2-foot leash, so your dog is right by your side. Has an onboard staff set, because I know that RVers are very responsible. Jeff: So, dogs can carry their own treats and their own plastic bags. Angela: Exactly, poop bags, treats. There’s a key clip for your car key. You can even keep a credit card in there, as well. So, you’ve got all of that on you. The other nice thing about Scout is when your dog is off playing, you can wear the leash yourself. And we use a swiveling,
locking carabiner, so very light, very strong. So, you’ve got your hands free.
Jeff: With more campgrounds prohibiting open fires, self-contained alternatives are growing in popularity. Peter Pontano: All right, this is the Ignik fire can. It’s a portable propane fire pit. It’s designed around an ammo can design, which is super durable and super portable to make campfire easy and safe and compact. So, you can pop this in your car easily. You pull out the legs to raise it up off of the ground. So, this is great for burn ban situations, where you can’t have a traditional campfire. There’s no sparks. There’s no smoke. It plugs in with the included quick release connector, works with a propane tank here, has an adjustable control for different levels of heat, and puts out 38,000 BTUs of heat, great for gathering around a campfire, places where you can’t have a traditional wood fire, and easy to pack up. Just–turn it off, put the hose inside, put the lid on, clamp it down, fold the legs in, and you’re ready to go.
Jeff: Overlanders are good people who use their hobby to help others enjoy the outdoors. Bobby Raetz: Team Overland is a nonprofit organization. We are based out of southern Oregon. Down in Medford is where we’re all from. We have been established since 2015. I came on in 2016 as the VP. And what we do is we take veterans, their families and friends, and we just go up in the woods. We use the campfire to facilitate our camping trips. All of our vehicles are off-road vehicles. It doesn’t matter if you have a vehicle, off road vehicle or not. We’ll take you out there with us. We have done well over 160 trips in the past 7 years. It’s pretty amazing we’ve been around that long. We try to bring veterans back into the world by using camping and off-roading. Once we come back from war, from the military, it’s hard to establish ourselves into the civilian world, so this is our way to give back and to help others get back into the civilian world. And without the help of our fellow civilians, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
You can hardly have a big event without a happy hour each day, and the Expo attendees enjoyed the hospitality and the chance to socialize in a fun environment, courtesy of Tin Burrow Brewing Company.
Jeff: For a look at some interesting and functional accessories you may not find at your local RV supply shop, check out an Overland Expo near you.