How About Some Current Reports and Updates From EXPO WEST For Us Poor Souls Who Are Not There!

Ace Brown

Adventurer, Overland Certified OC0019
I have been to most of the Expos including the first one at Prescott. I have watched it grow from a very small event to the huge monster it is now. I won’t be back as I dislike crowds and standing in line. The entrance this morning was a bit over 1.5 hours of stop n go traffic. I guess if I was younger and fitter all the walking and waiting in line might be more tolerable.

But there sure is a lot of cool stuff here and I did buy a few things.


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Badger Wrangler
I can go around all the traffic and park my SAR truck right in the middle of everything, but I saw all the congestion and lines for the beer thing, and this was only FRIDAY!

Candidly, Expo is almost an overdose of wonderful stuff, 'specially the hundreds of very cool vehicles. You see one that blows you away, and then, a few hundred meters away, here's something even wilder. I have to be careful because I tend to be very… spontaneous about buying stuff (three years ago, I was looking at maybe getting a shirt and some books, and ended up buying a BMW 1200GS). The guy I bought it from had to take a Greyhound back to his home.

My partner-in-crime, Christine, and I have, been retired for a long time - we made a good living raising badgers and wolverines - so we have time to wander around the West pretty much whenever and wherever we want. I really love driving, and am partial to huge, loud, high-off-the-ground diesel vehicles. So of course when I see something like an EXV on a hulking International or Kenworth chassis, I immediately begin salivating. But I promised not to get out of hand and come home with something completely outrageous this time.

Of course, I say that EVERY year...
I enjoyed last years Expo and camped on site. Great people and Vehicles. My disappointment was no discounts from venders or evening vendor give aways like Easter Safari Moab. I was there to buy but found I could get better deals on line. I didn't attend this year. I am looking forward to the NW Overland and BC Overland Rally's coming up.
Some notes...

Ok.. I didn't take any pictures... Sorry..

Lots of van builders.... Crazy number of sprinter outfitters and now ford transit is beginning to get attention.... Some young company standouts (sorry if I left some of you great ones out, so many).. in no particular order

1. Tourig
2. Adventure wagon
3. Benchmark

Sportsmobile casts a great legacy in it's large wake... Sportsmobile is king

Tops knives.. you rule.. glad to see them there... Everything they touch is built to last... the pasayten lite traveler may be the most practical all around camp knife I have seen.. and yes I bought the only one they had left on site...

Also cutco kbar outdoorsman.. excellent.. very similar to the above tops.. but heavier...

Kanz outdoors is back and I still think they make the best kitchen and pantry.. simple, useful, strong, elegant..

Thunderbox outback toilet.... Clever, smart compact... I'll dig a hole.. but I get

Koolercap.. nice.. I will use it to keep my ice cold.. under and in the chest

Aluminess.. just keeps getting better... You guys rule...

On the big rigs..

acela trucks debuts the spruced uupFMTV chassis... Biss Mobil is really well thought out...and high quality.... Clearly a match made for both of these with each other in the USA... GXV has a new mid priced offering and is king of Hill /go to... for big custom rigs .. and earthroamer remains steady.... Except the $1.5m.. is really artful... Think prevost size and luxury and elegance in design... it is actually magnificent.. as well it should be ...

Earthcruiser... If you are listening.. ditch the fuso.. build it on a Isuzu crew cab and convert to 4x4.. offer gas and diesel...

Bungee.. perfect bungee that is adjustable in length... duh..yes

"Shower pouch" saved me from offending everyone including me... the kind folks who let me in their camp to hang... also we're saved by the shower pouch...Thank you.. great product.. a bit pricey at $4ea per shower.. but they were there when I needed it... I now have about 30 in my rig when the occasion calls... And it will call...

Tailgater tire table.. clever.. me likey...not their first year.. but I'm a buyer..

Maltec trucks... Award for best in show in the bantam weight all in one design.. I don't even like Toyota.. yea yeah, whatever.. and these were brilliant...

Aev take some cues from maltec and produce the Jeep version you showed as a prototype... It is an idea who's time has come... You are in pole position...

Goose gear.. I don't even know what "it" is... Be he has got "it"

Dometic... Bring your awning next year for goodness sake... Super super nice folks with quality products...

Outerlimit supply... First aid cases with wall mounts... brilliant

Method wheels.. only wheels designed to take the real punishment and weights on a 17" or 18"...with a 4500# rating... Look for their HD series... Smart... Now tire companies need to catch up on load ratings!!!

Tuffy 300 portable safe... Need to keep something usually kept in your pocket locked up due to certain laws in certain states..... Pefect simple solution for legality

Crapload of light pop up wedge roof tents for pickup trucks.. award goes to gofastcampers.... functional, quality, simple, design, price, weight.. they just nailed it and they have a comprehensive vision for the future... I see brightness in their future....

Best full size rig Pop up camper for a pickup truck goes to overlandex... A queen and a single bed... or a king bed.... High quality insulated canvas...super insulated walls.... Price... Crazy crazy crazy great.... If you even consider a rig for your full-size and you don't seriously look at this... You don't have a brain... Or you didn't know about it... Now you do..

Ubco 2x2 runabout.... tw200/rokon killer? I like it..and it is half the weight of a Tdub... I hope they sell a lot of them so they have the cash to have future products..

Scheel-man seats.. yes please build these in the USA...Germany really doesn't deserve this much money to assemble foam, metal and leather.. but they are awesome.. and yes I own a set... 14 hrs each way.. not a sore muscle... Say wha???

The entrepenurial spirit is alive and well.. the expo is bigger and better.. ok.. they have no clue how to direct traffic... Or ensure wifi access for credit card processing... and it IS an exciting time to be here...

That's all I got for now... Enjoy..
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2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
This year there were tons of vendor deals ranging from 10% to 20% that I took advantage of....sliders, 4 skid plates, fridge, awning and a wedge camper and every deal was killer.