Overland on a Budget for the rest of us


Just started on the "cheaper" expo route
Had an extremely built up cruiser but for where I live the only time I put it anywhere near its potential was a few times a year.... if I lived out west it would be better. It also sucked gas so I didn't use it too much for driving around and didn't like to see it sit so when I needed some extra cash earlier in the year I parted ways with it (reluctantly). Bought a diesel suburban for $800 and now I have my budget expo rig. I have plans for it eventually to get lifted, locked, armor and all that..... got a ARB roof rack for it from a friend (free) last week that I'm trying to figure out how to mount.

Personally I prefer a plug in fridge. Had a Yeti... sold it after a while didn't really perform as well as I thought it should given the enormous price it took to get it.... I can get the same size plug in edgestar from the open box place for much cheaper.

Just my 2 cents on that one.


New member
Rarely do I reply in threads( more of a lurker ), however this topic struck a chord. I to got caught up in the elusive overland rig dream. But now I have an old lifted burb and love the hell out of it and am getting ready for some simple trips to get started on memories for my daughter. Thank you for making this thread.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Ain't nothin wrong with nice bumpers, winches, roof racks, RTT's, etc..... But some A'holes think you can't possibly be serious about wheeling without those things. And all that stuff better be brand new in the biggest name brand. Now, I got all those things on my rig. Even more than that. Although I don't think you could call mine an "expo rig". But my stuff is all old or used or cheap. I love Craigslist. I spend what I can stand. I drive what I can easily afford (and actually like to drive). A lot of those things, when used properly, really make boon- docking more enjoyable. And that crap looks really cool on your vehicle. Who doesn't like mud tires and winches? But if you think your better than me cause you got it, or somehow have more fun than me.....no. I'm happy for the guy with the newest and baddest, best equipped, most costly rig around. It's awesome that some can afford that. Maybe someday I'll get in shape to be that guy. And as long as that guy has a helpful way, and is only out for the memories, and good times without being a doosher' .....I say camp on!
+1 on all of this ^^^

Funny thing, when we head out we often actually do have the biggest "baddest" camping vehicle in the area. But it's all Craigslist and swap meet scores, and some elbow grease (and welding supplies) with a few garage hours here and there. Goodies get added one at a time as needed, in the mean time we just stay out of situations we're not properly equipped for yet. The important equipment is all reliable and heavy-duty but patience and planning allows us to obtain it on a quite limited budget. Other things are just plain cheap, but if they serve their purpose who cares if it's some off-brand stuff. It's quite entertaining watching people's reactions when we head down some narrow twisty, branches dragging on the sides of the camper, sometimes one of us behind the wheel and the other hanging out on the front bumper as a spotter, sliders moaning and groaning on tight turns... So what if things get all scratched up, there's a whole weekend of awesome waiting on the other end of the trail. Then the next weekend we'll just gang up on the thing and fix it up as needed in no time flat - rattle cans for the bumpers and sliders and wheels, quick tape and spray job for camper and truck, a few $2 marker light lenses, maybe (on a real bad day) a $15/pair HF flood light - done and ready to play again. We've been called ghetto/redneck EarthRoamers, ah well maybe we are, but ya know, ain't no sense in letting the latest and greatest LED light bar eat up the money we'd otherwise dunk in the fuel tank and get out there. Cause, after all, fish don't care what brand of rod you use to catch it or how you start the fire you cook it on - but you can't catch it and cook it from your living room or garage :D

So take what you can and get out there! Bring family and friends too, if they wanna come. And if they don't wanna come, remember there's always duct tape :ylsmoke:


Lost in Space
Im leaving on my non-"overland expedition" in 12 days to the outer banks in my bone stock 03 expedition with a front cooler mount rack and roof rack I cobbled together out of superstrut and emt from HD. There will be 6 guys and 2 kids, all of our gear and multiple non-yetis. We will board a ferry and will not see a stitch of pavement while on the island.

Do I wish I had all sorts of speciality gear, absolutely....is that going to prevent me from getting out there and creating some amazing memories, absolutely not. :smiley_drive:
You had me at Expedition (owner). Pics?


This is my kind of thread lol. I used to use the old igloo cooler, well still do but I picked it up from the PX several years ago and its served us well. I had been lusting after a yeti though but could never swallow the price. So one day Costco had the Pelican cooler (65 quart I think) and I have to say I love it. My old Igloo is starting to fall apart from all the abuse but still gets grocery's back home cold.

The Pelican is a monster and I have to say I love it and it was worth the 200 bucks to me and the family. I like the lifetime warranty and I do have some brand loyalty to pelican after all the military stuff that worked great.

On the budget expo rigs!!!!!!!!! YES you guys have had me laughing all through this post! We are in the same boat, when you an enlisted guy you don't usually have tons of money to spare on fun stuff like exotic expo rigs. So we bought a used military k5 blazer off the auction and its real been a great camping rig. It gave us the ability to get our butts out a go places we couldn't get with our cars lol.

So I agree with buying what you can afford and fix it up best you can yourself and go fish, hunt, camp and explore as much as you can. Some of the best trips my wife and I have had was just driving miles down a deserted beach and skipping rocks for hours and playing in the water, surfing and breaking out the little propane weber grill for some hot dogs. Memories are worth more to us than having a 60k truck in the driveway (although they are cool).


This has to be my all time favorite thread.

Just got back from three days in my stock F350. I'm even running the stock hub caps.

Run what you got.



I just FREAKING LOVE this thread!!!!! Amen underdrive, Ivan, 406expo, and the rest of the crew posting here! If it's makin' memories (all that matters anyways) it's all good!!!!


My truck is lightly modified my tent is a Coleman, I have a old Coleman propane lamp, an old Coleman stove but I don't care I just have to get out there.

Recommended books for Overlanding


New member
You guys, this thread is awesome, keep the adventure rollin! I Went deep into the wilderness to enjoy some solitude and great Fly Fishing, the Gros Ventre Wilderness does not suck. 82 miles round trip from Jackson Hole, way down a dirt road is a lake stocked by the Forrest Service.



Expedition Leader
Cool looking pics there Alaska! I would be great to see more of your adventures... Cheers, Chilli...:wings:


New member
Finally a thread thats not for the rich guy's like ME! thou you would have all the great gear does't mean you use it, i use what i have nothing more nothing less
i dont need all the best brands i just need simple things that work great for what they are for, i have 2 big dogs and a wife to keep happy also a house to think about
i have a old mitsubishi pajero/monter on 35'' tires i use it for daily also and do everything myself i have built it for my standars.

All my camping gear is really old ! most of it is what i got from my father that we used since i was litle it still works, i take good care of my stuff, i often see guys with all the great stuff and everything new for most parts they never use it, buy stuff you need and will use, thats how i roll and i can often buy more expensive quality stuff from the savings of buying what i think i need and probly never need.

To be a overlander you need one litle thing ! get the **** out ! be happy with your family make memorys and stories to tell your friends, and a litle comonsense never killed anyboddy. Never forget things are as AWSOME as you want them to be.


New member
I love this idea! I wish people would post pics of there camping set up and how much it all costs! When I figure out how to post pics up here I will do just that! 3k on a diesel suburban and the rest is spent on gas!