SEMA Show Day 1 :: The Overland Experience Area

13 years ago, when Expedition Portal first displayed a vehicle at the SEMA show, there was only three purpose-built overland vehicles in attendance: The Turtle Expedition Ford, UJoint Offroad’s E350, and our 2004 Tacoma. Times have certainly changed and you cannot walk 10 feet without bumping into a roof tent or a snorkel. Even SEMA has fully embraced overland travel, working with the Overland Expo to create an entire “Overland Experience” area, complete with panel discussions and display vehicles. We are grateful for this development, as the discussions were moderated by Simon and Lisa Thomas from 2RidetheWorld.com, who are both world travelers with nearly 100 countries under their belt. Overlanding has overtaken both “rock crawling” and even general “four wheeling” in popularity, so it is encouraging to see the community rally behind quality products and experienced influencers to (help) keep the segment authentic.

The “Overland Experience” area took up a huge swath of the South Hall tent, and had good representation by quality companies like Lexus, Yakima, Autohome, and others.

There were multiple presentation panels that included Tom Hession-Herzog from Adventure Ready, and real-world travelers like Dan Grec (@theroadchoseme), and Nick Taylor from 7P International. They even let me on the stage for a few panels. 

Within the Overland Experience zone, there was a wide range of products, some classic, and others new to the segment.

This restored Scout brought big smiles, and I was impressed to see a 70 Series Land Cruiser serve as the backdrop to the panelists (nice work SEMA). 

Several trailer companies were also in attendance, all featuring a unique perspective and solution for a home on wheels. One that was new and unique is the AntiShanty, which takes the idea of a toy hauler to an entirely new level, including a lifting roof and room enough for an adventure motorcycle.

Hiker trailer and Off Grid Trailer were also present, and showcasing their newest models. In fact, Off Grid was displayed in several locations, and looked to be well received based on the steady flow of attendees crowded around them.

Toyotas were well-represented throughout the Overland Experience zone, including Dometic’s 4Runner, several Tacomas, and a few clean Land Cruisers.


This 80 series was particularly clean, with a unique green repaint, and period-correct color on the wheels. 


Maxxis tire also had a classic Cruiser on display. This vehicle was beautifully restored by Proffitt’s Resurrection Land Cruisers in Colorado

In addition to all the cool trucks, there was also numerous interesting products on display too. American Adventure Lab had several thoughtful products for the JL and JT, including a robust drop table, and a compressor/dual battery tray that stores in the rear cubby. For the JT Gladiator, they produced a bed mounted compressor system. All of their products look robust and well-finished. Nice to see a small company succeed in the space.

I also noted several new tents from Free Spirit Recreation , like this new hard shell hybrid tent and incorporates heavy duty extrusions into the structure for mounting awnings, lights, and trail tools. FSR is really innovating, which is nice to see in the overland crowded roof tent market.


The Adventure Ready 80 Series was shown prominently in the Overland area, complete with a James BaroudJames Baroud tent and awning. This Seattle-based shop is known for quality builds and excellent customer service.

And as expected, Sprinters were also everywhere, including one of our favorites from Iglhaut in Germany.


Nissan  continues to be present at overland events and bring factory concept vehicles built by Fluid Peak Collective

Even Lance Campers had a truck and slide-in on display. The market has certainly evolved from 13 years ago…

Look for more updates tomorrow as we explore the South Hall and document the newest overland products. Here is a teaser.

 

The Weego Portable Power JS12 is rated 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Weego Portable Power JS12
From $59.99 with Prime shipping

Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. He lives in Prescott, Arizona