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5 of the Best Vehicles for Overlanding

Photo by Onfokus via iStock

Ask overlanding and off-roading enthusiasts what the best vehicles for overlanding are, and you’ll probably get a lot of the same answers.

Without scrolling down, you already know that the Toyota Tacoma is on the list. The Jeep Wrangler is there too.

But outside the common three or four rigs people like for overlanding, there might be some disagreement about what other vehicles make the list.

With that in mind, let’s get to my list of the best vehicles for overlanding so you can see how many you agree, or disagree with!

Best Vehicles for Overlanding: Toyota Landcruiser

Toyota Landcruiser

“Dale Pata!” by HttpCarlitox! is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There are plenty of reasons why the Landcruiser is the king of overlanding.

Older models are simple and overengineered. Newer models are more comfortable and powerful. But regardless of whether it’s an FJ60, a 200 series, or something in between, you get a rugged, highly capable rig with lots of room, various locking diff options, and a wealth of aftermarket accessories that can help you turn it into a Mad Max overlanding machine.

That’s not to mention the legendary Toyota reliability and its global reach, which makes finding parts a relative breeze regardless of where your overlanding adventure takes you.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep Wrangler

“2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara” by AlBargan is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Though some of you might prefer a traditional 2-door Wrangler for off-roading, when it comes to overlanding, the 4-door Unlimited is the better option because of the additional space it offers. Besides, having two extra doors makes it easier to get your gear in and out without having to dig through it all to find what you need. The added roof space is nice for carrying additional gear or having a rooftop tent, too.

Like the Landcruiser, the Wrangler has legendary reliability. The engine is simple, yet powerful enough. Its off-roading pedigree is unquestioned. And newer models offer better fuel economy for those long multi-week or multi-month overlanding trips.

Don’t forget the plethora of aftermarket accessories you can buy for these rigs, either! From push bars to side steps, big tires to roof racks, you can outfit a Wrangler in just about any way you please.

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Best Vehicles for Overlanding: Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma

“A Heavy Duty Truck Bed Cover On A Toyota Tacoma” by DiamondBack Truck Covers is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The second Toyota on our list is the ever-popular Tacoma.

For most overlanding enthusiasts, having a reliable rig is paramount, and just like the Landcruiser and Wrangler, the Tacoma is known for its long-term reliability.

Aftermarket accessories for the Tacoma are virtually endless, and with robust off-roading capabilities, you can take this rig on less-than-manicured roads and trails as your overland adventures take you way off the beaten path.

For many, having a truck bed for an overlanding trip is worth its weight in gold. You can add a topper for tons of covered storage space or go for a bed cover with a bed rack on top to carry your bike or to add a rooftop tent.

Ram 2500 Cummins

Ram 2500 Cummins

“Dodge Ram 2500 SLT TRX4 2011” by RL GNZLZ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Some of you might be scratching your head with this one, but hear me out…

When we think of great overlanding vehicles, we think of rigs that are capable, reliable, and offer the space that’s needed to haul tons of gear for an extended trip.

Well, the Ram 2500 Cummins certainly ticks all those boxes!

Having a full-size truck as your overlanding rig means you have all the more room for your stuff. You don’t have to worry as much about payload because a truck like this gives you all the payload you could possibly want.

Besides, with a Cummins, you can tow anything, so if your overlanding style includes having a trailer, this truck will pull it up Mount Everest. Well, maybe not, but you get the point.

Like the other vehicles on this list, the Ram 2500 has loads of customization options, including the ability to add a truck bed camper or to remove the bed altogether to build a custom living space. Add in the great fuel economy of a diesel and the option to get a manual transmission, and you have a rugged, highly capable option for your overlanding needs!

Best Vehicles for Overlanding: Ford Excursion

Ford Excursion

“Ford Excursion on the road in Iceland” by ChrisGoldNY is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

If we’re including a big diesel truck on the list, we might as well include two!

The Ford Excursion is perhaps the last vehicle you expected for this list. But when it comes down to it, the Excursion offers loads of benefits for overlanding.

Up front is the venerable 7.3-liter PowerStroke diesel, an engine that is widely regarded for its long-term reliability.

There are also solid axles in the front and the rear, a good payload, and about all the interior space you could possibly want.

Like the other vehicles on this list, the Excursion can be accessorized all day long with gear that will make it a more capable overlanding and off-roading rig.

Now, I will say that the transmission on these trucks is not the best in the world, and it is an absolutely monstrous vehicle. But those things aside, if you want a ton of space and a rig that can pull anything, the Excursion is not a bad choice!

What vehicles would you add to the list?

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