Southern Overlanding

We value our four-wheel-drive vehicles in and of themselves. They are reflections of who we are, what we value, and where we want to go.  Setting up a custom off roader is, as any enthusiast can tell you, a lot of work and a lot of fun, but it is what these vehicles allow you to do that really is their reason for existing in the first place. If you have a hobby that takes you outdoors, whether it is hunting, fishing, or just cruising around on a dirt trail on a nice Saturday afternoon, then a 4WD vehicle opens up the world for you. At SOR our motto is: “Dream.Build. Explore.” and few off road vehicles embody that philosophy better than a well-equipped overland vehicle.


With a 4X4 You are Almost There


If you have a 4WD, then with a little planning and a few accessories you can turn your stock mall crawler into a custom, go-anywhere, make-the-boondocks-your-home kind of rig that turns the world into your playground and any place you park into a campsite. We call this overlanding, and the vehicles that make it happen, overland rigs. Any 4X4 can be pressed into service as an overland vehicle with just a few extras, though some types lend themselves more to the role than others; a few vehicles have become nearly legendary for overland exploration.


Best of Both Worlds


One of the chief virtues of an overland vehicle is that it's like having an RV and a go-anywhere daily driver wrapped into one. This makes getting out into the backwoods easier, no matter what it is that 

brings you out there. Once you arrive at your destination you have, if not all the comforts of home, then at least enough to take the edge off of roughing it. In order to pull this off there are a few modifications that should be made to make your rig a more effective overlander.

Lift With a Purpose

An overland vehicle does not have to be set up the same way as a rock crawler or mud truck. In fact, very often these vehicles are lifted no more than is required to accommodate slightly larger, more aggressive tires under the wheel wells. As most overland trips begin with a stretch of highway, it's important to maintain as much of the stock driving characteristics as possible, so that running your rig down the highway does not feel like the wrong kind of adventure -- or wear you out before you begin.   


Spend Wisely


The point of an overland vehicle is to take you from point A to point B via the most scenic and remote paths -- places that few others have the chance to see. That means you are going to be depending on your vehicle. One of the most lonesome feelings in the world is to hop into your rig while you are deep in the wilderness, turn the key, and hear nothing but the wind and coyotes. Consequently, most people who set out to build an overland vehicle try to harden it, using their build budget by adding redundancy whenever possible and replacing critical factory parts with upgraded, high strength options. Carry a full complement of spares and fluids, food, shelter and water. Have a self recovery p

lan, along with the proper equipment and the knowledge of how to use it.


SOR sets up our overlanding customers with heavy-duty off road winch bumpers and powerful winches. We recommend that these winches be spooled with synthetic cable, which offers advantages for overlanding applications. Watch for more on this subject in an upcoming article on vehicle recovery.


More to Follow

 At Southern Off Road, we have seen an increase in the number of people interested in this aspect of our sport. As we speak, we have a number of vehicles on our racks getting set up to take their owners on overland adventures wherever their interests take them - from swamps to mountain ranges and everywhere in between. For overland vehicles, versatility is the key, with all-around capability being critical when it comes to being prepared for whatever the road throws at you.


Southern Off Road will be putting together a series of articles discussing overlanding in the Southeast -- from best practices and destination information, to write-ups on the latest equipment -- which you can follow in the SOR Newsletter as well as on Facebook and YouTube.


Let us know what you think are the key components and must-have upgrades that make a machine a true overlander, tell us your favorite vehicle for the job, and join the discussion as Southern Off Road plans the next Overland ride to depart our neck of the woods.


Dream. Build. Explore