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Nice of Shannon to add this section. But exactly 'what' makes a rig an expedition vehicle?

If we look at the definition of 'Expedition' (according to Mirriam-Webster)

Main Entry: ex·pe·di·tion
Pronunciation: \ˌek-spə-ˈdi-shən\
Function: noun
Date: 15th century
1 a: a journey or excursion undertaken for a specific purpose b: the group of persons making such a journey
2: efficient promptness : speed
3: a sending or setting forth
I'm sure we all can agree on 1a; a journey or excursion undertaken for a specific purpose for the purpose of this discussion...

A purpose-built expedition vehicle should have:

1. Ability to carry more fuel than originally delivered from the dealer. Auxiliary fuel, be it an extended range fuel tank or on-board external fuel cans.
2. Self-sufficient - i.e. carries the basic needs of the occupants (along with basic vehicle repair items)
3. Extended range communication equipment
4. ???

What say you?
 

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What about functioning as a recovery vehicle?
 

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:D "A purpose-built expedition vehicle should have:

1. Ability to carry more fuel than originally delivered from the dealer. Auxiliary fuel, be it an extended range fuel tank or on-board external fuel cans. CHECK
2. Self-sufficient - i.e. carries the basic needs of the occupants (along with basic vehicle repair items) CHECK
3. Extended range communication equipment CHECK
4. Pintle mounted M-240B and a metric butt-load of 7.62. CHECK"
 
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Good question ... and a kinda pet peeve of mine. I agree with you, that you have to think about being DAYS away from civilization, not hours... Today, it seems that "I'm building an expedition style vehicle" is like the cool thing to say, when what they mean is "I'm turning my DD into an all-around weekend warrior". People seem to want to avoid the negative connotation implied by having a "jack of all trades, master of none" rig.

I think on-board cans are just the bare minimum. To TRULY be an expedition rig IMHO, you need a bigger tank - 500 mile range at least - and you should be able to cover that non-stop in a day, because the point is to get somewhere.

Long story short, it takes more than an ARB bumper and a snorkel IMHO.
 

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Love that photo above ^^^^

What about functioning as a recovery vehicle?
Yes for it'self first.

To me a expedition vehicle also is capable to handle most environments and surfaces.
Able to protect the occupants from the elements.
Long range gas tank is also necessary. The current sub 300 we have on our Tacos is not enough.
 

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We've had this discussion on ExPo a few times, always interesting to see what people think.

IMHO "expedition" is in the mind-set of the owner, and describes a use, not a set of equipment.

If you can go days, weeks, months or years at a time, comfortably, living out of your vehicle, over whatever roads you've chosen, without looking/smelling like a caveman, have a good time, experience things, learn things, then chances are you've an "expedition" mindset.

Expedition vehicles have been 2WD 70s vans, dual sport motos, Subarus, Honda Elements, and plenty of Toyotas...

...and yeah, long range fuel tanks, water, food, a decent camp setup, self sufficiency and self recovery, and sustainability...

But a fridge, jerrycans, snorkel and all that crap doesn't make anything an expedition vehicle. Only the owner can do that.

As far as expedition tech...IMHO that's things like your camp kit, "house" stuff like a fridge, shower, water source & possibly heater, backup fuel that's more than a bunch of jerrycans, comms, nav...all the things beyond big tires, flexy suspension, snorkels and winches, all the stuff that keeps you comfortable and clean and extends your range beyond a simple weekend trip.

How many of you know how to use a compass and a topo map to navigate?

-Sean
 

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The simplest way to sum it up is time/distance between resupply. Which is largely terrain dependent. I'm not trying to make any excuses but African exped. vehicles can equip for as much as 1000 miles between stops while you suggest 500. All I'm saying is it varies. Someone in the Northeast won't have the dependence on on-board fuel like someone in the desert will.

Also comfort comes right down to personal preference. A lot of expedition minded people tend to lean in the direction of creature comforts simply because of the amount of time they spend living out of their vehicles but as Bloo graphically depicted, sometimes you don't have room for a RTT because your gunner has to stand there.

Basically my point is this thread is dangerously close to excluding people.

As ar as mindset goes it's spot on. Load up, roll out. Good bye civilization, see you in a week. Nothing beats waking up, starting a fire, unfolding the map, pointing to a mountain, and when you get there doing it all over again, meanwhile you don't see a sign anyone has been there in the last 100 years. Perfect.
 

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Definately has to be set up to go out for several days and hunderds of miles without having issues of not seeing a gas station or a mechanic.
 

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Sweet...an expedition forum. I'm a little disappointed at the guys who have a snorkel and seem to be calling there junk expedition worthy though. But I guess you have to start some where. I think there will be a lot we can all learn in here even if we don't intend to be out traveling for weeks at a time.
 

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yes, any expedition vehicle should be able to carry its quoted occupants, as well as recovery gear, but the most important thing is redundancy in the most critical parts; drivetrain.

When I started building my 4Runner, I was all about the expedition stuff, then rock-crawling started to creep into my veins.

  • I setup the axles to be full-floaters, if one sections of an axle breaks, you're still gonna make it off the beaten path to a repair shop.
  • Spare tires and stuff to patch up the tires, plugs, patches, etc.
  • On-board air....yeah, it may be slower, but you have an infinite amount of air compared to a Co2 tank.
  • Place to store to 5 gallon cans of fuel
  • Hi-lift
  • Winch and Pull-pal for self recovery
  • Long range communication equipment
  • First-aid kit
  • super stout drive lines and spare u-joints
  • spare fluids, belts and plenty of tools.

These items will keep you going and get you to a shop if you need to, and will keep you going towards your destination.
 

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Quoted from the Disscussion on Pirate:

i would say that an expedition is all about the mindset of the traveller.:idea:

4 or 5 years ago, my wife and i rented a uhaul in kentucky:dustin:(to pick up inheirited furniture for the in-laws from a recently passed loved one) and drove to san diego. we took as many route 66 sections that we possibly could.

that was an expedition. we took our time, stopped for pictures and went into the unknown.

if you have an adventurer/explorer mindset, travel to places YOU haven't been before, and try to stay off highways and away from big citeis:zzz:, to see the REAL countryside...its an expedition

it could be in a honda, it could be on a bike, it could be in a 4x4, it could be on your own two feet. in reality, there aren't many places in the U.S. that can't be travelled to/through, on a single tank of gas, without seeing a gas station. Mexico and canada are different with their large expanses of open spaces, and feel to me more like the classic "expedition" due to the lack of people and abundance of open space.

People get discouraged out of there explorer spirit because someone on the internet has already been there and taken pictures. I also see a lot of, "well you took a week to explore old mining camps in the desert", "been there done that....its not an expedition".

thats bullshit. It's your life, if you haven't seen it with your own two eyes, by all means, go and definitely call it an expedition.

my opinion.

here's the short list. if your trip has most of these its probably an expedition.

1. travel to a place you haven't been before

2. few to no people around to bother you

3. roads are simple, remote, unimproved or non-existant

4. carrying your own fuel, water, food, medicine, shelter is required

5. you have the mindset to "take it all in" and explore a new place

6. Human teamwork is required to logistically get the trip done due to
obstacles such as terrain, health hazards, distances, remoteness, etc.


I asked for this section to help get advice/tech on setting up my tacoma to have the ability to camp and travel well. I plan on taking a month long trip out west to Moab and California. While thats not as hardcore as some with their vehicles setup like Mogs and travel all over Africa. Eventually I would like to go down to Baja and just drive the Baja 1000 route.

On expo portal you see a large variety of vehicles from suzuki sx4s to isuzu troopers and Mitsu Monteros. While those vehicles aftermarket are probably very limited, they get the job done for the owners just fine.
 

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I asked for this section to help get advice/tech on setting up my tacoma to have the ability to camp and travel well. I plan on taking a month long trip out west to Moab and California. ...... Eventually I would like to go down to Baja and just drive the Baja 1000 route......

I would suggest you take some spare half shafts with you. generally the rear end won't have issues, generally, but the front half-shafts are not very strong. Take some spare u-joints, fluids and recovery gear.....you should do great.
 

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Agree with Luni and White Mountain - it means different things to different folks with different means. Luni hits the nail on the head with: "As ar as mindset goes it's spot on. Load up, roll out. Good bye civilization, see you in a week. Nothing beats waking up, starting a fire, unfolding the map, pointing to a mountain, and when you get there doing it all over again, meanwhile you don't see a sign anyone has been there in the last 100 years. Perfect."

Am I detecting snorkel envy?:D I enjoy this and other forums for the talent and ingenuity applied to building off-road vehicles. We select what we can afford based on how we intend to use our trucks based on the information presented here and I'm happy to see we have a thread now that shares this talent and experience. Day, week, month, year - who flippin' cares as long as we get out there and wheel. But I draw the line at on-board hot water and showers, though; that's not right...:rolleyes:

No judgements. We all share a common goal to respect and enjoy the oudoors, its challenges, and our rigs. Man hugs all around....:eek:
 

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snorkel envy
:lmao::lmao::lmao::lmao::lmao:



...OBTW luni I don't think "expedition" type stuff is exclusionary...not at all...part of the fun is the people.

I guess it could be self-exclusionary, in that a guy with a tip to tail build might decide that he's never gonna camp, ever...but nobody ever says "you don't have a snorkel, you can't come with us!" :rofl:

When you're planning a trip and inviting your buddies, all you need to do is spec how much 4WD vs 2WD vs highway mileage between fillups, how many days water and food, type of terrain, day/night temperature, accessory activities like hiking, climbing, kayaking, mtb etc. and required gear, and people who don't currently meet those requirements will either find a way to make it work (incl working with you & others in the group to distribute loads), or opt out.

I've carried fuel for smaller vehicles, everyone shares carrying the poo bag, we carry group water sometimes too...

I still don't have an RTT. Might never. Gonna have a fridge tho...and until recently my "expedition build" was a few tie-down brackets in the bed, and a good secure lashing system for all the crap we carry around LOL.

-Sean
 

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I believe the truck should be built up to the point where you can cross terrain alone and avoid the nasty mud and of camber trails where your truck can be damaged. so more of a survival truck then anything else
 

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You know, when I first heard of the ExPo from a TTORA guy on a run and started lurking the forums my initial thought was something like "A lot of these guys are using the term 'expedition' pretty loosely -- seemingly including a weekend camping trip to a campground with electricity, running water, and a gas station or convenience store within sight."

My wife and I had spent months abroad in foreign countries after taking months to learn a passable imitation of the language engaged in vehicle-dependent travel, camping out, hiking, pursuing our interests in wildlife and nature photography in remote areas, not seeing another person for days, etc... and the whole time never even thinking the word "expedition" even remotely applied to us. I spent a month in the cloud forests of Honduras with PhD scientists on a National Geographic funded study of jeweled scarab beetles that included hacking our way through dense jungles with machetes, camping out, washing in the rivers and sampling specimens to bring back to the University of Zamorano outside Tegucigalpa for further study, scientific description, publication -- the whole nine yards... and I still feel like I'm cheating a little calling it an "expedition."

The word "expedition" still brings to mind the early scientific expeditions and images of Wallace struggling in the jungles of South America traveling downriver to places never before mapped or recorded by western scientists in a dugout canoe (which we've sort of done in areas previously mapped and visited in the Amazon in Ecuador and loved by the way, but still didn't consider it an expedition at the time) and battling the elements with little but grit and determination to drive him onward while cataloging, making detailed line drawings and taking painstaking measurements and notes while collecting museum quality taxidermied and curated specimens of never before recorded species of wildlife, insects, plants, etc. And the whole thing began with a boat ride that took months with no guarantees of life or liberty along the way. Wallace... THAT was an expedition, I thought.

But since then I've come to realize that these forums really do have room for the guys running 1,000 miles for weeks unsupported by land rover in Africa, just as much as the guy who wants to take his girlfriend to the mountains hiking on a Saturday afternoon. I've had to adjust my definition of "expedition", now that I've seen how forum users online are using the term. If new lands are not being mapped, new species not being recorded, etc. it seems to fall short in some way. But that's just because I came of age reading about Darwin's finches and his travels in the Beagle, etc. Obviously I needed to broaden my definition. Now, how broad to make it is still a gray area.

So I guess all those extended vacations and camping trips we've been doing for years sort of qualify as expeditions in terms of the forums. I still don't tell my biologist colleagues that we've been on an "expedition" when we come back from Ecuador or Mexico or wherever. It's just a trip when I talk to them. But here online, it's an expedition.

For the forums, a road trip across the country with some camping in the mountains, deserts, lakes or wherever, 4-wheeling, hiking, or whatever you're into... is an expedition. Right?
 

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to me personally i think it is a vehicle that can take you off the beaten path legally, take you to a place were you can get away from it all and have fun and a good adventure. Wether it be fire service roads to rolling across the artic or jungles of SA. But really unless the person behind the wheel has a since of adventure and motivation, an expo truck with all the bells and whistles wont do you any good.
 

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I think everybody needs to read Stealth4x4's post and remember it whenever somebody feels the need to exclude others as not being "expedition" worthy. Here is somebody who could truly be exclusive but still respects that there is room for others to join who may not be just like them. :2cents:
 
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