November '19

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 136

NOVEMBER 2019 THE SHOP 17 not have a set course in mind, nor be in a hurry to get anywhere anytime soon. Their vehicles usually have limited modifications and vastly different attributes, opting for reliability and comfort over speed or rock- crawling capabilities. While some off-road vehicles are built purely for show, overland rigs are mainly functional with far less emphasis on aesthetics. Unless you're dealing with a 2500 or 3500 HD truck with a camper, you're probably not going to be selling 40-inch tires or wheels over 20 inches in diameter on a vehicle built for adventure travel. Compare that with sky-high lift kits and a full undercarriage that has been painted, powder-coated and plated, and it's obvious which is which. Geography may also play a part, as so- called mall crawlers and/or bro-dozers are more prevalent in urban areas and states such as Florida and Texas. (Of course, there are over-the-top show trucks in areas all across the country.) Meanwhile, aside from maybe a rack with a rooftop tent, recovery devices, cargo- hauling systems and auxiliary fuel and water containers, most overland vehicles are not all that much different in appear- ance than an everyday driver, which many of them still are. Overlanding is not racing, while off-roading can be. Overlanders may admire rally racers and find it to be the motorsport closest in prox- imity to adventure travel and their hearts, but, make no mistake, they aren't racers and don't pretend to be. Off-road racing has evolved to become one of the most competitive, and expensive, motorsports in the world. Justin Matney, the co-owner of RPM Offroad in Bristol, Tennessee, is a championship-winning off- road racer, who said a few years ago that the price of a Trophy Truck—the top of the off-road racing food chain—exceeded $1 million. An equivalent amount would fill the ORLG F-ROADG Understanding the nuances of the newest 4x4 trend. Story & photos by Jason R. Sakurai VS. This Land Rover Defender epitomizes overlanders, in stark contrast to off-roaders. W ith the explosive growth in adventure travel—often called Overlanding— there are any number of off-road shops that are no doubt contemplating getting into this market segment. You may be wondering, however, what you need to do to either rebrand your shop as overlanding-friendly, and/or to add it as an adjunct to what you are currently offering. Having observed shops that are doing adventure travel right, it seems like an opportune time to highlight the main differences between off-roading and over- landing, and provide an overview of what's needed to be successful. There is a fundamental difference in how off-roaders and overlanders perceive travel. In off-roading, there is generally a destina- tion and a desire to get where you want to go utilizing off-road vehicles that have been modified for performance and endurance as the focus. Overlanders, on the other hand, may

Articles in this issue

view archives of THE SHOP - November '19