Overland Expo West 2018

Overland Expo West 2018

If you are into adventure travel, vehicle based camping or exploring the farthest reaches of this little blue planet, then Overland Expo is a must attend event. Each May, tens of thousands of people converge on the humble community of Flagstaff, Arizona for the sole purpose of checking out the latest and greatest overland gear, vehicles and theories on how to successfully explore by vehicle or motorcycle. This event was founded in 2009 and has already outgrown one venue, and by the looks of things is set to outgrow its current venue if the trend continues. With the current state of worldwide communications, many people can live their whole life without ever going outside; this has sparked a whole new group of people who wish to explore the outdoors in style and comfort. Overland Expo is the place to be if you want to learn how to do just that.

During the course of the event, you can sit in on many classes and learn basic off-road skills or insanely detailed recovery techniques from the likes of Camel Trophy competitors (If you don’t know what the Camel Trophy is, do yourself a favor and burn some hours on google and YouTube, it will change the way you think about off-roading).

Winching basics

Advanced rigging to move moto across river or wash out

The education portion of this event is worth the cost of admission; you will be getting first-hand information geared toward your specific direction from some of the most experienced travelers on the planet.

When you arrive at the event, you will probably have to wait in line, so plan to arrive early, really early. The best way to do this event on the cheap is to volunteer. To be a volunteer you will have a 4 hour shift for 2 of the 3 days and it gets priority “close to the venue” camping. This is the direction some of those in our party decided to go. We were just along for the ride, and a cool ride it was…

Here were our accomodations for the weekend. A 1991 M923A2 converted to a go anywhere RV

We could go on and on about all of the awesome things to do and see at this event, but we feel it best to break it into a few categories and drop some photos on you. We will start out with the camping systems. There are 3 basic ways to camp when on the fly, the traditional; ground tent (sometimes attached to the vehicle, sometimes not), the roof top tents (gaining massive amounts of popularity these days), and the baller status route, the full on camper or Expedition RV (basically a motorhome you can drive anywhere).

We will start with the ground camping systems, we snagged some shots of the coolest set-ups we could find, enjoy…

The quickest set-up tent on the market from Front runner, just unzip it, and literally throw it in the air, it lands like this…

These crazy “moon pods”, not sure who makes them, but there sure were a ton of them at this event

The traditional safari type tent.

The attached-to-the-vehicle tent.

We then went on the hunt for the coolest roof top camping solutions and came up with some awesome vehicles/trailers to share with you.

On the Falken JK with traditional RTT

The hard shell RTT

The RTT with the annex changing room below

There were so many awesome tent trailer solutions on display as well

The next group we had a look at was the campers, some of these are available off the shelf at a local camper dealer, others were custom grafted on the back of good 4×4 platforms…

Finally we have the ultimate way to travel, the expedition RV. These vehicles are basically luxury motorhomes built into custom habitat boxes, then mounted to the back of some exotic 4×4 or 6×6 vehicles….

This is an LMTV (M1078) with a small travel trailer grafted on the rear of it

Sprinter Vans, definitely the theme of this years event, this was the coolest build out here

This rig is from Acela Truck company,(A refurbished M1083 MTV) basically buy this rig and outfit the box to your liking

Here is a military radio box truck (M1079) retrofitted for travel it belongs to “Adventure Driven”, check them out on all social channels

And then one of the gems of the show, an LMTV (M1078) with a Bliss mobil habitat, can you say over 500K!?!?!

Just google Global Expedition Vehicles…

Just a few interior shots for ya…

We were stoked to see many of Axial’s partners on site showing the Overland community the best of what they have to offer.

Method Race Wheels

s-POD wiring soultions brought their new JL

Icon Vehicle Dynamics


Falken Tire

Rigid Industries

BFGoodrich Tires

The 2 wheel (sometimes 3) crowd is very well represented here, check out some of the cool bikes we saw

How about a very rare 2wd Rokon?

Or this super cool 2wd electric UBCO bike?

And then there are the really cool and rare Ural sidecar motorcycles

I’ll take the camo version please…

Finally, last but certainly not least, some of the coolest adventure vehicle builds we could find. It will be awesome when the scale community starts building some replicas of these awesome vehicles..

Super rare forward control Land Rover

Extended body Jeep JK with pop top roof tent

Just pure yes please!!!

Ok, 1 more Yes Please!!! Where have you been all our lives?

Because we are on the Toyota tip at the moment, check out this perfectly restored FJ..

This Couch Offroad Mog was beautiful

So much want right here, this Jeep is set up for some hardcore wheeling too!

Super clean Land Rover 110′s

Who doesn’t want a Steyr Puch Haflinger?

And finally we get to the “Shut Up and Take My Money” Rig……

This Ram was so on point…. Axial needs a new shop truck :)

This show is one of those that needs to be on everyone’s list of must attend events. There is so much history, knowledge and inspiration to be found here, it is very worth the effort to get there. You will leave exhausted, depleted of drool, broke as a joke but inspired to get out there an live. Safe travels my Axial friends!

For more information on this event, please visit the Overland Expo website.

2009 Annual RCX Show – Coverage 330+ Pics!


Crawl Try Me Mountain!
Sponsored by Axial Racing and RCP Tracks.

RC rock crawling is back at RCX! RCP Tracks is building a brand new display that stretches over 40 foot long and includes some amazing competition and scale rock crawling features. A new addition to this years rock crawling course is YOU the public get to drive on the course.  Axial Racing will be providing all the vehicles to give you the opportunity to test drive some of the best RC rock crawling trucks in the market on the all new RCX “Crawl Try Me” track.

The annual 2009 Radio Control Expo will be held at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA April 18th-19th.

2009 RCX Show Coverage
Words: staff Photos: staff
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Over several months of planning, it all came down to 2 days that consisted of 330+ images and several hours of HD video footage (not available yet, but we hope that we put it to use very soon). Until then, enjoy the pics.

The Saturday morning line at RCX

The Saturday morning line at RCX

Better than watching RC crawling is to actually "try it"

Better than watching RC crawling is to actually "try it"

One of the major attractions of the Axial RCX booth was the extremely well done and highly detailed “try me” track. This track was designed and fabricated by none other than John Billig of RCP Tracks.

Paul and the not so big Vanessa

Pauls “puppy dog” like eyes only gets this big when somebody has their eye’s on his pizza.  His left-hand woman Vanessa reassured him of his pizza’s safety.  Everything worked out, and nobody was harmed although we can’t say the same for that ill-fated pizza.

Brandon C's SCX10 on the "try me" course

Brandon C's SCX10 on the "try me" course

Ashley Sarto in the Axial 1:1 Rock Crawler

Ashley Sarto in the Axial 1:1 Rock Crawler

Some of you might recognize Ashley Sarto (www.myspace.com/ashleysarto) because she’s actually the 2009 Hankook tire spokesmodel.  She’s also been featured in Import Tuner, DSport, Super Street, and several other very popular magazines.  Be sure to check her out!

Jake Hallenbecks Axial rigs. His 1:1 and RC rig.

Jake Hallenbecks Axial rigs. His 1:1 and RC rig.

Jake Hallenbek’s rig, was also one of the main attractions of the Axial Booth. You can read more about this in our other blog posts “Jake Hallenbeck’s Full-Sized Axial Rock Crawler” or the “King of the Hammers” blog posts.

RCP Tracks

RCP Tracks

This was just one of the many tracks at RCX this year – This one gave me motion sickness, but besides that, it was really fun to watch. It kind of reminded me of my experience with that (FPS) First Person Shooter “Descent” and “Doom.” I kept wanting to watch or play, but damn the nausea. For the record, I have no problem with either Call of Duty 4 or 5.

Slot car track

Slot car track

Rescue was needed because this boat started to take on water.

Rescue was needed because this boat started to take on water.

While watching this boat getting plucked out from the water because it was taking on water, RC CarActions Brandon Wilcox almost couldn’t resist the temptation to follow the guy into the water to cool down.

Tank battalion out in front of RCX

Tank battalion out front of RCX. Definitely one of my favorite exhibits each year

RCX had a ton of product for sale

RCX had a ton of product for sale

Hobbytown, Corona, CA had a TON of product on-hand for sale.  If you’re still looking for something, be sure  to check them out at 351 Magnolia Ave #101, Corona, CA 92879 (951-272-4020).  Be sure to tell them that you saw them on Axial’s website.  Also for a Hobbytown in your area, be sure to check out HobbyTown.com

Xtreme RC

Xtreme RC Magazine

Here we have Derek B. (right-side) who was doing his seated push-ups to maintain his toned upper body.  Be sure to pick-up a copy of Xtreme RC or RC heli (I lost 8lbs reading it).

Proline Booth

Pro-line definitely does Rock Crawlers

Kal-gard was in attendance with their line of lubricants

Kal-Gard was in attendance with their line of lubricants

I think Kal-Gard has found some new found love from the RC market because it looks as though their full range of lubricants has some extremely useful applications in the RC market (stay tuned for more info in an upcoming blog).

This love shouldn’t be a surprise or mistaken as a quick fling.  They’ve become the lubricant of choice for MX, ATV, and a fast growing company for the entire off-road community.  Kal-Gard has 20+ years of heritage with motorcycles and the aerospace industry, and has become a technology leader within these markets.  I’m sure they’ll do the same with RC.  It’s only a matter time.

Travis "T-bone" S. and Ashley Sarto

Travis "T-bone" S. and Ashley Sarto

Any of you living in SoCal and you’re involved with off-roading in the IE should definitely check out Dirt Alliances events.  They have several events a year that range from their Dirt Tour to the M4SX “side X side” racing series…. oh, and not to mention all those hot chica’s that come out to the event.

Dirt Alliance's HD video "From the Dirt". Find it at dirtalliance.com and No Fear stores

Dirt Alliance's HD video "From the Dirt".

Find it at “No Fear” stores (www.nofear.com)

RC Drifting

RC Drifting

I have a friend who’s written a book on drifting and is a hardcore drifting enthusiast who’s contributed countless editorial on drifting, but the both of us had a hard time with RC drifting. Much like the 1:1 stuff, it definitely takes some amazing talent and skill to do what these guys do.  I think I’ll just stick to watching.

Squadron of planes

Squadron of planes

Further down, they had several of Lockheed Martins “Area 51″ planes, the SR-71  Blackbird and F-117.  I was surprised to see an RC version of the F-117 Nighthawk because it requires a lot of avionics to keep the real plane in the sky.

The planes and helicopters were located in the 2nd building

The planes and helicopters were located in the 2nd building

The scale (it was huge) and level of detail in this Sikorsky biplane was IMPRESSIVE!!! I’m taking a guess that this is a Sikorsky S-35 from the 1920′s??

the Aftermath

the Aftermath

Ashley’s lunch consisted of a vanilla ice cream cone and some crinkle cut fries.

All in all, an amazing show! Visit Axialracing.com for more updates from other shows.