Overland Expo East ’23 – Reader’s Rides

drive the globe 1994 steward & stevenson M1079 army truck overland camper vehicle conversion

Overland Expo sets aside part of their show grounds for personal vehicles, and it draws some incredible builds and vehicles that’ve been there, done that. Here are some of the highlights from Overland Expo East 2023!

Up top is a 1994 Stewart & Stevenson M1079 that was converted from an Army communications truck into an overland adventure vehicle. Like many of these military truck conversions, it gets about 8-10mpg with a Caterpillar turbo diesel and Allison transmission. This one carries a 2021 KTM 390 Adventure bike in the back. Full conversion and build details are at DriveTheGlobe.com.

western ranger army truck conversion into overland camper

The “Western Ranger” was converted from a M1086 Stewart & Stevenson and has a unique dual slide-out that creates a small patio in between. A full size leads onto it, creating a nice one-person retreat. It’s build and mod list gives you a good idea of how much goes into these rigs:

build and vehicle specs for western ranger army overland camper
Click any image to enlarge.

Check it out in action and being built on their YouTube channel.

overlander project converted military truck overland rig

This rig comes from North Carolina’s Overlander Project, a group that hosts multi-day social overland trips throughout the state, plus the ladies-only Artemis Rally and Rally Academy. Very cool stuff, check it out at OverlanderProject.com.

Tortuga Overland

This 6×6 rig is called Tortuga, and all I’ve got on it is the owners’ Instagram @tortuga6x6ovl, which is private. Unfortunately, “tortuga” is a somewhat popular term for these things, so I didn’t have any luck finding more info.

nomad ventures 360 overland truck

This rig belongs to @nomadventures360 and is a Stewart & Stevenson M1078 with an M1079 shell on the rear converted to their habitat. Then they added dual gas tanks (225 gallons total!!!) and a 110 gallon fresh water tank. If you ever wanted to learn how to weld and fabricate, go back in time on their Insta for inspiration…they did a LOT of the work on this themselves!

OAT Overland Adventure Truck full size camper back conversion

Overland Adventure Trucks started with full custom expedition builds but has recently branched out to make truck bed insert and flat bed campers for full size pickup trucks. The shells are available empty or fully equipped. This one’s built on a RAM 5500 and belongs to @retiredatlarge.

This former ambulance has been fully converted with a big 4WD lift, follow them at @1badambo to see the build story and interior.

overland vw touareg custom SUV from forge motorsports overland

Technically this one’s a promo vehicle from Forge Motorsports Overland, an online retailer specializing in equipment for Volkswagens. If you wanna get your VW built for more adventurous off-road driving, this Touareg shows what’s possible.

sully the defender

Sully the Defender is a completely overbuilt 1984 Land Rover Defender 110, and the owner is a Bullet Liner ambassador, so the entire outer surface, including the front bumper, is coated in that brand’s hardshell coating.

Ineos Grenadier overland SUV at overland expo east 2023

The Ineos Grenadier was showing off BF Goodrich tires but otherwise stock, and it was my first chance to sit inside one. The cockpit feels like a fighter jet, with accessory switches everywhere just waiting for you to add things to use them.

bark eater overland trailer kitchen with jeep

This Conquerer UEV 390 camper trailer belongs to @bark_eater_overland. It has a rooftop tent with fully enclosed vestibule off the passenger side…

bark eater overland trailer kitchen with jeep

…and a complete kitchen setup on the driver’s side. A full-coverage awning provides a place to cook no matter what the weather’s doing. They pull it with a 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, and they say it’s the first of these South African trailers to be imported into the US.

venture unknown land cruiser

This triple-locked 80’s Land Cruiser (aka Bruiser the Land Cruiser) belongs to the team at Venture Unknown, a group out of South Carolina that promotes land stewardship while also leading group events throughout the southeast as well as vehicle recovery workshops.

About Tyler 74 Articles
I'm a serial traveller and road trip lover who's crisscrossed the US so many times I've lost count. I've owned cars, SUVs, wagons, vans and a 37' class A toy hauler RV, and I've customized them all! I love the open road and getting off the beaten path to find new adventures, mainly traveling with Kristi and the kids to explore the world on our own two feet (and, usually, two to four wheels)!