DrivenDirt.com recently got a chance to interview The Overland Professor Joey Gutierrez on what is the best overland vehicle and so much more. Read on to find out what he had to share.
How long have you been into overlanding, off-roading and expeditions?
I’ve owned trucks my whole life, but things changed when I purchased my Gen 1 (2014) Ford Raptor. After that, rolling through the dirt and over obstacles started to become a passion. At that point, I simply looked for local spots to take the truck off-road to discover what it could do. In 2017, I traded in my Gen 1 for a Gen 2 Ford Raptor. The Gen 2 was quicker, lighter, and had a few more creature comforts, relative to my Gen 1. This 2017 version of the Raptor is when I started to build a vehicle that was more geared toward overlanding.
I was able to get that 2017 Raptor built to the point where living off-grid for a week was totally doable. I managed to make several trips with that particular setup. However, it soon became apparent to me that the Raptor was the wrong platform for the way I go off-grid. There is nothing like an empty Ford Raptor, however, my Raptor was always weighted down with the components of my overland build.
In 2020, Ford introduced the Tremor package on their F-250 Super Duty lineup. THAT was the perfect rig for how I like to go off-grid.
What has been your favorite trip location or destination?
My trucks only seem to drive west. I spend most of my time in NM, AZ, UT, CO, WY, ID, and MT. Two of my favorite camp spots are Bolam Pass and Alstrom Point.
What do you think is the perfect vehicle to start with as the base for an overland rig?
I think that the first question you have to ask yourself is what do you enjoy more, wheeling or overlanding. If you want to take the most challenging line, then something like a Jeep Rubicon or Ford Bronco is probably your best platform. However, if you are okay with not taking the most challenging line, but instead want all of your camping and cooking gear with you, without worrying about payload, then a full-size truck (heavy duty truck) will have the capability, as well as payload.
What do you consider to be the top three modifications or add-ons to a vehicle for overlanding, which you cannot live without or you do first?
Recovery gear is my first choice. You can hit the trails in just about any vehicle, however, being able to get yourself out of trouble is paramount. I would recommend, at the very least, a set of Maxtrax, a pair of soft shackles, a dynamic rope, and a HiLift Jack.
Tires is my second choice. A set of all-terrain or mud-terrain tires go a long way. With the right set of tires, adventure seekers would be surprised how capable any vehicle can be.
Comfortable sleeping quarters is my third choice. With the right shelter, you won’t worry about not being able to get to your desired destination. If you need to, you can make camp just about anywhere.
Do you prefer gasoline/petrol or diesel powered vehicles for overlanding and why?
I don’t have strong feelings about this issue. Personally, I run a gas-powered HD truck. Ford offers the Tremor in diesel, but I went with their 7.3L gasoline engine. I would, however, argue that gasoline is probably easier to come by while you are out on adventure. You are more likely to run across a fellow adventure seeker with a few gallons of gas, as opposed to diesel.
Do you prefer a pickup truck type overland vehicle or a closed SUV type vehicle?
As stated earlier, for me, it is all about creature comforts while on the trail, as well as comfort while on the road. The F-250 payload, coupled with Ford’s SuperCrew cab allow for the overlanding experience that I value most.
Do you prefer fixed drawer systems for packing and storage in an overland vehicle, or rather removable and stackable bags or containers?
I run a system that is both fixed and removable. The Decked drawer system allows for some pieces of recovery and camping gear to always remain onboard, while my five Roam Adventure Co (105 liter) boxes allow me to group other essentials into a weatherproof container, and include as necessary. The Roam Adventure Co boxes have a height that perfectly fits between the top of the decked system and the bottom of my clamshell tent and support rack. I normally dedicate a Roam box for each of the following…kitchen & cookware, clothing, dog gear, and dry goods.
Do you prefer soft storage like bags and pouches or hard storage like chests, trunks and boxes?
Weatherproof hard storage. Definitely. Roam Adventure Co 105 Liter storage.
Do you prefer a flip open type tent, or popup type?
I am on my second tent, and I absolutely prefer a hardtop clamshell tent, especially when running on a pickup truck. The clamshell only requires securing on a single side, normally on the tailgate side, which makes packing up quite simple.
What is your go-to recipe for a meal on an overland trip if you do not want to think too hard about what to make to eat?
Beef fajita, green and orange peppers on flour tortillas…prepared on my Tembo Tusk skottle.
Do you prefer flood-type lighting to cover everywhere close to you, or long distance throw type lighting so you can see a mile or more ahead?
Lights are the main thing that I have not added to my rig. I solely run the standard factory LED headlights and fogs. Beyond that, there is nothing additive on my F-250. However, that is likely the next modification.
Do you prefer to rather have some extra stuff you don’t use but might need during an overland trip or rather as little as possible and make do with what is there and rather stay minimal or light?
With the payload of an F-250, I absolutely subscribe to the notion that I would rather have it and not need it, as opposed to need it and not have it.
Do you pack any vehicle spares for overland trips, and if so, what are they?
I carry some miscellaneous nuts, bolts, and washers that correspond to some common Ford suspension components. Beyond that, I carry an ARB tire repair kit, along with a full-size spare tire.
What do you consider essential parts of your recovery gear?
I run a 12k lb. Warn winch, along with a Factor55 UltraHook. Beyond that, I carry Factor55 soft shackles, D-rings, tree saver, kinetic rope, HitchiLink 2.5, and rope rentention pulley.
What is in your bug out bag?
My bug out bag is the 5.11 Rush24 (version 2.0). That bag itself carries the following…
- Firearm (Springfield Armory Hellcat or Shadow Systems MR 920 Elite)
- Olight Warrior Mini
- Sypderco Para 3
- Gerber Strongarm
- GoalZero Sherpa 100
- Mechanix M-Pact gloves
- FirstAid Kit
- Hand Wipes & Sanitizer
- SOG Multitool
- Pen, Market & Paper
- Water/Electricity/Gas Tool