This article was produced in partnership with Dometic
Rather than count sheep to drift off to sleep, we like to imagine our ultimate overlanding rig floating over undulating terrain: Toyota 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler. One by one, cool, capable off-road SUVs go by…lest we forget the humble pickup.
Pickup trucks have long been the workhorse of choice for tradesmen, contractors, ranchers, and farmers. They also make an incredibly reliable base when constructing your own badass backcountry rig.
Why Pickups Are the Superior Overlanding Vehicle
Though the tried-and-true, four-door SUV gets all the off-road attention, there are many advantages to making a pickup your chariot of choice. Cost is a big one.
Getting into a used pickup that meets your initial needs is going to be much cheaper than starting off with a popular, low-miles SUV in good condition—potentially $20K in savings.
Another great perk is the versatility of having a separate cab and bed. If you get a truck with a crew cab—or even one that’s extended—you’ll have lots of interior space for keeping you and your climate-sensitive stuff at the right temperature, depending on the region and season. Plus, you’ll have the advantage and utility of the bed for tossing in wet, dirty, and/or bulky gear; adding on a protective topper; or bolting down a slide-in camper.
Another often-overlooked benefit of choosing a pickup for your off-the-grid adventures is the powertrain—engine, transmission, differential, etc.—is usually more powerful and has a highly rated payload and towing capacity compared to SUVs, which means you can carry more gear and tow a bigger trailer. All that extra power translates to better fuel economy if you end up hauling a heavy trailer.
Cool Overlanding Gear to Pack in a Pickup
All these perks provide their own bevy of benefits. Take cost savings, for example. The lower bar to entry is going to allow you to spend more money on the inevitable gear, gadgets, and tools you’ll need to make your overlanding trips safe, fun, and unforgettable. That alone should be enough to prompt you to seriously ponder a pickup.