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4x4tographer

May 20-22, 2022 | Overland Expo West | Flagstaff, AZ

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@Large_Marge and I thought about going to the expo but in the end decided not to, prices of gas, parking and admission and then the crowds made it hard to want to go.  Instead we went fishing, and what an epic fishing day it was!  We drove up to Horsethief Basin Lake (7 miles south southeast of Crown King) and fished for about 4.5 hours, the whole family was there along with a friend of the twins.  Collectively we caught 8 bluegill and 4 bass, there were 2 times we had fish on but lost them before getting them to shore and 1 that buried itself in the weeds along the shoreline which resulted in a broken line as I attempted to pull it out.  Afterwards we drove into Crown King and had lunch at MJ's Cafe which was very good! 😎

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Highly recommend the cafe for a calm atmosphere, and great food in Crown King! We say go for the shrimp tacos, they were a stand out item!! This little lake/pond/reservoir was so neat for the family! Nice little offshoot next to CK. Scenic, great fishing, and can’t beat the weather with a high of 71!!!!

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13 hours ago, Trail Toy said:

@Large_Marge and I thought about going to the expo but in the end decided not to, prices of gas, parking and admission and then the crowds made it hard to want to go.  Instead we went fishing, and what an epic fishing day it was!  We drove up to Horsethief Basin Lake (7 miles south southeast of Crown King) and fished for about 4.5 hours, the whole family was there along with a friend of the twins.  Collectively we caught 8 bluegill and 4 bass, there were 2 times we had fish on but lost them before getting them to shore and 1 that buried itself in the weeds along the shoreline which resulted in a broken line as I attempted to pull it out.  Afterwards we drove into Crown King and had lunch at MJ's Cafe which was very good! 😎

We camped at Horsethief Basin campground many years ago after the annual AZVJC Crown King run. What a neat campground; built by the CCC back in the day. Each site had a shelter for a tent which I had never seen before. I always wondered if it survived the many fires that have ripped through the area.

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2 hours ago, dzJeepChic said:

We camped at Horsethief Basin campground many years ago after the annual AZVJC Crown King run. What a neat campground; built by the CCC back in the day. Each site had a shelter for a tent which I had never seen before. I always wondered if it survived the many fires that have ripped through the area.

 

We're thinking that next time maybe we'll go up early on a Fri. or Sat. and fish, then camp overnight and fish again the next day before heading home.  It's very nice up there, so peaceful (until people show up in the late morning, lol) and beautiful. 😎

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Posted (edited)

Awesome time up at the Overland Expo. Been trying to get up there for it every year since we moved to AZ and never got a shot until this year. We took the RV and found a spot at the local KOA, which was surprisingly nicer than we thought it'd be. You're packed in like sardines, but the park was very nice and clean, with plenty of things to keep the kids entertained (huge bouncy area, large playground, and a forested "discovery area".

 

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Our site was right at the northernmost edge of the park, right at the base of Mount Elden. :) 

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The event itself was, in a word, awesome. Sooooooooooooo many things to look at. Rigs of all shapes and sizes, gear of all flavors. It was pretty impressive. 

 

We also ran into @lofreqjeff and Mrs. lofreqjeff, which was an awesome surprise!

 

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I was really happy with the way they organized the layout of the event, with "similar styles" of overloading grouped up for easy perusal by interest. For example, there was a dedicated motorcycle area, a van life area, some "alternative" vehicles (like Subarus), "Toyotaland", and then the more typical Jeep vs Bronco stuff. There was also the biggest marketplace of offroad parts that probably exists on the planet! Mecca for those in this hobby, for sure.

 

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LOVED this decked-out Delica. Took me back to our time living in Japan where these things were all over the place on the road. 

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Got to see the EGOE NEST in person for the first time. It's an impressive and well-built system. Pretty much "Ikea for Overlanding", they sell a wide range of parts you can use to customize your own trunk box / sleeping platform however you want. Fits a huge range of vehicles.

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Trailsoffroad.com was there as well, repping the brand. I had the opportunity to stop and talk with Wade for about 10-15 minutes. Wade has written a huge number of the trail reviews here in Arizona. They had a nice booth and tech demo area, and this nice JL with an Ursa Minor camper conversion.

 

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All the major brands were out. Eibach, Toyo, Rigid, KC, 4WP, Bilstein, Factor 55, ICON, Magnaflow and more.

 

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This Gladiator had a very clever "dog bed drop seat". It allows you to have a full-width dog bed in the rear that easily flips up revealing more storage underneath. 

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A cool Subaru with rock sliders. Here's their IG page.

 

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Loved the black-out camouflage wrap on this Chevy

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THIS was by far one of the coolest things I've seen, Similar to the Ursa Minor conversion for the Jeep JL and JK - American Safari has an XL version. Basically they provide you with an all new top with tent, but they also extend your bed by 15" to give you expanded interior room. It was unbelievably cool, even though it kills your departure angles. But it's still better than a Gladiator's tail end. It was a cool $20,000 for the conversion though - so you've have to be pretty serious about keeping your JK/JL. Frankly, I'd rather buy a Gladiator and get a camper bed cap cover by Alu-cab.

 

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Note the clever use of space for drawers in the bumper on both sides.

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ALL of the YouTubers were there. X Overland, TrailRecon.... all of them. Overland X by far had the most impressive presence. They had their entire motor pool of vehicles there, including their all new Tundra.

 

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Sweet Lexus in the KC booth.AM-JKLWRzc9EwGVcF9Ru_Lh-GjPY80Dpp6tgyQ6W

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This is Brad from Trailrecon's new Bronco. He was floating around with a big crowd.

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Awesome JL at the AEV booth.

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Pretty sweet van conversion.

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Nice lounge area on top of this way too expensive rig.

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Rivian had a few rigs there you could test drive on an obstacle course.

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Loved these clever camp set ups from Snowflake, based out of Japan.

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The versatility was amazing. Super modular and very well thought out. Check out this quick video to see it in action:

 

 

We even caught a Sasquatch hanging around the OME booth!

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TRED CRED had a nice booth with beautiful patches and decals for a huge number of major trails in a ton a states and countries.

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Nice Merc conversion.

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And another

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Loved this wrap on this Lexus.

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UP TOP had a really nice rack system on display I've never seen before.

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Some tail light conversions that I've been eye-balling. Was nice to seem them in person.

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After a hard day of walking around in the sun, @Yodamom broke out the Flamingo cozies and some refreshments!

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All in all - it was an awesome experience. I'll definitely try to go again in the future.

 

Edited by 4x4tographer
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STELLAR report Ryan - thanks for documenting so much of it for those of us that didn't want to brave the crowds!

did you buy anything? i know some of those "show specials" are pretty hard to pass up...

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6 minutes ago, theksmith said:

STELLAR report Ryan - thanks for documenting so much of it for those of us that didn't want to brave the crowds!

did you buy anything? i know some of those "show specials" are pretty hard to pass up...


“The Dave Ramsey” was strong with me on Saturday. I didn’t spend a dime!

 

We were “this close” to buying a collapsible steel fire ring by Fire Binder that folded up into a 10x8x3” package. Super slick, but the 2ft diameter and $200 cost was tough to justify.

 

I was also in love with the camp tables by Snow Peak. Super clever.

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1 minute ago, 4x4tographer said:


“The Dave Ramsey” was strong with me on Saturday. I didn’t spend a dime!

 

We were “this close” to buying a collapsible steel fire ring by Fire Binder that folded up into a 10x8x3” package. Super slick, but the 2ft diameter and $200 cost was tough to justify.

 

I was also in love with the camp tables by Snow Peak. Super clever.

 

you'd have to take out a second mortgage to afford anything made by Snow Peak beyond their titanium spork!

 

 

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3 minutes ago, theksmith said:

 

you'd have to take out a second mortgage to afford anything made by Snow Peak beyond their titanium spork!

 

 

 

Ain't that the truth! Loads of sweet stuff there. Got my wheels turning for sure. There was one great idea after another.

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Excellent report Ryan @4x4tographer thanks for sharing with us. All those camper vans they are so cool! I've always been curious about the Flag KOA, seems like a great location.  Thank you for wearing ORP swag to represent the club. 🧡

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