Frequently Asked Questions
Expedition Overland began out of desperation and a need for adventure. Co-founder, Clay Croft, had traveled to Uganda for a volunteer film project in January of 2010, and upon return, he learned that six months of expected film work was canceled due to the recession.
Clay and Rachelle were expecting their third son in a few months and had recently traded in their Subaru for a used Toyota Land Cruiser. As he was sitting in the garage one night, trying to figure out how to pay the bills, Clay looked at the 2001 Tacoma and 2000 Land Cruiser and thought, “What if we started a show about overlanding?”
As the head of a small production company for the previous six years, Clay knew he had the experience and gear. He called up his close friends and asked if they would take a trip with him. He would cover the costs. If you know Clay’s friends, then you won’t be surprised that they were ready and willing.
Clay and Rachelle decided to call their project “Expedition Overland.”
If we define the word “expedition” (Merriam Webster Dictionary), it’s described as 1. a journey or excursion undertaken for a specific purpose; 2. the group of persons making such a journey. It was decided that filming our journey would be the specific purpose and so began Expedition Overland!
Check out the first episode and see for yourself where it all started.
We have so many ideas and places we want to go! What we can tell you is that it all begins with a passion of somewhere or something we as a team, want to go and do. Then, logistics, film permits, schedules, and budgets are considered to see if we can make it a reality, or if we need to tweak the plan. You just never know where we may end up next!
Since the beginning of Expedition Overland nine years ago, our mission has been to provide you, our fans, with top-quality, free content for as long as we can. In order to do this, we need funding from partners that believe in our vision of travel and creativity. Every product you see on our show is chosen because we use it, believe in it, and trust it to work for us when we need it the most.
We know that we are not the average “weekend warrior” and that requires us to have exceptional equipment that will not fail or let us down. With 6–8 people per trip, 12–18-hour film and travel days, we demand a lot from our equipment so this approach works for us. But this doesn’t mean everyone needs the same equipment we use. Our mission is to inspire you to get out there and take on an adventure that fits your needs and budget. The XO community on social media is a great place to share ideas and get feedback on any equipment you’re considering. In addition to our trip content, we also invite you to subscribe to our newsletter and tune-in every Wednesday for a live stream with the team helpful tips! We encourage you to connect with other overlanders and swap ideas!
We are honored you want to help and be a part of our team! At this time, we do not have any openings for new team members. When we do hire new members, they are for a very specific purpose and come with many hours of travel time to make sure we are a good fit for them. If we have openings, we will reach out on social media or our channel to let you know!
Since we are a reality-based show, reality happens in our daily lives. Toby and his wife felt they needed to pursue their own careers in California and the Cahills felt it was time for them to be home more with their family. Jeff and Heather were married in the fall of 2018 and moved to begin their lives together. A lot of our team members will come and go through the years as people move, change careers, have kids, etc. It’s all a natural and necessary part of life!
We love them both for different reasons! Ultimately, it depends on if you are using either platform as your daily driver. Whichever vehicle you want to use 90-95% of the time is a good place to start.
All footage is shot on Canon, Sony, DJI, GoPro and Garmin Virb’s (as of early 2019).
That would be great, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s not something we are able to provide at this time. We do share much of what we use in our videos so that’s a great place to start picking up some pointers. You can check out our vehicle builds here for help.
As you know, in order to provide you with great content, we partner with sponsors which allows us to show you the most current equipment innovations. This often means the vehicles and gear we use are new but this hasn’t always been the case. We can certainly appreciate that most overlanders don’t have the option to purchase a new vehicle and that’s great. Our goal is to provide helpful tips, guidelines, and education so you can choose the vehicle and equipment that’s right for how you overland and your budget. That said, we do have a soft spot for older vehicles, and we look forward to tackling more of those types of builds in the future!
We view our overall collection of vehicles and think about which models would add value (variety and strength) to the fleet. When possible, we try to include vehicles that our viewers request and want to see. Other times, we build our dream rigs that we have always wanted! The sky is the limit here at XO and we try our best to reach for our dreams!
Many tips can be learned from our video series like In the Shop, Oh Hey There, and Overlander. We understand that many of you are looking for even more detailed, personalized guidance and this is something we would love to offer. The details are in the works for how we can best serve you there…stay tuned! In the meantime, you can check out our vehicle build page for equipment lists and our own build experiences.
We love to off-road and we often do in our personal time.
Typically, our adventures are on tight production schedules and each location requires film permits, so that leaves us slightly more limited. We also practice dedicated vehicle sympathy—since the reliability of our vehicles is imperative to our business, we take great efforts to keep them safe and sound. Our emphasis is on the adventure in the outdoors, however, it takes shape! There are other great channels out there with more off-road content and we encourage you to check them out.
We think this excerpt from Overland Journal sums up our approach to overlanding pretty accurately:
Overlanding describes self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. Typically, but not exclusively, accommodated by mechanized off-highway capable transport (from bicycles to trucks) where the principal form of lodging is camping; often lasting for extended lengths of time (months to years) and often spanning international boundaries. While expedition is defined as a journey with a purpose, overlanding sees the journey as the purpose.
Overlanding is about exploration, rather than conquering obstacles. While the roads and trails we travel might be rough or technically challenging, they are the means to an end, not the goal itself. The goal is to see and learn about our world, whether on a weekend trip 100 miles from home or a 10,000-mile expedition across another continent. The vehicle and equipment can be simple or extravagant—they, too, are simply means to an end. History, wildlife, culture, scenery, self-sufficiency—these are the rewards of overlanding.
Though it may look that way, the vehicles we use are certainly not free. We have a lot of fun here at Expedition Overland, but the truth is that in order to bring you lots of quality content, our venture must operate as a business. The team at XO puts in countless hours of meetings, proposals, and relationship-building with our amazing media partners. All of our partners trust us with their products and vehicles but these relationships did not come to be without lots of dedication, persistence, and hard work—we are so grateful for these valuable relationships and they are taken very seriously by every member of our team.
We love the support! And as great as it would be to meet up with fellow adventurers along the way, due to liability, family, and the need to complete a trip and gather the footage we need, we are unable to meet up with fans on the road. Thanks for your understanding and if we happen upon one-another, please say “hi!”
Again, we love the support! However, we have full-time staff who are busy and unfortunately, we’re not able to stop for tours, questions, or meetups at this time. We do travel to many live events around the nation: Overland Expo West, Northwest Overland Rally, SEMA, Dark Horse Car Show, Overland Expo East—stay tuned on our social media outlets for the events we have coming up. We would love to meet you at one of these opportunities!
Overlanding is a very personal journey so where you begin and where you go is entirely up to you! However, a good rule of thumb (as with anything new) is to start small. Go on a weekend trip with friends or family and get your feet wet as you find what drives your passion to adventure and explore. From there, you build as you go. Just like XO, we started small with our local, shorter trips, and basic gear, progressing from there as we built up experience. If you need tips or ideas, check out our early episodes in the North American Series—these episodes illustrate the very beginnings of our adventures. Have fun out there!
An estimated cost for the build on Rufio, 2015 4Runner, is roughly $30,000. But a build can range anywhere from $20-$100K. Keep in mind that labor is typically the most costly piece. If you have the time and knowledge there are ways to save money by doing some (or all) of the build yourself.
The X Hangar (Expedition Overland’s headquarters) is truly a remarkable and inspiring place to spend our days. Clay’s vision for the X Hangar building design was brought to life by Battle Ridge Builders of Belgrade, Montana.
An overlanding vehicle can be any make, model, age, or color—as long as it can safely and reliably get you where you need to go and back. (Or, you may just have an exciting time problem-solving breakdowns.) We primarily use Toyotas because we have been enthusiasts from a young age and they haven’t let us down yet. Toyota has also believed in our vision to explore the world and we are grateful to have partnered with them for a few of our trips. Nothing against other makes—we will continue to build what we are excited about!
Very thoughtful of you! And we love free product just as much as the next guy. However, adding more to our already demanding filming and production schedule isn’t feasible. As you might imagine, if we tried to fit in every request, we would never stop filming! You are more than welcome to send us product but we are not able to guarantee we will use the product on the show. Please contact us for more information.