Episode 81- #TBT Beau from Living Overland

A lot has happened since our interview with Beau was originally shared.  Since the interview was originally published over two years ago, Beau and his wife have led many cooking demonstrations at Overland Expo, he’s had his photography published in numerous journals and publications, and he has led a back roads trip across the entire state of Idaho via dirt roads!  Beau’s passion for overlanding, travel, fishing, cooking, and photography is infectious.  I’ve enjoyed having him on the show more than once and look forward to him coming back again.  Send him a message on Facebook and encourage him to come back on the show for another great discussion.

To stream the audio for the show, you can click on the play button right here!

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Order HD Helmet HERO at GoPro.com

On this episode of the podcast we talk with Beau about his recent trip to New Zealand and everything involved in planning a trip like this. Beau is a fantastic photographer and an avid back country gourmet and fly fisherman. For more about all his overland adventures be sure to check out livingoverland.com, Living Overland on Facebook, or @LivingOverland on Twitter.

Links from the show:

Direct Download

Final Ford Ranger rolling off the production line

Jeep releases another trim package – Nautic

Jeep also announces a new a new color for the Mountain edition

Tinman Tailgate puts the tools you need within easy reach

Compact Long Travel Shocks from Metal Cloak

Electric Class for the 2012 Baja 1000

ElectricAutoSport.com confirms the rumor

Guiness Book record for largest Jeep parade

Campa South

Living Overland’s Interactive Travel Map

Overland Expo

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Episode 80 – Set Them Free Offroad, AGAIN!

Way back on episode 35, I did an interview with Gianni of Set Them Free Offroad. Set Them Free Offroad was organized to help raise awareness of human trafficking and ultimately execute mission trips to stop this crime.  In 2013, the first annual event was held and was a huge success.  Set Them Free Offroad actually raised enough money to fund a rescue mission which resulted in pulling a few girls out of their situation and the arrest of those perpetuating the crime!  I was so excited to hear this news because it’s not that often that you can get clear and tangible outcomes when you simply donate to a cause.

Set Them Free Offroad

Gianni and his wife have worked extremely hard since last year and this year’s event is sure to lead to even more success.  This year the event will take place over two days instead of one.  They will be covering some of the best 4×4 trails that Colorado has to offer including:  Tincup Pass, Mount Antero, Hancock Pass, Iron Chest and Grizzly Lake, Chinaman Gulch, Holy Cross, and Carnage Canyon.

Set Them Free Offroad 2014 takes place on 27-29 June in Buena Vista Colorado.  You can easily register right here.


Friday June 27th
12:00 Sponsor & Volunteer Lunch – Courtesy of STF

3:00 Registration & Vendor Village open
7:00 Dinner available for purchase
8:00 Door prizes

9:00 Concert – Band info coming shortly

Saturday June 28th

7:00 Breakfast – Courtesy of STF, V
endor Village open

9:00 Vehicle group staging, ready to depart for trails
9:15 Depart for trails
4:00 Return to base camp, Vendor Village open
7:00 Catered Dinner – Courtesy of Set Them Free
7:30 Door prizes and raffle grand prize drawing

Sunday June 29th

7:00 Breakfast available for purchase, Vendor Village open
9:00 Vehicle group staging, ready to depart for trails
9:15 Depart for trails
3:00 Return to base camp
4:00 Check-out

STFO prices


From the Set Them Free offroad website:  “Set Them Free, Inc. is a non-profit fund-raising organization created for the purpose of funding the rescue and rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking. Our mission is simply, “Set the victims of human trafficking free.” We exist with the goal of ending human trafficking globally. Our purpose is to raise money for those rescuing and rehabilitating the victims of human trafficking as well changing culture and laws around the world.”

This episode of The 4×4 Podcast is brought to you by Blue Ridge Overland Gear.


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Episode 79 – #TBT Clay Croft from Expedition Overland

On this #ThrowbackThursday episode of The 4×4 Podcast we are re-sharing the interview with Clay Croft from Expedition Overland.  The full episode was originally published in episode 12 back on March 7, 2012.  Since that time Expedition Overland has wrapped up season one and two of the web series.  In season two, the Expedition Overland (also known as XO) crew traveled all the way the Alaska Highway and had many adventures and misadventures along the way.  The team has expanded from the original group of guys and they also included a couple of the ladies.  Its been great to follow along with Clay and the team and I’m excited to see what season three has in store.

On this episode of the podcast we talk about new fuel economy standards, an electric offroader taking to the Dakar Rally, King of the Hammers and the Every Man Challenge. We wrap up the news section with a slew of Jeep news. In the interview section we interview Clay Croft from xoverland.com

Links from the show:

Direct Download

By 2025 Fuel Economy is must be 54.5 MPG!

Electric Offroader Prepares for the mountains of South America

King of the Hammers has just wrapped up and a new king has been crowned

Also, the 1st Every Man Challenge

Jeep Comitted to a Jeep Pickup Truck

Jeep Wrangler will only be built in the US

Jeep Wrangler awarded for best resale value for the 2nd consecutive year

Jeep finally bringing a diesel back to the US in 2013, in a Grand Cherokee

Jeep Beer in China

Expedition Portal


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Episode 78 – Andrew from Truck Yeah on Jalopnik

I recently had the chance to chat with Andrew Collins from Truck Yeah, which is a sub-site of Jalopnik.  We frequently pull news stories from Jalopnik for the podcast. Jalopnik is a site that is all about everything transportation that encourages discussion among the readers. No matter if you’re into plans, trains, cars, military rigs, or trucks, Jalopnik always has something new to check out.


In our discussion we talk about a very wide range of truck stuff and I pick Andrew’s brain on what he thinks about the upcoming aluminum Ford F-150 and the Raptor.

At the top of the show I mention that GoPro is offering a special Father’s Day deal.  But a GoPro Hero3 + in the Silver or Black version and you’ll get a 32 gb microSD memory card for free!  Thats a great deal!  Just use the promotion code FREE32 when you order and you’ll get the deal.  Use the link below to get there and you’ll also be supporting The 4×4 Podcast!

And thanks to everyone that has been sending in their feedback and what they are doing and where they are at when listening!  Keep the feedback coming!

This episode is sponsored by Blue Ridge Overland Gear.

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Episode 77 – #TBT XJ Talk Show Interview with Dan

About two years ago I had the pleasure of being a guest on the XJ Talk show.  Eventually I’ll get Tony over on The 4×4 Podcast but for now, I’m sharing the interview from way back then.  The XJ Talk Show is all about the Jeep Cherokee, no not the 2014 Cherokee.  The hosts Tony and Josh are very knowledgable and fun to listen to.  The podcast was designed as a companion to the XJ Talk forum where members can share their own builds, get tech advice/help from other members and generally have a great time with each other.  They have a great policy of courtesy between all the members.  Other than friendly ribbing between friends that know each other, there is no worry of someone getting flamed for asking a question.  There has been many times I’ve gotten some insight and help from the tech experts on the forum.


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Episode 76 – Exploring Elements XP Camper #EEXP

I managed to catch up with Bryon Dorr from Exploring Elements to talk about his experience at the 2014 Overland Expo and his new vehicle.  The previous time that Bryon was on the show was right after the Vermont Overland Trophy and he mentioned that he was going to be moving out of his Sportsmobile van and into something new but didn’t say what the next vehicle would be.  Overland Expo was the big reveal of the new truck.  I had been following his progress through the Exploring Elements Facebook page for the last few weeks but the last stages of the build took the EE crew right down to the wire before heading out for the Expo.

Bryon selected a 2001 Dodge Ram extended cab, short bed truck powered by the Cummins diesel and 4WD.  During our interview Bryon talks about why he selected this particular vehicle which could be something important to you as you look at selecting an offroad and adventure rig.  The other critical component to the EEXP is the prototype XPCamper box that has replaced the truck bed.

Bryon also does a great job of telling stories through pictures.  If you’re not following Exploring Elements on Instagram, then you’re missing out!

Check out Exploring Elements or the XPCamper for more info.


Exploring Elements on Facebook


XPCamper on Facebook


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Episode 75 – #TBT Central Overland

New Mexico

Way back on episode 46 we feature an interview with Wes Craiglow, the founder of Central Overland. Central Overland was started mostly by accident. Wes had the desire to go check out some of thousands of miles of trails in his Arkansas regional area. He put it out there on Expedition Portal that he was going to go check out some trails and asked if anyone wanted to join him. The result was five like-minded explorers. The next time Wes threw it out there resulted in 10; and then 20 and Central Overland has continued to grow from there. Wes didn’t even realize what he had discovered until he noticed that 80% of the adventure-seeking off roaders were from outside Arkansas.


Wes mentions in the interview, that people in attendance were mostly from Texas, Oklahoma and other surrounding states. Most states in the heartland of America is owned by someone. What makes Arkansas unique is the number of trails that are available in national forests. Wes and Dan also talk about what overlanding really means and Wes gives some recommendations on what a newbie can do if they would like to transition from someone who offroads and occasionally camps, to a true overland traveler. This topic is especially hot right now as the term “overland” is defined and the niche is carved out from the rest of the offroading and adventure travel world.

To hear the full episode including all the news segements, head over to episode 46 at http://the4x4podcast.com/46.


In the news segment we start off by introducing a new offroading publication that you might be interested in. OutdoorX4 is focused on providing the most engaging and unique content to appeal to the broadest range of outdoors enthusiast. It will be published bi-monthly and will present the latest in techniques and tools, product reviews that are relevant to all outdoor adventurers whether she is a hardcore rock crawler, seasoned adventure traveler or simply a guy that wants to take his kids fishing. Every issue will have appeal to a broad base of outdoor enthusiasts who want to escape to where they belong. You can even check out a digital sample version of OutdoorX4. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll be able to have the magazine creator on the show to talk more about this new publication. Till then you can like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Instagram.


When do you know that ovelanding has hit the mainstream? When Mini throws all the overlanding-type accessories at one of their doe-eyed-not-so-mini Mini Countryman. The Mini is touting a roof top tent (RTT) and a kitchen area in the back, similar to what you might find on the back side of a teardrop trailer. It also features a water tank with pump, a sink, solar power, 230 volt power and a fridge. It even has an on board shower! All in all, it’s a pretty good package but would you trust it to get you through the rough stuff in the back country? Article from Autoblog.

Overland Mini


It is now mid August and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee propaganda is just now ramping up and the first-drive articles are starting to show up. But Jeep CEO, Mike Manley, is really pushing Jeep vehicles into a new world in order to attract new buyers that might not normally be interested in Jeeps. Manley has told other automotive outlets that a subcompact Jeep is on its way – so think Ford Fiesta size Jeep. In my mind, the first thing that came up was a down-sized Wrangler a kin to the old Willys. Moments after that wonderful idea came to mind, I was struck with what this subcompact will more likely be; a smaller new Cherokee. This diminutive Jeep very well could look just like a Ford Fiesta. Article from Autoblog.

smaller jeep


The Detroit Free Press has compiled a list of the top 25 most patriotic brands. In a list that includes Budwiser, Ford, Marlboro, Harley-Davidson, Smith & Wesson, John Deere and other iconic American brands the king of the hill belongs to Jeep. That really should be no surprise since the entire brand is based around the Willys workhorse that helped bring freedom during WWII. This is a proud fact that is highly touted on the vehicles, product documentation and ads. They even offer special incentives to veterans and Jeep has teamed up most recently with the USO. Are you surprised by Jeep taking the number one slot or do you think it should belong to a different brand? Article from the Detroit Free Press.

If you’re like me, you go exploring to try and escape the headaches of civilization. We go out looking for nowhere seeking adventure because we all know that its usually the journey that excites more than the destination. But where is “nowhere?” Gizmodo shared a heatmap that shows where “nowhere” actually is located in relation to paved highways. Turns out, the middle of nowhere is in the Sawtooth Mountains.



If you’re going to be spending your life on the road full-time, then you want to be comfortable. Despite companies like Mini trying their best to get into the overland lifestyle niche, that category belongs to larger vehicles. Land Cruisers, Land Rovers and G-Wagons dominate the landscape of overland vehicles. But for those that wish to have enough living space to really spread out and still want to have the offroad-ablity needed to reach the far off adventure spaces, you’re far more limited. One of the automatic go-to choices though is the Unimog. The U500 Expedition Vehicle is a modern Unimog platform that is fully outfitted with a complete living space. This thing is a beast that will take you into the back country with enough gear to stay remote for a very long time and live comfortably. If you’ve got an extra $300,000 laying around and a wanderlust that can’t be quenched, maybe the U500 Expedition Vehicle is just the thing for you. Article from Unimog Shop.




EveryTrail is a global web2.0 platform for geo-tagged user-generated travel content that’s changing the way millions of people share travel experiences and plan trips. EveryTrail makes it easy to share travel experiences, through interactive maps that include photos plotted along your trip route.

EveryTrail is free and useful for a wide variety of trips – including road trips, sight seeing tours, sailing trips, hiking, cycling, flying, hang gliding, geocaching, skiing, kayaking trips and more. EveryTrail has trips from over 80 countries in all corners of the world. To download and try EveryTrail for yourself, download the app from here, or find it in your appstore.

One of the easiest desserts to make while out adventuring is Poor Boy Doughnuts – and they are cheap too! The other day I picked up supplies to make 40 doughnuts for less than $5.


  • Cheap biscuits in a tube
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • Powdered Sugar

Directions: Pour the oil into a sauce pan or skillet that is deep enough to cover at least half of the biscuit. Heat the oil till small bubbles begin to form in the oil. Poke a hole in the biscuit and ease it into the oil. Once it begins to brown, flip it over. Once both sides are browned to your desire, pull out t, he doughnut and cover with powdered sugar. Serve warm and enjoy!



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Episode 74 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Trucks

On this episode of the podcast, I talk specifically about the impact of the CAFE regulations on the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and what that means to guys wanting to get a Jeep truck.  I mentioned the possibility of a Jeep of Fiat pickup truck back on episode 72 but it struck a cord with many listeners so I wanted to go into this topic with a bit more detail. This weekend has also been the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ.  There has been a bunch of great pictures flooding my instagram feed from people who have been meeting other adventures, getting inspired, and well educated.  Be sure to do a search on Instagram for #ovex or #OX14 and I’m sure that you’ll discover lots of other cool pictures.

I didn’t go through the entire list of classes and demonstrations that were taking place this year because it would have only made me sad since I wasn’t attending.  But there were a few that really caught my attention because they were being led by friends of the show! Bryon Dorr from ExploringElements.com led a session on overlanding with a full size vehicle and got to show off his new rig.  His Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck has had the bed removed and replaced with a prototype unit from XP Campers.  Bryon’s rig looks amazing from the pictures that I’ve seen.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get Bryon back on the show to discuss this topic of using a full-size rig as the basis for adventure travel.

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Episode 73 – #TBT Interview with Blue Ridge Overland Gear

Use coupon code “4x4pod” at checkout for 10% off your order



Episode 49

In Episode 49 we interviewed Matt from Blue Ridge Overland Gear. We discussed the many Jeeps he has owned as well as his current Hemi powered Commander. We discussed the importance of organization in your trail or overland rig and some of the products Blue Ridge Overland offers to help keep your trail essentials organized when you are out exploring. Quick access to some equipment and tools is critical when you are miles from help. A few of the products we discussed were:

The Dutch Oven Bag Soft Safe

The Seat Panel




Photo from Car and Driver

Fiat Chrysler is at it again! According to Car and Driver, Fiat Chrysler, Jeep’s parent company, is in testing stages of development of a compact crossover vehicle purported to carry the Jeepster moniker. http://feedly.com/k/1f5UCpc

For those who may not be familiar with Jeep history, the Jeepster was an all terrain passenger vehicle originally produced by the Willys Overland Company from 1948 to 1950.  A crossover vehicle in its own right, the Jeepster was intended to bridge the gap between the utilitarian all terrain vehicle niche segment of post WWII America automotive market, and the more popular passenger car market.

Image from Wikipedia

So it stands to reason the Italian American Automobile Manufacturer would resurrect the Jeepster name to badge a vehicle that could help redefine the image of the Jeep brand.  The new Jeepster is being developed in Italy and is based on the Fiat 500 platform. It will come standard as a front wheel drive vehicle, with an all wheel drive option available.

The US version will be powered by a 1.4 liter inline four cyclinder gasoline engine. The European version will also be available with an optional 1.3 liter turbo diesel. The Jeepster is scheduled to hit the market in late 2014 as a 2015 model. Could this be a sign of the future direction of the Jeep Brand?


2014 Cherokee



Photo from Autoblog

As the pre-release reviews of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee continue to show up in your favorite off-road magazine and/or websites, we are beginning to get a clearer picture (to the chagrin of many die-hard Cherokee fans) of what the capabilities of the vehicle, carrying resurrected Cherokee nameplate, will be.

Gone is the solid front axle found under the XJ bodied Cherokee. The new era of the Cherokee bids farewell to the simple, utilitarian features of the earlier Cherokee’s that we all know and love.


In its place is a very refined vehicle that seems to impress many of those who have driven it so far. According to the folks over at AutoBlog.com, the new Cherokee, at a minimum, will provide stiff competition for the other vehicles in its class. Still, in the eyes of the dedicated XJ owner, the new Cherokee will most likely never live up to the reputation of its predecessors.


Ford SVT Raptor

 Ford appears to have scored a home run with its F150 SVT Raptor. Since its introduction, the Raptor has beat the odds with record sales in an era where high fuel prices and a weak economy have stymied demand for models with less than stellar mpg ratings. According to AutoBlog.com, the SVT Raptor has seen record sales in eight of the past ten months.   With a starting price of  $44,000 the Raptor may be proof that Americans are still willing to pay the premium for a vehicle design where performance and capability supersedes fuel efficiency and practicality.



Utah, Will Not Drive 55


The state of Utah has moved to raise the speed on some rural stretches of its roadways to 80mph. After preforming multi-year studies, The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) determined the higher speed limits would be safer by allowing more vehicles on the highway to travel at the same speed.



Offroad APPtitude

 Groundspeak Inc. offers a smart phone application for geocachers. Some of the apps features include:

・ Spontaneously find nearby geocaches

・ Plan a geocaching adventure

・ Log your finds

・ Navigate to geocaches with a map or compass view

・ View geocache details, photos and hints

・ Use advanced geocache search features

・ Sign in with an existing Geocaching account or create a new Geocaching      account

Read more about the app here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.groundspeak.geocaching

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Episode 72 – Extreme LandCruiser

On episode 72 I have something special for all you Toyota fans.  Ryan from Extreme LandCruiser joins me and schools me on everything Toyota Land Cruiser.  Extreme LandCruiser is a customization shop located in southern California.  Extreme Landcruiser specializes in customizing Toyota Landcruisers, 4×4′s, and Performance vehicles for use in all adverse conditions including: extreme offroading, rally racing, drag racing, snow, mud, and dune driving.


60 Series Toyota Land Cruiser - Image from ExtremeLandcruiser.com

60 Series Toyota Land Cruiser – Image from ExtremeLandcruiser.com


1989 HJ61V Toyota Land Cruiser

1989 HJ61V Toyota Land Cruiser – Image from ExtremeLandcruiser.com

In the news we talk about some Ford news.  You may not be familiar with the Ford Everest because it’s never been sold in the US but it is a global version of the Explorer that is actually meant to go offroad.  This version is a concept is a seven passenger SUV looks to be rolling on 33″ all-terrain tires and has a very slick exterior appearance.  It will probably never be available in the US but it is cool to see.  I’m not even convinced that any of the themes or components will ever show up in a North American Ford vehicle.  No details on the mechanicals but its worth guessing, right?!  Check out the full article at autoblog.com.

2015 Ford Everest Concept Beijing Motor Show

2015 Ford Everest Concept Beijing Motor Show – Image from AutoBlog.com

Back on show ## I told you everything I knew about the 2015 Ford F-150 but there was no new info about the next Ford Raptor. The next generation of the Ford Raptor has been spied though wearing a fair bit of cladding to disguise new bulges and lines that might give us a true indication of whats to come.  AutoBlog said that the next-gen Raptor will be skinned in aluminum, which is really no surprise.  The aluminum skin will cut significant weight which will surely make the current power plant feel more powerful.  With the big brawny Ford V8 engines being replaced by smaller EcoBoost V6s, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a turbo V6 motivating the new Raptor which will surely impact that overall driving experience.  Honestly, I’m kinda surprised that the body panels weren’t completely replaced with fiberglass which is even lighter than aluminum, but also not easily repairable.  Over the coming months, I’m sure we’ll see and hear more about the upcoming Raptor.  Be sure to head over the AutoBlog.com for a full gallery of the spy shots.

2015 Ford Raptor - Photo from autoblog.com

2015 Ford Raptor – Photo from autoblog.com

2015 Ford Raptor - photo from AutoBlog.com

2015 Ford Raptor – photo from AutoBlog.com


In previous shows, we’ve mentioned the likelihood of Jeep announcing the return off the Grand Wagoneer as a model larger than the Grand Cherokee.  On May 6,2014 Mike Manley, Jeep CEO, discussed the five year plan for Jeep.  Jeep is already Fiat Chrysler Automobiles most important brand and Manley wants to push to 1 million sales next year and then push to 1.9 million by 2018.  That extremely ambitious growth will only be possible by expanding more into global markets.  The Cherokee and upcoming Renegade will be built for the Chinese market in China.  Jeep also hopes to grow sales in the Latin America market but developing plants there for the Renegade.  Manley also announced plans to re-engineer the 2018 Wrangler.  The revision plans cover cutting weight, improving powertrain efficiency and aerdynamics.  To us diehard Jeep fans, that sounds a lot like ruining an American icon.  Replacing heavy steel body panels with aluminum has worked well for Ford so I expect to see the same in the Jeep design.  There has been a lot of discussion about moving to an independent front suspension (IFS) which has brought a lot of uneasy feelings from Wrangler fans for a wide range of reasons.  The Cherokee sports an IFS and independent rear suspension (IRS) which as rendered it “un-liftable” and basically killed all hopes of aftermarket support in the offroading segment.  If Jeep neuters the Wrangler with that same IFS/IRS curse, it will surely lose its top slot at SEMA as hottest SUV and get even more scorn than Jeep garnered by molesting the face of the Cherokee, KL.  I fully expect to see riots in the streets of Toledo, Ohio in front of the Jeep plant if these IFS/IRS Wranglers start to creep out of production and into the daylight.  Till then, lets hope the three row Grand Wagoneer is a better hit than that three row Commander and the Wrangler remains an easily modified, rugged offroading beast.  For more, check out the full report at autoweek.com.

Photo from blog.jeep.com

Photo from blog.jeep.com

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