Overland Expo is a caravan of companies producing everything one could need or want for overlanding. So what better what to showcase the kind of hardcore overlander possible by dipping into that parts caravan than to build just such an overlander? That’s what the Expo did in creating its second Ultimate Build, based on a 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X. Overland Expo said it chose the Sierra for the 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque because it wanted to “go bigger and more extreme” than its first build last year, which was based on a Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road. This Sierra trim was chosen over its AT4 sibling due to the extra dose of rugged, like the Multimatic spool dampers that provide about an inch more suspension travel front and rear, and the front and rear locking differentials. The Denali-like luxury isn’t a bad thing to have, either.
The only performance mods are a MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust, Firestone Ride-Rite air springs at the bag and 17-inch Icon Dynamics wheels on 33-inch 33 Firestone Destination Mud Terrains replacing the stock 18-inchers on Goodyear Wranglers.
Rig builder Mule Expedition Outfitters tapped more than 21 exhibitors for components, and spent “hundreds of hours” putting them all together seamlessly. The most eye-catching swap comes from the MITS Alloy three-foot canopy and tray that replaces the pickup bed. MITS is an Australian company, hailing from the land that also gives us overlanding powerhouses like ARB and Old Man Emu, and this is a popular outback-style rig. In addition to the storage areas on the sides and underneath, the canopy holds a Dometic refrigerator, Green Goat Outdoors camp kitchen and an eight-gallon water can that feeds a Geyser Systems shower. A solar panel on the roof routes power to a pair of lithium-ion batteries in the canopy as well, their output controlled by a Redarc RedVision Manager30.
There are plenty of Rigid lights for avoiding trouble, and a Forrest Tool Max Tool Kit plus GoTreads for when trouble inevitably appears anyway. The crew cab should hold plenty of gear, but anything else that needs to be stored outside will go in a set of 3D dry bags. The solar panel and bed rework preclude sleeping off the ground, so a storage back holds a two-person 23 Zero ground tent.
Having debuted at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona earlier this month, the pickup is now part of the caravan and will appear at the three further shows this year in Redmond, Ore., Loveland, Colo., and Arrington, Va. In between, the Sierra will also do what it was built to do, running trails such as McGrew Trail in Oregon, MaGruder Corridor in Idaho and Montana, and White Rim Road in Utah. At the end of the year, its final run will be to an auction page on Bring a Trailer. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Overland Expo Foundation charity that that works to preserve outdoor spaces.
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