‘Major Campers’ of Overland Expo West 2023 are Highlighted
Check out what Overland Explorer Vehicles, Four Wheel Campers, Alaskan Campers, Lance Camper, Scout Campers, Skinny Guy Campers, and Hellwig Products presented at the premier overland event of the year – Overland Expo West 2023. And truck campers were everywhere, writes Michel Smith for a report published by Truck Camper Adventure, an online magazine devoted to truck campers.
Ten years after we last attended Overland Expo West, we hardly recognized the event. Fort Tuthill Country Park was enormous; magnitudes bigger than 2013’s Mormon Lake location. The manufacturer and vendor count was easily double or even triple what we experienced a decade ago, as were the camping areas and attendees.
As a result, much of the intimate feel of past Overland Expo West events was lost. In its place was more of everything, presented with a level of polish and sophistication that wouldn’t be out of place at SEMA. Overland Expo West, as the saying goes, has grown up.
We arrived the Thursday before the show opened and, after a somewhat comedic series of misdirections, were escorted to a large wooded camping area. There amongst a myriad of extreme Jeeps, Toyotas, vans, tent trailers, and tents we parked our twenty-four-foot hard side non-slide truck camper rig.
In our decidedly non-overland camper, I felt a bit like the kid who forgot it was Halloween. We camp off-road and off-grid, but our camper doesn’t look overland.
Anyone got a Rotopax or shovel I can borrow? Maybe a Molle rack?
Lance Travel Trail-Blazer
The Lance Camper booth was showcasing a 2023 Lance 960 and their all-new Enduro off-road trailer. As the Publisher of Truck Camper Magazine, I am well aware that writing about a travel trailer is asking to have not-exactly-fresh tomatoes thrown in my general direction. Please hold your vegetables as I unveil a future path for Lance truck campers in travel trailer form.
The Lance 960 featured the sofa option rather than the two swivel chairs. Having recently experienced the Lance 960 with the swivel chairs (in-depth review forthcoming), the sofa option is more versatile. Specifically, it has more seating area, two tables, and is at least as comfortable. My bet is that the sofa will be the more popular 960 configuration in short order.
The star of the Lance Camper booth – as much as it pains me to write it – was the new Enduro 1200K trailer. Not only did the Enduro present Lance’s take on the overland aesthetic and utility, but it featured Lance’s latest approach to construction. Gary Conley, Director of Sales and Marketing, explained that the Enduro represents the next generation of wood-free LanceLock, aluminum and composite construction to achieve lighter weight and higher strength. When I asked if the Enduro also represented a future direction for Lance truck camper construction, he nodded.
In an act of sheer bravery, Angela and I both checked out the Enduro in public at the Expo. Beyond the advances in weight-saving construction, the Enduro featured a number of details we haven’t seen on a Lance Camper before; LED flood lights on all four corners, a portable Truma refrigerator, smart TV with portable JBL Bluetooth speaker, and bamboo tables and countertops. The Enduro is still a Lance, but there’s no mistaking the new direction.
Given the new model announcement patterns of the industry, we would not be surprised to see a Lance Enduro-esque truck camper at the Elkhart Open House this fall. Our fingers are crossed.