Show Notes for Podcast Episode #60
Expo and Trek podcast with Bryon Dorr
Scott Brady and Matt Scott discuss Overland Expo West 2021 and Trek Adventure race with guest Bryon Dorr
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Full Transcription below:
Expo and Trek
Scott Brady: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Overland Journal Podcast. I'm your host Scott Brady, and I'm here with my co host Matt Scott.
Matt Scott: I am alive and well.
Scott Brady: Yes. And we are here with one of the most accomplished automotive journalists, global traveler, adventurer, and now victor of the Land Rover Trek challenge for 2021, Bryon Dorr, so thanks Brian for being on the podcast. For those that are listening, we are going to have a full featured podcast on Bryon and his life and his accomplishments that you're going to hear at a later date. But for today, we're going to focus on the Overland expo and then the Trek challenge that just happened. I was also fortunate to be able to participate in that event as well. But let's start off by kind of riffing on the Overland Expo. Matt, what was the thing that you were like, this felt really good about this expo.
Matt Scott: Overland Expo is an interesting one. We've all been going for a long time. My first Overland Expo was years ago. [00:01:00] You've been going even longer than that. I mean, you helped start the first one here in Prescott.
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Matt Scott: Overland Expo has changed as the industry has over the years. I mean, one of the things I've always struggled with in the Overland industry is I kind of got into it because I wanted to travel. Like traveling was the main goal. Vehicles were the tool that allowed it to happen, and I think this year it became really apparent that that industry [00:02:00] has definitely taken a backseat, it is more of a consumer show. You know, I do think that the Overland Expo team does still provide opportunities for training and that kind of stuff, which is admirable, but you know...
Scott Brady: They care about it.
Matt Scott: They care about it, but people are there to buy stuff. So that was really, really apparent to me.
Scott Brady: It's like it had fully jumped the shark this year.
Matt Scott: They had fully jumped this year to where I'm kinda like, you know, I'm not necessarily... I didn't even, Jonathan Hanson and I waved at each other like five times, and we didn't even... Like everybody that's kind of been around the industry is so busy that the community is maybe not there for the event.
Bryon Dorr: It was work this year and it was more of a consumer trade show now. So any of us that are in the industry it's work getting after it.
Scott Brady: It felt like it. I mean, we recorded seven podcasts. We recorded two full Overland expo daily videos. I mean, 20-minute video pieces. We had 14 people there. I mean, it was... like compared to the first Overland expo, which I kind of left from my garage [00:03:00] and drove 10 minutes to the fairgrounds here in Prescott.
Matt Scott: But there's 30,000 consumers that they're trying to give a show. That's their claim number.
Scott Brady: Yeah, they sold out on day passes
Matt Scott: That's what they told us during one of the podcasts we recorded and there's what, like maybe 50 kinds of old guard industry left that we're all... you know, the Equipped Party. I think it's cool that the Equipped Party is still going.
Scott Brady: I'm grateful for Paul and for that, yeah.
Matt Scott: There wasn't that much new stuff at the show this year, but I guess with the pandemic, it's so hard to get materials. It's so hard to piece things together that...
Bryon Dorr: It was about 16 ish new product. I went to every vendor, and I got a list and I'm building some content for a number of websites.
Scott Brady: Well, I'd love to hear what you thought, Bryon, of like the new products. One of them that stood out to me, which I'm not a huge fan of the brand name, but Skinny Guy Campers is a different approach, and it's not like it's a bad name. It's just like, like how do you scale that to a broad audience?
Matt Scott: What [00:04:00] if you're not a skinny guy?!
Scott Brady: Yeah, I mean, what happens if he sells it to somebody who's not a skinny guy? I don't know.
Bryon Dorr: The way it folds out in the cantilever part is rated up to 600 pounds. You don't have to be a skinny guy to enjoy the skinny Guy product.
Scott Brady: Yeah, and I love the fact that it's cab height. It's a very interesting concept. I'm not suggesting that it's something that I would, that would be first on my list, but I liked the fact that it was different,
Bryon Dorr: It's really cool, but the center of gravity is really high. The water, the batteries, everything are way higher than you'd normally have.
Matt Scott: The side entry is an interesting thing because I have one of those truck camper things. I have an AT Summit. By design you get into the tailgate.
Bryon Dorr: It's totally different. So just to get you guys out there that haven't seen this before, the Skinny Guy camper is a truck topper type camper, but it's an entire camper system, not just a topper.
Scott Brady: It's a whole module.
Bryon Dorr: It doesn't utilize the entire truck bed. You can still put a drawer system under it to access through the rear tailgate. The camper flips open to the back and cantilevers over the back so the entire [00:05:00] top is a tent. There's no hard top to it and you enter from the side and step into essentially like a basin that is a full camper. So dinette, sink, stove, all that.
Scott Brady: Toilet, shower, all of it. Crazy. Yeah. So I think it's actually, for some people, it is going to be a winner because you have a garage and you're right at your limits of height. Or if you go and you work downtown and you're parking in a parking garage, or if you travel in the Pacific Northwest on the trails and they're super tight or whatever, I liked the fact that it was different. It was kind of out of the box thinking, what did you find, Brian, that you thought was different out of the box thinking and maybe surprised you a little bit?
Bryon Dorr: Out of the box is tough. I don't know if there was anything that jumped out at me. The one thing... I think this industry, a lot of it is improving on what we already have. That's the thing. Right? So evolutionary or micro adjustments up, and somebody kind of takes another idea and goes with it. So the one that I saw that kind of stood out as kind of maybe a big leap, I haven't used it yet, so I don't want to make a judgment, but the iCamper disco [00:06:00] series. So it's just essentially, most of us know about the Skottle. You got to have one as an Overlander. You got to have a Skottle. It’s a fun communal cook system made basically from a plow disc. So it's not anything new. They've been doing this all over the world for years, but it's a commercialized product here in the US, well-made Jerry and the Tembo test crew are great people. They've got some cool new accessories for theirs this year on the table and stuff, but the iCamper disco series is essentially the same thing, but you can also use it like a normal stove with a pot. You can hang it over a fire, use the tripod to do cast iron cooking. It has a threaded insert on the top so you can use the tripod as a camera tripod. Pretty versatile piece of equipment for what... It's 500 bucks, so it's not cheap. I don't think it's gonna be very light either. I didn't get a chance to like carrying.
Scott Brady: I did carry the tripod, super light. The tripod is.
Bryon Dorr: It's pretty stout.
Scott Brady: And I think it's because of the dimensions of the legs, you know.
Bryon Dorr: Square and aluminum.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. The disc is fairly heavy. Each piece [00:07:00] goes in its own bag which I thought was kind of interesting. I think if you travel as a family or you're traveling in a group, it's probably a great choice. For me, you know, just to give me a single burner stove and it's just a great solution, but you can see why it would work really well in a group or with a family setting.
Bryon Dorr: Oh, another thing that I saw that was really cool was a Rubicon EP. I'm not familiar with their coming in the past, but I actually covered them before they made a hitch receiver that holds a rooftop tent vertically and then pivots it down behind the vehicle. So it's not on your roof. It hangs off the rear hitch of the vehicle and then sets up from that interesting concept.
Scott Brady: It's been around for a while.
Bryon Dorr: That has, yeah, but their new product is called the corral and it's a bike rack for five mountain bikes off the back on a tow hitch, not a new concept, totally been done by a million people, but there's this like really cool high-end intricate metalwork, all aluminum, powder coated. They had like orange brackets that were like, kind of three-dimensional with triangles cut out. Just really nothing touches the rack besides the tire. So you're not going to get any scratches [00:08:00] on your $13,000, downhill bike or whatever. But they're 1800 bucks a pricey bike rack.
Scott Brady: When you checked it, how about rattling? It seemed like it was pretty good...
Bryon Dorr: Really well, the mechanism that they have, it's got this camming mechanism with a latch that's really, really nice and I think, well thought out like that's where it wins probably is that mechanism for controlling the bikes. They're not swaying all over the place. So I think that's why you paid the money to buy that thing.
Scott Brady: The other thing I saw that I really liked, I did see it at Mountain West in Colorado is the new Domestic water system. I thought that was pretty clever.
Matt Scott: I know the guy that designed it
Bryon Dorr:Owen killed it.
Scott Brady: Yeah, and I did an interview with him. Really thoughtful engineer, and he really spent a lot of time trying to figure out how people need to interact with water? And it comes in at 11 liters. You can kind of overfill it a little bit, slightly higher than that. A big fill port that can also be a cleaning port so you can actually fit a hand down in there and clean out the inside. And then they've got this magnetic mount, [00:09:00] basically faucet, so for the scout camper that I use they set it up with a lifesaver jerry can on its side and it just leaks. Like I've used lifesavers a bunch and I've never had them leak cause I always have them standing up, but on its side, it leaks.
Matt Scott: It leaks out of the pressure thing.
Scott Brady: Yeah, mine kind of somehow leaks out of everywhere, which they don't do when they're standing up. So that 's an important distinction. But I think that this Dometic system where you can just have all these little 11 liter now, maybe three or four of them that you carry along on a trip, depending on the length, maybe a few more. I thought it was really clever. I mean, what did you think of that Bryon?
Bryon Dorr: Functionality of that is cool. Like that's one of the only products for my four-wheel vehicle that I saw at the show that I was like, I could use that. That would fit in my GX. Like, that'd be pretty cool.
Scott Brady: And that's interesting that you say that, because for me, it was the one thing that like, where do I give you my money? Because like, that's actually going to solve a whole bunch of problems for me today, and that was one of the few products that [00:10:00] were like...
Bryon Dorr: And it has a battery-operated pump system, that's the cool part. So it has a hose and then a separate, and it's a magnetic base on it and you can have a puck wherever you want, and you can have it on his side or upright or how it fits in your system. So I think that might work on top of my fridge system in my GX and have flowing water.
Scott Brady: And you can move it around or you can put it up high and use it as, I mean, I'm sure that they're going to come out of some kind of shower solution, and I believe that on a single charge, it'll pump a hundred liters. So essentially eight or nine
Matt Scott: And it charges with USB.
Scott Brady: It does, it does. So it's super...
Bryon Dorr: Way lighter than I thought it would be.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And it's tap start. So, like in the day of COVID and other things like if you're just trying to like, or you just use your nature's head or whatever, and you can just like, tap it with your elbow and, and it starts pumping it'll shut off automatically at a minute. So that just in case it gets accidentally bumped, it won't pump out all your water. So there were a bunch of really thoughtful pieces around that. I mean, it's... Dometic is a big company. I have to give them credit for [00:11:00] somehow making really great products, like products that you'd normally see from small bespoke manufacturers, like their new fridges, their new CFX line of fridges, or, well I mean, this is a, I can drop this because it's coming out in Overland journal, but it won our Overland journal test.
Matt Scott: By a country mile.
Scott Brady: Yeah, and it's the first time a National Luna hasn't won. So really good products. So congrats to Dometic on that, for sure.
Matt Scott: I thought that the AT Overland on the Terra camper was pretty cool. You know, it's nice to see... I'm a big fan of hard sided campers. They have a lot of advantages for four season travels, for sleeping comfort, for a lot of reasons. Mario did a great job, and my favorite thing was how the drawer, you know, the drawers where you store your clothes, pull out to become a larger bed surface.
Scott Brady: That was very clever.
Matt Scott: I thought that the sides, the angled sides were little bit weird at first until Ryan, you and I were talking about its last night and you said the footprint of where you stand, where the cabinets are means that you don't have to have the height there [00:12:00] and you get the additional aerodynamics.
Bryon Dorr: So I just crawled around the camper all morning, doing a photo shoot on that truck and camper. It was interesting because I literally was up in the corners and stuff crawling around trying to get interior shots of the camper. Yes. Those sidewalls get in your way when you're doing weird stuff like that. But functionally standing in the middle or the way, you're the way you should sleep, totally not an issue like you would think it would be, but even sitting in the dinette. I'm tall. I got a huge torso, no issues whatsoever.
Scott Brady: And it makes it very strong. It makes it an extremely strong structure, which means that they can use lighter materials and then it also has, we all deal with it, when you're on the trails, trails are not level so trails that are at an angle or trees that are at an angle you've gained all of that additional clearance. Same with the scout. It's a straight up and downside and yeah. The only thing I didn't care for is just the rhino lined exterior. They've got to do something about that. I mean like, I'm not trying to, it's an amazing product.
Matt Scott: Some people do like that...
Bryon Dorr: It works and it's appropriate, but it [00:13:00] just makes it feel cheap. It's not but...
Scott Brady: It makes it feel like it's homegrown.
Matt Scott: It's a real high-quality product...
Scott Brady: but it also adds quite a bit of weight. So I know that they're fair. Spray on products, but they do add a lot of weight. Maybe it's not even a lot of weight. They add weight.
Bryon Dorr: They add weight because you got to look at the alternative to it, right? So the weight versus something that's as strong that can protect the exterior of the camper would probably be heavier, honestly, even spray on, like for the durability and impact protection and sticks and everything else. Like aren't going to puncture that. You'd have the hailstorm, like you guys out here in Prescott, that destroyed buildings and cars and everything.
Scott Brady: It destroyed our buildings,
Matt Scott: Our buildings, my 911.
Bryon Dorr: Your 911, and the hood of the Gladiator.
Scott Brady: Although when Dave Soza from turn, who's the designer of the camper, the structure of the camper. When he was in the middle of doing that, he brought me over and held one of the panels and he said, and he handed me a giant Crescent wrench. He said, hit it as hard as you want. And I mean, I wailed on this thing, and it didn't even leave a mark. So the panels [00:14:00] themselves are very strong and I know that there are some proprietary components that are done in the assembly of the panels and maybe they're trying to cover up with a lining, but just cover up those parts and then make the other parts. I think having a gloss finish, I mean like, looks more elegant, it looks more high end.
Matt Scott: My Gladiator camper. That's, you know, the AT Summit, one of the best features about that is it looks integrated, and it looks premium because it's paint matched.
Scott Brady: It looks premium.
Matt Scott: If I put that same camper on my Gladiator and it was black rhino lining... and it's not rhino lining, right?
Scott Brady: It's something like it. You know,
Matt Scott: When I see people who bed line their trucks, I generally don't associate them with premium products.
Bryon Dorr: And that's a shame. Like you said it's probably the right way to do that from a functional standpoint, but it just doesn't have the feel that we might want.
Matt Scott: That stuff is slightly porous, right?
Bryon Dorr: No, it's fully sealed.
Matt Scott: Like there's little nooks and crannies to it? [00:15:00] There's texture to it. Like on the Earth Roamer, it has a bed liner or whatever. On the bottom half, I can never get that clean. It is such a pain to get clean. And since they also do it on the inside, like you can't power wash the inside, but we're getting into semantics here and we know that the camper itself, it's just fantastic.
Scott Brady: We always try to give both sides of the coin and I think that that's our duty as journalists to do that.
Bryon Dorr: So the Terry camper was always green and I don't mind that... I do mine, but I don't mind that. That's not a stumbling block for me to buy it. The only thing for me as an adventure sport person is there's no ability to put a roof rack on it. So that's the dead stop for me. But I did talk to Mario about that and the answer is, especially with someone like myself who has a third member to the family now, you buy the four-Dorr and then the cab sticks out farther than the overhang and you should put a rack on the front of the cab and then you're good. There is a way around that.
Matt Scott: Yeah. And on the camper front too. I got to check out the new V2 of the GFC. I know they've been out for a little bit, but this, you know, none of [00:16:00] us have been able to go to shows or really see stuff in person. Those are really cool. I mean, it is a drastic departure. I had one of the first ones. Drastic departure
Bryon Dorr: I have to dig through the second one I haven't seen.
Matt Scott: Well, I don't necessarily know how to explain this, but you know, they kind of build it as a square, but if you look at the shape of most pickup beds, they're not square. They have a slight curvature to them, but there's a lot of thoughtful design features where the camper will be completely flat and it'll go down to the bed, but then it will follow that radius with the separate panel that comes out for a better ceiling. They're using a better hinge on their panels. I was... loved Graeme but was never really a huge fan of that rubber seal they used. There were theoretical advantages to it, but, you know, like water didn't drip down and stuff. It felt like a super-premium product that was really, really well engineered a lot of CNC components.
Bryon Dorr: Always had a good, shiny look. Let's be honest.
Scott Brady: This takes it to another level.
Bryon Dorr: I look forward to seeing the second one. I haven't played with the second [00:17:00] version.
Scott Brady: Their tents are made in America now, so.
Matt Scott: Yeah. That was cool. You know, I think if there's anything like a negative trend, I saw in the industry at this as there is like a metric crap ton of rebranded Alibaba stuff. I always have to remind the consumer that like, you know, you are paying $2,200 for a $300 tent that somebody didn't even manufacture. There are entire brands now that shall remain nameless, but we're next to AEV that specialize in just, we're just going to order this stuff. It's nothing that they've engineered, nothing that they've manufactured, you know, they're, they're pulling off of the innovations of the rest of the industry and they're just rebranding it and putting... you're throwing Overland on Alibaba crap.
Bryon Dorr: Let's get back to some really cool stuff we saw there that people are innovating. Right? One, we're all motorcycle guys as well. So one thing I thought that was really cool was that Moscow Modo had new Woodsman pants. It's their second generation that I believe, but the first gen sold amazingly. So they [00:18:00] have an in boot and an over boot. I'm an over-boot guy. It's just, I don't know, boots seem a little weird to me, but they're not inexpensive. They're 300 and 350 bucks spending on over or under boot. But it's made of a shoulder fabric. Completely waterproof to just above the pocket legs and then above that in the front and on the back. So if you're going through a puddle or something, you're going to get wet, but in the top, like where you're the top of your legs are, it's completely breathable. So it's really good for riding in a variety of temperatures. They look good. They're four way stretch and it's a shoulder fabric. That's completely abrasion resistant. So even if you go down on pavement, you're protected.
Scott Brady: And you could see some of their new colorways like their jacket/pant combo looked really, really good. They've got mid layers now. Peter's doing... Pete's doing a great job. Him and his team are doing a great job.
Bryon Dorr: It's all about not looking like a spaceman. I mean, the gear that I wear right now, I look like a spaceman, the Moscow stuff, you could wear those Woodman's pants out to the, out to the bar after riding some normal shoes and people wouldn't flinch.
Matt Scott: I really liked their bags. You know, as with most things.
Bryon Dorr: I ride with all their bags.
Matt Scott: Bags, clothing, [00:19:00] most exhibition gear. I'm on the Scott Brady hand-me-down program.
Bryon Dorr: And I've got sent his Moscow bags and I like them.
Matt Scott: They're just really well thought. I like the company. I like what they stand for. I like that they're innovating, you know, I think that they just have a unique look on things that are direct-to-consumer. You know, their stuff is not cheap, but it's not as expensive as it could be.
Bryon Dorr: Any competitor's product that's anywhere near as good is considerably more money and they do it by selling it direct and not through retailers. That's just the way that they've decided to go. But they're a very core team of people. Every single person there goes on rides.
Matt Scott: I don't know why you'd want to sell through most power sports shops. Like they're incredibly depressing. Like they just want to shove credit cards and financing down your throat and sell you a UTV.
Bryon Dorr: I think you got to get away from the ones in Arizona, buddy. There are some good power sports shops out there, but I know what you're saying.
Matt Scott: I mean, like there's some good like dirt bike shops specifically, but...
Bryon Dorr: Great core motorcycle shops that the guy rides. That's the thing, right? Like, and they're not about selling your product. They're like, this is a lifestyle, this is what it's all [00:20:00] about. Like it's pretty cool.
Matt Scott: Well, all of our motorcycle shops in Arizona are owned by GoDaddy and they'll finance that.
Bryon Dorr: Perfect. I can buy a fancier bike for less money a month. Yeah. Anyway, one other product that I saw that just is a slight update that was cool. What I've used a little bit in the past and now I want to use a lot more is the OnX off-road mapping system.
Matt Scott: The 3d thing was super cool.
Bryon Dorr: I guess they have a new 3d view mobile view. So you used to be able to do this on a laptop, but now you can do it on your phone and it's like, you can like it if there's an arch in the desert. You can find it.
Matt Scott: I was looking at area 51.
Bryon Dorr: He was, I saw that this morning.
Scott Brady: It's really good. Now it also shows active wildfires, which I think is really interesting. And then by the time this podcast hits you're going to be able to have access to it through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, big innovations are coming out from OnX that are extremely exciting and encouraging. So that platform continues to improve. That's a good one.
Bryon Dorr: Did you see the photographer's angle on that? The [00:21:00] moonrise and sunrise and all the weather data. Just touch anywhere on the map and it gives you instantaneous what's going on, like as a photographer. That's so invaluable.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It's really, really, really good. Let me ask you guys a couple more questions. Cause I think that these are interesting thoughts. What vehicle that was there would you want to take home and have in your own garage? Let's pick out a small company like mom and pop that we'd love to give a shout out to that we think are doing cool stuff.
Matt Scott: Do you want me to play marketing Matt, or do you want me to be like, actually honest as to what vehicle I would take home?
Scott Brady: Honest, Matt.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Mike McMod's EarthRoamer LTI.
Scott Brady: Okay, well, I want Mike McMod's Brute. So now Mike has no cars.
Matt Scott: Thermal camera, carbon fiber body. Some really thoughtful additions. This is the first time I've been in an LTI.
Scott Brady: KBH antenna. So that's broadband internet anywhere in the world for those that are listening.
Matt Scott: You know, small company, I mean, it's, it's maybe more of a well-known company, you know, I bought another Demo shovel when I was there. I was kind of anti-Demo for a [00:22:00] little bit.
Scott Brady: They fixed the problems and now they're really great.
Matt Scott: Like Susan's fantastic. It has always been fantastic. It took me a while to kinda, like that's a lot of money for a shovel.
Scott Brady: The new ones are great. Their mount is really nice.
Matt Scott: You know, she hustles and there's a good product and they really stand behind it. You know, and they have this little, tiny booth. I love that new shovel.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I use one. That's my shovel that I carry with me.
Bryon Dorr: It's on my GX all the time. So Demos your product? All right, product for me, small company. I'm going to throw out Stuff 22.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I was thinking of them too.
Matt Scott: They had some really innovative stuff and how they're working with the materials. Like pretty decent price points on some of the stuff. Some of the
Bryon Dorr: bags really don't work for me, and I've used a bunch of their stuff, but some of their new stuff, they're just really well thought out and they all have a versatile angle. Their new love... I'm not a big Molle guy. Like, I don't know if it's a little tacticool for me. But [00:23:00] they have a Velcro valet system that I hadn't seen before. So it's like it's even more versatile than Molle, and it looks cool. They have a new chameleon bag that's like a kitchen type bag they can use for other things as well. It's kind of a hard-shell clam shell thing you hang.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I don't know what they're doing with that hard-shell soft-shell kind of stuff. On a lot of their bags. Adam was kind of walking me through a few of them and I'm going to have to pick a few up really good stuff...
Bryon Dorr: He's got a new bag, forgot the name of it, but it's like this huge duffle like thing. And it has these crazy zippers that zip down to the bottom, and it flops really open, like a flower. It kind of opens up and you can just pile stuff in there and zip it up. Then roll the top and it's completely sealed. So wet recovery gear and stuff like that and you can cinch it as small as possible. That kind of innovation is cool. Like he's definitely, he's not knocking anything off. Like it's his own angle. Some of the stuff I don't think works perfectly, but a lot of it does.
Matt Scott: Nothing that he makes that is super similar to anything else on the market.
Scott Brady: Some of his tools are really thoughtful.
Matt Scott: Because again, there's so much like [00:24:00] monkey see monkey do.
Bryon Dorr: And he has his own little, like... not as own, but he's the only one in this industry using some of the little zipper poles, different things, the parts and pieces. If you look at one of those really closely, they're well thought out and made, like every piece on it is purposeful and made for Overlanding. Overland and travel. Some of the stuff is great, because you could use it.
Scott Brady: Some of the dopp kits and stuff are great for that. Which truck? Yeah. Which one do you want to steal and drive home?
Bryon Dorr: There was kind of two and I flip flop between the two one was in the step 22 booth actually was the Multechtour.
Scott Brady: So amazing.
Bryon Dorr: That’s not new, we've all seen it before.
Matt Scott: How was that in the country? Is that like, based on a US truck?
Scott Brady: It is. It's a US truck. Isn't it?
Bryon Dorr: That's a US truck. That specific one is, yeah.
Scott Brady: Ship your 200 over, they cut it up and send it back.
Bryon Dorr: Carbon box on the back, you had power.
Matt Scott: I keep looking at their Troops and I'm like...
Bryon Dorr: I drool constantly on those. 80 series underneath a 70 series Troopy body.
Matt Scott: And then I realized that's a [00:25:00] less comfortable version of exactly what I used to drive.
Scott Brady: There's romance. I mean, it's okay.
Matt Scott: Totally. That was like the formative years for me and Laura, like driving around Australia in our Troopy,
Bryon Dorr: Slowly.
Scott Brady: That's why you get the Troopy with the V8. It's faster, but it's still super dangerous.
Bryon Dorr: Just put an LS in it. 80 series frame with coils on it. Slightly better.
Matt Scott: 80 series frame now it's still noodely.
Scott Brady: So noodley.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah, but the one, the one I probably would have driven away with, if somebody's like, all right, pick one and take the keys for my wife and my young kid and being able to put like gear on it, kayaks and stuff, is the new Terra Nova camper from Earth Roam Cruiser.
Matt Scott: Looks really good.
Bryon Dorr: It's a one-done truck with a full featured quality system pop top camper that has tons of sleeping area easily for a family of three or four, and there's enough room in there to move around and do [00:26:00] stuff.
Matt Scott: That's the one to drive around the world, cause you'd be comfortable in the cab. You'd have plenty of room.
Bryon Dorr: And it has a pass through.
Matt Scott: It has a pass through with a pop-up. I mean to me it's like an evolution of the Bread Van one.
Scott Brady: The Fuso
Matt Scott: The Fuso one, like love everything that Earth Cruisers done. I'm never going to want to drive a bread van around the world.
Like, I don't care if you put an LS in it.
Bryon Dorr: The form factors cool.
Matt Scott: Like it's super practical, but I'm not a super practical person, you know, like I will take an extra couple of feet to have a 6.7 liter turbocharged, V8 and a 10-speed transmission and like air-conditioned seats and stuff that costs more with less room.
Bryon Dorr: And they'll do it on any one-ton US truck.
Matt Scott: So like Ford Chevy, or Ram.
Bryon Dorr: A new Ram 3,500 with that interior...
Scott Brady: Imagine the whole AEV catalog thrown at it plus that camper, it would be sick.
Bryon Dorr: Forties Prospector XL with a turnover, with a custom [00:27:00] rack on the roof for my kayaks. I'm in.
Matt Scott: I'm with you. I think I'm not a super huge fan of the pop-up like for me, I don't know.
Bryon Dorr: I just, I wanted to be a pop-up so I can put kayaks on the roof and still fit through holes like under bridges and stuff.
Scott Brady: Totally makes sense.
Matt Scott: It's the only thing I would drive other than my earth roamer on the market right now, and it's half the price.
Bryon Dorr: About the same price as a used earth roamer.
Matt Scott: It's about the same price as a used one.
Bryon Dorr: You can get a brand-new truck with a warranty just under 300 grand. Well... with a Prospector XL it's gonna be a little more than that.
Scott Brady: They did a great job with that.
Matt Scott: Full Prospector conversions, depending on how it's outfitted it's 20 to 30, which I'm not trying to say that that is not a significant amount of money. You know, you could travel around the world with that and that's the most important thing for this podcast is that it is about travel. We can't get distracted by shiny things.
Bryon Dorr: But Overland Expo's about the shiny thing now.
Overland Expo is
Matt Scott: about the shiny things and like to have a turnkey solution from a company like AEV for 20, 25, [00:28:00] maybe 30, if you're ticking, every light bar and whatever,
Bryon Dorr: And its OEM quality testing and that's the key.
Matt Scott: And it's done, it's turnkey and that's labor. Like I'm convinced that like if you're trying to put a truck on 37s or 40s and you want to do bumpers front and rear, it's probably cheaper, you can go and you can spend $7,000 on an icon kit or your truck and it's arguably not going to perform as good, like they're solving issues differently. They still have geometry issues where AEV is correcting the geometry, which on a heavy vehicle is super important.
Bryon Dorr: So AEV wins on the geometry and getting that all correct. I don't think they're as good as these crazy systems in terms of shocks.
Matt Scott: But you can always add those shocks if that's what you'd buy.
Bryon Dorr: Also when you're Overlanding you probably should be on this anyway.
Matt Scott: Keep your opinions to yourself Brian.
Scott Brady: These are public roads.
Bryon Dorr: I know you do drive a TRS but...
Matt Scott: no, but you're right.
Bryon Dorr: It's like, you [00:29:00] don't need all the lights like I have on my GX. If I get anywhere near outrunning those lights, I'm going way too fast.
Scott Brady: There's public roads. There's grandparents out there trying to get to their grandkids, you know.
Bryon Dorr: In this country and every other country whenever you're trying to travel.
Matt Scott: Night times beer drinking time... for the campsite. Never drink and drive.
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Matt Scott: Let's transition a Trek and chat about that.
Bryon Dorr: Scott's going to give us a company and product.
Matt Scott: Company and a product.
Scott Brady: I think the vehicle that I would drive home is Mike's Brute. I mean, there's just something about it. There's just something about it that I...
Bryon Dorr: The Brute pickup, right?
Scott Brady: I just really appreciate it. Yeah. I mean, I'm fortunate that I do get to drive it regularly to keep it running, in service. So, but yeah, I think that the vehicle thing is becoming less interesting. You know, what the other option I would pick, there was a 1200 XC Scrambler, Triumph Scrambler. I'll take that because I actually want to stick to it.
Matt Scott: What did you guys think of the truck house camper? I peaked at it a little bit and it's really well made.
Scott Brady: They have done a wonderful job...
Matt Scott: With the wrong chassis...
Scott Brady: With a chassis that cannot be legally driven. So I don't know how you do it.
Bryon Dorr: So I talk to him a bunch about that. Cause I wrote one of the original stories on that. It still gets a lot of traffic, but it's the wrong chassis period. Not according to them, so [00:31:00] they are saying that it's because they didn't want the vehicle super high.
Matt Scott: It's 8 inches shorter than my Earth Roamer.
Bryon Dorr: But it would be taller if it was on a taller chassis, probably because of the height of the camper. It's amazingly built. The quality looks really, really good. I know the materials quality.
Matt Scott: They did everything that you are supposed to do to theoretically increase GBW, but there's no legal provision to increase the GBW.
Bryon Dorr: And they're not going through the testing to do that and it is registered as a Tacoma. And you insure it as a custom RV. That's what they told me directly. It doesn't add up. If you get in an accident, you are so screwed.
Matt Scott: But I get the sentimentality of Tacoma. You know, people like that, I get the Sun Raider or whatever, but what's a price we could agree on for a Tacoma TRD pro because people are selling them over sticker.
Scott Brady: They're in the high forties.
Matt Scott: They're in the high forties. Okay. So let's take that high forties and then they're putting a Curry rear [00:32:00] axle. So they're re gearing the entire truck. Extending the frame, reinforcing the frame, new drive shaft, they're offering an option of a supercharger, which I just went to the debacle of supercharging my gladiator, and I'm ripping it off because it was terrible. So you're potentially ruining the reliability of the motor. You're putting a non-OE drive line in the rear.
Bryon Dorr: You're putting long travel on the fronts. Your CV angles are really tall.
Matt Scott: Well, I mean, in theory that the farther you stretch that control arm, the lower the angle is. I can get that, but then you're doing bodywork to accommodate that bad. So at the end of this you're building a full Tacoma. I'm just going to go out and say that you're spending 70 to $80,000 on the truck. Probably more so I can go and buy a Tremor loaded. I can buy any American pickup truck I want.
Bryon Dorr: You can buy a Tradesman Prospector XL.
Matt Scott: No, dude, you [00:33:00] can buy a Laramie Prospector XL for that. A Laramie 2,500 or a Laramie 3,500 starts in the sixties and you're talking, 20 ish to put it on there.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I want these guys to be so successful because they are so talented, but here's the challenge. It's going to be a $300,000 truck and camper. So someone who can afford a $300,000 truck and camper is going to have a net worth that if you get in an accident, if you lose control with that truck and you run into a school bus or anything else for that matter, they're gonna go after Truck House first and they're going to realize like, oh, these guys have 5 cents to scrub together and then they come back to the person who has enough money to spend $300,000 on a camper. Your insurance is... as soon as that happens, your insurance is going to be like, oh this vehicle was modified. There's just no legal way around it.
Matt Scott: It's super cool as a home built. They've [00:34:00] sold six of them with a $50,000 non-refundable deposit. I wish them the absolute best.
Bryon Dorr: They're beautiful. Super well-built too, I mean let's put it out there that they did it right, they just did the wrong chassis.
Scott Brady: There's just no way around it legally.
Matt Scott: People that used to work for Earth Roamer were complimenting their quality.
Bryon Dorr: They're stuck in the Sun Raider thing, cause that's where they come from. Right? They wanted that, that Toyota...
Matt Scott: They've already got all six people who are sentimental enough for a camper that sells for 15 grand right now.
Bryon Dorr: People love Tacoma. Right? That's the bottom line.
Matt Scott: I think I heard four 30 for how you actually want it equipped.
Scott Brady: So we are going to talk about Trek.
Matt Scott: I'm just going to interject witty remarks.
Scott Brady: I like this. This is great. So we just talked about the Overland expo. Now we're going to talk about the Trek event, which Bryon Dorr who's with us today won, along with his team and who was on your team?
Bryon Dorr: Absolutely. We had Jeff from Whoniverse(?) and we had Tommy [00:35:00] from TFL off-road.
Scott Brady: Awesome. Well, you guys did an amazing job. It was so fun to be along on that adventure with you. I had a team as well. I had Kristen Canning and I had Kristen Shaw on my team, and they were both amazing. We had an incredible adventure as well, but for one of the team exercises we had, all of us were there together and I was able to watch you guys do your things and you crushed it.
Bryon Dorr: Thanks. So impressive. It was super fun. It was cool because as you know, all the teams are putting. Without our knowledge. We kind of knew maybe a couple of days before who our team was going to be. So some of us knew of people or a little bit, but almost all the teams... I mean, I'd met Tommy at some events, but I've never met Jeff and we all got along really well and it worked out great. I think your team was very similar, like working together well, which is really fun.
Matt Scott: So I think we're getting ahead of ourselves here. I don't think most people know what Trek is.
Scott Brady: You're like our resident Trek historian.
Bryon Dorr: You drove a Trek truck for years. We only drove it for a day.
Matt Scott: Well [00:36:00] it's the intersection of adventure sports, and, you know, the things where you move your legs or the athletic sports.
Bryon Dorr: Human powered adventures.
Matt Scott: Human powered things without engines and engines and four wheel driving and four-wheel-drive tasks and technical driving it's kind of a condensed, more realistic version of, I guess, what Camel Trophy is for modern days, you know, as we kind of, interviewed Dunkin Barb, you couldn't really replicate Camel Trophy these days, but I think like Trek, well... Trek was started out, I guess, as that inter-dealer competition meant to promote, you know, the lifestyle that is the Land Rover brand and what it's supposed to be.
Bryon Dorr: The whole idea behind Trek is to keep dealer employees and dealerships motivated and focused on the Land Rover experience, not just selling trucks, but what the trucks should be used for and what Land Rover hopes that people aspire [00:37:00] to use the trucks for.
Matt Scott: So you guys are on the media leg, they kind of put on... you know, there was the dealer leg, right?
Scott Brady: So we went first. The media went first.
Matt Scott: You were the guinea pigs.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah, totally.
Scott Brady: Well, I think they did like a little test the day before.
Bryon Dorr: Tests with some of the suppliers the day before.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Scott: Oh, that's kinda cool. How many teams were there this year?
Scott Brady: Six or seven, something like that.
Matt Scott: Was it in Asheville?
Bryon Dorr: It was in Asheville at the Biltmore and there were six media teams and 70 dealer teams this year, the largest Trek ever. So I believe it was the sixth Trek event in the US. There were three or four in the 90's, and then there were a couple in the early two thousands and then 2019, and then this one.
Scott Brady: Awesome. Yeah. And we all... many of us know Sean Gorman. He does a lot of special events for Land Rover, and he was the event coordinator. He's the one who came up with many of the crazy tasks that we had to complete. He also does some writing for Overland Journal as well. So it was really cool to [00:38:00] see him there and I think he and his team did such an amazing job. I mean, the tasks were highly varied, which I think was really fun. And like for me, I literally felt like I was a kid. I felt the same energy that I felt when I picked up that first four-wheel drive magazine with a Camel Trophy on the cover and it brought me back to all of those things that I was so excited about. They didn't give us a lot of warning before we were going just a couple of weeks. So I got right into doing two-a-days.
Matt Scott: You exercised.
Scott Brady: I did, I did. I was running like miles and miles a day to get ready for it. So it was really fun.
Bryon Dorr: I did the opposite. I knew that the physical challenges...I had some back issues recently so I didn't want to work out that way, but the physical challenge would be tough, but I know I could hold my own, even if I've got to grit it out and make it happen. But the technical challenge, they kind of gave us a hint as to a few of the things, it's the same information I believe they gave the dealers. There was stuff like, you need to know how to use a high lift, to lift things and to winch things as they come along. You need to know how to use sand [00:39:00] ladders. You need to know how a Land Rover Defender works off-road in the different modes. You need to know some Land Rover history. You need to be physically fit. That was kind of about it. A map, a compass and a handheld GPS, a very specific unit. So they gave us some little YouTube links to some tutorials like REI and some other online stuff. Some of them weren't great, but it was easy to find other ones that were quite good at giving that information. So I just kind of watched a bunch of YouTube channels. I've touched and done all those things in the past but hadn't touched a high lift in four or five years. I sold my highlights with my last truck.
Scott Brady: It was the day before I left, and Matt sees me out there like... I mean, I've done so much high lifting in my life, but not for years, like I haven't done it for years. So I'm like, I think I remember all of that.
Matt Scott: They're like a really useful tool for four-wheel drive trainers to scare their students.
Bryon Dorr: That is an accurate, a little obscure, but a view on that.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I learned how to use a high lift jack. Okay, [00:40:00] cool. You'll never use it. Not that they're actually not useful. They're very useful. There's a four-wheel drive trainer out there. That's roiling on the internet.
Scott Brady: They are useful, but they're actually getting more and more specific in their use in the fact that most modern vehicles are actually...
Matt Scott: You can't use them with them.
Scott Brady: Like a long travel Wrangler. Like good luck with that, they just don't have enough.
Bryon Dorr: How about the Defender we were in? How many points could you actually lift off of?
Scott Brady: We could only reverse it other than, oh... you could from downlow.
Bryon Dorr: You could use it as a winch, that's different, but lift points on a vehicle.
Matt Scott: I guess you can use them on the wheels with the little adapter.
Bryon Dorr: We didn't have that.
Scott Brady: You could use them in the rear on the loo nets...
Bryon Dorr: Use it with the little extension piece on the lift points under the vehicle. Like you can use the regular scissor jack, and you can use them on the recovery points if you add them on the front or back.
Matt Scott: If the trucks are at the right angle and the right situation, you might be able to use the 90 pounds of steel strapped to your roof rack.
Bryon Dorr: So one of the... We'll go right into it a little bit, I think. Well, before we get ahead of ourselves on that, what Trek is itself is a... you get a map [00:41:00] and there are 16 different stations on the map and the map is very loose in its accuracy. But there were GPS coordinates for each of these numbered things and they each had a name. So one was named like rat trap and there's different things that... you have no clue what they are, you can guess, but you don't really know what they are, and they have a point value and the idea is you have X amount of hours. You have to be back by a certain time for us. I think it was 3:30. You had to be back and any minute over that time you lost three points
Scott Brady: I think it was even 1:30, wasn't it?
Bryon Dorr: Maybe it was 1:30. It was a specific time in the afternoon. Yeah. But you lost three, three points every minute you were back, which is a lot. It would hurt a lot to come back later. So I think everybody made it back. It looked like it. We were like 12 minutes early just in case. But you go around, and the idea is you get this map with this information on it and no more information than that, the night before you head out on the trail. You really don't know, you know, there's a start time, you know, there's an end time and you have this map and you're trying to get the most amount of points possible [00:42:00] in that all the challenges are your single team has to go in and accomplish it. Or there were two challenges where multiple teams worked together to complete it. But the deal is, if anybody's in the challenge, when you get there, you either have to wait far enough away where you can't see what they're doing, or you move on to a different one and hope that it's not busy and find it, but they're really spread out all over the Biltmore. There's some decent travel times between each one, so it really mattered as to how you strategize to make all that happen. So that's the basic outline of what Trek is as a competition and the challenge ahead of you. Noted on the high lift, I want to get into that a little bit for... One of the challenges we, I think we were only one of two or three teams that did it is changing the tire and you had to change the tire, take the tire off, roll it all the way around the vehicle and then put it back on, and then everybody get in the car and buckle up and have all the tools put back away and that's when the time stopped, and it was a timed event and I think all the other teams use the high lift. We dove in the back and they grabbed a... It wasn't a bottle, it was a scissor [00:43:00] jack, but it was in a flat field that they made us do this in and so we looked at it for two seconds and we're like, okay scissor jack now and we used it as a team.
Scott Brady: They give us the base plate to put it on too.
Bryon Dorr: We put it on the ARB jack base plate. So apparently, we found out later didn't put it on the base plate, but that raises it up a couple inches. So you're faster that way and it's way more stable and doesn't push into the soft ground because it's wet soggy ground. We crushed that. I think we beat everybody by a couple of minutes on that one, but again, it's just the biggest thing about Trek and any of these types of competitions is using your head and thinking critically and then enacting and executing well. But a lot of the time there's little tricks that you can do that are well within the rules to do that. I mean, Scott, you might want to talk about what we did in the challenge that we worked together on. That was kind of a little trick that apparently nobody else has done yet or hadn't remembered when I was playing with the rope line.
Scott Brady: We were, and this was really bright on Brian's part. You had to get... This tire was in a channel, and it needed to line up with three different levels of difficulty on an overhead beam and so [00:44:00] it was like winching in, each vehicle had a winch. You had a winch in on one and winch out on the other or whatever you had to do to get it to roll and then lock in place precisely. If it didn't lock in place precisely, then you had to lower it all the way to the bottom. Start over again. But Brian figured out that if you just grab the winch line and you pull on it, you could get the tire to kind of wiggle a little bit, just that scootch that you need to do...
Bryon Dorr: Vector pole on the winch line. It was a synthetic winch line. Used gloves. There was not much tension on it at all. No weight on it. Right? For me, it was straight up from kayaking. So when you do a Z drags and different recoveries with ropes and pulleys and things in a kayak by grabbing the middle of the line, you're doing a vector pull, and you're doubling your pull, and you have great control over it. That was what we needed. Instead of doing a winch, which had to delay because it was on a remote... a wireless remote. So it had to delay when you hit it would still spool a couple turns between when you let off the button. So it was just a fun way to wiggle. And our two teams worked together [00:45:00] perfectly. We met there at a really good time, right towards the end of the competition and we got maximum points and beat everybody on that one, which is great.
Scott Brady: I mean, they were all super fun. Like building the bridge.
Bryon Dorr: It was a bridge; it was a puzzle. The bridge had really wet, heavy oak beams so it was, it was a workout.
Scott Brady: Many of the challenges were very physical, but there was one... We just could not get these two things to work, if the spacing wasn't right.
Bryon Dorr: In your bridge?
Scott Brady: In our bridge and then Kristen Shaw was like, hey, let's put it up in like a triangle and then jump on it. Like, so that's like, perfect for me, you'd take the 200-pound guy, just have him jump. So the two Kristen's, they got it lined up and then I just jumped on top of it and it smacked in place and the guy's like time, done. Actually you weren't really quite done because he said that you're done, you got the puzzle right. But then you had to disassemble the whole thing.
Bryon Dorr: You had to drive across the bridge with your Land Rover and then disassemble it, and that's when your time ended.
Scott Brady: Lots of [00:46:00] very heavy, giant logs.
Bryon Dorr: That was a lot of work. That was the second most laborious challenge in the whole thing. Using a high-lift jack as a come along by far was the most physically demanding. I might still be hurting a little from that.
Scott Brady: It was two car lengths of a Defender, winching it uphill in reverse. I still have...
Bryon Dorr: 40-degree angle.
Scott Brady: Like I literally still have the blister on my hand. So that was pretty tough and it's like, you have to be strong enough to be able to operate the jack.
Bryon Dorr: Especially once it gets vertical on the hill side, it's... that's a challenge and resetting and knowing how to do it. They were really good about staying on top of it and making it about your safety. Yeah, that one could go wrong pretty quick.
Scott Brady: Super wrong. Really quick.
Bryon Dorr: Super fun. There were so many different challenges. I think the fun part was it was five media teams and one team that had Lindsay Vaughn on it and kind of two ringers to help her out.
Scott Brady: Even the editor that was with them was a ringer.
Bryon Dorr: They were [00:47:00] super physically fit. They knew their stuff. They'd done the Rebel rally, the Gazelle rally, stuff like that in the past. So they knew navigation, they knew how to drive. That team was for sure the one to beat. We all knew it, and they had a three or four car entourage following them around with video cameras because they were shooting for, I think, outside TV. So Lindsey has been a Land Rover ambassador in the past, and she's still finding her way in after her retirement from professional skiing and finding what's what, and working with Lennar, I think working towards being an ambassador again in a different capacity.
Scott Brady: No, it was so fun to have, and they were all great. It was fun to have them there. Our team's little personal victory was... we were pretty good at getting to the first truck. So this was really cool. We start the event, they say, all the navigators come up here, they give a horn off and then all the navigators need to run to this point. So I'm running and I've got a backpack. And then a minute later they do the horn again and then the rest of the team's rundown. So doing navigations is something that I'm okay at and I'm good at, and I'm good with the GPS and everything. So I got [00:48:00] down there and we were quick. My team had, had not even arrived and I was already like, let's go. So we started running through the forest...
Bryon Dorr: So when you got to that first point... so the navigator, one person from each team ran to that point. You were that selected person. They called it the navigator, we just picked somebody, and that person ran down and they got a clue that had some navigational information on it, which allowed us to go find the trucks.
Scott Brady: Because the trucks, they were hidden.
Bryon Dorr: They weren't there, which we didn't know the night before. It was just like, you've gotta be at the start line at this time. I think it was a couple of miles away. Yeah. So go ahead.
Scott Brady: We just started running and it was interesting because on my team, I can understand that they're saying, well it's faster to go this one direction. I said, but we don't know what's there. How dense is the forest? Are there, are there going to be fences or whatever? I said, so let's stay on any traveled track that heads us in the right direction, and that saves us a ton of time and we were actually almost at the trucks and then here comes, Tom... is it Tommy?
Bryon Dorr: Tommy was in the [00:49:00] front.
Scott Brady: So Tommy was there, and I was in the front, so we ran, but it was awesome. So we were minutes ahead of anybody else.
Bryon Dorr: First two teams at the trucks within a second of each other, it was our two teams, and we came from different ways. Our team went way longer. We stayed on main roads, like gravel roads. I picked that on purpose based on the navigational direction we were trying to figure out. And I think you took the forest trail that went through the middle... it was a two track. And I looked at that in the map and I was like, Ooh that's shorter, but I'm not sure what the deal is with it.
Scott Brady: Because who knows if it was a good idea or not.
Matt Scott: You were still on foot?
Scott Brady: We were running.
Bryon Dorr: With us. We all had like full backpacks full of camera gear and stuff. So that was the worst part.
Scott Brady: I had like a giant backpack I'm running with. What was so fun though is we got to the trucks and the Christians jumped in and we were gone. We were off on the road and probably still 10 minutes out is Lindsey and her team, and they see us come around the corner in one of the trucks and all of their eyes were this big and they're standing there with their hands out going, whaa? Because they were still 10 minutes [00:50:00] away from the trucks. They were so far away, but then they, of course, crushed it after that.
Bryon Dorr: They did really well, in all of the challenges. I took a photo of the final numbers at the end, like the score sheet and after they announced all the winners and they beat us at one or two challenges. One handily. I forget what the deal was, but they beat us by a lot.
Matt Scott: Was it skiing?
Bryon Dorr: They definitely would have beaten us at skiing if that was an option. It was chilly that morning, but it got warm, quite warm
Matt Scott: Was it skiing on grass?
Bryon Dorr: The one that was the one disappointment, I think with track for me was that there wasn't a lot of that physical stuff. Apparently, they had some issue sourcing the kayaks or bikes or something, so there was running, but there was no kayaking or biking, which is usually a part of the Trek competition.
Scott Brady: I think that would have been helpful. I was looking forward to that.
Matt Scott: You could have won more if there were kayaks Brian.
Bryon Dorr: Probably.
Scott Brady: The other thing that's interesting too, is they have this honor system about you can't go over 20 miles an hour and I made it just... I said look, this is an [00:51:00] exciting thing for me. I've never been able to do Trek. I may never be able to do it again. I want to finish this thing and never have any regrets. So we just held a hard and fast rule on 20 miles an hour, and we could see other teams doing double that, which is too bad. It's just really too bad, but that's how things go.
Matt Scott: Brian looks guilty.
Bryon Dorr: I don't think we got over 26, we did 22 to 26 mph most of the places, but all the places where like you were protecting the grapes and stuff, there's vineyards there and you don't want dust on the grapes. So we do 10 mile an hour through those sections. Like we were really, really careful about it, but we did not hold steady at 20.
Matt Scott: Save the grapes.
Bryon Dorr: It was well under 30... Matt needs his rose. I don't think they rose there. They did have good wine at the Biltmore. I was impressed.
Scott Brady: It was such a beautiful property and the Defenders, they did well as we have all experienced driving them. They're so capable
Bryon Dorr: This was the new four-cylinder Defender.
Scott Brady: So capable. And the ride quality is so exceptional and
Bryon Dorr: The interior is amazing. [00:52:00]
Scott Brady: Because one of my team members had never driven off-road and just to give them the keys, put them in the driver's seat and have them feel so confident doing that. It was so perfect. It was the perfect vehicle for that.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah, absolutely. The Defender's held their own. They were fully outfitted with all kinds... They were orange, which I love everything orange everybody that knows me...
Matt Scott: Tangiers orange. The color they should be. That's the color they were.
Bryon Dorr: I don't believe it was. I don't know.
Scott Brady: Maybe it looks pretty similar to the Prowler.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah. I think it looked right. We'll call it that. It was a really good orange. It was an orange brand new Defender, 110 with the four-cylinder engine stock tire size, but Goodyear ATs on it. They put Sealants on it, but they were painted black instead of the white that comes on the normal trucks.
Matt Scott: They had black roofs?
Scott Brady: They did. Way too much stuff on the racks. If any criticisms I could have of the builds was, why are there two fuel cans on the top?
Matt Scott: They always [00:53:00] historically had that.
Bryon Dorr: For Camel Trophy you needed that, so maybe that's... I know Lucky Eight Off-road did a bunch of the modifications and built on it with their Proud Rhino brands. They built sliders, but they were not on our trucks, which I was surprised by. That was the one thing that I thought they could have used for some of the stuff, but we didn't really need it on most of our challenges, but they had a hidden winch up front. Warn winch Factor 55 pro hook. Then they had a full... the Land Rover roof rack with two jerry cans, a spare tire. So the vehicles had two spares, one underneath and one on the roof.
Scott Brady: One on the back Dorr.
Bryon Dorr: Oh, sorry. You're right. BackDoor, on the roof, and then they had a high lift on the roof, a shovel on the roof and that was all it was on the... or no, and then a set of tread pros on the roof, on a mount for them. And they had two recovery points on the back. It had the dog cage in it from Land Rover, in which they hung a bunch of the soft shackles and first-aid kid and fire extinguisher and a number of those things in the back. They had the [00:54:00] factory air compressor built in, and that was wrapped in a Trek logo and like orange print which was a really neat touch.
Scott Brady: I thought the dash plaque was cool too.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah. So the, so the plaques on these are really... so there's only 70 of these they're ever going to be built. Each dealership that enters the competition orders one for their dealership. They get them fully outfitted with all this stuff and they pay for all that and they get to keep that at the end of the competition. So they compete in their truck. We got to borrow some trucks from a number of the dealers before they used them, then the dealers either kept them or sold them off as special, limited additions. But each one had a number of plaques that were numbered, so it was one through 70, there's 70 trucks. There was a plaque under the hood. There was a plaque...
Scott Brady: I didn't see that one.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah, there's a plaque, a numbered plaque...
Scott Brady: I was distracted trying to get the breakfast burrito out from...
Bryon Dorr: The breakfast sandwich. They told us burritos and sandwiches. The sandwiches were quite good, but it was not a burrito as promised.
Scott Brady: They were nice and hot. So when you got to your first time that you had to wait for an event, you popped the hood and grabbed the food out.
Bryon Dorr: Got a breakfast sandwich. That was good fuel.
Scott Brady: It was perfect. It just added to the [00:55:00] fun of it, I thought.
Bryon Dorr: So they had like a classic looking Defender badge on the rear tailgate, and that was numbered. Then under the hood, around the gear selector on the dashboard, and there was a hologram that was not numbered, but it was a Trek limited edition hologram in each of the B pillars. When you open both Doors, you can find it. I believe those were all the badges and it had a... if you look behind the glove box, there is a signature there. That's a little tip for anybody looking at a Trek truck.
Matt Scott: But why did they put a four cylinder in there, because these are going to be a hundred thousand dollars vehicles.
Bryon Dorr: That's why, as they didn't want it to be a $140,000 vehicle. They literally wanted to keep the price down is what I understood. There's a big price difference between the four cylinder and the V8. I don't know the number.
Matt Scott: Not the V8 but....
Bryon Dorr: The six hybrids?
Scott Brady: Are they doing away with the six? And they're just going to have this new four?
Bryon Dorr: I don't think so, I think there's three options. The four is just hitting our market though, I think it was available in Europe.
Matt Scott: Remember that one when we were out in England and the Range Rover sport it ripped, but an electrically supercharged, turbocharged hybrid Land Rover engine keeps me up at night.
Scott Brady: There's a lot of tech in [00:56:00] that. A little frightening. That's why a lot of the owners either lease them or pay cash for them and then trade them in after a couple of years.
Bryon Dorr: The four-cylinder had plenty of power. I had no problem with that.
Matt Scott: It's turbo four, right?
Bryon Dorr: It had an interesting power cutoff computer thing in low range when I tried to give it power and I don't... I replicated it a number of times in a number of situations, and I couldn't figure out how to get it not to do it. I don't know if that's just the four cylinder or what the deal was, but in four low, trying to do 20 mile an hour down a two track...
Scott Brady: Were you in rock mode?
Bryon Dorr: Possibly at times.
Scott Brady: The rock mode will do that, and it holds the gear for too long. If you're in the rocks...
Bryon Dorr: Traction control killing the back.
Scott Brady: So yeah, we found that mud mode was a little better.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah. We played with the roads a little bit, but we were rolled in low range the entire time because we had to go slow.
Scott Brady: I mean, we started off in low range.
Bryon Dorr: We started off in low range, but you could do whatever you wanted to the truck, but you had to go slow anyway. So it was like, okay why mess [00:57:00] with this?
Scott Brady: Yeah. We just stayed in low range.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah, and on that truck, it really doesn't affect the turning radius too much. So it's not really a thing. Yeah, but the trucks were great. They handled it well. I don't think anybody had a problem. Nobody had an actual flat, I didn't see any issue. There wasn't any super extreme off-roading. There was definitely one challenge that we didn't get to do that looked really fun... did you get to do the one where you put like a... they hang a little tag from your bumper or your tire,
Scott Brady: That one was the most challenging.
Bryon Dorr: That looked awesome and that we just didn't get to that one. There's no way to get to every challenge in the time allotted. So you really gotta be choosy about what you do and try to optimize your points. But yeah, so what happened with that one? Because that one looked awesome.
Scott Brady: It was kind of like a mini tank trap, and then there was a rock crawling section that you had to get up to one of the tags with, and that was the most difficult.
Bryon Dorr: So you had to get the tag near an obstacle while driving off road close enough that you could punch it with like a whole punch from an orienteering thing. Right?
Scott Brady: Exactly. Yeah, so, and it was on a very short lead, so you'd be like off camber...
Matt Scott: Someone put a lot of work into this.
Scott Brady: Sean did a great job, and [00:58:00] his team did a great job. So one of them was at the top of this rock crawling field and that one was really interesting because that was one of the few times... in fact it was the only time I drove all day. But it was really fun for me because it was difficult. I mean, it was like, I was thinking I'm really having to pay attention to how to get this car right up to this tree without hitting the tree. But if you didn't have enough momentum, you'd spin out and it could not climb it because it was all wet from the rain. So it was just the right amount of bouncing momentum to get... I asked the guy, I said, how many people have hit the trees? Most.
Bryon Dorr: It poured overnight the night before. So everyone camped on the field the night before. So you get your info, you have dinner with everybody. They kind of tell you the rules and then you sleep in a tent in a field, and it pours rain on the back line of the Biltmore estate. Pouring. I mean, torrential downpour and what everybody always asks. Yes, Lindsey Vonn did sleep in a tent in the field with the rest of us.
Scott Brady: She did. She was great.
Bryon Dorr: That was the first thing everybody asked online. I'm like, yeah absolutely. [00:59:00] She was, I mean, she was on her own and you know...
Matt Scott: I wasn't worried about Lindsey Vonn; I was worried about the journalists.
Scott Brady: I think Land Rover did a pretty good job.
Bryon Dorr: We stayed at the Biltmore hotel the night before and after the tent. So it wasn't awful. They didn't...
Scott Brady: It was just a simple little, two-person tent. I thought it was kind of neat. The rain cover had the logo on it. So I wanted to keep it because it was special to me, and it was plenty warm and comfortable.
Bryon Dorr: And it's just an REI, two person backpacking tent with a REI 30 degree sleeping bag and an REI air pad. So it's a three pack they sell at REI as a kit and it comes in a single bag and then they're all orange, which is convenient and the tents, they had screen printed with the Trek logo for this year. So it's a kind of a limited-edition cool tent.
Scott Brady: I think it was super cool. I didn't hear any journalists complaining.
Matt Scott: I mean I was joking.
Scott Brady: Well, no, but you make a valid point. You literally make a valid point.
Bryon Dorr: There's a [01:00:00] variety of journalists there, like all ages and abilities and all of the above. So I know I talked to a few of them, and this was the first time they'd ever, since they were a kid, slept in a tent, like since they were like 17 and I was like, whoa, really? I don't see him in a tent very often these days, I got a nice Lexus that I can sleep inside of when I'm on the road, but you know every year or two, a couple of nights in a tent happens for sure.
Scott Brady: I loved it. I loved the fact that it was raining. It was fun.
Bryon Dorr: It made it more serious for me. It was like, all right, it's raining.
Scott Brady: That horn going off and we're all running to get our way points and it was... I don't know if you guys felt this way, but getting to the trucks, like I didn't know if I had made any of the right choices. Like I was, I was very quick to make decisions and to get the Waypoint in the device, we're all alone. There's nobody around and I'm like, this is gonna be the last truck... I'm starting to doubt myself.
Bryon Dorr: Did we run the wrong direction... run two miles in the wrong direction on hilly terrain. You're not going to make up that time.
Scott Brady: It was great though. It was [01:01:00] super fun.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah, we second guess ourselves like three times on that like nabbing the first truck. That was not as easy as it should have been. The information they gave us was not clean navigational information. We'll just leave it at that.
Scott Brady: Well, and even one of the, one of the events they had the way point completely wrong on the... and I told Sean, my like hey Sean, you might want to fix this for the next one. It was totally wrong.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah. So yeah, like I loved it. Just a variety of everything. It was great. Yeah. And there was stuff that beat us to, like, we talked about a few that we did really well at, but the reality is like we did one called rat trap and what that involves is this like octagon that you drive into with the truck, and it's really small, like one and a quarter of the length of the vehicle essentially and you have to drive in forward and you have to drive out forward and you have to, so you have to get this thing turned around within this little thing, without touching vertical poles on the octagon that are covered in pool noodles, like these poles. I won't say it was impossible, but we failed like we failed. I did it first as a driver [01:02:00] and there is a trick to it. I didn't want to give it away, but it's really hard and I'm not even sure the trick that I found out later afterwards would have helped us any, like that's how hard it was. It seems really simple. Like, just turn a car around in a box, or in an octagon thing. Every time we end up in a corner, like right next to the post, without touching any, but get right up to it and have no way to exit except going back the exact same way we were, and we end up right back in the middle, facing the wrong direction. It was the most frustrating thing I've ever done. So in those situations, you also have to cut your losses. Our team took a ton of time trying to get me through it because I was a driver and you had to get all three drivers to do this. It was like, oh man, this is going to take ages and you only have an hour max to do any of the competitions. So we basically gave up, we took three penalties on me to get me out of the thing, drove out and then each person drove in and out, just forward and back. Then we took off. So like we did it. We tried and hoped like, I don't know if anybody else is going to complete it, but at least we tried and we found out later, nobody else had made [01:03:00] it to that one. It's one of the furthest away from all the other big point ones. And nobody had actually gone there. So we got max points, even though we completely failed.
Scott Brady: Part of strategy. Yeah. That's awesome. One of the ones they had was a, you had to tow a vehicle trailer and it was very tight. You had to go... yeah, it was off road. You had to go around a loop this way and then back it up into a spot and then go forward and then go around the other way in the loop.
Bryon Dorr: But it's not a circle. It's very tight. It had these kinks in it. It was like.
Scott Brady: It was very tight.
Bryon Dorr: It was a wide car trailer, empty car trailer, but like a wide aluminum double axle trailer. Off-road.
Scott Brady: But this is how clever they are. This is what made it so fun. If you go in, you have to hook up the Defender to the trailer, the trailers are too low. How do you solve that with a Defender?
Matt Scott: Air suspension?
Scott Brady: Exactly. But nobody knew that. So like, as I'm backing up Kristin, I'm like, cause you had to have two drivers do the same thing. So Kristen Shaw was one and I was [01:04:00] the other driver for that and I said back up lower the air suspension and the guy was like, you figured that out quick. But he said some people just couldn't fit. So they're trying to lift it themselves as a team but it's too heavy. Or they would use the high lift jack to try to get it higher.
Bryon Dorr: That's the key part of this competition because it is for dealers, it's all about knowing the trucks. That's a big part they even told us beforehand, and you really got to know how the modes work. What's what? The air ride. How to make the truck work the way you need it to work. The night before they did give us a little refresher on what was in the vehicle. They let us ask questions and they would answer anything about it with the buttons, they had one vehicle there at camp, in the rain and they showed us how to use the winch and the remote control for it and everything else. Because a number of people hadn't used that set up on that rig. So it was super fun. All of it was just like...
Scott Brady: I was so stoke the whole day. I mean, we had such a great time. I could not have asked for a better team. We laughed and we never raised our voices, and we did our very [01:05:00] best and we had just an awesome time doing it.
Bryon Dorr: I don't know how that happened, like on our team it was the same. It was like we all clicked. We all worked together really well. We hadn't really known each other at all. And it just flowed all day long. We never really had...
Matt Scott: Tom and Jeff are just awesome people.
Bryon Dorr: They're awesome. I'm so stoked to have them, you know, as new friends. It was just amazing.
Scott Brady: I don't know Jeff well, but Tommy I know well, and he's always been great to deal with.
Bryon Dorr: Absolutely. The teamwork was a huge part of it. Like there's no way to win that without good teamwork. It's impossible and that's always been the motto of Land Rover and especially Camel Trophy winning Camel Trophy is a big deal, right? But winning the team spirit award is what goes down in the record books. That's really the important thing to win at Camel Trophy back in the day. So that's kind of... I know I brought that concept with me into this event as like, even if we don't win, I'm going to try to win. I'm a competitor. I'm going to go out there, but I don't know my teammates, I don't really know what's going on. Like I'm going to show up and I'm just going to give it whatever I can, but I'm going to do it with a smile and with helping other teams and doing whatever we can to do it the right way. Like you said, keeping the [01:06:00] speeds down and that kind of thing. You could kind of cut those corners. If you were being overly competitive and didn't care about those rules.
Scott Brady: I remember I got the invite. I get this like a butterfly in my stomach and I'm sitting there and I'm thinking like, oh no. I can't do it. I got to ask Matt first.
Matt Scott: It was very gracious.
Scott Brady: Matt. I mean...
Matt Scott: That was my thing.
Scott Brady: Like if someone said, hey we're doing the Camel Trophy again? I would like, burn Overland International down. I'm going. But it was Trek. Like you drove... that was your company car when you worked here.
Matt Scott: It was super cool to be 21 and have a 2003 Disco with, I think I had 900 miles?
Scott Brady: No miles on it when we got it.
Bryon Dorr: So Matt's Disco the Trek edition that they had here at Overlander International for a couple of years back in early 2011, it still had the OJ stickers on it. They had it at the event, and they had some photos with it right next to a brand-new Defender, which was really pretty slick.
Scott Brady: So I go, [01:07:00] I go up to Matt and I'm like, Matt I got an invite to Trek. You got to go. I'm like, you gotta do it. You've always wanted to do it and you're looking at the dates and you're like, I can't do it. I'll only be back from my honeymoon for one day.
Matt Scott: I was so jet lagged. I was in Africa for two weeks.
Scott Brady: Well you drank eight gallons of rose. So you weren't ready to run.
Matt Scott: Running. I mean, I was not big, but I was, as the Australian says, very pissed.
Bryon Dorr: I thought it was fitting.
Scott Brady: Well. Congratulations, Brian, you did such a great... I was so proud of your performance and the whole team and you guys were gracious victors and I think it's a Testament to you and your team members for all of your skills. It's nice to see journalists with that level of competency out competing, and you guys did a great job.
Bryon Dorr: It was fun. We did it with a smile and, you know Lindsey Vonn team, the stack team, definitely... They came in second and gave us a run for our money. We knew the target and yeah, I think it was a surprise to a [01:08:00] lot of people that we pulled it off. We did well. It was like 221 points our team got, and we beat the second-place team by 57 points. A little bit of a margin that was really, really fun. We played a tactic... we had a really good strategy the night before that we came up with and we kind of went the opposite way that we knew everybody else would go and we went big early. It worked, and we were fortunate to be with you, not with you. Get to the trucks right at the beginning with you. I mean, we're the very first teams, like your team was first of the trucks by like a second, like 10 feet and we came from opposite directions, which is crazy that it worked out like that. Then finished the day together doing the team exercise that everybody probably did early in the day, our two teams decided to meet there later in the day, right before the end.
Scott Brady: And we coordinated it well. We were texting back and forth, Brian and I, it was perfect. We did it and we made it work.
Bryon Dorr: Yeah, I'm sweating on a high lift, trying to get a Defender up a hill with a winching high lift with a texting in one hand, Scott, like we'll be there in five minutes. I got one more leg. We're gonna make it.
Scott Brady: That's so awesome. It was so good. [01:09:00] So thanks to Land Rover for inviting us. It was a total joy to do that, and also thanks to my teammates. Kristen Shaw and Kristen Canning. You were both fantastic and I'll go race any race with you two any time, and we thank you all for listening and we'll talk to you next time.