Show Notes for Podcast Episode #9
The Principles of Overlanding :: Payload

Summary
We introduce our new series called the Principles of Overlanding, where Matt and Scott do the deep dive on cornerstone topics related to vehicle-based adventure travel. This first topic is payload, one of the most-often misunderstood and abused factors of overland vehicle preparation. 

Real payload requires research, purchasing a vehicle that meets your needs for hauling and towing. The popularity of full-size vehicles like this RAM is because of the tragic payload numbers of most North American specification mid-size trucks and SUVs. 

The Principles of Overlanding was inspired in part by Ray Dalio's book: Principles Life and Work


Matt reinforces that payload is most often caused by the conflict between needs and wants. It is feasible to travel around the world for a decade off of a motorcycle, that means it is entirely feasible to do the same in a vehicle with a limited payload. Just pack less stuff. 


Definitions: 

GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is determined by the manufacturer, and is the sum of both curb weight and payload. 

GCVWR: Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating is also determined by the manufacturer, and is the sum of both GVWR and the trailer towing capacity of the vehicle. 

Payload: This is the most critical number, and is GVWR minus the curb weight. Payload includes full vehicle fluids, but not passengers. As a result, just four or five adults can exceed the total payload of many SUVs. 

Roof Load Rating: The dynamic roof payload capacity, as determined by the manufacturer. Most SUVs have a 120-160 pound capacity. The 200 series land cruiser has a 400 pound+ roof capacity, and the new 2020 Defender is 370 pounds.

Sprung weight: The weight of the vehicle structure and components supported by the suspension. 

Unsprung weight: The weight of the tires, wheels, axle, and suspension components not supported by the suspension. 

Rotating Mass: Typically the weight of the tires, wheels, and brake/axle components. The heavier this mass, the more difficult it is for the vehicle to accelerate the mass or stop is (braking)

Reciprocating Mass: Typically the weight of the tires, wheels, and brake/axle components as they more up and down over uneven terrain or road surfaces. 

 

 

SAE J2807 is the method that OEM engineers use to come to these numbers: 

https://jalopnik.com/what-is-sae-j2807-what-does-it-mean-for-trucks-1593305929


Primary factors that determine payload (there are many others not listed)

1. Axle and bearing load rating

2. Wheel and tire load rating

3. Spring rates and shock valving

4. Braking performance (effectiveness and heat dissipation)

5. Engine and transmission cooling effectiveness 


In the end, payload is really about safety. Safety for you, your family, and others on the road. 

 

It is really about safety, and not just for you, but everyone else on the road.

For improved safety and performance, we do not recommend exceeding 85-90% of the GVWR. Less is even better. 

Consider the legal ramifications like fines, citations, denied insurance claims, and even criminal negligence if it can be determined that the vehicle was willfully overloaded and resulted in the death or dismemberment of another motorist or pedestrian.  


If you plan to ship your vehicle internationally, know the regulations for compliance with GVWR. Australia is particularly stringent. 

Keep an eye on what you do not use after a few trips, and don’t feel ashamed to remove it from your vehicle. 

 

So, what do we do about it?

By the right vehicle

Take less stuff…

Modify only as required, and find items that perform multiple functions, and are lighter

Position the load properly

Weigh your vehicle as it is being modified

Remove unneeded OEM parts (like third row seats)

Deduct the weight of the items you remove

Consider a trailer for families 

Transcript

Show Notes for Podcast Episode #9
The Principles of Overlanding :: Payload

Host Bios:
Scott Brady
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal, and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @globaloverland

Matthew Scott
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most-remote places by 4WD, and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. Matt is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication, and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore

Transcript:
Hello, and welcome to the Overland Journal Podcast. I am your host Scott Brady and I am here with my co host Matt Scott. What are we going to do a little different today Matt?

Matt: Today we are going to be starting an all new series on the Overland Journal Podcast called The Principals of Overlanding. What this series is really meant to do, it’s meant to explain some more basic concepts in a little bit more detail, so you can get out and have the benefit of my experience, Scott’s experience and everybody that we’ve collaborated on for this series and make it all available to you.

Scott: Ya, and the thing about it that I think is important to reiterate is I’ve only touched the surface of what there is to know about overlanding and I have a lifetime still of learning to do around this subject. But what this gives Matt and I the opportunity to do is give a deep dive, a lot of additional research, supportive research around these topics. So it's going to be things like what we are going to talk about today, payload. Things we are going to talk about like Border Crossing. Visa’s and other documentation. Shipping your vehicle around the world. The basics of suspension. The basics of an interior buildout and camping components. Why do you select a van over a wagon for example. So these are going to be very digestible subjects. They're going to be shorter in form, but they’re really going to dig into the details, going to dig into the subject matter of it. And partly this series was inspired by a book that I read a few years ago called Principles by Ray Dalio. This guy is extremely successful. He has one of the worlds largest and most successful hedge funds. He talks a lot about developing an organization and developing a mindset around principles. The thing that he said that was the most salient to me and I appreciated the most was, I don't want to just think that I know that I’m right. Or think that I am right. I want to know that I am right. When I say that, it isn’t to even partially suggest that everything that Matt and I are going to talk about today makes us right. What it does do is it makes us think about what are the supporting details, what are the elements that surround it that help us know a little more in that we are right in what we are saying.

Matt: I don’t think there is a better place to start on this than payload. If there is one area that overlanders are grossly negligent its payload. Fortunately some people are choosing really durable vehicles that are maybe under rated for the factory but what we want to teach you on this is why it’s better to weigh less. Why you should consider that. Why you need to consider bringing things with you that you don't need.

Scott: You talk about that a lot. You talk about needs vs. wants.

Matt: Needs vs. wants. That is my biggest thing. It's easy to want everything and it's easy to say you need everything, but what do you actually need. I think overlanding is really those looking to go on really long term trips. It’s about just distilling what you're bringing with you because the stuff does weight you down.

Scott: I would say that is the thing that I see most often when it comes to best practice, that's violated,its vehicles that are over their gross vehicle weight rating. Or even if they're pulling a trailer, they are oftentimes over the gross combined vehicle weight. Makes me think of a funny thing, a few years ago, if you typed in the word overlanding on an iPhone, it would autocorrect to overloading. *laughs* Which I thought was such beautiful karma. *laughs* Something for us all to remember is that we often overload our vehicles and I will tell you and everyone else that is listening is, I have done this so many times in my life and I regret every time that I have over built a vehicle and overloaded a vehicle. I've always ended up with something that didn’t perform properly, something that suffered more damage and failures in reliability issues. I enjoyed it less as the driver, so there are a lot of reasons we’re going to talk about those today to keep the vehicle under gross vehicle weight rating. Maybe let's start with talking about a couple of the key terms. Matt what do you think about kind of giving us an overview?

Matt: So ya, you’re going to hear us say: GVWR a lot, and it's really simple it's Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. That is the rating that the manufacturer gives that particular auto vehicle and that is what they certify it to. So if your curb weight is 5,000lb and you have a cargo capacity or payload of 1500lbs, well your gross vehicle weight rating is going to be 6500lbs. It’s really simple: payload is gross vehicle weight rating minus curb weight.

Scott: Exactly. That's the factory curb weight, that is not what your truck is today, it's how it came out of the factory. That's how they assign those things.

Matt: And something that we just learned, which there is some discrepancy on, is that your payload is calculated with a full tank of gas, all of your liquids; brake fluid, coolant, engine oil and nothing else.

Scott: Ya, nothing else. No consideration towards passengers and in the curb weight. That's really important and we're going to talk about those things that add up and then we're going to discuss ways to address this. Some ideas in our travels that help with that. The next thing we are going to talk about is the gross combined vehicle weight rating. That is both the gross weight rating of the vehicle plus the towing capacity of the vehicle. So if you add those two items together you get the gross combined vehicle weight rating. Sometimes that is the only way to solve the payload problem is to tow a trailer. That really is applicable if you think about a family where there are two or three kids, you can easily occupy a lot of the space within the vehicle that could normally be allocated towards equipment, so I think trailers are very appropriate for families. Where I start to get a little concerned is where I see a solo driver or a couple that has a 100 series Land Cruiser and a trailer behind it, I start to get a little bit concerned that maybe they’re over doing it.

Matt: To start, you can’t win anything at overlanding. Overlanding is something for self, so you’re not winning by bolting more stuff on. He who has the most does not win at overlanding, he who has seen the most.

Scott: The only thing that impresses me anymore are people's passports, and their stories and where they have been and what they have experienced and how it’s changed them. So we want to keep it as simple as possible. The next thing is curb weight. Curb Weight as a definition is the manufacturers curb weight and there can also be a curb weight that you get when you add modifications and you go and you take it to a local scale and you figure what your current vehicle weight is. It’s really important to do on a regular basis so that way you can get a baseline on how your truck is against those vehicle weight ratings.

Matt: Roof load rating, umm, that's not something you hear thrown around a lot. It is almost always grossly blown over through the aftermarket. Except for the new Defender. It is crazy 460lbs of dynamic.

Scott: and I believe close to 550lbs of static, and another good example of that is the 200 series Land Cruiser around 240-250lbs of roof load rating under dynamic conditions. There are very few other vehicles that get close to that. Most of the 4-wheel drives that we see, the Jeeps and Four Runners etc. end up somewhere between the 80-150lb range if you're lucky. So that is really important if you remember how much a roof tent weighs, it can easily weigh 120-150lbs. So you basically end up with a roof tent and a couple of cross bars and that's it. This is really critical, if you think about it, those ratings are set for a vehicle at stock suspension height and stock center of gravity. Once we start to lift our vehicles, add taller section height tires, we start to really stress those vehicle dynamics that help support that roof load. So we really need to be thinking hard about when we start to add roof loads. Or let's just start with buying the right vehicle. In my mind if you want to put a bunch of stuff on the roof buy a 200 series. Buy a Defender.

Matt: Every action you do to your vehicle has a reaction. I think that's the important thing to know while we talk about payload. Just keep it in mind. Sprung weight and unsprung weight, pretty simple. Basically anything your suspension is holding up that is sprung weight. Everything your suspension is not holding up, that's below that bottom of that coil spring, that is unsprung weight. You also have rotating mass and things like that. I guess the old race car thing with rotating mass was any pound of rotating mass you add was seven pounds of unsprung weight. People that are putting in really heavy tires, let's say you have a Four Runner that doesn't even have a LT construction tire from the factory and you go to a 35”. Well you're probably adding 25-30lbs of rotating mass x seven, that is where you really start to feel that weight. Acceleration and braking and everything.

Scott: It definitely affects acceleration and braking. Acceleration we can address to a small degree by changing the gear ratio on the vehicle. The braking performance we can improve slightly by improving the brakes, improving the sweep area, and improving the caliper configuration. But then you also have reciprocating mass. That is the tire and the wheel going up and down and that weight is now something the suspension needs to manage. It becomes more difficult for the shocks to manage that which means increased heat within the shock absorber's fluid. IT’s also more difficult for the spring to manage that. So anytime we add weight to the vehicle we want to be really mindful of that. Now, it doesn’t mean don’t put big tires on a vehicle, in order to cross Antarctica, you gotta run 44” tires. But you end up with very little suspension travel and they are not designed to operate at high speeds. Everything is a give and take and that compromise needs to be considered when we build our vehicles. If we do a lot of highway driving, you use the vehicle everyday, your daily driver.. Be very careful about putting big tires on it.

Matt: I also caution too, large tires don’t necessarily mix if you're going to be running over gross vehicle weight. The more your vehicle has to essentially push that, the more your engine has to push, that's just going to further reduce that cargo capacity of the vehicle.

Scott: And here's the crazy thing, it becomes a compounding issue, so once you get close to gross vehicle weight or over it, then the vehicle breaks down more often. So you tend to bring more spares, and you tend to bring more tools to fit those spares, which makes those vehicles heavier. All of those things start to become a factor, it starts to compound it and then you think I need to add a turbo charger because the vehicle is so slow. That adds additional weight. Every time we do that it affects the overall performance. So we oftentimes have more fun and enjoy our vehicle more when they are closest to stock. So if we use that as the baseline and we only add things that we absolutely have to, you end up with a much lighter vehicle. Now all of these definitions that we have talked about, they come from a series of regulations, and OEM engineering parameters that they use to determine gross vehicle weight, towing capacity, etc. One of those is the SAEJ2807. Why don’t you talk about that a little Matt.

Matt: So SAEJ2807, that is the society of automotive engineers. Basically a group of engineers that work for OEM companies. Basically they say hey this is the standard testing procedure that we’re going to do. Now the biggest part of that test is what they call the Davis Dam test. So that is actually in Arizona, Arizona SR-68 if you're crazy. It runs up a big damm. It's several thousand feet that you're gaining in a relatively short distance. That is meant to test the cooling capacity of the vehicle, is it going to overheat. There's a lot of things that also affect your payload, whether you believe it or not, affects the cooling capacity of your vehicle. If you guys check out my Gladiator podcast, one of the things I talk about is regearing it. Not necessary for performance that 8 speed could handle the 37’s relatively fine. ITs actually about keeping your cooling system in check because that's where the Gladiators biggest limitation is and I think that you will find in a lot of vehicles most of the vehicles we drive aren't necessarily overpowered. Unless you're driving an F-250, a Ram 2500 or something right. Keep an eye on that cooling capacity because that is directly related to payload.

Scott: Gearing is a mechanical advantage. Once you add much larger diameter tires you change the whole leverage on the system. And the vehicle has to work hard to get those, heavier now and larger diameter tires accelerated and that adds heat into the automatic transmission, or it adds strain on the clutch and we have to think about all of those impacts and that's why that's part of these SAE regulations.

Matt: Another thing we're looking at is acceleration. They have a standard where they have X amount of weight in the vehicle has to accelerate to 60mph under a certain amount of time. They’re checking for trailer sway, they're checking for braking performance, they're checking for the structural engineering of the vehicle. Can the frame actually handle it. There is a great story on Jalopnik that Andrew Collins wrote if you just Google SAEJ2807 it will explain that in detail, that will be in the show notes really, really soon. Check it out. ‘

Scott: I would suggest that you check it out. And the more we educate ourselves on the limits of our vehicles, and the implications of that which is the next thing we're going to talk about. Having a vehicle over gross vehicle weight there are several issues with that. First of all, I think there's an ethical component. If you can't properly swerve around a child that came out of the street after a ball, I think that we have a duty to make sure that the vehicles can handle properly. But then there is also the consideration that you are on the trip of a lifetime. You get your one week of vacation to go down to Baja, and now you have a vehicle that overheats the transmission, or you smoke the brakes or you blow a corner and you end up rolling or damaging the vehicle and your trips over, there's consequences to all of that. There's also legal considerations, if you get into an accident and the vehicle is determined to be grossly overweight, you can be sited by the officer on scene or being held liable later. It can also result in the insurance company not accepting your claim. Particularly if it results in injury or death to the individual that you've had an impact with. Or if they can clearly demonstrate that the vehicle benign overloaded, which was an intention by the owner resulted in the crash. So we need to be very careful about whether we need to be both ethical, legal and our ability to make an insurance claim.

Matt: And some states would go as far as to include this in their annual inspection. I want to say that if it's registered to a business in Maryland for example, they actually have the ability to weigh the vehicle now, they may not always do that, but it is something that can happen. I think the biggest problem with payload is that it's something that's ignored because it's something not necessarily enforced in the United states. There is very little negative repercussion on a day to day basis, if any. I think a lot of it comes when something does go wrong. You're really up a creek without a paddle. Australia is a great example..

Scott: It is a good example.

Matt: They actually have roadside GVWR weigh stations where they will defect the vehicle and tow your car. They will also check for if the tires are outside of the arches or if there's too much suspension lift. I always think that Australia is leading in terms of the industry and safety and it's very important I think for everybody that's listening to this podcast to consider it.

Scott: Just consider it. It can feel sometimes like big brother, but I think if as a community, we do some self policing and we start to pay some attention to it, we can start to help stave off some of those laws that may feel like big brother in the future. A lot of that stuff is literally just ensuring that people are responsible and Australia is a great example of that.

Matt: We are so lucky here. They're kind of screwed there. They cannot readily get a Ram 3500 that has a 4,000lb payload capacity, or whatever it is I'm not even keeping up these days. We have lots of options and I think choosing the right vehicle is great.

Scott: That's a great place to start.

Matt: I love Tacomas and I hate to rag on Tacomas; they are the standard overland vehicle in the United States but when I see a Tacoma that has an 1150lb payload capacity, has drum brakes in the rear, C channel, are they box frames?

Scott: I don’t believe so.. Especially in the back.

Matt: I don't believe so, the Hilux is a box.

Scott: aft of the spring hangers..

Matt: And people put a flatbed, full 4-wheel camper, they put bumpers, sliders, winches, larger tires. All this stuff they have 3,000lbs of stuff. In a car that can legally carry 1100lbs of stuff. We have guys that have full size dreams on a ¼ Ton chassis.

Scott: That's what I did with my Tacoma years ago. I just kept adding stuff. And I regretted it. My vehicle suffered because of it. Fortunately it was a Toyota so there was definitely some tolerance.

Matt: They literally don’t break. I actually have been on a trip with a guy that shall remain nameless, he wanted to keep up with my JK that was on Fox suspension and a ground tent. They had a full on camper in Valley of the Gods, they launched it off and bent the frame. It can happen. I think it's important, while it is a Toyota, I have seen a Toyota break.

Scott: It happens, every vehicle has its limits for sure. I think that is what comes to the next point is there are a lot of factors that come into play with this, it's also the slow boil. We add these things very incrementally. If you went from driving your vehicle in stock condition to the next day I could put you in the driver seat with it as you have modified it today, you would think holy cow. You would think I can’t stop, this does not handle properly, it accelerates so slowly, why am I getting 35% less fuel economy, which is another factor. It’s just like the spare parts and tools. If you make the vehicle less efficient, you need to now carry more fuel which adds more weight which adds to the problem. So it really does compound. There are core elements to the vehicle that you can adjust. Improve some of these performance indicators. Were not at all suggesting that you run over payload, but if you're maybe getting up to that 90-95% gross vehicle weight there are things that you can do to bring back some of those performance characteristics. Matt talked about regearing, that's a critical one. You can upgrade the axles. A lot of vehicles are coming with better than in the past axles like Gladiator and the JL for example are coming out with heavy duty Dana 44’s . But you can upgrade the axles and you can upgrade the bearings. But you have to make sure that your wheels and tires can support the weight that you've added to the vehicle. You can adjust your spring rate going with an Old Man Emu suspension or an AEV or Icon, any of these high quality brands that manufacture springs that have an additional load capacity. That's a great way to be able to address the ride height that you're trying to maintain with the additional load. Of course you want to make sure that the shock valving is appropriate for the weight.

Matt: I have that issue with the Gladiator. There were no options out. They were just too soft.

Scott: What are some other things you think that we can do to improve the vehicle with additional weight?

Matt: I think the best thing to do and it's the cheapest one is just keep an eye on what's in your vehicle. The best way to do this and this isn’t my method. It's a method from a guy I know, Steve in the U.K. Start putting stickers on things. If you don’t use it, put a sticker on it. It makes you kind of cognizant of maybe I don’t need this french press. Maybe I don’t need the ice cream maker. Maybe I don’t need the washing machine. I mean the things that I have seen that people bring with them are absolutely crazy.

Scott: Or bench vice. People, they fabricate this vice on a receiver hitch, they are struggling to get it out of the car. And anything that is that heavy, it makes a big difference. You can also improve engine cooling which is something really important for vehicles like an 80 series. You can also improve braking performance.
Matt: Especially on older vehicles, the 80 series for example there's actually a factory Toyota auxiliary fan if you Google JDM Auxiliary fan, it's an electric fan, I put that in mine. Some models got a transmission cooler, some models didn't. Look into that. I always say if you're going to buy a new car get the towing package because that beefs up the cooling system and the transmission cooling and everything. So look and see, ok can I, generally transmission engine is a matter of getting rid of that heat, right? So the more thermal cooling you can add the better. Gearing is also going to do a lot for that in my opinion, that reduces the load on the engine. I think that a lot of this stuff comes down to gearing and suspension.

Scott: It really does. And don’t push it. If someone is right at gross vehicle weight they can maybe make the argument for it but what happens when you need to add other passengers because the vehicle that is with you breaks down. Or you need to put some of the gear of your roof rack. Or your significant other finds the armoire of their dreams down in Baja and you want to put that on the roof rack. It’s so easy to add a bunch of extra weight when you're not paying attention. Particularly if you need to add, bring extra fuel along.

Matt: and I find it;s just something that you have to think of. Sometimes you have to think differently if you have a 2000lb payload capacity. Maybe don’t think of it as 2000lbs. Just think of it as maybe my partner and I are both going to be in there and that we were both 200lbs because we're all Americans. Think of it as 1600lbs. Stop fooling yourself because you have to put yourself in that seat too. Figure out how much your fridge weighs, but then figure out how much your fridge weighs full of beer. If you're going to put drawers in your vehicle that's great but don’t let the drawers become just a place to accumulate crap. Also tools. Tools are tough because you always tell yourself you need it. But if your car is in metric, why are you bringing standard tools with you. Try and pair things down like tools are a place where you can save a lot of weight. I will actually work on my vehicle at home from the tool kit that is in my vehicle. I will take things out that I don't need.

Scott: Great idea. Or maybe add the things you do like the right hub wrench. Just only bring what you need to bring along.

Matt: Don't be under prepared but don’t bring stuff to fix the school bus in Ushuaia that you run into.

Scott: Or don’t put a high lift on the rack if you don't have a place for the high lift to lift from. A lot of modern vehicles simply don't have jacking points that are suitable.

Matt: That is like the ultimate poser mark is the rusted out high lift on the roof rack of the FJ Cruiser that has no points to use it from. I guess to be fair you could be using one of those wheel mounts but..

Scott: Sure. Think of if you're going to use it, if you need it. There are other solutions that can, these are some hacks that Matt and I have thought about but, can you buy things that have multiple uses. So you don’t have to have 3 highly specialized items, you can have one that can do the work of all of those. Like for example, a camp light. Instead of putting a bunch of lights on a rack, have one camp light with a clamp that you can move around on the rack where you need it. Move it into the tent so you're not bringing all those extra things along . When you start to look at that detail and you start to be more mindful of what you are purchasing that really helps. I also think its really important when you start adding items do the research on how much it weighs. Start a spreadsheet, I’m not really a spreadsheet guy but this is the perfect example of the spreadsheet. Start the spreadsheet with the payload that you have available in the vehicle and start to add your accessories up before you buy them and then as you buy them now they are on your list and you can add new accessories as you have payload available. One of the cool things you can do to help with that is remove the weight of the stuff you have taken out of the vehicle. So a great and probably the best example of that. Don’t drive around with third row seats in the vehicle if you don’t have passengers to fill three rows of seats. Those are very heavy and the safety requirements behind automotive seats is mind boggling and as a result they are extremely heavy. I remember I took the seats out of the back of my G-Wagon and they weighed hundreds of pounds. Typical German engineering they had struts which made them soft close and it helped you lift them, they were literally built to come out of the back of a C-130. It was amazing how well they were constructed but I saved hundreds of pounds when I removed them.

Matt: Ya, I just did a Goose Gear rear seat delete in my Gladiator. I think we netted between 50-75 pounds. Even by adding something back in and that's something that we never even use.

Scott: Ya, put that on your spreadsheet. I removed the factory bumper which weighed 35 pounds and I put on the ARB bumper which weighed 110 pounds with the winch. That way you can see where you’ve gained as well as where you have lost available payload. Another reason we have to be mindful of how much we weigh. That all adds to it. I guess in summary it is about safety at the core, but it's also about performance. We want our vehicles to perform. We want them to make that climb in front of all of our buddies. If you have a really heavy truck, that climb now becomes significantly more difficult, all that weight is shifted to the rear tires especially if you have a rear heavy loaded vehicle. That front tire will be very inclined to be unloaded or to even come off the ground which is going to reduce available traction. So certainly we think of it from a safety and a legal standpoint but at the end of the day we want our trucks to perform well. We want them to be fun to drive. Why make them so heavy that they stop being fun to drive.

Matt: We just want to treat the vehicle good, the vehicle is your horse in this scenario right? You don’t want to put too much on the horses back or the work breaks the back of the horse.

Scott: That's right, and there's that great Masai warrior phrase: “A warrior carries his experience on his back.” And if you have too much stuff it might be that you're better off spending a little money on training or spending more time in the field to realize what you don't need, or what you can do with less.

Matt: Realistically look at where your trip is taking you. I talk to so many people that say they're going to go do the Pan American Highway for example, and they come back and say I don’t know why I spent $1,000 on these 250 pound rock sliders, I was off the pavement for about 20 minutes. Figure out what you value and recognize travel and overland travel is not exclusive to off road travel. They don't have to be the same thing and you shouldn't have to feel that you need to have these things. There's nothing wrong with a stock bumper.

Scott: No.

Matt: You know I always say if you're going to go overkill on anything make sure you have good tires. But just go, you can do all of this out of a duffle bag. Both Scott and I have done it a million times in press cars. You fly in, you have your duffel bag with your stuff and you go. Those are some of my most enjoyable trips.

Scott: You are right because then you are not distracted by all the stuff. And I think, kind of in summary, it’s important to focus on what's important. If you really enjoy technical terrain, very remote in southern Utah, those sliders might be a very good idea. But then that means you should cmap like a backpacker in order to make up the difference. If you really want comfort and you're traveling and you don’t do that much technical driving, then you can leave the sliders and add your comfort elements, your roof tent or whatever and then it is important to remember that you do have the gross combined vehicle weight rating as a last resort. Which means you could add a trailer that would give you additional capacity.

Matt: and there are some nice trailers out there now.

Scott: yes, so comfortable. That's particularly relevant for families traveling in a smaller vehicle. That can be a great solution.

Matt: You know I always say anywhere you are in a third world, there will have been a Toyota Corolla that has been down that road. And almost every place you're going in America there is some kind of biologist in a bone stock F-150 with the cheapest tires the government would buy that has gone down that same exact road. So I will just leave everybody with the concept of need vs. want. Just make sure you have a healthy balance.

Scott: Absolutely. Well thanks for all your thoughts on this Matt and thanks to everyone who is listening. We appreciate it. We look forward to your comments and feedback. We started a thread on ExpeditionPortal.com in the forum where you can list questions and ideas. You can also reach out to us via the various social channels.

Matt: Scott what is your instagram?

Scott: Its @GlobalOverland, is mine. And what is yours?

Matt: I am @MattExplorer.

Scott: There ya go! So if people have ideas, questions, thoughts for future episodes. Or if you would like to be on episode and you have some thoughts you’d like to share that way. Please just reach out to us and we will get in touch.

Matt: Cool! Thanks Scott!

Scott: Thanks for listening.