Overland Expo West (OE West) brings together over 10,000 overland enthusiasts from around the world. This year OE West was held in Flagstaff, Arizona, the gateway to the Grand Canyon and Four Corners. At the expo, there are plenty of camping, trails, exhibitions and classes to fill attendees’ outdoor adventure needs. Tread Magazine – best known as a guide to automotive adventure and outdoor lifestyles – attended OE West, running a VIAIR Heavy Duty Onboard Air system in their vehicle.
We had a chance to chat with Tread Magazine to hear more about their experience!
– What is Overland Expo, and is this your first time attending?
Overland Expo is an event for those who explore by their own self-contained means, whether be it by 4×4 vehicle, motorcycle or dedicated rig. This was TREAD Magazine’s first time attending OE West handing out magazines and stickers along with a few subscription winners.
– What was your favorite moment/highlight of the Overland Expo?
The best highlight for us was meeting a lot of our readers at the weekend camp sites where we were camped out. The hospitality and good character that this demographic has is truly why we do what we do. Everyone we met had a passion for exploring and spending countless days finding new adventures. Not to mention – all of the setups everyone had were incredible! Many “base camp” attendees had off-road trailers, solar systems, roof top tents, full kitchens and even portable outhouses to be completely self-contained.
– How important was your Viair Heavy Duty OBA while on the trails, and what did you think of its performance?
Having on board air is a huge advantage on the trails and at camp. We took a pretty good amount of the Mojave Road while heading out there. Not having to wait for a portable compressor or find a gas station to fill up when we got back on the road (which there wasn’t one for 20 miles) was a tire and time saver…especially when we filled up two vehicles in less than 10 minutes!
– Approximately, how many were in attendance (vehicles)?
I’d say over 10,000 people were in attendance but if we are talking vehicles, more than a few thousand and that’s only what I saw of the one weekend camping area. I didn’t have a chance to get to the other camp grounds.
– Do you think a Viair portable compressor should be vital tool in an overlander’s emergency kit?
Absolutely! Even if you already have onboard air, redundancy is key when far from civilization. You never know where or when you will take trail damage. If you compromise your OBA system on a rock or any other obstacle, you should still have the means to air back up when you get back onto pavement.
– In a scale of 1-10, how difficult was it to install your Heavy Duty OBA? How long did it take you?
I’d say around a 5 in difficulty. The most complicated part was finding mounting points for everything. Once everything was mounted in place, the wiring diagram and instructions were a breeze to follow and it was just a matter of running wires and air lines to the components. It took me a good part of a weekend to finish it up but I was doing other work to the rig. If I worked on just the OBA install, I’d say I could have been done in a few hours.
– Being that it’s new, how well was Tread Mag welcomed at Overland Expo West?
TREAD was extremely welcomed. We had vendors giving out magazines, we gave out subscriptions and had many magazines in the welcome bags handed out to attendees at registration. TREAD stickers were handed out throughout the event. We also brought hundreds of magazines along with us, and most of them gone by Saturday.
– Are there any overlanding trends you noticed this year?
I noticed a huge improvement to the trailer market this year. Off-road trailers have been popular for a while, but they are getting more and more features. Many now have the base camp amenities found in RV camping, including full kitchens, showers, solar charging, heaters, even their own OBA systems.
Tread Magazine stated the VIAIR Heavy Duty Onboard Air System is a time and tire saver. Next time you’re on your outdoor adventure, check it out for yourself!
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