I was watching TV the other day when I saw a commercial promoting RVing as a vacation option. One of the selling points discussed in the ad was being able to enjoy the great outdoors. I understood the point, but I also realize that there are some nature lovers for whom RVing will not work. They would rather go overlanding instead.
Overlanding is a means of travel for which the destination is not so important. What matters is the journey. Serious overlanders love getting off-road. They enjoy being off-grid and entirely self-sufficient. Similarly, some RV owners would say they do the same thing via their motorhomes and fifth wheels. Still, there is a decided difference between the two activities.
What about you? Would you rather enjoy the great outdoors by RVing or overlanding? There is no right or wrong answer. The only caveat is that you know what you are getting into before you start seriously overlanding.
You Will Need the Equipment
The most challenging aspect of both types of activities is expense. Whether you want to go RVing or overlanding, you need some expensive equipment just to get started. For example, RVs cost a lot. But so do fully outfitted overlanding rigs.
Both overlanders and RVers invest money in portable refrigerators and stoves, auxiliary batteries, safety gear, hand tools, portable electronics, and a lengthy list of camping gear and accessories. How much do you want to spend? You might spend more on a fully equipped, customized overlanding rig.
Where You Go Matters
The other substantial difference between RVing and overlanding is where you actually go. With an RV, you are limited to public campgrounds, private campgrounds, and lands that are easily accessible without much trouble. There are no limits with overlanding – at least as long as you’re not trespassing on private property.
If you are looking to explore some of the more rugged areas of Utah’s Wasatch front for example, an RV might not cut it. But if you’re content to stay mainly on paved roads, a motorhome or fifth wheel would suffice.
So Does Your Willingness to Be Self-Sufficient
Where you go matters, but so does your willingness to be self-sufficient. RVing at public and private campgrounds doesn’t require a tremendous amount of self-sufficiency because civilization is always close at hand. Not so with overlanding.
Overlanding can have you in the middle of nowhere for quite some time. If you break down, you might have to rely on some hand tools, a few Rollercam tie down straps, and a roll of duct tape to make it back to civilization. You also need to be prepared to take care of yourself in the event of injury or illness.
You Can Enjoy Some Spectacular Things
So far, this post has dealt mainly with the differences between RVing and overlanding. But there are some things they have in common, including being able to enjoy some spectacular things. Take sunsets. There is nothing quite like watching the sun come up surrounded by all that nature has to offer.
With both RVing and overlanding there are opportunities to go hiking, boating, fishing, birdwatching, and on and on. Nature offers a cornucopia of opportunities to do things you just cannot do at a hotel resort or in your suburban neighborhood. Hotels and suburbia aren’t bad; they are just different.
If you are into nature and all it offers, how do you go about enjoying it? And if you had the opportunity to try one or the other, would you prefer seeing the great outdoors by RVing or overlanding? Think about it before your next adventure.