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Why we overland with a Mitsubishi L200 4×4 camper (Roadtrip USA 31)

Overlanding, or traveling over land and discovering new places. It's a question we often get… Why don't we have a 'normal' #vanlife campervan chosen for our adventures? The simple answer is because during the 'overlandwanting to continue where others should stop.

In many countries in Europe such as Albania, Spain en Norway (and of course also in the USA), there are countless national forests and pieces of land where you can camp for free. The big 'problem' is that there are hardly any roads there, or they are of deplorable quality. Stones, gravel, sand, mud, you never really know what you will encounter.

But let these are precisely the areas where you end up in the most beautiful places, far from civilization and in the middle of nature. All you have to do to get there is embark on the adventure.


Plan your vacation to America here


Our journey through the United States and Canada

This article is part of a major one-year journey that we (Chris and Malou van Wereldreizigers.nl), are currently making by the United States en Canada† We started in New York City and are through Washington DC en Baltimore (where we shipped our RV), first traveled south (Florida) and then made a full round of the country.

Organizing this trip took a lot of time and energy. So we had to US B1/B2 visa of one year and we spent weeks working on it renovating our 4×4 camper† Then we got to work on the RV to America to ship and in hindsight it turned out to be a Dutch vehicle insurance in America to be one of the biggest challenges.

When that was all over, we could finally focus on the anticipation: figuring out and planning all the beautiful places we want to visit. I built the ultimate roadtrip route through America and Canada of roughly 50.000 kilometers in Google maps and we are now making our dream come true! The interactive map can be viewed below.

More blogs from our trip through America and Canada


Off-road trail at Yellowstone National Park

Offroad with our Mitsubishi L200 in West Yellowstone | A 20% slope in the forest
Offroad with our Mitsubishi L200 in West Yellowstone | A 20% slope in the forest

Today we had another such adventure, just outside Yellowstone National Park. I think the photos give a distorted picture. Here you are looking at a very steep sandy road in the mountains where parts have been washed away by heavy rainfall. Do not underestimate the slope and depth of these grooves, you can just go on your side here if you are not careful.

The deep grooves are dangerous, we can easily tip over here with our top heavy camper
The deep grooves are dangerous, we can easily tip over here with our top heavy camper
Slow but steady, our Mitsubishi L200 4x4 gets pretty much everywhere
Slow but steady, our Mitsubishi L200 4×4 gets pretty much everywhere (at a snail's pace 😀 )

Overland = build bridges

The grooves were so deep that we had to build 'bridges' with sand, thick branches and stones. This to fill in the grooves so that we do not hit the ground with the camper or worse, get stuck or even tilt.

Sometimes we have to 'build bridges' ourselves with sand, stones and branches for our Mitsubishi L200 camper
Sometimes we have to 'build bridges' ourselves with sand, stones and branches for our Mitsubishi L200 camper
In the meantime, we have to check whether the ground clearance is good, in other words whether we are not touching the ground
In the meantime, we have to check whether the ground clearance is good, in other words whether we are not touching the ground

The large off-road tires would simply disappear in this ditch, with all possible consequences.

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Low gear + 4×4 = the only way

We only came in low gear with 4×4 activated crawling up and back down again. I really wouldn't have started this with a 2-wheel drive, that would be madness.

The photos in this article are on their way back down. This time also crawling in low-gear, constantly looking at our ground clearance and tilt values. It all just went well and we had to get out regularly to see if it would work or if we had to come up with something else.

Crawling down, sometimes off-roading is a real inch of work. Get out, look, a little further and look again
Crawling down, sometimes off-roading is a real inch of work. Get out, look, a little further and look again

No car is perfect

So yes, why this Mitsubishi L200 4×4 camper? Why not a 4×4 with a roof tent? Why not an overland expedition truck (aka 4×4 truck)?

As far as we are concerned, a 4×4 pickup truck with a camper on it (a so-called drop-off unit) is the golden mean. Both in terms of possibilities and limitations, but also in terms of budget.

Our Mitsubishi L200 4x4 camper with demountable unit in the desert
Our Mitsubishi L200 4×4 camper with demountable unit in the desert

4×4 car with roof tent

A car with a roof tent is more capable off-road, that's for sure. But it doesn't have its own living room and hot shower. Something we definitely want during our 1 year trip. I can't imagine unfolding that tent every day, having no shower and no dry place to work when the weather is bad. You are then really dependent on external facilities, while we want to be independent.

Expedition truck

An expedition truck usually has all this, but is also a lot bigger. An expedition truck is more difficult to maneuver in cities and also off-road, during a tight trail, you don't just turn around… In addition, such a truck costs 100.000 euros or more and consumes three times as much fuel and that money we simply don't have.

A fixed bed, a hot shower, large folding chairs and a mini living room. Our camper has everything we need.
A fixed bed, a hot shower, large folding chairs and a mini living room. Our camper has everything we need.

Conclusion Pickup with demountable unit

The pickup truck with separate (deposit unit) camper is therefore the golden mean for us. We have a little more space so we could good solar panels, an fat power station and a electric water heater so that we can shower anytime, anywhere and make our own be able to filter drinking water. We also have our own mini-living room for the evening and when the weather is bad and a fixed bed, which is also nice.

Also read: Our 4×4 world trip camper (1) | Bathroom and interior
Also read: Our 4×4 world trip camper (2) | Gadgets & Upgrades
Also read: Our 4×4 world trip camper (3) | Technique and upgrades to car

Yes, we are top heavy with the +- 1000 kilo camper on the back of the pick-up truck. But still we get (almost) everywhere! We often go cautiously and at a snail's pace ?, but the 200 Mitsubishi L2.5 2003 Turbo Diesel continues to amaze us every time ?. What a great machine.


Plan your vacation to America here


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Chris

Owner of Wereldreizigers.nl † Discover the world!

✔️ January 2021 - Friesland
✔️ February 2021 - Dordrecht
❌ March 2021 - Hard lockdown
✔️ April 2021 - Roadtrip Switzerland
✔️ April 2021 - Elsloo, Friesland
✔️ May 2021 - Eijsden & Maastricht, Limburg
✔️ May 2021 - Breda
✔️ May 2021 - Achterhoek
✔️ June 2021 - Mallorca, Spain
✔️ July 2021 - Roadtrip Croatia
✔️ August 2021 - Roadtrip Slovenia
✔️ August 2021 - Kenya Tour
✔️ September 2021 - Round trip Uganda
✔️ October 2021 - Ostend, Belgium
❌ November 2021 - Home
❌ December 2021 - Home

➡️ 2022 - 1 year United States & Canada

Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!

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