After 2 years of wanting to attend Overland Expo East, we finally decided this would be the year to get it on the calendar early and make it officially happen. Well I am happy to say that the early planning paid off and we made it.
We left St. Louis on Thursday evening and headed to Knoxville with a caravan of 5 other rigs: 3 4runners and 2 Tacomas. Friday morning made for an early day as we finished the last leg of the trip and arrived at the Biltmore Estate late morning. What an unbelievable place! The photos don't do the place justice by any means. It is hard to capture the scale of how massive the property and house actually are. If you have time, stop by there and take the tour. You won't regret it.
Aside from the awesome property, we were blown away with the size of the event. I have never seen such a diverse group of vehicles or area with as many roof top tents. It was a site to see. Every make, model, and style seemed to have been there and each persons personality shown through by their builds.
The vendor area took us a solid 8+ hours over 2 days to make it through. Whether it was talking to vendors about product, checking out new gear, or sharing build ideas, there was no shortage of conversations to be had or things to be seen. We were happy to see so many of the vendors that we carry product lines for and it was nice to put a face to the name.
As far as the classes go, we really lacked planning on this part and will have to do better next time. There were various classes offered throughout the day but our time seem to be filled with walking around and chatting with others so we lost track of time. We did get a chance to demo a JKU through the BFG course and a Land Rover Discovery Sport which were both pretty unbelievable rigs. If you go, make sure to plan time to do these courses. They are well worth your time.
Overall, Expo was an amazing event where we were able to make new connections, see old friends, and share some great memories. We will definitely be back next year. Who knows? Maybe as a vendor...
"The Mountains Are Calling and i Must go."
Tepui Explorer Series Ayer (2 person)
The Explorer Series Ayer is a two-person tent available in both blue and tan. These Roof Top Tents are made from the same quality rip-stop materials and design as their bigger brother the Kukenam but have a lower profile, pack up smaller, and with a weight of 95 lbs and a closed footprint of 42" x 48", are perfect for smaller SUV's or vehicles.
Matching annex sold separately. Additional canopies can be purchased separately.