Are you thinking about getting into overland travel? Not sure where or how to find a good used overland vehicle for sale? We’ve been down this road before, and we know it can be challenging.
In this article, we’re sharing our top tips for finding used overland vehicles, plus how we found ours. We’re confident you’ll find your perfect rig with the right tools and know-how, so let’s get started!
Finding a Used Overland Vehicle for Sale Can Be Hard
Most overland vehicles are custom. Meaning, they were built by a custom off-road shop or by an individual. Because of this, there are far fewer overland vehicles for sale than other types of RVs. While you can sometimes find an overland vehicle for sale on RV Trader, for instance, they’re uncommon and sell quickly.
We learned all of this the hard way when we went looking for an expedition truck to build out our overland truck camper.
People want to know how we found our singled-out, overland-ready RAM 5500. It’s one of the most common questions we get asked. Below we share where and how we found our truck along with search recommendations to make you successful in procuring your next adventure vehicle!
➡ Are you just getting started with overlanding? Here’s what you need to know: What Is Overlanding All About? Why People Do It, and How
Where to Look for Used Overland Vehicles for Sale
The internet is full of search options for vehicles, but overlanding is a small (but growing) niche. You likely won’t find your rig by looking at one website. You’ll need to search multiple sites for your best chance at success. Let’s take a look at four websites where you might find an overland vehicle.
Expedition Portal – Classifieds
One of our best recommendations for finding an overland vehicle is searching the classifieds section of Expedition Portal. This is a well-respected site where lots of overlanding experience is shared. It’s also where we first saw the Ram 5500 we purchased for our build.
What’s so great about these classifieds is many of the members will post whenever they find a vehicle for sale, even if they’re not the one selling it. The Expedition Portal classifieds essentially become a crowd-sourced way to find an off-road truck, van, or camper.
Also remember, you can do the same. If you find an overland vehicle that’s not right for you, post it to the forums. You never know—maybe you’ll help someone else out with their search.
Commercial Truck Trader
Commercial Truck Trader is not dedicated to overland vehicles but can be an excellent resource for finding a good platform to build your own. It’s common to find used commercial trucks, ambulances, and buses at low prices on this site.
Most of the time, these units are intended to be sold to businesses. So, you might need to navigate purchasing and registering a commercial vehicle as a personal one. While this may seem daunting, it is almost always possible.
Facebook Marketplace is a fantastic place to search for used vehicles of any type. Keep in mind, though, this site throws a lot of unrelated content into your search results. When this happens, you need to summon your patience, remember your goal, and keep scrolling.
Like Expedition Portal, several Facebook groups post expedition and overland vehicle classifieds. We recommend checking them every day during your search, as the vehicles can come and go quickly.
Here are a few that we joined when searching for our truck:
- Arizona Overland Classifieds
- Overland Classifieds
- Overland & Expedition Trucks
- Truck Campers For Sale
- Used Four Wheel Campers
Manufacturer’s Used Classifieds
If you’re looking at a particular brand of overland vehicle, they often have a “used” or “classified” section where they help owners sell their older vehicles.
This may be because they recently upgraded to the latest model and want help rehoming their previous rig. These often come as a package, with both the vehicle and camper in a ready-to-go package.
While not as relevant as it used to be, sometimes people still post on Craigslist.
Unfortunately, it’s tough to search a wide area on this site, so it’s become one of our least favorite search tools. Nonetheless, you might find something on Craigslist that others didn’t just because you spent some time digging.
We wrote and article covering tips for buying an RV on Craiglist and things to watch out for from our experience.
Overland Vehicle Search Terms to Use
For the above sites, it’s essential to use various search terms. Not everyone calls their vehicle the same thing. If you’re looking for a particular style, like an overland trailer or truck camper, use those terms as well.
Here are some of the most common terms used in the overlanding community: overland vehicle, expedition vehicle, off-road camper, off-road conversion, 4×4 camper, rugged camper, off-road van, off-road truck camper, flat bed camper, overland truck, overland van, and off-road habitat.
Of course, if you have a particular style of chassis that you’re looking for, use precise search terms like Fuso, Ram, Unimog, etc.
Tips for Buying a Used Overland Vehicle
You need to be diligent when looking for rare vehicles as they come and go quickly. Use the search tools above every day and set alerts if you can. The more time you spend looking, the more likely you are to be the first to the party and find that perfect rig.
If you’re looking for a very particular overland vehicle, it’s going to make your search even harder. Keep your search terms broad, and your mind open when browsing for one.
You might be leaning towards one truck but find a heck of a deal on another. Even if it’s not exactly what you were looking for, you may find it will work for you anyway.
Be Willing to Go Out of Your Way
Don’t expect to find your vehicle down the street. Expedition rigs are rare, so you need to perform nationwide searches and be willing to travel to get yours. Also, factor in the cost of a plane ticket when calculating what you can afford.
We’ve bought every used vehicle we’ve owned by searching outside of our immediate area, and we’ve found some crazy good deals doing so.
For reference, our Ram 5500 was on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and our Bigfoot truck camper was in California. At that time, we were in Florida. Tom flew out to pick up the truck and RV and drove them back across the country.
When searching Facebook Marketplace, select a region and use the broadest search radius possible, then move your pin around the country. Craigslist is a bit harder, but selecting major metropolitan areas usually gets you better results.
Think Outside the Box
Along with being flexible, think outside the box. Consider taking parts of other rigs and piecing together your overland vehicle. We’ve seen people take trailers, remove the axles, and put them on big trucks. We’ve also seen folks convert ambulances and box trucks into off-road campers.
One of the most interesting vehicles we’ve seen is an airport food truck converted to an overland vehicle. To build ours, we took a commercial flatbed truck and slapped a truck camper on it. Commercial Truck Trader is a good site to find these larger commercial units.
Make Your Own Modifications
We were lucky to find a singled-out dually truck for sale but had previously been looking for a used dually we could modify ourselves. If we hadn’t come across a built-out truck, we would have started down the route of building our own.
➡ Dually trucks are popular tow vehicles among RVers, but are not the best for Overlanding. Find out how to Super Single your dually truck to turn it into an off-road machine!
Making your own modifications takes a lot of research and work, but as you start looking at vehicles, you’ll find there are plenty of great people out there willing to help you out.
Join the forums, don’t be afraid to send people messages, and learn as much as you can. If you’re not comfortable doing some of the modifications yourself, consider hiring a professional.
Don’t Give Up on Your Overland Vehicle Search!
Finding a used overland vehicle can seem daunting when you start looking. Using the tools and tips above, however, should help you find success—eventually! Keep searching, and you too will soon be pointing your wheels wherever your heart desires.
Do you have any tips for finding an overland vehicle? Drop a comment below.
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