Overlander Focus #2
Hey, welcome back to the second in the series of 'Overlander Focus'!
In this instalment I got to speak to Ben from Europe Overland about his Toyota Hilux and his travels with Tris.
Hi Ben, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, we are Ben and Tris, we're currently based in York. I work in education and Tris is a medical professional. We spend most of our spare time trying to plan various types of short adventures both here in the UK and on the continent in our Hilux.
So what made you chose the Hilux?
We chose the Toyota Hilux mainly for it's reputation as a capable and reliable pick up truck.
Understandable, you can't argue with the Hilux's reputation! Have you made any modifications at all?
The truck is still virtually stock except for BFG All Terrain tyres and a Rival skid plate.
Simple but smart modifications then. We really like the look of the Rival gear. Tell us about your camp set up….
At the moment we are using an Autohome Maggiolina roof top tent coupled with a Foxwing awning. We have an RSI canopy fitted over the tub where we keep an Engel MT45 fridge which is powered via a 12v battery and a 100w solar panel which is fitted on top of the vehicle. Most of my equipment is kept in Frontrunner wolf boxes and our cooking equipment comprises of a Cook Partner stove, a SnowPeak fire pit/BBQ and a hand-built plywood camp kitchen. I tend to use a Coleman pressure lantern for light as I like the glow it gives off although I do have LED lights in the back of the truck. We also have a 12v shower and a detachable shower enclosure that hangs from the roof rack.
Sounds like a pretty comprehensive set up, and perhaps the ultimate in overland camp stoves there! Whats the best bit?
The best thing about the vehicle is the rear tub combined with the canopy; it's great having a large space to store everything separate from the cab.
It's been great to follow your travels on YouTube Ben, you and Tris have done a great job of documenting your trips, including those to the Pyrenees and Sweden. Also good to see that you are also taking on some canoeing and hammocking trips too! What has been your favourite?
I’ve enjoyed every trip! But if pushed, I'd say our 2017 traverse of the Spanish Pyrenees was probably the best so far.
"I'm torn between spending money on enhancing the truck vs spending money on travelling, so far travelling has always won."
A stunning part of the world for sure! Any future modifications in the pipeline for the Hilux?
I'm torn between spending money on enhancing the truck vs spending money on travelling, so far travelling has always won. I wouldn't mind a 2 inch lift, a snorkel, and a steel winch bumper though!
What do you never leave home without?
And finally, tell us:
Favourite camp beer/drink?
An ice cold can of Estrella Damm.
Favourite camp meal to cook?
Beef and ale stew, slow cooked on the Snow Peak fire pit.
What are you listening to?
Ruins by Swedish indie folk band First Aid Kit.
Shout out to??
Tris for agreeing to spend her holidays sleeping on top of a pick up truck!
Hope you liked this instalment of Overlander Focus. To find out more about Ben and Tris' adventures, be sure to check out their YouTube channel, Europe Overland here. They are not always in their Hilux, you'll see their canoeing and hammocking adventures too!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!