This is Scott’s FWD Toyota Rav4 XLE Build.
Scott was on a Search and Rescue team for 7 years and loves the outdoors! He learned about overlanding after having discovered it by himself with his previous Honda Element.
I’m really glad to have the opportunity to post Overland Build’s first FWD build! I really think that FWD vehicles are underrated in the overlanding space.
Let’s see how this rig is built!
2015 Toyota Rav4 XLE FWD
Tires: Yokohama YK-HTX 225/65R17
Front Lift: Dynofit 2.0” coil spacers
Rear lift: Dynofit 1.5” coil spacers
Rims: 1” wheel Spacers
Suspension: Firestone Coil-Rite Air Bags
Sleeping bag: Sierra Designs 0 degree
Sleeping pad: Intex 6” inflatable
Pillow: Memory foam pillow from home
Sleeping platform: DIY Custom 3 Piece Platform
Window covers: Weathertech
Climate control: USB fans
Underbody lighting: Nilight Truck Bed LED Strips
Light strips: Luminoodle and Pautix
Solar lanterns: Luci and Goal Zero
Bug lantern: NEBO Z
Flashlight: Streamlight Stinger
Stove: Magellan two burner stove
Pots: MSR Alpine Stainless Steel set
Pans: Lodge cast iron pan
Coffee: Stanley French press
Fridge/Freezer: Orca 40 QT cooler
Cooking platform: DIY Custom Pull out
Utensils: GSI knife and utensil set
Chairs: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Chair
Awning: Body Armor 4×4 6.5′
Awning extension: Danchel Outdoor
Fire pit: Fire Sense Notebook BBQ
Traction boards: X-BULL
Traction board mounts: DIY
Roof basket: AVENN 22” roof basket
Surfboard pads: DAKINE
Shovel mount: Quick Fist shovel mount
How did you discover overlanding?
I have always loved the outdoors and camping. I went to summer camps on Catalina Island (CIMI), sailed on the Tole Mour (Guided Discoveries), worked as a naturalist and resident EMT at an outdoor school in Northern California for seven years, I was on the Shasta County Search & Rescue team for seven years as the asst. team leader and as an EMT and I attended the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) at the PNW campus. I started camping out of my 2008 Honda Element at National Parks and public lands and really liked not carrying everything on my back in a backpack and it grew from there. I ended up selling that car and when we moved we bought our 2015 Toyota Rav4 XLE. I had no intention of camping in it but after we got more comfortable with the area we moved too I decided to try it again at Mustang Island State Park for a few nights over my birthday in March. It was one of those “everything and the kitchen sink” trips. I brought way too much, including our brand-new puppy but I had a blast. Ever since that trip I started looking at other builds and realized that it was a thing and it was called “overlanding”. I started to build a platform that suited my needs and it took off from there.
What is your favorite piece of overlanding gear you have?
My cast iron skillet is without a doubt my favorite item. It is seasoned to perfection and I only need to wipe it down after using it. This saves on time and water and makes cooking a better experience.
Why do you overland?
I overland to get away from it all, recharge, relax and make memories with my family. We love going new places and meeting new people. At this point in our lives, State Parks and National Parks are the best option for us as we have little kids. At these parks we enjoy learning about the local history, taking walks and cooking amazing food. My son and I just went to the Texas Avid Outdoor Expo with some friends and the local Overland Bound members. We had a great time meeting people, learning new things and swapping stories over fajitas. Our next trip we have planned is over Halloween at Goliad State Park with the wife and kids, we look forward to the cool weather, walks and cooking up some delicious food.