Overland Expo is a caravan of companies that produce everything you need or want for overlanding. So what better to showcase the kind of hardcore overlander that’s possible by diving into that parts caravan than to build such an overlander? That’s what the Expo did when creating its second Ultimate Build, based on a 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X. Overland Expo said it chose the Sierra over the 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque because it wanted to “go bigger and more extreme” than its first build last year, which was based on a Toyota 4Runner TRD Off -Away. This Sierra trim was chosen over its AT4 sibling for its extra dose of ruggedness, such as the Multimatic coil dampers that provide about an inch more travel front and rear, and the front and rear locking differentials. The Denali-esque luxury isn’t bad either.
The only performance mods are a MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust, Firestone Ride-Rite air springs in the bag, and 17-inch Icon Dynamics wheels on 33-inch 33 Firestone Destination Mud Terrains replacing the stock 18-inchers on Goodyear Wranglers.
Rig builder Mule Expedition Outfitters enlisted more than 21 exhibitors for parts and spent “hundreds of hours” putting them all together seamlessly. The most glaring trade-off comes from the three-foot MITS Alloy headliner and the tray that replaces the pick-up bed. MITS is an Australian company, hailing from the country that also gives us overland powerhouses like ARB and Old Man Emu, and this is a popular outback style rig. In addition to the storage areas on the sides and below, the canopy houses a Dometic refrigerator, a Green Goat Outdoors camping kitchen, and an 8-gallon water pitcher that feeds a Geyser Systems shower. A solar panel on the roof also directs power to a pair of lithium-ion batteries in the canopy, the output of which is controlled by a Redarc RedVision Manager30.
There are plenty of Rigid lamps to help prevent problems, and a Forrest Tool Max Tool Kit plus GoTreads for when problems inevitably arise. The crew cabin should contain enough equipment, but everything else that needs to be stored outside goes in a set of 3D dry bags. The solar panel and bed have been modified to prevent you from sleeping from the ground, so a storage area can accommodate a two-person 23 Zero ground tent.
The pickup, which debuted earlier this month at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona, is now part of the caravan and will be on display at three other shows this year in Redmond, Oregon, Loveland, Colo. and Arrington, Va. , the Sierra will also do what it was built to do: running trails like McGrew Trail in Oregon, MaGruder Corridor in Idaho and Montana, and White Rim Road in Utah. At the end of the year, the final run to an auction page will be on Bring a Trailer. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Overland Expo Foundation charitable organization dedicated to preserving outdoor spaces.