Sometimes the world’s most amazing places are off the beaten path. That’s one thing that motivates a growing group of adventure-seekers who are exploring the world with trail-ready rigs—from classic Jeep Wranglers, Land Cruisers, Land Rovers, and more. But the technical challenges of navigating difficult tracks and backcountry camping are also part of this activity’s appeal. Part of the adventure is simply seeing what you—and your vehicle—are capable of. For overlanders, the journey is usually more important than the destination.
If you want to learn how to make your 4WD dreams a reality—or simply ride shotgun from the comfort of your sofa—YouTube has plenty of fantastic 4WD and overland channels. Here are some of our favorites:
This year, Expedition Overland celebrates 10 years of sharing their overlanding experiences with the world. Back in 2010, Clay and Rachelle Croft launched their YouTube channel after a work opportunity unexpectedly fell through. With a background in film production and a love of adventure, they invited some friends to join them on a trip with their Toyota Landcruiser and turned the experience into their first episode. Since then, their videos have recorded their journeys to some of the most remote places on earth and amassed more than 200k subscribers.
2. 4WD Action
4WD Action is the YouTube channel for Australia’s long-running 4WD Action magazine. The print magazine ceased production in September 2019 but the YouTube channel is still going strong. Hosts Shaun Whale and Graham Cahill head to some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain that Australia has to offer—and bring a rotating cast of fellow drivers and sponsors along. Their upbeat attitudes and can-do spirit will inspire you to plan your own off-road adventures—in Australia or closer to home.
In 2017, Dan Grec set out on his second great overlanding adventure: a 50,000+ trip that circumnavigated the African continent. (His first epic overlanding adventure was from Alaska to Argentina, but that wasn’t filmed.) Over 999 days, Grec drove through 35 African countries and recorded his journey in a series of more than 50 videos. There’s a lot of dashcam footage so you can see exactly what the roads are like plus short clips of the people and places Grec meets along the way.
Mountain State Overland is a YouTube channel and overland guide service (Mountain State Expeditions) that has an eco-friendly mission. As the team explores the back roads and byways of West Virginia (the Mountain State) and beyond, they donate a tree for every mile they travel to the nonprofit Trees for the Future. Since 2013, Mountain State Overland has explored more than 30,000 miles. That’s a lot of trees!
Overland Bound is a membership site and online overlanding community yet its videos are available for free on their YouTube channel. They have a wide variety of videos including rig walk-arounds, how-tos, interviews, and trip reports and make an effort to be as inclusive as possible. As the company’s mission statement says: “Overlanding is a movement. It’s a mission. It isn’t elitist, and it doesn’t matter what you drive. It’s for everyone who feels the call of the wild, and anyone willing to go find it.”
6. Ronny Dahl
Australian Ronny Dahl’s immensely popular channel began as part of a site he created with his dad Brian. In 2012, they launched a website about 4-wheeling in western Australia because they couldn’t find the information they needed for their own off-road adventures. Today Ronny’s channel offers a wealth of information and advice about offroading, touring, and camping in western Australia. (But you can use a lot of his advice wherever you go.) Recent adventures include Australia’s toughest sand dune and the Donnelly River.
Mark and Merri Morall started their channel to document the build-up of their Toyota FJ but now their content is expanding to include their North American travels, overlanding tips, and additional rig builds including their 2017 4Runner. Their tutorials cover everything from LED headlight conversion to installing front and rear steel bumpers. Recent adventures include Georgia’s Traverse Trail and the Lone Star Toyota Jamboree.
In July 2017, Jolie and Mark packed up their converted Landcruiser, left their home in Cottesloe, Australia, and set out for an unlikely road trip destination: London! Since then, they’ve documented their travels through Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and more. The original plan was to complete the trip in one year, but they’ve since reassessed and will reach their destination 2.5 years after they first set out. As the couple writes: “The plan is essentially structured to visit places we’ve always wanted see and to try and avoid the wet seasons (where possible).”
What began as a hobby is now a lifestyle for Sarah and Kevin McCuiston and their daughter Caroline. Since 2018, the family of three has been all over North America from the deserts of the southwest to the arctic lands of the far north. Their videos show the highs and lows of family life on the road and the different ways that overlanding can be done. As the McCuistons write: “Our mission is to encourage and educate others who desire to venture away from civilization and experience a more adventurous side of life. Our hope is that we would inspire others to find their own passion in overlanding the great outdoors.”
4xOverland is a channel and overlanding community created by adventure filmmaker and longtime 4WD explorer Andrew St. Pierre White. White has had a nearly 40-year career in television production and has been writing about 4WD travel and overlanding since the mid-90s—long before it was a YouTube trend. As White writes: “I’m half 4WD enthusiast, half filmmaker. Both of these pursuits germinated when I was very young, and developed alongside each other during my professional career.” His channel offers a wealth of advice, travel videos, and even a beginner’s guide to overlanding. From newbie to expert, 4xOverland has got you covered.
Looking for more outdoor adventure tips and inspiration? Check out our post on the 10 best camping YouTube channels!