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Overland Expo East, October 7-9, 2016, Asheville NC


John E Davies
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Overland Expo is a wonderful experience if you are at all interested in getting (completely) off-grid. If your idea of a great campsite includes wifi and hookups, you should just stay away. There is an amazing amount of two- and four- (and more) wheeled vehicles and equipment to examine, as well as live demonstrations (winching, bridging, etc), Range Rover offroad drive opportunities, and classes on everything from motorcycle gear to cooking to first aid to photography.

 

I have been to two already in Arizona. I HIGHLY recommend this event if you are anywhere close to Asheville. The only downside as far as I can tell is that this one does not offer back-door access to countless square miles of National Forest, as does the one near Flagstaff. EDIT: it is close though, about three miles by road to the edge of the NantahalaNF. It has been 45 years since I was there but I expect it is still very pretty. Also Great Smoky NP is not far. http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48634

 

Do not expect to see many travel trailers. The ones you do see tend to be small single axle, lifted tent campers and teardrops. Some are very hardcore. Here is a rare-in-this-country T-Van from the 2012 event. (Note his solar panel.)

 

Here's a Mitsubishi FUSO based EarthCruiser from Oz, by way of their new factory in Bend Oregon. The interior has a very similar feel to the Ollie:

 

And the folks that started the modern craze for a fully self contained overlanding vehicle:

 

An Adrenaline Camper's tongue:

 

"Farkles" for your tow vehicle from Equipt:

 

Don't miss the outlying camping areas, which have as many neat visitor vehicles as are officially on display. That is where you would park your Ollie, should you choose to stay overnight. I can guarantee that you will receive a heavy amount of interest from these folks! The visiting rigs are not officially open for inspections as are the cleaned-up show ones, but if the owner is around you can always chat and perhaps ask if you can poke your head inside for a look.

 

http://www.overlandexpo.com/east/

 

Ticket info:

 

http://www.overlandexpo.com/weekend-pass-east

 

NOTE !!!! No tickets sold at the gate, all tickets including day passes must be purchased online. They do offer a discount on the last day for a day pass, but be aware that some vehicles may depart early that day, so you may miss a few of them.

 

This is truly a very cool event, even for a non-believer ;).

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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I've never been to this event and, unfortunately, I'll be in Hohenwald on the 7th and 8th of October.  However, I have noted that the event is being held on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate.  Even if you were to choose to not take a house tour for the additional $46, it should be noted that the grounds are beautiful.  And, you can always go over to the Winery for a free taste test!

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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LOL, The estate is something else. If you are into over the top Robber Baron "wretched excess" mansions it should be grand...... I personally would prefer to hang out at the Expo pastures, or go on a group trail run in the forest, or get three crowns replaced without anesthesia than go inside that monster.

 

"Living in one or another of his family residences well into adulthood, George [Vanderbilt II] decided to construct his own country mansion and estate in 1888. For this purpose he acquired 130,000 acres of woodland in North Carolina, employing the architect Richard Morris Hunt to design a limestone house modeled on the Chateau de Blois, with a frontage of 780 feet. With up to five acres of floor space this is believed to be the largest domestic dwelling ever constructed in the United States.[2]

 

At Biltmore, George led the life of a country gentleman. Having a great interest in horticulture and agriscience, he oversaw experiments in scientific farming, animal bloodline breeding, and silviculture (forestry). His goal was to run Biltmore as a self-sustaining estate. In 1892, Olmsted suggested that Vanderbilt hire Gifford Pinchot to manage the forests on the estate. According to Pinchot, who went on to be the first Chief of the United States Forest Service, Biltmore was the first professionally managed forest in the U.S; it was also the site of the Biltmore School of Forestry, the first such school in North America, established in 1898 by Dr. Carl A. Schenck."

 

Biltmore

 

My labradoodles would love to run free on that vast lawn and jump in the fountain, but there are probably silly rules.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Thanks for posting this John, and as I live just an hour north of Asheville I plan on going, at least for one day.  I'm looking forward to it.

 

I highly recommend, for those who have plenty of time to spend, to tour the Biltmore House.  It is truly amazing, especially to anyone who appreciates the finest of the finest in antiques and hand made eloquence.  Keep in mind that the George Vanderbilt had to employ not only thousands of workers but also artisans and he brought many of the houses interior items from Europe personally.    My first visit to the Biltmore Estate was at a young age, and I have been back on two other occasions, and am more impressed with each visit.  It stands as a beacon of a grand age long past, in sharp contrast to the complicated world of today.

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John - don't be too hard on the house.  It didn't ask to be built.  It's a work of art and can be appreciated on it's own.  Though, personally, while I think the craftsmanship and detail are incredible, the house as a whole doesn't do much for me.  It feels poorly proportioned and has an odd rhythm to it.  I've always thought the first story was too short - it looks to me like the whole house sank about five feet.

 

Story time -

 

If you are into the social significance of buildings like this, there's a richer background than just rich people being rich.  My great grandfather was an artist and interior designer back when these houses and many of the public buildings that these people funded were built.  His parents were immigrants from Germany and he had studied classical architecture there, as did my grandfather after him.  They both worked, in succession, as chief designer for a company called Hayden, out of Rochester, which was responsible for many of these homes.  They designed and constructed all of the interiors - basically everything you see once you're in the front door, from the wood moulding to the floors to much of the furniture.  I don't think that the Biltmore is on the list, but I believe that the Vanderbilt mansion in NYC is.  He did the Library of Congress, the NY Public Library, Art Institute of Chicago, etc. in addition to all these houses for people with names like Dodge, Eastman, Rockefeller, Scripps, Woolworth, etc.  Lots of stuff.

 

Anyway, my story is this - over time, the industrial revolution had quite a toll on old world crafts, as you can imagine.  Faster, better, cheaper meant that the old craft traditions in Europe were all but dead by the turn of the century and many of the people in those trades, who had learned their craft from generation to generation, found themselves with little or no work.  So they came to the US, and hundreds of them ended up at Hayden and hundreds more went to similar companies doing similar things throughout the US.  Wood carvers, stone masons, metal smiths, furniture builders, etc.  And they built all this stuff that was the product of American industrialism - the houses, libraries, museums, theaters, etc.  All the landmarks of the classical era in US architecture were built by these immigrants in the same tradition as it had been done in Europe for centuries, with the next generation working alongside the current, learning as they went.  Then the depression came and it all ended.  The money dried up and tastes changed.  Building these great monuments, both public and private, was no longer in vogue.  Eventually even public appreciation for architecture in general waned.  The would-be next generation of craftsmen went on to other professions - my grandfather went to work as a salesman.  So I've always found it ironic, a bit poetic, that these people's final work, and the ultimate expression of their centuries old craft, was building houses and public structures that were funded by the men who had put them out of work.  That's something, isn't it?  Anyway, that's the context in which I wish people would see these homes - not just awe or indignance, but but a bittersweet appreciation for what the world both lost and gained in their construction.

 

This is sounding more like an essay than a forum post, so I'll stop here.  If you guys can go to the Expo, then please do, with or without a visit to the mansion.  I went to last year's expo out west and it's really worth the trip.  In fact, if you really want to get the most out of one of these expos, sign up for one of next year's and do the full package with all of the classes.  You'll be amazed at what there is to learn from people who have spent their lives travelling.

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In case somebody wants to converse about the rally: ...  http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/156300-overland-expo-east-at-the-Biltmore/page55?highlight=Overland+expo+east+2016

 

2015 Overland Expo East was darned rainy and windy, but perhaps this one will be worse, depending on Matthew's course. I do suggest bringing heavy duty rain gear with hood and high rubber boots, and do NOT try to drive into a wet field (parking/ camping area) if you have a 2wd vehicle, or street tires on your 4wd.....

 

The nearby French Broad River could flood, but I believe the camping venue is on a slight slope. I haven't been there so this is all second hand info. Here are a couple of videos of the 2015 mud fest:

 

 

 

My recommendation is if the storm appears to be coming directly ashore into NC, just bail out entirely and go to Expo another year. Or plan on going to the one in Arizona in May 2017 ;) This type of event can be miserable in nasty conditions. Stay safe, above all.

 

2016 Overland Expo (west) drone video:

 

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Looks very interesting John, thank you. We can't make it this year but will try to keep it in mind for a stop in AZ in May.

Grayson and Ann Cook


Northwest CT and Mid Coast Maine


2016 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed FP


Toyota Tundra, Extra Cab, Long bed, 5.7 V8


Yippee-i-o-ki-yah

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Weather forecast is still good through Sunday - a 20% chance of showers on Friday though, highs in the low to mid 70's lows in the lower 50's.

 

Bill

 

Edit:  As of 6pm Tuesday evening the forecast for Asheville is now for 30% chance of rain Friday and 20% Saturday with up to 30 mph gusts.  Still highs in the low to mid 70's and lows in the lower 50's.  Virtually anywhere south and east can expect higher winds and much more rain.

 

 

 

EDIT:  Last edit from me as I'm headed to Hohenwald tomorrow morning.  Latest forecast as of noon Thursday is for light rain Friday morning and clouds on Saturday.  Sunday is clear.  Friday afternoon and Saturday there will be wind gusts up to 30mph.  Temps are still forecast to be in the low 70's during the day Friday through Sunday.  I spied several obvious hardcore off-road vehicles near the Asheville Airport this morning that I assume were headed north towards the Biltmore Estate.  Please note that hotel/motel rooms are hard to come by due to people moving inland from the coast due to the storm.

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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