If you know anything at all about Overlanding, I have probably lost you already. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Overlanding knows that a Ford Edge is not only far from being a perfect Overlanding vehicle, it wouldn’t even make the top ten (or even the top 50).
On paper, there is nothing about this vehicle that makes it a worthy overlander. Any list of perfect Overlanding vehicles would have off-road Jeep stalwarts like the Wrangler and the Gladiator. It would include tough trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, the Ford Raptor and maybe even the new Ram TRX. SUVs certainly make the list, but in the form of the 4Runner and Land Cruiser from Toyota, the GX 470 from Lexus and probably the brand new Bronco.
How does the Ford Edge Compare?
So why not the Ford Edge? Let’s go down the proverbial Overlanding Vehicle Checklist. Body-on-frame construction for stability and strength? No. Above average ground clearance? Nope. Equipped with a four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case? Negative. Excellent aftermarket support for upgrades and accessories? Non-existent.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
However, I am still going to make the case that the Ford Edge is the perfect vehicle for Overlanding. More accurately, our Ford Edge will make the perfect Overlanding vehicle for our family. Despite the list of missing features generally required on an Overlanding vehicle, there is one overwhelming line item not on that list that makes my case.
We already own a Ford Edge. This single, unquestionable fact is the entire basis for my claim of having the perfect Overlanding vehicle.
Borrowing a Lesson from Photograpy
I borrowed this lesson from my photography journey. In photography, the hunt for the perfect photo drives many to an endless search for the perfect kit. It makes sense for the pros to have the best. But as any professional will tell you, if you’re just starting into photography, whether it’s nature, weddings, landscapes, sports or anything else, the best camera for your intended style of photography is the one you already have.
I believe this philosophy applies to Overlanding (and any other new pursuit), making our Ford Edge the best Overlanding vehicle for us. In all honesty, I think it has potential. It’s going to require some creative thinking to get the functionality we need (not to mention the cargo capacity for a family of four), but I remain optimistic.
To be clear It’s not an off-roader by any means. More of a capable soft-roader, but considering you could thoroughly enjoy Overlanding and never leave the asphalt, there are a lot of places our Ford Edge can take us that few venture.
I’ll be detailing a list of pending upgrades for the Ford Edge in a future post, but at a minimum, we’re looking at a tire (and possibly wheel) upgrade for added confidence on the soft roads. A roof rack system and trailer hitch to expand our cargo capacity are also high-priority. Further down the list, I’m exploring possibilities for front tow points for securing cargo and possible recovery scenarios. We’re considering a deck and drawer design for the rear cargo area to assist with organizing.
We Know What We Need
As experienced car campers, our selection of camping gear is extensive, and likely more than necessary for our planned overland adventures. I’ve detailed some of the expected changes as we move from car camping to Overlanding in a previous post. While a somewhat different style, our past car camping excursions give us a good idea of what modifications we need to make to the Edge so it suits our needs.
I’ll close by saying the Ford Edge is far from the perfect Overlanding vehicle for many. If I didn’t already own one, I wouldn’t buy one now. But as we already have one, we intend to make the most of it. Much like photography. Landscapes may be where your heart is, but if you can’t afford to buy a new, high-megapixel, full-frame DSLR, try using your cell phone. It’s camera abilities will far outperform your skills as a novice photographer.
Just as at this moment, our Ford Edge had more Overlanding capabilities that our fledgeling abilities are likely to require. We’ll see you on the trails!