The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

Roads only take you so far. There's a lot more of the world out there to see, and sometimes you need a special vehicle to get you there. These are Jalopnik readers' choices for the ten best expedition vehicles.

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Photo Credit: Wapster

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

10.) Volkswagen Westfalia Syncro

Suggested By: Swine

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: Adding an all-wheel-drive system to the already capably off-the-grid Westy was a stroke of genius. Unless there's a tree in the way, this well get there (if slowly).

Photo Credit: Dave O

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

9.) Rolls-Royce Phantom Torpedo Tourer

Suggested By: Defender90

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: If you're going to do something, do it with style. Originally outfitted for tiger hunting with gun mounts and searchlights, this 1925 Phantom backs up the gear with the most solid platform and running gear available in its day. Rolls-Royces were a popular choice in the rougher parts of the British Empire for those with the means.

Photo Credit: Bonhams

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

8.) BMW R 1200 GS

Suggested By: E39Ed

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: If four wheels and enclosed sleeping areas are just too safe and comfortable, BMW's family of GS motorcycles may be your cup of spring water. A legion of hardened adventure travelers swear by the bulky and phenomenally capable bikes.

Photo Credit: Paul and Menno Ridderhof

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

7.) Toyota Land Cruiser

Suggested By: nibby4WD

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: Our pick of the standard SUV class, the Land Cruiser is a favorite of explorers and paramilitary movements around the globe. Older ones with the pushrod inline-Six are among the most mechanically reliable vehicles ever built.

Photo Credit: Don Carroll

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

6.) EarthRoamer XV-LT

Suggested By: HammerheadFistpunch

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: An EarthRoamer has about as much in common with a normal RV as Everest base camp has with a state park: the same basic idea turned up to a hundred. Basically a luxury cabin cruiser on the capable shoulders of a Ford heavy-duty pickup, this will go just about anywhere while not wandering too far from modern comfort.

Photo Credit: earthroamer.com

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

5.) KAMAZ-4911

Suggested By: 24hrs of BtheD19

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: Exploring is usually done at one's own pace, but if it turns into a competition it's best to be prepared with a competition vehicle. The big Russian-made rigs have dominated the truck class of the Dakar rally for a decade.

Photo Credit: Daniel Peppes Gauer

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

4.) Jeep Wrangler

Suggested By: BigHarv

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: It's a small miracle that such a ridiculously capable vehicle is available at local dealerships across America at an affordable price. With minimal preparation, a Wrangler will happily handle everything short of a climb straight up El Capitan.

Photo Credit: Jeep.com

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

3.) Steyr-Daimler-Puch/BAE Pinzgauer

Suggested By: DukeofBirnam

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: Half of this list could be military vehicles. We're giving the nod to the Pinzgauer because of its compelling combination of bombproof construction, reasonable carrying capacity, moderate footprint, and ground-clearance-enhancing portal axles.

Photo Credit: Mike McGrath

The Ten Best Vehicles For Exploring The World

2.) MaxiMog

Suggested By: m2m, destroyer of brake pads, disks

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: A Mercedes Unimog is already one of the most capable vehicles on the planet, so properly preparing it for an expedition is the finishing touch. The Maximog takes the basic idea and adds just about everything good.

Photo Credit: Maximog.com

1.) Dobbertin Surface Orbiter

Suggested By: nryoung

Why it's fit to tackle the unknown: When Rick Dobbertin got tired of crafting award-winning hot rods, he decided to build a fully-amphibious super-RV using the stainless steel tank of an old milk truck. The Surface Orbiter project ran out of funding before it could live up to its globe-lapping potential, but it did clock 30,000 miles on land and 3,000 in the water. One person's monument to going anywhere and everywhere possible.