2020 Tierra Del Sol Safari Expo: Trucks, Gear and $100k Giveaway

Off-Road Expos attract hundreds of thousands of visitors across the country every year. But out in Salton Sea, CA the crew at the Tierra Del Sol 4×4 Club do things a little different at the Safari Expo. They host 1,000’s of offroaders every year inviting them to go play in the desert for the weekend and then offer a headquarters jampacked with food, vendors, demo vehicles and some of the biggest giveaways of any show around. This year (February 28th to March 1st) offered a new in-town location to give attendees a break from the blowing desert sand and a chance to enjoy all the demo vehicles, food, family fun, and vendor sales that we love about these shows.

(From left to right) TDS Club President Patrick Vaughn and Tony Pellegrino Of Genright Offroad welcomed attendees to the show; people lined up to drop their tickets into the prize-specific raffle buckets; crowds taking a break from the dusty trails and exploring the expo; and pizza delivery out on the trails was no problem for this Hummer.

Part of what makes this show so special is based on who the Tierra Del Sol Club (TDS) is and what they do. TDS is a non-profit group of Southern California based off-road enthusiasts that have been exploring the deserts since 1962. The club not only offers a family friendly gathering for fellow four-wheelers but is also a dedicated advocator for keeping lands open and protecting off-roader rights. The Annual Safari and attached Expo are major fundraisers for those efforts and TDS treats it as such and pulls out all the stops.

As a huge fan of the JT platform I can't say I'm disappointed in the fact that it is quickly becoming the display vehicle of choice for a majority of vendors.

Lots of shows offer raffles as part of the fun, but TDS takes this to a whole new level, with over $118,000 worth of off-road goodies raffled off this year.  Major brands from across the industry were represented in this year’s giveaway. Extreme Terrain was offering up two of their Trail Force bumpers fully equipped with winches and covers. Eaton threw in a pair of lockers valued at $2,000. Mickey Thompson went all out with a set of five 17-inch rims. Some companies like Bilstein put in gift cards so you could choose anything in their line for a prize. In total, over 80 companies had products in the raffle so there were plenty of winners.

(Left to right) Metal Cloak had thier flex test rig up and running for attendees ; this bug at the BFG Racing display was right at home in the desert landscape; loving the look of this slant-back hard-top from DV8 Off-Road; and the parking area of the expo was full of fresh of the trail rigs.

Overall the expo was just one part of the fun the Safari offered but with so many vendors and activities it is a great part of the weekend. Add in the fact that the proceeds go to helping keep local trails open and it gets sweeter than my mandatory stop at the funnel cake booth at every show.

About the author

Dustin Singleton

Dustin is an internationally published photographer and the founder of IALS Photography. Managing a successful mobile electronics shop led him to become completely entrenched in the tuner scene.
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