On this “episode” of 67 Designs Customer Spotlights, where we share the stories of some of our customers, we get to know Marco Escalante. Originally from Tijuana, Mexico, Marco makes his home in Chula Vista, CA and works as a realtor in the greater San Diego area. When not working, Marco enjoys using photography and videography to create content as an influencer for his Baja Overland brand.
Proud owner of: 2021 Jeep Gladiator Mojave.
Featured upgrades: Marco’s Gladiator is outfitted out with the following gear...
- Yokohama 37x12.50 Geolandar Mud Tires
- Go Fast Camper shell and tent combo
- 67 Designs rail system mounts
- 3.5 inch Teraflex Suspension
- 29e Overland Kitchen fridge slide and storage
- KC HiLiTES Pro6 light bar
- KC HiLiTES 4 inch led spot lights
- Underland Molle Panel
- Dometic CFX55IM refrigerator
- Midland MTX400 GMRS Radio
- Metalcloak trac bar
- Metalcloak shock extenders
- ARB Recovery boards
- RUX Storage Bags
- 2 Xplor 140w Solar Panels
- Vicron Solar Controller
- Mountain Hatch Tailgate
- Baja Designs Side site light
- DIODE Dynamics Rear chase lights
- Apex Sway Bar Disconnect
- Rotopax Gas tank
- Rotopak Water tank
- Leithner designs pressurized water tank
- Joolca hot water kit
- Dometic Water jug with faucet
- Ecoflow River Plus Powerstation
- Yukon 4:88 regear kit
- Garmin GPS
Customer of 67 Designs since: 2021.
Inspiration for buying his Gladiator and getting into overlanding: While Marco was no stranger to Jeep ownership, there was a time when he was really into side-by-sides. He had a Chevy Silverado that he used to pull his Can-Am. But one day he found himself and his family in some middle-of-nowhere desert with a flat on their side-by-side. Fortunately, they were soon approached by a group with Jeeps who were all willing to help them out. It was then that Marco had his first epiphany. Those Jeepers weren’t hot, sweaty, or dirty like he and his family were. They were sitting there comfortably in the air conditioning with cold drinks in hand.
He saw then just how much more functional a Jeep was. They could do everything Marco was doing with his side-by-side and so much more. There was no trailering, pulling out camping equipment, packing in and out, or any of the extra things he was having to do. Their Jeeps had nice builds and they could just jump in and go wherever they wanted, with air conditioning and everything! Marco also recalls his neighbor having a Ford F-250 outfitted with overlanding gear. Once when his friend came over in his Toyota Tacoma, the neighbor’s wife saw his truck and remarked how it was just like her husband’s overlander.
That was Marco’s second epiphany - what’s overlanding? It’s camping in your truck! The difference between overlanding and the traditional camping Marco was used to, is with overlanding you can move from point to point more easily. There’s no tearing down because it’s all self-contained in your overlanding rig. He now has a fully loaded Jeep with everything he needs to travel, camp, cook and explore. He remembers the first time he spent a good chunk of money on upgrades for the Jeep, and his wife told him he was obsessed. Marco’s brave response?
“Life is stressful, this is like medicine to me. It’s okay to be obsessed.”
Early adventures: The furthest he’s been with the Jeep is Belgrade, MT. He made the trip there to get his GFC camper installed. Ironically, once he was there, he learned that the company had just recently started selling and installing them in San Diego, CA. But all was not lost. On the way back, they camped near Joseph, UT. It was a great experience as there were no other people around and while it was during the fall, they got to experience some wintry weather. “All of a sudden you don’t see the highway you just see snow.”
Recent adventures: Marco recently attended the Overland Expo PNW event in Oregon. The whole family took the scenic route home from there in the Gladiator, camping and cooking out along the way.
Most memorable adventure: A few years ago, he and his family spent some time at the remote beaches in Mulegè. Being able to relax in peaceful seclusion was just what they needed. It was their first trip to Baja after his Gladiator build was complete. Playa Requeson was another great stop on that trip. It has a peninsula where you can walk in the water to a little island and look back at the campsites from there. Marco enjoys cooking and cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day at camp. In fact, he cooked so much that they had a lot of food leftover. One day a group of bikers from Mexico City was touring the area and stopped to ask Marco about nearby restaurants. Instead of pointing them in the right direction, Marco decided since they had so much leftover food, they would just invite them to stay and share their food with their newfound friends. They not only fed them, but also helped them set up camp and just had a little party on the beach. To this day they still keep in touch with them.
Upcoming trips: Marco and some friends are making their way south once again to Baja South (Baja California Sur), specifically the area around Mulegè, Loreto, and Bahia Concepcion.
Dream trip: The ultimate overland trip for Marco would have to be to Canada or Alaska. He would love to wheel and camp in the snow. “If a snowstorm falls on me and my equipment that would be fun - all adrenaline, no sleep.”
Fun fact about Marco: Marco actually drove a chase vehicle - a Volkswagen Beetle – in the Baja 2000, going all the way to Los Cabos.
Overlanding community involvement: Marco’s personality is naturally conducive to being an influencer in the overland space. He never meets a stranger, is outgoing and easy to talk to. He’s accumulated quite the following through social media channels, so much so that people see him on the street and recognize him now. They also see what he’s doing so they seek out and value his opinion on all things overlanding. Sponsorships have followed, some he's sought out and some that have come to him, either through products or purely monetary sponsorships. He’s met some great people, including fellow influencer Marco Hernandez with OVRLNDX. The two are good friends and maintain frequent contact.
Check out his work here: Check out Marco’s social media accounts below for all his adventures to date!
This Customer Spotlight by Tricia Soderstrom.
This series was envisioned and created by Kate Della Pietra in the summer of 2020 when she worked for 67 Designs as a marketing intern.