XPEL Ultimate Plus Protects Off-Road Team Through the Eight-Day Rebelle Rally
Branches. Rocks. Sand. Mud. Teammates Elizabeth and Allison Williams knew that in the eight days of the cross-country 2021 Rebelle Rally, their vehicle would be subjected to destructive elements of every kind. Protecting their 2021 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 was a key component of their rally preparation; the XPEL Ultimate Plus film stood up to every test of the entire off-road adventure.
The Rebelle Rally covers more than 2,500 kilometers of travel, starting in the jagged mountains of southern Nevada and ending in the broad sand landscape of the Imperial Sand Dunes near the California-Mexico border. The all-women competition, now in its sixth year, is the longest off-road rally in North America, a unique setup that draws elements from famous international rallies like the Dakar and Gazelle. The Williams sisters called their duo Team Get Lost—though fortunately, the name was mostly a joke as they sailed to a 12th-place finish among 42 4x4 teams.
Sisters Elizabeth and Allison came into their rookie year with a sense of adventure and a bit of background knowledge; Elizabeth, communications manager for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, prepared and supported a vehicle that competed in 2019, and Allison attended one stage of the rally as a journalist for Robb Report. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, both are experienced outdoor recreationalists and were eager for a new adventure. The Rebelle Rally is designed for stock vehicles with only minor modifications, meant to test the driving skill and navigation prowess in some of the most stunning landscapes of the American West.
Despite their familiarity with the event, they faced a steep learning curve in their first year as competitors. Elizabeth purchased and outfitted her 2021 Toyota Tacoma to handle the various kinds of terrain on the Rebelle. She knew that her vehicle had to be able to go from a thick forest to a sea of sand dunes. As navigator, Allison had to find around 20 checkpoints every day for the team to earn points—using only paper maps, rules, latitude and longitude, and a compass. No form of electronic GPS is allowed. Using these skills, the pair would take their truck through washes and lakebeds, canyons and Joshua Tree forests, connecting the rally’s established base camps.
XPEL certified dealer Elite Window Tinting installed the Ultimate Plus Paint Protection film on the team’s Toyota Tacoma during rally prep. Made of elastomeric polyurethane, the clear layer stood as an invisible barrier between the truck surface and the wilderness they would encounter. Once on the rally course, the film was immediately put to the test as they threaded their truck through narrow canyons in southern Nevada, climbing the rocky peaks near the state’s famed Extraterrestrial Highway and Area 51. Tunnels of sharp brush scraped the sides of the vehicle but could do no damage to the truck’s paint.
Several days into the rally, an even bigger challenge arose in the form of an extreme dust storm. Beginning when Team Get Lost emerged from the narrow, dramatic Titus Canyon, the team lost almost all visibility as wind tossed sand into the air. After slowly making their way back to the rally base came at Big Dune Recreation Area, the team joined all the participants in forming a protective barrier of vehicles around their tents, circling the wagons like pioneers. Even after being pummeled with sand, sometimes with wind gusts over 50 miles per hour, the Ultimate Plus Paint Protection kept the truck from suffering any major surface damage.
Team Get Lost finished their first Rebelle Rally as the second highest rookie team and 12th team overall in the competitive 4x4 category. Despite the 2,500 kilometers of intense conditions, their truck emerged without any significant damage. For now the truck will encounter the elements in less competitive situations—though the challenge of the next Rebelle Rally looms in October 2022.