The RV industry is booming, led by a new group of adventurers interested in small, lightweight trailers and larger Class B adventure vans. But there’s another sector of the camper world that’s also captivating adventurers: overlanding. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.
Overlanding is self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations that often requires four-wheel-drive capable vehicles. But unlike “fourwheeling,” overlanding isn’t just about cool rigs overcoming challenging rocks—although that does happen. It’s also about camping and enjoying the journey of off-the-grid travel, often for weeks, months, and even years.
While some four-wheel-drive Class B vans can handle the demands of an overland trip, smaller expedition trucks usually hold up better to tough trail conditions. That’s where companies like Montana-based American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) come in. As a manufacturer of off-road and overland vehicle parts and accessories, AEV knows how to make your Jeep or truck overland-ready.
Curbed stopped by the AEV tent at the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona, this past spring, and we couldn’t stop drooling over AEV’s Outpost II. Built as a custom rig for the company’s president, the Outpost II started out as a four-door Jeep Wrangler before AEV extended the rear frame to add more space. Like the best overland vehicles, the Outpost II’s exterior is ready for the toughest off-road trails, thanks to an additional 4.5-inches of high capacity suspension, a 5.7-liter HEMI engine, and burly front and rear bumpers. A snorkel ensures you’re ready should you encounter water, and a 9,500-pound winch can pull the Outpost II out of the gnarliest jams.
Inside, an electric pop-top roof made from lightweight honeycomb construction boasts a breathable tent that expands interior headroom. AEV also added two kitchen areas, one inside and one outside, including a 50-liter freezer fridge and a steel stove. The camper can haul 22 gallons of water, and wooden closets and drawers allow for plenty of storage. Two people can sleep comfortably, and the truck also includes LED lighting and an exterior awning for shade.
The Outpost II is powered by 265 watts of solar on the roof, and in total AEV added more than 600 handmade parts to the custom build. While the company doesn’t have plans to sell the Outpost II at this point, they might do something similar on a Ram platform in the future. And lots of the Outpost’s components are available as aftermarket accessories for your own overland build, just head over here for more.