Buckstop Truckware has long been known for its outstanding bumpers, we’ve been using them here at Truck Camper Adventure for years, but did you know that Buckstop has a full outfitter shop that not only installs single wheel conversions, but also the LiquidSpring Suspensions? If you didn’t, that’s okay. The Oregon-based company has been growing at a dizzying pace. As a matter of fact, Buckstop now builds campers with full articulating platforms. To learn more about these and other exciting developments, we spoke with the Buckstop Truckware CEO, Dorian Hartfield.
Big changes have been made at BuckStop Truckware recently. Can you catch us up?
Dorian Hartfield: Sure, Mike! This year, we showed our 2023 F-550 Single Wheel Conversion truck at the PNW Overland Expo. On the back, we installed a Globe Trekker habitat. The new aspect of the build is that we assembled the habitat here at Buckstop. This is a service that we provide for DIY builders who want to build out a truck, but don’t have the capability to assemble the box.
It looks like Buckstop has morphed into a complete outfitter shop. What drove that decision?
Dorian Hartfield: We are still offering the same services surrounding conversions to swap out dual tires to larger military tires—single wheel conversions, but now we’ve added the option to assemble and mount the habitat. This type of work fits perfectly into our shop. We have the people, the space, and the time. Adding the box is a perfect complement to the truck chassis build.
Why did you decide to offer Globe Trekker campers?
Dorian Hartfield: Globe Trekker has a great business model and is a local Oregon company. Their boxes are made the USA with quick leadtimes. For the past few years, the same customers have come to Buckstop and to Globe Trekker. Formalizing the collaboration makes perfect sense.
Can you tell us about the Globe Trekker’s articulating system? How exactly does it work?
Dorian Hartfield: In addition to habitats, Globe Trekker also manufactures an Isolated Sub-frame. This allows the truck frame to flex without distorting the bed—the habitat stays perfectly square in off-road situations. The sub-frame is attached to the truck on large pivots. It stays flat as the as the bearings articulate. The effect is much like a waiter hurrying through a restaurant with a full tray up on one hand not spilling a drop!
What exactly do you get when you order a Globe Trekker camper? How much is it?
Dorian Hartfield: The Globe Trekker kit is very comprehensive including all of the side panels, aluminum extrusion channels, adhesives, fasteners, and an assortment of optional doors, windows, hatches, and exterior storage boxes. There are available in a variety of shapes and sizes ranging from $25,000 to $40,000.
The Globe Trekker sounds like a winner for DIYers. Are you offering anything new for standard trucks?
Dorian Hartfield: The newest truck on the market is the 2023 Ford Super Duty. We have the full complement of parts from suspension to bumpers to fender flares and wheels.
We love the look of your TrailReady wheels. How large are they and what are they rated for?
Dorian Hartfield: TrailReady Beadlock wheels is a standalone brand owned by Buckstop. These are ultra-strong flow formed wheels—40 percent stronger than regular cast wheels that you see everywhere—available in true Beadlocks, simulated beadlooks, and traditional non-beadlock varieties. They are rated at 4,300 pounds each with diameters of 15, 17, and 20 inches. The primary user is a competitive and enthusiast off-road racer—trophy truck, Ultra 4, rock bouncing, etc. The wheels are exclusive and built tough.
Is it true that you also sell fender flares? For which makes and models of trucks are they made?
Dorian Hartfield: We have fender flares for single wheel conversion applications. They are 8 inches wide and accommodate fender trimming that is required for large tires. Flares are available for five truck models covering 2010-Current Ram 4500/5500 and 2011-Current F-450/F550 models.
It looks like Single Rear Wheel Conversions are really taking off even for large class C motorhomes. How much does that service cost and how large are the wheels and tires?
Dorian Hartfield: The Class C coaches are a real popular. It gives the owner that little bit more freedom to drive down onto the beach or reach somewhat rougher off-road areas inaccessible with the dually. These are F550/600 and Ram 5500 chassis coaches typically seen as Thor Omni, Magnitude and Isata 5 Dynamax and Entegra. We install the same suspension, wheels, and tires that we put on Overland Adventure trucks. Because they operate at full weight, we have to use the 41-inch military tires. We offer the full conversion—tires, wheels, suspension, bumper, and installation. Prices vary from $30,000 to $45,000 depending on choice of conventional or LiquidSpring Suspension.
For the benefit of those who don’t know much about LiquidSpring, what makes the suspension system so good?
Dorian Hartfield: LiquidSpring is a big topic, but what makes it unique is that it operates with variable rate springs and controls handling. Conventional springs and air bags have one set of spring rates. They are perfect for one finite set of circumstances. However, in any other situation, they are less than perfect—essentially too rough or too soft. LiquidSpring is computer controlled receiving inputs from the truck for speed, braking, steering, and load. When there is no demand on the suspension, the ride is soft. When there is demand from load, turning, wind, sway, etc., the spring rate is changed. In an instant, the suspension set-up is completely different. This happens several times a second. The result is a near perfect ride in all situations—soft as much as possible and controlled when necessary.
Is Buckstop offering any other services that we haven’t touched on yet?
Dorian Hartfield: Yes! We have now opened a second Buckstop Truckware location in Central Texas. All of the installation services are available there as well as in Prineville, Oregon. Single Wheel Conversions for trucks and RV’s. LiquidSpring installation for lifted or stock height trucks, C class RVs and stock height A Class motorcoaches.
Buckstop has long been known for its front and rear bumpers. Are bumpers still your company’s bread and butter?
Dorian Hartfield: Bumpers are still number one at Buckstop Truckware. Our customers represent a wide array of applications including overland, hunting, fishing, camping, rural life, and a large amount of work truck, fire, and ambulance vehicles. It is always exciting to see where our bumpers go—if we could only install a camera in each one!
Are there any noteworthy OEM builders and shops that use Buckstop Truckware products currently?
Dorian Hartfield: Lots! In the overland and RV space, we provide parts to nearly all of the top builders. Buckstop makes and distributes parts to OE adventure truck builders, major RV manufacturers, and overland shops for one-off builds. When it comes to F-550 and Ram 5500 vehicles, most of what you see in terms of bumpers, wheels, and fender flares comes from Buckstop in one way or another.
Anything else you’d like to tell us before we close?
Dorian Hartfield: It’s exciting times in the off-road camping space. The F-550/5500 chassis has really come into full form in past couple of years. Lots of new builders. Lots of adventures. Buckstop has been a force in the space since the start and will continue to innovate in the future. Onward!