EOG’s Black Edition F550-5500 is Not Your Grandpa’s Pickup Truck

EOG Ford F-550 Black Edition pickup with a LiquidSpring Suspension and 41-inch tires.

After surveying numerous attendees at the Truck Camper Adventure Rally, two things seem to bite truck camper newbies more often than not: underestimating the weight of the camper and underestimating the payload rating of the truck. Underestimating a camper’s weight is forgivable, since the actual loaded weight is much higher than the official dry weights listed on manufacturer websites. This number can vary from as little as 200 pounds to as high as 2,500 pounds, depending on the size of the camper. This is why having your rig weighed is so critical. On the other hand, not knowing your truck’s payload rating is egregious because it can be found on the driver side door jamb on the Tire and Loading sticker. Looking at the sticker only takes a few seconds.

Unfortunately, with larger, more palatial truck campers, the payload rating of even a one-ton dually is sometimes not enough, especially when opting for a crew cab and a diesel. This means the GVWR of even a Ford F350 DRW, Ram 3500 DRW, and Chevy Silverado 3500HD DRW truck is sometimes not enough. This is why so many truck camper owners are opting for higher-rated class 4 or class 5 trucks. For the largest truck campers, though, many are bypassing a better-rated Ford F450, Ram 4500, and a Chevy Silverado 4500HD truck and are buying a Ford F-550, a Ram 5500, or a Chevy 5500HD chassis instead. Those going with a class 5 chassis have two choices when hauling a camper: outfitting the truck with either a custom truck bed or an OEM-style truck bed by Elevation Off-Grid.

Elevation Off-Grid (EOG) builds the best, most capable pickup truck on the planet. As a matter of fact, EOG is the only Ford F-550 and Ram 5500 pickup manufacturer in the world. Pickup is the key word. All class 5 trucks are shipped as a chassis only. EOG has filled the void by offering a Ford F-550 and Ram 5500 chassis with a standard, 8-foot pickup bed.

EOG’s class 5 trucks not only offer a GVWR of 19,500 pounds with a nearly 10,000 pound payload, but also a silky-smooth ride comparable to the Ford F-150 and Ram Power Wagon using the highly-regarded LiquidSpring Suspension (EOG can even outfit F-450 and F-350 with a LiquidSpring Suspension too). Add MIL-SPEC 41-inch super single tires and a custom front winch bumper to the mix and you have a class 5 pickup truck quite unlike anything else on the planet. There’s no doubt about it, EOG’s Ford F-550 and Ram 5500 is not your grandpa’s pickup truck. It’s not even close.

To learn more about EOG and the company’s current offerings, we spoke with CEO and co-owner, Jerime Monroe, at the 2023 Overland Expo Pacific Northwest.

Thanks, Jerime, for talking with us. You’ve got some beautiful trucks and rigs here at the show. Can you tell us about EOG’s current offerings?

Jerime Monroe: Thanks, Mike! Elevation Off-Grid is most commonly known for being the only factory spec F-550 and Ram 5500 pickup manufacturer in the world. We build exclusively with LiquidSpring Suspension. All of our trucks are fitted with a full LiquidSpring Suspension. On the Ford side, we have three different models. Our Limitless, which is a standard-height dually truck, again, standard with a pickup bed. But we can use a series of different flatbeds with that truck. Then our Peak and our Black are big, single wheel conversion trucks that maintain same payload and tow ratings as the dually, but you gain the off-road capability of having a big, MIL-SPEC 41-inch tire. The Peak Edition and Black are both mechanically identical. Peak comes in a little bit lower price point and has a little bit less ancillary features, less forward facing lighting, less rearward facing lighting, or no rearward facing lighting, no Warn winch and Halogen lamps, as opposed to the Black Edition, with about a $20,000 cost difference between the Peak and the Black.

What does each truck sell for?

Jerime Monroe: The Black Edition F-550 is $184,900, the Peak F-550 is $164,900, and the Limitless is $139,900.

What is Elevation Off-Grid’s best seller?

Jerime Monroe: The best seller is the Black Edition by far.

And what’s the clientele for each of those trucks? What are you seeing as far as truck campers?

Jerime Monroe: Our Black Edition is popular with the truck camper market because it has over a 9,000-pound payload rating, and when it’s fully loaded, it still has awesome handling, very minimal body roll, even with a heavy, high center-of-gravity, Host, Arctic Fox, or Eagle Cap, something like that. It carries and maintains and handles that weight very well. The average client for our trucks is basically the guy who wants the best of the best in a turn-key application without any sacrifices. What’s awesome about our trucks is you can pull the camper off and you still have an awesome daily driver.

Host Everest 11.6 mounted on an EOG Ford F-550 Black Edition pickup.
Bowen Customs camper bed mounted on an EOG Black Edition Ford F-350 with 37-inch tires.

Can a customer opt for a custom truck bed rather that your OEM-style bed? Do you work closely with any truck bed manufacturers?

Jerime Monroe: Yes, we work closely with Bowen Customs for flatbed applications, including the black editions. They get shipped over to Bowen to have a flatbed put on them or camper bed.

Can you explain the whole process for making an OEM-style pickup truck bed?

Jerime Monroe: Sure! So, for those who don’t know class 5 trucks, the Ram or the Ford, the wheel base on them is 4 inches longer. So you can’t just take a bed off of a Ram 3500 or 4500 or 3500 and put it on one of these trucks. It won’t fit. There’s no bracketry. The frames are different. And the overall length of the bed is different.

So, on our Ford side, we actually remove the outer bedside and replace the outer bedside only with a bedside that’s 4 inches longer. And we create a filler plate in the front to fill the void from the top view. So we maintain all factory interior bed dimensions. So you can still use all your standard Tonneau covers, basically all bed accessories that are specifically made for an 8-foot bed. They all still work with our trucks. And then all of the bracketry mounting hardware, all of that. We engineered all of the hardware to hold everything, to keep everything in place and maintain the payload rating of the truck.

EOG Ram 5500 Black Edition with 41-inch tires and a custom Buckstop front bumper and Warn winch.

So that was the Ford. What about the Ram?

Jerime Monroe: Ram is different, there’s a different approach to it. Ram has steel bedsides, so we actually extend the bed, the outer bedside on the Ram, and then the same block-off plate in the front and the same engineering and ultra-high strength steel bed mounting brackets.

Do your builds in any way void a manufacturer’s warranty?

Jerime Monroe: No, not at all. What’s really cool about our trucks is that every aspect of the build follows either Stalantis bodybuilder guidelines or Ford bodybuilder guidelines. So we don’t do anything that Ford or Stalantis-Ram says don’t do. If they advise against welding somewhere, we don’t weld there. We create a bolt-on part that’s an engineered solution to solve that problem without voiding any warranties or jeopardizing the structural integrity of the truck itself.

What’s also cool about our trucks is they’re all FMBSS compliant. They meet all regulations, roll tests, all the lighting, all of that. We took all of that into consideration when we’re developing the build itself.

Okay, let’s talk about a couple of specific rigs. First let’s talk about the Overland Explorer Vehicle’s winning entry for the show. Tell us about the EOG truck with that?

Jerime Monroe: So the winner is 2023 Ram 5500 Black Edition with a full LiquidSpring Suspension. And the kit for that truck is proprietary to us. We did a few things differently to allow us to build the truck the way that we need to, including Amp steps. You never see Amp steps on a Ram 5500 due to the location, basically, or space considerations. It’s a really cool build, and a really cool kit. We got to work with Colin Cook, the owner of the truck. He kind of had the vision, and we actually met him at SEMA last year when we debuted our Ram 5500 pickup. Previous to that, we were only doing Fords. But we had been working on our Ram build for a little over a year prior to SEMA and we got to release it there. He flew out, saw it and placed his reservation deposit.

Colin Cook’s OEV High Country-EOG Ram 5500 took first place at the 2023 Overland Expo PNW.

Colin was very particular about the function and features that he wanted. “Cut no corners, best of the best,” he said. Everywhere you look it has the best that Elevation Off-Grid offers. It has a one-piece wheel it’s made by Hutchinson. It was designed and engineered by Justin Waring of Waring Wheels. It’s actually the only wheel for a single wheel Ram application that maintains a proper offset, so you have the exact same track, front and rear on a Ram 5500.

Very cool. So, what are your overall thoughts on the OEV High Country Rig?

Jerime Monroe: Love it. It came out beautiful. The guys at Overland Explorer Vehicles (OEV), they have such a standout product. Pop-Top Overland killed it with the camper and tray install, fast and clean. It’s unbelievable how great they did in getting it done so fast.

So, what are your thoughts on the Host Everest Rig in your display? What kind of truck is on there? And what are your overall thoughts on the build?

Jerime Monroe: So, that’s a 2022 Ford F-550 Black Edition and a 2022 Host Everest 11.6 triple-slide truck camper. It has all of our camper tie-downs and hitches, all of that stuff which is also proprietary to us. We designed and engineered all that. The client’s name is Lucas, and he takes his family out camping with it. He actually just got back from a trip out to the Oregon coast on the beach. His truck has about every option you can get from us. Sound deadening in cab, full onboard air couplers in every wheel well, the full lighting package, under-body lighting, everything. That is about the most fully-optioned, most badass truck that we build. It’s a perfect match with the Host Everest. It’s a heavy camper. It’s about 5,700 pounds with 50 percent water in the tank, and the EOG truck handles it like nothing else on the road.

Host Everest 11.6 mounted on an EOG Ford F-550 Black Edition pickup.
About Mello Mike 901 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. A communications expert and licensed ham radio operator (KK7TCA), he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, holds a BS degree, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side. He currently rolls in a 4WD Ram 3500 outfitted with a SherpTek truck bed with a Bundutec Roadrunner mounted on top.

7 Comments

  1. I’ve found hauling 5 different slide in campers over the years if you can put together your rig using about 50-60% of the truck’s actual net payload pickup trucks ride, handle and generally work really good.

  2. I agree with Hugh. We just got back from our second 6 week trip to Alaska and while we are considering sizing up from our 84” wide, 2090 lb. dry weight camper to a 96” wide one, we want one that is in the 2400-2800 dry weight range that a one ton truck can carry loaded. We, like many truck camper enthusiasts, have no interest in anything bigger than that.

  3. This trend towards larger campers and subsequently larger trucks needs a serious reality check. As this trend grows, I go in the opposite direction towards smaller and simpler. You just don’t need an EOG F550 to travel off road in a truck camper. It’s just part of all of this overlanding HYPE that is designed to get you to part with your life savings. I have a 2007 F350 Lariat Supercab DRW with a 2012 Lance 850 and no one out there is having more fun and enjoying truck camping more than me. If you are spending $184k on a truck alone then you are spending too much. It doesn’t matter how MUCH money you have. Wasted money is still wasted money. I spent $33k total on my rig ($16k for truck, $17k for camper) and I am going anywhere I can fit with the comforts of home. If it is possible to do it at $33k then why spend the $200k+ on anything else? Of course, if you only want the “oohs” and “ahhs” that you get at Overland Expo that come from others then, by all means, spend all that money getting your ego stroked. If your goal is just to turn heads then you may be missing the central point of getting outside and into nature.

    • I hear ‘ya, Hugh. If you’re a long-time reader of TCA, you know what we own and what we explore in. Our rigs are much smaller, but that doesn’t mean larger rigs don’t have their merits too. Some people want more space which means bigger campers and bigger trucks. Different strokes for different folks.

      • I understand, but many folks move from trailers to truck campers and models like the Lance 1172 or Host Mammoth help ease people into truck camping who are used to more space. I am just pointing out that you can go much smaller without sacrificing comfort or spending your entire retirement savings. I admit that the opposite is also true that people start out small and then want more room later on after spending a few years in a FWC Hawk. If you have a large family then truck camping is less appealing than a trailer although some families make it work. However, it just seems a bit counter-intuitive to me that people choose truck campers for their convenience and size yet build these impossibly large rigs that are somewhat impractical. It costs a helluva lot more to build monster truck camping rigs than just getting a trailer and lighter duty truck. I don’t begrudge anyone choosing a rig that suits their needs but I have a hard time believing anyone NEEDS a $184k truck when my $17k truck is getting the job done. I guess the answer to how these companies stay in business is directly answered by the person you spoke to in the article who said:

        “The average client for our trucks is basically the guy who wants the best of the best in a turn-key application without any sacrifices.”

        That’s just a whole other way of thinking about the world that average people like me will never comprehend. People who have ridiculous amounts of money do ridiculous things with it and its just way beyond anything I can wrap my head around. I guess this is my central point, Mike, that 99% of your readers have no idea why a company like EOG even exists. We simply cannot fathom why anyone would spend that much money “unnecessarily”.

        I mean, I can see someone buying a truck like this or an even more ridiculous Earthroamer and thinking they can go anywhere in it. However, the moment they try to drive a 19,000 lbs. rig down a muddy road they will instantly realize they wasted their money. No amount of “liquid suspension” is going to get you out of a mud hole like that. They will sink up to the axles and be a permanent part of the scenery.

        There’s just a bit of snake oil in the whole idea of this.

        • Thank, Hugh, you bring up some excellent points. You need to attend our next rally in Quartzsite. I think you’ll be surprised how many people own larger rigs with double and triple slide-outs. Not everyone is looking for a rig that can take on extreme 4×4 trails. Some people just aren’t interested in doing that or are in a different stage in life.

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