First Impressions of the Hotomobil Gladiator Truck Camper Import

One of the many things that makes the Truck Camper Adventure Rally special are the new product displays. For German-based Hotomobil, the company revealed not only a new model—the Gladiator LB—but introduced an entirely new make to the 700 people attending the big outdoor event. Hotomobil’s presence was and is significant. This is the first time we’ve seen a foreign manufacturer import truck campers to the North American market. What better way to a reveal a new camper than at a major rally with over 400 truck campers? Nobody knows what works and doesn’t work than real truck camper owners. Here are our first impressions of the German import.

First Impressions

One look and you know at the Hotomobil Gladiator LB is special. The sleek, European styling and one-piece fiberglass body stands out in stark contrast to the domestic fiberglass campers made by Northern Lite and Bigfoot. While the head-turning, Euro styling endears it to those with a more discriminating taste, what makes the Gladiator LB really stand out is the green, bedliner color and texture. Nobody in the North American market offers anything quite like it.

But that’s not all. What also makes the German-import stand out is its size. While the Gladiator LB is the company’s largest truck camper, it’s light enough to be hauled on full-size trucks with lower payload ratings. This means the 1,800-pound camper can be hauled on an appropriately-rated half-ton or 3/4-ton pickup truck. As a matter of fact, for the rally, the company had the long-bed Gladiator mounted on a short-bed Ram 2500 with the tailgate down to use as a landing step.

At the 2024 Truck Camper Adventure Quartzsite Rally

While the Gladiator LB is a terrific looking camper, it’s more than just eye candy. The Gladiator provides everything you need to comfortably travel and explore off-grid, including a spacious large cabover bed, a 90L DC refrigerator, a well-equipped kitchen with a two-burner stove, a diesel water heater and furnace, a comfortable U-shaped dinette, and a wet-bath with storage cabinets and a raised bathroom sink.

Temperature wise, the Gladiator is also comfortable to camp in. According to Hotomobil, the seamless, monocoque design keeps the cabin temperature the same whether in hot and cold weather. The camper accomplishes this by using a 1-inch thick, high density polyurethane insulation which creates a thermos-like effect that prevents heat transfer from the inside to the outside of the camper and vice versa.

Adventurous overlanders will also appreciate what the Hotomobil Gladiator offers on the outside with a scratch-resistant bedliner texture, a stealthy tie-down system that eliminates outriggers, jacks that can either be removed or flipped in the up position, a side-mounted awning, a lithium battery, a 205 watt solar power system with an 20 amp MPPT charger controller, a cassette toilet for quick and easy dumping, and an optional roof-top tent.

At the rally, it was our pleasure to meet the Hotomobil team and talk with Ned Tosyali, US marketing manager and partner. To learn more about Hotomobil and the 2024 Gladiator LB camper, we spoke with Ned.

Thanks, Ned, for talking with us. Tell us a little bit about Hotomobil and how long the company has been making campers.

Grey Hotomobil Gladiator LB on a GMC Sierra 2500HD

Ned Tosyali: Our business is making RVs. These include truck campers, vans, and Class B and Class C motorhomes. The company has been around for five years. We currently make about 400 truck campers a year. And we sell them all across Europe and surrounding countries, and even in Abu Dhabi and Australia. So right now, today, we’re lucky to be here to show our product to the US market at the 2024 Truck Camper Adventure Rally in Quartzsite. This is the best opportunity for truck camper owners to see the product in person.

We’re excited that you’re here. Where exactly are Hotomobil campers built?

Ned Tosyali: So it’s a German company, but the factory is located in Gebze, Turkey. It’s about an hour outside of Istanbul. I go to the factory once a month pretty much as a technical advisor and a partner.

Can you tell us more about the founders of Hotomobil?

Ned Tosyali: The founders, they’re not strangers to automotive products. They’ve been involved in many different auto related businesses including building busses. The founders decided to get into the RV industry. They’ve been very successful, and being old friends and what not, we partnered up. I am an RV owner and user myself. I come from a minimalist, motorcycle camping background. I like the truck camper the best because I can use the truck as a daily driver.

So you live in the United States? Do you speak German and Turkish?

Ned Tosyali: I do. I was born in the United States. At age 5, my family moved to Antioch, Turkey and over the years I forgot English. I dropped out of medical school and returned to the US 30 years ago. I drove Yellow cabs in New York City and did everything with my hands to get an education. I have a master’s in chip design and digital imaging. I worked with big companies such as Intel and Apple and other companies, but every now and then I yearned to get out on my own. It’s all about shedding stuff. I love the outdoors. I used to hop hot springs, ride 30,000 miles a year chasing twisters and going to remote campsites. I didn’t even get a cell phone till 2010.

Grey Hotomobil Gladiator LB on a GMC Sierra 2500HD

The Gladiator LB is an impressive looking camper and is getting a lot of attention here at the rally. Can you tell us more about it?

Ned Tosyali: The Gladiator LB is Hotomobil’s largest truck camper. Our naming conventions are based on the truck bed sizes here in the US. There’s the short-bed (SB) model, which is 5-foot long, the standard (STD) is 6.5-feet long, and the long-bed (LB) model is 8-feet long. The Gladiator LB is a long-bed camper, the floor length is 7 feet 7 inches long, and weighs 1,800 pounds without the jacks. The feedback we’ve gotten here has been very positive.

Truck SizeGladiator SBGladiator STDGladiator LB
Weight1,300 LBS1,700 LBS1,800 LBS
Int Height72 inches75 inches75 inches
Floor Length4 feet 9 inches6 feet 3 inches7 feet 7 inches
Center of Gravity26 inches26 inches26 inches
Refrig Size49L90L90L
Fresh Water15.3 Gallons23 Gallons23 Gallons
Grey Water6 Gallons13.2 Gallons13.2 Gallons
Ext Height73 inches77 inches77 inches
Ext Width74 inches82.7 inches82.7 inches
Ext Length114 inches147 inches163 inches
MSRP$37,000$40,000$45,000

How are Hotomobil campers constructed?

Ned Tosyali: It’s a single piece, seamless fiberglass body. It features a 20 millimeter high density polyurethane insulation. The camper is anti-mold, antibacterial, and anti-flammable; otherwise, we couldn’t bring it into the United States. Our engineering is superb. We meet all European regulations. Because we’re selling Euro Class B and Class C campers, our habitat structures are certified by Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and the Stellantis Group all meet the different requirements for Europe, which is a lot more stringent than the US market. We are working with the RVIA here in the United States. We just started the process.

Hotomobil Gladiator Interior
Hotomobil Gladiator LB wet-bath
Hotomobil Gladiator Kitchen

What is the Gladiator’s R-rating?

Ned Tosyali: We don’t have the R-rating yet because European standards are different, so we’re trying to determine that right now. But I can tell you from experience, this was used in extreme conditions in northern Switzerland to Abu Dhabi. The insulation actually acts like a thermos. So when it’s warm outside, it’s cooler. When it’s cold outside, it’s warmer. The windows and doors help with insulating the camper as well. We use double layer windows. They’re high-end, dual thermopane insulated windows. Our doors are high quality, too.

What are the Gladiator’s tank sizes?

Ned Tosyali: The fresh water holding tank is 23 gallons in the STD/LB models and 15.3 gallons in the SB model. The gray water is about 13 gallons in the STD/LB models and 6 gallons in the SB model. The cassette toilet holds 2.5 gallons of waste. It’s worth noting that some customers convert the gray water tank into another fresh water holding tank to increase their capacity even more.

Can you tell us about the refrigerator that you use?

Ned Tosyali: We offer a 12 volt DC refrigerator in all three models. This one is 90 liters with a freezer. It works great. The one used in the SB model is a smaller 49 liters.

90L DC Refrigerator

What other features does the Gladiator LB offer?

Ned Tosyali: We offer mostly two-burner stoves and with a sink. The camper has a wet bath, but it looks like a dry bath. You can splash water in the components inside the bathroom and the water won’t hurt them. The camper also has an outdoor shower. The camper has a queen-size bed and a large dinette that can also be converted into a large bed.

Can you tell us about the Gladiator’s battery system?

Ned Tosyali: All Hotomobil campers come with one lithium battery, but there is plenty of room for more. The battery compartment is located underneath the dinette seats (see STD below).

What is the retail price for the Hotomobil Gladiator LB camper?

Ned Tosyali: The MSRP is $45,000 in 2023. It’s going to go up a little more on April 15, 2024, but it’s still an amazing price, though the dealers will set their own prices.

What is the process for ordering a Hotomobil Gladiator LB camper?

Ned Tosyali: First, we reach out to the customer to understand their needs. We offer only one real option right now—a rooftop tent. There are multiple reasons for this approach. We always want to produce the same thing. So our quality is always the same. We do this to eliminate confusion and maintain the same high standard. The only option we offer is a roof-top tent.

So after the customer reaches out to us, we confirm what they want. The features are clear because we want our customers to be happy. Most customers are experienced and know what they want. It’s usually not their first rodeo. Their grandpa and grandma had campers or trailers or their parents. Our customers are smart. They research things beforehand. So we make sure everything is set because we want to make everybody happy.

After we confirm what the customer wants, we sign a contract through docusign. It’s always the same price, unless there’s promotional referrals and whatnot, which we offer too. Referrals get a $500 discount. We ask for a 30 percent wire, and we get the specs to the factory and ask them to build it.

What is the lead time if somebody wanted to order one of your campers today?

Ned Tosyali: About three to four months including the time it takes to ship the camper to the United States. That’s not bad at all compared to other manufacturers in the United States.

How are Hotomobil campers shipped to the United States?

Ned Tosyali: We’ve learned through experience how to do this. We don’t want to ship through the Panama Canal anymore. That was a disaster. Our shipments primarily go through Houston, because we’re based in Austin, Texas, but some campers are shipped to the east coast. Once we bring your camper into the country, we go through customs, and it’s ready for you. We ask for the 30 percent upfront, and you come and pick it up. We manage everything together.

Gladiator interior looking aft
Gladiator cabover

Do you offer only one floor plan for each size of camper?

Ned Tosyali: Yes, only one. Again, this keeps things simple.

Can you tell us about the fabric used on the ceiling and walls?

Ned Tosyali: This is a carpet-like antibacterial, anti flammable material. And just like everywhere, it’s easy to clean, easy to use. We might eventually change this, but as of today it’s very popular. Our customers use the carpet-like material to Velcro things to the walls and ceiling.

Can you tell us about Hotomobil’s exterior colors and textures?

Ned Tosyali: This is our green camper. It’s our own polyurethane. It’s not a Rhino lining. It’s easier to clean. We offer six polyurethane colors: green, yellow, blue, black, grey, and khaki. We actually offer two exterior finishes: Bedliner and Gelcoat. The gelcoat is offered in three colors: dark blue, white, and yellow. We also offer several graphics packages to customize the look of your Hotomobil camper even more. Everything we offer is fade resistant which is very important.

The Adventure Pack comes standard with all models. Can you tell us more about it?

Yellow Gladiator LB on a Ram 2500

Ned Tosyali: The Adventure Pack is perfect for overlanders. It comes with a Fiskers hatchet, which is a high quality item. The package also includes a shovel to put out a fire or dig out a rear wheel because you went beyond your capabilities or you got unlucky. The Adventure Pack also comes with two multi-purpose traction pads to get you out of trouble if you’re stuck in soft sand or mud. The Adventure Pack also helps with leveling the truck.

Can you tell us about the Eberspacher diesel water heater-furnace?

Ned Tosyali: The Eberspacher water heater and furnace uses diesel fuel. The only thing that uses propane in the camper is the two-burner kitchen stove. The camper comes with a 10L (3 gallon) diesel tank which hangs in the back. It lasts about 8 hours of continuous use. Europe has been using diesel heating for ages. It’s much more efficient than propane and safer.

This has been great talking with you, Ned. What other shows will Hotomobil be attending in 2024?

Ned Tosyali: We are committed to show you our campers in person and will be attending numerous shows. We will be attending the Princess Craft RV Truck Camper Rally, April 25-28 at the Skyline Ranch RV Park in Bandera, Texas, and the Overland Expo West, May 17-19, at the Fort Tuthill County Park in Flagstaff, Arizona. We weren’t able to reserve exhibit space at the Overland Expo, but we will be camping in the oversize area. We will be attending additional rallies and shows in 2024. Feel free to contact us via email at sales@hotomobil.us for further information.

Hotomobil Gladiator SB on a Ford Ranger mid-size pickup.
About Mello Mike 909 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.

2 Comments

  1. Love the wet bath (lavatory) wish more manufacturers would go to
    Dry baths (More interior room) love the double pane windows. Exterior surface and finish is good. Entry door opens (swings)
    Wrong way. Lift jacks should be able to stow horizontal (fuel mileage)
    Tie down geometry is very iffy. Center of gravity is same on short bed and long?

  2. Any camper options for the half ton pickups besides four wheel’s pop up. I love it but as i get older i want a lightweight durable hard shell …

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