Ford-Kingstar Truck Camper Rig Takes Top Honors at 2024 Overland Expo West

The Ford F-550 Kingstar Camino 88 rig took top honors at the 2024 Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona, that took place May 17-19. The award was given by Truck Camper Adventure, a web magazine dedicated to off-road, off-grid truck camper enthusiasts. The criteria for choosing the top rig award includes not only looks and quality, but functionality and cost.

As a truck camper rig, the F-550-Kingstar rig has it all: a “monster truck” vibe with 43-inch super singles, topped off with a beautiful Kingstar Camino 88 camper loaded with all of the amenities including an 840 amp hour lithium battery bank, a 3,000 watt inverter, and an 800 watt solar power system. The rig also features an Eby truck bed with both above and below deck storage and a 48-inch garage.

This eye-popping build was featured in a Truck Camper Adventure exclusive in 2023. In addition to Kingstar, Buckstop Truckware was a key member of the build. The Buckstop build-out included forged wheels, paint-matched fender flares, an Outback front bumper, a LiquidSpring suspension, and Baja Design lighting. Everything was accomplished at Buckstop’s headquarters in Prineville, Oregon.

Reyes and Deedra Murrieta, partners of the Exploring Still Connected team, were thrilled when the Truck Camper Adventure team told them the news Saturday night.

“We are honored to win this award,” Reyes said. “We spent three years planning this build. One of the standout modifications that many saw at the Overland Expo West was Stage 2 of our build, the super single upgrade, which transformed the rig’s looks, performance and off-road capabilities. By replacing the traditional dual rear wheels with single, 43-inch tires, we improved traction and maneuverability, enabling us to go even further. The LiquidSpring suspension not only provides a smoother ride under load, but makes our truck more capable when we want to remove the camper and use it as a work truck. Buckstop Truckware really knocked it out of the park with this super-single conversion. And while we were there Buckstop installed one of their world-class front bumpers.”

Kingstar Command Center layout

Yet, in order to win this coveted top rig award, the winner not only needs to look good, but needs to perform well in all respects.

“Whether navigating through Rocky Mountain trails or cruising along the highway, the rig performs extremely well. While we have had the build for only a week, we have seen a noticeable improvement in comfort, handling, and stability. The upgraded suspension and larger sidewalls of our 365/80 R20 tires absorbs shocks effortlessly, making long journeys more comfortable and less taxing on the truck, the camper, and us! Even our cat Luna can attest to that, she has always meowed at us every time we hit a bump in the road, and the past week, she has been surprisingly quiet,” Reyes said.

Luna

A great truck camper rig needs a great truck camper and the winning couple chose one of the best—the Kingstar Camino 88, winner of the Truck Camper Adventure best truck camper award for 2024. This particular Camino 88 features the company’s brand new Command Center layout, which has been a strong seller since its introduction last year.

“Choosing Kingstar was one of the best decisions we made,” Reyes said. “The innovative design, thoughtful use of space, and high-quality craftsmanship won us over from the beginning. We didn’t know at the time that we would also be receiving the best customer service in the business. The robust power and connectivity package that the Command Center offers along with the office and hybrid-dinette configuration has allowed us to continue driving our careers forward while exploring the open road. It really helped us come up with our new motto ‘Explore More-Share More-Connect More.’ I hate to make this sound like a sales pitch for Kingstar, but we can’t recommend Kingstar enough.”

As you’d expect, Marcus Niemela, Kingstar CEO, was thrilled with the news. The competition for top rig was keen with dozens of builders from all over the world. “Receiving this award is amazing. This build was a collective effort that turned ideas into realities. Buckstop, LiquidSpring, Ford, and Eby all played a role in this build. Kingstar is honored to be a part of this shared effort and award,” he said.

Stay tuned for the official 2024 Truck Camper Adventure top 10 recap which will appear next week.

L-R: Marcus Niemela, Mello Mike, Deedra and Reyes Murrieta.
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.

1 Comment

  1. I saw Kingstar at Evergreen State Fairgrounds RV show. Nice fit and finish, innovative rear bumper options.
    Kingstar lacks is 4-season capability, ie heated tanks. For campers in Kingstar price range, 4 season capability is the norm. Big negative for Kingstar product line. When does Kingstar plan to remedy this gap?

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