There’s an old saying that especially rings true in life today, “when given lemons make lemonade.” Pierre-Mathieu Roy, founder and CEO of Loki Basecamp, did exactly that during last year’s COVID pandemic. Pierre-Mathieu had been in business for over a decade making modular showrooms, displays, and pop-up stores. During last year’s lockdown, he decided to put his expertise and experience in design and fabrication to build the kind of camper he always wanted: a solar powered, all-season slide-in built for hardcore sportspeople.
The result? The Falcon 8, a slide-in truck camper made for long-bed trucks. Additional models for 5-foot, and 6-foot truck beds will soon be released by the company as well. Name after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, what makes the Falcon Series unique is that it’s the only slide-in camper featuring a modular interior and exterior design. This approach allows users to customize and continually reconfigure their “travel pod” to suit the sport-du-jour and the needs of the season.
The Loki Falcon 8 is different in other ways as well. It’s the only slide-in camper in North America with a hydraulically-powered lift gate that fully opens, making it easy to load bulky gear. In addition to making loading easier, the lift gate offers panoramic views while inside, and acts as an awning during sunny days. The slide-in camper also features robust, aluminum C-channel construction with R-16 insulation and Arctic Tern Lexan windows. This robust insulation, coupled with the 12 volt Autoclima Fresco 9000 Maxx air conditioner and the 12 volt Webasto EVO-40 diesel heater, makes the Loki a true four season camper.
Truckers are familiar with both the Autoclima Fresco 9000 Maxx air conditioner and the Webasto EVO-40 furnace. Each has been used extensively in the trucking industry for years. The Autoclima Fresco 9000 Maxx is particularly noteworthy. The air conditioner consists of three pieces: an evaporator, a condenser, and a compressor and consumes between only 25 and 55 amps per hour, a significant reduction compared to the popular Coleman 120 volt Coleman Mach 8 that consumes 100 amps DC per hour. As Roy says, using an established, low amperage air conditioner like the Fresco 9000 Maxx is a “win-win.”
The mounting system used by Loki is different as well. Unlike most hard-side truck campers, which use a combination of tie-downs and turnbuckles to mount to the truck, the Falcon 8 bolts to the frame of the truck via the bed. This approach eliminates outrigging that can snag on rocks and trees and provides much cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing look to the camper.
For those who want even more, the Loki features the latest technological advancements as well. It includes a powerful, 600 amp hour lithium battery bank, a 360 watt solar power system, an induction cooktop, a Redarc charging system, a 2,000 watt inverter, an Isotherm 12 volt refrigerator, and a Dometic porta-potty.
The modern design also cleverly addresses exterior storage—which is always at a premium in a truck camper—and includes optional side racks for mounting gear like surfboard, skis, and kayaks, and slide-out drawers under the camper, which measure 5 feet deep and 24 inches wide. The modular camper also comes with removable Rieco-Titan jacks, making extreme off-road excursions even more doable.
Sporting modern European colors and accents, the layout of Falcon 8 is functional as well. The floorplan features a full-length sofa with underseat storage, a mud room with a removable interior shower that can also be used outside, and a convertible seat/table area. The east-west cabover sleeping area measures 60 x 77 inches and is equipped with an Arctic Tern Roof hatch for emergency egress. Holding tanks include a 30 gallon fresh water holding tank, a 20 gallon grey water tank, and a 10 gallon diesel tank to run the Webasto EVO-40 and the Webasto TEVO 11 gallon diesel water heater.
Interested in going off-road? The Loki Basecamp has that covered too with each model fitting within the bed of the truck. This improves the departure angle and allows the tailgate to be used as a small patio. The camper also features a swing arm storage rack on the back, which is large enough and strong enough to store a spare tire, Rotopax fuel cans, and bikes.
This summer the company will be releasing more information on the modular components that can be added to each camper.
The Loki Falcon 8 weighs about 3,000 pounds loaded, making it ideal for today’s one-ton trucks. The base price for the Falcon 8 is $135,000 with a $10,000 deposit required to reserve. It remains to be seen, if customers will be able to stomach the high price in return for all of the innovations.
“One important thing to note about the Falcon 8 is that although it is most definitely a truck camper, we like to avoid that term because we feel that it places the product in the wrong category,” Roy explains. “Obviously by price we aren’t anywhere close to other truck campers. But more importantly, the Falcon Series, and all future Loki Basecamp products for that matter, we are aiming to bring the quality and functionality more commonly associated with custom vans and trucks outfitted for overlanding into the slide-in camper space. So instead of dropping $300,000 on a badass overlanding machine that will only live as long as the engine, in this case you drop $135,000 on a slide-in (we like “adventure pod”) that is made to outlive multiple trucks.”