Monster EOG F550-StableCamper-Eagle Cap Truck Camper Rig Takes First

With 20 entrants, the competition for the top rig award at the 2024 Truck Camper Adventure Quartzsite Rally was keen with rigs of all sizes. Yet, out of all of those one rig stood out from the rest—Ed Walker’s “Sleepwalker” Monster Rig. His build begins with an Elevation Off-Grid (EOG) Ford F-550 outfitted with a StableCamper truck bed and a silky-smooth LiquidSpring Suspension. Topping it off is one of the largest slide-in truck campers in the market—the Eagle Cap 1165 triple-slide truck camper sporting all the amenities and storage space of a large motorhome. What are the requirements to win this coveted rally award? First, the rig has to pass the eye test. The rig has to look good. Second, it needs to be functional in all respects. What good is a rig if you can’t use it or take it anywhere? Third, the rig needs to have the “X” factor, an undefinable “something” that makes it stand out. After reading this article and looking at the photographs, we think you’ll agree that the panel’s choice for “top rig” was correct. Ed Walker’s rig checks all three boxes and then some. To tell us more about Ed’s eye-popping rig, he was kind enough to answer several questions.

Congratulations again on taking the top rig award, Ed, and thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ed Walker: Thanks, Mike. My name is Edward Walker and my wife Cheryl and I live in the mountains above Golden, Colorado. I work (fully remote) in IT, but Cheryl needs to return to an accounting office on occasion so that currently determines our travel schedule. When we travel we bring our two cattle dogs KT and Olly with us. They absolutely love truck camper life. This is our third build. Previously, I’ve built a custom Sprinter van and a Northern Lite 10.2-based rig.

Can you tell us about your Eagle Cap 1165 and why you chose that particular make and model?

Ed Walker: Our objective was to put together a rig that could get to many of the backcountry locations that we love—with as much comfort as possible. Originally, I was going to build a more capable truck for our Northern Lite, but when I began looking at builds online I came across Tony and Shelly Shelton’s F-550 Super Single Eagle Cap 1200 build and was inspired by what they’d accomplished. We’ve since gotten to know Tony and Shelly and are thankful to call them friends.

Ed receiving the top rig trophy at the 2024 Truck Camper Adventure Quartzsite Rally.

We decided to move to the Eagle Cap 1165 to get more space. I really liked the Northern Lite’s quality and overall construction, but there wasn’t enough room for both of us to work comfortably at our laptops all day when we are remote working. With our Eagle Cap we have two separate seating areas which really helps. Spending time in the Eagle Cap is very comfortable overall.

So the Eagle Cap 1165’s spacious interior was the big selling point?

Ed Walker: Yes! We love the amount of space that the 1165 provides with its “floor above rail” design. We like the main room’s island layout that gives the kitchen its own isle. We like that the bedroom space is large enough that we have a residential king sized bed in it. We appreciate the large dry bath. We love having 66 gallons of fresh water capacity so that we can stay out longer. Overall, being able to recline and put my feet up in the theater seating is probably my personal favorite feature.

You’ve modified your camper extensively. Can you tell us more about them?

Ed Walker: There’s so many I’m not sure if I can remember them all.  They include:

  • A full electrical build-out featuring 14.4 kilowatts (1,200 amp hours) of lithium batteries and five methods of recharging them (details below).
  • A full communications suite to give us “unbreakable Internet” from anywhere (details below).
  • Automated 800 watt basement heating that turns on when the temperature goes below 40 degrees keeping our batteries and water tanks warm without having to winterize.
  • Relocated the water pump and all water lines/drains to the rear hatch area for ease of accessibility and winterizing.
  • Replaced the stock roof fans with Maxxfans.
  • Removed all exterior graphics.
  • Replaced the stock four entry steps with a Torklift six-step Glowstep in the factory location.
  • Added a soft start to the air conditioner.
  • We redid the sleeping area so that we have a residential king sized bed. We removed the far side wardrobe and added more shelving and warm indirect LED adjustable lighting.
  • Added a retractable curtain between the dinette and the wardrobe. We love this simple mod as it allows us to isolate the main living space and make the bathroom into a private “en suite” with a dressing room for the bedroom.
  • Added soft indirect lighting under the main cabin’s island countertop.
  • Added motion detection lighting inside of all cabinets.
  • Added a Lagun table to the theater seating.
  • Added USB-A and USB-C PD charge ports where useful.
  • Removed the front jacks (we carry them in the left storage box) to allow unrestricted access to all external storage.
  • Added 6-inch jack extensions.
  • Installed a Levelmate Pro running off of the house batteries.
  • Converted from two 30-pound propane tanks to three 20-pound propane tanks (with storage space for 7 total) with a quick release mounting system. It’s great to be able to exchange a 20-pound tank on the fly whereas when we bring the 30s we need to track down a refill center.

Your electrical system is impressive. Can you provide us with more details?

 Ed Walker: We did an extensive power build-out with monitoring which includes:

  • 14.4 kilowatts (1,200 amp hours) of LiFePO4 lithium batteries.
  • 800 watts of roof mounted copper indium gallium selenide solar panels.
  • 600 watts of deployable panels.
  • Full Victron electronics suite including Cerbo GX, Multiplus II 3000w charger/inverter, two 150/60 MPPTs, DC to DC Orion, Lynx 1000DC input and output busses bridging a 1000 amp Lynx shunt, etc.
  • The Cerbo is connected to Victron’s VRM and is online 24/7 so that I can monitor/control it from anywhere in the world with my phone or any web browser (I use this feature frequently). It is the brain of the electrical system.
  • We have Ruuvi temperature/humidity sensors monitoring battery, water tank, cabin, water heater, fridge, freezer, truck and exterior temperatures. They are connected to our management network so that we can create automations based upon their data as well as monitor them while away through VRM.
  • We have Mopeka propane sensors integrated into the network so they can be monitored via VRM as well.
  • I put together an independent power circuit in the basement running from the Multiplus AC2 that has six individually switchable AC outlets. It provides an externally facing power center. We have used this to run outdoor items and to supply power to camping friends so that they could take advantage of our storage capacity to charge their ebikes or whatnot.

Are you satisfied with your battery charging systems? What’s your average power consumption?

Ed Walker: Our average 24 hour consumption (without trying to conserve) is between 100 amp hours and 120 amp hours so with our current capacity we are good for over a week without input. We have the ability to charge our camper’s batteries with shore power, 800 watts of roof solar, 600 watts of external solar, DC-DC charging, the onboard Onan generator, and a Honda EU2200i generator.

All of that said, the DC-DC and solar keeps us fully charged as we do not tend to sit still for more than a few days at a time. During the TCA Rally in Quartzsite our 800 watts of roof solar had us full each afternoon.

I have run the generator exactly twice in the past two years. Both times were to see if it still worked. I’m going to remove the onboard generator for weight savings. I have a Honda e2200 that I can bring if we need. I like using the portable generator over the built in as I can place it far enough away that we cannot hear it.

Can you tell us more about your Ford truck?

Ed Walker: The truck is a 2022 Ford F-550 Lariat cab and chassis with 84-inch CA. We purchased it new and it just flipped 16,000 miles on our way home from Baja.

We opted for a super cab instead of a crew cab which removed 10 inches of legroom in the back seat (our dogs do not mind) which largely offset the length that the longer bed added to the overall length. With its wide track front end, this rig will turn circles inside of our previous F-350 rig.

We opted to go with the 7.3L “Godzilla” gas engine with 4.88 gearing. I love the power and torque of the diesel, but I’m one of those unlucky folks that has had extensive diesel emission system issues with my diesel vehicles in the past, so I was excited when Ford revealed the 7.3L gasser.

You worked with Elevation Off-Grid (EOG) in Denver for all of your truck modifications. What was that process like?

Ed Walker: Elevation Off-Grid converted the truck to a LiquidSpring suspension and 41.5-inch super single tires.  They performed the required body modifications for clearance, installed fender flares for the increased front width, and installed a front bumper made to protect the new wide front end. They reprogrammed the truck so that things like the speedometer and safety systems work properly with the modifications.

EOG installed some Baja design lights in the front bumper and is also going to install Ford’s OEM platinum LED headlights in the truck for us this spring; an option that was not available on a ‘22 F550! I’m really looking forward to the upgraded headlights as my eyes are not as good at night as they used to be.

EOG also color-matched the fender flares and bumper. The Buckstop bumper is winch ready, however the winch is still on the list of things to install.

The LiquidSpring suspension is amazingly smooth. What are your impressions driving with it?

Ed Walker: The LiquidSpring Suspension accomplishes everything that we need ride-wise. The “active suspension” adjustments while driving is an impressive technology—especially when arresting sway and in cross winds.

Can you tell us more about your StableCamper aftermarket truck bed?

Ed Walker: It started as an 11-foot CM Truck Bed that we had Elevation Off-Grid install. We also had them add two Buyer’s boxes underneath for storage.

This past November, I connected with Jared at StableCamper and he turned what we had into my dream setup.  We removed the headache rack and replaced it with an 8-foot x 47-inch x 30-inch garage box. We also added the StableCamper upper side boxes. I love how it all came together and StableCamper was amazing to work with—I highly recommend them.

I added a 6-foot x 20-inch slide to the garage box which extends 80 percent in either direction.  It makes mountain bike storage super convenient. I’ve set up the right side box as my workspace with an internally mounted toolbox, AC and USB outlets, lighting, etc.

I hope to connect with StableCamper again in the coming year and have their matching lower box setup installed.

Does your rig feature any other accessories or features worthy of note?

Ed Walker: Working with StableCamper we designed a custom rear tire carrier that uses a 700-pound drill winch to easily raise/lower the heavy 41.5-inch super single spare into the unused space below the rear of the camper. It works really well. I got the idea from last year’s Truck Camper Adventure Quartzsite Rally winner, Austin Smart. Thanks Austin!

Do you have any plans for future upgrades or modifications?

Ed Walker: We would like to eventually eliminate propane and evolve into an all electric rig. We have many updates planned based upon the concept.  We also have a large list of upcoming changes that revolve around restyling/updating the living space. It is a never ending process. Every time we attend the TCA Rally and meet other owners and see their amazing modifications, we leave newly inspired with more that we need to do!

Do you have any regrets in your choices? Anything you wished that you had done differently?

Ed Walker: I don’t know that we have any regrets with the setup that we currently have, but I can imagine how my next rig would differ if I ever build another. I’d love to do a custom habitat and entirely build out my own electrical system, plumbing system, etc. with higher quality materials in a layout that allows bathroom and bed access without opening slides.

We got to tour the two Rugged Mountain rigs at this year’s rally and we really loved the layout of both.

What kind of mileage are you getting with your setup?

Ed Walker: Driving conservatively, my average is 7.5 to 8 mpgs. Running non-ethanol fuel I have averaged over 10mpg. With a head wind we drop below 7 mpg. Thankfully the truck runs on low octane; premium is not required.

What tires do you have on your truck and what inflation values do you typically run when driving on and off-road?

Ed Walker: We are running Goodyear G275s, 335/80R20 (41.5-inch) tires. On road I run 80 psi in the rear and 75 psi in the front.  I monitor pressure and temperature while driving and everything seems happy with these settings. Off-road I prefer to stay above 50 psi as I’m running non-beadlock wheels. For a specific traction situation I would take it down as low as 30 psi to get through an obstacle.

Have you had your rig weighed?

Ed Walker: Yes, we are 19,140 pounds fully loaded with fuel, water, propane, bikes, etc.  The GVWR of our Ford F-550 is 19,500 pounds.

Where have you taken your rig thus far?

Ed Walker: We just returned from spending a week on a beach in Baja which was awesome. We spend the majority of our time in the Colorado, Utah and Wyoming back country. We have also vacationed with it in Arizona and down to North Padre Island in Texas as well.

What are your future plans?

Ed Walker: Often our trips are centered around a specific activity like mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, fly fishing, etc. This summer we have trips planned to several Colorado and Wyoming mountain bike trail networks.  Kayaking various remote lakes and fly fishing locations like the Taylor River north of Crested Butte and the Miracle Mile in Wyoming. Longer term goals include spending more time in Canada and south of the border.

Being an IT guy myself, can you tell us more about your Internet setup and how you stay connected remotely?

 Ed Walker: For folks who remote work like I do, they may find our connectivity build interesting:

  • Flat roof mounted Starlink with a 3D printed mount. I converted the Starlink to DC so that it runs without the inverter to save some power (we leave it always live).
  • Parsec roof antenna provides external Wifi and cellular antennas .
  • Peplink router that WAN bonds Starlink, AT&T cellular, Verizon cellular, and any local Wifi sources via Speedfusion to offer extremely dependable connectivity.
  • We have a matching Peplink network at home that the rig automatically bonds with when we enter our driveway. This adds the rig’s connectivity to our home network providing backup internet service when our home service goes down (which happens often; we live at 8000ft).
  • The camper’s network is live 24/7/365. This gives me access to Victron’s VRM from anywhere at any time and it allows onboard devices like Rokus to always work without having to re-connect.
  • We connect our phones to the network while driving so that we always have connectivity even when our phones do not have signal.

Do you have any social media channels where our readers can follow you?

Ed Walker: The rig’s nickname is “Sleepwalker.” Our website at www.sleepwalker.life is routed to our sleepwalker.life Instagram page. My personal photography website is www.edwardwalker.com.

This has been great talking to you, Ed. Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us. Do you have any final advice for our readers?

Ed Walker: Thanks, Mike. I’m thankful that you took the time to check out our setup and was honored to be considered. There were so many great rigs at the rally. As for advice to other truck camper owners: I highly recommend attending a truck camper event like the annual Truck Camper Adventure Quartzsite Rally! Meeting like-minded people and learning from their creativity is inspirational and motivational. We have developed some great friendships through the community and your rally.

About Mello Mike 880 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.

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