New Outpost 6.5 Truck Camper has Cutting-Edge 48V EcoFlow Electrical

Outpost Campers—a new Colorado-based truck camper manufacturer—just released its first camper called the Outpost 6.5 offering an impressive list of features at a price point without equal. These features include a cutting-edge EcoFlow 48 volt electrical system with a large lithium battery bank, an induction cooktop, aluminum cabinets, a DC compressor refrigerator, a solar power system, and an inverter. The composite camper is also propane free.

Outpost Campers is owned by the same team who owns and operates San Juan Vans, a custom van builder based out of Bayfield, Colorado. Founded by Taylor Ripp, the company has been in business since 2018.

“We are thrilled to finally unveil our composite shell camper to the world,” said Ripp. “For years, our team has been meticulously developing this next generation model, iterating and testing with our experience building high end, off-grid adventure vans. After partnering with Total Composites and seeing the capabilities of composite shell technology, we knew we were onto something big and could use this new platform to build an incredible four-season, off-grid adventure camper at an attainable price point. We’re working on the prototype as we speak.”

The heart of the Outpost 6.5 is the 48 volt Ecoflow electrical system. Unlike the 12 volt systems found in nearly all campers today, the Outpost 6.5’s EcoFlow system is 48 volts. Being a 48 volt system, the EcoFlow can deliver more power for the same current. This means the system is able to power more demanding appliances efficiently, which is particularly beneficial in a truck camper where space and power sources are limited. The EcoFlow comes with a 2,000 watt hour lithium battery bank (a 166 amp hour 12 volt equivalent), a 200 watt solar power system, a 3,600 watt inverter-charger, dual MPPT solar charge controllers, and a 50 amp DC-DC alternator charger. The entire EcoFlow electrical system is controlled with a touchscreen console with Wifi/Bluetooth capability for monitoring the electrical system from your smartphone. Both the solar array and the battery bank are upgradable as options.

EcoFlow closeup under the front dinette

“The EcoFlow system is amazing,” said Ripp. “When I first saw the system, it blew my mind. We’ve been building $250,000, off-grid camper vans for years, and we’ve been doing 48 volt systems for a long time, with a second alternator. The 48 volts allows us to get a massive amount of charge from that second alternator. But what is cool about this system is because it’s a 48 volt system, it reduces the size constraints of all those different components. It’s all integrated and compact, which allows us to get a lot of juice into a small camper. It even has a touch screen display that we built in the camper, where you can monitor the whole system from the main panel or on your cell phone.”

Interior of the Outpost 6.5 prototype under construction.

With a target weight of 1,500 pounds, the Outpost 6.5 is designed to be hauled on short-bed, half-ton trucks and higher. These include the ever-popular Ford F-150, the Ram 1500, the Chevy Silverado 1500 with the requisite payload rating. Of course, any full-size, 3/4-ton and one-ton truck can haul the Outpost 6.5 too. Better yet, the 6 foot 4 inch length of the floor means that the tailgate of the truck can be retained and used as a platform for entering and exiting the camper.

The Outpost 6.5 is made to be used in extreme environments and temperatures. The short-bed camper features lightweight, composite walls, roof, and floor with fiberglass pultrusions for extra strength and durability off-road. The composite panels boast an insulation factor of R-12 and zero condensation for all season use. Moreover, the cabinets inside are made of aluminum and are both attractive and durable. The cabover bed is arranged in an east-west orientation and measures 77 x 58 inches. The interior height is a full 6 feet 4 inches.

Ripp is particularly proud of the company’s aluminum cabinets. “We partner with a company that makes our cabinets. They’re beautiful and they’re lightweight, and they’ll last forever. We’re offering them in a sage color, but eventually we will have more color options, but for now sage is our standard color. It’s a really cool, green-gray color. It’s really warm. It doesn’t feel like aluminum when you’re in the camper because of the way they’re built and look. We really like them,” he said.

If the Outpost 6.5 looks familiar, there’s a good reason. The Outpost 6.5 uses a Total Composites “Wolf 6.5” camper shell that has appeared in several articles here in Truck Camper Adventure. Total Composites is the leading provider of DIY camper shells and a growing force in the industry. However, the Total Composites Wolf 6.5 shell includes a number of enhancements made by the Outpost Camper team that includes not only a larger cabover area for sleeping, but also additional bracing and support in key areas.

“The Outpost 6.5 shares many of the qualities of the Total Composites Wolf, but we have extended the cabover, so it’s a standard queen-size, east-west sleeping cabover, where the Total Composite Wolf is not. We’ve added some reinforcements in strategic places in the camper body for awning placement. And then we’ve just a few other things in the internal structure in the tie-downs and things like that are a little different. It’s very similar in a lot of ways, but increasing the bed size was a huge upgrade. We actually increased the bed over 12 inches, so you have a standard queen-size sleeping arrangement,” Ripp said.

Amenities for the Outpost 6.5 include a 20 gallon fresh water holding tank, a portable cassette toilet, and L-shape dinette with a rotatable table, bamboo countertops and tabletops, a stainless steel sink, and four Tern Overland Arctic Tern dual thermopane windows with built-in window screens.

Unlike traditional campers and RVs, which rely on propane for heating and cooking, the Outpost Camper 6.5 uses diesel for heating and electricity for cooking. Cooking is accomplished using an induction cooktop powered by the camper’s 3,600 watt inverter and lithium battery bank. Heat is provided using an optional Espar D2 diesel heater with a 2.7 gallon diesel tank. The German-engineered heater puts out an amazing amount of heat, sips fuel, and uses very little power. The reviews of the heater are overwhelmingly positive.

With these state-of-the-art choices for heating and cooking, it’s no surprise that the Outpost Camper team went with a DC air conditioner when designing the lithium-powered camper. Rather than going with a loud and inefficient AC model, the Outpost team went with one of the best DC air conditioners in today’s market: the Nomadic Cooling X2 48 volt. The 48 volt version of the powerful AC consumes only 8 amps in the ECO mode. Like the diesel heater, this rooftop air conditioner is available only as an option.

“The Nomadic Cooling X2 runs direct off 48 volt battery power,” Ripp said. “We’ve been testing them for a while now and they’re great. It’s lightweight, low profile, and roof mounted. They run hard and they use very little power. It’s small enough to where it makes sense to use in this super-insulated truck camper. It performs incredibly well for such a small air conditioner. In our tests we run at full start at 100 degrees and it’s able to keep the temperature in the low 70s no problem. That’s amazing.”

With the immense popularity of half-ton trucks, it’s makes sense to kick things off with a full-size, half-ton capable camper like the Outpost 6.5. So are there any plans for an Outpost 8 camper for long-bed trucks or a mid-size model using the Total Composites Lynx shell? According to Ripp yes, but probably not for another year.

The Outpost Camper 6.5 lists for $34,995, a bargain when you consider all that you get for the money. The cutting-edge, EcoFlow 48 volt electrical system by itself is worth thousands. Couple it with a true four-season capability, a standup DC refrigerator with a Secop compressor, a 20 gallon water tank, a DC-DC charger, and a 200 watt solar power system and you have a camper without equal at this price point.

Customers can lock-in an Outpost 6.5 truck camper today with a 100 percent refundable deposit of $1,000. The first units are expected to be delivered in July 2024.

Interested in seeing the new Outpost 6.5 in person? You’re in luck. The Outpost 6.5 will be on display at the 2024 Overland Expo Mountain West, August 22-25, in Loveland, Colorado.

About Mello Mike 908 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. East West bed is a dealbreaker – rented one, hated it!
    What method of unloading is there – get creative!
    Large rear awning and ladder would be great options.
    Moly mounts for extra: water and diesel would be good…
    So where’s the cassette access?
    Great job so far….

  2. Interesting. The east-west bed might be a dealbreaker for me. Just too difficult to crawl over my spouse the older I get. I’m super interested in the diesel heater. This has been a big recent change in the portable ice fishing market and everybody raves about the dry heat and low cost to run. I hate a loud furnace fan that turns on and off all night, so am leaning heavily towards Cirrus just for their Aldi heater.

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