OEV High Country Rig Takes Top Honors at 2023 Overland Expo PNW

The Overland Explorer Vehicles (OEV) High Country Rig took first place at the 2023 Overland Expo Pacific Northwest in Redmond, Oregon. The first place award was given by Truck Camper Adventure, a web magazine for off-road, off-grid truck camper enthusiasts. Functionality and good looks were the prime factors considered by Truck Camper Adventure in choosing the winner out of 10 entries.

The Overland Expo Pacific Northwest was held in Redmond, Oregon, July 7-9.

As a truck camper rig, the OEV High Country Rig has it all: an Elevation Off-Grid (EOG) Ram 5500 Black Edition with 41-inch super singles and a LiquidSpring Suspension, an OEV Aluma Tray with loads of above deck and below deck storage, and an OEV High Country flatbed camper.

The owner of the rig, Colin Cook of San Diego, California, was thrilled when he heard the news that he took first place at the show.

So why did Colin decide to go with a High Country flatbed camper by Overland Explorer Vehicles?

“I love their construction,” he said. “There’s no wood in it. I tell all my friends two things. If it wasn’t for the electronics, you could dip their camper underwater, pull it out, dry it out. It’d be perfectly fine. And it’s a camper that I could hand down my kids. It’s going to last a long time. I can keep rebuilding the inside, do whatever I want to do. So I love the construction, the strength. I’ve traveled a lot in Baja on very bad roads, and I’ve twisted and turned and loosened up my old Lance camper going down there and this thing’s going to handle it.”

The winners from L to R: Travis Jensen (EOG), Arnold Baker and Mark Cymbaluk of OEV, Colin Cook, Mello Mike, Carl Harr (LiquidSpring), and Jerime Monroe (EOG).
OEV High Country kitchen, cabover bed, and wet-bath.
OEV High Country dinette.

Launched in late 2022, the High Country is the latest model by OEV. The four-season camper features a 9-foot, 5-inch floorplan with a spacious wet-bath, a rear dinette, a large kitchen with a True Induction cooktop and microwave, and north-south queen-size cab over bed. Colin opted to go with a large electrical system with 640 amp hours of batteries (two Lithonics 320 amp hour batteries), 800 watts of solar, a 2,000 watt inverter, and a DC-DC charger. The climate in the camper is controlled using a Nomadic 1000 roof-top DC air conditioner and a Truma Combi water heater-furnace.

Any truck camper rig worth it’s salt needs a good truck, and Colin chose the best by going with an Elevation Off-Grid Black Edition Ram 5500 chassis outfitted with 41-inch EarthRoamer-size tires, and a silky-smooth LiquidSpring Suspension. A custom Buckstop Truckware front bumper outfitted with a Warn 16.5ti Winch and Baja Designs Lights not only provides the rig with good looks, but functionality off-road.

Both the High Country camper and the Aluma Tray were installed by Pop-Top Overland out of San Diego, California.

EOG Black Series Ram 5500.

The main reason why Colin went with an EOG Ram 5500 was the high 19,500-pound GVWR and high payload rating.

“I just had it weighed. I’ve only owned the rig less than a week. First, I got it weighed at EOG, then got it weighed fully-loaded and gassed-up, and I’m at 15,815 pounds. The truck alone weighed 9,900 pounds. I knew I wanted a 5500 and knew I wanted to load it down with all the things that I wanted, possibly put some E-bikes on the back, a motorcycle occasionally, and this chassis can totally handle anything I can throw at it.”

So what are Colin’s thoughts on his impressive truck and camper combo?

“This truck can do everything,” he said. “Elevation Off-Grid has been great to work with. They did everything that I needed truck wise. I can take the camper off-road and I can be comfortable with my wife. The camper’s got all the creature comforts. The wet-bath is really key for comfort for a couple, for everybody. A lot of people like to rough it, but we like to be comfortable and we like to go places that we couldn’t get to in our old RV.”

As Colin explains, Truck Camper Adventure was the go-to resource in building this amazing rig.

“I read it all the time. Every week I’m reading it. If there’s something new that comes out, I’ve got it. So I’m usually up to date on everything new. And I’ve scoured a lot of the old stuff to learn things. It’s been a really good resource,” he said.

About Mello Mike 867 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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