Oregon-based SherpTek, quality manufacturer of custom aluminum truck beds, just launched a smaller, overland-style truck bed ideal for today’s pop-up truck camper. Not only is this new aluminum bed more compact and more capable off-road, but it also incorporates a number of first-time offerings by the company.
“We’re really excited about this new release,” said Ryan Goodwin, SherpTek owner and designer. “This new truck bed is designed for the overland crowd. It’s geared toward today’s pop-up campers, so it’s a smaller, narrower bed that maintains our ultra lightweight approach to truck bed design. Not only that, but this particular bed has the lowest deck height with raised wheel wells to keep center of gravity low and to allow the rear wheels to fully articulate off-road. Plus it weighs only 350 pounds, and that’s with a full complement of accessories with upper and lower deck options.”
SherpTek’s modular, aluminum truck bed took years to develop. It adds up to 60 cubic feet of accessible, secure storage, fits on any size truck, and features a proprietary hidden tie-down system for slide-in truck campers. Moreover, the hinged flanks that create side compartments are completely removable, enabling it to be easily reconfigured into a regular flat-bed in less than 10 minutes. SherpTek modular tray also features infinite attachment points, extensive compartment lighting, and hidden fuel fills. Custom accessories like ARB air compressors, grills, work stands, extra water tanks, and coolers can easily be added at the factory. Pricing starts at around $9,000.
SherpTek’s new overland truck bed offers a number of new features. The best of these is what SherpTek calls a “rump bin,” a slide-out, underbody storage box that loads from the top. The rump bin is the perfect place to store firewood and haul out trash and recyclables after a week or two on the trail. Another new feature is a second fluid fill option for the driver and passenger sides. This extra fill, according to SherpTek, can be used either for fuel or for an extra fresh water holding tank. Additional features found in this overland truck bed include marine decking, front and lateral alignment brackets, front underbody skirting, and removable wheel wells that allow the wheels to fully articulate off-road.
“We adapted our popular lateral alignment brackets to also function as front alignment brackets to make truck camper loading even easier,” Ryan said. “We’re also offering a large array of different powdercoat and anodized options, so customers can customize the look to their liking. The rump bin has a concealed pull on it that’s really clean-looking from the outside. You may not even notice that it’s a storage compartment, unless you look really close at it. It’s completely water tight, but it also has a removable drain plug for easy clean up after hauling messy items.”
The truck bed’s light weight is one thing that makes this new overland-style truck bed so capable. Weight, as you know, is a major consideration for any overland rig, especially one carrying a slide-in truck camper. According to Ryan, the basic long-bed tray weighs 250 pounds, while the long-bed full body build, like the one pictured here, tops out at 350 pounds. The short-bed version weighs under 200 pounds and less than 300 pounds for the full body build. Plans are coming together for a Tacoma tray that will weigh no more than 150 pounds. The great thing about a SherpTek modular truck bed is that it’s incredibly strong and doesn’t compromise the truck’s ability to haul heavy loads like a truck camper.
When it comes to the logistics of hauling a truck camper, SherpTek has thought of everything. Whether it’s the proprietary hidden tie-down system, the special truck camper alignment brackets, or the protective marine decking engineered for hauling heavy loads, SherpTek has you covered—literally. “The marine decking is a thick top coat surface that we add,” Ryan explains. “It’s a UV stable, rubberized decking that protects your bed and your gear. It’s a great surface for your truck camper to sit on, it’s tacky, and takes the place and does the job of a rubber mat. It’s a tough surface, that’s chemical and water stable.”
The high ground clearance is another important feature of this new overland-capable design. This truck bed is SherpTek’s first to incorporate removable wheel wells, which keep the deck height close to stock while retaining full suspension articulation for extreme off-roading. SherpTek offers three underbody box sizes to accommodate different height requirements—Standard, which matches the truck’s body line; Overroad, which falls 3-4 inches below the body line (typically at running board level) to maximize storage; and Overland, which is 3-4 inches above the body line to maximize ground clearance.
SherpTek also offers a powdercoated aluminum rear bumper that perfectly compliments the new truck bed. The rear bumper, pictured below, not only looks great, but also facilitates OEM access to the below-bed spare tire. SherpTek’s aluminum rear bumper incorporates backup cameras and proximity sensors, and features steel mounting brackets for extra strength and support and high-strength steel tow hooks for emergency extraction. “Our truck beds are designed to work with OEM bumpers, but look best when mated with one of our rear bumpers. It’s a feature-rich bumper, that looks sleek with our truck beds,” Ryan explained.
For those interested in viewing one of these new, overland truck beds, SherpTek will have one on display at the Overland Expo West, May 17-19, 2019. The new truck bed will be shown at the Hallmark RV booth on a 2018 Toyota Tundra with a Hallmark Milner. Overland Expo West attendees can view the build and visit with the SherpTek team at the event. For more information fill out the contact form at SherpTek.com or talk to Ryan directly at 541-402-1266.
Cost? I don’t see why this wouldn’t also work with a hardside. Thoughtful design.