Our good friends at Soaring Eagle Campers recently released a minimalistic slide-in truck camper called the Adlar 5.0. With a dry weight of 890 pounds and floor length of 4 feet 7 inches, the camper fits all mid-size trucks with 5-foot beds including the Toyota Tacoma, Jeep Gladiator, Chevy Colorado, and Ford Ranger. The new Adlar 5.0 will even fit in the Ford Maverick, one of the smallest truck’s in today’s market.
“We’re really excited about the Adlar 5.0,” said Scott Tuttle, Soaring Eagle Campers CEO. “This camper was built in response to questions from customers who own mid-size trucks with 5-foot bed trucks. The truck camper industry has really only offered up a lot of cabover tents and things that you have to climb up and sleep on top of the cab. Well, we’ve done a nice, full slide-in, hard-side truck camper for them. And it has a lot of the amenities of what you’d expect out of a true truck camper, so it’s definitely not tent living. It’s something that’s a step up for a lot of these guys. They love the outdoors, they love the hiking and the fishing and everything, but they’re sleeping in tents whether on top of their cab or just on the ground, and we’re finding that there’s just a lot of people that we’ve made happy with this product.”
You won’t find a lot of amenities in the Soaring Eagle Adlar 5.0. Yet, the diminutive camper offers the essentials needed to camp comfortably when away from home, including a warm bed and a comfortable dinette. Standards include a 47×72-inch east-west cabover bunk, a 30-inch face-to-face dinette, a 12 volt vent fan, quick detachable jacks, and a battery compartment large enough to hold two 100 amp hour batteries. If you’re looking for a bathroom or toilet in the Adlar 5.0, you won’t find one. Nature calls will have to be held either outside or inside using a portable toilet.
Options for the new camper include a DC compressor refrigerator, a microwave oven, lithium batteries, a 160 watt solar power system, a MaxxAir fan with rain sensor, a RecPro 9.5 roof-top low profile air conditioner, and a 74×72-inch pull-out north-south bed.
The Adlar 5.0 can comfortably sleep up three adults or two adults and two children.
Founded in 2022, Soaring Eagle Campers been busy filling a niche in the light truck camper market. To date, the Wakarusa, Indiana-based company has released four slide-in truck campers: the Adlar 6.5, the Adlar 6.5XL, and Adlar 6.5XLS for full-size trucks, and the new Adlar 5.0 for mid-size trucks. The heaviest camper, the Adlar 6.5XLS weighs only 1,300 pounds; the new Adlar 5.0 only 980 pounds.
Like all Soaring Eagle campers, the Adlar 5.0 features an all-aluminum, wood-free construction. The entire camper is framed with a strong, yet lightweight tubular aluminum. The Adlar 5.0’s exterior is covered with thick fiberglass with an Azdel composite backing inside, not luan wood like others. The roof is a thick, one piece, seamless fiberglass. This approach, Tuttle argues, ensures that Soaring Eagle provides a “generational camper” that will outlast the truck carrying it.
Tuttle is no stranger to the wood free, all-aluminum approach to truck camper construction. As the former founder and CEO of Livin Lite RV, aluminum is in his DNA. He’s never been a fan of wood.
“Most entry level campers are framed with wood,” Tuttle explained. “That’s a problem. No matter the type of sealant or caulking used to seal up the camper, over time, there will be small leaks and when moisture gets into the wood, it begins to degrade or rot. It’s just a matter of time. Then you get “soft” floors and roofs or studs on the walls. That is not the case with Soaring Eagle Campers.”
Being able to deliver a high-quality camper at a low price point is a win for today’s consumer. Depending on options, the Soaring Eagle Adlar 5.0 lists between $17,000 and $20,000, a bargain compared to the high-priced heavyweights being produced today.
“That’s the Soaring Eagle story,” Tuttle explained. “We’re in the entry level market, but we’re not building an entry level quality product. Others are trying to make their units lightweight by using less wood, and we don’t want to use any wood. We’re building our entire structure out of welded tubular aluminum. And our slide-out bed is all tubular aluminum. Our dinette is made out of composites, not wood. So this thing is really built to last, which is the Soaring Eagle way. It’s how we do things. We make no bones about it. We’re selling campers that are going to outlast the truck 90 percent of the time.”
The Soaring Eagle Adlar 5.0 fills a dire need in the mid-size truck camper market with precious few options for those who own a mid-size truck with a 5-foot truck bed. Like all Soaring Eagle truck campers, the 4-foot, 7-inch floorlength of the Adlar 5.0 allows the tailgate to be closed thus allowing use of the rear view camera and backup sensors. With the tailgate down, of course, the tailgate makes a terrific porch.
“We’re excited to get into this small arena with something that brings in new people into the market. There’s a lot of Gladiator guys, Ranger guys, and Colorado guys out there. We had a dealer at the Elkhart RV Show who drove in with one of the little, Ford Mavericks, the smallest truck I’ve ever seen. We went and measured it. It was 42 inches between the wheel wells. This thing fits in there no problem,” he said.
With Soaring Eagle’s growing catalog, Tuttle is banking on a demographic looking to get away without breaking the bank. With so many Americans owning a pickup truck, a minimalistic truck camper is the perfect way to do that.
“The North American Camping Report 2022 told us that there were 64 million people tent camping last year,” Tuttle said. “That number dwarfs the number of traditional RVs that are manufactured and sold each year. The goal of Soaring Eagle Campers is to provide that huge demographic with an affordable camper that they can use to still enjoy the outdoors and their minimalistic camping lifestyle, but just up off the ground when it rains and offer them a little more comfort while enjoying the great outdoors. We understand that people go camping to get away from TVs and luxury so they can spend more quality time together with their family. This demographic of buyer doesn’t want what a lot of today’s traditional RVs are offering—big screen TVs, slide-out rooms with residential style kitchens and living rooms, and fake fireplaces! So we are here for them with our smaller, minimalistic campers.”