Top 10 Truck Camper Rigs of the 2023 Overland Expo West

Aside from our very own Truck Camper Rally in Quartzsite, the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona is the one event we look forward to covering each year. Why? The sheer volume of rigs, vendors, and classes. At the 2023 show, organizers counted 417 exhibitors; hundreds of overland rigs; 448 classes, seminars, and slideshows; and 136 presenters, trainers and VIPs. Among the exhibitors were the biggest names in the truck camper industry, including Lance, Four Wheel Campers, Overland Explorer Vehicles, Nimbl Vehicles, Alaskan, AT Overland, Scout, KingStar, BundutecUSA, SuperTramp, Total Composities, and OVRLND Campers. All of them brought a rig or two, or in the case of Four Wheel Campers, dozens. The expense and investment in man-hours in building out these rigs is substantial. It would be a shame to ignore all of this effort and expense, hence the purpose of this article. This is no easy task with acres of rigs to review and inspect. This year’s event was no different with the usual assortment of campers including several new ones like the Scout Tuktut and AT Overland Aterra Topper. So without further adieu, here at the best top 10 truck camper rigs of the 2023 Overland Expo West.

1. Bowen Customs ‘Warthog’

The best at the show. Built by Bowen Customs designer and CEO, Brett Bowen, the Warthog has it all: super singles, a military green vibe, loads of storage, plenty of payload, and a well-equipped, pop-up camper with all of the amenities including a DC air conditioner. “We dreamed up the Warthog build as our version of the ultimate expedition vehicle for our family,” Bowen said. For this rig, it all starts with an Elevation Off-Grid Ram 4500 with an 84-inch cab-to-axle platform, 41-inch EarthRoamer-size tires, and a silky-smooth LiquidSpring Suspension. The Bowen Customs truck bed, featuring a three-point articulating subframe, is an amazing 12 feet long and features a massive 60-inch garage forward and six storage compartments in the rear. The Supertramp Camper is just as impressive with a 330 watt solar power system, a Truma Combi water heater-furnace, bunk beds, an electric roof lift, a Battle Born 400 amp hour lithium battery bank, and a Dometic RTX 2000 DC air conditioner. A 23Zero Roof-Top-Tent above the cab provides even more sleeping space for what is already a smokin-hot rig.

2. Ford F550-Camino 88 Flatbed Rig

A very close second. Looking for a luxury slide-in camper with extra storage? Then this Ford F550-KingStar Camino 88 rig is for you. Owned by Reyes and Deedra Murrieta, the Camino 88 camper is mounted on a Ford F550 outfitted with an 11-foot EBY Big Country Flatbed. The Ford 84-inch cab-to-axle chassis was upgraded with the “payload plus” package providing a GVWR of a whopping 19,500 pounds. A large, pass-through garage and two KingStar side boxes complete the build. The KingStar Camino 88 camper is just as impressive and features the company’s brand-new “command center” floorplan, an 810 amp hour lithium battery bank, an 800 watt solar power system, a Truma Combi, and dual Victron inverters (one 3,000 watts, the other 500 watts). Additional features consist of a KingStar Rack Pack and Tower providing a folding steps, a grille, a generator, and additional storage. But the couple isn’t done yet with this rig. Planned upgrades include a super single conversion and Liquid Spring Suspension.

3. Ram Power Wagon-Project M Rig

Looking for a more capable, off-road rig? Then Corey Ryan’s Power Wagon-Four Wheel Camper Project M Rig might be the best entry at the show. An Iraq War veteran and long-time Jeep fan, Corey wanted a rig that was not only off-road capable, but one that provided the basic amenities on the trail. Aside from the superb factory off-road options in Corey’s 2019 Ram Power Wagon, Corey outfitted it with a number of aftermarket modifications including Thuren Fabrication 1.5-inch front coils and rear track bar, Carli Suspension 1-inch rear coils, King 2.5 PinTop Shocks, an AEV high air intake, AirLift 5000 rear airbags and Daystar cradles, SOB Fabrication front and rear bumpers. Underneath, his rig rolls on a set of 37×13.5R17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers with AEV Salta bronze wheels. Topping it all off, you’ll find a Four Wheel Camper Project M Topper outfitted with a queen-size bed, a Renogy 170 amp hour lithium battery, a RedArc Manager 30 and RedVision battery management system, a Dometic CRX3 75DZ Refrigerator, ceiling fans, and a 23Zero 270 degree awning and shower room. Comms are provided with a set of Ham, GMRS, and satellite radios.

4. Ford F350-OEV Alpine Rig

Overland Explorer Vehicles (OEV) hit another one out of the park with this 2023 Alpine pop-up truck camper mounted on a 2022 Ford F350 outfitted with an OEV 8-foot Aluma Tray with a front garage and underbed storage boxes. Formerly known as the Camp-FX, the Alpine has it all with a rugged, 4th generation composite floor, walls and roof, powder coated aluminum extrusions, and fire-rated R4 insulated soft walls. Features include a C-shaped dinette, bamboo countertops and dinette table, a 20 gallon fresh water holding tank, a Truma AquaGo water heater, a Truma VarioHeat, and a wet-bath with a Thetford C222CS cassette toilet. The camper’s electrical system is controlled with the excellent Redarc Manager 30 with display (look for a detailed review on this unit soon here at Truck Camper Adventure). Three cargo doors in the camper provide loads of heated storage. OEV’s Alpine sits and rides nicely on a stock 2022 Ford F350 which provides more than enough payload for this 1,463-pound camper. Sold at top outfitters and dealers nationwide.

5. 1959 Apache ‘Delmo New Vintage 4×4 Rig’

We love vintage trucks and campers and Delmo Uschenko’s rig was hard to ignore. Called the “Delmo New Vintage 4×4”, Delmo’s rig consists of a 1959 Chevrolet Apache pickup truck pained an earthy tan, a bare aluminum TrailCap Camper Shell topped with a Go Fast Pop-Up Tent. Upgrades to the classic truck include a V8 525 horsepower LS3 engine, a Roadstershop RS4 chassis, an Atlas transfer case, and Baer brakes. Completing the retro, Airstream-Avion look is the riveted aluminum TrailCap Camper Shell polished to a mirror shine. “The thing I love about my rig is that it has all the conveniences of a new truck, but retains the romance and feeling of an old classic,” Delmo said. “With just the right combination of new tech, this old rig is reliable, fast, and comfortable. The 1955-9 model has a soft spot for me in particular as these trucks bring back allot of great memories with my Dad and my Grampa.”

6. Mule Expedition’s Ram 3500-Grandby Baja Roamer

The crew at Mule Expedition Outfitters is no stranger when it comes to terrific builds, and this amazing rig is no different. Called the Baja Roamer, this rig has it all—a tricked-out Ram 3500 regular-cab truck with a gasoline 6.4L Hemi, a Mits Alloy flatbed tray, and a Four Wheel Camper Grandby, all in a drool-worthy, slate-gray color scheme. Like Mule Expedition’s Baja Runner build in 2019, the company went all out with this build, including a slew of American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) upgrades, including AEV High Mark XL fender flares, an AEV Prospector XL front bumper with brush guard, an AEV snorkel, and an AEV 3-inch lift. Supplemental upgrades consist of a ComeUp 16.5 Seal Gen 2 Winch, King 2.5 Coilover shocks, four AEV 7000 Series LED Off-Road lights, and Onyx AEV Katla 17-inch wheels and 37-inch Yokohama Extreme Mud-Terrain tires. Supplemental storage is provided by an 8-foot Mits Alloy flatbed tray providing above deck and below deck storage. Topping everything off is a Four Wheel Camper Grandby, featuring a large front dinette, an aftermarket HEST dually long memory foam mattress, a 340 watt solar power system, dual lithium batteries, and a Redarc Manager 30. Comms is provided with a Midland 15 watt GMRS radio with a 6db gain antenna.

7. Ford F350-Nimbl Evolution Rig

We’ve published several stories on the Nimbl Evolution over the years and continue to be impressed with the refinements that Nimbl Vehicles continues to make. While we always loved Nimbl’s space-age, carbon fiber monocoque hull, it’s what’s inside this luxury pop-up that really counts. The Nimbl Evolution has everything—a large rear dinette, hand-finished Mahogany/Teak trim, a spacious wet-bath with a composting toilet and “urine diverter,” and a large cabover queen provide plenty of living room. The technology of the Nimbl Evolution  is cutting-edge too with a Dometic RTX 2000 DC air conditioner, 75-gallons of fresh water, and 24 gallons grey, a Guzzle H20 three-step water filtration unit, a premium sound system, a 1,080 amp hour lithium battery system, and a 1,005 watt solar power system. Nimbl’s raw aluminum, 10-foot flatbed comes with loads of storage, including a small pass-through garage, Nimbl’s stealth stairless entry system, and stair lighting. For this build, the owner’s went with a Ford F350 outfitted with matte black 17-inch Method Race Wheels and Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT 295/70R18 all-terrain tires. We like the choice because the Nimbl Evolution isn’t very heavy and doesn’t require a F450/4500 or F550/5500 truck to haul it.

8. 1987 Toyota 4Runner-OVRLND Camper Rig

Bigger isn’t always better as this tiny, retro rig proves. Built and owned by Russell Dunham, this 4Runner rig consists of 1987 Toyota 4Runner and an 2022 OVRLND Camper Topper. This first generation 4Runner, like most SUVs in the 1980s, was essentially a closed-cabin Hilux pickup truck with a shell. The original 2.4L I4 doesn’t provide a lot of torque or speed (114 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque), but it will get you where you need to go in any terrain. For this rig, Russell removed the old “SUV” shell, upgraded components of the engine, including a set of Ice headers, an Ice oil pump, and an Ice water pump, and added a set of black 17-inch Method Race Wheels with BF Goodrich KO2 265/75R17 T/A Tires. Rather than remove the OEM roll-bar, Russell opted to retain it. Built in Flagstaff, Arizona, the OVRLAND Camper weighs only 290 pounds and provides a surprising 6 feet 5 inches of standing room inside. A near queen-size bed, rear windows, and side hatches with windows for the OEM rear seats complete this amazing retro build.

9. Ford F350-Alaskan 8.5 Cabover Rig

It’s hard to ignore the classic, retro lines of an Alaskan Camper. As a matter of fact, the look and feel of these venerable campers are nearly identical to the original Alaskans built in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Unlike the traditional pop-up truck camper, which features soft walls, the Alaskan pop-top is solid-walled and provides a better four-season camping experience. For the 2023 Overland Expo West, Alaskan brought what is probably its most popular model: the 8.5 Cabover. What makes this model so popular is its spacious, 8.5-foot floor length and its relatively low, 2,061-pound wet weight. This means any 3/4-ton, long-bed truck can haul it like the fire engine red Ford F-250 shown here. The 8.5 Cabover model comes with a gorgeous leather dinette, a 27 gallon fresh water tank, a 2.5 cubic foot three-way Dometic refrigerator, and an optional Thetford cassette toilet. The most popular options include an 8-foot side awning and a Zamp 160 amp solar power system. Alaskan Campers has been making overland-style truck campers since 1953, longer than anybody else in the industry today. Ordered factory direct from Alaskan’s Winlock, Washington factory.

10. Ford-F350- Lance 960 Rig

The newest model from truck camper jaugernaut, Lance, the Lance 960 offers all of the amenities of a large slide-in truck camper without the need for hefty slide-outs. Looking for comfortable seating? This long-bed camper provides it with dual swivel chairs or an optional sofa. Looking for a large wet-bath? This hotel-on-wheels has that too with plenty of elbow room. Inside the Lance 960 you’ll also find a massive kitchen with a 5 cubic foot refrigerator, a large wardrobe, and a spacious cabover with a comfortable queen-size bed. State-of-the-art standards come with this camper as well, including the ultra-quiet Truma Aventa ECO 13.5 Air Conditioner (the same one recently tested and reviewed here at Truck Camper Adventure), a dual battery compartment with quick disconnect, a Truma Combi water heater and furnace, a 100 watt solar panel with a second panel available as an option, Keyless entry, remote controlled camper jacks, Lance’s one-piece TPO front nose cap, and dual thermopane windows with built-in shades. With a Lance 960 wet weight of 3,717 pounds and a floor length of 9 feet 11 inches, you’ll need a one-ton truck to haul this camper around like the Ford F350 DRW shown here. Sold at top dealerships nationwide.

Honorable Mention: Bear Adventure Jeep Gladiator Rig

We love Jeeps, so when Bear Adventure Vehicles showed up with a Jeep Gladiator with a Total Composites hard-side we couldn’t help but notice. This particular rig was built by Bear Adventure Vehicles. We featured this company in an article last year and have been impressed with their builds. This camper features four Tern Overland windows and a Tern Overland Door, a Dometic 55L cooler, a queen-size bed with a 4-inch thick memory foam mattress, a Bluetti Portable Power Unit, and a 200 watt roof-top solar panel. It also features a portable diesel heater, a stainless steel sink, a pivoting table, a large wardrobe, and a high-altitude, single-burner stove. Proprietary plywood cabinetry overlayed with a laminate veneer and bamboo countertops complete the plush, interior look. The stock 2022 Jeep Gladiator Sport S+ with Max Tow (GVWR 6,250 pounds, payload 1,481 pounds) has been outfitted with Falken Wildpeak 285/70R17 A/T tires, a Hellwig Rear Sway Bar, and Air Lift 1,000-pound airbags. Torklift tie-downs and Torklift FastGuns keep the camper secure while driving the Jeep off-road.

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.

5 Comments

  1. Is the genre moving away from hard sides? Looks like I see lots of pop tops and super singles.

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