This was Truck Camper Adventure’s first time covering the Overland Expo Mountain West and the 1,800-mile round trip from Kingman, Arizona to Loveland, Colorado was well worth it. We camped in the “Weekend Pass” camping area adjacent to the Expo grounds, which afforded us an opportunity to talk with Expo attendees and show our rigs.
Over 18,000 persons attended the big, three-day event with 310 exhibitors and more than 300 classes. Seventy-two journalists, including two from Truck Camper Adventure, covered the event. Attendees came from all over the country including Florida, New Hampshire, Washington, and California. Not surprising, the states with the highest representation were Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.
If we had any complaints about the venue, including the Weekend Pass camping area onsite, were the lack of trees and shade, which was a problem in the humidity and 90-degree temperatures. Despite the high temperatures, we still had a great time viewing dozens of truck campers and overland rigs of all types. The quality and variety of rigs was amazing.
It’s a tradition here at Truck Camper Adventure to inspect and rank the best truck camper rigs at each show. Using a grading formula based on presentation, functionality, and cost, it was difficult for us to choose a winner based on the sheer number of truck campers at the show. Still, several campers rose to the top. Ranked in order, here are the best truck camper rigs that we saw at the 2022 Overland Expo Mountain West.
1. Wolf Rigs ‘Patton’ H1 Humvee Rig
The hands-down winner at the 2022 Overland Expo Mountain West. The Patton was built by Wolf Rigs, a brand-new company based out of Englewood, Colorado. Reed Gerdes, the owner and CEO, is a veteran who cut his teeth operating Humvees in the US Army. The Humvee H1 chassis features an all-new 4WD drivetrain with a 3.9L Cummins turbo diesel with a Allison 1000 6-speed transmission and Falken Wildpeak size-37 mud-terrain tires. The camper comes in an all-aluminum frame and shell with a surprisingly spacious interior and lounge with a queen-size east-west bed, Tern Overland windows, a rear garage with spare-tire storage, and a large residential-size shower with a hideaway toilet. The camper is more than capable off-grid with a Battle Born 500 amp hour lithium battery bank, an 800 watt solar power system, and a 2,000 watt inverter. Heating is provided by a Webasto Dual Top 8 furnace and water heater, which is fed from the vehicle’s diesel fuel tank. And with a name like Patton, it’s hard not to love this amazing off-road rig. Lists for $350,000.
2. Rossmonster Baja Hard-Side Pop-Up
One of our favorites at the 2022 Overland Expo Mountain West. Like the Alaskan pop-up, the Rossmonster Baja features an actuating hard-shell top that can be lowered, making the integrated vehicle more compact, more nimble, and more capable than other truck campers in today’s market. The Chevy 3500 features a Duramax 6.6L diesel and size-37 Falken Wildpeak tires, a custom front and rear bumper featuring a Warn winch and additional gear storage, 4WD, and front and rear locking differentials. The camper, featuring an attractive composite shell with an actuating topper, comes with an automatic rear door on electric actuators, front windows, a 30 gallon fresh water holding tank, a Rixen hydronic heater/hot water system, and a power system featuring a 600 amp hour lithium battery bank, a 500 watt solar array, a Victron Bluetooth battery monitor, and a 3,000 watt inverter. Sold factory direct with pricing starting at $200,000.
3. Cirrus 620 ‘Jurassic’ F250 Mega Raptor Rig
Kent Kiehl was back with a vengeance with another Cirrus Expo build, this time using a smaller nuCamp Cirrus 620. As you can see, this isn’t your typical Ford Raptor, this is a “Mega Raptor” featuring a 2016 Ford F-250. Built by Mega Rexx Trucks, the truck includes a body kit, including hood, front and rear panels, a 4.5-inch Icon lift, custom front and rear bumpers, Bilstein custom shocks, MRAP wheels, 46-inch Michelin XZL tires rated for 12,000 pounds total, and a custom lead foot gray matte clear paint job. The fold-up jacks and hidden tie-downs were fabricated by Steel House Fabrication. NuCamp’s only half-ton offering, the Cirrus 620 weighs only 1,493 pounds and comes with a refrigerator and a hideaway Thetford swivel cassette toilet on the driver side, a small kitchenette on the passenger side, and a small dinette and north-south queen size bed up front. The camper also comes with a 2.3 cubic foot DC compressor refrigerator, a 19-gallon fresh water holding tank, a 15-gallon grey water holding tank, the all-in-one Alde hydronic water heater and furnace, the Froli Modular Sleep System, one 5-gallon propane tank, a 210 watt solar power system, and two group-24 batteries. Available at top dealerships nationwide.
4. Overland Explorer Vehicles Camp-FX
Arnold Baker, Overland Explorer Vehicles Director of Marketing, was on-hand again to show off this rig and for good reason. We love this flatbed rig. Like all OEV campers, the Camp-FX features proprietary composite walls, bolstered with thick aluminum extrusions for extra strength and off-road durability. The 6-foot 7.5-inch floorplan features a king-size bed, a 20 gallon fresh water holding tank, a cassette toilet, a 105 amp hour LiFePO4 battery with a battery heater, a portable DC compressor refrigerator, and a Truma Combi water heater and furnace. We’re also big fans of the Camp-FX’s 200 watt solar power system, Redarc Manager 30, and Redarc 50 amp DC to DC charger to keep the lithium battery charged. Better yet, the rugged camper weighs only 1,463 pounds dry. The Camp-FX shown here is mounted on a 2014 Ram 2500 AEV Prospector XL, outfitted with an 8-foot OEV Aluma Tray with spare tire enclosure, and OEV Molle panels. The Camp-FX lists for a cool $61,000.
5. Snow White Ram 2500-Four Wheel Campers Rig
Kenda Tires had this rig on display and it was one our favorites at the 2022 Overland Expo Mountain West. We are calling this rig “Snow White” because this all-white rig really stood out. Based out of Woodland, California, Four Wheel Campers builds one of the best, most durable pop-up campers in the industry. With its narrow girth and angled rear kick back, the Flatbed Hawk is completely at home in the extreme off-road environment. The camper is only 59 inches high with the pop-up down, weighs a paltry 1,325 pounds dry, and only 2,100 pounds fully loaded. Highlights include an east-west 72×78-inch bed, a small kitchenette, an Isotherm 1.7 cubic foot three-way refrigerator, a 20-gallon fresh water holding tank, and a large dinette in the rear. Popular options include a Wrappon 12 volt portable toilet, a dual battery box with Battle Born lithium batteries, an indoor shower, an Isotherm 65, 85, or 130 liter DC compressor refrigerator, several exterior color choices, and an excellent 320 watt solar power option to extend your time off-grid. Can be ordered in numerous colors in either ribbed or smooth aluminum. Shown mounted on a Ram 2500, pricing for the Flatbed Hawk starts at $36,995.
6. Hallmark Ute-Bowen Customs Pop-Up
Our friends at Hallmark RV and Bowen Customs delivered once again, this time featuring a Hallmark Ute 8.5 on a Ford F350 owned by Gaylon and Shandra Morris. With a weight of 1,643 pounds dry, the Hallmark Ute 8.5 is Hallmark’s second best-selling long-bed model. The low-profile pop-up includes a 30-gallon fresh water holding tank, a Progressive Dynamics 45 amp “Mighty Mini” Power Center, molded one-piece counter tops, big view double windows, a 4-gallon DSI water heater, a dual battery compartment, a Lagun swing-away table, and amber bamboo or maple cabinetry. Hallmark’s best options include a 200 watt solar power system, a north-south cabover, a 12 gallon grey water holding tank, a Thetford cassette toilet, side storage boxes, and several choices in cabinet finishes. The sleek, aluminum truck bed by Bowen Customs completes the look for this amazing rig with eight storage compartments, providing 29-cubic feet of extra storage. Built in Fort Lupton, Colorado, the base price for the Hallmark Ute is $58,995, while the Bowen truck bed adds another $20,000 to $25,000 depending on options.
7. Nimbl Evolution ‘Black Pearl’
Nimbl Vehicles upped the game in a major way for the 2022 show season by building this drool-worthy Ford F550 sporting size-41 tires. You’ve gotta love this rig. With its updated carbon fiber reinforced monocoque clam-shell structure and hydraulic roof lift, the Nimbl Evolution offers everything one would need to camp comfortably off-grid, including an east-west queen-size bed with under-bed storage, a large kitchen, a wet-bath, and a large dinette. Customers can opt for a robust electrical system that offers an impressive 760 watts of solar, 1,080 amp hours of Battle Born lithium batteries, and a 3,000 watt inverter with a transfer relay. Additional amenities include an 80-gallon fresh water holding tank, a 24-gallon grey water waste tank, a water filtration system, Arctic Tern windows, and a Dometic RTX-2000 DC air conditioner that pulls only 19 amps. Typically mounted on a “Nimble” Ford F350 chassis with the 7.3L V8 “Godzilla” gasoline engine, the Nimbl Vehicles Evolution lists for $267,000 for both the camper and flatbed, or $337,000 for everything including the chassis. Sold factory direct from the Nimbl Vehicles HQ in Colfax, California
8. AT Overland Aterra XL
Bob Wohlers, famed instructor at the Off-Road Safety Academy, told us if he was in the market for another truck camper this is the camper he would get. This is what we would buy too. Mounted on a 9-foot OEV HD Aluma Tray and built by our friends at AT Overland, the Aterra XL is an overlander’s dream with its sloped top and angular profile. It weighs a minuscule 1,100 pounds and offers the aerodynamic shape and rugged construction that any off-road enthusiast would appreciate. The flatbed camper comes with a 20-pound propane tank, a 30 gallon fresh water holding tank, an electric Wrappon waterless toilet, inside and outside showers, a 105 amp hour lithium battery, a 400 watt solar power system, and a National Luna 40 amp DC to DC charger with an integrated MPPT solar charge controller. You’ll also find a Truma Vario furnace and a AquaGo on-demand water heater, Arctic Tern windows, doors, and roof hatches, a MaxxAir Dome Fan, and a National Luna 90L DC refrigerator-freezer. The AT Overland Aterra XL lists for $69,000.
9. KingStar Camino 88 Rig
A rising star in the truck camper industry, KingStar was a first-time attendee at the Overland Expo and we were thrilled to see them. KingStar offers three interior floor plans for the Camino 88: the Couch Bunk, the Dinette, and Lounger. All floor plans offer a generous floor length of 9 feet 3 inches, a width of 7.5 feet, and a center of gravity between 34-36 inches. The dry weight of the wood-framed camper is only 2,580 pounds for a standard-equipped model with a north-south cabover, and can be hauled on either a 3/4-ton or one-ton, long-bed or short-bed SRW truck with the requisite payload. KingStar standards include a north-south (east-west optional with price deduct) sleeper bunk; an Amana 8,000 BTU wall-mounted air conditioner; two 20-pound LP tanks; a Vitrifrigo 3.2 cubic foot DC compressor refrigerator; a bathroom sink/vanity and mirror, as well as the upgraded Maxxfan deluxe 7500 fan. Our favorite option is the brand-new interior slide-out toilet with privacy door, though the 600 watt solar power option with a 300 amp hour lithium battery bank and 3,000 watt inverter comes in a close second. Lists for $50,560 for the base model.
10. Skinny Guy 6.5 Hybrid Camper
Skinny Guy Camper CEO, Jason Bontrager, was excited to show us his brand-new camper and now we know why. This innovative camper combines the best elements of a truck topper and truck camper with a roof-top tent in one. The self-contained camper comes with a functional kitchenette, an L-shape dinette with seating up to four, an interior shower with a “Bullfinch” shower port, and a comfortable sleeping space for two, meaning this is more than just a basic truck topper or a RTT. Options for the 1,031-pounder includes a 36 gallons of fresh water, 20 gallons of black, a 5-gallon propane tank, a Truma Combi Eco water heater-furnace, a combination cooktop and sink, a PrimoLoo toilet, a Dometic portable DC compressor refrigerator, a 150 or 170 amp hour lithium battery, a Redarc Manager 30, and a 100 or 190 watt integrated portable solar panel that flips out from the underside of the tent. Better yet, the design retains use of the truck bed underneath for storage plus use of the tailgate. Available only in 6.5-foot models with plans to release an 8-foot full-size and 5-foot and 6-foot mid-size models very soon. A revolutionary design, the Skinny Guy Camper 6.5 hybrid camper sells for $16,625 for the basic model.