10 Best Off Road Trucks To Tackle The Wilderness In
When it comes to off-roading through the wilderness and conquering the toughest terrain, nothing beats a gnarly truck camper. Whether you’re exploring California’s National Forests or heading up a mountain in France, off road trucks are the only way to travel, getting you from A to B in a monster camper that makes micro campers and small travel trailers look like wendy houses. Today we’re going to look at 10 of the best off road trucks on the market. We’re talking meaty tyres, shiny grills, silky suspension, and air inlet pipes that a scuba diver would die for. If you’re squeamish then look away now, because things are about to get downright dirty!
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Meet The Off Road Trucks That Are Redefining Off Grid Living!
Four Wheel Campers
Dodge Ram 3500 & Toyota Tacoma
I know I said that we were going to be looking at just 10 off road trucks, but I’m going to start off with a double whammy for good measure. Last year we took a trip to California to try out two off grid beasts that had been kitted out by Four Wheel Campers. We took the AEV Dodge Ram 3500 and the Toyota Tacoma more than 1000 miles across California in a bid to put them through their paces, and boy did we enjoy it!
Let’s take a look at the American Expedition Vehicle customised Dodge Ram first. With tyres that were almost as big as us and a suspension that could have coped with the craters on the moon, the Dodge Ram tackled mountain climbs and off road tracks as though it was in a first-grade gym class. For those of you that aren’t familiar with AEV, they specialise in making aftermarket products and parts that turn off road trucks into vehicles that resemble the Megazord from Power Rangers. They soup up your truck with new features without voiding your manufacturer’s warranty, so you can say goodbye to botch-job conversions and say hello to a mighty machine that knows no bounds. With cruise control, heavy-duty shock absorbers and heated front seats that make you feel like you’re back by the campfire everytime you drive, this off grid monster is a thing of pure beauty!
Although smaller than the Dodge Ram, the Toyota Tacoma more than held it’s own, hurtling up the track to Glacier Point in Yosemite and climbing Mount Diablo with ease., and the automatic drive an increased ground clearance made bumpy forest clearings feel like cruising down the freeway. These trucks are perfect for mounting a camping pod on the back and heading out into the unknown, which is where Four Wheel Campers come in. Mounted straight onto the back of the truck bed, these affordable tiny homes start from around $14’000 and are completely customisable depending on your individual needs. With a pull out Queen Size bed that extends into a Super Extreme King size sleep kingdom, these streamline pop-up camping pods are the perfect companion for any off road trucks on the market. Take a look at our article on these Four Wheel Campers for pictures of the Dodge Ram and Toyota Tacoma in action, as well as a meaty chunk of info for you to sink your teeth into.
Nissan Titan XD
Ever wondered who Bumblebee’s dad is? The mighty transformer might have made waves on cinema screens all across the world, but the Nissan Titan XD is the king of transformable vehicles and the ultimate ruler of off road trucks. This 4×4 off road camper is the perfect partner for any off grid adventure you might be setting off on in 2019!
The Nissan Titan XD is the brain-child of a supergroup of automotive powers (think the Velvet Revolver of the off road trucks world), with companies such as Falken, Icon, Bushwacker and many more teaming together to create the ultimate tiny house custom made for extreme off grid living. With 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm, these off road trucks know how to move, and the XD combines rough terrain with a super smooth living quarters that you have to see to believe.
While the outside is made to withstand a Hulk Smash from the green guy himself, the inside looks like a calm and relaxing hotel suite and the perfect place to unwind after screaming past woodland hedgerows and startled racoons. The camping pod designed by Helliwig and Lance campers adds a little bit of 1970’s style class to Nissan Titan XD while giving you access to all of the mod cons that you might need to make living in a van that little bit more comfortable. Check out our full-length article on the Nissan Titan XD here.
When we first saw the Toyota Hillux camper we thought that it looked a little like a cross between a spaceship and a robot, which if you know how geeky we are at Van Clan you’ll have an idea of how excited we got! Not only does it look as though it could take on every curveball that nature might throw at it, but the Toyota Hillux does exactly what it says on the side of the tin – it’s built for expeditions! If you’re looking for off road trucks that could probably make it into the stratosphere with a little bit of encouragement, then this is the beast for you!
This off road truck is another great example of a slide-on camping pod/adventure vehicle combo that is perfectly suited to an off grid lifestyle. While not as flashy as some of the other camping pods in our best off road trucks list, it does have a sense of thought out functionality that we really like. We didn’t get into van life for the bells and whistles that some campers champion; we want to explore the world with a nice place to sleep, a place to wash and cook, and somewhere to look out at the stars (and a toilet always helps too). Don’t get your hopes up about buying one any time soon though; this is a one-off, custom design made by the owner, but that doesnt mean that you can’t get your own Toyota Hillux and create something just as good! Take a look at our article on this one-of-a-kind Toyota Hillux Camper for more information (and to feel even more jealous!).
Earthcruiser GZL 300
Like the Four Wheel Camper pods at the beginning of the article, the Earthcruiser GZL 300 is a removable pop top camper that you can take on an off any off road trucks with ease. They’re easy to store and nice and compact too, meaning if you want to turn your adventure-wagon back into a pickup truck, then you won’t need a workshop team on hand to help you out. Complete with solar panels, pull out sleeping area and an on board shower, the Earthcruiser is a perfect way to experience living the van life in an adventure bus that was built for driving through hell and back. The Earthcruiser even comes with its own camper shower too!
Notice the truck in the picture? The Toyota Tacoma is such a versatile example of a medium truck bed, and as such can fit a variety of different micro campers on the back (now you know why I gave it a little bit of an introduction, and chances are you’re going to see a lot more of them on the roads pretty soon!) Check out our article on this Pop Up Truck Camper for more info!
Have you ever felt like you’re travelling far to light or been in a situation where you just need to take a powerhouse away with you on your next camping trip? If you’re into overlanding, then you’re probably no stranger to the Bimobil Unimog, bringing comfort to travellers who live for those out of the reach corners of the world and who enjoy being alone with nature.
Let’s take a quick look at the impressive stats that these off road trucks boast. If you lift up the bonnet you’ll find a 5.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, giving you 231 horsepower and 900Nm of torque. It has a semi-automatic 8-speed transmission and a fold-down clutch pedal if you prefer having full control while behind the wheel. It can even cope with 100% gradients, which probably means if you put a bit of rocket fuel in the engine it could get you to Mars and back again (the planet, not the chocolate bar).
There’s a 300 litre fresh water tank and 24-volt system to keep you off the grid for longer, plus with 12 V power from a 210 Ah gel battery inside the living quarters, you can be rest assured that your iPad won’t run out of charge before you’ve finished watching Game Of Thrones. Inside the cabin itself, you’ll find a raised bed and a comfortable seating area as well as a spacious kitchenette, microwave oven, fridge and plenty of storage. Who said off road trucks were’nt full of surprises!
One thing that you should take away after looking at these incredible off road trucks is that extreme overlanding isn’t just about getting dirty and carving a path through a forest. The insides of these gnarly looking campers are all very homely and designed with comfort in mind. The interior of the Unimog doesn’t reflect the no-nonsense earth conquering look on the outside; I guess you should never judge a book by its cover! Check out more about the Bimobil Unimog on the Mercedes Website.
And now it’s time for the range of off road trucks that I will never own or probably even drive in my entire life. The Ford Earthroamer is perhaps the most luxurious camper of all time, with a price tag that makes me quake in my boots. It’s the kind of bad-ass mobile home that you might find Dog the Bounty Hunter chilling out in on the weekends, and what’s more, you could put this thing in front of any backdrop and it would still look aweseome.
The Ford Earthroamer is constructed on a Ford F-550 chassis, and if you haven’t already guessed, it comes with four-wheel drive as standard. It’s designed to be used all year round and is 100% self-sufficient, with a solar system that will keep your batteries and gadgets charged up for your entire adventure. These off road trucks can hold a whopping 85 gallons of fresh water and hold batteries that produce 12000 watt hours! All this can be yours for the princely sum of $490K (I’ve started quaking again, time to move on!). Truck life just got fancy!
The inside of the Ford Earthroamer looks a little bit like a luxury apartment come office. The raised mezzanine sleeping level allows for more storage space in the living area, and the comfortable seating arrangements mean you can easily have guests over while you’re out on the trail. It sleeps four people comfortably, so if there’s any more then you might need to get yourself a tent hammock for the hangers-on. There’s a fully fitted bathroom and a fancy kitchen area to boot, and a Death Star style control panel for all of your electrical needs. Check out our full-length article on the Ford Earthroamer for more details.
The next monster on our off road trucks list is another off grid goliath that looks as though it has a personality all of its own. When I look at this Ford Raptor truck, I imagine dusty desert plains and gliding through the air after hitting a dirt jump. If you squint a little, then the silver lettering on the front of the Raptor looks like the kind of glittering teeth that T-Pain might sport. In short, it’s the king of cool and the kind of stuff that off road dreams are made of.
Enough waffle, let’s give you a quick low down of some of the Ford Raptors features. The 3.5L Ecoboost twin-turbo V-6 engine kicks out a tasty 450 horsepower and a whopping 510 pound-feet of torque, getting you from 0-60 in less than 6 seconds! It’s not the kind of truck you’d use for your local milk round, not unless you deliver cream and orange juice through the grand canyon! The locking rear differential and 4.10 axle ratio are crucial for off-roading on rocky terrains, as is the ultra reinforced frame designed to withstand any knocks and bumps as you cruise through the wilderness. Dual exhaust, a Terrain Management system; I could go on all day. All you need to know is it can climb mountains faster than King Kong and looks the business. If you want more conventional facts then head over to the Ford Website for a bit of bedtime reading.
Mercedes G ExpeditionMobil
If you’re looking for a range of off-grid trucks that stand out from the crowd, then this ExpeditionMobil from Orange Works definitely fits the bill. Despite the fact that you might think they should have gone for a bright orange paint job instead of a yellow submarine, this custom camper is a piece of overlanding art, and it also knows how to move too! Though for $420’000 you’d expect nothing less!
This four-tonne Mercedes Lennson 3C Custom Camper is not for the faint of heart. With a 224-horsepower engine and permanent four-wheel drive, this Orange Works creation is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Never mind getting from A to B as quick as possible; the Lennson will get you there before you’ve even had time to fasten your seat belt and check your wing mirrors! Battery power comes from two 280-watt solar modules designed to keep you away from the campsite and out in the wilderness, and the indoor/outdoor shower combo is perfect for cleaning yourself, your off-grid gear, and any passers-by that you want to mess with. Check out our full length article on this Eye Catching Custom Camper to find out more.
Hennessey Goliath 6×6
While the Hennessy Goliath 6×6 is the only range of off road trucks in our list without a camper attached to the back, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about a truck with 6 wheels, or one named Goliath for that matter! With 6 great wheels comes great responsibility, and an even greater pricetag! If you have a spare $375’000 then you could drive one of these bad boys off the forecourt today, but for those of you that don’t have that kind of money floating around, let’s take a look at some facts and figures together so we can geek out over these suave off road trucks.
The picture above looks like an epic scene from a movie, but these off road trucks are definitely real and the real deal when it comes to power and speed. Power pushes to all three axles on this 6×6 monster, and the rear suspension system has been upgraded to provide extra stability and a much smoother ride, compensating for that extra axle and wheel set. The 20 inch rims each house a 37inch off road tyre that could chew through the toughest of terrain as though it were made of creme fraiche, and with 705 horsepower and 675 pound-feet (915 Nm) of torque, you don’t want to get in the way when it sets off! Head over to the Hennesey website for more information.
Toyota Tundra Camper
Last but by no means least is another range of off road trucks from Toyota that is custom built to be thrown around through dusty deserts and snowy tundras. While the Tacoma might be a safe choice for many camping pods out there, the Toyota Tundra takes the top prize for the Japanese brands most rugger off grid vehicle. We’re talking forged aluminium wheels, a heavy-duty suspension that could withstand Godzilla giving it a knockabout and the inclusion of a camping pod into the mix, skid plates and duel exhaust. No range of extreme off road trucks is complete without the wipe clean leather interior too (because they’re going to get muddy – get your mind out of the gutter, this is a family publication!).
The tundra has been modified with an air intake snorkel, and that all important locking rear differential that separates off road trucks from the dreaded mall crawlers that make overlanders everywhere cry into their hats.
Notice the camper on the back of this beastly truck? We’re back to Four Wheel Campers again; don’t you just love it when an article goes full circle. There’s a reason that I started with these guys at the beginning of the article, and it’s because aside from being one of the comfiest campers I’ve stayed in (other than my own of course) while on the road, so many off road trucks are carrying an FWC rig on the back these days, which is proof that they’re worth a closer look if you’re in the market for pop up campers. This model, ‘The Hawk’ is the same one that we took around California and boasts a spacious living area, single and queen/super king beds, solar panels and an outdoor shower. It’s a one-stop camping shop in a compact space that will never fail you!
See Also: Top Recommended Truck Bed Tents
Overlanding is becoming such a massive movement, and if you’re into the whole van life scene then the chances are that you might consider moving towards off road trucks at some stage in your life. We hope that you’ve found this article informative and that it’s given you some information on what truck might suit you best, but also that it’s shown you that a pop top camper can be just as versatile and easy to live in as a regular camper. Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tell us your favourite off road trucks!
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