Zero Emissions Exploration
If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, you’ve probably heard the term “overlanding.” This trend involves owners jacking up their pickups or SUVs for off-road duty and fitting camping gear for expeditions in the great outdoors. Overlanding is a great way to explore nature and broaden our horizons – but has typically come with a significant carbon footprint. The trucks and SUVs that overlanders typically prefer are big, heavy, and mostly powered by gasoline engines.
Now, though, the latest electric pickup trucks are starting to make zero-emissions overlanding a reality. Trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV pack plenty of power, and their sophisticated drivetrains offer even more control and capability off-road. Hybrid tech is also starting to infiltrate the pickup scene, with the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Hybrid being one standout example.
But, fitting these trucks with the off-road and camping equipment necessary for expeditions can impact their range. Now, an Oregon-based company is developing overlanding products specifically for electric vehicles to make EV overlanding a reality.
EarthCruiser Slide-in Camper
The company is called EarthCruiser. From their home base in Bend, OR, they build some of the most extreme and well-respected 4x4 expedition vehicles in the world. While those machines are powered by gasoline and diesel, their latest venture is a slide-in camper engineered for the latest electric-powered trucks like the Rivian and Lightning. Focusing on light weight and aerodynamics, the new slide-in camper is designed to be as efficient as possible to reduce its impact on range and efficiency.
EarthCruiser has been building lightweight, aerodynamically-efficient, and rugged overlanding products for over 15 years. Designed for extended use off the grid, overlanding products require deep knowledge of complex energy systems, weight distribution and aerodynamics. It says that its new slide-in camper will pave the way for electric vehicles in the overlanding space.
The company’s new adventure-ready slide-in camper enables the most advanced EV and hybrid trucks to go places others wouldn’t dream. The final specs haven’t been revealed, partly because EarthCrusier says it wants to work directly with depositors to gather their preferences to tailor the product specifically for their needs. A $100 deposit secures a reservation for a slide-in camper – and access to the product’s development team.
EarthCruiser notes that drivers will switch to hybrids and electric trucks at different rates – and promises that its new slide-in truck camper will work with conventional pickups as well. Indeed, its light weight and aero should make it one of the best performers in the segment.
The slide-in will not just be an impressive piece of physical engineering and construction, however. Software is an important part of its function. The camper is designed to work seamlessly with EV pickups, taking advantage of their on-board power, and integrating with their various systems. For customers installing the unit on a conventional pickup, a software update will prepare the camper for life on the back of an electric vehicle.
More Products to Come
The shift to electric driving is a trend EarthCruiser saw coming and has been working on for years. Industry stats and new government regulations have accelerated the sales momentum of electric vehicles with automakers and consumers.
Indeed, the slide-in camper unit is just the first of many products to come from the Oregon-based firm. The company’s innovation arm is currently developing other products for the electrification of overlanding. It is also working together with a number of domestic automotive manufacturers to co-develop products that may be offered as optional accessories or factory-built kits on production vehicles.