An Overland Camper for $38K

We see a lot of trucks pass through our for sale sections, and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t browse through most of them to see what new hotness is on the market. Usually the coolest vehicles are snatched up and sold quickly, but every now and then one manages to fall through the cracks. The EEXP is one such truck. We wrote a story on this overland-ready Dodge two years ago when the owner first put it up for sale, and assumed that it had since been sold. As it turns out, the truck hasn’t moved on, but rather continued on adventure after fun adventure with its current owner, Bryon Dorr of Exploring Elements. This seemed to suit Bryon just fine, I mean who wouldn’t want to explore in this rig, but big life changes are now forcing him to sell, and quite honestly we can’t believe the price; a mere $38,000 USD. That’s a livable diesel camper for less than you’d pay for a bone stock Rubicon or TRD Pro. With that in mind, we decided to share this truck one more time before it reaches Overland Expo West, where it will likely move on to its new home, maybe even yours.

Lets start with some details on the truck. It’s a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 4×4 Ext Cab Short Bed with the 24v Cummins Diesel, and an automatic transmission. It was then upgraded with a mind-blowing array of off-road goodies including an Icon Suspension, Buckstop bumpers, and most notably, an XP-Camper box. The whole thing was designed as an outdoor enthusiast’s dream truck, and I’d say they hit the nail on the head.

“The idea behind the build is to be able to carry lots of adventure sports gear on long remote journeys for two people, while being fully self- sufficient, comfortable and dependable. It is designed to fit in a high cube shipping container, so that it can be shipped anywhere in the world.” – Bryon

As the seller notes in the ad, the EEXP is far from perfect. It was designed for adventure, and has been used as such. It shows all the typical signs of wear including scratches, surface rust, and some discoloration on the canvas, and there has been no attempt to hide that. We’re sure that any or all of this could be repaired if you really wanted it to be, but at such an affordable price, we’d leave it, and here’s why.

If you’ve ever inspected an overland truck on its return from life on the road, they’re rarely, if ever, in perfect showroom condition. These “imperfections” are a badge of honor worn by all adventure vehicles, and each time you repair them, the grit of travel will only return after the next journey. If you want a shined-up camper to show to your friends and occasionally take off-road, this is definitely not the vehicle for you; but if you want a truck you won’t be scared to use, to take down that tight trail, or to drive through a completely unknown country, you could do a whole lot worse than the EEXP. So in keeping with the simple and to the point approach of this truck, we’re going to skip the fluff of this article and give you the bullet points of what you’ll get when you buy this camper.

Vehicle Dimensions: 8’7″ tall, 22’5″ long, and 7′ wide

Current Mileage: 169,178 miles (5/7/18)

VIN 3B7KF236516768461

Exterior

  • Buckstop front bumper
  • Warn 16.5ti winch
  • Factor 55 ProLink XXL winch thimble
  • PIAA LED off-road and fog lights
  • Bushwacker Pocket Style front fender flares
  • Hi-Lift Jack Xtreme

  • Icon 2.5-inch remote reservoir adjustable shocks
  • Custom Jackcover.com Hi-Lift cover
  • Hellwig 3,500-pound overload helper springs & rear sway bar
  • General Grabber AT2 285/70R17 tires
  • 17- inch Method Standard Wheels
  • ARB front diff cover
  • Full stainless steel Borla exhaust
  • Maxtrax sand ladders
  • 42-gallon Roto-Pax diesel fuel cells
  • Adjustable custom rear aluminum bumper
  • Locking under-camper storage boxes
  • Security lug nuts
  • Custom aluminum rack custom mounted to the roof

Under The Hood

  • AirDog Raptor lift pump
  • Upgraded Borgeson steering box and shaft
  • Synergy steering box brace
  • EGR braided Kevlar brake lines
  • Upgraded to 2 group 31 batteries
  • ARB Diff breather kit
  • Engine block heater

Interior

  • Edge CTS Monitor
  • Removed rear seats and installed locking contractor box
  • Custom-heated Wet-Okole seat covers
  • 4×4 Posi-Lock front axle engagement system

Camper

Weight: 1,289 pounds

Construction: Fiberglass and structural foam core panels seamed together to create a monocoque structure, on a 1-inch steel frame (in order to attach it to the vehicle).

Mount: Two solid mounts up front (at original truck bed mount locations) with a custom single central pivot in the back (this three-point system allows the vehicle to flex under the camper while offroading).

  • Reico Titan electric actuator roof raising system on remote control (provides 6’5” interior height when lifted)
  • Pop-top tent features zippered windows/bug screens/Velcroed privacy covers
  • Two-way Maxxfan roof vent fan
  • Full-sized (54 inches x 75 inches) bed (3-inch-thick cushions feature 1 inch of memory foam on top)
  • Three-sided dinette

  • 30-gallon fresh water tank with electric pump feeding a Spinflow interior sink system and exterior shower
  • 3.8-gallon Dometic top-load fridge
  • Dometic cartridge toilet
  • 255-watt solar panel
  • Blue Sea solar charge controller

  • 150 amp/hr house battery
  • Blue Sea engine battery isolator
  • 1,000-watt inverter
  • Webasto Dual-Top diesel hot water and air heater system
  • LED interior lighting
  • Dometic exterior legless awning
  • Seitz dual pane windows and skylight with integrated privacy and bug screens
  • 6 12-volt USB outlets
  • Torklift Glow Step accordion camper steps

Parts and Services

For older vehicles, especially modified ones, maintenance records are key, and Bryon has everything you’d want to know dating back to when he purchased it in 2014 with 87,629 miles. Included in those records are the logs of the following work.

Oil changes every 5,000 miles, regular air filter replacement, full diff service, new TPS Sensor, new injection pump fuel return line, new injection pump, new vacuum pump oil return line, new front crank case seal, new engine fan clutch, new front wheel hub assemblies, new stainless steel Borla exhaust, new brake pads and new front brake rotors, new windshield, full AC system overhaul, rear pinion seal, full shock rebuild (with custom valving) and new front shock hardware, upper and lower ball joints, track bar, tie-rod ends, alignment, tire rotation, new #3 injector line, new injection pump to gear housing seal, rebuilt Borgeson steering gear box, new front sway bar bushings, rear pinion u-joint, new exhaust manifold.

The truck is a northeast US, PA and NY, truck, so it does have rust. I have replaced nearly every bolt under the vehicle and cleaned up much of the rust on the frame and body.

Extra Goodies

The owner is also including a bunch of accessories and goodies with the vehicle including three step ladders, one pair of Maxtrax, Hi-Lift Xtreme with jackcover/base/wheel lifting accessory, four Rotopax, one recovery strap, one Camp Chef butane stove, one Camp Chef propane grill, butane and propane canisters, LaCrosse Weather Station (inside and outside temps), collapsible gray water tank and hose, water fill hose, tire chains, six-ton bottle jack, misc. vehicle fluids (diff oil, engine oil, touch-up paint, get coat, etc.), misc. spare parts (original working lift pump, serpentine belt, air filter, Webasto Dualtop parts etc.), maintenance manual, original owner’s manual, fuel and service records book, camper entry way door mat, leveling blocks, in-cab clothes hanger bar.

Final Notes from the Seller

“Overall this vehicle is ready for adventure anywhere you can dream up. It is a well-used and loved adventuremobile, so don’t expect a show queen. The truck does have some rust on the lower body panels and there is an engine oil leak, but it’s less than 1 liter per 5,000 miles. There is some mold stains on the camper tent material, some non-structural gel-coat cracks in the camper, the Webasto Dualtop needs to be repaired, and the fresh water system needs a new filter to work properly.

The vehicle has a clear Maryland title in my name. It is registered as a pickup, but it could easily be registered as an RV, which would make the insurance even more inexpensive.

This is my primary vehicle, so mileage will increase as time moves forward. The vehicle is sold as is, with no warranty, implied or provided. Shipment or delivery can be arranged, at buyers cost.

This vehicle is adventure proven and ready to take you on your next great adventure, whereever in the world that might be.  All photos in this post were taken April 11, 2016. Thanks for looking, and don’t hesitate to email me with any questions. I’m a VERY motivated seller, as I need to sell this vehicle before moving on to other adventures that I have in the works. The vehicle is currently located in Reno, NV, and will be at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, AZ.”

To learn more about this vehicle, contact the owner for further questions, or make an offer, visit the Exploring Elements website here. 

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Managing Editor.

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