Innovation can bring so many benefits to the consumer and the industry, driving excitement and addressing the needs of the vehicle traveler. As one of the companies that helped launch overlanding in the USA nearly 20 years ago, Adventure Trailers (AT Overland) has built a reputation of designing and producing quality overland accessories, campers, and trailers. A few weeks ago, I got on the phone with Mario Donovan, one of AT’s founders, to chat about two of their newest products. They have released their new AT Overland Tray Bed and Composite Boxes.
Aluminum Tray Bed
The foundation for these new systems is a proprietary aluminum tray bed that was specified through an international (and unspecified) tray bed partner, providing a significantly more durable and lighter option than a factory steel bed. This also allows the customer to buy a cab and chassis full-size truck and then install the tray, saving both money and time. Mario estimated that this will save thousands in the initial truck purchase price and also with the labor for installation of the tray as the stock bed will not need to be removed. The flat frame rails of the cab/chassis also provides better support for a tray, and often allows for a lower tray height.
From my perspective, the tray not only looks perfect on the regular cab, but it also significantly improves the overall bed volume and utility. There are also a few things I like about this particular tray model, including the extrusion profile that allows for fitting accessories, the drop-side hinges, etc. I could easily see a table clipping into that extrusion too.
As these images show, the tray allows access to storage from all sides and easily accommodates massive loads. The vehicle as shown has a payload of over 3,700 pounds, which is nearly the weight of an entire cross-over (or a Smart Car as the opening shot shows). I also appreciated the massive rear drawer that provides stowage for MAXTRAX, recovery equipment, and other longer tools.
In addition to the new tray bed, Mario and his team have designed a set of matched boxes, which mount at the rear quarter and just aft of the cab. The AT team CNC cuts the reinforced composite fiberthane boxes in Prescott to the buyer’s exact specifications. Then the staff assembles the units with high-strength aerospace adhesives. The final step is for AT to coat the box with a durable Vortex liner.
Tern Doors and Panels
Also, important are the high-quality expedition-grade Tern doors and access panels. Tern’s doors are considered some of the best (if not the best) in the industry because of their durable construction and multiple options for both opening orientations. The Tern units can also be specified with strut assists, key matched locks, etc. Mario showed some real insight by orienting the doors to hold close by either gravity (for horizontal doors) or with wind force for vertical opening doors. For those of us who have accidentally neglected to fully close and lock a door, this was certainly thinking ahead.
With the tray and boxes, the truck can be used in multiple configurations, from a bare bed to just the boxes or even a Four Wheel Camper (as shown below). Four turnbuckles secure the camper, and only four bolts are required to mount the boxes. Overall, these new AT Overland Tray Bed and Composite Boxes are an impressive new option for full-size truck buyers, giving a broad range of options. adventuretrailers.com | 877-661-8097