Expedition Portal Classifieds: Basecamp F550

When I was a kid, I remember seeing a mountain bike that I wanted more than anything in the world. It was green, my favorite color, with knobby tires, big shocks, and a price tag that seemed impossible to an elementary school student. Every time I went to the store with my parents, I would stare at that darn bike, until one day they put on a big sale. Sure enough, draped across the handlebars was a bright red sticker advertising 40% off. I dragged my poor father across the store as fast as my little legs would carry me, hoping he would see the light. “It’s such a good deal!” I told him. He looked at the bike, then imparted a small bit of wisdom that I never forgot. “Just because something is a good deal, doesn’t mean you can afford it.” With that, he walked away, while my mind tried to work out if that meant yes or no. It was definitely no.

Now here I am years later as an adult, looking at the adult version of that mountain bike: this absolutely stunning F550 camper. While it is 100 percent out of my price range, it is listed for less than half the cost of an EarthRoamer, and with only 4,500 miles on the odometer. So, while I can’t afford it, anyone with a budget of around $185,000 can, and it would make for one smoking deal. For everyone else, it doesn’t cost a penny to gaze!

The Truck

Let’s start with the basics about this truck that any buyer is going to want to know. It is NOT some homebuilt jalopy. It was professionally designed by a team of engineers including a German automotive race truck designer, an expedition ship designer, and someone from a BMW race team. The camper was constructed by the same people who build all the fire crew vehicles, and it meets all the same safety standards the government requires for those trucks, which are no joke. It is also Roll-Over safe certified with the intent to “haul you, your family and all your gear in total comfort to the furthest reaches of the planet.”

The base is a 2017 Ford F550 Lariat. It, of course, came with four-wheel drive, seating for five, and shockingly, is still under full factory warranty as the team worked to keep everything within spec to retain it. Think of this vehicle as an EarthRoamer meets toy hauler, but without the hassle of towing a trailer. It weighs in at 14,000 pounds, is 12 inches wider than stock, and measures 29 feet long, which is quite good for a full-size RV.

Total lift over factory is around 11 inches thanks to the 6-inch Dirt Logic kit alongside Fabtech fully adjustable coil-overs and radius arms, a custom Atlas rear leaf spring pack, and the Hutchinson military spec bead lock wheels with 41-inch Michelin X 335/80R20 tires. Would any enormous Ford really be complete without them? Power steps were added with 5-inch longer armatures to help anybody who isn’t 7 feet tall get into the truck.

Fiberglass fenders were installed in the front to make sure the tires didn’t stick too far out, which gives the vehicle a much more proportional look. An Aluminess bumper was used in the front with four Rigid LED off-road lights and a WARN 16,500-pound winch sporting synthetic rope. You might want a few extensions and a snatch block. A custom bumper protects the rear and features an integrated electric/hydraulic tire gate for easy access.

The Camper

The owner states that the camper is a combination of aluminum framing and a composite body insulated with 2.5 inches of foam. Sound deadening was added throughout to keep things quiet, as well as to help with temperatures in cold or hot environments. A pass-through has been cut to the cab, but can be sealed off with purpose-built cushions intended to create a temperature and sound seal from the camper to the truck. This makes a huge difference in cold climates where all of the glass of the vehicle lets in the frigid air. This pass-through also serves the primary purpose of allowing passengers to move from the truck to camper and back again without leaving the vehicle.

Inside, you’ll find a world of comforts and accessories. So many in fact that rather than try to explain each one, we’re simply going to list them. It’s probably easier to take it all in this way anyway.

  • Sleeps 5
    -1 king bed
    -Dinette turns into a larger twin
    -Fold-down twin bunk beds along gear wall
  • 50-gallon freshwater tank
  • 30-gallon gray water tank
  • Wet Bath
    -Cassette toilet- Thetford 10-gallon
    -Interior shower
    -On-demand Airxcel hot water heater
    -Macerator in the drain, so you don’t have to worry about what you’re showering off yourself after riding bikes or a day at the beach
  • Tons of custom cabinetry for interior storage
  • 2 Huge exterior watertight storage compartments along the camper body
  • 2 12-volt batteries
    -110 amp hour total
    -Has wiring to add a permanent generator if desired
  • 400 watts of Lensun Solar on the roof, marine grade, can be walked on
  • RedArc charge controller, maintenance free, designed to do all the thinking for you
  • Interior volt reader next to sink
  • Large sink with stainless custom countertop
  • 110 shore power plug
  • 2 Fantastic Fans for air movement, 1 in main kitchen area, 1 in bathroom
  • Floor is aircraft chemical-resistant waterproof Lino Seal
  • Propane catalytic heater, Olympia Wave 6 directional heater
  • 4 Tie-down points in camper floor
  • Custom GearKeep Storage wall
    -Has all the arms to store surfboards, bikes, and more
    -Folds down to create 2 bunk beds
    -Can fit 3 dirt bikes in the camper

Since the truck is brand new, it’s pretty obvious that it will be reliable, but in terms of the camper’s quality and the owner’s reason for selling, they had this to say. “I built the camper to be trouble-free, [and] created the interior systems to be exchangeable if a problem arises. During the build process, I never said no to upgrading to the highest quality materials to be used. I spent over a year having this beast created, unfortunately, life changes, and it demands other things of me, so now the beast is for sale.”

To learn more visit the original advertisement on the Expedition Portal Classifieds page 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.