2020 Overland Explorer Vehicles (OEV) CAMP-X pop-up slide-in pickup camper (renamed "Back Country" as of 2023)

chadx

♫ Off the road again. Just can't wait to get...
Current CAMP-X offering is about 6' 8" so would be interesting to see what a 8' CAMP-X design could do with the extra 1' 4" (16"). Would also be curious to see sales statistics or market analysis for an 8' pop-up camper vs 6' 8" vs flatbed models. I imagine the flatbed market is much smaller than the stock pickup bed market overall, but overlanding rigs typically lean towards shorter wheelbase/standard bed length over longer wheelbase/longbeds. Though that can be somewhat managed by selecting a longbed with a doublecab or standard cab vs a crew cab.

To your point, the flatbed tray vs pickup bed is one thing I keep weighing as we consider what to do in a couple years when we get our next pickup. With camper on, I lean towards a flatbed model like the CAMP-HBE. But for the 4 to 5 months I have camper off, over the winter, I would much prefer to have the pickup bed rather than flatbed because I typically have a tri-fold hard bedcover on during the winter. I like having a huge secure "trunk" out of the weather, but it can still easily be removed by myself if I want to use the full bed. One thing I may look into is how quickly one can bolt/unbolt the OEV flatbed side boxes. That might be an option for winter. I really like the Sherptek flatbeds because they not only have many tie down channels built into the bed but they offer the "flanks" that are basically bed sides that flip down. If I go with OEV tray, I'd need to work with them on having stake pockets so I'd have some quick and easy way to add bedrails/box to both sides and rear for when the camper is not onboard. Or have them build custom side and rear box panels. Haven't started that conversation and won't until I'm closer to next pickup purchase. Three quick-attach black tray panels, of material matching the tray material, would be slick.

I imagine an 8' CAMP-X would require an HD pickup rather than Fullsize. Would be curious if the HD longbed demographic lean less towards offroading with their rigs and more towards larger campers? Meaning, are they looking for a lightweight, popup camper vs a larger, heavier hardsided or more fully optioned, less-offroady type camper. I have no idea so would be curious if any of the camper manufacturers have done that type of research to inform their design decisions.
 

Ninelitetrip

Active member
I think there is a market for an 8 foot, rear door slide in. Look at Hallmark. Some of their models are pushed into 2024 for new orders I believe. The F350, F450, 3500 crowd with CCLB may want that longer floorplan without going to a 4500 lbs. monster with a slide out.

OEV certainly seems open to developing the versatility of the Aluma tray. Going to an HD version for >3500 lbs. payload and adding a tailgate that works with the side boxes. Pass on your needs, I'm sure they will put it on the to do list.

The Sherpa is a sweet setup.

That extra 16" in an 8' CAMP-X would allow for a shower / toilet to the right of the door entry. That's a selling point for some.
 

sg1

Adventurer
I think OEV at the moment has plenty of opportunities to grow in different segments. But don´t forget there are serious supply chain issues in the industry and I imagine OEV has challenges to manage growth and production with the existing line up let alone introduce and produce more new models. The one thing they must avoid at all cost is to risk quality by growing too fast. Their build quality is the most important asset of their brand.
 

MisterSmith

Member
I picked up my Battle Born GC3 Heated battery this week and finally had time to install it today.



Tight squeeze, but managed to just fit. 270Ah should be more than enough for what we need. I'm interested in seeing how the REDARC solar system with the single 200W panel does.



FedEx stopped by while I was installing the battery and dropped off my MoonShade awning. It took about 6 minutes to unbox it and set it up.



I spent a lot of time researching and debating the awning issue. In the end, I just couldn't justify adding 50lbs of weight and another $1000 + dollars for a permanent awning. The MoonShade seems a bit overpriced for what it is, but 8 lbs and the infinite adjustability won me over in the end. It's easily attached to any side of the CAMP-X or my truck, so I expect we'll use it quite a bit.

Waiting on a lot of additional goodies, it's really hard to get stuff these days.
 

chadx

♫ Off the road again. Just can't wait to get...
Added some LED "puck" lights for ambiance and the ability to change colors for certain situations. Red is great on the eyes when you wake up at night, and warm yellow/orange doesn't attract bugs. $28 for a 6 pack on Amazon ... they take 2 hours to charge fully via USB and run about 15 hours on 50% dim.
Those lights look like a great addition. I've been looking at the long, skinny rechargeable ones for next season. Or might go full on with the COB light strips down the entire length over the galley and table. Would then have the option of using a remote to brighten or dim or get the version without the light remote and replace the main light switch with a dimmer switch. I would unplug the current LED dome light circuit and only us the COB light strips for light.

I understand the limitations OEV faces since they run the wiring on the ceiling surface under a trim piece and don't want trim zigzagging all over the ceiling, but there has to be a better way of doing the lights in these campers. The current domes have light coming from a very small area and so are easy to shadow. We struggle with that when cooking or when someone is standing and they strongly shadow the dinette, like when prepping a meal. In the CAMP-X, there needs to be a light source above the galley and another above the dinette. And, better than the dome light, they should be light strips (at least 1' long, but 2' would be better) to spread out the source of light. And should have independent switch (like the domes) but also allow a person to dim them. Sometimes we want very bright working light and sometimes dimmer, casual light. There are many alternate lights fixtures that would improve the usability over the current fixtures. Those are standard in many other popup campers.

In the past, I gave this feedback to OEV. Might be time to provide it again. My preferred standard lighting would be using two 1' - 2' light bars, each coming out of the sides of the rear standard vent (see image) and the sides of the optional front vent. This wouldn't require any extra trim and would give much better light.

interior lights4.jpg
 

chadx

♫ Off the road again. Just can't wait to get...
I picked up my Battle Born GC3 Heated battery this week and finally had time to install it today.

Tight squeeze, but managed to just fit. 270Ah should be more than enough for what we need. I'm interested in seeing how the REDARC solar system with the single 200W panel does.
That GC3 looks like it was made for that tray. Nice work!

A 200W panel in an geographical location with good summer sun with about a 4 to 5 hours "solar day" will generate 160 - 200 watts per hour so 640 - 900 watt hours per day. The 270 amp hour GC3 is about 3,456 watt hours. So it would take a 200watt solar panel 3.5 to 6 days to recharge a completely depleted G3C with no appliance draw during that time. Many users will promote the idea you must have enough solar input to recharge your entire battery bank in one solar day, but, like you, think there are many reason why a large battery bank and small solar array are the best solution and I plan to do a similar setup (large battery bank; small solar array).

First, it would only be necessary to have such a large solar array if one was using up almost all 270amp hours of energy per day, which most will not (unless running an A/C or charging EV like EV dirtbikes or eMTB, etc.) Without those large draws, these camper don't use much juice. We've found we use about 30amps in a typical 24 hour period. When warmer weather, fridge and vents runs more but furnace less. In cold trips, the opposite. At 30 amps a day, the 270amp G3C could last about 8 or 9 days with zero solar or pickup DC input. In my experience, a 200watt solar panel, in the summer time here in MT, will easily generate 100%+ of the typical CAMP-X power consumption per day (in full sun, would be able to generate 40 to 50+ amp hours per day from an efficient 200watt panel).

My big battery use case will be charging things like our electric dirtbikes and eMTB (and, some day, EV ATV) or recharging our fishing boats trolling motor battery bank or electric outboard (that we use as a trolling kicker) battery. Still working on the best way to incorporate larger battery bank into my year/version of the CAMP-X. I'd put it in the under-fridge compartment, but there is no way I'd be able to get to the turnbuckle so would have to remove the battery bank twice a year when I load and unload the camper for the season. I'm also planning to add a solar panel directly onto the fishing boat to charge the boat battery bank directly to avoid a lot of efficiency losses in chain of: Solar to camper controller to camper battery, to inverter, to AC battery charger, to boat battery bank. Lots of losses there compared to: Solar to controller to boat battery. But that build is for another forum. Ha.

Curious your use case for your larger battery. I don't recall if you adding something with heavy draw (Air Conditioner, EV charging, electronics recharging, etc.). Or will this simply allow many days of camper use with little to no solar or truck alternator input?
 

MisterSmith

Member
Curious your use case for your larger battery. I don't recall if you adding something with heavy draw (Air Conditioner, EV charging, electronics recharging, etc.). Or will this simply allow many days of camper use with little to no solar or truck alternator input?
The main power draw items I expect:
Occasional use of the microwave.
Possibility of charging my eBike.
Running the fridge.
Re-Charging electronic devices.
Running the WeBoost for cellular.
Running the Starlink for internet.

As I mentioned before, I think we're a little overpowered for the average overnight trip, but I don't like "battery anxiety", so it's nice to have. This is the system I installed in our TT camper.



Its got 900 Watts of solar and 540Ah of Battle Born LiFePO4. We hit this pretty hard every day we camp and it usually manages a complete recovery via solar, as long as our campsite doesn't have too much shade. The ratio of solar to battery on my CAMP-X is pretty low, but as you mentioned, the 200 Watt panel should be capable of topping off what we draw for most items. I haven't been able to find a 12v option for the Starlink yet, so I'm curious to see the hit we'll take if we want to run satellite internet all the time from the inverter.
 
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MisterSmith

Member
Our 100% electric boat won't be able to charge off our truck or CAMP-X. I rely on our Honda EU2200 to charge it overnight. We can usually get about 3-4 days of use (~20 hours) between charges.



 

redthies

Renaissance Redneck
I think there is a market for an 8 foot, rear door slide in. Look at Hallmark. Some of their models are pushed into 2024 for new orders I believe. The 3500 crowd with CCLB may want that longer floorplan without going to a 4500 lbs. monster with a slide out.

That extra 16" in an 8' CAMP-X would allow for a shower / toilet to the right of the door entry. That's a selling point for some.
You have nailed it. I would love a Hallmark, but there is no CDN dealer, so that adds a bit to the challenge, and for me, an inside toilet and shower is an absolute must have. Our Northern Lite has been amazing, but I want to get back into a pop-up. The Camp-X is a good offering. My one criticism would be the fridge at the foot of the bed. In a longer model (8’ or 8’6”) it could go on the side, which is how I’d want it.
 

Trail Talk

Well-known member
The one thing they must avoid at all cost is to risk quality by growing too fast. Their build quality is the most important asset of their brand.
I was wondering the same after finding some problematic wiring tucked away in an overhead cabinet after some recent work by OEV to our Summit. Exposed screws (ask how I discovered these) and a power cable running through the metal cutout without a grommet, protected by a strip of duct tape. Maybe just an off day by the installer?

LED wiring B.JPG
 

Ninelitetrip

Active member
You have nailed it. I would love a Hallmark, but there is no CDN dealer, so that adds a bit to the challenge, and for me, an inside toilet and shower is an absolute must have. Our Northern Lite has been amazing, but I want to get back into a pop-up. The Camp-X is a good offering. My one criticism would be the fridge at the foot of the bed. In a longer model (8’ or 8’6”) it could go on the side, which is how I’d want it.
Have you had a chat with the folks in Red Deer about this new possible model? I think I'll call it the CAMP-FXL.
 

Ninelitetrip

Active member
I was wondering the same after finding some problematic wiring tucked away in an overhead cabinet after some recent work by OEV to our Summit. Exposed screws (ask how I discovered these) and a power cable running through the metal cutout without a grommet, protected by a strip of duct tape. Maybe just an off day by the installer?

View attachment 706303
Yeah that got slapped together. Surprising for them.
 

Trail Talk

Well-known member
Yeah that got slapped together. Surprising for them.
Not our usual experience with OEV, but the most recent, which is why I thought it relevant to comments on maintaining QC going forward. The work was not cheap and the time to do it right was most certainly billed for, so my suspicion is that the production schedule for their highly popular projects like Camp-X has ramped up to a pace they are finding difficult to sustain with existing human resources so time is being "recovered" from other projects.
 

Ninelitetrip

Active member
Not our usual experience with OEV, but the most recent, which is why I thought it relevant to comments on maintaining QC going forward. The work was not cheap and the time to do it right was most certainly billed for, so my suspicion is that the production schedule for their highly popular projects like Camp-X has ramped up to a pace they are finding difficult to sustain with existing human resources so time is being "recovered" from other projects.

You hear of the horror stories with RV dealers and warranty work, even on brand new units. This was paid work no less.
 

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