Looking for opinions on AEV Prospector XL

UglyViking

Active member
Well, I probably shouldn't have termed it that way. My front axle WR is 4,000Lbs front and 4,150 rear. My loaded weight front was 3829 front and 3860 rear. I agree, it's not meaningful, and in fact not good if a vehicle is overweight one axle but under the combined and you convince yourself it's OK.



I also agree the whole payload dance, both by drivers and by auto makers is comical. It's really hard to pin down. I DO have a problem going over, and would rather not be, but as long as I'm in the margin of the AWRs and can pare the GVWR back a bit I'm OK with it. I specifically researched all sorts of vehicles and chose the Tundra for the combination of size, comfort, driveablity, and ruggedness. I like that it has 10.5 rear diff and axle from Toyota's Hino 3/4 ton commercial trucks, though just semi-float. I know all the arguments on "you can't increase payload" and have no desire to rehash them, but given tires with far more capability, stronger wheels, and stronger springs all compared to stock, along with Toyota's engineering margins, as well as being under both AWRs, I'm fine with where I'm at. When I was hot on a FWC, the only consideration for me was a 3/4 ton, but with the lighter camper, I liked the Tundra better.

As to MPG, I do hand calculate it. I use TFL Trucks method of auto pump shut off, wait 30 seconds and give it one click. When I was regeared, they installed a Hypertech speedo calibration. I checked it with a Bad Elf GPS (used a lot in aviation) over several 100 mile routes as we have traveled. My stock Tundra tires were rated at 648 revolutions per mile, my Coopers are 611 a 5.7% difference. The Hypertech is not perfect and got it down to a 3.8% difference, GPS checked. I corrected my miles by that and got the 14.2.

FWIW, bone stock and empty with just me and my wife driving from South Phoenix to Flagstaff -- an hour of flatish highway, then mixed steep uphill, but some big downs too -- we got near 17 without the camper. We picked up the camper and got 16 on the trip back -- more downhill but less aerodynamic with the camper. On two trips to SoCal with the camper and truck in different stages of build and not fully loaded we got low 15 mpg. HOWEVER, I don't drive like your grandpa. I drive like your great great grandpa.:D I accelerate really slowly and only go 65 mph with the camper. I use every hypermile-ing trick in book, including coasting on any downhill I can and being willing to slow further going up hill. Pre-regearing, I was getting in the 13 to 14 range. I haven't had enough trips with the regear to know where it'll come out, but my seat of the pants feel is that it offsets the tire size change very well, and some of the weight. The big camper problem is the aero drag hence only going 65. Don't get behind me on the highway!

BTW, in my experience, when someone says "I'm not calling you a _______" most people tend to think that's exactly what they're doing. But don't worry. I'm not offended and I'm not calling you a [fill in the blank] :ROFLMAO:
I'm not trying to tout the Tundra or 1/2 tons or brag about anything, just wanted to give a fellow Ovrlnd camper owner some feedback on my experiences and this was the forum he posted in.
Thanks for the detailed response, and not taking it the wrong way. It's really hard to tell intent from purely text communications so I appreciate the benefit of the doubt. It's crazy you're MPG is that good so I'm pretty impressed to say the least. The Tundra is a bit long in the tooth, or was, and the mpg was one of the major downsides, but considering all things I feel like it's not as bad as I expected. It's not great by any means, but I honestly expected worse.

I also won't get too into the whole GVWR dance and all that but to say I agree with everything you said.
 

montypower

Adventure Time!
Interesting discussion regarding MPG for $100k trucks... Not much logic there!

Your camper choice is no issue on your current truck. Suspension improvements will be needed on any vehicle (HD trucks ride poorly too). These "light" camper setups are frequently found on "small" trucks like the Tacoma (and no reason your truck can't handle it).

40s are cool looking but realistically... you can arrive at the same "overland" destination in a stock Tacoma as an AEV Prospector. Maybe you could go an extra mile down an "off road" trail but you'll be sacrificing a lot everywhere else (handling, braking, mpg, cost). The Prospector seems to be missing some essential items: differential re-gear (for tire size) and locking differentials. I'd much rather have 33s, gears and lockers than 40s with open differentials.

Diesel ownership is more expensive than Gasser. Just add up all the costs (purchase premium, maintenance, repairs, fuel cost...). Diesel may be needed if regularly towing heavy (over 20k lbs) but otherwise it is an expensive "luxury". Not a bad thing if you are willing to pay the cost.

My recommendation... get out of debt! Then fuel price won't be limiting your travels. Maybe buy a truck for much less money. Heck you could easily sell the camper too (someone would step in your place to buy).

Fuel prices will continue to climb and shouldn't be the limiting factor for adventures and travel. "Downgrading" may be the best "upgrade"... especially when the economy crashes again (and it will).
 

nickw

Adventurer
[
Well, I probably shouldn't have termed it that way. My front axle WR is 4,000Lbs front and 4,150 rear. My loaded weight front was 3829 front and 3860 rear. I agree, it's not meaningful, and in fact not good if a vehicle is overweight one axle but under the combined and you convince yourself it's OK.



I also agree the whole payload dance, both by drivers and by auto makers is comical. It's really hard to pin down. I DO have a problem going over, and would rather not be, but as long as I'm in the margin of the AWRs and can pare the GVWR back a bit I'm OK with it. I specifically researched all sorts of vehicles and chose the Tundra for the combination of size, comfort, driveablity, and ruggedness. I like that it has 10.5 rear diff and axle from Toyota's Hino 3/4 ton commercial trucks, though just semi-float. I know all the arguments on "you can't increase payload" and have no desire to rehash them, but given tires with far more capability, stronger wheels, and stronger springs all compared to stock, along with Toyota's engineering margins, as well as being under both AWRs, I'm fine with where I'm at. When I was hot on a FWC, the only consideration for me was a 3/4 ton, but with the lighter camper, I liked the Tundra better.

As to MPG, I do hand calculate it. I use TFL Trucks method of auto pump shut off, wait 30 seconds and give it one click. When I was regeared, they installed a Hypertech speedo calibration. I checked it with a Bad Elf GPS (used a lot in aviation) over several 100 mile routes as we have traveled. My stock Tundra tires were rated at 648 revolutions per mile, my Coopers are 611 a 5.7% difference. The Hypertech is not perfect and got it down to a 3.8% difference, GPS checked. I corrected my miles by that and got the 14.2.

FWIW, bone stock and empty with just me and my wife driving from South Phoenix to Flagstaff -- an hour of flatish highway, then mixed steep uphill, but some big downs too -- we got near 17 without the camper. We picked up the camper and got 16 on the trip back -- more downhill but less aerodynamic with the camper. On two trips to SoCal with the camper and truck in different stages of build and not fully loaded we got low 15 mpg. HOWEVER, I don't drive like your grandpa. I drive like your great great grandpa.:D I accelerate really slowly and only go 65 mph with the camper. I use every hypermile-ing trick in book, including coasting on any downhill I can and being willing to slow further going up hill. Pre-regearing, I was getting in the 13 to 14 range. I haven't had enough trips with the regear to know where it'll come out, but my seat of the pants feel is that it offsets the tire size change very well, and some of the weight. The big camper problem is the aero drag hence only going 65. Don't get behind me on the highway!

BTW, in my experience, when someone says "I'm not calling you a _______" most people tend to think that's exactly what they're doing. But don't worry. I'm not offended and I'm not calling you a [fill in the blank] :ROFLMAO:
I'm not trying to tout the Tundra or 1/2 tons or brag about anything, just wanted to give a fellow Ovrlnd camper owner some feedback on my experiences and this was the forum he posted in.
That's gotta be one of the most reasonable posts on here, ever - all to often people get defensive (myself inluded sometimes), but very well said 👏
 

nickw

Adventurer
Interesting discussion regarding MPG for $100k trucks... Not much logic there!

Your camper choice is no issue on your current truck. Suspension improvements will be needed on any vehicle (HD trucks ride poorly too). These "light" camper setups are frequently found on "small" trucks like the Tacoma (and no reason your truck can't handle it).

40s are cool looking but realistically... you can arrive at the same "overland" destination in a stock Tacoma as an AEV Prospector. Maybe you could go an extra mile down an "off road" trail but you'll be sacrificing a lot everywhere else (handling, braking, mpg, cost). The Prospector seems to be missing some essential items: differential re-gear (for tire size) and locking differentials. I'd much rather have 33s, gears and lockers than 40s with open differentials.

Diesel ownership is more expensive than Gasser. Just add up all the costs (purchase premium, maintenance, repairs, fuel cost...). Diesel may be needed if regularly towing heavy (over 20k lbs) but otherwise it is an expensive "luxury". Not a bad thing if you are willing to pay the cost.

My recommendation... get out of debt! Then fuel price won't be limiting your travels. Maybe buy a truck for much less money. Heck you could easily sell the camper too (someone would step in your place to buy).

Fuel prices will continue to climb and shouldn't be the limiting factor for adventures and travel. "Downgrading" may be the best "upgrade"... especially when the economy crashes again (and it will).
That's was kinda my reaction - if I was in a position to spend $100k on a truck, gas would be meaningless (to me)....
 

UglyViking

Active member
Interesting discussion regarding MPG for $100k trucks... Not much logic there!
For a lot of people it's not about cost but about distance you can travel per tank. That said, I also hear a lot of this on diesel forums and groups, guys willing to spend 2-3 grand on mods to get 1mpg extra yet refusing to take off the 37s. I think it's mostly that people hate the constant reminder of their "poor choice" when filling at the pump.
 

jagarcia89

Active member
Interesting discussion regarding MPG for $100k trucks... Not much logic there!

Your camper choice is no issue on your current truck. Suspension improvements will be needed on any vehicle (HD trucks ride poorly too). These "light" camper setups are frequently found on "small" trucks like the Tacoma (and no reason your truck can't handle it).

40s are cool looking but realistically... you can arrive at the same "overland" destination in a stock Tacoma as an AEV Prospector. Maybe you could go an extra mile down an "off road" trail but you'll be sacrificing a lot everywhere else (handling, braking, mpg, cost). The Prospector seems to be missing some essential items: differential re-gear (for tire size) and locking differentials. I'd much rather have 33s, gears and lockers than 40s with open differentials.

Diesel ownership is more expensive than Gasser. Just add up all the costs (purchase premium, maintenance, repairs, fuel cost...). Diesel may be needed if regularly towing heavy (over 20k lbs) but otherwise it is an expensive "luxury". Not a bad thing if you are willing to pay the cost.

My recommendation... get out of debt! Then fuel price won't be limiting your travels. Maybe buy a truck for much less money. Heck you could easily sell the camper too (someone would step in your place to buy).

Fuel prices will continue to climb and shouldn't be the limiting factor for adventures and travel. "Downgrading" may be the best "upgrade"... especially when the economy crashes again (and it will).
Just because you have one expensive thing, does not mean cost of operation is not a factor at all. As stated several times in this thread, the mpg is a small factor in all this. It’s more about payload. With the TRX I will have to constantly be “looking over my shoulder” concerned with weight. With the PXL or a 3/4 ton- I just wouldn’t have to think about it.

As to the lockers, aev doesn’t add them but they build on the truck they are given. Electronic rear locker is a low cost option on Rams and the AEV I drove has it.

For re-gearing, really not necessary on the Cummins. If you were towing with the 40’s it should be regeared. Otherwise the 850 ft/lbs of torque has no issue turning the 40’s on the 3:73

The whole “suspension improvements will be needed” is my problem. There currently are absolutely zero suspension improvements available for the TRX for load management. If I could throw airbags or a stiffer spring on the back to aid in the sag, I wouldn’t be considering other trucks. But as of now there is not a single option for air bags or springs for these things. To modify an existing option on the market to work on the TRX would require cutting and welding on a $100k truck and I’m currently not interested in doing that.


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dstefan

Well-known member
The whole “suspension improvements will be needed” is my problem. There currently are absolutely zero suspension improvements available for the TRX for load management. If I could throw airbags or a stiffer spring on the back to aid in the sag, I wouldn’t be considering other trucks. But as of now there is not a single option for air bags or springs for these things. To modify an existing option on the market to work on the TRX would require cutting and welding on a $100k truck and I’m currently not interested in doing that.
Have you considered Timbrens or Sumo springs that replace and extend your bump stops with a helper spring? Used Timbrens on my Tacoma, which was under GVWR, but had under-spec’d Deavers that sagged a bit when I was loaded for trips (no camper). They helped a lot. No idea if they make ‘em to fit the TRX though, but they can be kinda generic.

It’s all tradeoffs! I didnt want to get rid of my Tacoma, but I knew it wouldn’t handle the camper, my offroad needs, and my space needs, but I still wanted to go to 90% of the same sort of places. So, I got the truck I could build to do that. Just an SR5 (1 up from the base model) with the package for big gas tank and upgraded seats. Then I built it to handle a specific tricky trail section I knew I wanted to go back to and was as difficult as anything else I’d be doing.

Maybe think about that sort of specific trail type you do and build a more base or non-specialty truck for the most difficult realistic use you’ll do with the camper?
 

nickw

Adventurer
Just because you have one expensive thing, does not mean cost of operation is not a factor at all. As stated several times in this thread, the mpg is a small factor in all this. It’s more about payload. With the TRX I will have to constantly be “looking over my shoulder” concerned with weight. With the PXL or a 3/4 ton- I just wouldn’t have to think about it.

As to the lockers, aev doesn’t add them but they build on the truck they are given. Electronic rear locker is a low cost option on Rams and the AEV I drove has it.

For re-gearing, really not necessary on the Cummins. If you were towing with the 40’s it should be regeared. Otherwise the 850 ft/lbs of torque has no issue turning the 40’s on the 3:73

The whole “suspension improvements will be needed” is my problem. There currently are absolutely zero suspension improvements available for the TRX for load management. If I could throw airbags or a stiffer spring on the back to aid in the sag, I wouldn’t be considering other trucks. But as of now there is not a single option for air bags or springs for these things. To modify an existing option on the market to work on the TRX would require cutting and welding on a $100k truck and I’m currently not interested in doing that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Can you just buy OEM springs from a std. 1500? That would be my first choice, obviously you are not 'legally' increasing payload, but at least you are using a OEM engineered solution.

If not that, then you can likely get some custom springs.

I wouldn't wanna do any cutting or welding on a $100k truck either.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I think about selling mine all the time but that's because I have a vehicle buying problem lol. As much as I'd love to have a new Tacoma with a rear seat delete on 285's to go back to basics and simplicity while we wait out the ensuing madness, I realize it would leave me underwhelmed in many ways and I would miss the power and bed space of my 3500. I could make money on my truck if I were to sell right now but then I'd turn around and over pay for a new truck that would ultimately cost me over $50K after the mild build putting me right back to what I paid when I purchased the RAM. The extra $25/week over a gasser per fill-up with the diesel isn't going to wreck me nor is it going to change much of anything if I were to move to the cheaper fill Tacoma. Where I'd save is in maintenance and long term affordability and while the latter is worth acknowledging, I couldn't care less about the overall costs spread out over 4-6 years.
 

ttengineer

Adventurer
I’m in a “prospector” on 37s. The plan is to go to 40s with in a year or 2.

These trucks do amazing things with a mild lift and 37s. Especially if you spend the time to research a quality lift.

The AEV lift works for me for now, but I’m going to swap all the springs and shocks out for better options. Thuren coils and Carli/dever leaf springs with Kings.

I’m deleted, not regeared and get 16mpg on the highway.

If I regeared 20-22 is not out of the question on the highway

I don’t look at it from a cost perspective. I look at how much enjoyment I’ll achieve.


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phsycle

Adventurer
I think about selling mine all the time but that's because I have a vehicle buying problem lol. As much as I'd love to have a new Tacoma with a rear seat delete on 285's to go back to basics and simplicity while we wait out the ensuing madness, I realize it would leave me underwhelmed in many ways and I would miss the power and bed space of my 3500. I could make money on my truck if I were to sell right now but then I'd turn around and over pay for a new truck that would ultimately cost me over $50K after the mild build putting me right back to what I paid when I purchased the RAM. The extra $25/week over a gasser per fill-up with the diesel isn't going to wreck me nor is it going to change much of anything if I were to move to the cheaper fill Tacoma. Where I'd save is in maintenance and long term affordability and while the latter is worth acknowledging, I couldn't care less about the overall costs spread out over 4-6 years.
After the first road trip, you’d regret going back to a Taco.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
After the first road trip, you’d regret going back to a Taco.
I know, I have no doubt about that. This is just the forensic accountant spouse rumblings seeping into my subconscious lol. That said, she wouldn't support the sale/purchase either and I'd have a lot of stuff to off-load afterwards.
 

GeorgeHayduke

Active member
As to the lockers, aev doesn’t add them but they build on the truck they are given. Electronic rear locker is a low cost option on Rams and the AEV I drove has it.
Might want to double check that. Apart from the power wagon, I don't think any HD Rams come with lockers from the factory. You can option a limited slip in the rear from the factory on 2500's and I think it comes by default on the 3500's. Obviously you could throw in ARB air lockers yourself but there's no factory e-locker like on Fords or the Ram 1500's.
 

jagarcia89

Active member
Might want to double check that. Apart from the power wagon, I don't think any HD Rams come with lockers from the factory. You can option a limited slip in the rear from the factory on 2500's and I think it comes by default on the 3500's. Obviously you could throw in ARB air lockers yourself but there's no factory e-locker like on Fords or the Ram 1500's.
You are correct. I misspoke. It had limited slip. I’ve also been pricing out regular 1500s and they can do e lockers.


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jagarcia89

Active member
Have you considered Timbrens or Sumo springs that replace and extend your bump stops with a helper spring? Used Timbrens on my Tacoma, which was under GVWR, but had under-spec’d Deavers that sagged a bit when I was loaded for trips (no camper). They helped a lot. No idea if they make ‘em to fit the TRX though, but they can be kinda generic.
I wish. TRX rear set up is unique with the bump stop being inside the coil. So the timbrens would not fit inside coil
Can you just buy OEM springs from a std. 1500? That would be my first choice, obviously you are not 'legally' increasing payload, but at least you are using a OEM engineered solution.

If not that, then you can likely get some custom springs.

I wouldn't wanna do any cutting or welding on a $100k truck either.
TRX uses a unique spring because the suspension is different than the standard 1500. Eibach has some custom springs they have been testing for about a year. But they do not have them on the market yet. I'm wondering if they had issues because they posted about it in a TRX group last year and many people wanted them but now I can't get ahold of the guy who was doing the testing
 

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