Overkill Campers

WFOORBUST

Active member
Always nice to get both sides of the story and nice to get a little history and background on your company. Well worth taking the time to read the entire post, lots of passion and information was contained from with in! I for one look forward to visiting your business and having a look around for my self. Not taking away from the OP but I might have been a little hasty in jumping to my conclusion after reading all of the above statement. I think a lot of good points were made and I can only pass judgement in person with hands and eyes on the people and product.
 

Corkster

Member
We also installed solar panels without asking. SunFlare solar, walkable panels. Again at our expense. Most of our prior clients assumed they would be charging in tow and everything would be topped off upon arrival at camp. This requires research on your end. Think, lots of juice, tiny straw. This is not a defect with OverKill protocol, but instead, the light weighting of nearly every vehicle manufacture using a 16ga wire to pump electricity to the 7-pin. We thought $800.00 of free solar would be a welcome addition.

Lastly, we are guilty of swapping out components that the client delivered. These components had been replaced by upgraded versions from Victron (mppt & BMS). We upgraded these components to the latest version with data logging and bluetooth. This allows us to remotely troubleshoot and assess the history of the system with the client should an electrical issue occur.

Bad brake adjustment. This is why we use Dexter never-adjust brakes. We’ve never had an issue but now we know there is a potential for this problem and we will work with Dexter on how to troubleshoot this.

Metal shavings…….DANGIT! We vacuum the camper probably 100 times during construction. It has been decided that the only way to shake these bits loose from where they hide is to drive each camper through our proving grounds before delivery. I doubt many manufacturers do this but we are implementing this into our checklist. All OverKill campers from this date forward will be individually trail tested. We will use our shop rollers so we don’t get your tires dirty or scratch your wheels. Upon returning from this test, we will install the final wheels and tires. The last step in our process is to check the wheel torque in front of the client anyways, so this makes sense.

We have added the other items to our QC list as well and have drafted a new QC list requiring the purchaser to sign off each item during our walk around. Be prepared to be here for a while, our list is extensive. We still use our original sign off sheet as well and be prepared for JP to make you push every button and actuate every latch or lever.

*The purpose of this post is not meant to be entirely viewed as a rebuttal to comments made in prior posts. But, instead, to provide a view of the past, present and future of what OverKill is as company and a family. We are fully committed to what we do and we pride ourselves in the passion we possess. We will continue to innovate and keep current with our materials, technologies and processes to ensure our like minded clients have the highest level of standards in the industry. We will continue to make mistakes, learn from them and we will also continue to set standards that the majority of the industry will likely never aspire to meet nor exceed.

If you are in the market for a micro-camper or a camper of any size for that matter, I put the due diligence on the consumer. Do your research. There are several varieties available produced by companies that are new startups and some that have been around for decades. We have found that history might not be the best indicator of quality, nor are IG or website pics, nor, unfortunately forum posts. Every individual should be looking to check the greatest amount boxes in the list that they have created based on their requirements and means of intended use.

OverKill checks a lot of boxes for many individuals. If you find our designs are not a good fit then you should do more research and visit the location of the builder. What you see on the road might not be a current design. Even setting eyes on a camper from 2020 might not be an accurate example of the manufacturers current materials, construction techniques or technologies.

An OverKill camper might not check all of your boxes. If it doesn’t, have a look at, in no particular order.
  1. Oregon Trail’r
  2. OffGrid
  3. Boreas
  4. Mission
  5. NW Teardrops
  6. SoCal Teardrops
  7. Sherpa
  8. Taxa
  9. Type camper into the internet. Just because we didn’t give specific mention doesn’t mean they are not OverKill approved. I’m just running from memory and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few.
All of these companies produce excellent products. They all have different designs, use different materials and different construction techniques and as such, provide a wide range of opportunities for a purchaser to find their best fit. Don’t just look for a comfortable fit with the unit, but also a good fit with those that put their time into its design and construction. We are all small companies, committed to increasing the quality of the industry. Your criticism and complaints, as well as the compliments need to be taken to heart and used in a way that furthers the refinement of our products.

My intent is also to provide a sufficient amount of education for a consumer to make an informed opinion of OverKill. Don’t just take my word as gospel, come for a visit, witness the passion, see the process.

I encourage you not to be a sheep but instead the Shepard.

If you decide that an OverKill fits your bill, give us a visit. Just come knowing that we are not salesmen, what we are is a group of dreamers, designers, innovators and fabricators. We won’t sell you an OverKill camper, they sell themselves.

This will likely be my only response to this post. It is decisive, inclusive and requires no further refute. I need to get back to work. Remember those sensitive timelines? I’m aware of them every waking moment and it’s all I can think about while typing this post…..in chicken peck…for hours; hours that would have been better served doing what I do, building campers.

But, before I go;

HAPPY Independence Day!!!

It is our wish from OverKill that everyone enjoys this holiday with great friends and family, and with safety. For those spending their weekend in an OverKill camper, may it be the best. Several of our owners are health care providers and while I wish the same for them, I am also aware of how busy the ER is on this particular weekend. Sorry guys. Thanks for sacrificing the time though!

Also, a heart felt shout out for everyone that followed in the footsteps of those that won our independence and maintain our freedom to this day. You’ve won this day, earned this day, maintained this day, and provided us with the opportunity for its enjoyment. From the OverKIll Family, Thank you!
you had a chance to fix/improve perception of the situation, instead you spew drivel. Caveat emptor I guess, thanks for the help
 

vtsoundman

OverAnalyzer
Having dealt with issues like this - unresponsive overland equipment and upfitter vendors - a number of times, I have little patience for vendors that only respond after being called out publicly.

I started to read the vendors response and stopped once I got to the definition of libel and defamation...and didn't even bother reading the wall of text that followed. All of the energy that it took to generate that wall of text could have been used to actually respond to his/her customers.

I have no doubt that this vendor's customers have tried and failed to get any sort of customer service. (aka seeking remedy/cure for failure to perform wanting a trailer instead of headaches for their huge cash outlay).

If a business cannot reasonably provide service to it's current customer set, it needs to stop accepting new business AND stop accepting deposits.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
 

Spider7565

New member
To the interested buyers and those who have given Overkill Campers LLC a deposit, you rate an update to the posts, replies, and passion on this thread...

A few final thoughts from me and the Expedition Portal community can decide for themselves:

1. There is no arguing the passion, ingenuity, and work ethic of Dave Poe and his team. They love the industry, love overlanding, love the community, and have a genuine desire to manufacture a unique and capable product. Dave, his family, and his team are the type of individuals you'd love to camp with and have a beer. Overkill Campers LLC is comprised of and run by passionate people with creative minds.

2. The passionate, creative minds of Overkill Campers LLC are horrible business people with terrible communication skills and a flawed business model. It's one thing to take every aspect of your product and manufacturing process to the limit (overkill). It's another thing to use the deposits of paying customers to reinvent industry standards. Dave used Boeing as an example in his post. The aviation industry is one I'm intimately familiar with so I'll follow that thread as an example. When Boeing sets about designing a new plane or a new piece of a plane to perform better than the competition and the industry standard, they use their own research and development dollars (partially funded by investors and the consumer, true), but at no point does their R&D effort or investment prevent them from meeting customer orders for new planes they've contractually obligated to meet in components, avionics packages, and timeline. To give an Overkill example: they started off by using the industry standard for quality offroad trailer suspensions, Timbren. What's wrong with Timbren? Overkill found something their awesome, creative minds could improve upon and set about reinventing the wheel. They sunk customer deposits into inventing a new suspension and diverted time, effort, and resources into the project. All of this was at the expense to customer wait time and their own financial ability to manage sunk costs, mitigate supply chain delays, etc. How many trailers were delayed in the process? Did the customer sign a contract for Timbren axles or Overkill's proprietary design? Did Overkill tell the consumer they were changing the terms of their contract by installing a new, unproven but "probably" better axle? The same can be said for their expansion efforts into MARS truck campers (deny it if you want, but a joint venture in Prescott was the plan) and ROAM rentals. Expanding your business before you have the capacity to meet current customer demand, with a standardized product that is bulletproof, isn't a business model for success. Hats off to Overkill for having the courage to reinvent the wheel, but the customer shouldn't bear the risk to timeline and end product. I certainly didn't know my money was being gambled in that fashion on numerous other inventions until it was much too late.

3. Quality control is an evolving process. I truly hope Overkill's newest S.O.510's and checklist have solved all the issues I had with my trailer. As an update to my last post, here is a brief list of this issues I experienced:
--Off-gassing resulting in bubbling and warping of the laminate. Contrary to Dave's remarks, this wasn't superficial and cosmetic. The laminate in the walls and ceiling warped to the point water leaked in from the corners of the cabin and Fantastic Fan side seals on the roof.
--Every slide out with the exception of the bed slide (fridge, kitchen, rear Zarges box slides, and table) broke or came loose. The slides are affixed using rivets that are too small for the forces of a bumpy dirt road, let alone actual overlanding. Again, in the aviation industry we use rivets twice the size as Overkill for this very reason. When every other part is strong, but the rivet is the size of a ten-penny nail, it's going to fail every time. Mine did. I replaced 90% of the rivets on my slide outs.
--The rear cabinet tray broke at the hinge weld, resulting in an uneven cabinet system and all of the Zarges box slides, table, and electrical components to drop about two inches below the intended, level spot. This was due to an inadequate weld and two and a half points of attachment when there was supposed to be four.
--Complete electrical system failure. This was a slow (nine months to a year), annoying process that resulted in countless troubleshooting hours, wire by wire. This issue was never resolved (by me), but I believe the main bus to be the issue (no way to know for sure since it's a sealed bus, riveted to the side of the trailer, without a fuse or "tripped" indicator). What started as intermittent "flickering" of power eventually degraded to zero power (except for running and brake lights) for the last two months I had possession of the trailer; no water pump, no lights, no refrigerator, no fan; nothing but a $40,000, 3500# hard-side tent with storage.
--The aluminum cargo boxes on the front of the trailer weren't sealed correctly and filled with water when it rained. It took me about three tubes of silicon sealant to make them somewhat water tight.
--Every door latch mechanism failed. Overkill has changed their latch system, so I hope new customers won't experience this as well, but my latches failed, resulting in one inch gaps in the slide doors, hatches, and boxes; not ideal for an "offroad" trailer in dust, mud, and inclement weather.

I revived this thread a few months ago out of frustration with a company who'd ceased all communication in what was, at the time, a private dispute between customer and manufacturer. I've never posted to any forum in this manner and I don't give customer reviews, good or bad. When Overkill wouldn't respond to phone calls, emails, or texts I was left with this forum or the legal process while concurrently moving across the country with my family. I think it says everything you need to know about Overkill's customer service by the fact they would only respond when I posted on this forum and highlighted their inadequacies. They didn't respond to me. Their response was the post Dave left in the thread above; not a phone call or letter to me personally or a renewed plan to make it right. In the end, I drove to Overkill's shop in Bend from SoCal, dropped off the trailer, and negotiated a refund from Dave; contrary to the original promise of a new trailer I left with a signed agreement for a partial refund. That was in July, it's now mid-September and I haven't seen a penny...but I guess the check's in the mail.
 

BoJackNorseman

New member
Yikes! A lot of troubling information on this thread. This is why Expedition Portal is so valuable to the Overland Community. I was about to pull the trigger on a new SO510, but I'll steer clear for Overkill for good; not worth the risk even if half of what the OP said is true.
 

BoJackNorseman

New member
My 2 cents (from a Newb) for what it's worth...

I had the opportunity to attend Overland Expo East last weekend. ROVE Camper Rentals had an Overkill SO510 on display at their site. After reading the back-and-forth on this thread I decided to give it a thorough exam. My first impression and overall thoughts are that it's a great design. From what I can tell Overkill is one of the first trailers like this to have a slide-out, which is really cool. As I looked a little deeper into the finer details and workmanship/finish of the trailer however, I began to see some of the worrisome things mentioned in the thread above: metal shavings in the crevices, a few random and unexplainable drill holes, one slide-out (fridge) that appeared to have working/worn rivets, and an electrical issue (interior lights flickered multiple times when walking around in the interior). I asked the crew that was manning the display and they said they'd had a nagging brake light and interior lighting issue for the last month or so. So at the end of the day, if this is the product that's on display to the public (in "show" form) what else is lurking beneath the surface on all the other builds out there?

I'll pass...
 

downhill

Adventurer
Just another data point. At some point, I don't know when exactly, Overkill switched from using Arctic Tern Windows, which are top quality with a proven history, to some off-brand window. It says it on their website, but much of their advertising out there still states that they use Arctic Tern products. Most people probably think they are getting Tern windows. If you have a trailer on order, this is another item to keep an eye out for. Buyer beware.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Just another data point. At some point, I don't know when exactly, Overkill switched from using Arctic Tern Windows, which are top quality with a proven history, to some off-brand window. It says it on their website, but much of their advertising out there still states that they use Arctic Tern products. Most people probably think they are getting Tern windows. If you have a trailer on order, this is another item to keep an eye out for. Buyer beware.
there are several manufacturers out there that started with tern windows. Just to use them as a sample to get them re manufactured! Talk about a Chinese product being copied by an American company that will then manufacture them in China….. so much for the buy local and anti China slogans you hear everywhere.
 

downhill

Adventurer
there are several manufacturers out there that started with tern windows. Just to use them as a sample to get them re manufactured! Talk about a Chinese product being copied by an American company that will then manufacture them in China….. so much for the buy local and anti China slogans you hear everywhere.
Products made in China are no better or no worse than the people who contract with them. If you ask them to build a world class product, and work with them to achieve that, they will. The examples are all around us. If you ask them to build a cheap knock off, they will. Most of the treachery that we ascribe to China actually begins right here at home. I'm not implying that Overkill did this, just commenting on your comment. More likely the windows they are using now are just Alibaba windows. There are many "cost effective" look alikes, but it is disappointing for them to show up on a top tier ( and top priced ) overland camper. It's all fair, as long as the camper manufacturer and customer are good with it.
 

Ditriz

New member
My 2 cents (from a Newb) for what it's worth...

I had the opportunity to attend Overland Expo East last weekend. ROVE Camper Rentals had an Overkill SO510 on display at their site. After reading the back-and-forth on this thread I decided to give it a thorough exam. My first impression and overall thoughts are that it's a great design. From what I can tell Overkill is one of the first trailers like this to have a slide-out, which is really cool. As I looked a little deeper into the finer details and workmanship/finish of the trailer however, I began to see some of the worrisome things mentioned in the thread above: metal shavings in the crevices, a few random and unexplainable drill holes, one slide-out (fridge) that appeared to have working/worn rivets, and an electrical issue (interior lights flickered multiple times when walking around in the interior). I asked the crew that was manning the display and they said they'd had a nagging brake light and interior lighting issue for the last month or so. So at the end of the day, if this is the product that's on display to the public (in "show" form) what else is lurking beneath the surface on all the other builds out there?

I'll pass...
I recently spoke with an old friend of mine who also confirms problems with interior lighting in this trailer. He solved this problem on his own. He has a good skill in IoT development, so he implements some of the smart home options in his trailer.
 
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BoJackNorseman

New member
I recently spoke with an old friend of mine who also confirms problems with interior lighting in this trailer. He solved this problem on his own. He has a good skill in IoT development, so he implements some of the smart home options in his trailer.
Thanks for that input. I think that reinforces all of the negative comments on this thread (and the awesome utility of this forum). The consumer shouldn't have to rely on extraordinary skill to make the product function correctly from the manufacturer...certainly not for the prices these are going for. I don't see a business like this surviving in today's market.
 
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