SOLD - 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 Laramie Quad Cab 5.9L Cummins 4WD and tray-mounted XPCamper Nimbl V1, needs an adventurer!

eugarps

Active member
So I have to say I'm intrigued, but timing is off for us as well as we are not planning on heading south until 2024.

I have 2 hangups that perhaps more seasoned travelers can enlighten me on.... The pop top and no cab access. We have already found ourselves in situations, in Colorado of all places, where we needed to leave an area due to safety concerns and having cab access to drive away is important to us. Are we being overly paranoid on safety issues, or is this a legit concern for international travel?

As for the pop top, safety and weather come into play here. Gone are the days of sleeping in a RTT with the whap whap whap from the wind or rainstorm. How does this hold up in those kind of situations?

Our next rig will be something we can take everywhere not just including the Pan Am but perhaps Australia, Europe, Africa and beyond. So we really want to choose wisely.

Sorry to hijack your thread, I am legitimately interested, just trying to make the right decision for us in the long term.
Those are some of my concerns as well. If I am going to buy something for my long term use, I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I’m old and like somewhat remote travel but safety and creature comforts are considerations too at my young age of 78.

Bill


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

This Big Road Trip

Active member
We have already found ourselves in situations, in Colorado of all places, where we needed to leave an area due to safety concerns and having cab access to drive away is important to us. Are we being overly paranoid on safety issues, or is this a legit concern for international travel?
I have the same camper so can address some concerns. I think the volume of inernational travellers would suggest that this is primarily a non-issue. It's something that comes up a lot in conversation. The camper is high off the ground and we pull the stairs up at night as a precaution and they hide away nicely. So, safer than most camper in that regard. But through the pan-am we never had any issues. Also, if the person is seriously posing a threat then it's not like they can not block the truck or break a window. There are limited situations where having cab access would be genuinely beneficial. I get the concept. But in the real world it's unlikely and probably way less his than driving the truck on latin American roads anyway! Having done it, it's not something I would bother accounting for and would not be on my shopping list as an essential. We have camped the street in Bogota (got woken up by a man knocking on the door with two coffees saying "Welcome to Bogota"), we camped in town plazas all over Latin America, side streets as well as the usual more remote camp spots. Never had an issue. The country we felt least safe in was the US and we didn't't feel particularly unsafe there. https://instagram.com/thisbigroadtrip

As for the pop top, safety and weather come into play here. Gone are the days of sleeping in a RTT with the whap whap whap from the wind or rainstorm. How does this hold up in those kind of situations?
Very well. The material is thick, multi-layered and quite taught, not very tall and held by a solid edge all the way along the top and bottom so there is not much to flap. There is some movement in hard wind conditions but it's a country mile away from being a tent scenario. The camper heater is also wildly over spec'd for the size of the camper. Heat is not an issue even in the colder climates. There are Nimbl owners who use their vehicle for snow sports so .... there's that. Generally, the pros outweigh the cons. Dropping all the windows and waking up with a 270º view in a great camp spot is hugely entertaining. You don't get that with anything else.

My biggest issue with the Nimbl is the inability to simply get out of the truck and open the door to get something. We plan a little more in advance (phone, check, wallet, check) before lowering the roof. But in reality, it only takes 60 seconds for the roof to go up / down so it's more of a mild annoyance than anything else and the low profile is essential for some gates, bridges, trees ..... and gas mileage. So a small price to pay.

It's a big truck, which is worse than a small truck if you are in a tight space. But much better than a small truck when you want to live in it.

Generally, I think it fits a perfect spot in between a big MAN style box and a smaller van. I love all sizes, each has their benefit, but there is very little to touch the XP/Nimbl if you are looking for something within that bandwidth. The Nimbl/XP comes into its own if you want to travel and live in an agile vehicle. It's small enough to get around easily, even comparatively gnarly off road, but pop the roof and it's spacious and big enough to live full time comfortably (we were around 3.5 years full time). It's a pretty epic camper.

Hope that helps.
 

This Big Road Trip

Active member
Those are some of my concerns as well. If I am going to buy something for my long term use, I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I’m old and like somewhat remote travel but safety and creature comforts are considerations too at my young age of 78.
haha, I am around 40 years younger but ... same .... I can't be doing with hardships. My wife could live in a cardboard box and not complain. I definitely can't be bothered. I like some off road, but not a ton, I like remote camping but with a fridge, kitchen, shower, queen size bed and toilet.
 

gdaut

Active member
I also have one of these campers, and can affirm what TBRT says. We, and other Nimbl owners, regularly camp in winter in the Rockies and other cold locales. The camper is warm, even with the tent section. I think this camper is better in winter than a van based camper with a big opening to the cab. I have been told by van owners that is very difficult to effectively insult the cab or block off heat loss to the cab. (A camper like an EarthCrusier or GXV with a smaller pass thru would not have this issue, though; I think.). We have camped in a lot of wind and flapping or wind noise has never been an issue.

As for safety, sure I guess someone could climb up and cut through the tent section - they would need a ladder or have to climb up on the roof of the truck - but also someone could break a window in the cab of a camper with a pass through and get in that way. Being able to get from the camper to the drivers seat would occasionally be nice, but more from a weather perspective than a safety one. But, if you have anything outside, or are parked on leveling blocks, you are going to get out anyway. And, being able to get from the passenger seat into the camper while driving would sometimes be nice (to grab a cold drink, or deposit the previous cold drink into the toilet, for example). I am not sure how often we would use that ability in practice, but it does seem like a feature that would be useful.

Everything is a trade-off. All in all, the trade-offs of the Nimbl design work well for our use cases, but everyone is different.
 

Nomads365

A Most Adventurous Couple
Wow, we traveled for a few days and come back to some great dialogue on our post. I think TBRT covered the earlier questions that were answered so I won't rehash those. I can say as we did our PanAm research we also pondered the question of camper/cab access in security situations. We also had heard stories of broken windows and stolen goods, slashed tires at stop signs, equipment stolen off the outside of the rig, etc. So we did what we could to mitigate those risks. Avoid the route where vandals slash tires. Security film on the windows to slow down smash-n-grab thefts. Nothing on the outside of the rig that could be stolen (bikes, MaxTrax boards, Hi-Lift Jack). We ultimately decided the pass-thru wasn't needed, and instead we made camping spot decisions based on how safe we "felt". Other travelers do the same thing. We also spent many nights simply parked on the street in very public areas such as in Tequila, Mexico and other large and small cities. We also would retract the ladder making it nearly impossible to open the upper door on the camper while it's closed at night. Yes, we'd hear people outside and wonder what was going on, but eventually we learned that folks were simply going about their own business and were not interested in us. Frankly we were more worried about police in the U.S. giving us "the knock" in the middle of the night telling us we can't park where we are. With thoughtful planning about our spots we never had this happen.

As for the tent material, before setting up for the night we'd simply check the weather forecast to see which direction the wind was planned to be coming from then park our hard ass-end of the camper into the wind. On longer stays in one spot this might mean rotating the camper after a few days if the wind changes direction. Yes, the tent material moves around a little bit but hardly at all when the wind hits the backend of the camper. It really was never an issue that bothered us much. And before anybody asks, no, we didn't worry about bears ripping into the tent at night while we were in Alaska. I supposed it could happen, but again, with a bit of thought about where to camp (and not grilling outdoors if in bear territory) it's not really an issue.
 
As an XP owner I agree that the portion with soft-wall isn't an issue. In the past I owned a Four-Wheel Eagle and an Outback pop-up. I enjoyed both but neither one did well in cold weather. I've used the XP in winter at temps down to -12F with gusty wind but the camper itself stayed warm, dry and quiet. Its actually pretty impressive that this is possible in a pop-up.
 

weezerbot

Glamping Society
Thank you everyone for the thoughtful and detailed replies.

I think for us the safety issue isn't so much someone breaking in while we sleep (although also a concern) but more of we need to get out of here, just jump in the driver's seat and go. If it were such a situation and we had stuff set up outside we have already discussed we'd leave it behind.

Perhaps we are a bit more paranoid than most (thank you US Army) but we are constantly evaluating our situations, especially as women. We live on the road full time now in a van and access the cab or back of the van quite often for drinks, clothes, potty brakes, etc.

We have a lot to think about on this one. No rig is ever going to be perfect and we realize that!
 

Magnificat

New member
We shopped for expedition vehicles for three years. I'd originally thought lack of a pass-through would be a deal breaker, but the XP/Nimbl was so superior in virtually every other way compared with everything else, that we chose it despite the pass-through issue. We have a fridge in the back of our crew cab truck, so food and drinks are always available. Raising the camper for potty needs is less convenient than stepping back into a van, but it's quick and easy. After four years of experience with our camper we're still happy with our choice. No security issues so far, but I understand the concern.
 
We just pulled off the road after traveling 7 years and wanted to say, XP/Nimbl is one of the best US rigs available. We caravanned with a different XP through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and then Ecuador and have caravanned with this specific rig in Mexico and Texas. It is an extremely well thought out platform and the fiberglassed form core body is truly exceptional. Coupled with a 5.9 cummins, it is world ready with this one being in perfect turn key condition. The stand outs, which there are many, are the water capacity and dual refrigerators. Anyone with any long term overlanding experience knows that what usually forces you away from a premiere remote location is either running out of food or water. We could stretch our setup to 10ish days but when we were caravanning with the XP we could stay for weeks. Sure, who plans on staying in one spot for weeks but if you've ever happened upon one of "those" spots then you know exactly how it feels to have to make the drive out just for food or water. If you have never experienced it, this is the type of rig that alleviates that limit considerably. Perfect slopes or beach or mountain top or riverside or lakeside or jungle, having 75 gallons of water and dual refrigerators that are endlessly powered by solar really upgrades life on the road. We could blather on about many of the other features, and long term overlanding this versus that, but from our experience...this is an exceptional rig and will be the foundation for some seriously epic travels (as many of this same model have and are doing).
 

djm68

Observer
If only this rig was an auto vs the manual -- this is the exact setup I have been look for. Great setup!
 

Nomads365

A Most Adventurous Couple
If only this rig was an auto vs the manual -- this is the exact setup I have been look for. Great setup!
Why an auto? We chose the manual over an auto for ease of maintenance and availability of parts. A manual can be repaired just about anywhere outside the US, not so much with an auto as it will likely need to be replaced in its entirety.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
179,944
Messages
2,804,951
Members
215,107
Latest member
yash5134
Top