Which pop up camper/truck combination for global off-road expeditions

#1
Hi!

I’m at the very beginning of the journey…figuring out what gear I need to do what I want.

I was living in South America for a few years and I always told myself that I want to get back with a proper camping vehicle.

I hope that someone can give me some advise to choose the right camper and truck. For the moment a have an eye on the FWC flatbed models and I love the durability of Toyota vehicles. Is someone traveling the globe with a FWC model?

Tacoma would be my first choice, but I’m concerned about the weight limit. We will be 2 adults and one child, traveling as long as 2 months at once.
I want to be comfortable, but still travel light. I don’t want to be restricted by the size, or off-road capabilities of the vehicle.

There will be a lot of paved roads, but also some heavy off-road.
I’m no millionaire, so price is also critical.

Any advise would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
#2
I met an overland from Washington last summer in Argentina with a Tacoma and a FWV - very well sorted. He felt like the payload was too much for the Tacoma and wished he had brought a full size truck.

I would take a look at the F-150 with 3.5 Ecoboost with Heavy Duty payload/tow package. You can have it with factory 36 long range tank and rear diff locker. And 20+mpg when not loaded apparently. And this is coming from a "Toyota Guy"...

:)
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
#3
If you can find one,consider a 12v Cummins with a manual trans. Suspension upgrades are out there and a competent mechanic can inspect it for defects.
 
#4
I met an overland from Washington last summer in Argentina with a Tacoma and a FWV - very well sorted. He felt like the payload was too much for the Tacoma and wished he had brought a full size truck.

I would take a look at the F-150 with 3.5 Ecoboost with Heavy Duty payload/tow package. You can have it with factory 36 long range tank and rear diff locker. And 20+mpg when not loaded apparently. And this is coming from a "Toyota Guy"...

:)
20+ mph on a 3.5 Ecoboost f150??? Hahahahahaha... Perhaps if you are really light footed and go 45-55 on the highway, with a breeze at your back, downhill...
 
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Jnich77

Expedition Leader
#5
20+ mph on a 3.5 Ecoboost f150??? Hahahahahaha... Perhaps if you are really light footed and go 45-55 on the highway, with a breeze at your back, downhill...

2.7 Ecoboost, crew cab, 2wd. Life time average is 20.4 MPG, zero problems getting 25+ with the cruise set at 70mph.

My work truck has the 3.5 Ecoboost and is a loaded down 4x4. Still averages 20+ on the HW.
 

Attachments

#6
2.7 Ecoboost, crew cab, 2wd. Life time average is 20.4 MPG, zero problems getting 25+ with the cruise set at 70mph.

My work truck has the 3.5 Ecoboost and is a loaded down 4x4. Still averages 20+ on the HW.
2.7 is irrelevant. 3.5 eco..
Had one for years.. 15mpg in the real world avg unloaded.. with E rated (heavier) all terrain tires... which is what he must have for the vehicle he is describing... 36 gallon tank.. decent range.. just don't think for a minute real world avg is 20+... That is bovine secretions...
 
#7
Hi!

I’m at the very beginning of the journey…figuring out what gear I need to do what I want.

I was living in South America for a few years and I always told myself that I want to get back with a proper camping vehicle.

I hope that someone can give me some advise to choose the right camper and truck. For the moment a have an eye on the FWC flatbed models and I love the durability of Toyota vehicles. Is someone traveling the globe with a FWC model?

Tacoma would be my first choice, but I’m concerned about the weight limit. We will be 2 adults and one child, traveling as long as 2 months at once.
I want to be comfortable, but still travel light. I don’t want to be restricted by the size, or off-road capabilities of the vehicle.

There will be a lot of paved roads, but also some heavy off-road.
I’m no millionaire, so price is also critical.

Any advise would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Mike,

I will make this easy and quick...

Go to www.overlandex.com and buy their full-size or midsize pickup pop-up camper... https://overlandex.com/pop-up-truck-campers

It is $25k and for the money, I really don't think it can be beat... nothing else comes close to build quality at that price..Really well insulated built crazy strong and a steal.

Go research what is the most popular mid or full size 4x4 crew cab in South America... The ford f150 Ecoboost.. is a great truck... If you can get parts.. you are set... If not.. pick the full size Toyota/Nissan/local favorite that works.. get some great E rated all terrain tires (that are available in your destination so you can get spares) .. stick with 35".. anything larger and it gets harder to source replacements...and 35" should give you some width for soft stuff....and you are set... I recommend a front and rear locker... It can get you through big trouble

That camper has sleeping for 2 (queen) and a single bed... A kitchen, storage and a fridge freezer . It is a great rig and Mark who builds them is awesome.. and knows what he is doing..

Spend several months doing local trips so you are used to the rig and know what you need day to day.

This is a very capable rig..

I'd love to hear about your adventures

David
 
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#8
2.7 Ecoboost, crew cab, 2wd. Life time average is 20.4 MPG, zero problems getting 25+ with the cruise set at 70mph.

My work truck has the 3.5 Ecoboost and is a loaded down 4x4. Still averages 20+ on the HW.
I live at 5000'.. if you are at sea level.. that may be the difference.. then again I have less hp at 5000'.. what is your average on the 3.5 4x4?
 

sg1

Adventurer
#9
A few weeks ago I have arrived in Ushuaia coming from the US. The only US truck I have seen in literally every country was the F 150. I saw both Ecoboost and 5 l. The locals drive mid size trucks with diesel engines. They are very different from the trucks sold in the US.
 
#11
Hi!

I’m at the very beginning of the journey…figuring out what gear I need to do what I want.

I was living in South America for a few years and I always told myself that I want to get back with a proper camping vehicle.

I hope that someone can give me some advise to choose the right camper and truck. For the moment a have an eye on the FWC flatbed models and I love the durability of Toyota vehicles. Is someone traveling the globe with a FWC model?

Tacoma would be my first choice, but I’m concerned about the weight limit. We will be 2 adults and one child, traveling as long as 2 months at once.
I want to be comfortable, but still travel light. I don’t want to be restricted by the size, or off-road capabilities of the vehicle.

There will be a lot of paved roads, but also some heavy off-road.
I’m no millionaire, so price is also critical.

Any advise would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
I am currently preparing myself for a similar journey. I have done some extensive research and talked to owners about the FWC. It looks nice and build quality is oke, however most dont advice to live in it for months on end. After extensive usage it does seem to lack overland/expedition quality, rust, moist problems are most common complains. However please note that these are not my personal experiences with the FWC.
 

Jnich77

Expedition Leader
#12
2.7 is irrelevant. 3.5 eco..
Had one for years.. 15mpg in the real world avg unloaded.. with E rated (heavier) all terrain tires... which is what he must have for the vehicle he is describing... 36 gallon tank.. decent range.. just don't think for a minute real world avg is 20+... That is bovine secretions...
Do explain how the 2.7 is irrelevant.
 

Jnich77

Expedition Leader
#13
There shouldn't be drastic HP loss unless Ford used an inefficient turbo. One key to good mpg in a boosted motor - keep out of boost :)

This is exactly the key, on the 2.7 the turbo start to spool at ~71mph. I also not trying to be the first guy to the next light.

Now, if I set the cruise at 80 I drop to 18.5- 19mpg, which isn'tbad for a full size truck.
 

Jnich77

Expedition Leader
#14
I live at 5000'.. if you are at sea level.. that may be the difference.. then again I have less hp at 5000'.. what is your average on the 3.5 4x4?
I don't think it cares about altitude, forced induction makes it irrelevant.

My work truck sits at ~21-22 on the HW at 70. The lowest I have gotten is 16 pulling a trailer.

I went with the 2.7 in my personal truck because it's a better built, more efficient motor that has zero problem moving the truck. I pulled my buddies camper (Mallard 32)back from Alabama and it did it with out breaking a sweat.