Overlanding continues to permeate the automotive and outdoor landscape, now with vehicle manufacturers preparing purpose-built overland concept vehicles. The latest coming from Fiat Chrysler with the Ram 1500 Rebel Off the Grid (OTG). Mopar even incorporated swaths of Overland Journal’s definition of overlanding in their latest press release “Unlike traditional ‘four-wheeling,’ in overlanding the journey is the final objective. The goal is to explore rather than conquer obstacles,” said Joe Dehner, Head of Ram Truck and Mopar Design. “This is why we developed this concept, to allow vehicle-supported, self-reliant adventure travel, typically exploring remote locations and interacting with other cultures. This is the vehicle that I’d like to have whenever I choose to go ‘off the grid.'” We couldn’t agree more, and enjoy seeing their first dedicated overland Ram 1500. (Click here to see our test of the stock Rebel 1500)
Their Ram is jam-packed with backcountry accessories and modifications, but it also has a solid foundation. The half-ton Rebel model comes equipped with a 3.0-liter EcoDiesel with all of the torque and range that the fuel source implies. Combined with the 33-gallon fuel tank, we have experienced cruising ranges of over 800 miles. The base truck also has available air suspension and even a locking rear differential.
To go beyond the stock truck, Mopar added 35-inch Goodyear tires, beadlock wheels, and a 2-inch suspension lift. Front and rear aftermarket flares help cover the wider tires. The flares look clean and factory, which I like. The front bumper is also interesting, and appears to be reminiscent (i.e., possibly a copy or new version) of the American Expedition Vehicles’ unit, including frame-mounted tow hooks that pass through the bumper fascia. One issue with front bumpers on the diesel has always been cooling volume, and this bumper design could be a challenge in production with the diesel requirements. The rear bumper comes from the Tradesman model and reflects the same semi-gloss black as the front bumper, flares, and snorkel.
The front bumper includes the fitment of a Warn winch. The rear bumper is a minimalist Tradesman unit that looks great on the truck. I love the barn door tailgate.
Mopar also addressed camp life with their overland Ram 1500, with a full range of Dometic products, a bed rack, roof tent, 270 awning, solar panels, traction boards, and even a snorkel. It does look ready for travel and shows a continued commitment by Ram and Mopar toward the overland traveler. It will be exciting to see how many of these accessories actually hit the market (the snorkel and flares appear to be 3D printed), but even a concept vehicle is an important step forward. Be sure to let Ram and Mopar know your level of interest! ramtrucks.com
The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 is rated 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.