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The Ram 1500 Backcountry X Concept Is All Work and All Play

Debuting this week at SEMA, the attractive and practical Ram Backcountry X Concept is designed with crossover appeal for a driver who needs both a week-long work truck and an off-the-clock adventure machine. We predict this vehicle will likely be a massive hit in the overland market.

Before focusing on the ingenious load system, let’s look at the other conceptual highlights. The Ram 1500 Backcountry X concept rides on 37-inch BFGoodrich tires, a Mopar 2-inch lift kit with FOX shocks, and matte-black 20 by-9-inch Fuel Heater wheels. The matte-black exterior turns heads with two-tone Matte Iced Silver Titanium contrasting anodized orange bodyside stripes and accents on the hood, tow hooks (front and rear), a grille badge, and a Mopar tubular grille guard equipped with four Mopar 5-inch LED off-road lights to provide significantly enhanced forward lighting. All good stuff, indeed.

But, it is the load system that has us intrigued. The concept truck features the class-exclusive RamBox cargo management system with custom-designed RamPack and related features that increases secure storage space by up to 70% without compromising the functionality of the pickup bed.

The custom RamRack incorporates the telescoping storage-rack system debuted on the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman concept at the 2021 SEMA Show. The RamRack uses additional Thule cross rails above the bed for mounting gear and accessories (think rooftop tent); in each corner of the RamRack are 2-inch TYRI LED lights, while a Center High Mount Stop Light adds a third brake light to the rear crossbar.

The conceptual RamPack storage compartments are designed for a sleek and integrated fit on both sides of the truck bed, are located above the standard RamBox on each bedside, and open via a single, carbon-fiber, hatch-type panel. Custom rectangular shelves run the entire length of the voluminous compartments, and a pair of tie-down loops provide secure mounting locations. Mopar RamBox vertical bin dividers maximize packing space and help to keep stored gear organized; we can imagine owners swapping work tools for camping gear seamlessly. The RamBox / RamPack design will likely eliminate the need for a topper and load bars while providing convenient storage. The only fundamental limitation we can imagine is the limit of side access to gear stowed at the back of the bed.

As a work truck, the Backcountry X is a DIY or professional woodworkers dream as the inside panel of the tailgate features a custom Mopar RamGate task-bench insert complete with various conversion charts and an angle finder coupled with an array of Rockler woodworking hardware.

A durable Mopar spray-in bed liner protects the truck bed floor, and black-painted Mopar tube steps, located on both side rails, provide easy access to and from the elevated cabin. A Mopar rear bed step uses an articulating arm that lowers down for easy access to the truck bed and retracts back to a stored position.

The interior is a beautiful place to be; tone-on-tone neutral green front and second-row bucket seats feature contrasting orange accent stitching that carries throughout the cabin on the steering wheel, door panels, and armrests while contrasting anodized orange air vent controls and also provides a custom look and feel.
One of our favorite interior modifications is a custom, deployable work surface between the seats where an integrated measuring system slides out from the soft center armrest and provides 12 by 14 inches of additional workspace.

Floor protection is provided by Mopar all-weather mats, while under the second-row bench seat, a concept RamVac on-board vacuum makes cleaning the cabin area easy after coming back from the trail or the work site.
Mopar itself will no doubt market a wide range of accessories for the Backcountry X, and aftermarket outfitters will be sure to see the value in this vehicle; it is only a matter of time before custom-built bolt-on accessories become available. When combined with a robust, multi-purpose drawer and load system and a quick-fit roof top tent, the Ram Backcountry X will be ready to hit the trails after working hard to pay the bills.


Our No Compromise Clause: We carefully screen all contributors to ensure they are independent and impartial. We never have and never will accept advertorials, and we do not allow advertising to influence our product or destination reviews.

Graeme Bell is an author and explorer who has dedicated his life to traveling the planet by land, seeking adventure and unique experiences. Together with his wife and two children, Graeme has spent the last decade living permanently on the road in a self-built Land Rover based camper. They have explored 27 African countries (including West Africa), circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska, which was followed by an exploration of Europe and Western Asia before returning to explore the Americas. Graeme is the Senior Editor 4WD for Expedition Portal, a member of the Explorers Club, the author of six books, and an Overland Journal contributor since 2015. You can follow Graeme's adventures across the globe on Instagram at graeme.r.bell