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A 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 That’s Built For The Long Haul

Posted in Features on July 15, 2016 Comment (0)
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There are few things that excite us more than pulling out of our driveway and beginning a road trip that has no end. When we bumped into Bryon Dorr and listened to his tale of breaking away from the daily grind in the Ram-based XPCamper (aka EEXP Overland Adventuremobile) that has become his home, we wanted to hear (and see) more. We caught up with Bryon after his recent circumnavigation of the U.S. and shakedown trek in Alaska.

The platform is a Cummins turbodiesel-powered ’01 Dodge Ram 2500 fit with a custom-spec pop-up abode from XPCamper. The XP is created from a composite-over-foam core wrapped in unidirectional fiberglass, which delivers a strong, well-insulated superstructure. The pop-top is a one-piece design that provides excellent protection against moisture intrusion. Underneath, the structure’s mounting system is European-style, featuring two fixed points up front and a single pivoting joint in the back. This three-point configuration allows the camper to remain on its own plane while the truck’s frame, designed to have torsional movement, flexes.

The interior is nothing short of luxurious, as well as exceptionally functional. Aft is a galley equipped with a top-load Dometic fridge, two-burner butane stove, stainless steel sink with hot and cold water, and a 30-gallon water tank. The forward dinette converts to a generous queen-size bed, and there is ample storage for clothes, tools, and gear underneath. A pair of Odyssey batteries topped off by a roof-mounted 225-watt GoSol Power solar panel powers house systems. A Morningstar SunSaver MPPT solar controller and AIMS Power 1,000-watt inverter manage battery charge, and a Webasto diesel heater provides hot water and heat on cold days.

Up front is a Buckstop Truckware aluminum bumper fit with a Warn 16.5ti winch and Factor 55 ProLink XXL winch thimble, Hi-Lift jack, and six PIAA lights. The rear aluminum bumper pivots upward to match the taper of the camper and provide maximum departure angle. Above the bumper is a set of MAXTRAX recovery devices and RotopaX fuel cells.

The Ram rides on LT285/70R17 General Grabber AT2 all-terrain tires mounted to Method Standard wheels, and Icon Vehicle Dynamics remote-reservoir shocks manage damping. A set of overload helper springs offset the weight of the camper. On winding roads, an aftermarket antisway bar keeps the vehicle stable. Protecting the front differential is an ARB cover that features a dipstick for inspecting the oil level and a magnet to collect any ferrous contaminants.

Bryon fit the Dodge’s roof-mounted, aluminum Rack Attack cargo system with an array of outdoor toys, and a Dometic freestanding awning offers relief after a long mountain bike ride.

The result is a rig that is ready for off-road—and off-grid—adventure, wherever it may be. Bryon says, “Getting me, my friends, and our adventure sports gear to remote and amazing places is what the EEXP Overland Adventuremobile is all about, all the creature comforts are just a bonus. Life is all about new and exciting experiences. The EEXP is a tool, which allows me to have and reach these experiences."

Under the Dodge’s hood is the venerable 24-valve Cummins turbodiesel. Electrical needs are met by a pair of Group 31 batteries.

The front factory Dana 60 axle is protected by an ARB heavy-duty differential cover and activated by a 4x4 Posi-Lok system. A Borgeson steering box and shaft replace the stock units and a Synergy steering box brace improves strength.

Out back, aftermarket overload helper springs help manage the additional weight. Remote-reservoir shocks from Icon Vehicle Dynamics reside at all four corners of the rig.

The front Buckstop aluminum bumper is fit with a Warn 16.5ti winch, Factor 55 ProLink XXL winch thimble, and a collection of PIAA lights.

Grippy General Grabber AT2 all-terrain tires are fit to Method Standard aluminum wheels.

The cab of the truck has everything Bryon needs for backcountry adventure including a GPS and Edge CTS in-cabin controller.

The forward dinette doubles as an office and converts to a spacious queen-sized bed.

The interior of the XPCamper is spacious and functional. Wraparound windows provide plenty of light and ventilation.

The galley of the camper consists of a 3.8-gallon, top-load Dometic fridge and hot/cold pressure sink.

In this exterior view of the XPCamper, you can see the Dometic freestanding awning that provides shade on hot summer days. One thing that wants sun is the roof-mounted 225-watt GoSol Power solar panel that charges a pair of Odyssey batteries to provide power for the camper.

XPCamper aluminum storage bins are durable and weatherproof.

Out back is a set of MAXTRAX recovery devices and a pair of RotopaX fuel cells.

A 225-watt GoSol Power solar panel keeps house batteries topped off.

A cab-mounted aluminum cargo system from Rack Attack carries all the toys needed for a great outdoor adventure.

A stack of storage compartments offers ample room for clothes and gear.

Dual Odyssey batteries supply house power.

A Monrningstar SunSaver MPPT controller keeps the solar power supply and batteries in sync.

The Webasto diesel heater provides hot water and heat on cold days.

Below the bench seat is a 30-gallon water tank and pressure pump.

An AIMS Power 1,000-watt inverter manages 110V needs.

The roof-mounted MaxxFan reversible 12V fan allows for cooling and venting as needed.

Behind the driver seat are Pelican cases, an ARB recovery kit, and aluminum storage box.

At A Glance
General
Vehicle: ’01 Dodge Ram 2500
Owner: Bryon Dorr
Stomping grounds: Everywhere
Build time: N/A
Drivetrain
Engine: Cummins 5.9L 24-valve turbodiesel
Transmission: 47 RE
Transfer case(s): NV241
Low range ratio(s): 2.72:1
Crawl ratio(s): 27.3:1
Front axle/differential: Stock, ARB diff cover, 4x4 Posi-Lok, 4.10 gears/open
Rear axle/differential: Stock, 4.10 gears/limited slip
Suspension
Front: Stock, Icon Vehicle Dynamics remote-reservoir shocks
Rear: Stock, aftermarket overload helper springs, Icon Vehicle Dynamics remote-reservoir shocks
Steering: Borgeson steering shaft and box, Synergy steering box brace
Tires/Wheels
Tires: LT285/70R17 General Grabber AT2
Wheels: 17-inch Method Standard
Miscellaneous
Lighting: PIAA
Armor: Buckstop Truckware front bumper, custom rear bumper
Cool stuff: XPCamper, Warn 16.5ti winch, cab-mounted Rack Attack roof rack

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