Arriving at Overland Expo West this year is a travel trailer that is one of the wildest camping creations I’ve seen in a while. Mammoth Overland has unveiled the ELE Off-Road Trailer–a ridiculous camper that sprays a huge cloud of bear spray, has weapons storage, optional bullet-proofing, a drone launch platform, cameras, a sealed cabin with an air-filtration system, and more for the price of $67,000 (or $92,000 when bullet-proofed).
This camper seems to come at the crossroads of the prepper movement and overlanding. Unless Mammoth Overland is aware of an impending extinction-level event that the rest of us are oblivious to, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need your camper to be bulletproof. You probably don’t need to worry about having a completely sealed cabin or weapons lockers. Everything about this trailer is outrageous.
But, I feel this is one of those instances when something is just so crazy that it comes right back around to being neat again. Some people like to dress up their cars like the apocalypse is right around the corner. Well, here’s a trailer just for them.
Born From Planes
Here’s another company that isn’t a household name in the RV world, but its history is pretty neat. Mammoth Overland is a subsidiary of Vashon Aircraft, founded by John Torode in Washington in 2012. Vashon Aircraft’s mission is to make flying more accessible so that the next generation of pilots can actually afford to get up into the sky. The company’s aircraft, the all-metal Ranger R7, is a Light Sport Aircraft that claims to comfortably seat two real Americans while providing similar flight characteristics as a Cessna 172.
For those of you that don’t fly, the Ranger R7 is basically supposed to be super easy to fly–good for students–and durable, so even a sloppy landing isn’t a bad day.
Another interesting feature about the Ranger R7 is that it features seats that fold flat so you and your passenger could sleep in it. Sounds like a dreamy way to camp at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to me!
Inspired by its planes, Vashon has decided to take its ideas from the skies down to the ground. In 2021, the company launched its first Mammoth Overland trailer. That camper boasted a riveted aluminum construction, a Timbren 3500HD axle-less suspension, and a tent for an outdoor bathroom.
At first, Mammoth Overland took these campers around to different air shows, targeting pilots. Later, the company pivoted toward targeting both pilots and the overland crowd.
Now it’s time for Mammoth Overland’s next camper, and this one is out there.
The Extinction-Level Event (ELE) Off-Road Trailer
The ELE takes Mammoth Overland’s basic squaredrop design and cranks it up to 11. The company says that this trailer came after being asked if the original Mammoth Overland trailer was bear-proof:
“People ask me all the time if our trailers are bear-proof — and they are, technically. That got me thinking: ‘What if we made a trailer that’s truly bear- as well as apocalypse-proof?’” said Scott Taylor, Mammoth Overland President. “I grew up in Montana, and Montanans know a thing or two about bear-proofing and self-reliance. We designed ELE to aircraft standards. It can handle whatever campers might encounter, from bears to wildfires to social unrest, so overlanders can explore fearlessly.”
No matter whether campers are looking for a bear-proof off-road trailer, prepping for societal upheaval or natural disaster, or simply want the strongest and safest overland trailer on the market, ELE has something for everyone — including a six-bottle wine rack.
Again, I sure hope Mammoth Overland isn’t aware of something the rest of us are missing. Anyway, the ELE is built out of aerospace-grade aluminum sheets with high-density foam insulation sandwiched between them. To protect the trailer off-road, the front of the trailer is covered with steel armor. This is to stave off damage from trees, rocks, and projectiles. Other protection comes in the form of a large underbody steel skid plate and additional chassis plating. The company says that the protection adds R20-level insulation.
If that isn’t enough for you, for $25,000, Mammoth Overland says it will add Level 3 bulletproofing.
We’re still not done with the exterior just yet. Mammoth Overland has made it clear that this camper is supposed to survive whatever riots or perhaps warfare you may encounter deep in the woods. To keep the cabin clearly separated from the outside world, the camper’s doors are said to be submarine-style pressure doors. These close with four pins that insert into the walls of the camper. Mammoth Overland says that the interior is sealed off from the outside world and maintains a positive pressure of 0.25 PSI.
That would be crazy enough, but Mammoth Overland elaborates on just how far this system goes:
The pressurized cabin can be completely purged and refilled with purified air in less than three minutes through an integrated, medical-grade E.L. Foust air filtration system, providing up to six months of purified air. The system is so sophisticated in fact that it’s capable of filtering out odors — something consumer-grade purification systems can’t. In addition to filtering the air supply, ELE can refill and filter its onboard 22-gallon water tank in just 10 minutes.
All of this sounds cool, but it seems like Mammoth Overland may be missing the mark with a tank that’s just 22 gallons. You’ll have to venture out into the real-life Fallout world to get more water long before you run out of clean air.
From here, Mammoth Overland starts getting into how the ELE (which is pronounced like “Ellie”) allows you to protect yourself. There’s a gimbal-mounted, boom-operated night vision camera that sends its feed to a TV inside of the camper. There’s also a drone launch platform in case you want to get a view of what’s going on around the camper. It also comes with exterior flood lights to illuminate the area around your campsite.
If none of that stops whatever is going down in the woods, Mammoth Overland says that the camper comes with its Bear-Spray Defense System. With the push of a button, canisters of bear spray will deploy a 25-foot by 10-foot wide cloud of spray, which is supposed to protect the camper from bears or “bandits.” Should those bears or bandits not care about the cloud of spray, your final line of defense is a weapons locker that can hold rifles and handguns.
Again, I should stress that it’s unlikely you’ll ever need any of this stuff in an overlanding camper. It’s unlikely you’ll find a riot in a forest or desert. But, it’s so wild that I can’t help but smile. Other notable features of this camper include an onboard weather station, Starlink internet, radios, and a geiger counter.
Power comes from four self-heating Renogy 100 Ah lithium-ion-phosphate batteries. Helping to charge the batteries are 100W flexible solar panels, which are found on top of the camper’s Roam awning. Should that not be enough, there’s a WEN generator onboard as well.
Mammoth Overland’s press release says nothing about the living space, but it looks to be the same as the regular Mammoth Overland camper. That means a neat kitchen that swings out of the rear. It has a two-burner stove, stainless steel sink, and a refrigerator. Inside is a bed that Mammoth Overland says is large enough to fit four adults.
There’s also a bunk bed for kids or pets. Up top is a roof rack that holds 500 pounds of weight while on the move or 1,000 pounds when parked. Additional off-road gear comes from rock sliders and 31-inch BFGoodrich K02 tires, giving you 19 inches of ground clearance.
As I said before, it also comes with an outdoor bathroom, which consists of a portable toilet, a privacy tent, and a heated outdoor shower. The standard Mammoth Overland trailer is 13 feet, 10.9 inches long, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighs 1,650 pounds dry. It’s currently unclear how much the apocalypse gear changes the dimensions and weights of the camper.
Mammoth Overland does say that the Extinction-Level Event camper has a starting price of $67,000. The only option is bulletproofing, and that raises the price to $92,000. Mammoth Overland is planning a limited production run and is taking deposits now for fourth-quarter deliveries.
The camper will be on display at Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona next weekend. Who, exactly, is this camper for? Outside of a rich prepper, I’m not entirely sure. But, you bet I’ll be there to check it out and try to figure this thing out.
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