Home » This Off-Road Camper Uses A Few Tricks To Create A Huge Space… At A Huge Cost

This Off-Road Camper Uses A Few Tricks To Create A Huge Space… At A Huge Cost

Epik Ranger Camper Ts Copy
ADVERTISEMENT

Off-road camper trailers offer you the opportunity to sleep where there are no hotels or any civilization. However, many of these units sacrifice space for durability and capability. Here’s a trailer that tries to give you everything, from a light base weight and durability to lots of space. The Adventure Series RV Epik Ranger achieves this with the rare addition of a slide, but even weirder is its pop-up clerestory windows, something you’d find in home design more than RVs. But don’t look too hard, because once you find out the price you might experience some pain. And that’s before you learn about this trailer’s history.

The off-road RV world is patently insane right now. You can buy a trailer that’s bulletproof and comes with bear spray, there are gigantic trucks taller than your house and with the turn radius of a cruise ship, and metal habitats with milk crates for storage. All of them are perfectly ridiculous and come with absurd prices to match. I mean, some of these things cost over a million dollars and can’t even do half of what they advertise!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The Epik Ranger doesn’t cost a million bucks, but your heart’s going to flip when you read how much it costs. I’ll save the heartbreak for later.

A Wild History

438680126 287365574419060 344357

Finding anything about Adventure Series RV was difficult. The company’s website says nothing about its history, who is running the show, or where the idea of the RVs came from. A historical search of the website and Adventure Series RV’s social media accounts shows that it almost just sprang into existence in spring 2023. The mysterious company then started taking pre-orders for its then-sole trailer.

ADVERTISEMENT

Through some digging, I’ve found that Adventure Series RV LLC. was started in Ohio 2023, but is essentially a rebirth of Overkill Campers LLC from Oregon. I’ll explain. Overkill Campers was founded in 2018 by David Poe. The company was run by the Poe family, including Jennifer and Henry, plus Brandon Pink as the firm’s production manager.

As for their story, the Poes say they’ve been overlanding since before that term was even created. They explain that in the 1990s, the Poes and their friends would pull out topographical maps and choose destinations at random. They’d then hop in their vehicles and go. The concept behind Overkill Campers was that you would be able to buy a camper built and designed by people who loved off-road adventures. Overkill had two models with the compact T.K.4.7. and the larger S.O.5.10.

328996453 199151876053448 171512
Overkill Campers

What set an Overkill Campers trailer apart was its rugged construction and use of slides to create an expansive interior. Some off-road RV trailer manufacturers use slides, but it’s not a super common sight. As some will tell you, adding slides means adding a potential point of failure, which you don’t want when you’re miles from civilization. Most companies offering an expandable off-road trailer will give you a pop-up roof or bump-out sides with tent walls.

Overkill was different with its hard-walled slides mixed with a tent roof. And Overkill pitched its trailers that could survive the severe beatings of off-roading.

138725404 414449783321600 675961
Overkill Campers

Unfortunately, this was all in concept, anyway. Overkill Campers began taking large deposits for future trailers. Some people have claimed to pay $8,000, $37,000, and other honestly insane amounts of money to secure their spot in line for a future trailer. These people then either waited for a couple of years to get their trailer or, just never received their units. Others never received refunds after deciding to pull out of their deposits.

ADVERTISEMENT

This has led to countless complaints from customers who feel as if they’ve been scammed. Check out the comments from a YouTube review of the S.O.5.10 alone:

Screenshot (967)
YouTube
Screenshot (968)
YouTube

Screenshot (972)

The complaints stretch a mile long, and those who did manage to get their trailers reported quality issues including leaking:

Screenshot (9970)
YouTube
Screenshot (971)
Better Business Bureau
Image (25)
YouTube

Sadly, it would appear that those refunds may take a while. In March 2023, David Poe announced that Overkill Campers was partnering with Adventure Series RV, a subsidiary of Xtreme Outdoors, a known producer of small travel trailers and teardrop trailers.

The announcement was allegedly contradicted by emails sent by Overkill Campers, which stated that the action was a merger, not a partnership:

ADVERTISEMENT

As detailed in our previous correspondence, OverKill has made a strategic business decision to merge. We weighed many options and vetted several investors in the past eighteen months, until we were approached by Xtreme Outdoors, a well established east coast company with over 20 years of camper manufacturing experience. Their production team and facility will allow continued manufacturing of OverKill Camper models. The core team members of OverKill have relocated to Pennsylvania to set up a new line producing S.O.510’s with the same construction methods used in Bend.

Our decision to merge was based upon numerous factors including growth challenges experienced over the past couple years. We are a small company and have been subjected to unique challenges inherent to our scale. Through the resources acquired from this merger we aim to provide benefits from increased productivity, decreased lead times, expanded service network and sustainability for our brand.

This merger’s transition period may cause additional delays with delivery for existing clients. Although we are striving to fulfill your camper order as quickly as possible, transitions of this nature take time. We are looking forward to this new adventure for Overkill Campers, and we thank you for your cooperation.

The announcement sent some buyers into a frenzy. After all, they’ve been waiting for refunds or for a trailer to arrive, and now the operation is getting handed off? Buyers began to wonder if they would ever see their money or a trailer.

David Poe pulled back the curtain to explain why people hadn’t received their trailers. He explained that like other businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped Overkill’s finances, but they were able to keep the company’s doors open and produced a handful of trailers. The supply chain problems of 2022 didn’t help and 2022 production was just 7 months long. Eventually, Overkill was approached by Xtreme Outdoors and the decision to partner up was made.

74990928 108436877256227 3452674
Overkill Campers

Poe also delivered bad news to people waiting, emphasis mine:

What does this mean for old customers / anyone that had put up a deposit before the partnership was announced: OverKill Campers currently doesn’t have the capital to manufacture any units or to refund any deposits that were taken. We have some other obligations to clear as well. We would like to take care of anyone that took a bet on us and placed a deposit and our other obligations. To do that, we plan to use a substantial portion of any profits that come our way from the production of new units for clearing out our previous obligations. The pace of clearing up the old obligations is dependent on the scale and speed of the production of the new units. The old units will be produced in Pennsylvania, but only when there is capital available for that production.

As a small camper manufacturer, we spent most of our time focusing on the design of our units and in retrospect, not enough on the business side. That is the reason for the manufacturing agreement we have recently entered into.

As small RV YouTuber Playing With Sticks noted in a review (above), the deal fell through after the announcement.

ADVERTISEMENT

Overkill Campers closed not long after. Its site is offline, its phone number is disconnected, and customers feel left in the dark. One customer in Ohio attempted to sue Overkill Campers, Xtreme Outdoors, and Adventure Series RV for their money back. However, that customer failed to serve the officers of Overkill with the suit within the time allowed. The case was dismissed as a result. Some others have claimed to sue the corpse of Overkill for a refund as well.

Adventure Series RV is selling the Overkill S.O.510 as the Scout and a modified and enlarged version of the S.O.510 called the Ranger.

Scout Hero

I have been able to confirm that Adventure Series RV is not a rename of Overkill, but a brand of Xtreme Outdoors in Pennsylvania. Xtreme Outdoors also registered Adventure Series RV as a business in Ohio.

It is unclear what will happen to the previous customers who still want their money back, but now it would appear that the trailers finally have the proper backing to be brought into reality. So, what do you get when you buy an Adventure Series RV Epik Ranger?

ADVERTISEMENT

The Epik Ranger

Snapinsta.app 438925165 1871195630001283 778905818499275739 N 1080

This trailer starts its life as a welded steel frame with a rubberized coating. Attached to this frame you’ll find a Cruisemaster CRS2 independent off-road suspension system. At the end of both suspension arms is a set of 17-inch wheels shod in 33-inch Kenda Klever all-terrain tires. Cruisemaster also supplies the trailer with its articulating hitch.

Bolted to the top of the frame is a foam-core box reinforced with an aluminum skeleton. A layer of fiberglass makes up the exterior siding and Azdel composite material is used inside. Adventure Series RV says the trailers are built without an ounce of wood and all of the composite body panels are bonded rather than bolted to each other. Even the interior cabinetry and furniture are made out of aluminum.

Ranger Hero 02

The real magic happens when you open the entry door. Most off-road campers avoid using slides to expand interior space. Sure, you might see a pop-top tent or a tent wall come down, but only a handful of companies are willing to take a chance on the kinds of slides we see more often with a typical travel trailer.

ADVERTISEMENT

One of the slides pops out to give you a pretty roomy kitchen while the other pops out to give you ample space for a dinette that turns into a spacious bed. Finally, the trailer does have a pop-up roof. However, instead of being like a tent, you get a set of clerestory windows.

Epik Ranger 03

These alone are pretty wild because you’ll see them far more often with homes than with trailers. The clerestory rises above the roof of a building and can provide additional illumination or ventilation. Reportedly, clerestory windows were used back in the 13th century BC in ancient Egyptian temples, then later during the Romanesque and Gothic periods. You’ll find clerestory windows on churches, on homes from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as retro homes today. They’re less common on travel trailers, yet here we are.

Epik Ranger 14

In this case, the clerestory windows serve three purposes. They allow for a maximum standing height of 7 feet in addition to more light and open windows for fresh air. Even though the trailer is just 17 feet long, the Epik Ranger provides quite a lot of space, including that giant bed. The company says you’ll be able to sleep three or four people in there, but keep in mind all of them will be sleeping on that bed, so you better be close.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ranger Hero 03

In terms of equipment, you’re getting a Renogy inverter, an MPPT solar charge controller, and solar panels, though Adventure Series RV doesn’t note wattage. Those panels top up 100 Ah of Renogy lithium batteries and you can get 200 Ah of batteries as an option. Other goodies come in the form of a Vitrifrigo fridge/freezer, a Dometic dual burner stove, and a forced air heating system. There isn’t an air-conditioner, but you do get the prep to install an EcoFlow Wave 2 air-conditioner.

Finally, you do get a bathroom and I’m happy to say it’s inside. There’s a stand-up shower to clean up in and a composting toilet so you don’t have to do your business entirely with nature. Adventure Series RV says you get a 6-gallon water heater and a 30-gallon water tank, but does not say where the water from the kitchen sink or the shower will go.

Snapinsta.app 439632328 3720483024898569 4580512287607851745 N 1080

All of this comes in a package that weighs 3,500 dry with a 500-pound tongue weight. But, there’s an elephant in the room.

ADVERTISEMENT

It Costs How Much?

So, what does a foam-core trailer with a rubberized steel frame cost? Whatever you think the figure is, the Epik Ranger costs more than that. Are you sitting down? The Adventure Series RV Epik Ranger will set you back $67,200 before options.

There are a lot of cool things going on here from the slides to the clerestory windows. That roof height also means that some of the tallest Autopian members can stand in this thing. However, I’m not sure the build calls for the high price. I’ll give you a couple of examples:

Epik Ranger 08

Let’s start with the frame. Any good mechanic from the rust belt can tell you that rubber undercoating is risky. It works great until it doesn’t. Once something puts a hole in the undercoating, water will get in and rot out the frame – possibly faster than if it had no undercoating at all. Even David opted for an oil-based undercoating when he wanted to slow down the rust on his old Plymouth Valiant.

The next oddity comes with the tires. Kenda Klever tires are great budget off-road tires, but this isn’t a budget trailer. Adventure Series RV couldn’t spring for BFGoodrich K02s for a nearly $70,000 trailer? Maybe I’m being a bit too hard on Adventure Series RV. It seems to be a great trailer, but that is a shocker of a price.

ADVERTISEMENT

If you have the kind of cash this trailer commands, Adventure Series RV says you’ll have to place a $2,500 deposit to kick off your trailer’s build. Then, after a 6 to 12-week wait, you’ll be able to pick your trailer up from one of its three dealers located in Pennsylvania, Idaho, or Texas. If you’re in the center of the country, you could pick it up from Adventure Series RV’s offices in Ohio. Adventure Series RV’s social media pages do suggest that trailers are shipping, so it seems the faults of Overkill may have been fixed.

The Epik Ranger is a pretty neat trailer and something different in the off-road space. This is another one I’d love to test out to see how it stacks up, but that price is still hard to swallow.

(Images: Adventure Series RV, unless otherwise noted.)

Popular Stories

ADVERTISEMENT
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
9 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
26 days ago

The pricing is clearly that of 1.5 trailers as you’re expected to pony up the deposit money for the guy who lost his.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
26 days ago

I remember these guys and how cool the original overkill trailer was, but buying one of these is literally handing over a wad of your cash to someone else so they can get a refund on theirs. These guys need to restructure and clear the bad debt before they offer anything to anyone (including the new builder)

John Beef
John Beef
26 days ago

A friend of mine took an Army surplus trailer, mounted a roof tent on it, configured the rest for storage, and overlands it regularly. He’s also a thrifty/cheap bastard so I know it wasn’t much $$ at all. My point is, there are off road trailer bases readily available for (checks GovPlanet) as little as $200. Start with one of those and get creative. Only some over-rich G-Wagen douchebag would ever splurge for one of these.

Hangover Grenade
Hangover Grenade
26 days ago

Fool me once, shame on thee. Fool me twice, shame on me!

Ben
Ben
26 days ago

Not the first example of Poe Dupin people. You’d have to be stark raven mad to give them your money. 😉

Seems like a decent trailer, but as someone who has no intention of off-roading a camper that’s silly money.

Ferguson, Turd
Ferguson, Turd
26 days ago

I recently completed my own camper build and I can’t believe how much these cost. I kept pretty good records of my spending and I’d estimate I built a camper of similar size with slightly fewer amenities for about $12k in materials. Mine has a simple axle and we don’t have a composting toilet or slideouts, but those certainly wouldn’t add up to the price difference. I also understand the non-materials costs associated with building these, but holy crap.

Davey
Davey
26 days ago

I watch a few 4WD shows (mostly AUS) and they take their Patrols and Land Cruisers on some sweet trails, there’s always a camper being tested in tow and I love how capable they are, and how it can truly transform/ upgrade your weekend compared to sleeping in a (rooftop) tent.

I just can’t understand the prices though. I mean, I can but I can’t justify it. 70 grand buys you another vehicle you can spec out for off-roading, or a nice rooftop tent, or some smaller jacked-up trailer that you can bring your gear in. I guess I’m just too poor to see the value in these.

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
26 days ago

I’m torn. On one hand, this appears to be an excellent design. I absolutely love the Clerestory windows and that it has a bathroom.

But I agree that the price is absolutely wild for what you’re getting. I would’ve expected closer to 40k for this thing.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
26 days ago

Yeah, all the windows are pretty neat. I know wall space is premium storage/shelf/cabinet space, but so many campers out there are like little caves.

9
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x