“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.”
– Jack Kerouac
The All Terrain Camper, our adventure mobile. We spent a few years trying to decide on the best lightweight cab over camper to go with our Tacoma, and this is what we came up with. We already had the 2012 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport with a 3″ Toytec lift and, researching campers, we realized the relatively low payload capacity of Tacomas and that we needed to stay light-weight.
Knowing that one of our primary uses would be for backcountry skiing; we really didn’t want the camper to compromise how the truck drove in the snow. There are certainly bigger or fancier campers out there, but this RV excels in its particular niche. It is made for rugged off-roading; it maximizes space on a smaller truck and it is lightweight enough that we can do everything the truck could before it was on top. Built with a lower center of gravity with driving performance in mind, so far we haven’t encountered anything it can’t handle.
We did beef up the rear suspension a bit with an additional leaf-spring as well as Firestone Airbags to handle all the additional weight. The truck had felt a little boggy prior to the upgrades, but tightened up nicely afterwards.
The ATC Bobcat is made with a welded aluminum frame, built with strength in mind for lightweight off-roading. Most RV’s are put together with staples and particle board; but this thing is built to stand up to some abuse.
The Bobcat model is made for smaller trucks with 6 foot beds like the Ford Ranger, Chevy S-10 or Toyota Tacoma. The Bobcat model does come with a 15-gallon fresh water tank, 5-gallon propane tank, propane heater with automatic thermostat and a dedicated battery that charges off of the trucks alternator (it is separated to prevent draining the truck battery). We had an electric pump put into the sink, a 2-way fridge (that can run off of battery power or propane) and a solar panel installed on the roof. The guys at ATC graciously mounted the ARB awning we purchased on the passenger side.
We had some custom bike racks by Yakima installed on the back of the camper. As well as Yakima tracks on the roof for the option of adding towers, bars and a rocket box for ski carrying. The ATC guys warned me about he weight of the roof with any added gear in a box on top; and while I haven’t put any gear up top yet, just an inch or two of snow and that roof gets quite a bit heavier to push up!
We have focused our campers use on winter camping. We bought the Cold Weather Pack which is insulation that velcros up on the pop-up portion of the interior. There was a few month back-order on the Cold Weather Pack and while waiting I fabricated my own with some fleece, velcro and a hot glue gun from Wal-Mart. We now use both layers of insulation in both the summer and winter to keep the camper temperature moderated. While we still are relatively inefficiently insulated in the cold of winter – it works and we can go about 4-5 days in sub-zero temps with the heater going full-time before needing to refill the 5 gallon propane tank (as I write this I realize that our experience with the consistent cold was before all the insulation was in place… we might be doing much better now).
All Terrain Camper Cab-Over – Bobcat Model
- Ice box (not with fridge)
- Hand pump on sink
- Propane Cooking Stove
- Battery & Water Tank Monitor panel
- 12 volt outlet
- Inside and Outside LED lights
- LED Running and Brake lights
- Large passenger side window
- Front/cab sliding window with screen
- Screen Door
- Fire Extinguisher
- Overhead storage
- 5-gallon propane tank
- 15-gallon water tank
- Drawer in cabinet
- Roof vent
- Storage space in the cabinet and under the couch.
- Propane Furnace – 16,000 BTU and thermostat
- 2-Way Propane/12v Fridge
- Solar Panel – 100 watt with controller
- Additional Roof Vent with Fantastic Fan, 3-speed reversible
- Electric Water Pump
- 110 Volt System (when plugged into shore power – which is never…)
- Cold Weather Pack (insulation liner) – and we made another over liner-fleece liner
- Roof Lifting Hydraulic Struts
- Yakima Tracks on roof
- Yakima Bike Fork-Mounts on rear
- LED flood lights in rear
- Rear Wall Steps
- ARB Awning mounted on passenger side
- Wiring and external plug for 2nd solar panel
- Mechanical jacks with brackets
The bed on the Bobcat model slides out with two additional mattresses that fit into the gap making for a huge sleeping area in a north-south fashion. We have actually come to just leaving the additional pads at home and can sleep with enough room in the east-west direction. I am 6′ tall and I don’t think it would work if I was 6’1″ – it’s a tight squeeze but we have more room in general not hauling around mattress pads.
One of the biggest challenges with winter camping is the condensation factor. We have worked to find the balance between the cranking propane heater, then the drafty cold if we over ventilate to minimize condensation build up within.
All in all this camper has treated us wonderfully. From just a place to sleep after concerts, to Mendocino Coastal 4×4 roads, to mountain passes of British Columbia, this rig can handle it all.
The guys at the ATC factory in North Sacramento, California are top-notch as well. They have been tremendously patient and accommodating with many questions and some trouble-shooting along the way. Check out their website: All Terrain Campers
Wander the West – a great site to learn about 4×4 overland camping and find used campers
Expeditions Portal – another great site for 4×4 information and great photos
All Terrain Campers – Sacramento, California
Pretty sweet rig. I’m been considering getting a mini-trailer. They seem to becoming more of a thing since some can be towed with just a Subaru.
Love it! Now that is Gear Guys style!
Thanks, lots of good info, I’m just getting started looking and this was an AWESOME preview, Have a BEAUTIFUL day, Robert from Santa Fe, NM
Excellent choice on a camper and a great job on making it suit your needs. Keep getting out there!
Did you all have any problems with the water freezing in the water tank or line to the sink?
Yeah, we did. Ended up ripping out the water tank and pump to make room for a compartment that fit our blue water jug.