Ford turns Expedition into a four-person concept adventure camper SUV
Automakers have become quite fond of building overland versions of their trucks and SUVs for shows like Overland Expo and SEMA. Most of the work usually takes place outside the cabin, where they install the mandatory 2-inch suspension lift, throw on some rugged all-terrain tires, and make sure to add on X-Games jewelry like mountain bikes and kayaks. With its new Expedition Timberline Off-Grid concept, Ford opens the doors and adds a sleeper interior to turn its largest SUV into a camper van, complete with added rooftop tent space and a pop-up bathroom tent.
Ford begins with the 2022 Expedition Timberline it introduced a few weeks ago, a model it calls the most capable Expedition ever. Along with F-150 Raptor underbody protection, the standard Timberline gets upgraded with 10.6 inches (27 cm) of ground clearance, to which Ford adds the obligatory 2-inch lift on the Off-Grid concept. That lift comes via Fox Performance Elite 2.5-inch shocks with dual-speed compression adjusters and remote reservoirs. A set of 17-inch wheels touch ground via 35-inch General Grabber all-terrains.
The Off-Grid concept has a set of Thule crossbars behind its 50-inch Rigid LED light bar, but instead of carrying the usual mountain bikes or kayaks, they secure a Thule Tepui rooftop tent to sleep two+ people. That alone is enough to make the Off-Grid concept a functional camper rig, but Ford also provides hard-sided protection inside the Explorer. It combines a set of flat-topped EZ Stak utility drawers with folded rear seats and custom-fit Luno bed extenders to create a level platform for a Luno inflatable double mattress . A set of window shades, a USB fan and a Clarios AGM battery for campsite power complete the overnighter design.
Ford could have made the Expedition a full-functioning RV by adding a portable toilet and shower system to use with the Wild Land pop-up privacy tent and sliding a small stove and sink into one of the EZ Stak drawers. But then how would it ever carry the must-have mountain bikes and kayaks? Instead, Ford pushes cooking duties behind the hitch, securing a color-matched Turtleback Expedition trailer with a slide-out kitchen that includes a dual-burner stove, sink, 159-L fresh water tank, water heater and shower hookup. And of course, you have your mountain bike and kayak ready to launch ... or at least photograph.
Ford debuted the Expedition Timberline Off-Grid over the weekend at the Overland Expo East show, the last in this year's three-show OX series. It will again show the concept at SEMA, which starts on November 2.