Isuzu drops light, versatile Arctic Basecamp camper truck
Just moments after the deep parade of camperized pickups and large trucks ended at Overland Expo West 2022, an equally compelling pickup made its debut across the Atlantic. Isuzu UK used this year's Commercial Vehicle Show to introduce the fully ruggedized D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 Basecamp, a highly maneuverable light camper pickup ready to bushwhack through dense forest and burrow through canyons that would stop larger trucks and motorhomes in their tracks. The build features some of the latest vehicle-camping equipment, including ARB's folding knife-style expanding kitchen and the iKamper Skycamp 3.0 rooftop tent.
Europe may dominate in smart, luxurious camper van designs, but pickup campers tend to be more the domain of the US, where scores of full-size campers, lightweight toppers, bed rack systems and compatible accessories give overland adventurers the ability to custom-build a truck camper to their very specific demands. So, after seeing hundreds of American-built Toyota Tacoma, Jeep Gladiator and Ford Ranger adventure trucks over the years, it's fun to see a SEMA-style show build on a burly off-road truck that isn't available in the States.
Launched earlier this month, the latest D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 pickup was developed in collaboration with Arctic Trucks, the Icelandic innovator of polar-ready and off-road trucks that now operates from four locations in the Middle East, Norway, the UK and Iceland. The D-Max AT35 gains a host of off-road upgrades, including the namesake 35-in all-terrain tires, an overhauled Bilstein suspension with 2-in (50-mm) lift, wheel arch extensions and AT side steps.
To transform D-Max AT35 into "Basecamp," Isuzu UK hand-selects some of the more innovative equipment and accessories on the market. It starts with a black aluminum Gearmate hard canopy that covers the bed and sits at roughly the same height as the driver's cab. Crossbars atop that canopy serve as a foundation for the iKamper Skycamp 3.0, the latest version of the popular hardshell tent that folds out to provide sleeping space for up to four people.
Inside the gull winged canopy, Isuzu fills the AT35 bed out with an ARB Outback Solutions drawer system with carpeted top. The right side of the dual-drawer setup is dedicated to the ARB Slide Kitchen, a particularly large, functional slide-out kitchen. The unit slides and swivels to create an L-shaped cooking space with triple-burner gas stove, collapsible sink basin, extra-large worktop and utensil storage. An ARB box fridge atop the left side of the drawer system completes the tailgate-cooking kit.
Isuzu turns to ARB once again in topping the driver cab with the company's modular Base roof rack, a highly versatile rack designed for quick-clamping compatible accessories on both its flat top bars and the rails of the frame. Isuzu takes advantage of the design by securing a front light bar, LPG tank, recovery boards, and water and fuel canisters.
"With the recent launch of the new Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35, we wanted to display a special vehicle at the CV Show that represented what this new model is all about," says Brian Wheeler, Isuzu UK's PR and product manager. "Built to conquer all types of landscapes and be a true adventure vehicle, Basecamp demonstrates the aspirational nature of the AT35 and really does embrace everything you need, including the kitchen sink."
The Basecamp is merely a show truck, but it makes clear how a few well-placed accessories can turn the D-Max AT35 into a capable overland camping rig. The D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 pickup is available now at UK Isuzu dealerships for a starting price of £47,999 (approx. US$60,375).
Source: Isuzu UK