Dirtbox camper turns Jeep or F-150 into adaptable adventure multitool
A rugged, Aussie-style canopy born in America, the Dirtbox Expedition Series flatbed system is a fast-modding, adaptable adventure box. Using a series of purpose-built accessories, along with a frame made from ultra-versatile L-track, the canopy easily builds the pickup truck up from a toy-and-tool hauler to a full-blown RV with pop-up tent, shower, kitchen and more. It works with the most popular trucks in America, from the midsize-leading Toyota Tacoma to all-out auto sales leaders like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado.
We first stumbled on the name Dirtbox Overland at this year's Overland Expo West show, but we've been familiar with Colorado's Couch Off-Road Engineering for a while.
The company tunes, builds and restores Mercedes-Benz Unimogs into more capable, drivable overland machines complete with improved on- and off-road gearing, more powerful air conditioning and 42-in+ beadlock wheels. These muscled-up Unimogs are definitely show stealers anytime you see one, even if it's just in the parking lot outside the show.
With Dirtbox Overland, Couch offers a solution for off-roaders looking for something smaller and more familiar to take overlanding. And while it was the Couch Unimog that lassoed our attention over to the company's multi-brand Expo booth, it was the Dirtbox that held it there for a good 10 minutes.
Not to be confused with its Canopy system, an all-American camping pop-up topper more like the Go Fast Camper, Dirtbox's Expedition Series combines a flatbed and Aussie-style expedition canopy into a cohesive, adventure-ready system, easily upgradable with accessories.
Buyers can choose a full-length canopy for added lockable security or a half canopy/half bed box option for carrying large gear like a dirt bike or mountain bike. Both options are available for midsize trucks like the Jeep Gladiator, Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger and full-size trucks including the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado and Toyota Tundra.
Along with the flatbed and the canopy size of choice, each Expedition system comes with a 45-L stainless steel water tank mounted up front and loads of storage space. In addition to the canopy with dual-side gullwing hatches on either side, users have access to a lockable under-bed drawer and a series of left and right side lockers. Integrated LED lighting makes it easier to rummage through storage after dark.
A Tellurika aluminum hardshell rooftop tent (RTT) starts the process of transforming the gear-loaded utility truck into a proper overnight-ready RV. The aluminum wedge-style tent stands only 6 inches (15 cm) tall when closed, popping open at camp in about a minute flat to create immediate shelter.
The available kitchen mounts inside the canopy, offering a multi-tier drop-slide design with a level stove surface, collapsible sink basin and slide-out top shelf, all combining into a functional cooking space. The kitchen leaves room for a fridge inside the full-size canopy, and Dirtbox also offers a toolbox for installation inside the canopy.
Other options mount around the Dirtbox frame to further build it into a camper box, including the 270-degree freestanding awning and pack-away shower room. Also available are an adjustable side table and mountable water tank with sprayer.
Dirtbox uses full T5 aluminum construction, keeping base weight down to 900 lb (408 kg), which will obviously rise with accessories added. The midsize model starts at US$17,949, the full-size at $20,299. Accessories vary widely in price – the Tellurika RTT starts at $2,800, the kitchen $1,299, the side-mounted water tank $649 and the bathroom awning $379.
Source: Dirtbox Overland