SuperTourer composite truck camper looks to outmaneuver adventure vans
Truck campers and camper vans are currently two of the hottest categories in US RVing. RVIA sales numbers show them as the only two RV segments to buck an otherwise industry-wide 2022 sales drop, with camper van sales increasing 23% year over year and truck campers enjoying a 16% increase. California's Enduro Campers is looking to capitalize on that popularity with a pop-top truck camper it's pitting against the off-road adventure camper van market. The SuperTourer camper uses ultralight composite construction to allow the base truck's true rugged, off-road-savvy nature to shine through, serving as a cozy shelter when the dust has cleared.
We first stumbled upon Enduro last year, when it was busy building and testing impressive composite pickup camping toppers much lighter and more compact than the SuperTourer. We saved the company's info for a possible story down the line, and by the time we circled back this year, the toppers had disappeared entirely, leaving the focus on the even more impressive SuperTourer. Turns out, the older, simpler toppers were largely test mules for the chassis-mounted SuperTourer, helping Enduro dial in its fiberglass-sandwich construction.
Ruggedized Sprinter and Transit camper vans have become the face of the great American off-road trip and gear-loaded backcountry adventure, but not everyone buys into the idea that a high-roofed all-wheel-drive unibody van is the best platform for off-road expeditions. Enduro believes its lightweight construction, combined with leading pickup trucks' inherent 4WD off-road capability, will ultimately allow its camper to excel where adventure vans stumble. And it's working to keep the price of its camper plus buyer-supplied base truck in the lower tier of the off-road camper van ballpark, a hundred thousand or so less than a full-blown heavy-duty expedition truck.
Enduro believes composite sandwich panels to be the best way of creating a durable, lightweight and properly insulated off-road camper module. It bonds thin fiberglass sheets to a structural foam core using a 2,000-PSI two-party epoxy. The resulting foam-core panels are then jointed together with high-strength adhesives to build out the load-bearing camper shell. Aluminum extrusions around the edges increase structural integrity and protect the bonded edges, while a carbon fiber structural skin reinforces the alcove area.
Enduro touts the SuperTourer's strength-to-weight as superior to more common aluminum or molded fiberglass constructions and makes clear its campers are built for holding up to lifetime of all-out off-road use and abuse. It fortifies the camper floor against the vibrations, flexing and thuds that come along with such use by putting an internal aluminum frame inside its epoxy-bonded GFRP sandwich and adding in an extra layer of marine-grade fiberglass under the upper skin.
At 600 lb (272 kg) to start, the empty SuperTourer shell is lighter than many slide-in pickup bed campers and technically light enough for a midsize truck. That compatibility gets murkier once the buyer starts filling out the interior with furniture and equipment, Enduro estimating a fully equipped SuperTourer at between 1,000 and 1,400 pounds (454 and 635 kg), depending on specific options. Those weights are before deleting the weight of the removed pickup bed, but they still threaten to quickly overload a midsize truck after accounting for the other gear and passengers on board.
So Enduro is focusing solely on the full-size pickup market at the moment, fitting the SuperTourer to a trio of truck options with 6.5-foot (198-cm) beds: the 2022+ Toyota Tundra, 2015+ Ford F-150/250/350, and 2019+ Ram 2500/3500. It can mount the camper directly to the truck frame with isolation bushings or to a flatbed. The camper measures 162 in (411 cm) from the front of the alcove to the rear wall, with the main body taking up 101 in (257 cm) of that length.
Enduro offers a long list of options to bring the empty US$32,975 shell up to fully equipped $85,000 off-grid motorhome form. The basic four-season-ready shell comes with a spacious 80 x 68-in (203 x 173-cm) alcove sleeping platform, and Endurance can supply a premium mattress. The available kitchen stretches the length of the rear wall and includes an induction cooktop, sink fed by 98-L water tank, and 130-L Isotherm fridge. The highly flexible Lagun table works with the sofa bench just below the alcove to create a space for dining, games and laptop work. Available electrical options include up to 600 Ah of lithium power, a 2,000-W inverter, a 230-W solar charging system, and a Redarc power management system.
Other available features include several air and water heater options, an outdoor shower, an awning, LED lighting, an integrated backup cam, and a dry-flush or composting toilet. Onboard storage options include a full-width exterior pass-through cabinet, exterior storage boxes, rear MOLLE mounting panels and Rotopax canister mounts.
Enduro hopes that the SuperTourer will appeal to buyers considering the likes of a Winnebago Revel or Jayco Terrain. It figures $85K for a fully equipped camper plus $65K for a nicely optioned pickup truck and one has an extremely capable off-road camper rig for around $150,000. What it lacks in terms of full camper van space and amenities (particularly an indoor wet bathroom), it promises to make up for in rugged, versatile trail capability that lets it explore deeper than a van can go.
Enduro plans to eventually offer turn-key trucks, but for now buyers supply their own truck and bring it to the company's San Luis Obispo, CA facility for camper fitment.
Source: Enduro Campers