Outdoors

Fiftyten makes Jeep Gladiator a go-anywhere modular adventure camper

Fiftyten makes Jeep Gladiator...
Buyers can leave the "Box" canopy simple and empty or commission Goose Gear to fill it out with modular furniture
Buyers can leave the "Box" canopy simple and empty or commission Goose Gear to fill it out with modular furniture
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After its debut last year, the Jeep Gladiator is poised to become a popular overland camper
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After its debut last year, the Jeep Gladiator is poised to become a popular overland camper
The flat bed offers storage drawers and tie-downs
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The flat bed offers storage drawers and tie-downs
Fiftyten now offers its modular three-part camper system on the Jeep Gladiator, sold through Goose Gear
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Fiftyten now offers its modular three-part camper system on the Jeep Gladiator, sold through Goose Gear
Pop the canopy and roof-top tent off, and you have a flat-bed Jeep pickup
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Pop the canopy and roof-top tent off, and you have a flat-bed Jeep pickup
The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is an exceptionally capable off-road vehicle, making an obvious choice for an overland adventure camper
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The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is an exceptionally capable off-road vehicle, making an obvious choice for an overland adventure camper
Buyers can leave the "Box" canopy simple and empty or commission Goose Gear to fill it out with modular furniture
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Buyers can leave the "Box" canopy simple and empty or commission Goose Gear to fill it out with modular furniture
The Fiftyten Gladiator will make its debut at Overland Expo East 2019
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The Fiftyten Gladiator will make its debut at Overland Expo East 2019
Goose Gear/Fiftyten showed the Full Size kit in May at Overland Expo West and will be showing it again alongside the Gladiator at this week's Overland Expo East
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Goose Gear/Fiftyten showed the Full Size kit in May at Overland Expo West and will be showing it again alongside the Gladiator at this week's Overland Expo East
The larger size of the full-size truck adds extra room for a spare tire cabinet
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The larger size of the full-size truck adds extra room for a spare tire cabinet
The full-size pickup is king in the US auto market, so it's no surprise Goose Gear and Fiftyten started there
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The full-size pickup is king in the US auto market, so it's no surprise Goose Gear and Fiftyten started there
Goose Gear can outfit Fiftyten cabins with custom furniture layouts
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Goose Gear can outfit Fiftyten cabins with custom furniture layouts
The Goose Gear storage shelf organizes the Fiftyten interior
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The Goose Gear storage shelf organizes the Fiftyten interior
Goose Gear creates a simple, functional interior in the Fiftyten Full Size camping system
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Goose Gear creates a simple, functional interior in the Fiftyten Full Size camping system
Indoor/outdoor-access under
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Indoor/outdoor-access under-bench storage
A small sink area
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A small sink area
Goose Gear and Fiftyten get ready to launch the Mid Size camping system
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Goose Gear and Fiftyten get ready to launch the Mid Size camping system

Ruggedized, tent-topped Jeep Wranglers have long been a staple of Overland Expo, so when the Jeep Gladiator debuted last year, it was obvious it'd only be a matter of time before another style of Rubicon-grade Jeep camper started showing up — without any need to chop the back off the cabin or add extra chassis length. Fiftyten becomes one of the first to drop a camper on the back of Jeep's pickup, replacing the stock bed with a rugged tray and bolting on a versatile storage/living canopy and fast-popping hardshell tent. The German company creates a modular camper and utility truck for journeys of every style, size and destination.

We first looked at Fiftyten's modular overland truck topper system after it snagged a BrandNew Award at ISPO 2018. The kit breaks the pickup camper down into building blocks that secure together to create a light, versatile living/storage area.

It all starts with Fiftyten's "Tray," the flat bed that serves as the stout foundation of the system and brings along aircraft tie-downs and under-bed storage drawers. Above that, the meat of the sandwich is the cavernous, gull-winged "Box" canopy that can serve purely for utility, hauling tools and equipment, or as the heart of a camper. The topper "Tent" completes the camper trio, adding sleeping space for two on a Froli spring mattress that lifts away to create standing room inside the canopy.

Pop the canopy and roof-top tent off, and you have a flat-bed Jeep pickup
Pop the canopy and roof-top tent off, and you have a flat-bed Jeep pickup

Fiftyten initially designed its system around European mid-size pickups like the Volkswagen Amarok and Toyota Hilux, but it's been working on bringing it to the US, which involves adapting it to trucks actually sold on American soil. At Overland Expo West earlier this year, it showed the Full Size system designed around America's most popular breed of vehicle, the full-size pickup truck, and now it's launching the Mid Size kit atop the Jeep Gladiator.

The Mid Size setup looks similar to the European kit, but it's marketed solely as a camper system and none of the info, specs or photos that accompany it suggest the roof-top tent is removable. If, in fact, the tent is permanently affixed, it would cut into the system's versatility a bit, but it would also simplify the design without eliminating the possibility of using the canopy for tool/gear storage rather than living space.

For those that want to go full-on truck camper, Fiftyten's first American distributor, overland camper interior storage and sleep system specialist Goose Gear, can get it done. Dipping into the California company's new customizable S-Series line of camper modules, Fiftyten buyers can fill out the interior of the Box canopy to create a more fully equipped camper cabin.

The modules, which are also available for vans and other truck-back campers, piece together to create functional camper floor plans and are built specifically for rough, rowdy overland travel.

Goose Gear creates a simple, functional interior in the Fiftyten Full Size camping system
Goose Gear creates a simple, functional interior in the Fiftyten Full Size camping system

The Fiftyten Gladiator pictured still has an empty canopy, but Goose Gear has fitted out the Ford F-Series-mounted Full Size camper since its May appearance at OX West. The design shows a simple but cozy layout with dual benches, under-seat storage, a worktop, a small corner sink and a fridge/freezer.

We admire Fiftyten's multifunctional approach, but it also comes with some sticker shock. The Mid Size system debuting on the Gladiator is listed at US$32,880, and that's before any S-Series interior outfitting. That seems like a lot of coin for an empty camper shell with canvas-sided roof-top tent, and we just can't fathom spending it when the market has been so busy spitting out light, affordable pick-up pop-tops like the Snap Treehouse and Leentu Sunzal. If we were leaping up into the $30s, we'd want a fully equipped pickup camper.

But trays aren't cheap, and the explosion of the American overland market has created many different buyer profiles with very specific needs, ideas and budgets. What seems overpriced to us may just be a glove-like fit at a feasible price point for others.

Fiftyten now offers its modular three-part camper system on the Jeep Gladiator, sold through Goose Gear
Fiftyten now offers its modular three-part camper system on the Jeep Gladiator, sold through Goose Gear

The Fiftyten Gladiator will debut at Overland Expo East 2019, which starts on Friday. The show moves this year to Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia.

Sources: Fiftyten, Goose Gear via Motor1

1 comment
guzmanchinky
That gladiator (especially the Rubicon) can go anywhere. And now when you get there (with the rood panels off and the windows down, naturally) you can camp. This is the best idea I've seen in a long time.