Outdoors

Fast, light pickup shell creates a low-cost Toyota Tacoma adventure RV

Fast, light pickup shell creat...
Fold the extension hoop out and the Harker EDC provides a light awning overhead
Fold the extension hoop out and the Harker EDC provides a light awning overhead
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The rear hatch door pops off and doubles as a worktop
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The rear hatch door pops off and doubles as a worktop
The Harker EDC is built for midsize trucks such as Toyota Tacomas and Chevy Colorados
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The Harker EDC is built for midsize trucks such as Toyota Tacomas and Chevy Colorados
Use the truck bed for general cargo storage, or turn it into more of a camper
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Use the truck bed for general cargo storage, or turn it into more of a camper
Here's a Tacoma ready for a seriously fun road trip
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Here's a Tacoma ready for a seriously fun road trip
Fold the extension hoop out and the Harker EDC provides a light awning overhead
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Fold the extension hoop out and the Harker EDC provides a light awning overhead
The roof is built for cross bar use, so load up gear and have a multi-sport adventure
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The roof is built for cross bar use, so load up gear and have a multi-sport adventure
Harker Outdoors turns Tacoma into EDC lightweight adventure camper
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Harker Outdoors turns Tacoma into EDC lightweight adventure camper
Shown here at Outside Adventure Expo in Salt Lake City, this Gladiator EDC camper had a nice interior build-out
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Shown here at Outside Adventure Expo in Salt Lake City, this Gladiator EDC camper had a nice interior build-out
The custom-built Gladiator we looked over at Outside Adventure Expo included an impressive bed level with fridge, stove/oven, sink and benches to sit down on
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The custom-built Gladiator we looked over at Outside Adventure Expo included an impressive bed level with fridge, stove/oven, sink and benches to sit down on
Indoor/outdoor pantry
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Indoor/outdoor pantry
Harker EDC Tacoma on show at Ou
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Harker EDC Tacoma on show at Outside Adventure Expo
Plenty of work space
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Plenty of work space
Roof-mounted solar is available as an option
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Roof-mounted solar is available as an option
The Gladiator gone full mullet with the annex zipped in
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The Gladiator gone full mullet with the annex zipped in
Harker EDC Tacoma on show at Outside Adventure Expo 2021
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Harker EDC Tacoma on show at Outside Adventure Expo 2021
The Camp Chef stove/oven looks like a particularly capable cooking solution
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The Camp Chef stove/oven looks like a particularly capable cooking solution
Harker Jeep Gladiator camping rig on show at Outside Adventure Expo 2021
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Harker Jeep Gladiator camping rig on show at Outside Adventure Expo 2021
Annex detached
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Annex detached
Full mullet
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Full mullet
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Utah's Harker Outdoors has an RV alternative that's both affordable and ready to travel and camp at a second's notice. Like a Sahara cap for your truck, the EDC (that's Everyday Camper or Expedition Driven Camper, depending upon whom you ask and when you ask 'em) is a light pickup topper that buyers can use as a simple roof over their heads or customize into an off-road mini-camper. Starting under US$8,000, it skips the prohibitive cost of entry of other RVs.

Pop-up pickup toppers offer one of the quickest, simplest means for turning a pickup truck into a light camper. Their light overall weights make them compatible with midsize pickups like the Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Gladiator, trucks that lack the payload for more traditional pickup campers.

Instead of coming as a fully shelled unit with floor, toppers secure to the truck's bed rails, rolling the pickup bed into their interior design, thereby saving material, weight and price. When closed up, the Harker EDC looks quite similar in style to other wedge-style pickup toppers, such as the AT Overland Summit or Vagabond Drifter. Fully deploy it, though, and you have a larger pop-up tent that dangles down the back of your ride like the party end of a magnificent mullet.

Here's a Tacoma ready for a seriously fun road trip
Here's a Tacoma ready for a seriously fun road trip

Instead of merely flipping up or swinging out to the side, the EDC's locking hatch door above the truck tailgate removes completely and, optionally, attaches to the side of the truck as a worktop. This clears the way for a tent frame extension hoop to pull outward and carry the tent fabric out over the rear of the truck, working as something of a small awning.

For fuller coverage, the annex fabric zips into this upper awning, snaps to the EDC sidewalls and straps to the vehicle chassis for a tight fit. The annex adds extra interior space, incorporating the dropped truck tailgate into the floor of the tent camper. Most other pickup toppers of this kind end at the closed tailgate.

Full mullet
Full mullet

Further adding to the spaciousness of the EDC is an extra-long 58 x 90-in (147 x 229-cm) sleeper platform, which comes in just 2 inches (5 cm) shy of a residential queen's width with 10 added inches (25 cm) of length. That creates enough sleeping length for even NBA-center-sized campers.

On the downside, the annex tent's snap-and-strap closure doesn't appear to create quite the same level of weather- and insect-proof security you'd get with the usual zippered tent fabric and weather-sealed topper walls.

Harker is based in Utah's Wasatch Mountains just north of Salt Lake City and builds its campers up to the task of exploring the rugged high and canyon country around its HQ and environs. That involves an aluminum/alu-composite skin atop a fully welded 2-in tubular steel frame. A 300-lb (136-kg) base weight makes the EDC ideal for midsize trucks, leaving a chunk of payload for carrying passengers and filling or outfitting the bed with kitchen and general camping equipment. The EDC also has aircraft-grade L-track on the sides for mounting gear and comes with a crossbar-ready roof capable of holding 250 lb (113 kg).

Harker EDC Tacoma on show at Ou
Harker EDC Tacoma on show at Outside Adventure Expo

Harker sells the EDC shell for a base price of $7,499, and buyers can add a variety of options, including an electrical package with a 100-Ah deep-cycle AGM battery, 200 watts of roof-integrated solar, a control panel and lighting. The EDC is built to fit short- and long-bed Toyota Tacomas, short-bed Chevy Colorados and GMC Canyons, and Jeep Gladiators. Build time is currently six to eight weeks, according to Harker's website.

Harker also offers custom bed build-outs to create more complete campers. We were quite impressed with the Jeep Gladiator interior it had on display at last weekend's Outside Adventure Expo. The layout included a mini-kitchen with Camp Chef stove/oven, collapsible sink basin with water canister and fridge/freezer, along with a fridge-height bench with integrated under-seat storage chest and pass-through indoor/outdoor pantry. The company told us a similarly equipped package with full electrical would retail for roughly $19,000, not including the base truck.

Shown here at Outside Adventure Expo in Salt Lake City, this Gladiator EDC camper had a nice interior build-out
Shown here at Outside Adventure Expo in Salt Lake City, this Gladiator EDC camper had a nice interior build-out

Harker has a number of tutorials and walkthroughs on its YouTube page, but this three-minute action clip does a nice job of summing up what the EDC is all about.

Harker Outdoors Expedition Driven Campers - The Ultimate Overland Adventure Camper

Source: Harker Outdoors

View gallery - 19 images
2 comments
2 comments
BlueOak
“low-cost Toyota Tacoma”

Haha, good one. You put “low-cost” next to “Tacoma”.
Fairly Reasoner
It's fast, eh?