Range pickup camper is a Spacekap turned vibrant off-grid retreat
We've long admired the looks of the Spacekap commercial truck canopy, wishing they'd make a camper version. Well, now we have a few options. Earlier this year, we looked at the work Ohio's Grumpy Bear Campers is doing with the Spacecap Diablo fiberglass mini-alcove service body, and now the always-innovating Wilderness Vans has its own take. Wilderness focuses in on giving the Diablo serious off-grid overlanding chops ... with a paint scheme to match.
Wilderness decided the easiest way to make a simpler removable truck camper to complement its larger camper truck lineup was to start with a tough, tried-and-true commercial service body, much the way it might convert a tough, tried-and-true commercial van. The base Spacekap Diablo brings gelcoat-finished fiberglass construction built for the daily wear and tear of hard industrial use – not a bad foundation for a truck camper.
So far, Wilderness isn't even messing around with the smaller 6.5-foot (198-cm) Diablo model, going straight for the added space of the 8-footer (243-cm). This gives the company room to stretch its R1 floor plan out into a comfy three-sleeper with dedicated areas for cooking, dining and sleeping and a surprising amount of interior storage.
As we've seen with both Grumpy Bear's and Loki's Diablo-based interior layouts, a critical component to make it all work is a pull-out bed expansion that turns the small storage alcove into a full-length double bed without impeding upon usable space during the day. You won't get the headroom of a pop-top area bed here, but you will enjoy the snug protection of hard walls meeting hard roof.
The small dinette on the enterer's left of the Range converts over into a single bed to sleep a third person. We're not sure we'd want to go full-time living as a trio in that small space, but it's probably perfect for a set of grandparents taking a grandchild on a camping trip or something similar. The Range R1 doesn't have anything like the outdoor 1/2 bath Grumpy Bear has rigged up, but it does offer space for a portable toilet below the dining bench.
The kitchen area across from the dinette includes a diesel dual-burner stove, sink, extendable worktop and 76.5-L Norcold fridge. There are also cabinets, shelves and drawers.
As much as we've always liked the gloss white look of the basic Spacekap Diablo (and of Grumpy Bear's angry ursid-stamped version), Wilderness takes things to the next level with its color choice of paint slapped on the UV-resistant SK gelcoat. The buyer will ultimately choose their own color, and can even match it to their truck, but Wilderness' black show model with bright-yellow mountain graphics looks pretty great to us, particularly compared against the massive market of white pickup campers with uninspired, generic RV-industry graphics.
On the other hand, we're not so sure about letting that bright yellow seep into and take over the entire interior.
Wilderness makes sure that its Spacekap doesn't feel like a dark, stuffy industrial work unit, cutting out a window on each side to go with the skylights and MaxxAir fan up top. A diesel air heater shores up the camper's fully insulated four-season capabilities. An Ecoflow Independence power system with 200 watts of solar charging takes care of electrical needs.
The Range R1 pictured is currently listed for sale on Wilderness Vans' website for a price of CA$56,200 (approx. US$42,000). Wilderness also offers new builds starting at CA$52,400 ($39,125). In addition to the R1 floor plan, it offers a four-sleeper R2 floor plan with a larger dinette directly below the alcove bed that converts into a double bed. The smaller kitchen area gets pushed back toward the 60/40 doors. All Range models are designed for 3/4-ton trucks with 8-ft beds, tailgates removed.
Source: Wilderness Vans