Heck, it could also be your home away from home.
The outgoing JK generation Jeep Wrangler wasn’t perfect, but it was the first Wrangler that made a real effort to be a daily driver. Still rugged but not quite as Spartan as its predecessors with just enough modernity and features. Because of this, aftermarket modification firms such as Montana-based American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) found the JK Wrangler to be an excellent base vehicle for all sorts of creative projects.
To commemorate the JK with a proper send-off, AEV has built the Outpost II, a fully customized, self-contained overlanding camper with 600 hand-made parts. Starting off with a stock Wrangler Unlimited, AEV converted it to a cab/chassis configuration.
The stock body was sliced off from behind the front seats and tossed aside. The wheelbase remained factory spec, but the frame was stretched aft of the rear axle, creating space for a spare tire and additional room in the camper itself. To provide support for the fiberglass camper, a steel “birdcage” was constructed. The Jeep’s structure is a semi-monocoque configuration that combines the steel birdcage and a marine-style honeycomb fiberglass/polypropylene construction. The glass panels were then bonded to the steel. But for any Outpost vehicle to be worth its name, it must have the proper interior amenities.
Inside is a refrigerator and freezer mounted over an oven, a 22-gallon fresh water tank and a 4-gallon marine water heater that draws from the main tank but is heated by engine coolant. The 80-inch long couch also doubles as a bed. But if you flip up the bed/couch, you’ll find additional storage space for items like a dual-tank air compressor, water pump, and water heater. All told, the camper and its amenities increase vehicle weight by around 750 pounds, which is supported by a beefier suspension system, springs, and custom-built sway bar.
Under the hood lies the familiar 5.7-liter Hemi V8, an engine powerful enough to move the 6,340-pound (not including the fresh water) camper.
“This project was a personal labor of love,” says AEV CEO/lead designer Dave Harriton. “The JK Wrangler was really the first ‘everyday’ Jeep, and it has been an incredibly popular platform for AEV. We decided to create the Outpost II weekend camper to celebrate the end of a significant era in Jeep history. It’s a full-circle concept: We did our first Outpost with a pop-up tent for the JK’s first model year in 2006.”
Unfortunately, AEV has no plans to put the Outpost II into production, so the one-off shown in these photos serves as Harriton’s mobile office. We could think of worse places to work.