To celebrate the final model year of the JK-model Jeep Wrangler, AEV created a custom, self-contained overlanding camper.
“The JK Wrangler was really the first ‘everyday’ Jeep, and it has been an incredibly popular platform for AEV,” said Dave Harriton, founder and CEO of 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.”
A JK Wrangler Unlimited was converted to a cab/chassis configuration: the stock body was cut behind the front seats and discarded. The wheelbase was left at factory spec, but the frame was extended aft of the rear axle (following the formula AEV used with its Brute DoubleCab JK pickup conversions). This created underneath space for a spare tire and for additional space in the camper, the manufacturer stated.
Next, a steel “birdcage” was engineered to help support the weight of the fiberglass camper. For the camper’s structure, Harriton chose a semi-monocoque configuration combining the steel birdcage and marine-style honeycomb fiberglass/ polypropylene construction. The ’glass panels were CNC-cut at AEV and bonded to the steel.
The custom camper also features a slide-out National Luna 50-liter Twin Weekender refrigerator/freezer, which is mounted above a stove. Thin-gauge steel was chosen for roof durability, and AEV secured it with custom hinges modeled after the factory Jeep hood units. A flexible eNow 265-watt solar panel was recessed into the roof. It provides power for both “house” accessories and engine starting if necessary.
Harriton designed the roof angle for optimal charging in northern latitudes from Montana to Alaska: Parking the Outpost II facing west maximizes solar energy collection.
The AEV Outpost II camper concept used 600 handmade parts.