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Ready to Overland in Your Electric Truck? EarthCruiser Is Developing the Answer

EarthCruiser is best known for integrated overland camper systems, mostly on the FUSO chassis but recently also on full-size trucks. They have now announced a slide-in truck camper specifically designed to work well with EV pickups.

EarthCruiser electric truck camper(Photo/EarthCruiser)
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Sure, if a truck camper will fit dimensionally into whatever electric pickup you have, and weighs in at below the payload of the truck, it will work. But, most traditional slide-in truck campers are quite heavy, not all that aerodynamic, and use a wide range of fuel sources for onboard systems. This combo is not optimal for electric trucks.

The slide-in truck camper that EarthCruiser is currently working on aims to address these issues, and better integrate with the wide range of electric trucks hitting the market. The company has been working on this project for over 2 years, has a number of prototypes being evaluated, and is already working with some auto manufacturers to best integrate the camper with the latest electric trucks.

“We have been keenly following the evolution of EV vehicles and have been waiting until the time is right and the time is now. We are a company that loves to discover, innovate, and test, over and over until we get it right. Our deep expertise in building world-renowned expedition vehicles makes it easier for us to roll into electric platforms compared to competitors,” said Lance Gillies, founder of EarthCruiser.

EarthCruiser Slide-In Truck Camper

EarthCruiser GZLMOD slide-in truck camper
EarthCruiser GZLMOD slide-in truck camper at Overland Expo 2018; (photo/Bryon Dorr)

EarthCruiser showed off its GZL European-style composite slide-in truck camper about 5 years ago now, but the product never went into full production. Due to a number of factors, like the pandemic and the FUSO 4×4 being taken off the market, the company had to redirect its focus back to its core products. But, this latest venture into EV campers is a resurrection of the lessons learned through the GZL.

The GZL camper is being fully renovated to best work in electric pickups. While specifics are thin, the main gist is that the camper will be aerodynamically efficient, lightweight, and running fully on its own electricity. This combo of features will help retain the best possible range of the electric truck. Less range anxiety equals more fun overland adventures.

From the renderings shown so far, we can see that it will be a full-pop expanding roof design, which should offer tons of comfortable living space with a small aerodynamic footprint. We can also see that built-in solar panels on many surfaces of the camper will help charge up the camper’s electrical systems.

EarthCruiser electric truck camper

“There are many similarities with our current EarthCruiser habitat and one that would be required to function with an electric platform. It’s critical to maximize efficiency in order to allow vehicles to go further. Managing limited storable on-board energy capacity, operating within acceptable range envelope, and staying safe and comfortable is the essence of an overlanding vehicle and we have been doing that for years. EarthCruiser is extremely good at energy efficiency and the amount of energy required to move an EC down a road is significantly less than our competitors,” added Lance Gillies.

Working With OEMs

While EarthCruiser could probably design and build these new electric truck optimized slide-in campers themselves, they say they’ve been collaborating directly with “key domestic automotive manufacturers” on this project.

The renders supplied so far strongly hint at Rivian being the main collaborator on this project. We’ll have to wait and see, but reading between the lines of information discussed with us leads us to believe Rivian is actually not EarthCruiser’s main partner on this project.

Make Your Electric Truck Preferences Heard

You can now place a fully refundable $100 deposit for an EarthCruiser EV Camper.

A key part of the deposit form is the question of which truck you plan to mount your camper. This is important market research for EarthCruiser to figure out which electric trucks are going to attract the most overland travelers.

Not Another Vaporwear Camper

While this whole thing might sound like another vaporware deposit scheme, EarthCruiser is a well-established company with a proven track record of bringing impressive overland camper systems to market.

We spoke at length with both the company’s founder and its head of marketing and were assured that a few prototypes already exist. Not only that, but there will be also a big announcement “in the next few months” in partnership with a big auto manufacturer. And, production campers are expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.

Electric trucks are the future of overland/RV travel. It’s great to see a top player in the overland camper space recognizing this and poised to bring to market campers that will integrate properly with this new crop of overland vehicle platforms.

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