Reed Gerdes tried RVs, Sprinter vans, and schoolies — and wasn’t satisfied with any of them. So he converted a Hummer H1 into a luxurious campervan that can go anywhere.
A Colorado man has converted and upgraded the original Hummer design into a burly overlander. In a YouTube walkaround, Reed Gerdes says he named his creation “The Patton” after his father’s favorite U.S. Army general.
Shortly, the concept took off into an available build from his company, Wolf Rigs.
The vehicle combines two of Gerdes’, and most overlanders’, most important goals: he wanted the ability to take the vehicle anywhere while still having all the comforts of a luxury conversion.
He took the original Hummer, with its military-grade design, and made several updates. They include a brand-new Humvee drivetrain, a lightweight aluminum camper frame and shell, and 16-inch ground clearance.
“What I’ve done is build something [capable] that has some comfort to it,” Gerdes said. “There’s nothing on the market like it … It’s like a go-kart for adults.”
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Unimpressed With the Options
The most important accomplishment in Gerdes’ life has been his marriage and children, he said via YouTube. But building The Patton comes in at number two.
Once his children left the house, Gerdes and his wife wanted to travel the country. He looked at RVs but felt they were poorly built. He then considered schoolies, even buying a Bluebird and halfway converting it. Then his wife said, “I’m not living in an effing school bus.”
Then, Gerdes checked out Sprinter vans in Moab, Utah. He felt surprised by “how little they can do” in terms of going off road.
“I have more clearance in my 40-foot Bluebird All-American than a lot of the Sprinter vans did,” he said.
Then he got the idea from van life YouTuber Jax Austin to create an overland vehicle from a Hummer chassis. Gerdes thought it was “the most amazing idea ever.”
The Hummer H1 Patton’s Features
Gerdes started with the H1, the original Hummer used by the U.S. military since the mid-1980s. He then added a large aluminum camper shell with more space than a Sprinter van.
The interior includes a cooking area, an L-shaped lounge area, and a “residential-size” shower. It also has a hideaway toilet. The lounge can accommodate one to two people for sleeping, and there’s a queen-size bed above the front seats.
Gerdes also switched the H1’s standard V8 engine for a 3.9L Cummins inline-six and connected an Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission. According to Gerdes, The Patton will get 12 mpg in the city and up to 18 mpg on the highway. That’s compared to the 10mpg average of the last generation of H1s.
The Patton is available through Wolf Rigs, where interested buyers can request one with a 4- to 6-month lead time. The website doesn’t attach a price tag to this beast, but it’s likely a hefty one.