To celebrate the final model year of the JK-model Jeep Wrangler, AEV Conversions created a fitting tribute: a custom overlanding camper.
For starters, 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. This created underneath space for a spare tire and for additional space in the camper.
Next, a steel “birdcage” was engineered to help support the weight of the fibreglass camper. For the camper’s structure, the team chose a semi-monocoque configuration combining the steel birdcage and marine-style honeycomb fibreglass/polypropylene construction. The ’glass panels were CNC-cut at AEV and bonded to the steel. This yields the best combination of strength, light-weighting, and insulation.
One the most innovative features is the slide-out National Luna 50L Twin Weekender refrigerator/freezer, which is mounted over a stove.
On-board water is handled by a22-gallon fresh tank and a 4-gallon marine water heater, which draws from the main tank and is heated by engine coolant via a thermostatic mixing valve. The Outpost II’s 80-inch-long couch doubles as a bed.
It hides the water tank, water heater, an Espar petrol central heater, an ARB dual-tank air compressor, and a 12-volt water pump. DC camper power is stored in two Optima Blue Top deep-cycle marine batteries, controlled by a National Luna Dual Battery Kit to charge or isolate the starting battery depending on need.
Thin-gauge steel was chosen for electrically actuated roof, and AEV secured it with custom hinges modelled 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.
The camper and its amenities increase overall vehicle weight by about 750 pounds. To support the extra heft while also increasing ground clearance, AEV used its off-the-shelf 4.5-inch JK DualSport suspension system with optional High Capacity Springs. A custom rear sway-bar was manufactured to control weight transfer during cornering.
More power was also added to compensate for the extra weight with the install of a 5.7L V8. The Hemi breathes through an off-the-shelf AEV snorkel with prefilter and Hemi airbox. The engine was mated to the factory Jeep A580 automatic transmission, which AEV recalibrated for compatibility with the larger engine. The transfer case is the stock Jeep Rubicon NVG241OR model.
The US specialist also upgraded the axles. A Dynatrac ProRock 44 front unit and ProRock 60 rear axle were selected. Both have lockers and the Dynatrac big-brake kit. The axles are capped by innovative 17-inch AEV Borah DualSport wheels. They feature modular engineering and can be run either as a traditional wheel or as a true beadlock. Tires are 37×12.50R17 BFGoodrich KM3 Mud-Terrains.
Unfortunately, AEV currently has no plans to produce the Outpost II for customers — the concept vehicle currently serves as AEV’s manager Dave Harriton’s mobile office.