Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Jeep Wrangler JK-based Campers

The latest of several Jeep Wrangler JK campers

The Jeep Wrangler JK is nothing if not versatile.  What other vehicle can serve as a comfortable daily driver and successfully traverse the Rubicon Trail right out of the box?  There are countless companies that have found ways to further extend the capabilities of the JK platform, but perhaps the most imaginative are those that convert it into a miniature RV.

Rooftop tents like the ARB Simpson III have been gaining popularity over the last decade and there are many companies offering them today.  They are relatively quick and easy to remove and reasonably affordable, but they do not provide room to stand up inside or store much gear since they're little more than a double mattress with a fabric cover.

ARB Simpson III rooftop tent
AutoHome's hard-shell rooftop tent
The EarthRoamer XV-JP was the first cabover camper style semi-permanent setup for the Jeep Wrangler.  It was a hardtop-replacement unit with a giant fold-open rooftop tent with standing room, a small bench seat, a sink, a toilet, and other conveniences.  Sadly, the manufacturer discontinued development and sales.

EarthRoamer XV-JP

Thankfully, Ursa Minor Vehicles (J30 & J180) and Adventure Trailers (JK Habitat) have teamed up to offer a much less expensive, lower profile, and lighter weight hardtop-replacement camper option.

Ursa Minor J30
Ursa Minor J180
Adventure Trailers JK Habitat
If this is still a bit too basic for you, a new alternative that's closer in concept to the EarthRoamer is the new Action Camper by Thaler Design that has generated a lot of buzz recently.  Your Jeep will weigh 440lbs. more with this cabover camper installed, but that will be offset by a wallet that's lighter by roughly $53,000 (not counting the Jeep).

Action Camper cab-over camper

Another option would be offroad-capable camper trailer, of which there are dozens to choose from.  I happen to own a Lifetime Tent Trailer which I tow behind my own JK on challenging trails with only a few customizations to increase ground clearance by way of larger tires, but even Jeep's Mopar division offers camp trailers designed specifically for your Jeep.

Mopar Jeep Camper Trailer


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  2. This is informative am enjoying reading this blog. As Jeep owners we choose to lift our vehicles in order to give them extra ground clearance that allows them to move easily and traverse off-road obstacles while still giving stylish design and profile on Jeeps. The campers are nice and well showcased am sure getting one soon since summer is here.

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  3. Is the Ursa Minor J180 and the AT Overland Habitat the same? Who manufactures it?

    1. Ursa Minor and AT Overland Equipment claim to have co-developed the J180 and Habitat.

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  6. In addition, other jeep vehicles have different model designation. Some of them are civilian jeep that carries the "xJ" designation although not all are well-known as the classic CJ or Civilian Jeep.
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  8. Why can't a 77 Blazer Chateau type camper top be made for a short w/b Wrangler? Concept is simple. Widen and extend the cabover and extend the rear. Add extension mirrors. Done deal.

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  13. The Jeep Wrangler is hands down the best option for off-road adventures. It's a great vehicle to go rock crawling in. If you're the outdoors type, you can get to some camping or fishing destinations in a Jeep that would otherwise be inaccessible.

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