In the Spotlight: Mule Expedition Outfitter’s Baja Runner FWC – Truck Camper Adventure
Looking for some inspiration on how to build a great overland truck camper rig? Then look no further. The good folks at Mule Expedition Outfitters have built what has become one of the top rigs of 2019, the Baja Runner Four Wheel Camper Hawk. We first saw the Baja Runner at the 2019 NW Overland Rally and was very impressed with it. Many showcase rigs like this tend to be all fluff and no substance, but not this one. The Baja Runner not only looks great, but is very functional. Indeed, the overland company has plans to take this rig to Baja, Mexico soon. To learn more about the rig and how it was built, we spoke with Dana Marshall of Mule Expedition Outfitters.
TCA: Thanks, Dana, for taking the time to talk with us about the Baja Runner. What inspired you to build such a great-looking rig?
Dana: We try to do a feature-build every year for the Northwest Overland Rally and having just brought on the Four Wheel Camper product line in 2018, it seemed like a good time to do a build with one of the campers. We’re also an AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) dealer and a Norweld USA dealer, so the choice of the RAM 2500 was an easy one that would allow us to display those components as well.
The inspiration for the truck came from our love of exploring the backcountry of North America all the way from British Columbia to the Tip of the Baja Peninsula. We wanted to push the limits of off road capability and creature comforts. The RAM 2500 platform seemed like a good place to start. The regular cab long bed RAM 2500 has a relatively compact wheel base (compared to the crew cab) and with extensive aftermarket support from companies like American Expedition Vehicles, ADS and Norweld we knew we had the ingredients for an epic build that using primarily off the shelf parts. The Creature comforts was left up the folks at Four Wheel Campers. The Hawk Ute pop-up camper provided all the amenities of a small house while maintaining a lower overall weight and center of gravity two things beneficial for unimproved roads and trials.
TCA: Was this rig built completely in your shop?
Dana: With the exception of the paint and graphics, yes. We install all the products we sell and have a great team of guys. We stripped the truck down and had the cab color matched to the Khaki color smooth aluminum siding offered by Four Wheel Campers. The actual painting of the cab was outsourced. We also outsourced the vinyl graphics, although all graphic design work was done in house. The entire build was brought to life virtually with help from Adam Tolman at Box Rocket Designs. Adam completed a full rendering of the truck prior to starting the build. This was done to both encourage inspire sponsors and to give the build team a clear vision for the completed vehicle.