We all want campers these days. Overland, Class-A, camper van, or trailer; it doesn’t seem to matter; people just want them. Some of the biggest names in the game are finding new competition from independent one-offs and boutique builders. EarthRoamer has been the last word in overlanding rigs for a few years now, but most of them cost around the $500,000 mark and can clear a million dollars. What if you could get Toyota Tacoma with a shell for half the money and all the grit?
The Toyota Tacoma might be the perfect overland camper base
Gear Patrol Reports that Truckhouse just unveiled the BCT. Unlike the EarthRoamer, the BCT does use a massive, heavy-duty turbo-diesel Ford F-550 chassis. The BCT uses the much smaller and nimbler Toyota Tacoma. Again, unlike EarthRoamer, the BCT doesn’t weigh half of a cruise liner. The Tacoma alone weighs nearly half of the F-550. A middle-class F-550 weighs around 7,000 lbs compared to the same class Tacoma at 4,000 lbs.
The BCT uses the Toyota Tacoma TRD specifically
You can either choose the TRD Sport or Pro, depending on what your taste is. The Stage I package comes with 33-inch tires, long-travel suspension, reinforced chassis, and a fully fabricated rear axel. Stage II and III options trade 35-inch tires for the 33s and get front and rear winches, high-clearance bumpers, an air compressor, snorkel, and more.
All of these off-road features match well with the EarthRoamer. (Obviously, there are many versions of both types of trucks. This is a general comparison.) The tit for tat continues into the cabin of the BCT. It basically has anything you’d need for extended time off the grid. What makes the EarthRoamer so coveted is that it is as tough as it is luxurious; the BCT is telling the same story.
The Toyota Tacoma TRD powered BCT is constructed of a single piece carbon-fiber-reinforced composite shell which will house its captain. It sleeps up to four people between the cabin-over queen bed-chamber and a fold-out couch in the main cabin. It has a full galley with fridge/freeze, stovetop/oven, and sink. Within the two higher trims, you can add heated floors, Wi-Fi, and hot and grey water tanks.
How much is an EarthRoamer vs the BCT
There are many, many configurations for the EarthRoamer and the BCT given the segment they are in, but generally speaking, the Stage I BCT will start around the $285,000, including the truck. The prices can jump pretty quickly the more features you get, but they can’t get anywhere near the $1.7 million peak of EarthRoamer. The LTi EarthRoamer, which seems to be the closest out-of-the-box model to the Stage I BCT, starts at the massive price tag of $590,000 and can reach $700,000.
The Toyota Tacoma overlanding beast is comparable in nearly every single way except in price and heft. The crudeness that has been holding back Toyota pickups for the last few is precisely what makes them so perfect for building an overlanding camper. The engine is old, crude, and tough as nails. That sounds like what I want from a camper engine to me.
The interiors are bleak and outdated, making them the perfect thing to rip apart and spend huge money to update and repurpose into something infinitely cooler. Hats off to BCT. They picked THE perfect base and are undercutting the stupidly expensive EarthRoamers.