America's "Light-as-a-Feather" Aterra Truck Camper Is Ready for Year-Round Living

Not all campers are created equal. Some will only hold out for a season or two, while others can withstand all that the natural world can throw at them. Well, it's time to find out what kind we get if we drop at least $76K on an AT Aterra XL.
AT Aterra XL 10 photos
Photo: AT Overland Equipment
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If you read the previous paragraph properly, you understood that the machine before you today is nothing more than a truck camper that costs at least $76,000 (€71,200 at current exchange rates), and all of that is true. However, there's so much more to this truck camper that we really need to dedicate an entire article to it. Best of all, it uses the truck you most likely already own but with some heavy modifications to your chassis and bed.

Before we dive into this wheeled behemoth, let's first take a quick look at the minds and hands behind the design, none other than AT Overland, an American crew working out of the Sonoran Desert in Prescott, Arizona, a city I've spent quite some time in. Well, all you really need to know is that they've been in this business for over 20 years, and looking at the Aterra, it shows.

Now, the Aterra isn't your typical truck camper, requiring a flatbed rather than a classic setup used by slide-in units. This means that you'll need to modify your truck if it hasn't been already. Come to think of it, you should look into more than just bed modifications, especially if you'd like to take things off-road the right way; the suspension is sure to need some attention.

AT Aterra XL
Photo: AT Overland Equipment
Funny enough, you'd expect a camper of this size to weigh quite a bit. However, AT managed to craft a unit that weighs as little as 1,150 lbs (522 kg) dry. That's insane! How are these light-as-a-feather specs possible? By using a honeycomb composite construction. Best of all, this sort of build allows the Aterra to function year-round.

Taking a look at the exterior of this unit, we can see countless windows tattered along the sides, storage bays, and, best of all, the ability to mount solar panels to the roof. The latter is essential if you're into breaking away from the grid and exploring lands very few have.

Furthermore, it seems like the shell can also accommodate some extras, like recovery boards, Jerry cans, and who knows what else; just let AT know what you have in mind, and maybe they can make it a reality. However, there isn't much you could ask for; each unit is jam-packed with the goods we need and want.

For example, let's head inside and get acquainted with a king-size cab-over bed that's waiting for future owners. Be sure to check out the bamboo countertops, that fully equipped galley, all the storage bays found around you, and that wonderful use of LED strips.

AT Aterra XL
Photo: AT Overland Equipment
However, the Aterra is a bit different than other truck campers on the market, mainly because of that whole side-entry. Now, it may not seem like a big deal, but because of this feature alone, Aterra's interior layout feels open and even accommodates a modular dinette, which doubles as a wet bath. This space also offers a 270-degree view of the world around.

I know it may sound weird, but try and picture yourself in the middle of nowhere, window blinds rolled up, and you're checking out the local scenery as you clean off from a long day or are starting fresh for a new one. Sounds like a neat little trick.

Just remember: you're in a camper, and sitting around in the shower with the water running isn't going to be what you want, especially since there are only 30 gals (114 l) of fresh water at your disposal. Funny enough, you could tend to whatever meal you have on the stovetop while taking a shower, assuming you didn't put up a curtain.

Once you've hopped out of the shower, grab some clothes from any of the countless bays we see in the image gallery, put them on, reorganize the dinette, and enjoy the meal you've been working on simultaneously. Mind the soap bubbles!

AT Aterra XL
Photo: AT Overland Equipment
A few essentials you need to be aware of are things like the 90 l (24 gal) fridge, waterless toilet system, and electrical system. The latter is made up of a 105 Ah lithium battery and 400 W of solar processing power mounted on the roof, a Truma VarioHeat heater, and an AquaGo on-demand water heater. As I said, essentials.

Now, let's say you've fallen in love with what you see. If that's the case, there's something you need to consider, and part of that is the fact that the Aterra can be mounted to nearly any truck on the market, from 1/2-ton to 1-ton buggers; as long as the bed fits, the Aterra sits. Just remember to check that your truck doesn't need a suspension upgrade or anything of the sort.

At the end of the day, there's a whole lot more that goes into this Arizona-born truck camper, but I'll leave some explaining for AT Overland. This is just a little something-something to think about if you're looking for a different kind of truck camper.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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