Like many attendees, I’m a big fan of the Jeep Wrangler. I’ve never seen so many JK & JL generation Jeeps converge in a single area as the Overland Expo West in Flagsaff, AZ. Even the parking areas could have been overland Jeep events by themselves.
Inside the event, there was just about everything you could imagine in terms of overland camping gear for Wrangler JK/JL Jeeps. Amongst all the vendors and manufacturers exhibiting at Overland Expo West, there were definitely some standouts being displayed. I felt a rush of adrenaline when I came across Red River Rig’s awesome setup at the event. This was a setup I eagerly wanted to learn more about.
Thankfully Mr. Glen Pratt, President of Red River Rigs out of Amarillo, Texas was present to guide us on an educational tour of his company’s exceptional product, the American Safari JXL system, which is essentially a Jeep extension and camper system. “I originally saw this system in Europe, tested it in the United States and now are selling throughout North America”, states Glen. “We’ve also just begun manufacturing here in the U.S. in the Salt Lake City area”.
The American Safari JXL system is essentially three major components:
- A longer hard top with an integrated pop-up tent
- A 15 inch extension system (creates 50% more space behind the rear seat)
- Different rear bumper options available with a step ladder for easy vehicle entry
The core of the system’s interior is a large bed with a mattress. Part of it slides back to reveal a standing height cooktop, sink that integrates with a wash nozzle and countertop. The extension system has integrated storage on the sides, as well as in it’s floor which is really nice!
Beyond this are 3 general configurations, an open air concept and a couple different configurations with additional storage and functionality for more comfort.
The open air concept is as it sounds – this is base system with no cabinetry on the floor, or interiors sides of the Jeep that are dead space. The floor has comparable room to a mid-size SUV, and with the pop-up tent I can tell you I stood up straight inside with room to spare vertically and I’m just over 6 feet tall.
The middle of the 3 configurations includes hanging storage pockets along the sides of the hard top interior. Also included are 2 storage benches which also act as padded benches for up to 3 people to sit inside around a table top. All of this enables one or a couple to do much within their Jeep camper without having to go outside in cold weather.
The most plush American Safari JXL interior at the event involves half of the back seat being removed, and some really nice custom cabinetry lines both sides. If you have alot of gear, this allows you to get up and out of your living space. There are also integrated storage benches, different level surfaces and a table top, making it nice for moving around interiorly within the Jeep. Lots of organized space.
Of course, Red River Rigs offers completely customized solutions as well, depending on your needs and/or desires.
There are 3 different bumpers sytems as well:
- Stock bumper system with integrated ladder
- A custom steel bumper that attaches to the frame with steel frame extensions. It has the ladder and extended side armor for additional protection
- A modified stock bumper system that includes a customized AEV Wrangler JK rear bumper (has integrated water container, extra armor, etc)
One of the Jeeps on display also had a really cool external rack that mounts low for proper off-road weight distribution. This allows you to attach awnings, tools, lights, etc without interfering with the pop up tent portion of the system.
You can obtain a JXL system in 1 of 3 ways:
- A turnkey solution, where you purchase the complete JK Jeep and camper system already installed from Red River Rigs
- You can send Red River Rigs your Wrangler JK and they can install
- Have the JXL system shipped to you, where you can install it yourself, or have a local shop perform the installation
The system itself is very simple installation, with no cutting or drilling involved – it’s completely bolt-on which is very impressive! It’s removable as well.
At the time of this writing, American Safari JXL systems for the Wrangler JL are just about to be available, as well as a larger roof, thicker mattress option.
We really appreciate Glen and Red River Rigs taking the time to share their awesome Jeep camper & extension system with us it’s a standout amongst the Jeep products seen at the Overland Expo.