Storyteller Debuts the RAM 5500 Based GXV HILT

Photo By: Storyteller

Alabama-based adventure van outfitter Storyteller Overland has introduced a new vehicle that isn’t a van. Call the GXV HILT; the new model is a more serious overlanding rig based on a RAM 5500 heavy-duty pickup chassis with a frame-mounted camper. The HILT is an impressively featured overlanding rig that is clearly designed for lengthy stays far from civilization. It’s the first model in Storyteller’s new “GXV” expedition line.

Photo by Storyteller

Power for the 27-foot-long HILT comes from a RAM 5500 4×4 crew cab with a 6.7-liter Cummins V8 turbo diesel with a six-speed automatic. Fuel capacity is 52 gallons internally. The chassis features a “zero torsion” subframe to prevent the chassis and camper from twisting in off-road use, and the suspension features hydraulic adjustability by Liquid Springs. The ride height and suspension performance can vary across three settings, all available on the fly. Low-PSI capable 41-inch bead-locked tires ride on Hutchinson wheels. Ground clearance and clearance angles range from 33.1 to 36.3 degrees on approach, 20.8 to 21.5 for departure, and between 10.8 and 17 degrees breakover. Ground clearance is 22 inches up front and 10.5 out back. At maximum ride height, the HILT is 12 feet 7 inches tall, at 12 feet tall at minimum. An ARB on-board air compressor adjusts ride height.

READ MORE: Best Toyotas of Overland Expo East 2023

The voluminous camper sections can sleep four, with the primary queen-sized bed located over the cab section. The dinette area can also be converted to a bed. The camper shell is a “vacuum-infused resin composite with carbon fiber and Kevlar reinforcements” and features both thermal and acoustic insulation. Interior ceiling height is 77 inches, and Storyteller says that while the sand-colored exterior looks appropriately tough, the inside of the camper is “spa-like,” with LED strip lighting, sustainable materials, and copious storage space, including a pass-through section at the back. 

The camper also features a full stand-up shower, flushing toilet, complete kitchen with dual-burner induction cooktop, microwave, and refrigerator, 120 gallons of water storage, 40 gallons of gray water, and 4.75 gallons of black water in a removable cassette. Camper A/C and heat are standard, all controlled by a Mission color touch panel.

Photo by Storyteller

Photo by Storyteller

Photo by Storyteller

Photo by Storyteller

Photo by Storyteller

Photo by Storyteller

Photo by Storyteller

Photo by Storyteller

Once on site, Storyteller is sticking with battery power over a generator, and the HILT includes a 16.8 kWh Lithionics M-Power battery system, a pair of 3,000-Watt inverters, and a Merlin rooftop solar array that puts out 1,325 Watts peak. The battery can also be charged, and electrical systems are powered by running the diesel engine, which has a high-idle setting.

Additional perks include 360-degree exterior lighting from KC HiLites, including eight perimeter lights, five large LED floodlights built into the front of the camper section, and two smaller driving lights in the front and rear Buckstop bumpers. A 20,000-pound capacity winch is upfront, and there’s also a 13-foot awning and rear racks for adding gear. 

An initial offering of the HILT at just under $400,000 quickly sold out, and Storyteller is now taking reservations for future builds starting at close to $450,000. The final price will depend on the options. Storyteller Overland has produced an entertaining “Mad Max” style promo video for the HILT that you can see here.

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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