Dodge Ram 2500 Overland Camper Build With Off-Road Modifications

  • Model: Dodge Ram 2500
  • Wheels: 35"
  • Category: Overland Camper Build
  • Capability Score: 50/70
  • Build Level: Advanced
  • Mods Budget: $$$$
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 with a 2006 KZ Sportsman Camper

If you are looking to scale up your adventures and switch your space-limited SUV to a full-size truck with a spacious camper, then you should definitely check out this Ram 2500 Overland Camper build.

Being equipped with a comfortable and freshly remodeled 2006 KZ Sportsman camper this 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab will open a whole new world of travel for you. These trucks are sturdily built and feature a powerful and efficient 5.9L Cummins engine, allowing you to easily tow and haul almost anything.

Vanlife in a Dodge Truck with Camper

⚙️ Technical Details

Model: 2nd Gen Dodge Ram 2500

Production years: 1993-2002

Approximate prices on the market (Used): $10,000-$15,000

Engine: 5.9L Cummins diesel (235HP, 460 lb⋅ft)

Drivetrain: Four-Wheel-Drive

Construction: Body On Frame

Traction Enhancement Devices: Rear LSD

Low Range: Yes

Stock wheel size: 265/75R16 – 33″

Offroad Wheel Size: Up to 35″

Build Level: Advanced

Budget: $$$$$

Off-road Capability Score: 50/70

How did we get this score?

Lifted Dodge Ram camper with 35 inch tires

The Truck

  • 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9 Cummins Diesel 24 Valve Quad Cab
    (Exact miles unknown odometer stopped working best guess is between 230,000- 250,000)
  • All new A.C system installed 2021
  • Has fuel pressure, boost, EGT, and trans temp gauges
  • Buckstop bumper and guard with 4″ and 6″ round LED accessory lights
  • New steering column, red head steering gear, Dodge off-road steering stabilizer bracket, Dodge off-road heavy duty adjustable track bar
  • S&B Cold Air intake filter, Pusher intake tubes and new silicone boots
  • Airdog II – 4 G fuel filtration and air separation system
  • New radiator
  • New water pump
  • New thermostat
  • Full headlight assemblies replaced in 2020
  • Front end of frame where steering gear was attached to was rusting thin so we had 1/4 inch steel plates welded all around to reinforce the frame
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 interior
  • Custom leaf springs w/ overload springs
  • New carli suspension system (3 inch lift): Springs and bilstein shocks as well as adjustable sway bar end links
  • Heavy Duty Hellwig antisway bar
  • The truck bed was replaced with an aluminum flat bed and now has the truck camper semi permanently mounted with custom storage
Dodge ram truck with a camper and LED lights
  • 35″ BF Goodrich All terrain Tires (new in 2021 plenty of good tread left)
  • New truck batteries in 2020
  • Towing mirrors
  • Bumper hitch bike rack
  • Mud flaps
Lifted Dodge Ram truck with an overland camper

The Truck Camper:

  • 2006 KZ Sportsman
  • We completely remodeled the interior with new vinyl floor, paint, tile, cushions, and much more
  • The stove, oven, DC fridge, propane heater, and A.C. all work great
  • Has a shower and new Natures Head composting head
  • 4×100 watt Zamp solar panels
  • 2 x100 A/H Dakota Lithium Batteries
2006 KZ Sportsman kitchen
2006 KZ Sportsman camper fully remodeled
  • DC-DC 18a charger so the house batteries charges while you drive
  • 20 gallon water tank with a newly installed seagull water filter
  • All windows function properly and have noseeum/mosquito proof screen to keep all bugs out
  • 2 low draw high power fans over the bed
  • Custom storage on the exterior for tools, sporting equipment, or whatever you need to carry
  • Roof rack to hold surfboards, paddle boards, or kayaks (we currently have 6 surfboards up there)
  • Rear hitch rack/basket which holds an extra 20 gallon gray water tank with room to spare for extra water or fuel cans
  • Folding stairs
  • Raptor liner paint job so you never have to worry about scratching the paint
  • Queen mattress not included
Dodge Ram overland adventure build

She has some quirks:

The odometer and speedometer do not work, the seat belts sometimes don’t work. She takes about 5 minutes to warm up in the morning. The steering is a bit loose (99% sure it is the ball joints). The anti-lock braking does not work, one of the rear mounting supports has pulled through a soft part of the frame slightly, but we have a temporary fix in place (proper fix would be to scarf in a new wood frame piece and seal the area). The gray water tank has a leak so we have the extra gray water tank on the back to prevent leakage, and some of the contact paper countertops are starting to peel after a full 1.5 years living in her but she keeps on trucking and we have LOVED our adventures with her.

See Also
Lifted Lexus GX460 Overland and Off-road Adventures

How we test?

Offroadium Verdict & Score Explained

We have created our own rating and classification system to differentiate and evaluate the off-road capabilities of vehicles showcased on Offroadium. Based on it, we can conclude the following:

Off-Road Capability Score: 50/70

This 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 scores 50 out of 70 points in our rating system. Being a lifted body-on-frame 4×4 with 35″ mud terrain tires and a rear LSD, it earns 30 points for the tires, 5 points for the frame, 10 points for having low range gearing, and 5 points for the rear differential.

While not equipped with additional upgrades like front/rear locking differentials or skid plates that would bolster its score, this Ram build has the fundamental hardware to competently traverse off-road terrain. The powerful Cummins diesel engine supplies ample torque for crawling over obstacles, while the upgraded suspension provides needed clearance and articulation.

Complexity Level: Advanced

With extensive modifications to major drivetrain and suspension components using quality aftermarket parts, this Ram camper build goes well beyond basic upgrades. Custom leaf springs, long travel shocks, sway bars, and more demonstrate the time and budget allocated to optimize off-road performance. We classify this as an Advanced level build.

Budget: $$$$

Considering the extensive camper remodel, truck upgrades, and custom flatbed fabrication, it’s clear no expense has been spared on this Ram overland project. With top-tier parts selected to handle prolonged off-grid expeditions, we rate this as an unlimited budget $$$$ build.

While not the most extreme off-roader, this Cummins Camper has the capabilities and self-sufficiency for overlanding adventures far into the wilderness. It demonstrates how the right modifications can transform an aging workhorse into a competent explorer ready to trade paint with expensive modern trucks out on the trails.


  • Powerful and reliable Cummins 5.9L turbo diesel engine
  • Good ground clearance with a lift and oversized off-road tires


  • No front locking differential limits traction in tricky situations
  • Too big and heavy for more technical trails


This extensively upgraded ’99 Ram 2500 and its customized adventure camper demonstrate how an aging workhorse can be transformed into a highly capable overlander. The powerful and reliable Cummins diesel engine supplies torque for off-road crawling while the lifted suspension and 35″ tires provide clearance. With quality upgrades optimized for remote travel, the truck half of this rig can competently traverse rugged trails to campsites far from civilization. After 200k+ miles, the trusty Ram platform finally has the capability and accommodations to realize its full adventure potential.

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