American Expedition Vehicles

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When it was first introduced to the world at the 2013 SEMA auto show in Las Vegas, the American Expedition Vehicles Ram 2500 project, now called the Prospector, was a star attraction. Its massive scale, imposing bumper, and broad shoulders gave it a presence on the floor that quickly gathered a crowd. A couple of years later, our Overland International team was able to snag the keys to a freshly built Prospector, one featuring all of the available trimmings. Even better, we were able to test it over the span of a few months covering a variety of surfaces as we traversed Montana, Utah, and Arizona.

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Last month, The Adventure Portal headed up to the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area in the beautiful coastal community of Florence, to host a free, In – Field, women’s only, 4WD training course put on by AEV.  It was taught by Chris Wood, Master Trainer for the I4WD Trainers Association and Global Sales Director of AEV. Most attendees were owners of  JK’s with AEV components and had come from all over the U.S. for training and to drive the dunes with like-minded women.

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Driving a lifted diesel truck often means you have to put up with a harsh ride, bad on-road handling, poor steering, reduced braking, and the elimination of the factory traction and stability controls. The founder of American Expedition Vehicles, Dave Harriton, strives to eliminate these deficiencies with the AEV Prospector package for ’14-and-up Ram pickups with the 6.7L Cummins diesel engine. By adding on to the work done by the folks at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, AEV is able to take advantage of the factory engineering for a package that provides the lift needed for serious off-road work while delivering stable and safe performance.

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Monday, 25 January 2016 06:15

Is It a Jeep or Is It a Pickup?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015 00:00

AEV Ram Prospector First Drive

American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) has long been in the business of building seriously capable Jeep Wranglers. Wranglers built for crossing Australia or crawling across the Moab. Wranglers converted into pickups and Wranglers done up in fancy Filson duds. They all have the kind of rugged good looks that project positive sunshine competence vibes about the people who drive one. That's no matter how big a dork the doofus behind the wheel actually is. And now AEV has moved on to modifying and producing parts and complete packages for Ram pickups. Because, why not?

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Saturday, 12 September 2015 00:00

First drive: AEV Ram Prospector


In those ads for active-lifestyle vehicles where there’s a guy running up a trail carrying a mountain bike over one shoulder and a kayak over the other, the guy could easily be AEV founder and president Dave Harriton. Harriton really likes that outdoor adventure stuff and built his business around getting to places to pursue it and bringing along everything a guy would need once he got there. His business, American Expedition Vehicles, is pretty big and very successful: It employs 100 people in a 100,000-square-foot facility upfitting Jeep Wranglers and other products.

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Friday, 11 September 2015 00:00


If you’re at all familiar with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), you already know what they can do for the Jeep Wrangler. Much more than simply a conversion company, AEV engineers suspension systems, exterior upgrades, interior accessories, and wheels for Jeep vehicles. It also offers its complete Hemi Builder Kit for those looking to perform a V8 swap. Now the company has waved its wand over the Ram 2500/3500 pickup truck.

The suspension underneath the AEV Ram is its own in-house design and offers some interesting mechanical details. Built exclusively for the 2500/3500 Ram truck, it features many of the engineering basics that were incorporated into the company’s well-respected JK Wrangler suspension system. The concept from its beginning on paper was to make it a dual sport system–to have excellent road manners as well as great off-road terrain handling capability. To do this, AEV worked hard to maintain the best possible suspension and steering geometry. In addition, it partnered again, as it had on its JK suspension system design, with Bilstein to create custom-tuned shocks for the AEV Ram suspension.

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It’s two o’clock in the afternoon here in Santa Clarita, CA. I was heading to a local off-road recreation area that I had never been too. According to my PR friend, “I’d love it.” I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I was definitely pensive about the truck I was heading out to drive, and what this off-road park entailed.

The trail we went through climbed around 2,000 feet in a manner of about two miles. It is absolutely crazy how steep these trails became in such a short amount of space. We’re not talking about normal hills, or even hills like the streets of San Francisco either. We’re talking about almost vertical mountains, with ruts, outcroppings, and enough loose gravel and dirt to loosen your bowels for the next three weeks. It was the kind of verticality that makes you feel that the truck or whatever you’re in is going to just tip backwards and slinky down the hill.

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Show of hands: How many of you remember the Dodge Prospector convenience package pickup, Ramcharger or van? If you do, you have a good memory. It's been about 30 years since the Prospector Package sat on a Dodge pickup but now it's back, thanks to the heavy-duty outfitters from American Expedition Vehicles. 

If the name AEV sounds familiar it's because this is the same company that birthed the profitable custom Jeep pickup conversion equipment that turns a relatively stock Jeep Wrangler into a rock-crawling AEV Brute Double Cab pickup. It has an almost limitless number of custom features like different engines, axles and frame strength.

Not content with beefing up Jeep products, AEV expanded into the full-size heavy-duty pickup segment with the Ram Prospector. The end result, depending on the options chosen, is a monstrously capable full-size off-roading adventure vehicle. Despite that, it feels pretty close to a stock Ram pickup when driven on city streets or highways.

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