Episode #143 Deep Dive on the Ram HD AEV Prospector
Show notes for podcast #143
Matt Scott and Scott Brady discuss the specifics of the exceptional AEV Prospector and Prospector XL, both built on the Ram 2500 / 3500 platform and featuring 37 or 40” tires, steel bumpers, snorkel, HD steering, suspension system, and high clearance fender flares. These trucks are built for exploring, with sufficient payload to install a camper system and carry overland support equipment. We review the pros and cons of this purpose built overland Super Truck
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady. And for this week's episode, Matt Scott and I talk about the American Expedition vehicles prospector. This vehicle is built on the Ram full size chassis. It's built on their twenty five hundred and thirty five hundred trucks, and it is available in a standard prospector on 37 inch tall tires. The much Envied Prospector xl, which is on 40 inch tires, and it has wider fender flares than some other accessories that allow for that kind of tire size fitment. We do a deep dive on this vehicle. The reason why we're covering this truck is because it is such a great fit to the overland traveler. It's available in a diesel drive train, a heavy duty diesel drive train. It's available in a three quarter ton and a one ton variant, which means that you can put pretty much as what much weight as you would like [00:01:00] on the thing. With even over 3000 pounds of payload. This is a very capable vehicle with a ton of capacity. It has the durability of the Cummins diesel, and then it has the legendary engineering and quality of American expedition vehicles. So please enjoy our conversation about the amazing Prospector. This content is brought to you by Overland Journal, our premium quality print publication. The magazine was founded in 2006 with the goal of providing independent equipment and vehicle reviews along with the most stunning adventures and photography. We care deeply about the countries and cultures. We visit and share our experiences freely with our readers. We also have zero advertorial policy and do not accept any advertiser compensation for our reviews. By subscribing to Overland Journal, you're helping to [00:02:00] support our employee owned and veteran owned publication. Your support also provides resources and funding for content like you are watching or listening to right now. You can subscribe directly on our firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Scott: So we're gonna talk about the 2022 A e v Prospector XL today.
Scott Brady: Prospector. I like it. I like it. Well, I mean, they're just, they're literally a super truck.
Matt Scott: Yeah, they're kinda like an American Unimog.
Scott Brady: Yeah, they're like the super overlander truck. I've done trips all the way up to Tuck. In Prospector, xls, and prospectors. And you've owned a prospector and it's a really important model. A e v does a lot of great work. Why don't you kind of give a background or a backstory on what the prospector is?
Matt Scott: Yeah, so, so the prospector is basically like, it's, it's a conversion, it's a vehicle conversion, right? Like, I mean, [00:03:00] technically speaking, there's, there's really, you know, if you, if you go into a VIN search, there's no such thing as an A E v Prospector xl, it's a Ram 2500, 3500. I think they're starting to do some chassis cap stuff on like the forty five hundred and fifty five hundred. Long story short, so you, if you want one, you've got a few options. You can either send a e v. You buy the truck, you have the truck. I do think that if you buy your own truck and, and you have it converted, it has to have somewhat lowish miles. Like they're, I don't think they convert stuff that has 40, 50,000 miles, although, although maybe they can, or you just buy an a e v vin truck. And I know that that is, a little bit of, redundant to what I just said, but there, there is actually like a little a e v vin plate on it. So the whole thing with the prospector.
There's, there's the prospector, there's the prospector. XL prospector means 30 sevens, XL means forties. For the purposes of this conversation, when I [00:04:00] say prospector or pxl, we're talking about the one with forties. So you, you start with what is a pretty good truck. I mean, it's basically kind of a. An Uprated, you know Wrangler, when you look underneath of these things, you've got a five link in the rear. You do have a radius arm up front on 'em. They're really pretty capable trucks.
Scott Brady: No question.
Matt Scott: I think.
Scott Brady: Yeah, no question.
Matt Scott: Great drive line, but great motors.
Scott Brady: I mean, everybody respects the Cummins diesel.
Matt Scott: But AEV puts so much work into him, like if you're going to, if you're, if you're gonna go and you're gonna build a full size truck, this AEV Prospector sits in this kind of classy territory.
So, on the xl, I think the, the most distinguishing feature, aside from the 40 inch tires, Are these big Highmark fender flares that they do?
Scott Brady: Yeah. Which look factory and they look totally factory. Totally compliment the truck. And they cover the tires.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I've whacked 'em on some stuff I want to say. Dave said they're made from kind of like a kayak material. Like they're, they're really stout. [00:05:00] So literally the, the fenders on, on the front and back of the vehicle end up getting cut. And there's like these new fender liners and these over fenders that go in and you end up with this, you know, I want to say they're 40 by 1350?
Scott Brady: I think so. Yep. A couple. They use a couple different manufacturers. I don't know what he's using currently.
Matt Scott: I know. I know that there's a problem getting 40 inch tires.
Scott Brady: I know that he's also used the 41 inch IROs.
Matt Scott: The super swampers.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Yeah. Which they do look great on the vehicle. They're a little narrower. The one I had a prospector excel. For months. I think it was in 2019.
Matt Scott: I remember that.
Scott Brady: Yeah. 2019 or 2018, I had a green one and it had toyos on there. And it, it was great.
Matt Scott: Mine had the toyos. I had no problem with those tires. How, for how I used the tire or how I used the truck, I would've rather had an All-terrain tire, but it's just not. Available. Like, I think they use Toyos. I think they use Coopers. And then I think that you have an option to do the, the super swampers.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Maybe that's [00:06:00] a call-in thing.
Matt Scott: Anyway, the, the, the whole, the whole purpose of this truck at the end of the day is to fit a really large tire, which has minimal lift as possible. So you end up with a three inch lift on the front. And about a one to two inch lift on the rear, depending on options and things like that. Like mine had air suspension, which was really cool. I don't think they have to lift those as much cuz if you put weight in the bed.
Scott Brady: Do they put like a, do they put a spacer back there?
Matt Scott: Yeah, there's a spacer. You know, it's, it's aev so it's super well-engineered. There's a spacer, there's like a, some kind of extension to the, the height sensor.
Scott Brady: Yep. And they probably relocate the, the pan hard rod and all those other.
Matt Scott: Yeah, everything's relocated. I want to say there's a, there's a, there's a different steering knuckle up front. It kind of gets a high steer, it gets a hydraulic assist steering. The whole axle actually gets moved forward. Like I think it's an inch and a half or one point.
Scott Brady: That makes sense. So they can get the sweep of that. Huge tire and not hit the, not hit the body. [00:07:00] That makes sense.
Matt Scott: So, so it's interesting. So I actually had a 2021 Ram 2500, if you remember the, the silver one, I left it stock. I was actually just intending to send it to a e v. To get it converted. Well, this was peak pandemic and it was just an absolute nightmare. I ended up trading that for a trx and then I traded the TRX for the, for the prospector. So I've had like all of these interesting kind of RAM truck experiences and I think that it's always fascinating to actually. Buy the, buying the vehicles yourself, and you're putting the money in yourself. I think you get a different perspective than than that. And, and that's kind of what I want to dive into. Generally speaking, when you're buying an American car, the worst, the worst part of it is the dealer experience. Scott Brady: Yeah, always.
Matt Scott: I went through Jackson Ellis. In Glendale, they're a huge aev dealer and it was like super painless.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Which makes sense. I mean, that's a premium vehicle to a fairly affluent demographic, so [00:08:00] they better like not screw you around. It better be, it better be a pleasant experience.
Matt Scott: So, yeah. So literally we're just gonna start from the beginning on, on how to buy one, what it's like to buy one this, this particular one was one that Jackson had specked and it was already being shipped in. I think maybe somebody had dropped out from it. You know, he knew I was kind of looking for one. Called me, bought it, did the deal. It was, it was super easy. Scott Brady: And it was in Matte Black too?
Matt Scott: Yeah. Black. Black. Not Matt Black.
Scott Brady: Matt Black.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It was Matt's Black. Yeah. It, so it was a, this particular truck was a limited Longhorn that got you, I, I want to say the Longhorn package kind of used to be on the Laramie side. Now it's on the limited side, so it gets some nicer headlights, that kind of swivel automatic high beams and. It was a really beautifully specked truck. The reason I typically don't like the limited longhorns is they get like this chrome front grill. But on this particular one, I don't know if it [00:09:00] ended up being Jackson that swapped out the parts or a e v that painted them.
All of that was gone and it was, and it was black, so it was kind of a, kind of a unique truck.
Scott Brady: It looked, it looked really handsome. It was, it looks a lot like that TRX that I'm driving today. Which is like all like very tastefully blacked out.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Well, it's actually funny, like the, the TRX and the pxl are, are, are very similar vehicles. Like the price points are pretty similar, but they're about, On opposite sides of the spectrum as you could get.
Scott Brady: For use case.
Matt Scott: For use case.
Scott Brady: You know, the, they're both amazing but totally different.
Matt Scott: The pxl, depending on how you spec it, you know, mine had the air suspension. It was a 2,500, the.
Scott Brady: I'm a fan of the error suspension.
Matt Scott: I wouldn't get it again.
Scott Brady: Oh, you wouldn't have, what didn't you like about it?
Matt Scott: It didn't have much travel.
Scott Brady: Oh, that's interesting.
Matt Scott: It ended up just running through its travel really, really quickly.
Scott Brady: On compression.
Matt Scott: On compression, yeah. So when you got into Corrugations or something off road. The back of the truck really bounced. I'm not gonna.
Scott Brady: So you [00:10:00] were getting a lot of step out in corrugations and stuff, whereas chattering and stepping out?
Matt Scott: Yeah it chattered a little bit. I mean, I would probably.
Scott Brady: You did go from a TRX to a prospector, so it's for those that are listening, you know, but how, how much travel is on the TRX 15 inches or something like that?
Matt Scott: I think, I think it's, I think it's like 12. The TRX does not have as much travel as the Raptor. To be fair, the TRX could blow through its travel pretty quick too.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I've, I've noticed that.
Matt Scott: 700 horsepower. And anyway, so you have these two trucks that are like these two kinds of eccentric, luxury trucks.
Scott Brady: Super trucks.
Matt Scott: Yeah, super trucks and, you know, and, and, and one's incredibly fast. One is just ridiculous. I, when you look at a Prospector xl, they just look gnarly. The new a e v bumper for the Rams is so cool. The way the way the factory lights integrate. So new trucks have like these 360 cameras and they even like have a camera relocation kit for it. It brings it from the grill to the bumper. And it doesn't [00:11:00] affect with the optics or, or really distort it. They put a lot of, a lot of work in. It was really cool, and I think that's what, that's what really dominates the prospector is, is the attention to detail that you cannot get. By having a truck built by your local four wheel drive shop. I mean, no disrespect, but they're coming up with individual solutions and, and that's fine.
Scott Brady: Where this is fully integrated system.
Matt Scott: A e v is integrating systems and engineering a production solution for.
Scott Brady: An OEM level quality solution.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So, you know, mine was an early 22 car, so it didn't come with the. The 8,100 xp, you know, remote reservoir shocks. And the cool thing on those is the, the same guy that did the shock tuning for the TRX did the shock tuning for a e v on those bilstein shocks, which was, was a little interesting tidbit that. That was kind of dropped to me. So I actually, after the fact upgraded to those and I upgraded to the brush guard.
Scott Brady: [00:12:00] I like that brush guard.
Matt Scott: The brush guard made it for me.
Scott Brady: Well, it's just animal strikes. You've got this incredibly expensive truck. And you live in Prescott where, you know, I've, the only time I've ever hit an animal was in Prescott. And, you know, there's deer everywhere on Williamson Valley where we both live. It's like, it's like, you know. I just, I just have to go further through the gauntlet than you do.
Matt Scott: But my favorite part of that vehicle was the bumper and the brush guard and the integration that went into everything on that. The rear bumper was great. You just don't look at it as much. So you don't get as, infatuated with it. But, you know, every detail on the vehicle was, was really good.
Scott Brady: And I think that's another thing that's worth noting is that when AEV designs something, they're looking at it at the highest level of quality and integration possible, but they're also really thoughtful designers. So nothing looks out of place?
Matt Scott: No, it just looks so beefy and good.
Scott Brady: Most aftermarket components, they kind of look like they're screaming on [00:13:00] the truck, whereas the reason why you don't really pay that much attention to the rear bumper is because it just looks. Like a heavy duty factory option.
Matt Scott: Yeah. There, there, like you said, there's, there's actual automotive designers that are working there. There's actual automotive engineers that are working there.
Scott Brady: And it's most of them, I believe.
Matt Scott: Most of them, yeah. Yeah. It's not the cardboard aided design thing that you get with a lot of, you know, I mean, like, I'm not saying that there aren't other strong bumpers on the market that can take an impact or whatever. That's, that's not what I'm implying, but. When you look at the a e v bumper and you understand what, what the stamping is and you know, these thoughtful little details, like on the front recovery points, they're what I presume is like a nodular iron or something. There's even like a little skid plate built in. That if you ran out of a approach angle, you could just push through it on these little, these little kind of little nodular skids that are built your.
Scott Brady: Yeah they are cast iron skid plates. Nodular iron skid plates. And then the a e v [00:14:00] bumpers are some of the few in the aftermarket period that are stamped. Yeah. And the complexity of their stamps stampings and the way that they integrate the level of quality material, coatings, finishes, it's all. At OEM level or better. Yeah which is what means that like 10 years out, your aftermarket bumper's still gonna look great.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Let's talk about what it's like to drive a pxl and.
Scott Brady: And maybe also like use case. So like, since Overlanders are listening, how would someone use a prospector? Like, what would be the, in the reason to buy a prospector for overlanding in your mind?
Matt Scott: I mean, I've got some, I think it's a bit of flash, a bit of flare? A bit of, yeah. Like it's a flashy car, like it's on forties and it looks, it is expensive. It looks expensive, but it looks like this factory thing. What is the use case? The use case is putting a camper in the back or. A scenario where you need really high flotation. Cause you're gonna, you're gonna air down to [00:15:00] 20 psi and a 40 in a, in a truck like that, and you're just gonna float over snow and mud and that kind of stuff. I think if I was an overlander, I would not have specked mine. The way I did mine admittedly, was more of a, was towing a race trailer. That was kind of my thing. I needed to put dirt bikes in the back of it. It was never really a primary overlander for me. I looked at the prospector in my case as a toy. It's not a toy though. It's a, it's a truck that's really made for work. I mean, you could use this on a job site. You could use this in the field. You know, for commercial work.
Scott Brady: And that's one of the things that's interesting about the Prospector XL to me, is that it is available from everything from what you bought, which is like this amazing Do it all daily driver. Tow the trailer, all that stuff. But then they also sell prospector xls that are regular cab with a tray bed that you install a camper on and you, you literally have an American unimog. Matt Scott: Yeah. They look [00:16:00] super cool.
Scott Brady: Yeah. If you look up for those that are listening, just look up a prospector XL tray bed. To me, there is, and I'm gonna come out here and say it right now. There is not a single vehicle that I have lusted over more for a longer period of time than that truck there. There, period. Period. When I drove the white one, I mean, Dave Harriton had a manual transmission. Matt Scott: Mario had.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And Mario Donovan has it now at AT Overland. And I drove that truck with Dave up to Tuktoyaktuk.
, and I drove the other ones as well. The four doors and the ones that are more speck like your vehicle. But yeah, that one with a manual transmission on 40 ones with a tray. It was like if there was ever a Scotty Mobile, don't know why I've not bought, I don't know why I've not just. Bought what I really want, but like that is like, that is the truck that I really want.
Matt Scott: I think that they're the coolest because they're the least practical. I think whenever you add practicality to something that's true, it becomes less inherently cool.
Scott Brady: That's so true. And I don't need a four door. I [00:17:00] don't have kids, so, you know, it'd be me and then a camper on the back and, you know, whatever.
Matt Scott: I think the thing with the prospector Xl is that you don't, you look at it and it looks very professionally done. I mean, yeah, everything's proper. They have their own badging. That looks great, but it drives really good too.
Scott Brady: It's shocking. That's another thing that people that are listening, it's shocking to be in a truck on forties, set the cruise at 85, and you're literally going down the road with one hand gently on the wheel.
Matt Scott: Like I've owned the exact, I mean, it's not the exact same truck, but I had this. 21, 2500 and I had the 22, 2500. Obviously there's little, there's little changes here and there, but same drive, train, same, same transmission, same gearing, same everything. The prospector was easier to drive. It rode better, it was better on the road.
Scott Brady: Oh, that's interesting. That is.
Matt Scott: So here's like quite the comment. The the crazy thing is that the. [00:18:00] I do think that the prospector's biggest weakness right now is that it does need gearing, but like with the, the stock 21, it was geared so low. I think they have three 70 threes, which isn't like so low.
Well, but with the amount of torque that it makes. You couldn't act like, like when we're pulling outta the office over here. By the corner. And you need to like kind of get on it to go, go whatever. If there's like any kind of moisture or any kind of sand or anything, you're just, you're not going anywhere. We're at the prospector. Or like, it almost kind of geared it down a little bit and it was just really easy to drive. Something about again.
Scott Brady: So you do think that the prospector needs lower gearing? Or you don't, just to clarify.
Matt Scott: I do, but I don't think it's essential, but I think it, at the end of the day would be better. I know that I’m.
Scott Brady: 10%, 10% lower or something.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I think like a 456 would be perfect in that truck, but no one makes gearing for the Rams right now. They have some kind of, you know, there's a thing, there's a thing like the carriers integrated [00:19:00] into the, into the ring a little bit and like, I don't think anybody's tooling anything up right now. And I think that automotive production is, Screwed in the aftermarket, so nothing's done.
Scott Brady: But I can't believe that they don't have four 10 s available.
Matt Scott: It was a little, I'm not gonna say frustrating, but like in previous time they have put 456 s in the Pxl. That was just part of the option. They can't do that right now cuz nobody makes the gears.
Scott Brady: That's good to know though. It just, it because we have to be able to talk about the things that aren't perfect. Yeah. That and that's one is.
Scott Brady: There's so much about the truck that's perfect.
Matt Scott: That's one of the things that isn't perfect. You also talk, when I say it's easier to drive, I mean it's easier to drive when you're in the middle of Texas and there's no cars around you. It there is, there is no way to get around that. It is a big truck. Right.
Scott Brady: It's gigantic.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It's gigantic. It's, it's honestly not that much wider than, like a, than a trx, but it drives the.
Scott Brady: The TRX is wide.
Matt Scott: The TRX is wide. Right.
Scott Brady: When you look at a prospector in a [00:20:00] photograph, it looks so perfect. Like the, the dimensions, the tire size, just so that everyone that's listening are, when you walk up to one of these things, It is gigantic. It is gigantic. Yeah. Like a, in a photograph, it looks so balanced and perfect and at home in the terrain and everything. But yeah, your truck was gigantic.
Matt Scott: So, so yeah. Let's, let's, let's be balanced here and talk about why I sold it. I wanted something smaller. To be honest, I wanted to downsize a little bit. It was, you know, I have, I have. People know I have a Greyhound. I'm A Greyhound father, rescue dad. And I have to lift this 80 pound dog into a truck on forties and it's just like, you're like hurling him up in there. So it was, I mean, that's a me problem, you know, like you're buying a large truck. You look at it, it's large, it's, it's not a fault of the vehicle or anything. It's, it's, it's a personal preference.
Scott Brady: But it's something to be aware of.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I got it. With the [00:21:00] steps that automatically come out. I did 'em, I did 'em from the factory. Um, cause then they're a little bit more integrated machine and stuff.
Scott Brady: I really like those steps.
Matt Scott: That made it, that made it livable. Yeah. If those steps weren't there, I think that, I think they'd be a no-go for me. Like if I was to ever buy another one, which.
Scott Brady: And you're six one. So like put that into perspective.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Yeah. You know, that's kind of one of the downsides I think of it, is just it, you know, you have to walk into it knowing that you're buying a big truck. Where that affected me was that I didn't like to drive it offroad. It was black. It was really pretty. It wasn't my primary off-road vehicle. And you're gonna pin stripe it and you have to just be careful.
Scott Brady: Another reason for the white or just get the regular cab.
Matt Scott: Or you just ppf it.
Scott Brady: Regular cab tray, bed.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly.
Scott Brady: For me, when I look at that, it's, it's got the biggest challenge that we have as Overlanders is payload. There's lots of things to love about mid-size [00:22:00] trucks. But none of them have. A one ton capacity anymore. You used to be able to buy mid-size trucks or compact trucks with one ton ratings, but the most I've seen is a ranger at like 1600 pounds or maybe a, maybe a gladiator at 1700 pounds. But they're the same.
Matt Scott: Aevs like. Real deal. So they replace the tire placards on the vehicle. They replace the gross vehicle weight labels. And, and all of the stuff gets replaced as a, as like a secondary manufacturer. I don't know the exact term, but they weigh the vehicles and they take into account the, the weight of the accessories that's in them. So I want to kind of explain this. I get payloads of conversation around the campfire with Overlanders and let's, let's take the Ranger 1600 pound or 1700 pound payload. Great to the guy around the campfire. His truck still has a 1700 pound payload. No. Well, after you put the bumper and the tires and the wheels and the this and that.
Scott Brady: It all reduces it.
Matt Scott: You, you really have a 800 pound [00:23:00] payload or, or something like that. And then, and then you go from there. So the stated payload on my prospector was somewhere between 1600 and 1700 pounds. Which really isn't that much for a full size truck with that big of a diesel engine and whatever. So, you know, you're.
Scott Brady: That's after all of the modifications.
Matt Scott: That's, that is, yeah. That is the actual payload capacity stated by aev. Now, the, it's a really simple solution. You buy the 35.
Scott Brady: Exactly. You just go to the next bigger truck.
Matt Scott: My next truck, honestly, like maybe it's an interesting story at the end, why I got rid of, yeah, why I get rid of this, you know, maybe I would consider another pxl even though it's big and I get fatigued on that. I would do a 3,500. There's people that actually prefer how the suspension works on there. It's a more traditional. Leaf sprung system versus a coil sprung system. But if you look at how Ram does the coil springs on the 25 hundreds, they're very inboard and they're very susceptible to the crown of the road. So the car can kind of drive a little weird, I don't think it's as bad. With the air [00:24:00] suspension on there, cuz I think it's a little bit more giving and it kind of adjusts a little bit. But I would get a 3,500, I would also get a 3,500 if I ordered 'em. Cause I could do the high output motor. So let's talk about some other things that aren't great about the prospector. Most of that is gonna be Ram. The engines outdated, the transmission comes from the nineties. To be really blunt, the, the 6 4 5 RFE or something, it's an old transmission. It's a six speed. It's not particularly refined and you get into the, Every other competitive product that you're looking at, you know, TRX eight speed, HP eight h p ZF Transmission. Fantastic. You get into the super duties and the 10 speeds.
Scott Brady: They're insane.
Matt Scott: And they're really good. You know, like the Earth Roamer has a six speed from the Ford. That's a 2011. That transmission is so much better than the one that's in a 22 or 23 ram. that you get with the high output motor [00:25:00] is even rougher. And I, I don't know if it's just me, but I keep hearing of people that are having problems with that, even though it's meant to be the heavy duty transmission. Other problems with it is you look at a tremor, which is realistically it's most, you know, I mean there's the power wagon, there's the rebel, you know, now there's the A E V Silverado hd and.
Scott Brady: Yeah, which is a great looking truck, by the way.
Matt Scott: Yeah, yeah, awesome. But you look at all the competition and you're looking at Ford with 1200 pound feet of torque. And you're looking at and a 10 speed. And 500 plus horsepower. And then you're looking.
Scott Brady: I remember when I drove the tremor, you literally feel, felt like you were turning the tires on the wheels. There was so much power. And literally, I like you were wondering what's going to break cuz it was so violently powerful.
Matt Scott: So, so you end up the positive to the prospector. Or honestly the positive to the RAM platform.
Scott Brady: Is aev.
Matt Scott: Is AEV and the interior.
Scott Brady: Yeah. No, the interior's great. Holy cow. [00:26:00] Beautiful.
Matt Scott: You know, the, the cab of the truck?
Scott Brady: Yeah. Beautiful.
Matt Scott: You know, goes back to 2016, 17, something like that, if not before that. Like it's, it's not the same cab. The fifth gen cab on the 15 hundreds is so TRX is fantastic. Why that's not on the. HD trucks. Hopefully it's coming.
Scott Brady: I'm sure it is.
Matt Scott: A pxl that's on the new RAM architecture with the, the proper new cab, which is just, you know, like the, the current generation HD trucks. You know, like you pull the door out and you can kind of, you pull by the handle, you kind of see the door move. A little bit like they're, they're pretty well done. But it's, it was tooled to be cheap to manufacture, and the new stuff is, is better. So like my next prospector, see, I'm already saying it. They're good trucks. My next one, I'm gonna wait fifth gen cab. I, it needs a better transmission.
Scott Brady: And you want the high [00:27:00] output motor.
Matt Scott: And, and it, it's not that you need it, but I would want it.
Scott Brady: Well, if you're gonna have a super truck on forties, you might as well have a thousand foot pounds of torque.
Matt Scott: Yeah. You know, like a prospector is gonna cost you somewhere between 90 and $130,000. That's a lot of money. The aev upfit, depending if you do just prospector, you prospector XL starts at like 15 or 20, which is a lot of money. But you can build that into financing, which is really important for a lot of people. And you're not think, think of the time savings. Like the coolest thing with the prospector is I got a built a beautifully built truck from day one. Yeah. Everybody knows I've built a lot of vehicles and.
Scott Brady: And you did nothing to it. I think I remember.
Matt Scott: I did the long range tank.
Scott Brady: Okay. Yeah. You did essentially nothing to it.
Matt Scott: Essentially nothing.
Scott Brady: So what was the, what was the size of the new long-range tank?
Matt Scott: 52 gallons. From Titan.
Scott Brady: So maybe 700 mile range.
Matt Scott: Something like that. Just more than you ever. Need to think about. It's there.
Scott Brady: What did you do with the spare? Did you go with the bed mount or you just went with no [00:28:00] spare?
Matt Scott: I went with the bed mount. Cause that's, that's the way the truck was equipped. I would do it again. I, I wanna say like, because.
Scott Brady: That's an interesting, like, loss of space I find. Has anybody done a swing out or anything like that?
Matt Scott: Yeah, you, you can do a swing out, so, so yeah, maybe. Maybe that's another negative to the truck is.
Scott Brady: Yeah, the spare tire.
Matt Scott: There's no, I mean that's just an inherent problem with a 40 inch tire is there's really nowhere to put it. You can put it on like a rigged swing out, which is what a lot of the pxl guys do. That gives you your full use of the bed, but then when you need to use the bed, you've got this extra step. It's not really that big of a deal. I find it a pain in the ass. So putting it in the bed, it's on the driver's side at the very front of the bed and it's, and it's vertical.
Scott Brady: If it do and it looks, it looks cool and it doesn't seem to, to block the view.
Matt Scott: You can still fit a dirt bike in the bed cuz you can run it front tire goes in the passenger front of the bed and to the side.
Scott Brady: And yours had a six and a half foot bed?
Matt Scott: Six and a half foot bed.
Scott Brady: That makes sense. [00:29:00]
Matt Scott: I, dirt bike guy myself, I really. It's, it's really hard to beat the Fords. If you're a, if you are loading dirt bikes regularly, Ford has this built-in bed step with this handle. And they have this six and three quarter bed, which means you can get two dirt bikes in with the tires. Or the, the front tire handlebars are turned inwards. They kind of kiss at the front. And then you have all of this room in the middle. It's, it's actually, that is.
Scott Brady: And you can close the tailgate.
Matt Scott: And you can close the tailgate. You can only do that with one bike on the Rams. Where I'm going with that is, even though that tire's there, it didn't really matter. Cuz you can only get one bike in there anyways. I had the rear view camera, like the, the mirror. I think it's a system from Magna or something. It was an option of the, the 22s, the Clearview system. So it actually had a camera kind of on that, that third brake light. It was right there.
Scott Brady: Oh, so you don't even see the tire.
Matt Scott: I only had a little bit of it in the corner. And you can actually adjust the field of view. So it was [00:30:00] very transparent. If you turn that off, you're like, oh wow. I basically can't, I can't see anything out of the truck. That was a really, really worthwhile upgrade and it made the truck feel and drive smaller. And, and more maneuverable, particularly with the 360 cameras as well. While it was big and you just, you know, if you get, if there's one parking spot and the two people next to you have parked like, You just, you, you're, you're probably not gonna fit. Now a lot of that's a mental, like a mental thing because the vehicle isn't actually any wider, cuz while the fenders and the track width increases, it's, it's still the same width at the mirrors. Right. That's a little bit of a mental game that you have to get used to with the truck. But you do think about it cuz it's. It's big, it's pretty maneuverable. I don't think it's any less maneuverable than a standard 2,500. I don't know.
Scott Brady: And anything that you do come in contact with the pxl is gonna win.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It's, it's, it's big. I think you just have to walk [00:31:00] into it. Knowing that it's big. Like obviously it's big. Like, like it's not like you can't.
Scott Brady: They even call it the xl?
Matt Scott: Yeah. Like you can't, you can't fault an elephant for being big. They're as big of an, as an elephant. They're an elephant. A pxl is as big as a pxl.
Scott Brady: Or as an elephant. Yeah.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Yeah. So I did the Warren mine had the Warren 16 five winch on it. Never used it. Looked good, fit good in there.
Scott Brady: Just I think it's a good idea to have it. I think the problem is, is when when a prospector gets stuck, you have a real problem. Because what it takes to get a prospector stuck to begin with means that you are in a place that not much else is gonna get to. So you really want to have some kind of self recovery.
Matt Scott: I, I always like to having it around because in the same thing, if the roamer, if the earth roamer gets stuck, we take it pretty far off road. Usually that's like the only vehicle that could get it. Unstuck. So to speak. So that was, I guess, one of the thoughts.
Scott Brady: So was your chase vehicle for [00:32:00] the earth roamer.
Matt Scott: All this sounds so terrible. Like what has happened, man, like I, I used to like ride scooters in Asia and I had like $12 for my name and I think I was happier.
Scott Brady: That's usually how it goes.
Matt Scott: Yeah, yeah. Anyways, so I really enjoyed it. And do, I think at the end of the day it's too big. It, yeah. Honestly.
Scott Brady: I never felt see. It, I'm, I'll pull back because I, I think if you're buying a truck like that, you're buying something. That has that kind of capability. And capacity. So you're saying that I want, and I want to be able to have a camper and I want to be able to go on these really remote trails so I can get further away from all the other people. And that's why you buy if, if you're looking at it not as a fashion accessory, as which that vehicle does a great job of. If you're looking at it just from like, how I would want to use it is, If I bought a regular cab tray bed prospector on forties or 40 ones, it's gonna allow me to get to the places that I couldn't, couldn't get [00:33:00] with my a t four. And I would put something like a scout on top or, or like a.
Matt Scott: They do get really awkward looking. Tall.
Scott Brady: Yeah. But so like, so does an earth roamer? Yours is almost 12 feet tall. You know, once you're into that category, you're gonna have a tall vehicle to begin with. But with the shorter wheel base of the regular cab and the clearance that's provided by the tray bed, you really do end up with this vehicle that is like, got Rubicon level capability. Now you're not. You're bigger, so you're not gonna fit everywhere. Rubicon can go, but you can go so many places that others can't. And I think that that's the, that's the argument for the prospector for me as an overlander, is I have, if I get a 3,500, I have over three. I mean, let's call it 2,800 pounds of payload by the time the conversion's done. I can put any camper I want on there. It'll also take additional fuel and water and whatever supplies I want. Front winch, rear winch. Whatever I want to install on the [00:34:00] vehicle. It can do all of that and it can get me into places that you just cannot get a Sprinter van. Yeah, you can't get a regular overland vehicle. That's the argument for me.
Matt Scott: I think the, the money thing would be to look at that new rebel. It, it's kind of like a, and it's, I guess it's parallel to the power wagon. It's, it's like the diesel power wagon. But I believe that it's meant to be a little bit more work oriented. That gets the four link front end from the power wagon with the diesel engine. Doesn't get a front locker like the power wagon does. But apparently Flex is like.
Scott Brady: But you can get a diesel?
Matt Scott: You can get a diesel in it.
Scott Brady: Oh wow. So what's the name of this?
Matt Scott: The, the Ram HD. Rebel. Yeah. It's kind of cool.
Scott Brady:I do, I do not know this. Oh yeah, I do know this.
Matt Scott: So there's Pxl that are starting to come out with those now, and I think that's the new top dog. Is this like, You know, you get the four link from the front end, so Ram hds get a radius arm set up. Which just doesn't flex as well and arguably wouldn't ride as [00:35:00] well. So if you really want to talk Cummins equipped Wrangler on steroids, the rebel HD is real cool.
Scott Brady: Okay. I'm seeing what you're talking about here. This thing is very cool.
Matt Scott: But the, the cool thing with aev is that like, if you're listening and you, and you're like, oh, I'm not, I'm not gonna buy a prospector. For, for whatever reason. And that's fine. You still have access to all of these products.
Scott Brady: All the accessories.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Like I've kind of been thinking lately, I'm like, boy, like a, a ram rebel with, you know, you can fit 30 fives on them stock. And to do the aev bumpers.
Scott Brady: And it has a rear locker. I, one of the things that I, I think it's important for people to know is don't get hung up on the front locker thing on an HD truck. And I'm just gonna be very open here. First of all. These have huge engines. They have a thousand foot.
Matt Scott: So much weight pressing down on those tires.
Scott Brady: And they have a thousand foot pounds of torque. So if you have a, the reason why they don't have a front locker, The, [00:36:00] the Ford doesn't have a front locker. Even the tremor. It has a front limited slip. Mechanical. The ram doesn't come with a front locker outside of the power wagon, and the power wagon has never come with a diesel because if they put a thousand foot pounds of torque to a locked front axle, they're gonna blow stuff up.
Matt Scott: And you get chasis bind, it's gonna go.
Scott Brady: It's gonna blow everything up. So everybody has to get over this. You know, full size HD trucks have to have front lockers. That's not true. They have traction control. So they have these advanced systems that limit wheel spin, but they're controlled in, they know how much torque is being applied to that front end. And they can adjust it to protect the front differential. Matt Scott: It, I don't think, I don't think they need 'em, and they're just, I don't think they need 'em. It's just so massive. And, and you're not, you're not. I mean, yes, you can take this truck virtually anywhere. How I think the use case for a lot of it is gonna be mild trails and forest service roads. With a full size truck, you get a lot of flotation from the big tires. You get the comfort, you get the load [00:37:00] carrying capacity. And another thing I really like about the Rams, I, I guess I've talked a little bit about maybe some shortcomings. They have shortcomings that are totally fine to live with and not.
Scott Brady: Yeah, but you have to, we have to be open about it.
Matt Scott: You know, like everybody else in the market in that segment has better options anyway. What I love about the Ram is it's actually a small truck. If you get the, you know, the, the quad cab with the six and a half foot bed. What converted me away from the gladiator was knowing that the dimensions for all intents and purposes were nearly identical. Like we we're talking maybe six inches in overall vehicle length, and nearly speaking, non prospect or xl, nearly the same vehicle width. I really like 'em. You know, you get into the Ford like somebody told me, and, and I, when, when you kind of stack it up, you see how it's true that, that an eight foot bed ram is nearly the same length as a six and a half foot [00:38:00] bed Ford.
Scott Brady: Oh, interesting.
Matt Scott: There are a little bit more compact trucks. The engine I think, comes a little further into the cab. The hood's a little shorter. Just the, it's, it's a really nicely thought out package. In terms of sizing, they're not as big as you'd think. Lot to like about 'em.
Scott Brady: So what's the Matt spec?
Matt Scott: Okay. If I'm building a, if I'm building a pxl, let's start with the truck. I don't know if I would do the, the, the limited Longhorn again, I think I would probably just do a, do a Laramie, with, I want to say they call it the level two. Because you know you're spending, you're spending when you're already spending that much. I think that level two package, which is what gets you like the 12 inch screen and the cooled seats. And a lot of the technology on, on the vehicle, it gets you like the dual paned glass, so it's pretty quiet inside. I would get a Laramie with level two package. I would love for, for now, for it to [00:39:00] be a, a rebel. I don't know if you can get the rebel in the 3,500, I think that's 2,500 only.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Looks like it's 2,500 only.
Matt Scott: Yeah. But that might be enough. Kind of off-road fun performance for me, didn't want to take that. But realistically, I would choose a 3,500. I'd get the high output motor, that comes with transmission. I would do the anti spin, rear differential, and then with a e v I would do the XL pack. I think that the standard prospect or Excel package is everything you could ever need. I would argue that you might want the winch. I would argue that you might want the, the front brush guard. I definitely wanted the lights on the front. I think that they look pretty good. I just, mine didn't come with it. Yeah. That's what it would be, and that's how I would spec it. I mean, I, I, I would ideally love to see what Ram's gonna do for 24. But they might just be running this power train for a long time. There's rumors of [00:40:00] some kind of diesel electric hybrid kinda, you know, from, I, I've been hearing that for a while. That would be, that would be really, really cool. Cause that's the only way that we're really gonna get these HD trucks to. To be practical if they're electrified in some kind of, you know, like.
Scott Brady: It's gotta be a combination.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It's gonna end up being something. So that, that would be my dream. But if I was to build one right now, yeah, that 3,500 would be the way to go.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It'd be 3,500 regular cab. Tray bed. 45s.
Matt Scott: For you. I would, would still, I would still do the kind of the standard configuration call, which a compromise for the mega cab is really that next generation cab that will, will solve a lot of those problems. It's a little bit longer, it's a little bit more efficient inside, like the seats end up taking up in the quad cab or crew cab or whatever we're calling it. They end up taking. Quite a bit of room. Right. I don't know. I really enjoyed having this vehicle for a [00:41:00] year. I had, I had zero problems on the aev side. It's cool that they do warranty everything I had. Quite a few recalls with the truck. Like I think that Rams for a 22 model year, which there's still a lot on dealer. Dealer lots. They're on stop sale right now. Some heater grid in the intake. Kind of like a glow plug thing. But yeah, I also had a lot of, I had a lot of problems with the, with their infotainment. So for 22, they switched to wireless CarPlay, and half of the time it would crash. They did an update on it, it would still crash. The, the entire screen would become unresponsive. And the problem that there's so much control through that screen.
Scott Brady: Oh, climate control almost.
Matt Scott: You, you've got some basic buttons on the sides, but you'd have to, you know, constantly reset this screen and that, and that did fix it. But yeah, I think there's some things that are, Again, not on the aev side, but the prospector's tied to the truck. Most of my [00:42:00] journalistic e complaints are would be related to the RAM side.
Scott Brady: Well, and speaking of prospector, it'll be interesting to see if aev does anything now with the new gm. You know, either the Chevrolet or the GMC on the XL side, because it's already, it already looks like a prospector from the factory. So if they did a, if they did a 40 inch tire package, that would be pretty amazing.
Matt Scott: If you're listening to this podcast and you're, and you're like, oh man, like, yeah, maybe I want a little bit more modern of a truck I don't maybe need as something that is as large. And maybe I don't want something that is as expensive. I mean, I think there's a lot of people on that boat. That is why this Chevy Silverado HD Bison AEV package. However, I'm not a Chevy guy, but I'm looking at Chevys and I'm like.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I've never been a GM guy. And I just.
Matt Scott: Well, they're listening to the market.
Scott Brady: I'm using one, I'm driving [00:43:00] a t four, so, yeah.
Matt Scott: Yeah. And, and you know, I, I think it's kind of public knowledge. There's a little bit of drama with aev and Jeep and that kind of stuff, like I think Jeep decided. Well, we're gonna do this ourselves with Mopar. Yeah. And it's like, okay, well when people want to actually spend five x what these parts cost because they have, you know, Jeep Performance parts on 'em. You know, let me know. So it's so cool to see. Chevy and GM capitalizing. On the, the quality that aev can provide.
Scott Brady: Well, and then look, Jeep just came out with their 20th anniversary, Rubicon, a e v edition, cuz they finally realized like, oh, we probably shouldn't, like
Matt Scott: Yeah, we're gonna, we're we're gonna be behind in the boat here.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So that new, that new gmc in the new Chevrolet hd, I mean, these, these are very cool.
Matt Scott: They, they look near perfect. All of the qualms that I had. Using the prospector as a daily driver or whatever. Seem to, in theory, kind of [00:44:00] be fixed by this. You know, it's on, it's on 30 fives.
Scott Brady: Easily fits, fits 37s.
Matt Scott: It's got the great looking, you know, a e v design, bumpers, you know.
Scott Brady: Multimatic suspension boron steel, skid plates, rear locking differential.
Matt Scott: And this boron steel stuff, if you don't know, is like, it's crazy.
Scott Brady: It's crazy.
Matt Scott: I think that Matt Feldman from aev like. They had a regular like kind of differential skid. It was made outta steel and they had one that was made out of. Boron steel. Boron. Steel is like twice as strong and it's like a billion times lighter. Which, you know, saves your payload. So you put more stuff in it.
Scott Brady: So prospector, very interesting option for overland travelers. I think that we're seeing more and more migration to full-size trucks.
Matt Scott: Makes sense.
Scott Brady: And vehicles like this just make sense.
Matt Scott: Like, It. I think when you factor in the total cost of ownership on an aev prospector Xl, early models still sell bar some [00:45:00] examples that have hundreds of thousands of miles. They'll still sell for 60 to 70 grand previous generation with 50 to 80,000 miles on them. Those trucks sold for what, probably like 80 to 90. What would it cost you to actually build a truck like that? You go to your local four wheel drive shop and, and please support your local four wheel drive shop. That's not what we're saying. What we're saying is that, They're still gonna charge you $150 an hour for labor to do all this stuff. To fabricate this, fabricate this. And AEV kind of has it done so;
Scott Brady: And it's way more efficient. So I'm sure that their shop rate is similar or maybe even more expensive, but they can do it in half the time. Because they have a process for it. So they just rip through all these modifications.
Matt Scott: Exactly. It's that assembly line kind of mentality.
Scott Brady: There's also a snorkel available to you, which means that it's totally overland. Ready now. I, I don't, could you imagine how deep the water would have to be? So it's literally just for dust.
Matt Scott: I [00:46:00] don't know if I would do the snorkel. I think the cab's pretty quiet inside. I would value that. I, I know friends that.
Scott Brady: It's the overland wave though.
Matt Scott: Friends that did the snorkel, they get, they get some wind noise and I know that it's like, oh, right, so there's, sir. I'm like, okay, the wind noise is still annoying and that's just gonna be a factor reality with anything that's, you know, cars are so aerodynamically tuned these days. Scott Brady: Sure. Those are great insights on the prospector.
Matt Scott: I would buy it again. Would I have a, a serious look at the Chevy HD bison thing, the truck that we all know about now? Yeah, I would, I would have a look at that. Yeah. I think that the Prospector Xl will always be a little more exotic, and I would really, it would, it would be very, very tempting to me with an eventual. Drive line update just to get it into competition with the rest of the market. For the truck.
Scott Brady: I'm sure Ram will do that.
Matt Scott: Yeah. And there's nothing wrong with what's out there. I mean, we're talking it, that it only has, you know, torque in the eight hundreds.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I know.
Matt Scott: Like, let's be real. I know. [00:47:00]
Scott Brady: Which was unheard of even a decade ago.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So, so, we'll.
Scott Brady: Well, thanks for that, Matt. This is, this is a good conversation. Check out the Prospector XL, AEV is a good company.
Matt Scott: Yeah. We like 'em.
Scott Brady: Yep. So we thank you all for listening, and we'll talk to you next time.