For far too long, pickup campers have been dragged down by chronic fugliness, possibly the least attractive category in an RV market known for churning out some real eyesores. The recent topper trend has helped to reverse some of pickup camping’s aesthetic misfortunes with lighter, lower, sleeker designs that complement rather than detract from truck styling. German overlanding brand Days on Tracks has taken this cosmetic reversal to the next stage by launching the Alpaca, a camping topper that’s downright pretty thanks to vibrant pop-up fabric and wooden wall, door and roof panels.
Days on Tracks (DOT) was founded as something of a pandemic passion project by husband-and-wife team Nico and Sylvia Müller. The duo converted a decades-old GMC Vandura Pathfinder 4×4 into an all-terrain family camper van and started to fabricate more and more accessories for themselves and friends, growing the hobby into a full business to complement their motorcycle and ebike customization business Hookie Co.
With the new Alpaca, Days on Tracks has moved from vehicle accessories to a full-blown (but lightweight) vehicle camper.
The DOT Alpaca operates much like any other topper but looks more stylish than average. The contrast of light wood exterior paneling and orange-highlighted “bright olive” fabric shown in the first renderings give it the look of a design student project more than an actual camping product, but it is in fact the latter. Those who don’t like that particular rustic-chic look can opt instead for either powder-coated aluminum or carbon fiber panels and/or choose from a series of other fabric colors.
Whatever the exterior look the buyer chooses, it’s underpinned by a structural aluminum frame with wedge-style pop-up roof. The Alpaca features a 98 x 51-in (250 x 130-cm) sleeping platform with mattress, leaving the pickup bed empty and ready to load with gear. The side hatch and rear doors open with help from integrated struts.
The Alpaca’s available raised ribbed roof rack adds space for gear carry, and Days on Tracks says the frame is compatible with attachable accessories such as awnings and auxiliary lighting. Base weight starts around 375 lb (170 kg), comparable to American pop-up pickup toppers, which tend to weigh in the 300- to 400-lb (136 to 182-kg) range.
The DOT Alpaca is available for preorder now starting at €8,900 (approx. US$9,775), before any shipping charges. Days on Tracks says the topper is designed with the full gamut of pickup trucks in mind, and it plans to offer it in different widths and lengths. It’s focusing first on popular European-market trucks like the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok. It has already started production, and lead time is roughly eight to 12 weeks. The first complete example will roll out of the shop in the next few weeks, the company tells us.
In addition to the Alpaca, the young homegrown company offers some other impressive overlanding products, including its own line of rugged roof and truck bed racks and a heavy-duty off-roading shovel. We particularly like its truck bed rack with side bicycle-carry option, pictured just above.
The short video shows some of the other Alpaca material and color options.
DOT Alpaca Pick-Up Camper
Source: Days on Track