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RV Review: Patton, the tank of RVs

Today’s review is of the Patton, a hard-core overlanding RV based on a Humvee platform. Overlanding seems to have gained a lot of popularity, and the heart of the interest seems to be Colorado, where the Patton comes from. Wolf Rigs™ is the creator of the Patton, and I had a chance to speak with founder, Reed Gerdes. 

Like many people in this field, Gerdes is an avid off-roader and camper. He wanted to create a vehicle that truly could go to places most people couldn’t. Another requirement is that the vehicle be ready to go without having to fold or move or otherwise fiddle with things to take it from being a vehicle to being a camper. 

As such, Reed started with the Humvee but essentially has gone through the vehicles from top to bottom to make them something that can reliably serve the owners and also remain serviceable mechanically. As such, there’s a new Cummins/Allison/Atlas drivetrain (300 hp, 600 lb-ft), and the entire running gear is similarly gone through. 

Then the process of creating the camper portion starts and the shell is built completely out of 1/8”-thick aluminum panels which are both bonded and riveted together. This vehicle is designed to be able to withstand going to places where even some hardcore off-roaders might ask how you got there. 

Beauty inside the Patton

But Gerdes has another ace up his sleeve. Having built houses for others in the past, he uses that industrial-strength wrapper to envelope an interior that is very inviting. At an overlanding show he surprised people by opening the door of this very military-looking machine and showing off how warm and inviting the interior is. 

In fact, real wood, actual tile and similar materials greet you inside. This is no cheap RV by any stretch of the imagination, but it does feel like a quality piece with inviting materials. Further, each one is built to spec, so the materials and decor can be changed based on the buyer’s tastes. 

A few things really stand out to me, including the bathroom. This uses a cartridge toilet. That really makes sense in a vehicle like this. But that toilet has its own little compartment that it goes in on the side of the shower. 

When it’s time to take a shower you have a large, unobstructed shower. When it’s time to go potty, it’s easy enough to pull this out of its compartment. Clever. Oh, and the compartment door is teak, adding to the upscale feel of this rig. 

The layout in this is somewhat like a pickup camper with sleeping over the cab. There are dual-pane windows on the front of the cab and above the bed. 

The kitchen is a simple affair with two 12-volt coolers and a two-burner propane stovetop. The prototype model did not have a microwave, but Gerdes noted that the things used in the truck were put there after speaking with a lot of overlanders. Feedback from them on priorities and components is what got those pieces included or excluded. 

Cargo in the Patton

One of the things that might surprise any overlander is the huge rear cargo space. There’s lots of space for shovels, ladders, straps and other things to help you get where others can’t. 

Tires are a factor in this and the kind of tires and wheels that are part of the picture here are big and heavy. So the Patton has a winch system in this cargo area. At the push of a button, the tire mount can be extended and the tire eased to the ground. Then, when you’ve changed tires, the tire and wheel you replaced can be winched back into place just as easy as can be. 

This helps when the wheels and tires are as big as they are and weigh about 125 pounds each. 

In summary

Let’s face it. This rig is absolutely extreme in every way. From the off-road capability to the way it’s built structurally, to even the interior design. The Patton is not your mainstream camper. But there are people who have waited in line for a machine that doesn’t have nearly the off-road prowess or build quality of this machine. 

It just looks like the cavalry is coming when this camper is crawling up a hill. 

For those familiar with the Humvee on which this is based, you know that there have been some issues with their mechanical reliability. That’s why they swap in a Cummins engine. The way the company builds these, they put in Cummins diesels that don’t feature digital controls or even a DEF system. 

I know this question has come up in the comments and I neglected to put a price, which starts around $350,000. They are all customized, so pricing varies with features chosen.

For the right person this could be the one to get, park it at the top of a hill and laugh at everyone else who gets stuck trying to meet you at the top. Well, until you realize you might also be the person helping them get back down the hill. 



More from Tony

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

If you’re RV shopping here are some tips on RV shopping from a former RV salesperson—me!

Tony comes to RVtravel.com having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. He also works closely with a number of RV manufacturers to get an inside look at how things are done and is a brand ambassador for Rockwood Mini Lite with his wife, Peggy.

You can also check out his RV podcast with his wife, Peggy.

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. They are based on information from a single unit and may not reflect your actual experience. Shop your RV and dealership carefully before making a buying decision. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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Steve H
8 days ago

I looked up the Wolf Rigs address online. It is about five miles from my house, so I may ask them for a tour one of these days.

KellyR
10 days ago

Even if you can prove it is under 10 years old, would they still let you park between two Class A rigs?

Steve Murray
10 days ago

Can you buy this at Camping World? Asking for a friend!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

😆 Good one! Thanks, Steve. Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

Michael David Galvin
10 days ago

Specs?
Always include price and mileage.

Gregory Illes
10 days ago

Hey Tony, great review — but you might have mentioned that pricing starts at $350K.

bill
10 days ago

To each his own .. It’ll never make it over the Rubicon Trail by itself, but my Landcruiser pickup with 6-pac camper did .. Without a scratch.

Glenn A
10 days ago

I would consider that more of an “overlanding” vehicle than a camper. Hence, the angled rear overhang that improves departure angle.

Ardis
10 days ago

How do they get away with no DEF?

John_Brown
10 days ago

I wonder how this would hold up after backing up into a lamp post in a Walmrt parking lot? Never mind a 4″ sapling off-road. I would not buy it because I consider an overhang beyond the bumpers on any vehicle a very poor design.

There is a very good reason the FVMSS (aka title 49) requires bumpers on vehicles that can withstand minor mishaps, so, little errors do not result in big repair bills for owners.

Looks like if you actually managed to put a rear ball mount somewhere on the thing, hooking up a trailer that held your off road UTVs would be a sweet experience!

Have an enclosed trailer to use for hauling toys or extra supplies? Forget about it as most do not have a tongue length of 4+ feet. I am not sure as designed this thing would be stable enough to even tow a small trailer 5000# trailer holding three ATVs.

Put it on a real truck either SRW or DRW without that awful overhang and then maybe I would be interested.

Don
10 days ago

Wow! I can imagine the price is as out-of-sight as the rig is…

Bob p
10 days ago

Another great review, when I first looked at the pics the spare tire immediately caught my eye as a major problem until I read the review about the winch. Other than that it looks like something I would’ve been interested in 50 years ago. Lol

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