AEV's Jeep Pickup Truck Conquers Moab

AEV-Jeep-Brute-Double-Cab II
Just in case you missed this trail test, Trevor Reed, one of our favorite off-road writers, got the chance to drive the latest from the Jeep craftsmen at AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) on the rugged trails around Moab, Utah.

No doubt the extra-long wheelbase and custom-molded bed (and the corresponding departure angle) made it a challenge over many of the nastier obstacles, but he seems to have survived. 

Trevor notes this Jeep Brute Double Cab isn't exactly close to stock, with its 3.5-inch suspension lift, 6.4-liter Hemi V-8, 37-inch tires and heavy-duty axles. Still, it looked like a blast to drive, and will likely have Jeep paying close attention.

This is the same vehicle we first saw at the 2011 SEMA and liked so much. Pricing has still officially not been announced, but you can expect the kit (just the kit) to cost in the ballpark of $10,000, not including installation (which could be another $10,000). You can check out our earlier video by clicking here, or go to the full road test story Trevor did for Motor Trend by clicking here


Offroading doesn't strike me as a group event. Even mild offroading in my K5 was a cement mixer for the rear seat passenger's. Making it a dual perpose vehicle robs from the fun column. IMHO.

The question is this: Is it worth $20k to you to have this 3-4 years before it's offered from the factory?

If the answer is yes, go buy this now.

If not, then wait until the inevitable Jeep truck debuts in both single and crew cab versions in 2015 or so.

Thing is, we don't know for sure what kind of Wrangler truck we're getting. It might be like the JK Brute, it might be more like the TJ Brute, it might even just be the cargo version of the J8.

Then again, since AEV is very closely intertwined with Jeep now, the AEV conversion might basically be a rolling prototype for the Jeep truck-the TJ Brute was almost offered as a factory option.

This is quite possibly the BEST packaging of the Jeep out there. The cost to get this Jeep is simply out of reach for the common Joe like me. Please Jeep, build this truck!

Bed is listed as 61 x 60 in, with 44 in between the wheel wells. If Jeep made this and managed to get four more inches of width into the bed for flat carrying of 4x8 sheets of building material they will have a combination offroad monster and workhorse truck, the ultimate utility vehicle. I think this would rapidly steal all higher end sales of Tacos and Frontiers, as well as bring in a pile of previous non truck owners.

I'll have mine with 2 doors, and a diesel w/6spd std, and locker F/R. Please!

The dimensions of the bed are just fine. If you need to haul plywood, buy a truck for that purpose. Every truck on the market doesn't need a big-ass 4x8 bed.

Seriously what can you haul with this thing?

If you are a rich poser who likes tiny beds and dangerously positioned shock mounts this is the truck for you!

For $20,000.00 it is a rip off...


How much did you spend on your BOTT kit?

Not even close to $20k?

Oxi is just jealous once again because the japs have nothing even remotely close to being as offroad capable and practical as the Jeep.

Having said that.. Jeep is being stupid for not already selling these. People have been writing them and calling them for years begging for a Wrangler pickup truck. Chrysler knows that these are a guaranteed sell. There is NO question that every single one they built would be sold... yet they won't build it. If you're a businessman, and people walk up to you and promise you that they'll buy your product if you build it in "X" way, and you refuse to do it...then you're an idiot. Throwing away guaranteed money is dumb.

Toyota has the 4Runner They also offer the Legendary Land Cruiser "Land Cruiser remains the NATO vehicle of choice and remains a competent off-road vehicle." The Lexus LX 570 If that wasnt enough they offer the FJ Cruiser for you. Now they offer the Tacoma TRD T|X Baja what more can you ask for?


Here's the problem with your thoughts. Jeep doesn't make the Jeep pickup because their Toledo plant (where Wranglers are made) is at 100% capacity. Every Wrangler that is made is sold, they don't stay on the lots for long.

They could make the pickup, but then they'd have to cut capacity for their normal JK models. By the time you add in all the R&D to make the pickup and retooling of the plant, it must not make financial sense. Or, they could build it another plant, but think how much that would cost.

That being said, maybe we'll see something like this in the redesign due in a few years.

I remember when some people were saying that a 4dr Wrangler would never sell. Today I see them everywhere.

If Sergio and the Board put their mind to it, they could have a Jeep pickup truck on the market in less than three years. GM was able to put the Avalanche on the market by keeping much of the Suburban at its core.

In my area the old Jeep Pioneer pickup truck is still widely in use, mostly by people living in the high country. If Jeep could make a truck based on the current Grand Cherokee utilizing everything forward of the C-pillar and adding a 6-foot bed, I would buy one for sure.

But a Wrangler-based pickup truck like this AEV would also be a good seller.

Doug Masters: That's almost exactly what's been said by Jeep management. It's simply not feasible to build a Jeep truck at current plant capacity, but once they redesign the platform and retool the platform to allow for more production, a Jeep truck will likely come along with it.

@highdesertcat I agree with you, but the consensus amongst jeep owners seems to be that Chrysler will never turn the Grand Cherokee into a truck. It will have to be a dual solid axle design, based off of the Wrangler, or nothing. In some ways I see their point. If Ram would quit dicking around and put out a new Dakota with all of the new Ram 1500 features on a slightly smaller vehicle it would pretty much be an Grand Cherokee truck. I would be very happy to buy a "mini" ram 1500 if they just put it on ~ 1K lb diet and chopped it a little bit in each direction.

Jeep come on and build this rig as mass production! This Jeep would be killer! Also build a regular cab as a base...Oh look who I'm talking to...a brand who builds pipe dreams instead of pickups! Not everyone wants a Ram Power Wagon!

I've been meaning to ask what is that "scuba-diving" thing on the right front pillar? I've seen it on many off-road vehicles but never knew what it was.


That's a snorkel on the passenger side windshield pillar. It is connected to the air cleaner and allows the driver to ford deep water crossings without taking water directly into the engine.


How deep can one go with a snorkel like that? Are the transmission and differentials sealed sufficiently to prevent water from getting in? Don't these usually have breather tubes somewhere? Are those tubes check valved? What is the next lowest thing that could go wrong on these vehicles? Bottom of the door sill? Alternator? I am curious as I have never forded anything or been in a vehicle that could do so.

phillyguy, in my area the Wrangler is very popular and many of the military guys at the nearby airbase have made a make-shift bed to hook up to their Wangler, from the last seat back. Looks nifty, too

They aren't fancy by they work real good for hauling lumber, sacks of cement, refrigerators, washers and dryers, etc. I saw one guy haul a 14-foot ladder from the Home Depot using that exact contraption.

I bought a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee for my wife and she has mentioned to me that it would be an even better utility if it came with a bed for her plants and trees, mulch, fertilizer, etc., like she had seen some Wranglers hauling.

I'm currently working on a three-point platform using the center hitch-receiver and mounting points where the hitch attaches to the unibody. It worked very well but it was not easily detachable. IOW, it was a bear to put on and take off.

So my next modification is to cut off the arms that mount to the unibody and weld a hitch-receiver to each one, thereby making the 'bed' easily detachable (plug-in, pull-out) by one person.

I know a Grand Cherokee truck will never happen, but she doesn't like my 2011 Tundra and she just isn't comfortable driving that much truck.

I saw a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited conversion yesterday at our summer "super" sale. It looked good but had a tire carrier mounted in the middle of the box which effectively killed 1/2 the space. I'd rather have the standard Wrangler 4 door. You can still remove the top, fold the seats and fit a bulky load in the back. A truck like this probably would sell reasonably well if Jeep offered it.

Ignore the team Oxi trolls. The real Oxi stopped posting because all of the logical rebuttals were too much for his brain to handle.

@Greg B.: Maybe not. On the other hand, a good 4x6 would serve the job just fine. I don't mind hanging two feet out over the tailgate. I still want to carry my plywood or whatever flat.

@5.3L LOL: Well, let's see. How about starting with at least one dead link and one damaged site. Then we go with rigs with no soft top or removable top--killing the fun of being in nature with a Jeep. Essentially, while I won't deny that the Toyota rigs are capable off-road vehicles, they lack the panache that makes the Jeep the only vehicle of its kind currently available.

@Doug Masters: Totally wrong. They haven't been doing it because the RAM division head complains it will cannibalize RAM truck sales. Oh, they do know it will sell--and hurt Chrysler's truck division in the process.

On the other hand, if they were to realize it would steal drivers away from those other brands too...?

@everyone, Lou is trying to troll oxi into coming back. oxi left because he was tired of perverts like Lou stalking and threatening him. This is the post that started it all.


@Jordan L - Oxi would be real easy to stalk. The dimwit posted pictures of his new house and the real estate sign. Run the number through MLS, and voila, we all can go visit oxi while he works on his truck.
Google Earth can give us a nice street view.

@Oxi - be careful what you put on the internet.
Sleep tight.
Posted by: Lou | Dec 29, 2011 11:54:16 PM

@why - convenient to leave out the rest of the details. you DO sound like oxi.
This was posted prior to my comment:
@ Oxi You think I'm staking you? There's that world class arrogance again. If I was going to stalk someone it wouldn't be you. Get over yourself dude.
Posted by: Jordan L | Dec 29, 2011 10:44:38 PM

I then made the previously mentioned comment.

Let everyone read the thread and they can decide for themselves.

It doesn't matter if you were going to stalk him or not. Your post was enough to think that someone would.

We all like to joke around but you crossed the line big time and never apologized for it! oxi shares a lot of the blame for trolling but your post was the one that set oxi off and why oxi is not here today which is too bad because I really enjoyed his informative posts.

I agree. Lou crossed the line.

oxi will be back. He is over at TacomaWorld and TTORA if you need to ask him anything.

I see my name being dragged back into another oxi argument. Well if oxi has left because of Lou then there is only one thing to do: Thanks Lou.

oxi didn't leave. He is still here in the shadows waiting for the right topic.


"How deep can one go with a snorkel like that? Are the transmission and differentials sealed sufficiently to prevent water from getting in? Don't these usually have breather tubes somewhere? Are those tubes check valved? What is the next lowest thing that could go wrong on these vehicles? Bottom of the door sill? Alternator? I am curious as I have never forded anything or been in a vehicle that could do so."

It's easy to install extension tubes on breather hoses/etc. but most vehicles, unless exhaustively prepped will usually start to encounter problems when the water reaches the plugs and plug wires and shorts them out.

I have a snorkel on my Jeep ( )but I don't generally drive in anything much deeper than a few feet. I put mine on after sucking water into a previous engine (GMPP Ram Jet 350--tunnel ram intake is in a really bad place) when I was charging through water only a few feet deep. Bent every rod in the engine and ruptured three pistons.

So after a $3000 mistake (replacement longblock, etc.), making a $300 investment on the snorkel seemed like a good idea. Now I have a 2007 Chevy 6.0L LQ4 engine in it (also with a tunnel ram intake) and I am still using the snorkel. It doesn't take much water to ruin an engine...better safe than sorry.

There are lots of places that sell retrofit auto snorkels. People who launch boats often submerge their trucks up to the doors on a ramp. Google automotive snorkels.

Here's just one result.

I think oxi has a snorkle?


People who launch boats often submerge their trucks up to the doors on a ramp.

I've got a buddy who owns a cabin care business and launches customers' boats for them. One particular customer has a very large boat on a lake with a very shallow landing and in dry years when the lake is low he pays me to come out and launch the boat for him (have to drive 100 yards or so, out to where the lake drops off). The exhaust is blowing bubbles and water gets up to lapping at the doorsills of the Jeep, but most importantly, selectable lockers keep it from getting stuck. Easy $100 anyway... :)

Jason, I see it all the time at various boat ramps. I no longer own a boat myself, but my brother in San Diego does and he launches at the Mission Bay boat launch and at the Quivera Basin launch.

Good 4wd is key and I have seen many a guy with 2wd have to get hauled out with a shore-winch or other truck.

I have also seen guys slide backwards to below the comfort level and, like you in your previous experience, sucked water whipped by the cooling fan into the intake or otherwise stalled the engine. Not fun.

If you're going to retrofit a snorkel be sure to run vent tubes from your differentials and waterproof your ignition system. It's also wise to replace any carpeting and noise insulation with removable rubber matting material so you can dry out the interior if water splashes in, as has been know to happen.

You might also want to try the Jeep-owners website or the Mopar site to see what factory options are available. There are so many good commercial Jeep enthusiast sites that a snorkel should be easy to find. Good luck.

The Bed- it is plenty big for what it was designed to do- haul camping equipment for 4 people.
The cost- its a Jeep thing- Oxi wouldn't understand.
To build or not to build- Doug Masters is exactly right- why spend money develpoping something that wont sell any more vehicles. As a would-be consumer, the shame is that a pick-up version wouldn't have to cost any more, just as the H3T cost a little LESS than the H3.
AEV has not announced plans to sell kits, the way they do for TJ Brutes. A partial kit would suit me fine- cab close-in and frame extension is all I need. Add a little flat-bed...
Snorkel- while a snorkel does raise the air intake point, it doesn't raise fording depth to the top of the windshield. It makes water ingestion extreemely unlikely, while pushing the limits of what the electronics will tolerate. Their biggeswt benefit is that at 6ft+ above the ground, there is far less dust in the air than down low, where the OE intake is. This can drastically improve air filter life in off-road application. Oh, and it looks cool.

I was at a jeep dealer today that had a jeep pick up conversion of a jeep unlimited. The salesman told me tha it was a factory conversion anD that he could order me one. Has anyone heard this yet or am I being told a fish story.

@Scobud - the salesman is right. Jeep didn't design it but it is sold through them. They will install and warranty it if you are willing to pay the price.
I looked at a Jeep pickup conversion the other day. The spare tire was mounted in the box which ate 1/2 of the space. I'd rather save my money and buy the Unlimited. If you need to carry something tall and bulky, just remove the back section of the hardtop. The one I looked at had a 2 piece hardtop.

Ok for most off road ppl the tiny bed is used for beer,chairs,chain
And what ever you want jeeps are off road vehicles not for towing

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