For over 15 years Michigan’s AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) has been in the business of building seriously capable Jeep Wranglers into off-road demons, pushing the boundaries of 4WD design and innovation. For their latest project they’ve taken the pickup formerly known as the Dodge Ram – now just Ram – and converted it into an all-terrain Monster.
The roots of AEV date back to 1991, when Dave purchased a ’91 Jeep Wrangler YJ that he stretched by 21 inches. This vehicle’s unique modification (and the off-road performance that resulted from it) led to awards and placements on the floor of the SEMA show, and the rest is history. Since that time, AEV has solidified its place as a company that can transform factory trucks into off-road beasts while maintaining the handling, stability, safety, and comfort of a relatively stock 4×4 that’s fresh off the dealer’s lot. In fact, you can buy a Ram and have it modified by AEV before you even take delivery.
Designed for dedicated overland travelers and recreational explorers alike, the AEV Prospector is outfitted with all the necessary equipment to take you places you never thought were possible. Every AEV component has been meticulously engineered to exceed all expectations, creating a vehicle that exemplifies unsurpassed build quality.
The new AEV Prospector begins life as a Dodge Ram modifications are then made to improve off-road performance. The shovel and pick Prospector logo on the AEV vehicles comes straight from those old Dodges. The difference between AEV and other one-off customizers is that the company counts many former Chrysler employees, including engineers, in its ranks. Their vehicles are built to meet or exceed OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) standards and are sold through select Jeep and Ram dealers.
Superior front end protection is an absolute necessity for anyone traveling long distances to remote locations. Every component of the AEV Prospector’s Front Bumper is robust and designed to work hard and the 4mm thick stamped steel face provides a superior level of protection while also safely accommodating up to a 16,500 lb. winch to assist with vehicle recovery. The massive ductile iron tow loops are rated to pass all OE load specifications and double as wear plates to slide over steep obstacles.
AEV’s DualSport Suspension Systems increases wheel travel, allows for the fitment of larger tires and optimizes the suspension and steering geometry for better handling and reduced driver fatigue.The AEV 3″ DualSport Suspension System found on the AEV Prospector is the ultimate “real world” suspension system – one that allows for greater performance off-road, while also improving driver comfort and vehicle handling characteristics on the road while maintaining the factory load carrying capacity.
AEV’s Ram Prospector is impressive and the basic package is a tempting addition for anyone with a new Ram. The turn-key package costs from $13,925 and goes up to $25,000 if you want the works. It is just a matter of ticking some boxes, but you’re getting a lot of off-road capability for that extra spend and it is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
In the end the AEV Prospector is far more capable than we need for our drive on average roads. However the Prospector is an overlander, designed to take long journeys far from civilization to places that would leave a regular pickup quaking in its light-truck tires. If that is what you are looking for, then this is the package for you.