In a TCM exclusive interview, Pierre-Mathieu Roy, President and Creative Director of LOKI Basecamp, explains the extreme off-road, all-weather concept of the Icarus. From the fiberglass shell and aluminum frame, to the heated floors and 12-volt air conditioning, the Icarus series is ready to play; anywhere and in any condition.
After months of renderings and preliminary information, LOKI Basecamp has announced the production of the Icarus 6 and Icarus 8 truck campers. Designed for extreme overland and weather conditions, the Icarus series extends the concept of the LOKI Falcon models with a lighter, more aerodynamic, and lower-cost solution.
One of the more compelling elements of the Icarus is the utilization of a demountable SpaceKap fiberglass shell developed to convert pickup trucks into highly versatile service vehicles for utility companies, contractors, construction workers, and first responders.
LOKI Basecamp dramatically reinforces the fiberglass hull with an interior aluminum frame for the floor, walls, and ceiling. The result is likely one of the strongest structures in either the truck camper or overland markets.
Beyond the unique manufacturing approach, the LOKI Icarus series is densely packed with overland-focused features; R-16 double-density composite insulation, up to 600-amp-hours of lithium batteries, up to 270-watts of solar, diesel, and electric water heaters, 12-volt air conditioning, 12-volt heated floors, an exterior rack and mount system, fully removable jacks and more. The Icarus series is designed to take you where you want to go and camp where you want to camp.
For the full story behind the LOKI Icarus 6 and Icarus 8 truck campers, we talked to the President and Creative Director of LOKI Basecamp, Pierre-Mathieu Roy.
LOKI Basecamp Icarus 8 Specifications
The LOKI Basecamp Icarus 8 is a hard-side, non-slide truck camper for long bed trucks. The interior floor length of the Icarus 8 is 8’0” and the interior height is 71-inches.
LOKI is reporting the wet weight of the Icarus 8 at approximately 2,500-pounds (1,334-kilograms). The wet weight includes 15-gallons of fresh water, a full 5-gallon diesel tank, and 600-amp hours of batteries.
The Icarus 8 has a 15-gallon fresh water tank, 4.2-gallon water heater, and a 13-gallon grey tank. There is no propane in this model, but the unit has a 5-gallon diesel auxiliary tank for the water heater. The Icarus 8 accommodates 600-amp hours of battery power.
The base price MSRP for the Icarus 8 is $69,000 USD / $89,000 CAD. Click here to get a free LOKI Icarus brochure.
LOKI Basecamp Icarus 6 Specifications
The LOKI Basecamp Icarus 6 is a hard-side, non-slide truck camper for short bed trucks. The interior floor length of the Icarus 6 is 6’5” and the interior height is 71-inches.
LOKI is reporting the wet weight of the Icarus 6 at approximately 2,000-pounds (907.2-kilograms). The wet weight includes 15-gallons of fresh water, a full 5-gallon diesel tank, and 600-amp hours of batteries.
The Icarus 6 has a 15-gallon fresh water tank, 4.2-gallon water heater, and a 13-gallon grey tank. There is no propane in this model, but the unit has a 5-gallon diesel auxiliary tank for the water heater. The Icarus 6 accommodates 600-amp hours of battery power.
The base price MSRP for the Icarus 6 is $69,000 USD / $89,000 CAD. Click here to get a free LOKI Icarus brochure.
Above: The LOKI Icarus 8 on a Ford F350, all photos courtesy of LOKI Basecamp
Where did the concept of the LOKI Icarus come from?
After we debuted the Falcon, a large number of people asked us for something quicker, more agile, and affordable. Compared to Falcon, the Icarus series is significantly lighter and tighter to the truck. You don’t feel the Icarus when you drive. The Icarus series was in our plans when we launched LOKI Basecamp and is a continuation of what we started with our original Falcon.
Inside the Icarus, it is smaller than the Falcon, but still surprisingly roomy. There’s a kitchen, a sofa and table that converts into a single bed, and a north-south cabover with a pull-out double bed. If you’re traveling alone or as a couple, the Icarus may suit you better. It’s geared more for weekenders versus longer expeditions.
Where the Falcon has an aluminum exterior, the Icarus starts with a molded fiberglass shell by SpaceKap. The fiberglass shells have been manufactured for almost 30 years and are commonly used for electricians, plumbers, and lumber trucks. Using a proven fiberglass shell is one way we were able to bring the LOKI Basecamp concept to a lower price point.
Are you reinforcing the fiberglass shells for the Icarus?
Yes. The fiberglass shell is incredibly strong and durable, but we needed it to be even stronger. To achieve the required strength, we designed an interior aluminum frame to reinforce the floor, walls, and roof. With the interior aluminum frame, the entire Icarus structure is three times stronger. The original fiberglass shell roof was rated at 500-pounds and not walk-on capable. The Icarus roof is fully walk-on capable and can hold at least 1,500-pounds for kayaks, toys, or whatever our customers want to bring with them.
How do you complete the interior walls?
To the aluminum frame, we add R-16 composite foam insulation, an air-gap, Azdel composite panels, and our interior wall coating. This is the same insulation approach used for NOR’VA Sprinter vans and our Falcon series.
We have been testing and using the Icarus for small trips here in Quebec. The handling and response on the road are beyond our expectations. We are all very experienced with traditional truck campers and the Icarus is different. You really can’t feel the camper is there when you drive the truck. Our team has often forgotten it was there. We can’t wait until there’s more snow so we can further test its capabilities.
The exterior has an integrated utility roof and side rack. What is the purpose of this rack system?
The Icarus starts with an aluminum roof rack for solar panels, roof-mounted toys, and other features. We then extend the roof rack to the front to mount LED lights and light bars. Side rails on both sides of the Icarus can hold kayaks, paddleboards, skis, and snowboards. Unlike a van, we can put rails on both sides of the Icarus because we don’t need to accommodate for a sliding door.
There are no camper jacks shown in the photos. How does the Icarus load and unload?
The Rieco-Titan camper jacks are removable. Most of our customers do not want to have the jacks installed after loading. They can either leave the jacks at home or stow them in their truck. This is the same approach we use for our Falcon series.
How does the Icarus tie down to a truck?
The fiberglass shells are designed to attach with straps on the four corners of the truck’s bed. That approach didn’t look strong enough for the Icarus. We designed an aluminum truck bed grid system for the Falcon and decided to use a similar approach for the Icarus. The grid is attached to the truck’s frame and has four corner hooks that tie down the Icarus.
There is no visible tie-down system on either the Falcon or the Icarus. That was a big aspect of our engineering. We need to make different grids for different truck makes and models, but it’s the strongest solution.
Does the Icarus fit a dually truck?
Yes, it can fit on a dually. You will need swing-out brackets, but the shells we’re using has been installing shells on dually trucks for decades. The grid might need to be designed a bit differently, but we will assist you with that adjustment.
Tell us about the bumper and entry step system for the 2022 LOKI Icarus Series.
Due to the design of the shell, we couldn’t use the tailgate step approach. We looked at the market and nothing presented as a strong option. There were collapsible options, but nothing we felt would survive winter.
So we designed our own heavy-duty and collapsible system. It can be used with snow or ski boots and will hold up through the winter. It’s pretty basic, but we didn’t want a large or complex step.
Above: Double fiberglass doors with heavy duty hinges
It looks like you employ the same doors as the original shell.
The fiberglass doors are the same, but we reinforced them and changed the hinges for a much stronger set-up. Then we added mounts to the doors for anything from Jerrycans to Maxtrax to spare tires to ski racks. With the roof rack, front bar, and side and back rails, it’s about what you want to do. Are you a skier or a biker? Whatever activities you enjoy, you can add the accessories that you need.
What is the height of the interior ceiling?
The interior height is 71”. I’m 5’8” and can stand up inside. The cabover is too low to sit up with 20” from the mattress to the ceiling, but the pull-out bed is very comfortable for sleeping. The lower height of the cabover and camper is part of why the Icarus handles so well on the road.
What are the floor plan differences between the Icarus 6 and 8?
The entrance areas are a little different. The Icarus 8 has an additional 24-inches and features a mudroom and has some extra seating and storage. The Icarus 6 does not have the mudroom, but gets a slightly larger kitchen.
Does the mudroom on the Icarus 8 have a drain pan and drain?
Unfortunately, there was no room for a drain pan and drain in the Icarus 8. There is a drain pipe that leads to a grey tank in the lower portion of the kitchen. If you use a mobile shower system, you can drain the shower into the drain pipe and into the grey tank. We’re looking into an optional mat or grill for your wet boots.
The floor in the Icarus has sealed linoleum with a 12-volt heated floor underneath. If the floor gets wet, it’s no problem because it is completely sealed.
Wait. The Icarus series has 12-volt heated floors?
Yes. Twelve-volt heated floors are standard, and a game-changer. It takes about 30-minutes for the 12-volt heated floor to heat up. Once you feel that difference, you can’t go back. The heating elements start as a grid that you cut and fit to the shape of the floor. Then we cover the elements with a layer of wood and linoleum.
Before starting LOKI Basecamp, I had a Sprinter van conversion. During the winters here in Quebec my floor was always cold. The 12-volt heated floors are like heated seats in a car. They won’t heat the whole camper, but they do keep the floor warm. During our testing, we left it on for 12 hours and didn’t see the difference in our lithium batteries. Once it reaches a specific temperature, it stays on a low temperature for minimal energy consumption.
That’s something we would like to experience and test, especially the battery draw.
To me, this is another sign that everything is going electric. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re now making 12-volt heated floors standard in our Falcon and Icarus series.
What is the size of the grey tank in the Icarus and where is it located?
It’s a 13-gallon grey tank located in the lower portion of the kitchen. Most campers this size don’t have a grey tank, but we wanted the Icarus to be fully self-contained.
If people want more storage, we can change to smaller fresh and grey tanks. Right now we’re at 15-gallons fresh, 13-gallons grey, and 4.2 gallons in the water heater.
Where is the battery bank in the LOKI Icarus?
The batteries are under the bed, forward and low for the center of gravity.
What are the battery options?
The Icarus can have up to 600-amp hours of lithium batteries. 300-amp hours come standard and are plenty for most, but more is recommended if you will be running the 12-volt air conditioning system.
All of our batteries are lithium. We install Battle Born, Victron, and self-heating Voltium batteries. Depending on where you live and camp, and what you do, we will recommend the best lithium batteries and battery bank size. Self-heating batteries are more expensive, and not everyone needs them.
Tell us about the solar system options for the Icarus.
The Icarus demo unit has 270-watts of solar, but there is no standard. On our Falcon and Icarus demo units we have used Zamp Obsidian panels, but some customers request different brands. Once again, we design a solar panel system calculated to your specific needs.
Above: Operating the 12-volt air conditioner
Does the LOKI Icarus use the same 12-volt air conditioning system utilized for the LOKI Falcon?
It’s exactly the same. We’re using the Autoclima Fresco 9000 Maxx. This is the air conditioner used in most semi-trucks in North America. It consists of three pieces; a freezer unit, a fan, and a small compressor. Being split into three actually saves a lot of space. The 12-volt operation uses about 40-amps an hour. At Overland Expo, there was a lot of interest in the Fresco 9000 system in the Falcon.
Above: The Redarc system in the Icarus
What water heater system are you using for the Icarus?
We are using two water heaters; a Webasto water heater and an electric water heater. Icarus owners can choose which water heater is better in different circumstances. The electric heater works off battery power, which can charge directly from the truck alternators. If you turn on the electric heater a half-hour before arriving, the Redarc system won’t touch your house batteries to heat the water. The Webasto system uses diesel fuel and has its own diesel tank on the outside of the Icarus. Having both systems offers maximum flexibility.
Does the Icarus have a built-in refrigerator?
Yes, it has an Isotherm 12-volt compressor refrigerator. It’s a smaller model than what we could fit in the Falcon, but it offers the same 24/7 reliability.
The Falcon employs a portable/removable induction cooktop. Are you using an induction unit for the Icarus as well?
We are using the same induction cooktop as the Falcon. We didn’t want to have a cooktop permanently built into the countertop. By using the Lagun table or the extension counter in the mudroom, you have options on where you want to cook inside the unit. You can also connect the induction outside and cook outdoors.
Above: Tern Overland acrylic windows with screens and black out shades
What type of windows are utilized for the LOKI Icarus?
Tern Overland acrylic windows. Due to the shape of the fiberglass shell, it’s not possible to use the European glass windows employed on the Falcon. We really like the acrylic windows and they have the added benefit of being lighter and less expensive. The roof hatch is also from Tern Overland.
Tell us about the cabinetry and countertops in the LOKI Icarus Series.
Our cabinetry is made from stratified (laminated) wood. You get most of the cabinetry that’s in the Falcon, but you don’t have the large column above the refrigerator. The Icarus also has a good amount of storage under the sofa.
Above: Integrated rail systems with tracks for hanging items
Is the space under the sofa completely open to storage?
The 30-gallon fresh water tank, water pump, and porta-potty storage area take up some of that space, but there’s still a lot of storage in that location. Additional storage includes cabinetry on the passenger’s side of the entry way, a cabinet above the sofa, in front of the sofa under the bed, and in the kitchen. Storage is spread all over the Icarus. It’s an integral part of the concept.
The Icarus also uses integrated rail systems with tracks in different locations for hanging everything from fishing rods to clothing to backpacks to surfboards. The purpose of that system is so customers can bring their adventure gear with them.
Above: Note the track to make the bed longer
Is the cabover orientation east-west or north-south?
The cabover is north-south in both models.
What is the size of the bed in the cabover?
The Icarus bed is a full-double; 54-inches by 74-inches.
Is there a way to close the front cabover windows for light and privacy?
Yes. We have not built that solution yet, but it’s underway. We’ll have covers for light and insulation for the front windows and door. The Tern Overland windows on the driver’s and passenger’s sides have built-in bug screens and black-out shades.
Is there a rooftop escape hatch on the Icarus?
The Tern Overland roof hatch is in the cabover area. Sleeping with your feet towards the entrance, your head is close to the window, and above you is a large Tern Overland roof hatch. You can use the hatch as an emergency exit.
Above: The MaxxAir Deluxe roof vent and the Tern Overland hatch
Where is the MaxxAir Deluxe roof vent located?
The MaxxAir vent is located in the back of the camper where the collapsible shower could be used. You can use the fan to quickly remove humidity. It’s also close to the kitchen area.
For cross-ventilation, you have the Tern roof hatch and the side windows. You can also open the rear doors and unroll a bug screen. The bug screens are popular in the van market and have proven successful on the Falcon series. There are lots of openings for air flow in the Icarus. You won’t feel like the camper is closed up.
Above: The outside table is easy to set up
What options are available for the LOKI Icarus?
The air conditioning system and camper jacks are optional as are the exterior light bars and a few other items. Almost everything you see in the photos is included with the Icarus.
Above: A crank out awning is included with the Icarus
The exterior racks are standard. The custom exterior colors and finishes are standard. And custom interior counters, fabrics, and finishes are standard.
Above: An air compressor is featured on the Icarus 8
Are the floor lengths of the Icarus 6 and Icarus 8 exactly 6-feet and 8-feet?
The Icarus 8 has an 8-foot floor length. The Icarus 6 has a 6.5-foot floor length. Both are designed for full-size trucks. Our demo truck for the Icarus is a 2021 Ford F-350.
What does the 2022 LOKI Icarus Series weigh with standard build features?
The Icarus 8 in the photography is 2,500-pounds (1,334-kilograms). That’s a wet weight with 15-gallons of water, a full diesel tank, and 600-amp hours of lithium batteries. We don’t have an exact weight of the Icarus 6 at this time, but it’s projected to be around 2,000 pounds (907.2-kilograms) wet.
What is the MSRP for the 2022 LOKI Icarus Series with standard build features?
Both the Icarus 6 and Icarus 8 are $69,000 USD / $89,000 CAD. Right now we are setting up a dedicated Icarus production line and expect to deliver units starting this Spring. Once production has started, the lead time will be three months. Like the Falcon, we will deliver units to customers anywhere in the United States or Canada.
What is the warranty for the 2022 LOKI Icarus Series?
Three years on everything.
Will the Icarus be at any upcoming RV shows?
Yes, but not until next year. As of now, we are planning to showcase the Icarus at Overland Expo West next May and Overland Expo East in the fall. We are also going to SEMA in 2022. When we know all the shows we will be attending, we will share them with Truck Camper Magazine to be posted on your RV Show page.
Where can someone go and see a LOKI Icarus before placing an order?
We’ve had a good number of Canadians visit our Quebec plant to see the Falcon and Icarus. You can always visit our factory, but please call ahead and make an appointment.
Our goal is to open a warehouse plant in the United States next year. We’re not yet set on where it will be, but it’s a priority for next year.
Is there anything about the 2022 LOKI Icarus Series that you would like to add?
In the beginning, I explained how we designed the Icarus to be a lighter, more agile, and affordable unit. Some people at the Overland Expo thought the Falcon was too wide and too high. The Icarus is our answer to that. The design is closer to the truck and offers a lower center of gravity. We believe it’s also a stronger unit. At 2,500-pounds wet for an 8-foot bed, it’s pretty darn good on weight as well. I feel it’s perfect for driving on the road. I believe this is the next level of quality.
Personally, I love the Icarus. In my other life, I’m a trail runner. I need a basecamp for my dog and races. The Icarus is perfect for me. It fits all my stuff and my dogs and can be used on a daily basis.
Above: The LOKI Basecamp Falcon series
LOKI Basecamp launched the Falcon series in June of 2021. How’s the Falcon series doing?
We have exactly the right number of orders for our current capacity. We are producing units to be delivered right now and are making improvements to every camper that ships. Like all manufacturers, we have been impacted by shortages including aluminum.
However, we received some very important feedback at the Overland Expos. A lot of attendees requested they would like to see a larger version with a wet bath. To answer this request, we will be producing a Falcon 10 and possibly a 14 next year.
We’re also looking into a flatbed or chassis mount version. People want to be able to use every inch of available space in their set-ups and a flatbed or chassis mount offers that. As a removable unit, the Falcon will offer customers the ability to change trucks. You can’t do that with an Earthroamer. We think the modular approach of a demountable truck and camper is a much better solution, especially considering the investment.
I have also been surprised at how many customers are willing to buy a truck to suit a LOKI Basecamp. We had thought customers would come to us with a truck and have us build a camper that would match it. Not one customer has done that. All of them are buying trucks specifically for our campers. I was not expecting that.
How is LOKI Box doing?
LOKI Box is still going, but the event industry still hasn’t recovered. That part of our business is nowhere close to where it was in 2019. We think it will be picking up in the next six-months.
In the meantime, we have split our company into three. One is LOKI Box. One is LOKI Basecamp. And one is a new division, LOKI Coach. We’re also building a new factory to accommodate our expansion.
What’s LOKI Coach?
About five years ago we designed a custom Prevost bus for a mobile bank. We built a second one a year or two later and won a bunch of awards for the design. For us, it was a side business, but then Prevost reached out to us in March of this year. They saw what we were doing with LOKI Basecamp and invited us to become an official Prevost conversion partner. That’s now our third division. Right now we’re building four Prevost units with the same expertise that we bring to LOKI Box and LOKI Basecamp.
One thing we learned from designing and building Prevost units is that the 12-volt systems are not robust enough to handle what these coaches need. To address that, we’re designing an all-new system with much higher capabilities. The new battery system will be one-third the weight and space. When it’s ready, that technology will be incorporated into the Falcon and Icarus campers. It’s all about innovation. We’re not ready yet, but we’ll get there.