LOKI Basecamp unveils the short bed Icarus 6 with off-road and all-weather capability in a small, nimble, and technology-packed form factor. This is one lean fiberglass machine.
The concept of LOKI Basecamp’s Icarus series is to pack as much all-weather, four-season, off-road, off-grid capability into a reinforced molded fiberglass shell as possible. Breaking cover towards the end of 2021, the Icarus 8 is a lean, mean, long bed truck camping machine. Per pound or floor inch, there might not be a more feature-rich, technology-dense, expedition-ready truck camper on the planet. If the Swiss Army made a truck camper, it would probably look like an Icarus.
Now that concentration of capacity and capability has been further compacted to create the short bed Icarus 6. With almost all of the features and components of its long bed brother, the Icarus 6 is designed for full-size half-ton trucks that so many off-road, off-grid overland enthusiasts prefer. Shorter wheelbases get into tighter spaces.
Before the LOKI Basecamp Icarus, there were small and lightweight campers, molded fiberglass campers, premium luxury campers, and technology-packed campers. The question was, would people want all those qualities in a single product? Was there a marketplace for a small, lightweight, molded fiberglass, premium, luxury camper?
In the following conversation with Pierre-Mathieu Roy, LOKI Basecamp’s President and Creative Director, the answer is a resounding, “Yes”. In fact, Pierre-Mathieu declares that the Icarus is now LOKI Basecamp’s flagship product. Considering the advanced design of the multi-faceted LOKI Falcon, that’s saying something. Could molded fiberglass campers be the future of LOKI Basecamp? Read until the end of Pierre-Mathieu’s interview, and think bigger.
To find out more about the new LOKI Basecamp Icarus 6, we talked to Pierre-Mathieu Roy, President and Creative Director of LOKI Basecamp.
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, full 5-gallon diesel tank, and up to 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 Webasto heater. The Icarus 6 accommodates up to 600-amp hours of battery power.
The base price MSRP for the Icarus 6 is $69,000 USD / $89,000 CAD.
Above: The Icarus 6 for short bed trucks, all photos courtesy of LOKI Basecamp
Before we talk about the new short bed Icarus 6, let’s talk about the long bed Icarus 8. Has the Icarus 8 been a successful model for LOKI Basecamp?
Yes, definitely. This year we presented the LOKI Falcon and Icarus 8 at the Overland Expo West. We were thrilled to hear the organizers of the event selected the Icarus 8 to be in the Best of Show category. The attendees were very excited to see this new product that reaches a broader audience. Since we launched the Icarus, it’s had the most orders and is the most popular LOKI model.
The LOKI Falcon has been out for over a year now and is currently undergoing a redesign. The Falcon fell into a middle ground where half the customers asked for something lighter, more agile, and more robust, and the other half wanted a larger camper with an enclosed bathroom and additional amenities.
The Icarus is the answer to what the first half wants, and the forthcoming Falcon redesign should answer the second. We will launch the new 2023 Falcon soon. There’s a lot of news to come in the next few months.
Above: The Icarus 8 was tested during the winter. As you can see above, the Icarus campers can come in different exterior colors.
That’s exciting. You and your team have taken the Icarus 8 out on several trips. How did the Icarus 8 perform during these experiences?
The Icarus performed exceptionally well in our crazy Quebec winter climate. On one trip the temperatures dipped to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) and the Icarus performed perfectly. We used the camper fully in these extreme temperatures. The Icarus features heated floors that help to keep the camper warm. The heated floor adds comfort to the interior, but it is the Webasto air heater that provides comfortable heating inside the Icarus.
Did you learn anything during that experience that resulted in changes to the Icarus or Falcon design?
Yes. We are working on a range of improvements right now. For example, we want to add more counter space and storage to the Icarus series. We are making a number of other Icarus adjustments based on our camping experiences. Many of the improvements are already underway.
As you know, the Icarus has a Spacekap fiberglass shell structure that’s been used by electricians, plumbers, and contractors for decades. The company is close to our headquarters and we see the commercial versions of their shell all the time. The product has been effectively road tested for 25 years and, despite the rigorous commercial use, has performed well.
When we converted the product into a LOKI Basecamp, we added R16 insulation and an aluminum frame to the floor, walls, and roof for even more strength and durability.
What are the floor plan differences between the Icarus 6 and the Icarus 8?
The short bed Icarus 6 is 1.5-feet shorter than the long bed Icarus 8. We only made changes to the rear-most portion of the floor plan. The only major difference is the elimination of the mud room.
In the 6-inch space that’s left in this area, we added a multi-use space with bins for ski or hiking boots.
Another less noticeable change is the length of the dinette sofa. The dinette sofa in the Icarus 6 is 24-inches shorter and no longer converts into a single bed. As a dinette sofa, it’s a good size. We did not touch the kitchen or cabover bed area.
The big difference between the Falcon and the Icarus series is the driving experience. You can still feel the Falcon on the road, but you can’t feel the Icarus. A lot of that is due to the better aerodynamics of the fiberglass shell. The lower weight and center of gravity also help. It’s actually a lot of fun to drive an Icarus rig. You forget you have it loaded on the truck at all.
Tell us about the green and yellow Icarus 6. Is this a customer build?
Yes, it was a customer order for a Montreal rental company. The rental company wanted a more four-season, rugged, and overland camper for customers to use at ski resorts and off-grid.
The green and yellow color matches the rental company’s brand. LOKI Basecamp customers can choose the colors they want. We weren’t sure about the green and yellow colors at first, but we love the result. It’s a welcome departure from the typical white camper look.
As a side note, nearly everything you see on the green and yellow Icarus 6 comes standard with the camper. It’s a good example of a base Icarus.
What does the green and yellow Icarus 6 not feature that are popular with retail customers?
The exterior ladder, lights, sidebars, and racks for skis, fishing rods, and other outdoor and overland equipment. Everything can be added later. When this rental unit is eventually sold to an owner, we expect that they’ll come to us to add additional options and accessories.
In our first interview about the LOKI Icarus, you indicated that the line would eventually go all-electric. Has that moved forward?
I believe that’s the future, and we’re moving closer to that goal. What we’re waiting for is the debut of electric trucks. Tesla has not yet delivered their CyberTruck. Ford is just starting to build their electric F-150, and Rivian trucks are slowly being delivered. To answer your question, we will be ready with an all-electric camper when then these electric trucks are ready.
We met with Rivian at the Overland Expo. They saw the Icarus and are talking about a test this summer. With its extendable bed, we’re hoping the Rivian will work with the Icarus 6. We believe the aerodynamics of the Icarus line is better than a typical camper and should help to minimize any decrease in battery capacity and range.
We also have a few orders from customers who are waiting for their electric truck deliveries. The hope is that we deliver a few LOKI campers on electric trucks next year. I am super positive on this front. I think we’re looking at a very different truck and camper marketplace in two to three years. That said, there won’t be charging stations in the middle of the woods. It’s going to take a while to get everything figured out.
The truck and camper industries are poised to change. What size are the fresh and grey tanks in the Icarus 6?
They’re the same size as the Icarus 8; 15-gallon fresh tank, 4.2-gallon water heater, and 13-gallon grey tank. There’s no black tank as we utilize a porta-potty. The Icarus features the same porta-potty storage space.
What are the solar system options for the Icarus 6? There’s obviously a little less roof real estate available than the Icarus 8.
The Icarus 6 gets up to 270-watts of solar panels on top. You also get the same skylight and the MaxxAir fan.
The real difference occurs if the customer requests our 12-volt air conditioner system. If we need to install the roof top compressor, there will be less space for solar panels. The green and yellow Icarus 6 does not feature an air conditioner, so we could utilize more of the roof for solar panels.
We also recommend the 600-amp hour lithium battery system with the air conditioner option. Without the air conditioner, the 300-amp hour lithium battery system should be more than enough.
LOKI is the only truck camper company installing the Autoclima Fresco 9000 Maxx 12-volt air conditioning system. Are you sticking with the Fresco system for the Icarus 6?
Yes. In fact, the Autoclima system has been installed on all of the LOKI Basecamp builds so far. There are more 12-volt air conditioner systems on the market now, but they all require more roof space. The Autoclima system is also the most popular system in North America and is found on many SEMI trucks. That volume is important for reliability, maintenance, and service.
The downside of the Autoclima system is that it’s not all one unit. The three required units are small, but they need to be accounted for in the overall design and build. One piece installs in the floor, another on the ceiling, and another on the roof. On our Falcon and Icarus models, there’s no room for a larger air conditioner on the roof, so it works well.
Everyone who has the Autoclima system is happy with it. We get a lot of requests for information about the system and would not be surprised to see other camper and overland companies start to use it.
Is the REDARC RedVision system standard in the LOKI Icarus line?
Yes, the RedVision is our main management system right now. It has a big display to see the status of your batteries and various systems and has an app for your smartphone or tablet. From the display or app, you can see your tank levels, control all the lights, and monitor the status of your inverter and UV water system. We connected almost everything so you can control and monitor the systems remotely or via the RedVision panel. The RedVision is really the brain of the whole camper.
Above: The yellow box is a first aid kit. The controls on the back are for utility LEDs on a dimmer.
In the rear doorway there’s a connection for an air compressor. Where is that air compressor system located?
That’s one item on the green and yellow Icarus 6 that’s an option. There are two air compressors that can be installed, one with more capability than the other. The air compressor on the green and yellow Icarus 6 is located on the back of the doors inside the unit. It’s useful for airing tires and cleaning dust, dirt, and sand from the exterior. Air compressors are a popular option that really add to the ownership experience.
It looks like you’re using a different refrigerator in the Icarus 6.
Compared to the Falcon, we are using a smaller Isotherm refrigerator in the Icarus series. The refrigerator we’ve selected for the Icarus 6 is a drawer design. It’s a reliable and exceptionally efficient unit that uses the 12-volt Danfoss compressor system. With the solar and battery system installed on the Icarus series, it can be on 24/7 and 365-days a year.
What is the ROLEF window product shown in the rear door window (pictured above)?
It’s a custom insulated blackout shade and privacy cover. The rear Spacekap doors come with or without windows. We order the rear doors with windows and install the ROLEF product to improve the window insulation. ROLEF also makes our insulated skylight covers and the rear big screen (pictured below) is another ROLEF product. Their products are well made and easy to zip.
When the Icarus 8 debuted, you were still working on interior covers for the front windows. Have those been completed?
We have an optional piece to cover each window for better insulation, a blackout shade, and privacy. The Icarus is high on the truck so no one can really see in the front windows, but the windows are not double pane. The covers provide a solution to insulate the windows while sleeping in the cabover.
Above: Optional ladder, side rails, and MaxTrax on the Icarus 8 shown above
Are the same options available for the Icarus 6 as the Icarus 8?
The options are pretty much the same for the Icarus 6 and Icarus 8. Popular options include the roof rack, 12-volt air conditioner, roof top tent, ladder, and side rails. We are working on an awning solution for the Icarus 6 and should have a solution by the end of the summer. Our aim is to have a 270-degree awning for the Icarus 6.
What is the MSRP on the 2022 Icarus 6? Have you needed to raise prices for 2022?
We have not needed to raise prices. The Icarus 6 starts at $69,000 USD, and the Icarus 8 starts at $79,000 USD. Each build can be up to $100,000 USD depending on the options you select.
Have you delivered units to customers’ homes, or has everyone picked up their campers at the Quebec factory?
We have delivered campers to customers’ homes, but most customers come to our factory in Quebec. We are still looking for a US showroom and maintenance center near the west coast of the United States.
The LOKI Falcon series of truck campers just turned one year old this month (June 2022). How has the first year of truck camper manufacturing been?
It’s far from where we want it to be, but it’s getting better and better. We produced more than triple the number of campers compared to last year. We’re super proud of what we’ve done. As we speak, Icarus and Falcon campers are in production at our new plant in Quebec City. Our goal for 2022 is to build and deliver a lot of Icarus campers.
Is there any news on the Falcon 10 or Falcon 14?
We’ve had a number of requests for more of an expedition series with a larger box and truck. We will announce and showcase a new expedition series camper in Truck Camper Magazine this fall. It’s all coming together.
Above: The LOKI Basecamp Falcon 8
LOKI’s first division is LOKI Box. Has that part of your business returned to 2019 levels yet?
LOKI Box started 15 years ago. That part of our business is coming back strong as the impact of the pandemic fades.
Has anything else from the LOKI Coach Prevost builds influenced the LOKI Basecamp campers?
Yes. We are looking to adapt the battery and management system from our LOKI Coach builds to the LOKI Basecamp models. The REDARC system is too small and limiting. The coach systems are bigger and more capable, offering the same performance and monitoring options. The batteries we are using in the LOKI Coach builds are also lighter.
We are learning a lot and want systems we can fully customize across all of our mobile product lines. I believe we’ll see an evolution in the next few months that will help both divisions.
Is there anything else in development at LOKI Basecamp that we should be excited about for 2022?
We are working on a taller and longer version of the Icarus series. We are modifying the fiberglass mold to allow a 24-inch longer cabover for a north-south orientation and more interior headroom. This is all in R&D right now.
That’s very exciting news. Is there anything else you want our readers to know about the Icarus series?
For me, the Icarus 8 is wonderful and I’d like to live in it every single day. It’s lightweight, aerodynamic and full of the latest technology. Most importantly, it’s still a truck camper that can be switched from one truck to another. It’s a design that reflects what’s possible in 2022. We’re putting most of our efforts into the Icarus series. People are very impressed when they see it in person. The Icarus has become our flagship product.
One more question. There’s a picture of an Icarus 8 camper on the Bonneville Salt Flats. What were you doing?
Our team was driving from Quebec City to the Overland Expo in Arizona. On the way, we traveled to places we wanted to see. It was important to have a fun road trip and experience places we had not been to before. One place we visited was the Bonneville Salt Flats. We didn’t race the truck and camper. It’s not a sports car. But we were in the area and thought, “Why not?”