Truck Camper News

OEV Debuts Hudson Bay Hard Side Flatbed

Overland Explorer Vehicles transforms their composite panel Hudson Bay pop-up into a full-blooded flatbed side-entry hard side. With OEV’s Aluma Tray flatbed, the new Hudson Bay Hard Side becomes a complete flatbed hard side truck camper system; off-road tough and off-grid ready.

OEV Hudson Bay Hard Side Camper

In March of 2022, Overland Explorer Vehicles launched the Hudson Bay; a flatbed, side entry, pop-up truck camper. The model utilized OEV’s latest advancements in composite panel and aluminum extrusion construction and ushered in new features and options including Plyboo bamboo countertops and tables, an auto-lift actuator roof lift system, and a list of cutting-edge components from Redarc, Nova Kool, and Truma.

As hard side truck camper enthusiasts, we admired the open layout, optional built-in cassette toilet, separate propane cooktop and sink, and the face-to-face rear dinette with panoramic windows. Together with OEV’s 2021 Readers’ Choice winning Aluma Tray flatbed system, the Hudson Bay pop-up presented a visually striking and undeniably versatile combination. If only it was a hard side…

OEV Hudson Bay HS Floor Plan 20242024 OEV Hudson Bay Hard Side Specifications:

The 2024 OEV Hudson Bay Hard Side is a flatbed truck camper made for long and short bed trucks. The interior length of the 2024 Hudson Bay Hard Side long bed is 153″, the interior height is 77.5″, and the exterior width is 81″. The short bed specifications are TBD.

The 2024 OEV Hudson Bay Hard Side has 38-gallons of fresh water capacity, no grey tank, and an optional cassette toilet. It has space for up to three batteries and one 20-pound vertical propane tank.

OEV is reporting the base weight of the Hudson Bay Hard Side long bed at 2,218-pounds. The base MSRP for the Hudson Bay Hard Side is $84,595 USD.  Click here for an OEV brochure.

OEV Hudson HS Exterior Drivers Three Quarters

Introducing the OEV Hudson Bay Hard Side

Late last week, we received photography of an all-new, but somehow quite familiar, truck camper from OEV. In an all-composite nutshell, the new Hudson Bay Hard Side is exactly as it sounds; a hard side version of the Hudson Bay pop-up. What’s most amazing is how making the Hudson Bay a hard side not only completely changes the camper, but also its potential customer base.

Want proof? Imagine you’re in the market for a new sports car. Maybe a Porsche 911. Perhaps a Ford Mustang. Or could it be a Corvette C8? Whichever of these makes and models ticks your performance vehicle box, you have a big decision to make before checkout; hard top or convertible? I’m willing to bet you had your answer before you finished this sentence.

Just like hard tops and convertible versions of the same car are different products, so too are pop-up campers and hard sides. The marketplace appeal and target markets are also different. I’m a hard side, hard top kinda guy. What are you?

Beyond pop-up or hard side preferences, making a pop-up camper a hard side brings a world of inherent benefits and trade-offs. The positives are that hard sides are inherently better insulated, offer more protection from wild animals, and have more interior features and storage. For the negatives, hard sides are inherently heavier, have taller centers of gravity, and can’t cheat the wind like a pop-up camper can. Intruding tree limbs and rock walls can be more of a challenge with a hard side. All of this plays out with the pop-up and hard side OEV Hudson Bay models.

A Hard Side Look

OEV Hudson HS Exterior Drivers Side Profile

For the Hudson Bay Hard Side, OEV has embraced the additional side and rear wall real estate. The rub rail (an expression I’d not heard before this camper) runs the entire perimeter of the roof and secures the solar panels, the required DOT lighting, and can accommodate optional cross bars for a canoe or kayak.

OEV Hudson HS Exterior Rear Profile Molle Tire Rack

The rear of the camper has two versatile Molle panels around the window, a ladder, and a spare tire carrier that can handle tires up to 40 inches.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Cabover 1

The inherent pop-up versus hard side differences continue inside the camper. For starters, the rear dinette seating and table are essentially the same on both Hudson Bay versions; face-to-face layout, Plyboo table, and shower pan in the foot well area.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Upper Dinette Cabinetry

Then you’ll notice the panoramic insulated windows and upper storage compartments on the hard side. The pop-up version lacks both of these features, but offers larger pop-up windows and more airy headroom in trade.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Rear Dinette Angle

We would prefer the insulated windows and storage, but others might want the bigger windows and the ‘more connected to the outdoors’ feeling they offer.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Passenger Side Mid Cabinet

At the opposite end of the hard side unit, the cabover presents a similar story. The hard side has a fully enclosed cabover bedroom with a sloping front nose (for aerodynamics and exterior aesthetics), a huge anodized aluminum marine hatch with a full open tinted glass door, shade, and screen, and an insulated window on either side.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Cabover

Unlike the hard side dinette, there’s no additional storage, but the cabover bed lifts up to reveal a large storage area. In comparison, the pop-up cabover also has the lift-up storage area, and more headroom thanks to the pop-up design. The pop-up also has larger windows, but the windows aren’t as well insulated as the hard side’s acrylic windows.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Kitchen Cooktop And Sink

The middle of the camper is nearly identical on both campers, at least the lower half. On the driver’s side, the Hudson Bay pop-up and hard side have a 164L Nova Kool 12-volt refrigerator, a two burner propane cooktop, a separate sink, three drawers, controls for the Victron electrical system, controls for Truma Combi water heater and furnace, switches for the lights and water pump, and 12-volt and USB outlets.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Kitchen Controls

The upper half of the kitchen is where the potential hard side advantages show again.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Kitchen Upper Cabinets

There’s another insulated window, a large two door storage compartment, and an optional microwave.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Kitchen Microwave

The pop-up version has none of these features, but has the larger windows and the unmistakable pop-up feeling of openness that bears repeating.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Entry Way Switches

On the passenger’s side lower half, OEV changed both the Hudson Bay pop-up and hard side models for 2024. Where this space once contained the toilet closet, it now holds a 38 gallon fresh tank. The same cabinet area has additional storage, 12-volt and USB outlets, and light switches.

OEV Hudson HS Interior Passenger Side Middle Upper Cabinets

Above this aluminum cabinet on the hard side models is a tall double-door storage area. The design of this compartment appears to split the difference between offering valuable storage and not crowding the main living space. Naturally, the pop-up version gets open space and more windows.

OEV Hudson Hard Side Storage Area

The optional Thetford cassette toilet is now in a slide-out aluminum drawer under the passenger’s side rear dinette seat (not shown). To use the cassette toilet, you pull out the drawer and turn the toilet seat to face the center of the camper. To empty the cassette, you pull out the drawer and pull the cassette out from the entry door area. It’s a clever solution for a cassette toilet system and creates more storage and water capacity in the Hudson Bay models.

OEV Hudson Wrappon

Customers can still opt for a Wrappon toilet system (shown above) or porta potty if they do not want a built-in cassette toilet system.

More To OEV’s Story

OEV Hudson HS Exterior Passenger Side Three Quarters

It’s easy to get caught up in the design and floor plan of a truck camper and miss the main point of that brand. OEV has certainly debuted a sharp-looking truck, camper, and flatbed tray with the Hudson Bay Hard Side and Aluma Tray combination. I’m sure a lot of folks were pulled in by the aesthetics and stayed to explore the interior floor plan and features. What’s even better is that there’s more to this OEV model than meets the eye.

OEV Factory Weld Shop Kevin Welding

Like all OEV truck campers, the Hudson Bay Hard Sides and pop-ups are made from OEV’s proprietary composite panels and aluminum extrusions. And also like all OEV truck campers, their all-aluminum cabinetry is made in-house by a dedicated team in a dedicated welding shop.

OEV Factory Powder Shop Kerry Coats Aluma Tray

If that doesn’t impress you, their aluminum cabinetry and Aluma Trays are also powder coated on-site with another dedicated team and dedicated powder coating facility. To be clear, no other truck camper manufacturer on Earth–that we know of–has their own powder coating on site.

For a deeper dive into OEV’s people, process, materials, and culture, I highly recommend reading our OEV factory tour article. It wasn’t until we visited the Alberta-based company for a few days that we fully comprehended their obsession with indestructibility, fabrication, and quality. And the level of detail put into each model, down to designing and fabricating aluminum components in-house that other companies either don’t have or buy off the shelf, was impressive. As I said in the factory tour, if OEV can’t find something, or can’t find the quality they demand, they design and fabricate it themselves.

For more information on the OEV Hudson Bay Hard Side or Pop-Up, visit their website at Click here for a free OEV brochure.


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