Matt Linder and Nico Monforte, founders of TruckHouse, join the crew to discuss their cutting-edge expedition campers. Lightning takes a tour of Stellar Built in Sacramento, California. Plus, the ongoing debate over the definition of a “modified truck” heats up. The Truck Show Podcast is proudly sponsored by Nissan, in partnership with Banks Power.



The following transcription of The Truck Show Podcast was generated using a speech recognition software, and will contain errors. Please review the timestamp and listen to the corresponding audio for accuracy. 

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Jay “Lightning” Tilles (0s):

So I. Think this show will be a little different than others in that we are covering get this some Toyota content.

Sean P. Holman (7s):

What are you talking about? We cover Toyota all the time. We just talked about the Lexus GX five 50 a little bit. We just talked about the Toyota Land Cruiser a little bit. We just talked about Quinn at 74 welds portal axle. Well

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (19s):

You say built, that was 20 episodes ago.

Sean P. Holman (21s):

No it wasn’t. It was like eight weeks ago. And

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (24s):

That was about as portal’s, not about the Toyota it was on

Sean P. Holman (27s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (28s):


Sean P. Holman (28s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30s):

We do Toyota owners dirty. No, we

Sean P. Holman (32s):

Just do. No, you do. ’cause you hate ’em so much. Oh, that’s you.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (35s):

What are you talking about? What

Sean P. Holman (38s):

I love Toyotas. In fact, if somebody showed up in my driveway with a set of keys for a 19 85, 22 re fuel injected unicorn solid axle extra cab course,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50s):

You got a long bed qualifiers there.

Sean P. Holman (52s):

I would be all about that. So

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53s):

You’re saying if I pulled up with a 2023 forerunner TRD Pro, you’d be like not interested?

Sean P. Holman (59s):

Oh, you mean the one that has better approach departure angles than the new Land Cruiser?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 5s):

That one? Yeah,

Sean P. Holman (1m 6s):

I think I’d be fine with it. Okay. TRD Pro, no problem.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 9s):

So I was up. Why, why

Sean P. Holman (1m 11s):

Are you trying to frame me as a Toyota hater? Because

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 12s):

You are. No,

Sean P. Holman (1m 14s):

I’ve never been a Toyota hitter.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 15s):

You, you love the fact that they don’t have box frames. No.

Sean P. Holman (1m 20s):

Are you done?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1m 21s):


Sean P. Holman (1m 22s):

I don’t like the fact that the Tacoma is so long in the tooth. It has rear drum brakes and rear seat channel frame. and Don don’t like the seating position where you’re sitting down on the floor. It’s just funky. And that truck is old and it’s like, the only thing I hate is that everybody who goes out and buys one, they’re like, oh

2 (1m 42s):

My God. I go there, come on. I

Sean P. Holman (1m 44s):

Love it. And then you go on the forums and they’re like, dude, this thing gets horrible fuel economy. Oh, I can’t fit more than 30 fives on it. This is bogus Oh. dude, my steering broke. Oh, ah, ah. But I bolted every farkle available, known to man on it. And it weighs 8,000 pounced Now, it’s so funny. I’ve had three friends buy Tacomas, all of them sold them really within the last two years. They’re like, yeah, that, that was not a good truck.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 9s):

Listen, it’s way underpowered. And then you put, you figure out how to get 30 fives under it and then all of a sudden that four liter just not hanging anywhere. It’s,

Sean P. Holman (2m 18s):

Well, it’s because it has the old five speed, or at least on the four runner has the five speed transmission automatic. I think the, I think the Tacomas have a six speed now. Okay. So that helps. But You know everybody else is bumping up to more gears, which help. I don’t hate ’em actually, I really like the forerunner, especially the fore runners with the coil springs in the back. You know. And the going to your point, the Tier D pros, those things are really fun to drive in the dirt. My knock on Toyota is the nannies. But if you can build one the right way and You know a shop, which we happen to know a shop Toyota’s can be pretty badass.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 51s):

Funny that you say that because I checked in with Stellar Built in Sacramento, California, California one

Sean P. Holman (2m 56s):

The premier couple weeks ago. Toyota building shops in the entire country. They

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (2m 60s):

Are. and I think you guys will enjoy it even if you’re not into Toyotas.

Sean P. Holman (3m 3s):

I think anytime we interview a shop at the top of their game, regardless of platform is is a great opportunity for the listeners to hear what successful shops do and I think it’s cool. And

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 13s):

Speaking of top of their game, dude, TruckHouse

Sean P. Holman (3m 16s):

Another brand that launched with the Toyota Tacoma based product, but they’re moving on to Ram AV Prospector xls.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 25s):

This is not a company that makes like a camper shell that just fits in the bed. This is the whole back half of the truck and it’s one piece made out of carbon fiber. It’s

Sean P. Holman (3m 33s):

Like an Earth R or something like that. And we talked about ’em when the Tacoma build, the BCT was released a few years ago and I thought, oh, these guys are way overloading this platform. I can’t, they’re gonna break that Port Tacoma in half. And it turns out they’re actually legit and fully engineered and and super lightweight. and I was like, oh, oh, you were super wrong.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 53s):

But I Coleman ate

Sean P. Holman (3m 54s):

Crow. I’ve wanted to have them on the show for a a while

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (3m 56s):

Say I ate Crow.

Sean P. Holman (3m 58s):

Nope. And I’ve been wanting to have ’em on the show for a while. And when the, the Ram Prospector xl, the new BCR was announced, I’m like, Oh man, this is super cool because it’s a a, it’s really a chassis that’s deserving of their habitat that’s on the back. I think that’s, it’s, it’s a really great choice for people who wanna have that overland camping vehicle, but they don’t wanna step up to like a F 4 55 50 massive, like, global expedition vehicle. They want something domestically that’ll fit on the trails

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 26s):

Still park. Yeah. And still park at Home Depot parking lot. Yep. So we’re

Sean P. Holman (4m 29s):

Gonna have Matt and Nico on from TruckHouse and then let them talk us through their, their business model and their technology and some of the really cool stuff they’re doing for, for the Rams

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 36s):

And I. Think one of the reasons that I’m interested is because they’re young and entrepreneurs.

Sean P. Holman (4m 40s):

Alright. Lightning, before we start the show, we gotta thank Nissan, our presenting sponsor who delivers trucks to my house on a regular basis because they love The Truck, Show Podcast. and you spoiled little brats. They love they love me.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 50s):

Yeah. I know.

Sean P. Holman (4m 51s):

Well I have been driving this 20 Titan that I’ve had for a while now and it’s got almost 30,000 miles on it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (4m 58s):

How many of those 30 have you put on

Sean P. Holman (5m 0s):

In the last five or six months? You know 10 or something. No, it hasn’t it hasn’t been that bad. It has been my daily though. I know. But here’s the thing is The Truck Show Podcast, we always talk about the Brand new Trucks, but we never go back and be, and we’re like, well, what is it like with mileage on it? Get in it. There’s no squeaks and rattles. That truck is tight as the day it was purchased. It rides great, it’s comfortable, it’s quiet. Just like a Brand new 2023 Titan. I’ve been able to take experience one with some miles on it, which is awesome. And we’ve got a frontier coming soon. A brand new 2024 frontier. What? So we’ll have the chance to drive that. I’m hoping Wait,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 36s):


Sean P. Holman (5m 37s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 37s):

The end of the year, Hold on, is that a long-term loaner? Is that a short-term loaner?

Sean P. Holman (5m 40s):

It’s a, it’s a medium. It’s medium loan. Well,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 43s):

We have it for more than a week. Three days. Oh

Sean P. Holman (5m 46s):

Wow. Yeah. What

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 47s):

Can I have it for

Sean P. Holman (5m 47s):

A day? Maybe a day? What do I get out of it?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (5m 51s):

I don’t know. Do you want me to chauffer you around for a day?

Sean P. Holman (5m 54s):

No, I don’t wanna sit in the backseat. I Mean. It’s comfortable and all, but you sit in shotgun. Well then that’s just I know. I’ll think about it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 1s):

I want to drive it. You always get to, you freaking

Sean P. Holman (6m 4s):

Have a beautiful ’cause I, I have a legitimate job that requires me to drive vehicles.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 8s):

So do I.

Sean P. Holman (6m 9s):

Yeah, sort. Yeah. But you well customers, I, I am extolling the virtues of these wonderful pickup Trucks to the masses.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 16s):

Yeah. I’m super pumped about the 24 frontier. Come

Sean P. Holman (6m 19s):

On. Well, if you like it that much, head on down to your local Nissan dealer where you can test drive it. You can check out the util track bedrail system. Check out the Fender audio system on that big beautiful nine inch screen, zero gravity seats spraying Bedliner Bill, Stein shock. It’s got

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 31s):

A rear locker too, doesn’t it? And

Sean P. Holman (6m 33s):

Skip place two on the Pro four X. You guys can go over to Nissan You can build in price, you can build up your frontier, your Titan, your Titan xd, put on all the options, see which one is right for you. And of course, the Titan and Titan XD come with the industry’s best five year, 100,000 mile warranty. And after the show, I’m gonna go get into my Titan in the driveway and just drive it around for no reason because I enjoy it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (6m 54s):

Holman, can you tell me about your buddy that is interested in a Banks monster ram for his 2023 Ram 6.7 liter Cummins Turbo Diesel. Why is he interested in that said Banks monster Ram intake elbow.

Sean P. Holman (7m 9s):

So that was my, my uncle who we talked about in the last show. Who? Oops,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 13s):

Sorry. Your uncle. I thought it was a friend. Yeah.

Sean P. Holman (7m 15s):

Well he is my friend. Okay. He’s also my uncle and a listener of The Truck Show Podcast. Oh,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 19s):

What’s up? What’s, what’s his name?

Sean P. Holman (7m 20s):

Warren. What’s

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 21s):

Up? Warren

Sean P. Holman (7m 22s):

All. right. So we, he texted me and he’s like, Hey, I’m interested in the, the big ass filter and the ram intake and the diff cover.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 31s):

So he is talking about the Ram air intake, which is the air box that draws in cool air from the exterior of the vehicle.

Sean P. Holman (7m 36s):

And, and of course the diff cover, which we all know the benefits of, of the bank’s Ram air diff cover. And then I said, Hey, while you’re looking at those things, also take a look at the monster Ram, which is Oh,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (7m 46s):

So he didn’t know about it. No.

Sean P. Holman (7m 47s):

And so I said, take a look at it because it’s the big elbow that increases flow and density into the engine. But the biggest thing about it is everybody else’s elbow, they, there’s a a fuel line that goes in there and cuts You know into the air path. And so Banks provide you Yeah. The

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (8m 4s):

Stock, the stock fuel line you have to work around. Yeah. Right. So in order to have a, a clear path of air into the manifold, you’ve gotta have a take a big dent out of that elbow. And the el those factory elbow, if you look at, is squashed and flat. Yep. And the passageway to get in is really necked

Sean P. Holman (8m 20s):

Down. And the monster ram, you guys created a new fuel line. So you don’t have that issue. But the number one thing about it beyond the drivability, beyond better throttle response is the fact that you get rid of that factory grid heater bolt that is going to fail, drop down in cylinder six and shoot out your turbo taking the entire engine with it. So anybody, did you,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (8m 40s):

By the way, did you see the posts that I put up on Banks last Monday? Yeah. Of the, the cylinder number six? Yep. It looked like a dog took a dump on the top of a piston. That’s how brown destroyed it was. It was pretty disgusting. It was just like, it like looked like, like chocolate pudding. It was so mashed Yeah. From that bolt.

Sean P. Holman (8m 58s):

And so all you guys, especially you guys who have like seventeens and eighteens, you’re coming up on mileage now where that’s going to be an issue. In fact, Banks has had people coming in for that monster ram that were on the verge. We had, you had a customer like what, a month ago who came in and said, Hey, this is preventative maintenance. And when you pulled it off, it was all melted, ready to drop.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (9m 16s):

So I took the, so Robert in installation took the, the grid heater out and he flipped it upside down to look at

Sean P. Holman (9m 22s):

The bolt. Yep.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (9m 23s):

To see how it, because this bolt hangs upside down like a, like a still Tite from a cave inside the manifold. So he flips it up upside down and I get in there with my camera and I touch it with my index finger. And as they just touch, it broke off onto the ground. And this is about a quarter of an inch tall that would’ve fallen straight down into the manifold rolled downhill because your engine slants backwards and then rolled right into cylinder number six and went

Sean P. Holman (9m 47s):

And Bye-Bye Cummins.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (9m 48s):

Bye-Bye. Oh my gosh.

Sean P. Holman (9m 49s):

And it’s, it’s not a widely known problem because people are replacing cylinder six or their, their engines, but they don’t know the root cause of it. And they’re replacing it for other reasons. I think it’s a piston failure, so it’s not, it’s that bolt. So all the data of the people who’ve had this repair, which is a lot of people out there, have been attributed to other things. And so the, the factory is like, oh wow, you blew a piston. Said, well, I guess we need to do a new engine. But they don’t know that it’s that grid heater bolt that drops in there So. anyway. Well,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (10m 17s):

They’re starting to know now because, do I have a folder? Let’s,

Sean P. Holman (10m 19s):

The mileage is coming up

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (10m 20s):

On it. I have a folder on my computer of 30 Yeah. Destroyed engines. Yep. Well, when I say destroyed, some of them had head repair and they could get ’em back to normal. Yeah. But You know, they take, it’s a minimum of 10 grand So anyway. If you’re, if you’ve got a ram and the ones that are really seeing the most damage are, or they have the most potential for failure are 13 to 18. But it does affect oh seven and a half all the way to 23. Anything with a six, seven, if you’re looking to prevent that and gain 88.3% mass airflow, which means throttle response, go to Banks, type in your year, make and model and fix your ram in advance.

Sean P. Holman (10m 56s):

Hey Uncle Warren, enjoy your truck. There you go.

3 (10m 59s):

The truck show. We’re gonna show you what we know. We’re gonna answer what? The truck, because truck rides with the truck show. We have the lifted, we have the lowered and everything in between. We’ll talk about Trucks that run on Diesel and the ones that run on gasoline. The truck show. The truck show. The truck show. Oh Whoa.

4 (11m 31s):

It’s the truck show with your hosts Lightning and Holman.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (11m 38s):

So I’m a little tired of the podcast yet. I think we need a mobile podcast studio in the form of a Tacoma or maybe no, a Ram an a EV prospect or Excel.

Sean P. Holman (11m 49s):

Well, we need something with a lot of payload for all the hot air that goes into the show. And the one place that I have in mind is a company called TruckHouse that makes carbon fiber campers for trucks. So I saw them. I I don’t we talked about it before. We, it was the their BCT, which was their Tacoma build. and I was like, ha ha ha. Somebody’s making a big camper for the back of a Tacoma. It’s the things that just fold in half. And then I looked at the specs and I was like, oh, it’s five, 500 pounced. Oh wow, this is probably pretty cool. And a lot of technology. And then they just announced the Ram Prospector XL based one and I’m like, All, right? We gotta call him. So

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 26s):

The the Prospector XL I know you lust after,

Sean P. Holman (12m 30s):

Why wouldn’t you lust after a truck on forties from the factory? That’s pretty awesome.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 35s):

Someday when I grow up, I’m gonna

Sean P. Holman (12m 37s):

Buy one. you know Shane Casada, bill Stein who was just here a few weeks ago, he just bought one. Did he really? Yep. Picked up from our buddy Mike Rice over at local Ram dealer.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 45s):

We’re doing something wrong.

Sean P. Holman (12m 47s):

Yep. Well, why, why don’t we, why

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 49s):

Don’t we have one? Would

Sean P. Holman (12m 50s):

You stop talking? Let’s interview somebody who’s doing something right. Okay. And figure out if maybe Osmosis will help us do better. All. right?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (12m 57s):

So we’re gonna call Matt and Nico.

6 (13m 4s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 5s):

Hello. We have Matt. Hey, you got us and Nico.

6 (13m 9s):

You’ve got Matt and Nico and, and yeah, we’re here.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 11s):

Fantastic. Hey, it’s Lightning and Holman from The. Truck. Show Podcast. Guys, thanks for joining us. Before we can get on with the interview, we’ve gotta play a quick intro. Everyone gets one so don’t move. What

7 (13m 21s):

Does it take? What does it take to be entrepreneur minority? Don’t let anyone, you can’t look back. Don’t worry. There will always be another crappy. This is what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 41s):

So these gentlemen are entrepreneurs. What we’re

Sean P. Holman (13m 44s):

Talking to have a feeling

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 45s):

Co-founders. Yeah. I have a feeling They did quit their jobs

Sean P. Holman (13m 48s):

Or, or they have side gigs, side hustles until this one gets off the ground like I do.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (13m 51s):

I think it’s getting off the ground. I gotta be honest, from their website and from the trucks, it looks

Sean P. Holman (13m 55s):

Legit. So Matt and Nico, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you guys, and I worked for the old MotorTrend for a long time and was running Four, Wheeler Magazine and, and all that good stuff. and I saw the Tacoma, the, the BCT build when it first came out as the rendering. and I was like, you guys are gonna break that Tacoma in half. What, what idiot is putting all this stuff on a Tacoma? And then I saw that your shell weighed 500 pounced. I went, Whoa, okay, maybe these guys know what they’re doing. And then when you guys announced the Ram on the Prospector XL chassis, I had to know more. And I’m like, we gotta get these guys on the show because this is, you know, this, this technology that you’re using made the u s a completely self-contained habitats for, for overlanding vehicles with like the most advanced materials sort of blowing my mind and I gotta know more.

Sean P. Holman (14m 41s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (14m 41s):

Did it get started?

6 (14m 43s):

Yeah, well holy cow. The energy, it’s contagious. Well yeah. Hell yeah boys. Well we, well, well thanks for your contributions to MotorTrend and Four Wheeler. I grew up reading both of those so you didn’t know it, but you made me who I am. So I. Appreciate that. Well,

Sean P. Holman (15m 3s):

I, it depends how old you are. ’cause I was only there for 20 years. So

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (15m 5s):

Hold on a second, if you’re, if you’re real fan of, of Holman’s, then you eat, do wiener schnitzel and drink Dr. Pepper. Do you, do you do either of those or,

Sean P. Holman (15m 12s):

Or smoke cigars?

6 (15m 14s):

Yeah, I eat Wiener Central quite frequently. We eat the shop late, so

Sean P. Holman (15m 19s):


6 (15m 19s):

No, no doubt. And I’m, I’m, I’m 32, so yeah, I I definitely was reading those when I was You know a young teenager. Awesome.

Sean P. Holman (15m 27s):

Yeah, I, you, you guys need to check out the, the new gig OVR mags. So that that’s, that’s what we’re gonna, we’re gonna engage you over there next and get you in the, is that your, your

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (15m 35s):


Sean P. Holman (15m 36s):

Plug? That’s my shameless plug for my, my new Magazine I

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (15m 38s):

Know. Dunno if you guys have seen it. This is a Lightning speaking and so I’m not at OVR Magazine Holman is, and I gotta say his team over there is put together a really good looking book. So when, just when you thought that magazines were kind of going the way of the Dodo bird OVR just sprang up and people were like Whoa damn.

Sean P. Holman (15m 55s):

Yeah, we basically had a bunch of MotorTrend alumni and Enthusiast Media alumni who decided that print was not dead and we’ve got a beautiful overland book for, for the Common Man. So we definitely need to send you guys some, some copies on that. But obviously we’re here for the podcast and my shameless plug, we can end right there. Yeah.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (16m 10s):

So guys, I I, I watched a quick little video on two, it touches on how you started, one of you and I, can’t remember if it was Matt or Nico. Now Matt, you are the co-founder and CEO and Nico, you are the co-founder and COO, right? Yep. One of you built the truck first and the other one said, oh, that’s just a, that’s a nice little one-off. Do you think you could do more? And then the other said, yeah, we should do these.

6 (16m 35s):

Yeah, So I when I was 24 we’re we’re big time skiers here and I was looking for a rig to chase snow with basically and stumbled upon P seven Toyota Sun Raider four by four, which is a super rare, yeah, yeah,

Sean P. Holman (16m 53s):

Those are, those are rad.

6 (16m 55s):

Super, super rare bird. I think 26 were produced and 16 are still registered. Anyway, I went and tracked the thing down and took it back to my family’s shipyard. So my pop has an old, my pops has an old shipyard in Edo that they work on yachts and ferries and I painstakingly put about 2000 hours into that thing to make it what it is today. And then that’s kind of where Nico came into the picture.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (17m 22s):

So wait, Matt? Yeah, we were both, wait, wait, pause there Matt for a second. Yeah. So what was your background to just put in 2000 hours of, of work? Like what, did you have a mechanical engineering background or you just a hobbyist, like how did you get to chops to do something like that?

6 (17m 37s):

They call it OCDI think.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (17m 40s):


6 (17m 41s):

I actually studied neurobiology at uc Davis when I was going to high school and college. My dad has a shipyard in Sausalito where they work on yachts and ferries and fishing boats. And my dad did a really good job from like 14. Each summer I’d basically work with a new crew. So like at 14 I worked on with the bottoms crew, which is sanding and painting bottoms of, of big boats out of the water. Not super glorious. And then each year, you know, I’d get to work with, with the top side paint crew. And then I worked with the woodworking crew and I worked in the metal shop and I worked in the fiberglass shop and So I, like I slowly learned You know kind of all the, all the skills necessary. And then the, the Sun Raider build was like essentially my final project basically So I.

6 (18m 25s):

I would work at the shipyard in summers and then after hours I’d work on the Sun Raider and utilize like kind of all the shipwrights around there and ask a bunch of questions and kind of just figured it out as I went.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (18m 37s):

Now did you introduce yourself as a, a Matt Neurobiologist and founder of a Ship on Wheels? Like I’m trying to, it’s so funny that it’s a land yacht, right? He could’ve opened up a lab, a mobile lab. It’s an overland yacht. An overland yacht. It really is. We’re gonna get to that point though. I like that. Yeah, right. We’re gonna get to that point though, where you guys are building in. That’s your new T-shirt idea by the way. Overland Yacht. Yeah, Overland Yacht. We’re gonna get to the point where we explain that you guys are basically building offshore racing boat quality hauls, but on the back of a truck. So let’s go back Matt. And so you put the two, 2000 hours into this thing and how many tweaks along the way and at what point does, does Nico get on board?

6 (19m 22s):

The plan was to buy it and go skiing and camping and it turned out that I just worked on it nonstop. I Mean, I cut the floor out, I re glass all the holes in the thing, I painted the cab, the truck. I built a full modern interior, full fiberglass, modern interior, modern electronics, heated floors, I Mean. It has this old, old rig ends up having the same same systems basically our new rigs do. I was up skiing in in Tahoe and kept running into Nico and I’ll kinda let him take it from there. Yeah, Matt, Matt kept talking about this You know four by four Sun Raider he was building that one day he’d be able to go wherever he wanted and chase storms. And this went on for like two, two and a half years.

6 (20m 3s):

He kept talking about it and you know, every time I see him he was alluding to the fact that it was getting close and You know months would go by until the next update. And then finally one summer we were both on the West Shore Lake Tahoe and Matt brought it by the marina and I got to see it and the first thing I thought in my head was like, wow, I, I need one of these. And So I kind approached Matt and I was like, You know, what would it take to build another one of these for myself? And not knowing how much work he actually put into it, he kinda looked at me and laughed and said never again.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (20m 38s):

I’m like,

6 (20m 41s):

Like, what do you mean man? Friendship test. And he goes, You know if we do it again, it has to be be on a Brand new truck. You know we’re not, I’ll never start with the old truck, just the rest apparel alone. It just takes too long. And that kind of planted a seed in my head. And at the time I was finishing up a mechanical engineering degree at UNR here in Reno. A couple years later I went back to get my MBA and had an opportunity to work on a business plan and this kind of camper business was floating around my head and I. I gave Matt a call and asked him how serious he was about You know, pursuing, building new campers and kind of came up with a, a deal where he would help me do a engine swap on a four by four van that I had at the time.

6 (21m 23s):

and I trade him for a business plan kind of from there. I

Sean P. Holman (21m 27s):

Mean. That sounds, that sounds reasonable.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (21m 29s):

That’s odd. Yeah, it’s an odd swap right there. That’s

Sean P. Holman (21m 30s):

A great barter right there. No, I’m all about it.

6 (21m 32s):

No, no, don’t, don’t you, don’t you ever think you could put a small block Chevy in one of those Chevy vans without taking the cab off and not just hate

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (21m 41s):


6 (21m 42s):

Because he, he’s like, yeah dude, the, the dealership quoted me 10 grand and I was at the, at the time I was a marine mechanic on the West Shore Tahoe and I was like, dude, I can pull a small block Chevy out of a boat in like two and a half hours. I was like, dude, I’ll, I’ll help you like no time I show up at his house and open the hood and I’m like, where the hell’s the engine dude?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (22m 2s):


Sean P. Holman (22m 3s):

At what point did you look at him and go, that’s gonna be two business plans, sir?

6 (22m 7s):

No, I’m a man of my word. I said, hell yeah dude, let’s get it done. Nice. And I had to pull the intake manifold off You know and basically like chain the cherry picker to the, to the heads to get the thing outta there. But we weezled her out of there and put a reman back in and yeah, we got her done.

Sean P. Holman (22m 24s):

Nice. Well done boys.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (22m 25s):

And so at what point does it become a real thing where, so you you build this, this You know one for Nico and then it turns into like, oh we, we’ve written a business plan that actually could work. Did you go to like Overland Expo and see like, well there’s a market for these or how did you get the sense that if you build them they will get purchased,

6 (22m 45s):

Finish up the, the engine swap and at that point the business school at the University of Nevada had a business plan competition and I thought Oh man, I just worked on this for a while, like let’s get in front of some professor’s eyes and get some feedback. And so we entered this business plan competition and we did it really just to get some feedback and kind of meet some people here in Reno. And we progressed round, round to round and kept moving up in the standings in this contest. And spring of 2019 we ended up winning the contest and got a grant from the university was enough money to really think about You know trying to do this whole time. And Matt and I kind of came with a plan.

6 (23m 26s):

We both worked that summer and kinda reconvened in the fall. He went back down to work at the shipyard for his dad and I was working as a wild end firefighter at the time. We kind of You know, gave it some thought all summer long and came together in the fall and we knew You know the overland scene was, was getting popular. We had a lot of good interest from the Sun Raider. Matt had a pretty big falling on social media and anytime you’d go anywhere there’d be people knocking on the door trying to take a look inside. So we were pretty confident that if, if we built something they would come.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (23m 57s):

Now at what point did you guys discuss building a Subaru Bratt into the, the mega You know land yacht that we’re talking? Oh wait, not a Subaru Bratt? No. Did I get the story wrong? You

Sean P. Holman (24m 7s):

Got story wrong.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (24m 8s):

Oh, damnit.

6 (24m 8s):

No it was, it was the Subaru Bratt was right second place at the Honda Ridge line. Ah.

Sean P. Holman (24m 14s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (24m 16s):

Well sir, so minute Hold on a second. If you listen to the show, do You know that we talk about the ridge line all the time? The fact that it’s not actually

Sean P. Holman (24m 22s):


6 (24m 23s):

Hey I, Mean You know Unibody schmo body. That’s right,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (24m 26s):

That’s right.

Sean P. Holman (24m 27s):

That that’s gonna be our new T-shirt. Schmo

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (24m 29s):

Body unibody Schmo body

Sean P. Holman (24m 31s):

All. right? I’m writing it down.

6 (24m 32s):

Unibo, those sprinter, those sprinter vans are basically cars. So what the hell’s the difference? Yeah,

Sean P. Holman (24m 37s):

True. by the way, I’ve seen the Sprinter vans off road with lift kit and like 30 twos and it looks like the, it basically looks like if I were to take my Wrangler and then put like a lifeguard chair on the roof rack and then steer from up there like I was looking for tuna or something. So scary. That’s about what it looks like to a guy driving a sprinter band off road. It’s, it’s, it’s not, it doesn’t look pleasant.

6 (24m 59s):

Yeah. Travel. I’ve never heard of her.

Sean P. Holman (25m 1s):

Yeah, no kidding. Unless you’re talking about the ya from side to side.

6 (25m 6s):

Yeah. Sway. We’ve heard of her though. Yeah, yeah,

Sean P. Holman (25m 9s):

Absolutely. I, I had a friend who was You know big into Offroading and over landing and so he had one of those vans for a little while and he goes, Oh dude, it’s some stok and you get in this van go offroad. We would take some trails and after his first trip I’m like, well how was it? He goes, yeah, that wasn’t that enjoyable.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (25m 26s):

When did you guys decide to start on a Tacoma?

6 (25m 29s):

Yeah, so using the sun rated account as inspiration. Matt and I both quit our jobs in November of 2019 and started design on the first prototype and the two of us worked on that for about a year getting everything off the ground and the first customer units were delivered in 2021.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (25m 50s):

How did you get the first customers?

6 (25m 53s):

They actually came to us, You know, believe it or not, driving the sun raid around locally, like we said at a pretty big falling. Yeah, they, they thought that was cool and we said wait till we’re, well you see what we’re doing next. And You know we built up a, a decent wait list from the beginning and then Covid hit and we dealt with the supply chain, which everybody else did as well.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (26m 14s):

So when you quit your job, did your parents say

Sean P. Holman (26m 18s):

You must be outta

6 (26m 19s):

Your mind? We we’re both super fortunate. We have very supportive parents and business owner parents. Yeah, they’re, both of our dads are entrepreneurs that have owned small businesses. You know, they just have always told us to follow our dreams and, and work hard and make good decisions and that’s kind of, we, we kinda listened and, and half listened and sent it.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (26m 46s):


Sean P. Holman (26m 47s):

When I go to the website now today, so TruckHouse dot co TruckHouse dot co, you can go to the Tacoma page and look at the BCT and it shows you the different levels and things like that. But it’s, it’s sold out I know you made more than one. How many did you end up making on the Tacoma chassis?

6 (27m 7s):

Yeah, we did, we built eight of those. They’re all out out in the world right now and we started with a, what we called a prototype tool set. So we built that carbon fiber shell here in, in-house via process called vacuum infusion. And so we only had the, the capital up front to invest into a prototype tool. So I had a limited number of poles and we actually, we just finished that production run and we haven’t been taking orders for the Tacoma for over, over a year, year and a half almost. So we kind of were You know in our infancy and, and sold eight of ’em basically.

6 (27m 49s):

And then,

Sean P. Holman (27m 50s):

Which is amazing by the way. It’s huge. Oh

6 (27m 52s):

Well thank you so much. Yeah, it’s sure is a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be when we started.

Sean P. Holman (27m 58s):

Well especially You know, obviously you guys are doing these bespoke vehicles. The, the top of the line comes with a, a supercharger, you can get a manual or automatic, you got launch travel suspension, upgraded brakes, six piston front four piston rear the, the option for fully fabricated rear axle from winches high output Ultra I Mean. You’re talking about a third of a million dollars all in with one of these fully built, right?

6 (28m 23s):

Exactly. The base price is three 50 or was three 50 including the truck. It’s a very, very custom Tacoma. We do a lot of chassis reinforcement, we do full customer and you know, all those other bits and bobs you mentioned. But it was a, it’s a big undertaking considering we had to You know build the truck as well as build the house.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (28m 45s):

I have a question. So why, why the Tacoma? Is that because you already had the familiarity with the previous build, you know, when you were starting this venture or do you be, do you like the reliability of the Tacoma or what because there, there’s plenty of platforms to choose from.

Sean P. Holman (29m 1s):

Yeah, but I think going off the Sun radar was a Toyota based platform.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (29m 4s):

I Mean. No that’s what I’m saying. Right. So

Sean P. Holman (29m 5s):

They already had the fans of Toyota people following knew. I’m

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (29m 7s):

Just asking

6 (29m 8s):

Kind of touching on all the points there. For us the smaller footprint of a Sun Rider made a whole lot of sense for our lifestyle. You know getting down the trail or or parking at the grocery store when it’s, when a vehicles small like that makes things a whole lot easier as well as just the, the reputation and the re reliability of the Toyota You know coming from the Sun Raider and really just trying to bring that to the modern era. We kind of saw a hole in the market in between the sprinter vans and the larger military style vehicles. That’s our dream rake was the Tacoma You know of the 21st century.

Sean P. Holman (29m 43s):

And I think the size of that platform to your point is makes it more You know a lot more able to access tighter spots where you couldn’t do it in some of those bigger v builds. And when I was looking at some of the specs going back to the BCT, which is the, the Tacoma house build obviously carbon fiber shell, you guys had mentioned that you had a torsion free mounting system. So you guys are actually, in addition to having the house, you guys actually have a mounting system on there that allows the truck to flex and the house to flex independently, right? So you’re not tearing things up.

6 (30m 13s):

Yeah. And that, that’s actually one major lesson I learned from the Sun Raider. The Sun Raiders were fix mounted to the chassis. And also fix mounted to the cab. So on the Sun Raider they cut the whole back wall of the pickup out and they actually cut part of the roof out as well. And they might’ve done it with like an air chisel or something. ’cause it is, once you pull the sha once you pull the shag carpet out of that thing, it hides a lot of senses. Yeah, yeah. But that, I built this big, that that rig has got a big sound system. I built a fiberglass 10 inch sub enclosure that mounts

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (30m 48s):

A man after my right there. Right there.

6 (30m 50s):

Yeah. It’s got that, that that 87 Centimes got like 2000 watts. It’s got a 40 inch outdoor sound. Soundbar. Yeah, it’s a, it’s a fun rig. But I built a, it’s an extended cab pickup. So I built a sub box behind the driver’s seat and it actually mounted to my shower wall, my wet bath wall and and mounted to the cab floor of the pickup I know right. Weird, weird sub box That’s

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (31m 13s):

By the way, that’s a, that’s a fun shower right there.

6 (31m 17s):

Hell yeah dude. And So I ended up, ended up wheeling the thing a bunch You know by the way it’s on You know it’s on a 32 inch tire. I Mean Wheeling is a You know generous term for your home. But yeah relative for it, I pushed it and ended up cracking that sub box because it’s technically mounted to the camper and to the cab and it’s from Torsional Twist. So when Nico and I started, you know, kind of diving into this You know him being an engineer, I was like dude, I have some problems here. Like I’m seeing some cracking in the interior and this part and this part. And we started doing our research and realized we need to alleviate those forces.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (31m 53s):

What was the sub box made of? Was it fiberglass or MDF would you

6 (31m 57s):

It was a BALs core fiberglass panel all hand glass together and then body worked and painted, which is like, it’s You know it’s three times stronger than plywood and three times lighter. It’s, it was a beefy sub box. But those are, those are pretty gnarly forces. Yeah,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 13s):

That’s why I was asking because to, to crack a box the way I’ve seen some of the really high-end stereo shops make them like it takes a lot of force,

Sean P. Holman (32m 21s):

Which the early warning system, it’s like if you could crack the box, you don’t wanna know what comes after that. Chill out.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 26s):

That’s the T-shirt by the way. Crack the box. Crack

Sean P. Holman (32m 28s):

The box.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (32m 29s):

That is So when do you decide to go carbon fiber? Well I guess we’re still talking about the chassis. So you’ve, you take us through the first gen where you have to, you crack the box, the suber and then how do you guss at the, the chassis or what’s next?

6 (32m 45s):

I saw the, the cracking the subter in the Sun Raider sub box, which like I said, not a structural crack or anything important, just something that kind of keyed me into those torsional forces. And then Nico and I got to the drawing board and realize that truck frames twist and carbon fiber boxes do not. So if you rigid mounted a carbon box to a steel chassis, the chassis’s gonna try and twist and the carbon is gonna try and resist that and eventually something’s gonna win. So we got on CAD and started, started developing a torsion free subframe that basically allows the Tacoma chassis to twist independently of that carbon box. It also rides on polyurethane so it helps lessen the vibration.

6 (33m 29s):

And then You know we had to stretch Wheel base and then reinforce the whole chassis for the weight. So we do a ton of welding and a ton of fab here in house and that’s all what we developed on the computer basically.

Sean P. Holman (33m 40s):

So fast forward you guys develop the Tacoma, you get through the prototype or tool tooling, you build the eight, they’re out in the world. There’s obviously learnings from that and you can see that in the press release that you guys put out for the BCR, which is the Ram version and it just You know as awesome as the Tacoma looks, there’s a lot of small refinements that you can pick up in the ram And one of the things that I was really interested in is your hyper foils. So you guys are actually putting in similar to how a, a Chevy Silverado maybe around the bumper has those little air slots that open and make an air curtain around the tires. You guys have what you’re calling a high pro, a high pressure reduction like a vent or a, a smoothing at the leading edge of the camper to direct airflow around it.

Sean P. Holman (34m 29s):

To me that’s like a, that’s a huge step up in engineering acuity is is including You know starting into these arrow things and and the refinement, the smoothness of the outside of the camper. It’s a great looking house I guess is what you guys would call it.

6 (34m 42s):

Yeah, thank you so much. We spent a lot of time working on the exterior surface. You know, thankfully we got to collaborate with the guys over at a EV to really make that surface match the prospector and so we were closer with those guys and coming up with that hyper foil system to kind of re reduce that, that drag coefficient on the, the bleeding edge of the camper there, which like you said is is different than the Tacoma. We really wanted to kind of step up our game as far as the exterior surface and working with those guys really allowed us to do that.

Sean P. Holman (35m 15s):

Now we’re all familiar with the AAV Prospector xl. Obviously XL stands for 40. So imagine a ram crew cab up on 40 inch tires. I’m assuming you guys are using a 3,500 chassis with that.

6 (35m 28s):

Yeah, so we, we started designing around the 3,500 basically to keep the, the light and efficient concept kind of moving forward from the Tacoma to the bigger chassis we’re actually gonna offer in the regular cab as well, which is cool ’cause it brings down the overall length about 22 and a half feet, which is still a pretty compact adventure truck. And keeping the weight down is one of the priorities allows us to You know scale up to the 55 hundreds as well if we ever needed to. But really this initial camper’s really designed for the 3,500.

Sean P. Holman (36m 2s):

Awesome. So the difference between this and the Tacoma obviously is you’ve got a proven platform. You’re not having to make all these adjustments to a base vehicle because AV already has a proven XL that you can build off of that has a lot of payload. So let’s move over to the house part of it. Carbon monocoque construction. You’ve got molded single piece cabinetry, solid state digital switching platform, six foot six interior standing height cab over king bed, rear dinette, full bed, I Mean. That, that’s a lot more features because you’ve got more of a footprint, more size and it sounds like a lot more comfortable place to hang out.

6 (36m 39s):

Yeah, certainly. And like Nico said, we wanna stick to our kind of our roots of being a small nimble white vehicle. The shell only grew, we’ll call it 5%, but in a space that small inches really do matter And really it’s You know, we figure that like weight is kind of a slippery slope. Like if you just start on the 5,500 and decide you wanna do granite countertops and tile backsplashes, a lot of people forget that these rigs, it’s, it’s a lot of dynamic forces and everything you put in it is gonna be going down the road and hopefully wheeling. So starting on that 3,500 is really important for us to, to You know, keep the thing light and nimble.

Sean P. Holman (37m 20s):

So what’s the difference in weight for just the bare house itself? So it was about 500 pounced of the Tacoma and you said about 5% overall is that translate just house to house as well?

6 (37m 30s):

Yeah, and so the, it’s about the bare shell coming out of the mold on a Tacoma is about 550 pounced that is pre-built out. But we do do a composite interior so it does stay relatively light and I think they’re shooting for about the same weight on the ramp. So the ram is not really gonna know that that camper’s back there.

Sean P. Holman (37m 51s):

That’s awesome.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (37m 51s):

I was gonna ask how it actually feels to drive when you’re going down the road and you’ve gotta make an abrupt turn. Do you feel top heavy? I don’t, I don’t know. Like what does it feel to the driver or do you add sway bars to tighten it up?

6 (38m 4s):

Well, when you drive one of the rams you can, you can report back, but the the tacomas are are pretty incredible. It’s, you forget you’re driving a camper, a lot of increased track width, custom tuned suspension, custom build leaf springs. We keep all the weight very low. So we’re very center of gravity focused. All the tanks are stored below the frame rail yet internal it is mind blowing how well they drive. And they You know on a closed course. Of course, of course they do over a hundred, they do over a hundred, they do over a hundred miles an hour, even a naturally aspirated one. So nice.

Sean P. Holman (38m 42s):

Yeah, and that’s been important to admit you guys are offering it in either a six four gas setup or you can go with the coming Hold on they’re happy

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (38m 50s):

About the a hundred miles an hour.

6 (38m 56s):

Yeah, and and that’s, that’s a, that’s a Tacoma doing a a hundred miles an hour. So, but we are, we are offering the ram in a, a Hemi or the Cummins and You know. The main reason behind that is if you wanna do some world travel and you’re going to a location that doesn’t have low sulfur Diesel, you might have a better, a better chance driving a, a gas powered vehicle.

Sean P. Holman (39m 18s):

And I, I would imagine You know the, the fuel tank on it is 74 gallons. So nice. Even on a gas, you figure probably nine or 10 miles to the gallon is probably a reasonable expectation. That’s well over 700 miles a range. So you would be able to go pretty far on something like that. And then you guys also have a full lithium battery bank to control everything inside the house, which means that you’re not running the engine to, to keep up with the living demands. You’re able to do that with solar and it could be off grid. So it’s nice to have your, your motivation fuel be different from your living fuel.

6 (39m 53s):

Yeah, definitely. One of, one of our big goals was to be fully self-contained and so no propane, no generator needed for any of our systems. And then we do have the ability to charge off the alternator. So if you are ever in a case scenario where you’re in a snowstorm for You know a week straight or anything like that and you need more power, you can always idle your engine and and recharge your house. Batteries

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (40m 13s):

Are, are you taking orders for the the BCR now?

6 (40m 18s):

Yep. Right now pre-orders are open and we’re taking a $10,000 refundable deposit to hold your spot in our production line. Our prototype vehicles will be driving around this fall and we’re starting production on customer rigs this winter.

Sean P. Holman (40m 33s):

You can head over to TruckHouse dot co and head over to the BCR page, which has all the specs. And then from there there’s a pre-order now box where you can contact sales and put your info in. And if I’m not, if I’m not mistaken, the offer was extended to your friends over here at The Truck Show Podcast slash o Magazine to get behind the Wheel potentially later this year. Hell yeah,

6 (40m 55s):

Absolutely. But you have to supply the Honda Ridge line press to build the camper on. Thank

Sean P. Holman (40m 59s):

You. Goodnight tip your waitress. They’ll be here all week. Yeah, his arms are tired. He just flew in. Try the ve

6 (41m 6s):

No, absolutely guys, we’d love to get you guys behind the Wheel and experience one of these things in person.

Sean P. Holman (41m 12s):

You do a podcast inside the ca from inside the, the back of it. Once you guys are have the prototypes built,

6 (41m 17s):

Let’s do it in the middle of nowhere with starlink or something even

Sean P. Holman (41m 20s):

Better. I love it. I love it. All good All. right? So another question for you guys, obviously eight Tacomas. Is there a limit to the number of vehicles that you’re gonna produce of the BCR?

6 (41m 31s):

So we are production’s currently sold out through 2025 for the BCR based.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (41m 37s):

Wow. Boom.

Sean P. Holman (41m 39s):

No, stop it. Lightning, I Mean.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (41m 41s):

Congratulations. Congrats. That’s

Sean P. Holman (41m 42s):

Bad for us. That’s, that’s huge. Good for you guys.

6 (41m 46s):

You guys need to get on the list soon or you’re gonna be too old to drive it.

Sean P. Holman (41m 50s):

Thank you. And we’re already there. Thank you very much. So

6 (41m 54s):

No, we’re we’re hoping to match the, the lifecycle of this fifth gen ram and we’re, we’ve planned for that. Yeah. And and the cool thing, you know, we learned a lot in this Tacoma production. We’re a small new team. We learn every day, every day here as a school day. But we were definitely stretching ourselves very thin in terms of building the custom truck and the custom house. Working with a EV has been incredible and being able to focus on our core competency, which is the extremely complex composites, we’re hoping to be able to scale and bring those lead times down. That is one big reason for the shift in platform.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (42m 33s):

Well you’ve teamed up with the best I Mean. That’s the bottom line. Yeah. So they’ll do what they do and you do what you do and together you make a a, a wonderful synergy. Yeah.

Sean P. Holman (42m 41s):

How, how many are you guys planning on making in a year?

6 (42m 45s):

This first year we’re planning on kicking eight vehicles out and like I said, we’re working on scaling. Awesome.

Sean P. Holman (42m 51s):

Yeah dude, that, that, that’s a, a pretty fast pace for everything that needs to go into those vehicles. I’m, I’m impressed and like I said, I I, when I saw the press release and was going through the specs, I was like, this is awesome. We, we gotta know more. And I’m happy to have you guys on the show and talk about this. ’cause not only is it interesting from an entrepreneur standpoint and starting your own company, but from the standpoint of having a relatively compact You know overlanding expedition vehicle that is self-contained that you can take almost anywhere. I think the big key to you guys is obviously gonna be the lightweight ’cause you’re allowing there to be payload for other things.

6 (43m 27s):

Absolutely. You know the goal for the 3,500 is still to be able to tow 10,000 pounced. And if you need to tow more than that, we can bump up to the 5,500 You know that’s coming in the future. But yeah, like you said, it’s, it’s cool to be able to work with the best you guys called a EV the best. And and we agree. It’s like we were, we were playing little league and they’re playing D one ball and,

Sean P. Holman (43m 49s):


6 (43m 50s):

And we got, we got invited to practice and we were like, holy, we’re only 12. How are we gonna play D one college baseball? Well

Sean P. Holman (43m 57s):

It’s funny you say that because when you went up to bat, you both hit Grand Slams and they were like, how do these little leaguers hit so far? They wanna come join the

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (44m 3s):

Team. They got some chops. That’s right.

6 (44m 5s):

Yeah. And we, we actually met Dave at Overland Expo. Yeah. And we, we became fast friends and you know, he started a EV out of a business plan contest at University of Montana. Yes

Sean P. Holman (44m 18s):

He did.

6 (44m 20s):

And so he immediately was like, I see you, I see you guys, I see myself in you guys and I think I could help. And we jumped at the opportunity.

Sean P. Holman (44m 29s):

That’s pretty amazing. I’m, I’m good friends with Dave and great guy. And the fact that you, you kind of caught his eye is I Mean, think of all the things that he’s seen and how many people are pitching him and and for him to, to look at you guys and go, yeah, that’s something I wanna get behind is, is huge. So kudos and congratulations on that. And just one last question at least from my end is, you know, we talked a lot about the, the carbon fiber and the You know the monocoque construction, the, the chassis. We talked about the molded single piece ca cabinetry. What are some of the other advanced materials that you guys are using for lightweighting? For example, you, I was looking through the specs and you guys have a, a woven vinyl flooring. Is there things like that for the cabinetry, for the pillows, for the curtains, whatever else might go in there that is adding to you guys being able to have a lightweight chest?

Sean P. Holman (45m 16s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (45m 17s):

By the way, the, the windows are made out of saran wrap. That’s

Sean P. Holman (45m 19s):

Where I don’t

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (45m 20s):

Think that’s true. That’s where they cut weight. I

Sean P. Holman (45m 22s):

Don’t think that’s true. No, no, no. Okay.

6 (45m 23s):

And and for, for an extra causal rapid twice. Yeah,

Sean P. Holman (45m 26s):

There you go. Perfect.

6 (45m 29s):

You know, we really pride ourselves in trying to source the best materials and componentry in the world. And that You know, there’s a lot of things going into this rig, whether it be a Bosch oven or You know 24 volt heated floors. Not everything can be feather light. That Bosch oven, for example, weighs 45 pounced lithium batteries kind of have a energy density built into them. They can only be as light as You know technology permits. So on our end, we do everything we can to use the highest grade composite technology to build light cabinets, to build a light shell. But there are some places you have to sacrifice. Like we put dual pane glass windows in the shell, they’re better for thermal properties.

6 (46m 13s):

They’re better for viewing out of, they’re just a high quality product. So we kinda, like I said earlier, it’s a slippery slope if you just throw weight to the wind and start putting granite and tile, I think you’re doing a disservice to whoever’s driving the vehicle. We, we focus You know hard on, on trying to be conscious of every pound that goes in the rig and what not only going in the rig, but where it’s placed. Because like you guys know, wheeling center of gravity has a huge, huge factor. And these rigs, the center of gravity is so low that it, it dries well at wheels. Well You know, keep the batteries super low, keep the tanks below the frame yet in, in or internal so that they’re insulated. There’s a lot of thought in kind of how everything is distributed.

Sean P. Holman (46m 55s):

When you look at a traditional expedition camping camper platform, a lot of times there’s an A frame that’s built maybe out of aluminum and then there’s composite fiber boards for insulation. What’s the difference with yours? I, I guess I don’t know from a carbon standpoint what the thermal properties are. I’m curious, curious, you have to add something to it. Is it,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (47m 18s):

How thick is it? Is it one layer like you’d expect a boat to be or is it multiple layers with an insulation between? How does that work?

6 (47m 26s):

Yeah, so it’s a, we call it a highly engineered laminate schedule. So it has a lot to do with how we build the laminate schedule. But it is a, it’s a structural cord composite, so it does have a close cell DVC core, which has insulation property of our six and inch, which is as good as any insulation foam you can get. But it is structural, so it’s a, a carbon sandwich construction basically. So it’s, it’s better, better insulated than like a Yeti cooler for example, which I believe is R nine. Don’t quote me on that, but it’s about an inch and a half thick of thick of solid foam for Yeti cooler and we’re over two inches thick.

Sean P. Holman (48m 6s):

So you’re basically able to have the structural and thermal pieces as one unit so that you don’t have to add that additional weight over the structure.

6 (48m 14s):

You guys are, are off-road guys, so you’re pretty familiar with fabrication. But if, if you look at like a steel I-beam, it’s that vertical web that gives you the stiffness. Basically we have layers of carbon fiber or foam and then more carbon fiber. And that creates an i-beam structure that really makes it strong and rigid. And then You know, a benefit to that is it has great thermal properties

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (48m 34s):

And is it all one piece or do you mold it together in certain areas that become seamless like you would with a boat hole?

6 (48m 40s):

The Tacoma’s both basically an all one piece in a big modular mold, which was extremely hard to figure out. So we would, we’d pull the mold apart and there’d be a camper sitting there.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (48m 52s):

I, Mean, I’ve seen boats being made and it You know how they’re, we’ve all seen that on YouTube videos and such. And then I’ve seen carbon fiber wings for sports cars and such being made. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything this complex and large made out of carbon fiber, especially multi-layer.

Sean P. Holman (49m 8s):

Boeing 7 87.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 10s):

Is that really?

Sean P. Holman (49m 11s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 12s):

Is that how No, that’s

Sean P. Holman (49m 14s):

Aluminum or Airbus a three 50. No, it’s not, it’s not totally carbon airplane. It is, yes.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 19s):

I didn’t know that.

Sean P. Holman (49m 19s):

Streamliner, yeah. A a three 50. Same thing, huh? It’s cool because in aerospace all this awesome large scale stuff is being built now out of carbon. And so it’s really cool to see it into our space. Right, because you’re looking going, wow, that’s, that’s incredible. The technology. And then here these guys come along and they’re offering you something like that in the truck space. I’m, I’m all for it.

6 (49m 39s):

Yeah, definitely. And it, it’s really allowed us to kind of be who we are based, based on this construction. And You know the, the vacuum infusion was developed for the aerospace and then kind of got past the Marine and now we’re bringing into the, the camping and automotive world.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (49m 54s):

Alright, so guys, you’re listening and you’re trying to figure out what in the world does this thing look like? Go to TruckHouse dot co TruckHouse dot co. You’ll see the photos, you’ll see the, the in information about how to reserve yours if you’ve got those kind of ducketts ducks.

Sean P. Holman (50m 11s):

Ducketts. Nice. Nice.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (50m 12s):

I pulled out like 1989, right? Yeah. You did Duckets. Yeah, because I shred

Sean P. Holman (50m 17s):

On the, on the Trek page, there’s actually a good frequently asked questions page on the site and everything from, what is it, how does it cost or how much does it cost? Can you finance it? Can you use your existing truck, can you change the, the floor plan? All that kinda stuff. So a lot of great info on there. And it’s gonna start at 350,000. And that includes the base truck? Or is that on top of the base truck?

6 (50m 42s):

So the, the 350,000, that was actually for the BCT. So it’s Tacoma platform. We’re still finalizing prices, got it from BCR, but on the bigger platform it will be a little bit more expensive. Got

Sean P. Holman (50m 52s):

It. And, and when you guys put that price out there, when you do, is that going to include the cost of the truck itself?

6 (51m 1s):

Yes, it will.

Sean P. Holman (51m 2s):

And can they buy that directly through you guys or do they buy that through AAV and have it shipped to you to be upfitted or how does that process work?

6 (51m 9s):

Yeah, so we are not a dealership, we just complete the conversions and so the customers actually buy the truck from a dealership and then we’ll work directly with AAV on the upfit and it’ll come to us for the house.

Sean P. Holman (51m 20s):

Awesome. Nice.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (51m 22s):

Gentlemen, congratulations. You’ve, you’ve accomplished a lot in a short amount of time, but it looks like you’re just getting started. So amazing builds We’re Holman and I are excited to go check ’em out in person. You guys are in Sparks in Nevada, right?

6 (51m 36s):

We are, yep.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (51m 36s):

Road trip. Road trip. Indeed. Yes. Come on up.

Sean P. Holman (51m 40s):

There’s a lot of great photos on the gram. You can follow them. It’s TruckHouse dot co and then also they have a Facebook page as well. And then that stupid Birdie X thing that nobody follows, they’re on there too. So you guys wouldn’t, wouldn’t mind give ’em a follow check out some great content of some really cool trucks and I like the one that you guys just posted last week, August 17th. And that is the CGI rendering off-Road of the regular cab or single cab Ram with the house on it. And I’m telling you like it looks, that’s that’s my jam right there. It looks red. Yeah, I’m, I’m all over that truck.

6 (52m 16s):

The Wheel base is only like six inches longer than a Gladiator

Sean P. Holman (52m 19s):

Dude. It’s, it’s, yeah. And it’s on forties. It’s, it’s so, it’s so righteous. It

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (52m 24s):

Looks like a toy.

Sean P. Holman (52m 24s):

It literally looks like a Sun Raider that grew up, like if you just added a lot of water and fertilizer, it just blossomed and do that. It’s,

6 (52m 32s):

It’s gonna Wheel too because the, the frame twist you see in a cab chassis is wild. So kinda like Uni gas You know it’s gonna, it’s gonna help keep tires on the ground and only accentuate the suspension travel. So we’re excited to go put it through its paces

Sean P. Holman (52m 47s):

All, right? Well I’ve got places if you guys need trails, I’ll come follow you in my AAV 3 92 and let’s go have some fun

6 (52m 54s):

Whoa. Well yeah, that sounds like a good time.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (52m 57s):

Can I follow along in my TRX?

Sean P. Holman (52m 59s):

Sure. Yeah. Yeah.

6 (53m 0s):

It’s a, it’s a, it is a ram. Yeah, you could come Ah,

Sean P. Holman (53m 3s):

All. right? Thank you.

6 (53m 4s):

I think let’s be real in the desert. We might be following you.

Sean P. Holman (53m 6s):

Yeah, well we we’re trying to make you guys look better though right now

6 (53m 9s):

We air down the forties and it’s like a suspension for our suspension. Yeah, right.

Sean P. Holman (53m 13s):

You get like six inches of travel just out of your sidewalls.

6 (53m 17s):

Yeah, exactly.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 18s):

All right guys. Well it’s great meeting you and I have a feeling we’ll we’ll actually see face to face. So excited about it.

6 (53m 24s):

Yeah, thanks for having us guys. It’s been awesome. Thank you. Got it.

Sean P. Holman (53m 27s):

You appreciate it. We’ll talk to you soon.

6 (53m 28s):

Yep. No doubt.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 31s):

It’s been a minute since we’ve checked in with the five star hotline. So Holman, if you don’t mind,

Sean P. Holman (53m 34s):

How many minutes?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (53m 36s):

Ah, thousands of minutes.

Sean P. Holman (53m 38s):


3 (53m 40s):

On the five star hotline. 6 5 7 2 5 6 1 0 5. It’s the five star hotline. Five hotline.

10 (53m 57s):

Hey Lightning and Sean. Puffy Holman. I was just driving around listening to the podcast and I had a problem. I figured I’d call y’all with, I have a JK and we’re a family of four. I got a roof rack on it for when we go camping as we throw all our stuff up there. And my problem is these AutoZone ratchet straps are driving me insane. They fold over themselves. My 4-year-old son ties his sister up to ’em by the time I get to the other side of the Jeep to strap it down. I need some help.

10 (54m 37s):

Hopefully he can steer me the right direction. I’ve been listening to the show since the start. Thanks for everything y’all do. I bestowed five stars upon you and keep mounting those parameters. Thanks.

11 (54m 55s):

Congratulations. You have earned five stars

3 (55m 0s):


Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 2s):

So thank you very much for the five star hotline. Call 6 5 7 2 0 5 61 0 5 and he had a question about ratchet straps, right?

Sean P. Holman (55m 11s):

So he says his 4-year-old son ties his sister up with them and by the, but there’s nothing

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 15s):

We can do about that. Yeah,

Sean P. Holman (55m 16s):

I can’t help you there. That’s bad parroting, but, but I can, I can recommend good straps. So Max,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 21s):


Sean P. Holman (55m 22s):

A couple things Max. So max tie downs make a great ratchet strap.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 25s):

Man. Do I love Max.

Sean P. Holman (55m 26s):

When you guys are strapping stuff down to things in the Windstream, if you look at the truckers going down the highway, they twist them. Why do they twist them? Because that creates or prevents them from flapping. So that twisting action will, I don’t know if it’s the airflow around them. It is the

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 42s):

Airflow around

Sean P. Holman (55m 43s):

Them. Yeah. So you do that and then they won’t make as much noise. Also, if you’re looking for a non ratchet strap, wait,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (55m 49s):

I, I feel like you blew past that too quickly. So if you’re going up and over, just twist it once, twice at the most. All you’re trying to do is break it. So it’s not a wing. It’s not a wing, it’s, yeah, you’ve seen that when they’re flapping, just vibrating.

Sean P. Holman (56m 3s):

Look at the truckers down the road and they twist their straps and that’s for that reason. So, and it’s less wear and tear because they’re moving around less than the airstream and there’s less fatiguing on the fibers, all that kinda stuff. The other thing is if you’re looking for a really good, one of my favorite tie-down straps, the non ratchet straps. So just the ones that you pull tight, look at the roller cam straps. It’s basically the similar to every other strap on the market. But these are American straps and there’s a roller on a bearing inside the mechanism. So it helps you roll the strap tighter and they work really good. Great, great set of people over there. and I, I use their straps on, so

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (56m 41s):

The brand name is called Roller

Sean P. Holman (56m 43s):

Straps. Roller cam. Roller

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (56m 44s):

Cam, yeah. So

Sean P. Holman (56m 45s):

It’s, it’s basically my go-to strap on anything that’s not ratchet. So like if I am, you know, there’s lots of things that you may tie down in, let’s say the back of your truck, the back of your Jeep that you don’t need to ratchet down or maybe there’s not enough room for the, a big ratchet mechanism or to go and you, so you just have those pull down straps.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (57m 2s):

I love those where you can just pull. Yeah, because those fit in like 95% of the applications where you just really don’t need to ratchet down. If you’re looking for big beefy ones, hold a lot of weight again Max or your roller

Sean P. Holman (57m 14s):

Cam max custom or roller, they make both of those make some of the best, in my opinion, straps that are on the market different lengths. And it’s cool, the roller cam one, So I think they started like kayaking and things like that. So they’ve got a bunch of different straps. One of the things I really like is they have like an overlanding bundle that has different lengths with different ends and you can get either a, a loop end, a hook end, a carabiner ben end straight from them. And then they’ve got all the lengths on them are printed in the strap. So you’re one foot, two foot, three

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (57m 47s):

Foot. Oh that’s smart. I’ve never

Sean P. Holman (57m 48s):

Seen that on the strap in the weaving. And so they’re gray straps typically with orange writing in them. So I never. I always know which strap I’m grabbing because the the size is in the strap itself.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (57m 58s):

That’s super

Sean P. Holman (57m 59s):

Cool. Yes. So they, they make some really nice stuff So. anyway, I, I would recommend those

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (58m 2s):

Again. Roller cam

Sean P. Holman (58m 3s):

Roller Yeah. Okay.

10 (58m 6s):

Hey Lightning. Hey Holman, this is Kelvin just finished up listening to probably 20 some episodes, had a little bit of a backlog listening to a lot of the EV stuff. Been noticing a lot of Rivian driving around in Iowa specifically. Interesting to see how they’re integrating I. know that in the town that I live in, we only have one place to charge in the entire town of seven or 8,000 people. So I’ll be interested to see how they end up doing the grid for different states and small cities like this. Just wanted to say that I’ve dropped an interview at I think four or five different phones now that I’ve gotten my hands on at family Christmases and dinners and whatnot.

10 (58m 50s):

Thank you. Giving you guys five stars. So keep up the great work, keep the suckage down. And how about a Yeah buddy from Emmy. Alright, bye.

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (59m 1s):

So we cannot promise low suckage. That’s just something’s we,

Sean P. Holman (59m 5s):

It’s in our contract. Yeah, we can’t do that. But

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (59m 7s):

I can give you,

12 (59m 11s):

Yeah buddy.

Sean P. Holman (59m 13s):

There we go. Yeah. So I. Think one of those big question marks is charging infrastructure, just like we talked about in the last episode where Ford, CEO, Jim Farley You know, talked about his trials and tribulations of driving cross country and Lightning. And as more electric vehicles get into those different areas of the country that may not have excess grid capacity, what’s gonna happen? I, Mean I’ve seen in the middle of nowhere some chargers with a, like a Cummins gen set in a shipping container, which sort of you would think defeats the purpose otherwise, but there was, there’d be no other way to get a charger in that area. So I think there’s probably gonna be a mix of that kind of thing. and you gotta remember, You know electricity comes from all sorts of sources.

Sean P. Holman (59m 53s):

So people are like, oh there’s a gen set there. Well that’s not different than being in most cities in southern California. It’s a

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (59m 59s):

Coal fire plant, right? Or

Sean P. Holman (1h 0m 0s):

Well, in California it’s natural gas, right? Depending on where you are in the country, you

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 0m 5s):

Gotta trade energy for energy. It’s

Sean P. Holman (1h 0m 6s):

Gonna, it’s not gonna be all green, right?

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 0m 8s):

You you’re not gonna get it all outta solar just ain’t gonna happen.

Sean P. Holman (1h 0m 11s):

Yeah, it’s clouds and and wind when the wind doesn’t blow, You know you’re not making anything there. So yeah, I, Mean it’s, I think it’s a noble goal but it’s just the technology’s not there. And You know fossil fuels are the most reliable form of energy and a as You know, we should be using them. So the electric stuff’s gonna be interesting because I think a lot of people feel like, oh I’m zero emissions. But then how do they feel? Are they gonna avoid that one gen set You know charging station because they’re like, oh it goes against everything I believe in. I’m like, well yeah, but where you charged normally you probably aren’t green either, right? Nope. So, so there’s that. I You know, I had a story told to me when I was at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo where somebody wanted to put in a 30 truck distribution center in the Midwest and went to the power company and said I wanted 30 EV chargers so my trucks can charge overnight.

Sean P. Holman (1h 0m 57s):

And they laughed at ’em and said, you’re asking for more power than we provide the entire town. Is that true? We would have to build another power plant for your distribution center. Wow. ’cause it was outside of a small town

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 1m 5s):

That’s gonna happen all over the country and

Sean P. Holman (1h 1m 7s):

That’s gonna happen all over the country. Right. So it’s, I’ve said this from the beginning, it’s a tapestry of technologies that are gonna make this happen. There’s nothing inherently evil or bad about EVs. In fact the performance is amazing. They’re interesting. I like how quiet they’re on the highway but they’re not the right thing. It’s it going back to inappropriate, you know, Diesel for example, You know some people don’t need that big Diesel truck. But by all means, if you want it’s America, go buy it if you don’t ever tow, I don’t, it doesn’t bother me. But at the same token, there may be somebody who really wants to push the limits of EV and maybe it’s inappropriate in their lifestyle because it doesn’t have the range they really need, but they’re gonna force it in there anyway ’cause they wanna have that experience or they wanna virtue signal or they like to be an early adopter of technology.

Sean P. Holman (1h 1m 48s):

I, Mean people have a million different reasons for why they do things. Just give us choice. That’s all I want. I don’t, I don’t hate EVs, I don’t hate Diesel, I don’t want gas. Well

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 1m 56s):

You’re off, I can’t remember how much we’ve talked about it on the show, but you’ve said a lot about hybridization.

Sean P. Holman (1h 2m 2s):

Hybrids are a hundred percent the way to go. We bought one, we got the four by eight grand. Why would you take a hundred thousand dollars vehicle with a battery that’s so massive that you could split that battery 20 times and put ’em in the hybrid of 20 different vehicles or more and then give that electrification option and get it out there. So you’re getting people used to electrification and they still have their internal combustion engine. So the beauty of that

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 2m 27s):

Is they can still have unlimited range. You

Sean P. Holman (1h 2m 29s):

Can still have unlimited range. Right. For the existing infrastructure you can drive across the country tomorrow. Not worry about it but we’re in near around town your own electric mode. That’s great. And then the other thing that’s gonna happen, I’m hearing a lot from friends within the automotive industry is the range extending ev. So that’s gonna be the ones that have a generator on board that you put gas into it and it charges the batteries while you drive. Right. But it’s not directly hooked up to the drivetrain. It’s still a full ev a full battery electric vehicle. But You know So

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 2m 58s):

It’s kinda like a locomotive and a, it’s like train. So it’s

Sean P. Holman (1h 3m 0s):

Just like Ram You know they talked about their their, was it rev ram or range extending ev some future vehicles that are made for work that can’t just be bv, like a pickup truck are gonna have a, a gen set on board that you put gas. It’s gonna be highly efficient. ’cause all it’s gonna do is run it one RPM to charge the batteries or however that works. And it’s gonna be an electric vehicle but you’ll have a gas version or or gas engine on onboard but it won’t touch the drivetrain. That gas engine to

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 3m 29s):

Me that makes sense is

Sean P. Holman (1h 3m 30s):

Just, is just powering the batteries there. It’s not hooked up to the drive line or turning wheels or anything like that. So there’s a lot of different things. Don’t

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 3m 36s):

We have a few of those already out? Don’t, isn’t there? No, no.

Sean P. Holman (1h 3m 39s):

Ran ram I think was the first one to talk about as a concept. I know it’s coming into other things as well. So, and and that makes sense too, right? Because then you are still using the existing fuel in infrastructure and you’re probably s a way more efficient ’cause that engine doesn’t have any load on it other than the battery. It’s not going uphill. There’s no wind resistance. It’s just charging the batteries all the time. So,

Jay “Lightning” Tilles (1h 4m 1s):

I. Wonder if we can charge fast enough to overcome the load though. You know how fast the, in the batteries are dissipating. I would think so.