There’s no question that if we could hunt remote fly-in, float-in or pack-in locations all season every year each and every one of us would. But at the end of the day, that’s just not realistic. If you’re like most hunters, odds are you’re using a 4WD vehicle to get into the areas you hunt on a regular basis. If you’re trying to access the less traveled, backcountry areas most of us search for then a highly capable 4WD is often essential to get to your access point. In many parts of North America and the rest of the world, a full-size stock truck does not possess the approach/departure angle and shorter wheelbase versatility to tackle truly serious off-road trails or decommissioned roads but on the other hand a stock SUV can’t match a truck on power and load carrying capacity. Take into consideration the rest of the year when you’re not hunting, and actually need a functional day-to-day vehicle, and one way or another the mountain and wilderness hunter has to compromise. But is that necessarily true?
We first came across American Expedition Vehicle’s BRUTE conversions a few years ago when they were only available for the two door Jeep TJ Wrangler and although it was and still is a badass pickup conversion for a storied and nimble off-road platform, in our opinion it lacked the ultimate versatility required to be considered the “one truck” vehicle akin to the “one gun” argument we all know and love. But with Jeep’s introduction of the four door Wrangler Unlimited in 2007, AEV was given an entirely new canvas on which to perform their art. The BRUTE DOUBLE CAB may very well fill that “one truck” void due to its ability to bridge the gap between the agile capabilities of a “ute” while easily managing significant loads of gear and game.
And there’s no question it is one hell of a head turner at the local grocery store!
AEV was founded in Montana where conditions are tough and vehicles need to be dependable, and to this day all AEV parts are conceptualized, designed and tested in Missoula, MT. However, with the goal of manufacturing the highest quality parts in the automotive industry, there was only one natural fit: Detroit, MI. In 2006, AEV expanded into Detroit, and established an office, vehicle build facility and warehouse there. Today, over 90% of their products are made within 200 miles of Detroit, and AEV is strongly committed to quality American manufacturing.
For more than 15 years, American Expedition Vehicles has been on the cutting edge of the 4WD industry, constantly pushing the boundaries of design and innovation. Their goal is simple: to provide the highest quality Jeep Wrangler accessories available anywhere in the world, period.
The Brute Double Cab’s DNA can be traced all the way back to AEV’s original long wheelbase TJ Wrangler, first introduced in 1997. AEV stretched the boundaries once again in 2004, when they introduced the TJ Brute, the first pickup truck conversion of its kind, earning a Chrysler Design Excellence Award.
The whole concept behind the Brute Double Cab was to create the ultimate overland vehicle. Drawing inspiration from the Land Rover Defender 130, the Brute Double Cab was designed specifically for the expanding overland travel market. With seating for five and expanded cargo carrying capabilities, it makes for an ideal camping and expedition platform, whether you are spending a few weeks in the Atacama desert, driving into the wilds of the Far North, or a weekend trip with the family.
Overlanding is defined as self-reliant adventure travel to remote destinations where the journey is the primary goal. It is essential to have a vehicle that is both capable of conquering various terrain and has plenty of room for passengers and gear. The Brute Double Cab is designed with these two requirements in mind, making it the ultimate overlanding vehicle, and in our opinion here at the JOMH the ultimate mountain and wilderness hunting platform to launch your backpack, float-in or pack-in hunting adventures from.
The Brute’s 139 inch wheelbase is achieved by adding 23 inches in front of the rear axle. The frame is extended 16 inches in the rear to accommodate the installation of a bed. AEV engineered the Double Cab’s frame extensions to not only lengthen, but to also strengthen the frame at the same time. The Brute’s injection molded, cored composite bed is not only stronger than steel but also considerably lighter and non-corrosive. A skid resistant coating protects the bed’s interior and four integrated tie-down anchors keep your cargo securely in place.
Two optional HEMI V8 engines are available: A 5.7L HEMI V8 with 360hp & 390 ft/lbs tq and a 6.4L HEMI V8 with 470hp & 465 ft/lbs tq if you really like to combine top-end speed with your backcountry or overland travel.
4WD 5-Passenger, 4-Door Pickup
Base Engine: 3.6L/285-hp/260-ft-lbs DOHC 24-Valve V6
Standard Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Wheelbase: 139.0 inches
Overall Length: 216.0 inches
Bed Length x Width: 61 x 60 inches
Curb Weight: 5,400 lbs (DC350)
Fuel Capacity: 22.5 gal
Max Tow Capacity: 3,500 lbs