Exploring the Wilderness in Style: Check out Travis Etchart’s show-stealing 2012 International TerraStar overlander

Continue reading to learn about Etchart's most memorable TerraStar excursion, a difficult drive to a destination wedding, and how the truck assisted in the rescue of others on the route.

Reviews of vehicles
15. Jan 2023
Exploring the Wilderness in Style: Check out Travis Etchart’s show-stealing 2012 International TerraStar overlander

The TerraStar from International is one of the smallest cab trucks ever built by Navistar. However, it is one of the most capable rigs in its class. The 2012 International TerraStar covered here is proof of this, as it has been turned into a tricked-out expedition truck for overlanding.

This TerraStar is certainly one-of-a-kind, from the alterations that set it apart in the overlanding community to its capacity to act as a significant marketing tool.

Continue reading to learn about Etchart's most memorable TerraStar excursion, a difficult drive to a destination wedding, and how the truck assisted in the rescue of others on the route.


2012 International TerraStar overlander


It is up for sale on Expeditionmeister and the following is an interview with its owner. 


The background

We talked to Travis Etchart and discussed his customized 2012 International TerraStar truck, aka ‘Glamptimus Prime’.

Etchart is the co-owner of Trax Customs in Boise, Idaho. He’s an expert when it comes to tuning and building custom vehicles. 

Etchart said that he “built this custom rig during the summer of 2021”. The reason for him doing so was to “make traveling/attending music festivals much more enjoyable”. 


The truck is quite a ‘conversation starter’ and that should be evident when you read the rest of this piece. It has always garnered attention from the other attendees at Etchart’s visited festivals.

“This has far exceeded that purpose. We've taken it to 20+ Music Festivals since its completion in June of 2021 and it gains attention and conversations everywhere we go.”


Etchart talked about his most memorable trip with this truck. He recalled taking the truck through difficult terrain in the mountains to reach a destination wedding. 

“The best trip I think we've had was taking it far up into the mountains of Central Idaho for a wedding. Where this thing had to go, I was honestly questioning if it'd even make it.....was super worried and had plenty of extra emergency tools just in case......”

The truck is so capable, that it didn’t just complete the trip, but it also helped them rescue others on the trail. 


Terrastar Navistar expedition truck


“Not only did we make it, we had to help a few truck/trailer combo's from being stuck. once there, everyone could not stop talking about it, which was somewhat concerning, because we were there for a wedding, not an RV show.” 

As seen in the photos, the customized 2012 TerraStar is quite the looker. Etchart said that it stole the show at the aforementioned wedding. It did so well that some of the attendees even commissioned him to build similar trucks for them. 

“That 3-day weekend, we gave out probably 30-40 different 'tours' or 'walkthroughs' and I actually gained 3 new clients from it and am currently building 2 of their similar vehicles for them.” 

“So not only did it steal the 'show/wedding', it proved a valuable marketing tool....which was why I built it that way.”


Etchart feels like this is his favorite part of the truck. He said that it is a marketing strategy for his company as it is insane to look at. 

“What I love about this vehicle is that it's a true "neck-breaker".....no matter where you go, who you pass, who passes you....this thing has everyone hurting their necks, scrambling for their cell phones, and tagging us on social media accounts all over the Pacific Northwest.”

The ‘Glamptimus Prime’ is truly the craziest build by Etchart’s company, Trax Customs. While the truck is eye-catching, it is quite functional as well. 


“My company builds a lot of unique, one-off vehicles....but this one has been the wildest, most practical, unique builds in the last 5 years.”


Glamptimus Prime Trax customs


We asked Etchart about his advice for new owners, especially for someone who buys one of his vehicles. He told us that they should be ready to deal with the attention it’ll bring. 

“Just like most of my past vehicles I've sold, I tell each new owner......'Get ready to talk to a lot of strangers.' I'm used to it, since I own and run the business, but some people don't necessarily like added attention....so they can be caught off guard the first few times.”

According to him, even filling up the truck can turn into a whole truck exhibit. 

“Even seemingly small tasks, such as filling it up with diesel, can turn into a car show that lasts over an hour, as all the other attendees fueling up will want to take pictures, ask questions, and yes, even ask for tours of the inside.”


Regarding his future, Etchart said that he’d love to build an even sicker version of this truck. 

“Future wants? I'd love to build more of these.....slightly bigger, as I know we can go a few feet wider and a few feet longer.” 

As far as a 4x4 system is concerned, he says that he doesn’t “feel like it's necessary.”


 Forest River Trailer Camper box


He continued: “Maybe add a hitch for towing side-by-sides or other powersport vehicles.” 

Etchart told us that he is also interested in building a ‘party truck’. 

“For a wild 'next', I think we'll design and build a top mount DJ Stage with collapsible speakers and a mixing booth....for when the party hasn't quite started, we can pull up and turn it up!”

It would definitely be interesting to see such a truck with off-road capabilities. 


About the vehicle

This 2012 International TerraStar has a 2019 No Boundaries NB16.7 by Forest River Trailer as its camper box. The truck features a 6.4-liter turbodiesel V8, that churns out 275 hp and a whopping 600 lb-ft. This power is sent to a rear-wheel drive system by a 6-speed automatic. 

The owner says that the truck gives up to 12 mpg, which is great for the specs it has. As indicated by the story above, it is modified for off-road usage. But enough about the cab and the capabilities of the truck; let’s talk about its stellar livability. 

We start with the kitchen, for which there’s a convection oven, a sink, and an external BBQ grill. There’s also a fridge, which can be operated using several power supply options including LPG. As seen in the pics on the listing, you also get a really nice dining area. 


Custom build expedition truck


Then we come to the sanitation and water supply system, which is also quite self-sufficient. You get three 30-gallon tanks for the fresh, black, and grey water. There’s a shower/bathroom combo with its very own sink. There’s also an exterior shower setup available. 

The electrical power supply system is quite powerful. The truck utilizes triple 12V deep cycle batteries and there’s an exterior 4500W generator. The infotainment is also very decent with an LED TV, and an exterior quad-speaker system (w/bluetooth). 

There’s a backup camera in the cab and full-time monitoring is available. 

While the interior design and color scheme are marvelous, the exterior is what attracts all the eyes. While the truck is badass on its own, its excellent ‘street art’ graphics make it even more so. 


To buy this truck, or view more pictures of it, you can contact the owner here: https://expeditionmeister.com/expedition-trucks/other-off-road-trucks/custom-overlander-semi-i381


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