In 2021, Jeff Coxen started his quest to build a more capable version of his 2015 4th gen Ram 2500 Cummins to accommodate his needs for filming in remote areas. Leaning on his 20-year experience designing and customizing off-road capable rigs in the car sales industry, he eventually decided on a 2021 Ram 2500 Power Wagon. However, the path to that decision was a bit longer than one would think. Jeff dabbled with some other capable vehicles before his needs and desires took him back to Ram. Jeff was anxious to get his build started for his next film project, but the pandemic proved the process challenging as he battled with the worldwide logistical issues for custom parts.
Eventually, after eleven challenging months, he finally completed the Power Wagon for his adventure docuseries “Divergent Pathways” to be aired on Amazon Prime.
Jeff’s love for the outdoors started at a young age, traveling and off roading with his family. He eventually stopped off roading for a time to pursue motorcycle and rally motorsports in the early 2000s and didn’t even own a 4×4 truck till 2012.
“Eventually, after eleven challenging months, he finally completed his Power Wagon for his adventure docuseries “Divergent Pathways” to be aired on Amazon Prime.”
Being in the car sales industry for 20 years, mainly with Ford and Mopar brands, Jeff enjoyed designing and customizing over 200 Jeeps and trucks to be off-road capable rigs for his customers. His years in the sales industry gave him the necessary knowledge and experience to build functional off-roadworthy vehicles for himself.
After owning various other vehicles, his love for the 4×4 life didn’t reignite until after his fifth Jeep Wrangler. In 2014 when the off-road and overlanding industry started trending, like others at
the time, he started adding all the accouterments that one does to his adventure vehicle.
“ ‘I wanted to still be able to rock crawl, haul a trailer, and have enough room for the family and three car seats,’ said Coxen.”
He eventually outgrew the Jeep and needed a little more room, so he experimented with a few different trucks before he finally found his inclination for full-sized overland rigs. His first full-sized vehicle started with a 4th gen 2015 Ram 2500 Cummins he dubbed, “The Warthog.” “I wanted to still be able to rock crawl, haul a trailer, and have enough room for the family and three car seats,” said Jeff.
Jeff pursued his filming career in 2010 after attending an event called Full Draw Film Festival. It highlighted amateur filmmakers in the hunting industry who were producing short films. Attending the festival sparked his creativity and two days later he purchased his first set of video equipment. He then started creating hunting films, which eventually lead him to his first hunting tv show with a group of friends that aired on NBC Sports for one season.
“He needed the Power Wagon to be a workhorse, a daily driver, and a production crew vehicle for filming.”
Soon after, Jeff found himself working with various production companies and on several show productions, such as ‘Booze Traveler’ on The Travel Channel. He absorbed the processes and procedures of what went on behind the scenes with bigger production shows, which lead to his first very own television show called ‘Brotherhood of Brew.’
Eventually, as Jeff’s family grew, he needed a little more luxury, additional creature comforts, and more room on those long family trips.
Two months after the pandemic hit, he sold his 4th gen Ram and upgraded to a 2017 Raptor, swayed after driving one for a client of his. It was by far the most fun vehicle he’s ever owned as far as drivability and sheer performance in an off-road vehicle. Unfortunately, the fun was short-lived as the Raptor had multiple issues and Jeff soon sold the Raptor after only a year.
“he experimented with a few different trucks before he finally found his inclination for full-sized overland rigs.”
In the meantime, Jeff found himself missing his 4th gen Ram and was on the lookout for a new Power Wagon which proved difficult during the pandemic. He purchased a 1985 Jeep Wagoneer to restore to keep himself busy while he searched for his perfect rig. There was more work than anticipated for the Wagoneer so without a vehicle to daily drive he continued searching for his Power Wagon. A few weeks later in October 2021, a new 2500 Power Wagon was in his possession. He dubbed it the “Big Pig,” and the modification process began.
He needed the Power Wagon to be a workhorse, a daily driver, and a production crew vehicle for filming. Acquiring products during this time was insanely difficult and filming production was to start in January 2022.
Needing to move forward with filming of “Divergent Pathways,” a series encompassing the lifestyle, and culture that makes up overlanding, Jeff had a work in progress overland film crew truck. He had to build it as they filmed, which allowed him to tie the show together with his build. As the series progressed, so did Jeff’s Power Wagon as parts trickled in during production.
“The addition of the Skinny Guy Camper brought many amenities. It ‘has a freakin’ bidet,’ Jeff shares ecstatically.”
Seeing the Big Pig evolve in appearance with each episode wasn’t intentional, but it added to the theme of the show. Filming “Divergent Pathways” has been a memorable experience for Jeff. He met a variety of people in the overland community traversing from the Bay Area to Death Valley, Oregon to Utah during the series.
As filming production progressed, Jeff started finessing his ideas for the Power Wagon on what needed improvement and any additional functionality necessary for his production crew while out in remote locations for long periods of time. First, he needed to upgrade and dial in his suspension. It took ten months to receive his King shocks 3.0 front suspension and 2.5 suspension in the rear via Thuren Fabrication. Additionally, he added a Thuren 13/8 rear spacer on Carli R2 rear coils, a Thuren rear track bar, drop links, and a Hellwig Big Wig rear sway bar to handle the heavy loads of filming gear and camping gear for the crew.
Jeff also needed durable organization for gear and opted for Zarges K series cargo boxes to mount on his Rhino Rack Backbone roof rack above the cab. In addition, he added an RSI SmartCap system to cover the rear bed for equipment when he doesn’t have his skinny guy camper attached. He also added front and rear body armor protection, provided by Chassis Unlimited, to be able to traverse through rough terrain when needed out in the field. And to help guide him and his team through remote areas to film, Jeff’s preferred navigation system is the OnX Offroad app.
“Seeing the Big Pig evolve in appearance with each episode wasn’t intentional, but it worked out for the theme of the show.”
Power management is also crucial for his production crew in the field, and he opted for a portable 12V mate battery box featuring a Redarc BCDC1225D power system to handle the charging of crew equipment. Eventually, Jeff added a Redarc Manager30 system with his Skinny Guy Camper for when he camps with family and friends.
The addition of the Skinny Guy Camper brought many amenities. It “has a freakin’ bidet,” Jeff shares ecstatically. The camper allows ultimate comfort with his family adventures which includes a Truma refrigerator, Truma water heating system, integrated 190w swing open solar panel, RV-style flushing bidet and much more. When the camper is not needed, Jeff uses the camper jack system to switch to his SmartCap. The SmartCap allows for extra room for him and the film crew to do production work out in the field. Having the flexibility and ability to switch between the two has been beneficial for his needs between work, daily activities and going on adventures.
Jeff has his sights set on other upgrades down the line. He would like to add a Procharger Supercharger, upgrade his rear to 3.0 shocks to handle the additional weight of his camper, and add fiberglass widebody front and rear fenders. Otherwise, he’s a happy camper with how his Power Wagon turned out from all the hurdles he faced during the pandemic, and he looks forward to more adventures with his Big Pig.
Follow Jeff Coxen and his team on social media @rogueelementadventure. Divergent Pathways is available to watch on Amazon Prime and YouTube starting November 23rd, 2023.
Suspension: Full stage 3 Thurens with King 3.0 shocks, Thuren track bar, Thuren front coils. King 2.5 rear shocks, Thuren 13/8” rear spacer on Carli R2 rear coils. Thuren rear track bar, Hellwig Big Wig rear sway bar with Thuren drop links.
Wheels & Tires: Vision Ojos 17-inch with +12 backspacing, BFG KM3 37×12.5
Steering: Synergy drag link, Synergy tie rod connect with a Thuren tuned King stabilizer.
Interior Accessories: OnX Offroad app, 67 Designs Carbon rail mount, Switch-Pros RC12 switch panel, 67 Designs Garmin inReach Mini GPS Mount, Midland MX500 GMRS communications, 12V portable battery with RedArc BCDC1225D with a Full River Battery system, Redarc Manager30 inside Skinny Guy Camper.
Exterior Accessories: Skinny Guy Camper, Builtright Industries in-bed molle panels, Bedslide Max 1500 Bedslide, SmartCap (when the Skinny Guy Camper is off), Snomaster 66L fridge,
PowerStop Z36 Extreme brake with slotted and drilled rotors, ceramic/carbon pads
Torco full synthetic oil, Powertank 10lb tank, Factor 55 ultra hook, and full recovery bag
Rigid Industries D-series light pods up front and in the rear bumper, NH Overland custom Switch-Pros under hood mount and second battery mount, Abel off-road nanny switch.
Camper Features: Truma heater, Truma fridge, 1000watt Xnatrex Freedom inverter, 190 watts integrated, swing-open solar panel, Italian-made CAN brand cooktop/sink, Optional RV-style flushing toilet with 20 gallons of waste storage, Bide optionally, Rainwater Catchment system, 36 gallons of water capacity, Optional LED UV sterilization system, Camper Jacks with integrated receiver ports for quick detachment, Automotive-style wiring harness with Sealed Deutsch connectors, All stainless hardware and fasteners, 304 stainless tent bows, 125” 5052 alloy laser cut exoskeleton shell for impact resistance and strength, Aqualon Edge tent material, Langun brand swivel table base, Sunbrella fabric dinette seat cushions, Marine Mat flooring