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2023 Coolest Things Made in the Ozarks: Expedition Truck: 30A Ascender

27North Inc.

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Now operating as 27North, Paul Bosovik and team have brought to market an expedition truck like they’ve never built – it’s for off-road and off-grid travel. The company aims to jolt sales to support its conversion vans and get on track to its stretch revenue goals. Citing sluggish 2022 RV industry sales, Bosovik says 27North came short of its $12 million annual projection but now targets $16 million this year.

SBJ: You’ve been building conversion vans since 2017. Why is now the time to roll out the 30A Ascender expedition vehicle?
Paul Bosovik: It was a combination of market demand and wanting to expand our company. There is a lack in the industry of supply right now – there’s really only two major manufacturers in the country that do expedition trucks.

SBJ: How is it different than 27North’s other vehicles, and what did it take to get it to market?
Bosovik: The vans are built on a Mercedes van chassis. They’re very limited on how extreme off-road and off-grid you can go versus expedition trucks. For example, the wheels and tires are almost double the size, and in suspension, the weight it can handle is almost double. It’s twice as capable for extreme overlanding. If you wanted to go to Antarctica, a van is probably not going to get you there. Baja is pushing the limits on a van. But the expedition trucks are made for these extreme climates and terrain.

SBJ: Any major challenges or hurdles overcome in the project?
Bosovik: Competitors don’t share details, so, we spent close to $1 million in development: How do you mount the shell to the truck? How do you design and make a shell? Water system, electrical system – we had to design completely new systems. We’re exactly a year in development, and it’s still ongoing.

SBJ: How has the company marketed the truck, and what other plans do you have?
Bosovik: Social media and trade shows have been our most successful avenues in marketing and advertising it. Our next step is [social media] influencers. They take it out for a couple of weeks and create a lot of content and boost our brand by posting video and pictures of them using the truck. The first one we have secured is the Instagram handle @Lion_King25. He’s famous in snowboarding. Then we have @TimMuniz_ a professional off-road pickup truck racer, Baja 300. Another one is @JarrodTocci. The new style of marketing is called microinfluencers. These aren’t guys that have millions of followers. According to recent market studies, they’ve proven to be more influential than the major accounts.

SBJ: Have you sold any yet? What are the key features?
Bosovik: We have six under contract, and they’re all in the million-dollar price point, depending on the level of security features. In general, we’ve noticed people wanting built-in coffee makers or espresso machines, where we run the water and power directly. A hidden gun safe has been very popular, too. It’s got 150 gallons of freshwater capacity and a 2,000-amp hours lithium-ion battery pack – those are almost double what our competitors use.

SBJ: What’s the production plan?
Bosovik: It’s all custom order based, and our current capacity is six a year. All six are presold – all out of state.

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