Dunkel Industries’ Luxury 4×4 – the Upper Deck – the largest multi-purpose pickup truck ever built of it’s kind. The Dunkel 4×4 is an RV and pickup fused together. It’s built on a Ford F-650/F-750 chassis with a bed that’s big enough to fit a full-size car with room on the top for dirt bikes or quads. There’s no need to tow a trailer, unless you want to of course! Because the Upper Deck CAN!
“Upper Deck” is a true monster machine. Based on the Ford F-650/F-750 commercial chassis this 32-foot long, 8’6″ wide and 11’6″ tall Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) is the perfect recreational vehicle for the road warrior. More akin to a US military “Dragon Wagon” tank transporter than a toy hauler RV, the Dunkel Industries MPV “Upper Deck” has abandoned carrying a main battle tank in favor of a couple of ATV’s or dirt bikes on the 3,000lb capacity cab/upper deck roof platform, plus an SUV of choice on the 7,000lb capacity flatbed. The latter can be equipped with an optional 17,500lb bed lift to assist with loading and unloading.
Powered by a Caterpillar C7 7.2L 300HP engine – developing 800lb ft of torque – and mated to an Allison 3000 6-speed automatic transmission the front axle and suspension are both rated to 12k with an axle ratio of 5.29. The unit is also equipped with a military grade FSD-12A AWD steerable drive axle system – manufactured by Fabco Automotive – which provides the colossal MPV “Upper Deck” with an unparalled off-road capability and helps bolster its big boy toy persona. These macho qualities no doubt explain why the “Upper Deck” took pride of place at the 2011 Big Boys Toys Exhibition held recently at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Dunkel family has been in the US automotive business in one form or another since 1904. Two of the Dunkel brothers – Peter and Larry – operate La Mirada based Orange County Warehousing & Machinery Moving. They founded the company in February 1975 – starting out with just two trucks – and the company has grown to be one of the largest machinery moving and specialty rigging companies in the United States. Dunkel Industries was born out of Peter Dunkel’s desire to create a specialist line of custom vehicles and in 2007 the MPV Upper Deck concept went from the drawing board and into production.
The original Ford body was widened by 22 inches and an air scoop added to the hood. Other additions included new headlights, new steel bumper – with an 18,500lb Warn winch and eight Piaa lights – new hood clasps, twin 400,000 FC searchlights atop the cab and new Alcoa aluminum rims. Six storage compartments are located either side of the vehicle and additional external storage is provided by four sliding drawers at the rear of the truck beneath the flatbed.
The custom birch or cherry wood cabinets, cedar lined closets, leather upholstery and fiberglass interior of the Upper Deck will also not disappoint. The Dunkel Industries team has crammed a surprising amount of equipment into a relatively small space but has done so in such a way that the interior does not look overcrowded – probably because the cab has been both extended – to 104 inches – and also raised to create a loft which provides additional headroom.
There’s a surprising number of sleeping berths in the MPV, including; a queen bed in the rear, a queen bed over the cab and a patented motorized fold down seat-dinette table combo that creates a full bed on the passenger side of the cab.
The kitchen incorporates a collapsible sink, two burner electric stove, microwave, two 5.5 cubic feet refrigerators and a built-in set of vertical storage drawers which you can use as a pantry. Entertainment in the rear is provided by a 17” flat screen TV plus DVD, CD and AM/FM radio.
Power to the RV is supplied by an Onan 3200 Generator and a bank of 4 AGM Batteries. The latter also supplies power to the 18,000BTU AC/Heater combo, the four 24,000lb levelers and the twin electric awnings.
A small combined bathroom and shower plus an external shower provides the requisite washroom facilities though the tank capacities – 75gl. Freshwater – 35gl. Grey – 35gl. Black– might limit the number of friends that you’d want to invite along for a trip. In spite of this, there’s no doubt that the Dunkel Industries MPV Upper Deck is an incredibly versatile recreational vehicle.