Certainly one of the most unusual and inventive new units this industry has seen in years is the 23-foot, all-weather, diesel-powered, EarthRoamer Xpedition Vehicle (XV-LT) from EarthRoamer LLC, Broomfield, Colo.
“The main value proposition of the EarthRoamer XV-LT is that it pretty much takes you on the rough roads and off the beaten path to that remote lake with all the power you need,” said Michele Connolly, president and CEO, of EarthRoamer, which unveiled its first unit at the Family Motor Coach Association’s 70th International Convention in Buffalo, N.Y. “This vehicle is for the young-at-heart Baby Boomers who many never have pictured themselves in an RV. It almost has the same appeal as the Hummer.”
The compactly designed, $150,000, EarthRoamer XV-LT is technically a “chassis mount” in traditional RV terms, meaning living quarters are mounted on the back of a pickup truck. But that’s were the traditional ends and modernity begins with the EarthRoamer, which has few options, but is loaded with innovative self-contained features that include a solar panel array, 12-volt appliances plus diesel-fueled heating, hot water and cooking systems.
Permanently mounted on a beefed up Ford F-450 pickup converted from double-to single-axle – with extra-large tires – the XV-LT is powered by a 325 hp diesel Ford 6 liter powerstroke engine. While marketed to RVers who want a stand-alone outdoors experience, Connolly noted the EarthRoamer is not really designed for off-road travel.
The rigorous electric system, using marine grade wiring, is powered by two huge 160-pound frame-mounted 8D-AGM deep cycle batteries that provide 510 Amp hours of power and are charged by two Sharp solar panels that provide 510 watts of power. Connolly said EarthRoamer is designed to cool to 70 degrees overnight in 100 degree temperatures without fully discharging the batteries. “EarthRoamer does not encourage ‘off-road’ use,” said Connolly, an aerospace engineer who attended college with EarthRoamer’s designer Bill Swails. “The XV-LT is designed for rough road and trail use, as well as highway travel.”
The EarthRoamer, equipped with a roof hatch and king-side bed in the cabover, is constructed with molded fiberglass composite laminate. The interior is similar in some respects to a yacht with leather headliners and seating, white oak wood accents, granite countertops, a pullout pantry, stainless steel appliances, a cassette toilet and wetbath.