When you think about an RV, there are reasons for a lot of the way things are done. For example, many times I look at a travel trailer and I can figure out why things are the way they are. The accountants are in charge. Remember when GM was run by enthusiasts and engineers and then the MBAs took over and we got stuff like the Vega? Yeah. Like that.
In the case of EarthCruiser, I don’t know if they have an accounting department but, if they do, I’m not sure they’re able to make decisions.
For example, Matt Foxcroft, from Matt’s RV Reviews, and I were recently at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (Thank you, RV LIFE and Lippert!) and there was an EarthCruiser EXP in the house, staying among the ocean of RVs at the event. So Matt went over and shot this video of it. [Note from editor: Very interesting!]
When last we looked at their vehicles, I was already impressed. But some of the thinking that goes into their vehicles continues to wow me.
The EXP is a vehicle that’s based on the Mitsubishi Fuso cabover truck that you might see shuttling around your town and owned by something like a delivery or beverage company. These smaller cabover trucks have the advantage of having the front wheels almost at the back of the cab such that you’re essentially sitting on them when you’re in the driver’s seat. That means less distance between front and back wheels – which means significantly increased maneuverability.
From the stock truck, EarthCruiser goes through the whole thing extensively and replaces a lot of what came with the vehicle, turning the lowly delivery truck platform into a four-wheel drive beast. Not only are most of the driveline and suspension components replaced, but the overall vehicle is just given a serious attitude adjustment.
It’s also given a comfort upgrade of the highest order with custom scheel-mann Vario seats. They are supremely comfortable and designed so you can spend hours behind the wheel without pinching or getting numb. And what a view! Cabover trucks put you up high and up front – so your view of the world through the windshield is incredible! Of course, this is the same as with a Class A motorhome.
Build quality in the EarthCruiser
The EarthCruiser philosophy is to build a vehicle that can travel the world. It’s also built such that it doesn’t fall apart five years after you signed the 25-year loan papers. Part of that process is using components sailboat builders would use instead of things you might normally find in an RV.
That does make the interior feel potentially more stark than some RVs. But, by the same token, you’re driving to find adventure and beautiful places – not to bring the largest TV you can find to a park and sit and watch it.
The systems in an EarthCruiser are designed to keep you out in the wild for as long as possible. But rather than trying to compensate for inefficient systems, they also have employed systems that minimize consumption. Climate control, cooking and other aspects are very well designed.
You won’t believe this washroom
One of the examples of how they design things is the washroom, which is literally in the doorway of the EarthCruiser. It features a small sink, a hidden toilet, and a large shower area – all smartly located in the entryway. Why?
Because this is the best use of space given you can leave any dirty, wet gear here in a place to be easily cleaned and dried without a mess. The interior storage is plentiful. A large 53”-wide hatch lifts up revealing tons of storage space. And a 7.5”-deep drawer slides out 30” – making it a perfect place to hold your dry goods.
There are numerous locking drawers for pots, pans, dishes, and even a kitchen pantry. A built-in trash receptacle in the kitchen countertop stores and hides waste.
The trucks have very efficient water-consumption systems. Not only do these trucks carry 80 gallons of fresh water, they can resupply from any water source. That’s because they purify the water to potable water with an onboard filtration system.
Hot water cycling systems keep fresh water out of your gray tank while you wait for the hot water to reach the faucet. All water lines and all but one tank sit inside the insulated house. There’s a fan that moves warm air into these areas when the heater is on in cold climates. Water is circulated between the inside and outside tanks to provide yet another way to prevent freezing lines.
The pop top is insulated – comfortable to below-freezing
The top of the EXP is a pop top, with two layers of material separated by an air gap between them. You can zipper open windows for air flow. But, as the owner in Matt’s video states, he has camped in sub-freezing temperatures and the top worked as a great insulator.
One of the things that almost surprised me is that newer EarthCruisers utilize gasoline engines instead of the diesels of the past.
I’ve written several times that our regulatory environment is killing diesel engines in many ways. It seems that EarthCruiser’s decision makers are reading the same tea leaves that I’m reading. New EarthCruisers come with GM 6.0 liter gasoline engines instead of the diesels they had traditionally come with.
Further, the world is also seeing the same things and diesel engines are becoming less popular elsewhere, as well. This was partly fueled by Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal – which was an international bad deed.
You can ship this anywhere in the world
Lastly, the EXP is also special because it is specifically designed to fit into a shipping container and be sent to faraway places. The utilization of sailboat components not only results in a better product, but folks all over the world can also effect repairs on these components if need be.
So, you see the purpose that these vehicles are built to. The name and the ideology are the same – these truly are designed to cruise the earth.
Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.
These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.
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Agree with Tommy. I would love one, the wife, not so much. $$$$$$$
Ya know, I like this thing. It would be right up MY alley – BUT NOT WIFEY’S! So it’s out of the question. Price may come into play as well. The video has the diesel version. It’s definitely sparse in creature comforts, but when I was single I was a ‘sparse’ kinda guy – ha.