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Thread: EarthCruiser Overland Vehicles

  1. #1
    haven is online now Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    Default EarthCruiser Overland Vehicles

    Australian adventurer Kym Bolton recently announced that he is starting
    production of the camper he designed and used to travel across Asia, Europe,
    and most recently, Morocco.

    Here is Kym's camper crossing a bridge in Siberia



    Here's the camper with the top raised on the Russian steppe



    The production version of the camper will be called the "Earth Cruiser."
    Kym's new company is All Terrain Motorhomes, Pty Ltd. The web site is

    http://www.allterrainmotorhomes.com/index.php

    Chip Haven

  2. #2
    haven is online now Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    Kym Bolton's email announcing the Earth Cruiser project provides more details.

    Goals for the Earth Cruiser include
    --superior off-road ability
    --vehicle sized to fit into a standard shipping container
    --comfortable, efficient design of living space
    --exceptional quality of finish

    After a total of six months traveling and living in the original design, Kym and his wife Lyn have a number of changes in mind for the production version of the Earth Cruiser.

    The production schedule is as follows:

    phase 1: complete specifications for new model interior and equipment
    and, concurrently, create molds for camper body and top

    phase 2: manufacture one or two prototypes using the new, larger Fuso Canter model, available in October 2008

    phase 3: production begins, introduce product at the Brisbane Caravan and Camping show in June 2009.

    The Earth Cruiser will be constructed on the new Mitsubishi Canter chassis, the new model that will be simumtaneously released in North America in Fall of 2008. Chassis modifications include a long travel suspension designed for off-road use, and the switch from dual rear wheels to single Michelin XZLs.

    At this very early stage, Kym is projecting the price of the Earth Cruiser to be A$110,000 ($105,000 USD), not including purchase of the truck chassis. Kym is offering "substantial" discounts for people who purchase the prototypes or units from the first production run.

    Kym is planning to sell the camper unit separate from the truck chassis for overseas customers.

    Chip Haven

  3. #3
    haven is online now Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    Doesn't look like it would fit, but with a little air let out of the tires and careful maneuvering,
    the Earth Cruiser will slide into a "High Cube" shipping container.



    The High Cube container door opening is 101 in (2566 mm)
    The height of a stock Fuso Canter or FG140 is 96 in (2450 mm)
    The Earth Cruiser is a little taller due to 36" tall tires and more arch in the springs.

    The High Cube container door width is 92 in (2340 mm)
    The width without mirrors of the FG140 or Canter is 78.5 in (1995 mm)

    How the driver would escape from the truck cab is a mystery, however!
    They must push the truck and camper into the container.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haven
    The High Cube container door width is 92 in (2340 mm)
    The width without mirrors of the FG140 or Canter is 78.5 in (1995 mm)

    How the driver would escape from the truck cab is a mystery, however!
    They must push the truck and camper into the container.
    The inside of the container is probably a few inches wider than the door. I know that I could climb into the cab of my F350 while inside the container by slithering (and I DO mean slithering) up the fender and thru the open drivers side window. It helps if your keep the passenger side as close as possible to the container wall. It was actually harder to fit under the truck to get to the back to secure the tiedowns. Whoever is doing the loading and securing of the truck needs to be slim and agile, and not clostrophobic!

    Cheers
    Mark

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    When my Canter FG came from Japan in a container I had to military crawl along the roof and drop in side the window. The box was slighty wider than the cab so I couldn't walk up either side. I had the pleasure of backing it out of a 40' container without the use of mirriors. A little tuffer than expected becasue I wasn't used to the clutch and rolled into the front of the container luckily one the mirriors that was folded in the front was the only thing that suffered any damage.
    91 FUSO FG 337E MT (Canter)4,000 km SOLD
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    This is a nice design and build but I see that water capacity is two 50 liter tanks...that's a total of about 26.5 gallons...that's really on the low side for an expedition rig.
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  7. #7
    haven is online now Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    On 30 October, Kym Bolton released an EarthCruiser progress report.

    Kym's company, All Terrain Motor Homes, has been recognized as a second stage manufacturer by Fuso in Australia. This means that the EarthCruiser's suspension modifications and super single rear tires have been given the thumbs up by Fuso, and by the Australian government body that certifies national standards for vehicle safety (the Australian Design Rules, or ADR). The Fuso chassis with EarthCruiser modifications now carries the full factory warranty.

    The design of the expedition cabin (the camper part of the truck) has changed a little. Here's the layout



    The dimensions of the cabin are 140.5 inches (11.67 ft) long and 80.7 inches (6.5 ft) wide. Weight of the finished cabin with pop-up roof will be less than 2000 lbs. Production of the EarthCruiser will begin in 2009.

    Kym expects to create three versions of the EarthCruiser. The first will be the complete vehicle and camper, for sale in Australia. This version will cost about $A177,000, including taxes. That's about $US118,000 at today's exchange rates.

    A version of the fully equipped camper will be built for export. This will allow you to replicate the EarthCruiser using a Fuso chassis designed for the rules in your country. The parts to convert your Fuso suspension to super singles will be included in this version. Price is expected to be $US71,000, plus shipping costs.

    Last, Kym will produce a do-it-yourself version of the expedition camper, suitable for you to install on the chassis of your choice. The camper interior will be partly finished, with wiring, plumbing, and other equipment installed. Price of this version will be about $US56,000 plus shipping.

    Let's see: A camper weight of 2000 lbs, an overall length of about 12 feet. That would be a nice fit on an F350 or Chevy 3500 with flatbed and single rear wheels.

    The guiding principle behind EarthCruiser remains the same: To create a durable, practical vehicle with excellent rough road capabilities, while affording enough creature comforts that two travelers can live in the vehicle for weeks or months.

    To put their ideas to the test, Kym and his wife Lyn have lived in the EarthCruiser prototype for a total of six months, driving 23,000 miles across Asia to Europe, and from England south to Morocco and back.

    To test the new vehicle, Kym will use it on an expedition across central Australia's Simpson Desert in April 2009. The trip will cover 500 miles without roads, navigating by GPS. It's a severe test of vehicle durability. I hope we'll receive updates about this trip as the date of departure gets closer.

    The update released on 30 October contains lots more details about the construction and equipment used to outfit the EarthCruiser. If you'd like to receive information about EarthCruiser, sign up at http://www.allterrainmotorhomes.com/

    Chip Haven

  8. #8
    haven is online now Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    The Earth Cruiser team is working hard to produce their new ExPo vehicle. They just posted a progress report on their web site. Download the Microsoft Word document here http://www.allterrainmotorhomes.com/...9%20Update.doc

    Some highlights from the update:

    The molds for the composite floor and walls are finished. Sets for two campers have been pulled and assembled. The molds for composite roof and entry door are under construction.

    The team is working with an interior design firm to finalize the interior. Traveling for more than 100 days in the prototype camper, Kym Bolton learned the value of a good layout and cheerful design, especially when bad weather keeps you inside the camper. A construction company that specializes in high end yacht interiors will build the interior.

    The camper wiring harness is being designed with fiberglass and plastic sheathing, making the wiring much less vulnerable to chafing when vibrated on rough roads.

    The design of the "rough road/soft ride" suspension is complete. Compared to the stock Fuso suspension, the articulation is vastly improved. One front wheel can be raised as much as 1.2 meters / 47 inches, while the other three wheels stay on the ground. The ride across rough ground is much improved, too.

    The Earth Cruiser team heard our criticism of the limited onboard fresh water supply. The standard 26 gallon capacity can now be augmented with a second 26 gallon tank.

    Earth Cruiser will introduce their vehicle in mid-May. I hope to have lots of photos of the vehicle by that time.

    Chip Haven

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    Be nice if it had double-cab.
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    Are they planning on using pop-top roofs like the two prototype campers had?
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