EarthRoamer XV-JP "Northwest Edition"

howell_jd

Adventurer
Very creative indeed! I like especially how there was evaluation of strengths and preferences in making the decisions for adaptations and custom innovations. Inspiring and positive! Purpose built and utilitarian.

It looks like the water heater is still inside the pared down interior and I understand this is still a work in progress...Are the additional plumbing (gray water tank, shower lines, cassette toilet, etc.) still installed or are those features still under "revision?"

I am motivated for a bit of work this weekend to get some of my own systems returned to "fully operational" status. Great dreams! WOW.

Jonathan
 

cshontz

Supporting Sponsor
But I must say, I am astounded by the glaring shortcoming of the factory XV-JP. I can not even comprehend the fact that the tent is not 100% waterproof.
I was disappointed as well. As Mike mentioned, in my experience with his XVJP, I stopped for the night at a rest stop in Kansas, and it was extremely windy and rainy. This was unfortunate for me, but a perfect opportunity to see what the tent could take.

I don't think moderate rain was a problem. It still found its way in more than it should have, but it posed little discomfort or inconvenience. But when you added the element of the wind, the tent would flap noisily. And in doing so, any rain that seeped inside the tent would spritz... pretty much everywhere. It was unavoidable.

I ended up folding up the tent in the pouring rain, and sleeping on the floor in the back of the vehicle with my feet up on the center console, and my head at the tailgate. My arms were pinned against the sides of the narrow corridor, and it felt a lot like a coffin.

That was an extremely unpleasant evening, on one of the most memorable adventures of my life. So who am I to complain? ;)
 

cwsqbm

Explorer
But I must say, I am astounded by the glaring shortcoming of the factory XV-JP. I can not even comprehend the fact that the tent is not 100% waterproof.
+1, although don't flippacs share that limitation? I see pics of them with rain flys - definitely a no-go for me, as it always seems to rain (or snow) when I camp.
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
It looks like the water heater is still inside the pared down interior and I understand this is still a work in progress...Are the additional plumbing (gray water tank, shower lines, cassette toilet, etc.) still installed or are those features still under "revision?"
There's some of the interior left. Not too much. :sombrero:

The sink, with the fresh water tank under it, will stay put. The shelving system has been somewhat modified and will be further fooled with, since the cool ER-logoed storage bags that go on the shelves aren't keepers, as they weren't a particularly efficient way to store stuff.

The Thetford cassette unit is gone. I'm a huge fan of cassette toilets (that sounds pretty pitiful, now that I re-read it :) ) but the model used in the Jeep is two feet wide and, with its ER cover, two feet deep. I wasn't willing to devote four of the approximately twenty square feet of available floor space to it, so it's gone. The ER chest-type refrigerator was worse; about six square feet and it didn't work well for me, barely cooling anything. Basically, the whole passenger side of the cabin--which was just the toilet, fridge and a cushion on top of each--is being redone. The replacement refrigerators (two drawer type units) have yet to be located. The grey water tank, which was located under the Thetford, can stay, as it's basically below floor level.

The hot water heater is another matter. It works great, but it is hugely in the way, restricting the travel and recline of the passenger seat and generally being a pain. However, if I want a sizable amount of hot water, and I do, it's what I need and it will probably stay.

The jury is still out on the shower arrangement. The shower pan is still in place, as is the handheld faucet/showerhead, but the whole arrangement with the lift-up lid is a little weird and I may change it to be more like my Sprinter, where the shower water falls through slats in the floor.

Thanks for your interest and the compliments.
 
While James is being circumspect in referencing me as "the customer," I suspect most everyone knows that this is my XV-JP and so I'm probably the best choice for explaining the reason for the redo . . .
Glad to see you here, Mike! I've received several inquiries over the last 6 months (and I'm sure that you have too) about the EarthRoamer project, and I just couldn't stand there not being a thread about it any longer. I guess we're famous now.:sombrero:

Thanks for the compliments all! This has been a really fun project, and it's been a pleasure having Mike as a customer!

But I must say, I am astounded by the glaring shortcoming of the factory XV-JP.
:26_7_2: Amen brother.

Ok that's the coolest thing I've seen all day.
Awesome... we did it right then.

I would think with that price size of a price tag, the engineering would be a bit better.
Me too. Here's what the wiring for all the add-on camper stuff looked like when the vehicle showed up at my shop:



I was a more than a little surprised when I removed that panel. This is a complex vehicle, and I had to figure this mess out. The wiring made little sense, nothing was standardized, and several things just plain didn't work. There were several loose wires in there, and even one that was not connected at either end... who knows where it was supposed to come from or go to. I called EartheRoamer, and they told me that there was no wiring diagram or schematic for this vehicle. Could you imagine being the owner of this truck and having some electrical thingamabobber stop working, then trying to get help over the phone? It might go something like this:

"Do you see the red wire coming out of the fuse block right by the solar charge controller?" umm... which one? "The one next to the yellow one on the right side of the fuse block, between the other two red ones that kind of follow the blue one that connects to the shunt to the left of the shore power controller, but only kind of in front of it?... it might be like the 2nd or 3rd or 4th one down from the top" umm... I think so "okay good, now you see that other red one that's kind of next to it that ... wait, no, I mean the yellow one that... wait, do you have a test light?... shoot... can you hold for just a second here... thanks."

James, thanks for sharing this project. I'm sure the folks at Earthroamer will be reading this closely.

Regarding the new tent top, the result doesn't look long enough for adults to sleep in. Is this correct?
Glad to share. I hope that the folks at ER are paying attention. Heck, I hope that they get in touch with me! After all, with the amount of time that I've spent in the deepest guts of this truck, I probably know more about the XV-JP than anyone outside of EarthRoamer. There is an awful lot that could have been *and still can be* done with the basic shell of the vehicle to make a wicked-cool and very capable off road camper that is built to last. Mike's rig is a good start to version 2.0, and while I am fond of building one-off custom vehicles, it would be great to play a role in a production model.

I have to give credit here to the good folks at ER too though- the XV-JP is a helluva a cool concept, and to take a concept to production is a huge undertaking. And while the XV-JP is perhaps not as refined as it could be, kudos to EarthRoamer for following through with the production of a very neat vehicle.

With regards to the top- it is long enough for an adult to sleep in, and there is an idea. I did kind of a proof of concept using a cot and a bunch of roof rack straps. It works.

When the A/T flip pac comes out for the Jeep you could build a side business doing what you have done here to the E.A. to the flip pac!
Thanks for the compliments on the tent! While I probably could make a side business out of it, I've enjoyed a great working relationship with the boys at Adventure Trailers in the past, and look forward to our continued collaboration efforts in the future. Plug: Mario, Martyn, and the rest of the AT gang are rock stars, and you should totally buy their stuff.
 
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ersatzknarf

lost, but making time
Hi Mike,

Thank you for the link. Who would have thought that they would be right in my back yard ? ? ? :sombrero:

Very kind of you to say :D
Having been in a lot of shops running machines with hydraulics (think injection molding machines), I know well to be careful of the slippery floors ! :Wow1:

(the other alternative to hydraulics might be an electric linear actuator, but if one already has air on board, this is a faster, freer ride...)

The cylinders used are from Peninsular Cylinders in Roseville, Michigan. They have a two inch bore and a 45 inch stroke.

And, FWIW, I very much agree with Frank about the advantages of pneumatic over hydraulic, especially for an overlanderer where an on-board air source is going to be valuable for many reasons. On the Jeep, the struts are proving to be great . . . smooth and lightning quick.
 

Ursa Minor

Member
Nice!

Looks like a straight up bit engineering and fabrication, and I have to agree about sewing tents, it's a whole different learning curve! What fabric did you go with?
 

Wilbur

Adventurer
This seems like a much better option overall, looks easier to open. I really dig the graphics.
 
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stxSteve

New member
Just curious - How is the Foxxwing attached to the vehicle? Everything I've read from Foxxwing says it needs a Rino-Rack to attach to.

Thanks for sharing.
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Just curious - How is the Foxxwing attached to the vehicle? Everything I've read from Foxxwing says it needs a Rino-Rack to attach to.

Thanks for sharing.
We attached the Foxwing brackets straight to the side of the cabin with substantial bolts and plates, which we could get away with since the cabin is very thick. I'd feel less good about it holding on truck sheet metal, a fiberglass cap, a Jeep top, etc.

FWIW, there was sort of an interesting karma about the Foxwing on the XV-JP. If it'd been mounted an inch lower, it would have fouled each time you opened or closed the rear door. But had it been mounted an inch higher, it would have been too high for me to reach from the ground.
 

4xdog

Explorer
Mike, I was never crazy about the original ER XV-JP. But I am now. Your modifications are brilliant.

Don
 

howell_jd

Adventurer
Hovertanks!

FWIW, there was sort of an interesting karma about the Foxwing on the XV-JP...
:coffeedrink:I have this picture in my mind of a guy sitting cross-legged and chanting while levitating with arms extended to unclip and extend the awning!:bike_rider:

As a completely different tack...I'm an Army Engineer and as a young platoon leader I had several Armored Vehicular Launched Bridges (AVLB) that made GREAT awnings when in the A-Frame (partially launched position)...also not very weather-proof but certainly able to withstand severe wind (the tank weighs 48 tons and the bridge alone is 13 tons). My bridges were all M48A5 models meaning that they had seen service since the mid-1950s! I used to joke that the Engineers were good about modernizing - we expected to have M1 chassis vehicles as soon as the Armor Corps upgraded to hovertanks!

"Tanks" again for sharing your vision with us all!

Jonathan
 

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DirtyDog

Adventurer
Wow man that is some fine work GREAT JOB!!

Are you in Hood River? Could you tell us a bit about your shop? I know where I'm going to get some crazy-awesome shat done!
 

sarconcepts

Adventurer
how well do the pneumatic struts 'stay' up after initial lift?
or do you have to provide some mechanical holding up? or down while driving?
i've always thought the jp interiors seemed like the human was the last ingredient thought of, but it is a great concept, you've just taken it to a great reality
steve
 
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