You cant do a 4x4 conversion for $5000, a good used axle itself costs $1000 easy, then you have the 4x4 kit parts, springs, good shocks, transfer case, are you regearing [well there's more money to add in], adding lockers front and rear, labor if you're not doing it yourself. Try $10,000-$15,000 easy to do a very solid reliable 4x4 kit.
Cabinetry, all depends if you start with cheapo particle board and staples like the crap Sportsmobile sells. Ask veteran Sportsmobile owners how many times they've had to fix cabinets flying apart. Its absurd how much they charge for crappy materials and door handles that came from grandmas 1970 home cabinets.
The other gear depends on the quality, some deals out there on appliances.
Considering these vehicles, one concern comes to mind. Depreciation: will an Earthroamer hold a large percentage of its initial value (cost) after, say, five years? I'm thinking it might, given that there appears to be an increasing demand for larger off road camperlike trucks. And assuming that the initial owners don't trash it. Having said that, allow me to provide a personal, similar example.
From the Earthroamer preowned site, since the wait list to build new is 9months or more, it appears that an owner can use theirs for a year or two and sell it for about what they paid for it, since there are people who want one[even used] now vs later. Similar with Sportsbmobile, can use a van for a year and sell it used for about the price of new to someone who no longer wants to wait for their new one to be built. Very strange but that's what these companies have built[demand] since theyre slow to build them, which increased demand further. Funny how that works.
'As the year 2011 began on Jan. 1, the oldest members of the Baby Boom generation celebrated their 65th birthday. In fact, on that day, today, and for every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65. The aging of this huge cohort of Americans (26% of the total U.S. population are Baby Boomers) will dramatically change the composition of the country.'
Not all of these Boomers have the money to buy an ER, quite a few are having a hard time buying bread. However, as a Boomer myself, mid-range, late '50s, having owned a Winnebago Vecta, a truck camper, and now our Saurer 6dm, the competition for RV space, road space, and decent deals, is tight. Lots of money tied up in real estate, and as one person mentioned, the stock market. As Boomers retire, selling off that real estate, and investments, they're buying RVs, high-end RVs and other expensive toys. Plus, once they're done, the largest transfer of wealth in history will happen in the next 19 years. So, as the RV industry keeps up with the current demand, currently, older units will be on the market for cheap. Also, when one retires, health, followed by money, then age, are the three biggest reasons people keep or sell their stuff. Like that shiny new ER toy~! So, patience grasshopper, that 2006 ER with the crappy Ford diesel engine, will be a bargain! In 2026~!
I don't have a problem with ER or anyone else charging what they can get for a product. A few thoughts though. First of all, I see very little in the way of advanced engineering in any of these rigs. They use more heavy duty parts, but all off the shelf. Secondly, most of these rigs can't even fit down a high percentage of the roads that I travel. They are too tall, too wide, and too heavy. It really makes me wonder where all these "world travelers" are going?? Most of the cost justification goes straight back to luxury, not real engineering for real travelers. I wonder how many of these are sighted crossing the Gobi desert? The people that I see really getting dirty and doing this are driving home built jalopies. That is where you find the real engineering too. Still, the alternatives in the mainstream RV market are junk from top to bottom. "Overpriced" really comes into focus when the thing you buy is junk on top of everything. If I were looking for a good well built RV to tooodle around in, and I had the money, I would consider an "overland" rig. To me they are just a very well built RV. I think that is all they are trying to be.
It really makes me wonder where all these "world travelers" are going?? Most of the cost justification goes straight back to luxury, not real engineering for real travelers. I wonder how many of these are sighted crossing the Gobi desert? The people that I see really getting dirty and doing this are driving home built jalopies.
I suspect the great majority of the $500k+ expedition RV owners are not doing anything extreme. Mild dirt road traveling would be about it. If you wanted to travel the world and really go offroad, a Mog with a custom box would be a better choice vs a Ford truck chassis.
"Traveling the world" and "really going off-road" are two different things.
According to many world travelers, pretty much everywhere has roads - but they are usually bad roads.
Hence the common distinction:
"An overland campervan is not an off-road vehicle - it is a bad road vehicle."
Big overland campervans are designed and intended to be motorhomes that can be lived in for years and survive 30,000 miles of bad road.
If they won't fit down someone's favorite little trail, that's fine - running trails is off-roading, not overlanding, and overland campervans are not off-road vehicles.
There are, of course exceptions to every rule, and some guys do like to off-road in their campervans. I seem to recall a guy with a 30,000 lb. mog getting it stuck in a dry lake bed that wasn't as dry as it looked (Hi, Charlie!).
But most try to avoid it if they can.
For world traveling, one of the main reasons for platform choice is global service and support. Mercedes and Toyota you can always get parts for and find a mechanic who can figure it out.
2018 F-650...no doubt it could be done, but maybe not as convenient.
These discussions come up every one in a while. People who have never built an expedition vehicle don't understand how they can cost so much.
Figure on a year of your life and $250k to build one. It's all custom fabrication, and every subsystem is pricey.
2 wheel drive but want 4 wheel drive? Forget $5k, you are at $25k to do it right - custom springs, mounts, driveshafts, etc. It adds up really fast.
You want bumpers and sliders? Okay, $5-10k please.
You want custom center and overhead consoles and a fully noise reduced cab with air seats? That will be another $10k.
Might as well add a nice stereo since it is quiet enough to hear it now. $2k.
Decide you need a generator? Of course it needs to be diesel. So that's another $5k.
Guess you will need larger custom fuel tanks now. That's $2k.
Oh, how about a bluewater marine water separator/filter for that diesel? $2-3k.
Winches front and back? $5k.
House battery bank? $2-10k
Oh, you actually want to wire everything up right? $10k easy for the house electrical system (wire, circuit breakers, switches, main panel). My main Blue Sea panel alone costs $2k
How about a nice charger/inverter? Pure sine wave of course. $2-5k.
You get the idea. And these are just a few of the big ticket items not counting labor or the thousand other inexpensive bits of **** that add up to $$k in the aggregate.
26000 lb , not 30000. I was trying to get to a good beach for camping by crossing a "dry" lake.
And I for one have been in the Gobi.
Pre 1993 Excap Steyr 12M18 with all the upgrades and KrugXP camper would be a great value. And importable into the US.