GXV Patagonia on the Kenworth K370 chassis

Kevin,

Expo East was interesting, first time I have been to one. Learned a lot from the classes and saw a lot of nice vehicles.

We just returned from a shakedown trip around Lake Superior. No real comparison to the Roadtrek Sprinter. No issues with going down bad roads with the high clearance and 4wd but since it is 8 ft wide and a little over 12 ft tall it is not ideal for the forested eastern US. The roof rails deflect the branches somewhat but there is always going to be a lot of scraping from the branches. But, that is what happens when you use it for going off the highway which is why we got it so the scars are simply an indication that you went somewhere interesting off the highway. We had no problems getting to the end of the Thunder Bay Lookout road in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park which included some pretty steep hills and driving over rock ledges. I think the people at the end were surprised to see a large vehicle at the lookout. In terms of living accommodations the GXV is a big step up from the Roadtrek with a lot more room inside, the permanent bed, and no issues with insulation and heating in cold weather. We ran into some cold weather and snow last week so we did get to test it out in the cold. We have an insulated plug, if needed, to put into the cab pass through which keeps the heat or cold in the less well insulated cab from effecting the cabin temperature.

We are very happy with the new vehicle. We plan to head to Northern Canada and Alaska next summer and fall after heading out west after the new year....

Greg
 
Sounds like a lot of fun. These vehicles look like they would handle the severe cold much better than a standard RV.
With the well insulated panel construction used by GXV they handle the cold without any trouble. We have a Webasto Dual Top for diesel heat and hot water with no issues in getting heat in cold temperatures. There is also the option for a Webasto hydronic system for heat and hot water. The hydronic system is located in the same outside compartment as the grey tank so it is kept warm from the heat given off by the hydronic heater. In ours, there is an electric heating pad under the grey tank to use when needed. All the rest of the water and plumbing is inside the heated cabin. The dual pane glass windows are pretty good in terms of insulation compared to the standard RV windows.
 
GXV in our future

Hi Greg,
We have a Roadtrek Etrek 2017 and looks like we have sold it. We will be ordering a turtle on a dodge chassis as soon as the sell on the Roadtrek goes through. Any thing you suggest we get on a new build? If you remember we live in Santa Fe, if you ever get out our way you are welcome to stay a while. We have full RV hookups at our home.
David
 
Hi Greg,
We have a Roadtrek Etrek 2017 and looks like we have sold it. We will be ordering a turtle on a dodge chassis as soon as the sell on the Roadtrek goes through. Any thing you suggest we get on a new build? If you remember we live in Santa Fe, if you ever get out our way you are welcome to stay a while. We have full RV hookups at our home.
David
Hi David,

I never looked at the Turtle model so I don't know what options are available. I will send you a private message with my email and we can communicate easier than here on the forum.

Thanks for the offer and we will let you know when we make it out your way...

Greg
 
Hi Greg,
We have a Roadtrek Etrek 2017 and looks like we have sold it. We will be ordering a turtle on a dodge chassis as soon as the sell on the Roadtrek goes through. Any thing you suggest we get on a new build? If you remember we live in Santa Fe, if you ever get out our way you are welcome to stay a while. We have full RV hookups at our home.
David
The only complaint on my GXV is my Cummings diesel generator doesn't have a cold start and is useless if the temperature is much below freezing, especially at high altitudes
 
Greg,

Can you give any mpg figures for that KW yet? I doubt it has broken in yet and should improve a bit over time. Also, how does it perform when rolling down the highway? Is it comfortable over long distances? How does it pull hills? My wife and I are in discussion with GXV and were leaning towards a Turtle model on a Ford or Dodge 5 series but the new KW sounds pretty ideal. What tire size are you running? Sorry if this question has already been answered elsewhere. Thanks!

Jason
 
Greg,

Can you give any mpg figures for that KW yet? I doubt it has broken in yet and should improve a bit over time. Also, how does it perform when rolling down the highway? Is it comfortable over long distances? How does it pull hills? My wife and I are in discussion with GXV and were leaning towards a Turtle model on a Ford or Dodge 5 series but the new KW sounds pretty ideal. What tire size are you running? Sorry if this question has already been answered elsewhere. Thanks!

Jason
With about 14,000 miles on it (mostly highway at 65 mph) the mileage is running around 8.4 mpg, this is with the 260 HP PX-7 and 6 speed Allison option that GXV orders. GXV has the option now for an upgrade to King shocks and we got that upgrade last month along with cab seat upgrades and a large front bumper with a winch. 1000% improvement in ride compared to the stock shocks that come on the K370 and no problem driving long distances. Very smooth and stable ride with the new shocks. The truck is ordered with rear air suspension and a rear locking differential. With the stock shocks and stock air ride seats it was a very bouncy ride down the road. The new seats have air suspension but more firm than the stock seats. It cruises fine at 65 mph which is as fast as I like to drive and the tires are only rated to 65 mph. I don't push it on hills so it can slow to 55 mph or even 45 mph with the cruise control at 65 mph depending on the grade but it is pulling fine at those speeds. Engine braking works great to keep the speed down going down hill. Tires are Goodyear G278 MSD 425/65R 22.5 on ours but you can go bigger or smaller with the same tire if you want to. The K370 is a 33,000 lb GVWR chassis and we are running around 22,000 - 23,000 lbs so we are well under the gross weight which is a big plus compared to many of the other options on a 5 series pick up chassis we looked at that are running close to gross weight.

We are living in the truck full time now and we are getting ready to head to the Yukon and Alaska for the summer and fall, plan to leave in early May and return in late Oct. Planning to go to Overland Expo East in Nov. when we return.

Greg
 
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Jason,
I can second what Greg says about MPG and performance on the road. I have the same chassis, about 4 feet shorter cabin and same spec engine in ours. Mine is at GXV now getting the front bumper/winch and the King shocks as well as a few other extras I decided would help. One suggestion is to go ahead and maximize your exterior storage. I ended up adding two exterior boxes to mine. I also can't recommend enough going ahead and getting the Lithium Ion batteries and at least 4 solar panels. The fist round of upgrades I did included a 4th solar panel and it helped. While the Dodge and Ford models seem smaller the maneuverability of the cab-forward design allows for much more living space for the same length vehicle, and that opinion is coming from a big time Ford fan. You're more than welcome to check out my truck if you're there before I pick it up at the end of the month.

Daurie.
 
Out of all of the US expedition vehicles, this is my favorite. Cabover design IMO is a necessity for a expedition vehicle. That means we in the US are limited to Fuso's which are a bit on the small side and lack power, LMTV's which are very heavy, crude and require relocating that silly air intake and this modified Kenworth. My only qualm would be an open front differential could cause some problems for me.

The Europeans have so much more chassis options for good builds it's crazy.

Sucks that these builds are out of my price-range. I don't see how anyone could buy an Earthroamer with this available for the same or less.

I know one of you here are already getting tired of yours and would like to sell me yours used. ;)
 
One of the big advantages of the Patagonia on the Kenworth K370 is the range of options for cabin size and interior living space vs internal/external storage space. If you look at the four initial builds shown on the GXV website, there are 3 with a 20" cabin length and one with a 18.5' cabin length. GXV is in the process of building ones with a longer wheelbase and a longer cabin length. The 3 shown with the 20' cabin length show the options for a raised roof with a large garage to support an ATV in the rear, a standard roof with a large rear storage compartment, and a bed moved to the rear with a smaller underbed storage compartment with added space in the living area with a rear mounted spare tire and external rear storage boxes. This design flexibility is something that is not available from EarthRoamer or EarthCruiser where the cabin size is fixed.