Overlander, new “affordable” Earthroamer type rig

Lovetheworld

Active member
It is all very similar to the semantics other people will use to justify spending tons of money on such a high end Earthroamer.

Spending half a million dollar on an Earthroamer is only relevant if you have millions in the bank. If not, you should think twice about spending that amount of money, because you could also buy one of these cheaper 4x4 campers and spend the rest of the remaining money to travel for at least a decade.

Yeah, maybe this cheaper truck will not last as long as the Earthroamer, but it is not very cost effective to buy an Earthroamer because of that.
Also, I would think that for these prices, you can just go to a builder and have something built as per your design.

By far the cheapest option, while still maintaining this pickup truck with box design, is to buy some truck and some generic box. If one of the two is broken, you replace it.
Or you buy something in every continent. Preferably something that is more common there.
Because nobody has a F550 if you go to Europe/Asia/Africa. So going super remote also means there are no parts.

So these trucks are not very comparable. The people who can easily buy a full fledged Earthroamer are not the people who are going to buy this truck.

We spent around 10K Euros on our old 4x4 van (to buy and to built) and it took us everywhere we wanted to, throughout Asia, over all kinds of terrain.
Are there better alternatives on the market? Yes of course! Are there more cost effective alternatives? No way.
It went to the same places as the more expensive 4x4 trucks other people were using (Unimog, Bremach, with custom builds)
Is this all relevant to someone who wants to buy an Earthroamer? Not really.
 
I’ve stopped judging people for their rides a long time ago. Don’t judge me I won’t judge you.
Landrover has a great bumper sticker “ if you have to ask me why you wouldn’t understand” If you go outside to your vehicle and seeing it puts a smile on your face that is a good enough excuse to own it. What puts a smile on my face does not put a smile on somebody else’s face.
There is beauty in form. Someone may choose to drive something that is very expensive and very beautifully built and they want to take it mildly off the road. God bless them. What do I care? It puts more workers with tools in their hands the ability to build beautiful things. Although High-end 4 x 4 vehicles are not for me my brother loves them. We both respect each other for what we like.
 

gregmchugh

Observer
As the title of this thread says, “Overlander, new “affordable” Earthroamer type rig”.

Yes, EarthRoamer type rig, Bed in cab over, Ford F550 4wd, camper body mounted to truck frame, and beyond that it is hard to determine yet. Has anyone posted the actual price of the one shown?

I don’t think anyone is really suggesting it is competing with EarthRoamer (selling at $700,00 or so new) in any sense. Not likely to draw any EarthRoamer customers unless one of them wakes up one morning and says “Why in the hell am I spending this much money on a fancy rig?”. You have the option of buying a used EarthRoamer but it is going to be older to get down in the Overlander price range.

Depending on your budget for a rig this size, this may make sense as a purchase, or if you are willing to increase your budget into the area where you can go with a similar sized rig from GXV, etc. then you can get an Expedition Vehicle that size with rugged construction and the same functionality as an EarthRoamer but these are going to be significantly higher priced than the Overlander. If you have the time and skill then the lowest cost (including counting your time, unless you are a high dollar per hour worker) option will always be to build one yourself and with the ready availability of precut panels and other items from Total Composites, etc. then you can end up with something that is similar in construction to the more expensive custom rigs without a lot of effort required to get the main cabin built. The interiors I have seen on DIY rigs can be anything from basic to just as nice as the ones coming from the European shops.

The only thing that is going to get the price down for the higher quality rigs is a larger market and more competition.

On another note, I have been wondering if EarthCruiser is now ending up in a different market segment with the significant price increase in the 2020 gasoline models starting at $400,000. Most of this increase must be driven by the 4wd conversion with complete replacement of the truck suspension and driveline past the transmission along with other upgrades now standard equipment.

In the end, as said before, if you are happy with your rig who cares what anyone else thinks. It is the journey that matters not how you get there...
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
As the title of this thread says, “Overlander, new “affordable” Earthroamer type rig”.

Yes, EarthRoamer type rig, Bed in cab over, Ford F550 4wd, camper body mounted to truck frame, and beyond that it is hard to determine yet. Has anyone posted the actual price of the one shown?

I don’t think anyone is really suggesting it is competing with EarthRoamer (selling at $700,00 or so new) in any sense. Not likely to draw any EarthRoamer customers unless one of them wakes up one morning and says “Why in the hell am I spending this much money on a fancy rig?”. You have the option of buying a used EarthRoamer but it is going to be older to get down in the Overlander price range.

Depending on your budget for a rig this size, this may make sense as a purchase, or if you are willing to increase your budget into the area where you can go with a similar sized rig from GXV, etc. then you can get an Expedition Vehicle that size with rugged construction and the same functionality as an EarthRoamer but these are going to be significantly higher priced than the Overlander. If you have the time and skill then the lowest cost (including counting your time, unless you are a high dollar per hour worker) option will always be to build one yourself and with the ready availability of precut panels and other items from Total Composites, etc. then you can end up with something that is similar in construction to the more expensive custom rigs without a lot of effort required to get the main cabin built. The interiors I have seen on DIY rigs can be anything from basic to just as nice as the ones coming from the European shops.

The only thing that is going to get the price down for the higher quality rigs is a larger market and more competition.

On another note, I have been wondering if EarthCruiser is now ending up in a different market segment with the significant price increase in the 2020 gasoline models starting at $400,000. Most of this increase must be driven by the 4wd conversion with complete replacement of the truck suspension and driveline past the transmission along with other upgrades now standard equipment.

In the end, as said before, if you are happy with your rig who cares what anyone else thinks. It is the journey that matters not how you get there...
I think there is one big difference between Earthroamer and a Total Composites camper/ GXV box. Insulation! To my knowledge Earthroamer is using a Fiberglass/Balsawood/Fiberglass shell. This means almost 0 insulation. GXV is using panels that are at least 2" thick without thermal transfer (please correct me if I'm wrong). Our camper bodies can be ordered with 3.25" all around. Standard is 2" for the sidewalls and 3.25" for the rest. In extreme cases we can even go up to 4" all around. Although this would give you a superior R value, it will cause issues with window and door installs. The standard for those is max 2".

Cheers
 

gregmchugh

Observer
I think there is one big difference between Earthroamer and a Total Composites camper/ GXV box. Insulation! To my knowledge Earthroamer is using a Fiberglass/Balsawood/Fiberglass shell. This means almost 0 insulation. GXV is using panels that are at least 2" thick without thermal transfer (please correct me if I'm wrong). Our camper bodies can be ordered with 3.25" all around. Standard is 2" for the sidewalls and 3.25" for the rest. In extreme cases we can even go up to 4" all around. Although this would give you a superior R value, it will cause issues with window and door installs. The standard for those is max 2".

Cheers
Yes, GXV uses 60mm panels in the walls. They also now do their own panel cutting in their new factory.

 

Boston Mangler

OG Portal Member #183
Yes, GXV uses 60mm panels in the walls. They also now do their own panel cutting in their new factory.

Love GXV and they stuff is top notch.

But i find that link odd and humorous how much its saying panels are better than molded, yet they offer molded bodyoptions... Hmmmm
 

gregmchugh

Observer
Love GXV and they stuff is top notch.

But i find that link odd and humorous how much its saying panels are better than molded, yet they offer molded bodyoptions... Hmmmm
Yes, the Adventure Truck branded vehicles use molded bodies and are not really customizable and are at a lower price point. A different brand for a different market. All of the GXV branded models are still using panel construction and are highly customizable and at a higher price point. So, molded bodies for the lower end of their market and panel construction for everything else. Not really negating their claims for the advantages of panel construction vs molded, just expanding their line up to cover a lower priced option. The molded body for the Adventure XT is 30 mm thick so it does have the insulation advantage of the panel construction. Not sure about the molded body thickness on the standard Adventure Truck.


As near as I can tell, over the last two 1/2 years since we took delivery of ours the two most popular GXV models are the Patagonia on the Kenworth chassis and the Turtle on RAM 5500 and Ford F550 trucks. Not sure how many Adventure trucks have been sold as yet.
 

gregmchugh

Observer
Note that the GXV UXV and UXV Max which are the same configurations as the two EarthRoamer models use panel construction even in the curved cab over bed area. Looks like it might be molded but it is all panel construction. You will also find a lot more customization available in these in terms of cabin length, layout, rear storage capacity, etc compared to an EarthRoamer where the customization is pretty much limited to a few minor floor plan choices and types of interior wood, colors, etc.
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
I don’t have experience with ER to compare, but I do have SMB to compare and our panel constructed GXV has truly amazing insulation that surprises me every time out. And we have the less-efficient windows - a LOT of them! The insulation is something that has truly exceeded our expectations.
 

lucilius

Member
I think there is one big difference between Earthroamer and a Total Composites camper/ GXV box. Insulation! To my knowledge Earthroamer is using a Fiberglass/Balsawood/Fiberglass shell. This means almost 0 insulation. GXV is using panels that are at least 2" thick without thermal transfer (please correct me if I'm wrong). Our camper bodies can be ordered with 3.25" all around. Standard is 2" for the sidewalls and 3.25" for the rest. In extreme cases we can even go up to 4" all around. Although this would give you a superior R value, it will cause issues with window and door installs. The standard for those is max 2".

Cheers
With all due respect, as you are a vendor of Chinese-made RV products it is understandable that you might not be aware of American-made Earthroamers, their systems, their insulation and their cold weather performance. I am neither a vendor of any sort nor am I affiliated with the Earthroamer company. However, before making a claim of "almost 0 insulation" one might consider picking up the phone or sending an email to Earthroamer to see what sort of insulation they're using. Earthroamers have been in production for roughly a decade and a half. There are multiple models and the design and construction of the camper body has been evolving the entire time. The current LTi model is carbon fiber [which may or may not be a great development, IMO]. The standard insulation that is bonded to the camper shell is between 1.5 and 3" of PIR or similar laminate board. There is perhaps better insulation out there (aerogel would be interesting) but PIR is easy, lightweight and adequate. The windows (nice and handy, though plastic, dual-paned German-made Dometic) and multiple vents are the weak points in the insulation, not the body. The heating sources are more important: heating over the years has been provided by 1-2 diesel Espar Airtronic D2 or D5 units, hot water heating is via a Hydronic D5, and an Indel/Webasto Isotemp or Kuuma marine grade 6-10 gallon electric water heater that is tied to the vehicle coolant system and the Espar hydronic heater (resulting in 3 ways to provide hot water). There is also a 2-burner Webasto diesel range ceramic cooktop (not really for heating though it would probably work to keep the frost at bay in a pinch). I can definitely see the pros and cons of the Earthroamer (and GXV/Adventure trucks), none of them are perfect, but if I were a vendor in this space, I would collect some facts before positing inaccurate information about another vendor in the "Expedition Vehicle" business, if only to be professional. Earthroamers have their faults (e.g. the newer, longer-bodied XV-LTS vehicles are heavy and quite close to the F550 GVWR...maybe a less than ideal trait for a 4x4 camper...and there have been multiple wheel bearing failures, etc.) but staying warm and comfortable in cold/extreme cold conditions is not one of them.
What would be really interesting is to see an Earthroamer, a GXV Turtle and Adventure truck (I know they're different vehicles with different prices and capabilities) do a long trip, maybe Deadhorse to Ushuaia or simply trans-AK/Canada in winter and see how they do though like every vehicle, it comes down to driver experience and capabilities, especially in cold weather.
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
I’m fully aware of the different building methods. In no way do I intent to say that one brand is better than the other. We all have our place in this market. But it bugs me as a professional ( with 25 years in this field) to see mis information and mis guiding. Proof me wrong about my statement that they are using a balsa wood core . Of course you can heat any space with a good furnace, the question is how efficient is? Is your heater running all the time or does it only turn on once or twice a night in sub freezing temperatures. After all, expedition trucks should run as efficient as possible to allow you to be out in the wild in comfort.
 

gregmchugh

Observer
With all due respect, as you are a vendor of Chinese-made RV products it is understandable that you might not be aware of American-made Earthroamers, their systems, their insulation and their cold weather performance. I am neither a vendor of any sort nor am I affiliated with the Earthroamer company. However, before making a claim of "almost 0 insulation" one might consider picking up the phone or sending an email to Earthroamer to see what sort of insulation they're using. Earthroamers have been in production for roughly a decade and a half. There are multiple models and the design and construction of the camper body has been evolving the entire time. The current LTi model is carbon fiber [which may or may not be a great development, IMO]. The standard insulation that is bonded to the camper shell is between 1.5 and 3" of PIR or similar laminate board. There is perhaps better insulation out there (aerogel would be interesting) but PIR is easy, lightweight and adequate. The windows (nice and handy, though plastic, dual-paned German-made Dometic) and multiple vents are the weak points in the insulation, not the body. The heating sources are more important: heating over the years has been provided by 1-2 diesel Espar Airtronic D2 or D5 units, hot water heating is via a Hydronic D5, and an Indel/Webasto Isotemp or Kuuma marine grade 6-10 gallon electric water heater that is tied to the vehicle coolant system and the Espar hydronic heater (resulting in 3 ways to provide hot water). There is also a 2-burner Webasto diesel range ceramic cooktop (not really for heating though it would probably work to keep the frost at bay in a pinch). I can definitely see the pros and cons of the Earthroamer (and GXV/Adventure trucks), none of them are perfect, but if I were a vendor in this space, I would collect some facts before positing inaccurate information about another vendor in the "Expedition Vehicle" business, if only to be professional. Earthroamers have their faults (e.g. the newer, longer-bodied XV-LTS vehicles are heavy and quite close to the F550 GVWR...maybe a less than ideal trait for a 4x4 camper...and there have been multiple wheel bearing failures, etc.) but staying warm and comfortable in cold/extreme cold conditions is not one of them.
What would be really interesting is to see an Earthroamer, a GXV Turtle and Adventure truck (I know they're different vehicles with different prices and capabilities) do a long trip, maybe Deadhorse to Ushuaia or simply trans-AK/Canada in winter and see how they do though like every vehicle, it comes down to driver experience and capabilities, especially in cold weather.
I recall EarthRoamer LT using AquaHot for heat and hot water at one time and the HD uses Aquahot. Pretty standard RV system at their price point.

And not using double pane glass windows for so long at their premium price always seemed like a poor choice to me. I guess the new Carbon Fiber body will be using glass windows but the HD still seems to be using the plastic windows.

Just hard for me to reconcile their content vs their price??
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
A carbon fibre body is at least something. It may not be a good idea, but at least it is some innovation, more value for your money.
The rest of the gear is not so interesting. Yes it is not the cheapest stuff around, but you can just buy it as a consumer and install it as well.
I've got a diesel heater with room thermostat as well. Diesel furnace as well as coolant heater, with warm water boiler heated by coolant, not that big of a deal.
I would think you get more quality in the body finishing as well as the interior. And the combination of everything.

Areagel is expensive but it works nicely.

When you look at this as a builder it soon does not make sense. But most people cannot build this stuff, and you also see that custom builders have very high prices and long delivery times.

It is not that hard to select some lightweight structural material as well as lightweight paneling combined with aerogel, and install all these diesel heated stuff.
But again, that is not relevant.

What is relevant that you get more value for your money. Perhaps the finishing or the longevity of the Earthroamer is what makes the price difference worth it. And then still it is a subjective thing.
 
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