Luxury Overland RVing: EarthRoamer
Where the Trail Stops for Most is Where the Fun Starts for These Rugged Vehicles.
It’s been a long week full of short deadlines, tiny cubicles, and endless meetings. All you want to do is pile into the family RV and roll out for a weekend of solitude and serenity in the wilderness. You pull up to the campground, and it is busier than the highway you drove in on. Sound familiar?
The pandemic has pushed more people than ever before into the RV realm. A recent study indicates that the pandemic increased RV interest by 162 percent. So how can you still enjoy RVing but avoid the crowds? That’s where EarthRoamer sets itself apart with rugged yet luxurious overland Xpedition Vehicles, or XV–a term Earth Roamer coined to differ itself from the traditional RV world.
The Colorado company is breaking new ground with their line of XV-Luxury Terrain innovation, or LTi, and XV-HD custom luxury vehicles that can go virtually anywhere and do almost anything.
“I think one of the things that Covid did to transform some of the RV industry is it chased so many people out of their homes and into RVing that you can’t find a campground anymore,” said Dustin Cornell EarthRoamer Marketing Manager.
“That’s part of why our vehicles have been so popular – you don’t have to rely on a campground or reservations; you just go find your own spot.”
Bring More Than The Kitchen Sink
EarthRoamers are personalized adventure vehicles tailor-made for each owner. Often when living the RV life, something has to give. You can have more amenities, but then you can’t go as far into the wilderness. Or, you go smaller and lighter to get further down those dirt roads, but you give up the creature comforts.
EarthRoamer nails the bullseye between those two worlds. Their XVs have the ability to four-wheel over virtually anything and still have a 4K television and hot shower waiting for you when you reach your destination.
Want a wine rack with custom-etched EarthRoamer wine glasses? You got it. How about a Traeger grill to smoke some brisket on after a long day on the road? No problem. A landing pad atop your vehicle to launch a drone while driving with the flick of a switch? A customer did request this, but EarthRoamer had to draw a line somewhere.
While there are limits to customers’ custom requests, EarthRoamer makes the owners’ passion their passion, and incorporates that into each vehicle, be it skiing or Ham Radio. And with the average price tag of $720,000 for an XV-LTi, it’s no wonder that EarthRoamer’s team will go the extra mile and then some for their customers.
Go Inside EarthRoamer
Stepping into an EarthRoamer is a bit like walking into a small penthouse suite. Wood-lining, custom backsplashes, floor lighting, Bose surround sound, and a cozy bed covered with warm plush blankets. It is akin to taking a small home into the wilderness with you wherever you decide to roam.
At EarthRoamer’s headquarters, Service Writer Zack Renier walks through an XV-LTi, pointing out all the little details that go into each vehicle. From the custom drawers to the captain’s chairs in the cab, EarthRoamer makes everything in-house.
In 2020, EarthRoamer phased out the LT model and introduced the LTi, which includes a carbon fiber body, lithium-ion batteries, more headroom, and additional bunk windows. The result is a vehicle that is easier to drive and has better gas millage.
The new lithium-ion batteries used on the XVs provide more usable energy. The Lithium ions are also lighter, and Renier predicts it will be the future for the industry.
Solar is another cornerstone for the company, which does not use any generators or propane on its vehicles. The solar panels enable drivers to go off-grid longer.
“It’s not very pleasant to always be next to a loud, smelly generator,” Renier said.
“(With solar) You are not reliant on remembering to bring fuel or relying on that propane tank not running out. You know the sun is always there… It’s a power source that we don’t have to remember to pack with us.”
The response to the LTi mirrors what the RV industry is seeing. This year EarthRoamer is on pace to build 28 LTi vehicles despite supply chain issues due to the pandemic. By 2022, Renier forecasts they will build 36 trucks, and there is about a year waiting period right now for new orders.
The XV-LTi and the XV-HD models differ in several ways, but the main difference is size and cost. The HD is nearly twice the size and towers over the LTi, which is huge in its own right. The XV-HD costs anywhere from $1.9 million to $2.1 million.
Based on the cost and size, the XV-LTi is the company’s best seller and is built on a Ford Super Duty F-550 chassis. It has a powerful 6.7-liter turbo diesel V8 engine that includes a 10,000-pound towing capacity.
The XV-LTi holds 95 gallons of diesel, 100 gallons of fresh water, 1,320 watts of solar power, and runs around $620,000 to $730,000 on average, depending on customizations and floor plans.
The EarthRoamer Family
There are just under 300 EarthRoamers rolling about in the wild, which means that the community of owners is relatively small––this creates a family-like atmosphere between the company and the owners.
EarthRoamer owners will often go on trips together, send photos back to EarthRoamer’s headquarters and keep in touch with each other as they zig-zag the country on various adventures.
Preston Roper, 61, of Tahoe, Calif., and his wife Katie Roper, recently purchased a “pre-roamed,” or pre-owned, 2018 EarthRoamer LT. The couple wanted a vehicle that they could recreate in and also live comfortably.
Initially, they were looking into converted Sprinter vans that could go beyond KOA’s and campgrounds into more remote BLM areas. But between the headroom, heat in the winter, and king-size RV bed, the Ropers opted to spend a little more and go with an EarthRoamer.
“Initially we thought an EarthRoamer was over the top, and it really is over the top. It’s a yacht, an all-terrain yacht,” Preston said.
“You pay a premium, but you get so much more than what you get for everything else on the market.”
In March, the couple picked up their EarthRoamer and immediately put it through its paces, traveling around Colorado and skiing while living in the XV. Since then, they have crossed the Nevada desert, and Preston joined an EarthRoamer rally in Utah with his brother.
“Off-road and off-grid exactly was the goal,” said Preston of his XV’s capabilities. “I put it through some pretty gnarly roads, and the power in that 550 diesel in low four-wheel drive gets you a lot of control.”
Is the XV for me?
Renier said that their customers come from all over, from RV owners to overland and off-road enthusiasts. There is also a contingent of buyers from the yachting community, which is similar in many respects.
“We have quite a few owners that come from higher-end luxury sprinter vans,” Cornell said. “They like the luxury that is inside; they just don’t like the capability of where it can go. So they end up looking for similar styles, but on an escalated level and more off-road capabilities.”
So the million-dollar question, literally – does the vehicle justify the price tag?
For many, EarthRoamer is a dream vehicle and will remain that–a dream. But for others, it is a key to freedom. For those, like the Ropers, who are looking to live life to the fullest anywhere a truck will take you, the additional cost is worth the added comforts and capability.
Find out more about Earthroamer RVs at www.earthroamer.com