Roam, If You Want To


SKI - - FRONT SIDE - By Lind­say Kon­zak

As a wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher, founder Bill Swails built the orig­i­nal EarthRoamer Lux­ury Xpedi­tion Ve­hi­cle (XV) be­fore #van­life was a thing. He started with a pickup and camper, but quickly learned that it wasn’t good enough for where he wanted to go so he hired some­one to build some­thing cus­tom. When the 4WD com­mu­nity caught word, they wanted one, too.

He sold his first in 2003, and by the end of 2008, the com­pany had built 100 units. That may not seem like a lot, but con­sider that ev­ery unit is cus­tom-built in their Da­cono, Colo., fac­tory, with just six in pro­duc­tion at any given time. To­day, they are building 25 semi-cus­tom lux­ury rigs a year, each start­ing at a lit­tle over $450,000. The ve­hi­cle has at­tracted the likes of the No­mad Yoga Fam­ily, a fam­ily of four that chooses to live in theirs, and a guy who bought his with cus­tom ski racks to catch as many first chairs as he could.

The so­lar-pow­ered EarthRoamer XV-LTS, their most pop­u­lar model, is built to last whether you’re chas­ing snow or go­ing off-grid. You could set­tle in com­fort­ably for up to two weeks with a friend. A one-piece seam­less waterproof fiber­glass shell, dou­ble-paned acrylic win­dows, in­su­la­tion, and heat guar­an­tee you’ll stay warm and cozy.

The RV on steroids hosts 41-inch mil­i­tary tires and is built on a mod­i­fied Ford F-550 4WD truck, which means it can go where other RVs don’t dare. EarthRoamer Pres­i­dent Tyler Ta­tro in­sists “it rides smaller than it looks.” (It looks like you need a spe­cial li­cense to drive it. Turns out, you don’t.) The EarthRoamer can raise and lower seven and a half inches and was built so that the truck’s frame would flex in­de­pen­dent of the shell; most RVs are mounted to a frame. The tough ex­te­rior con­trasts with its in­te­rior, which is top-to-bot­tom lux­ury, a true home on the road with fea­tures like a stand-up shower, real-wood floors, leather seats, room for a king mat­tress, and, of course, a wine rack.

EarthRoamer’s new­est of­fer­ing, the 35-foot XV-HD, takes things to the next level, sell­ing for $1.5 mil­lion with liv­ing space two times that of the EarthRoamer XV-LTS, and an over­all size and berth that re­quires a Ford F-750 (yes, they go that big) con­verted to 4WD with 46-inch tires. As Ta­tro says, if the EarthRoamer is an RV on steroids, the XV-HD is an EarthRoamer on steroids. Bon voy­age.

The lux­ury EarthRoamer XV-LTS is tough enough to take the road less trav­eled, and comfy enough to set­tle in for awhile.

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