Am­phibi­ous RV lets you cruise in more ways than one

Take to the wa­ter any­time in the Terra Wind mo­tor home

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Dwight Adams

As out­ra­geous mo­tor homes go, it would be hard to beat the Terra Wind.

That’s be­cause this lux­ury RV not only can bar­rel down the in­ter­state at speeds up to 80 miles an hour, but it can also chug through a lake at 7 knots.

Yes, it floats. Cool Am­phibi­ous Man­u­fac­tur­ers In­ter­na­tional of Ridgeland, S.C., cre­ated the am­phibi­ous RV about a decade ago but is still look­ing for sales.

Owner John Gil­jam said he has had some in­ter­est from po­ten­tial buy­ers now that the econ­omy is strong. At $850,000 for a Terra Wind, buy­ers haven’t ex­actly lined up.

How did he come up with a RV that’s at home on land or wa­ter? “Our busi­ness is am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cles,” Gil­jam said. “I wanted to build an RV as well, so I thought, why not make it float?”

In some ways, it’s a typ­i­cal RV with com­fort­able furnishings, a mod­ern kitchen and washer and dryer. But its marine her­itage is om­nipresent, from the heavy­weight, mil­i­tary-grade alu­minum hull be­low the wa­ter line to its high-end fiber­glass shell above deck and the pol­ished teak cab­i­netry in the in­te­rior.

The 32,000-pound be­he­moth, fully loaded, shifts its power from the wheels to a pair of 19-inch bronze pro­pel­lers when it takes to wa­ter. The Terra Wind is meant for fresh wa­ter — quiet lakes and streams — not the ocean. For ex­tra sta­bil­ity, there’s a pair of pon­toons on ei­ther side.


The Terra Wind am­phibi­ous mo­tor home costs about $850,000.

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