The name says it all. The EarthRoamer XV-LT is a go-anywhere, four-season 4WD motorhome that's equally comfortable in a luxury RV campground in Sarasota, Florida, as it is rockcrawling through the canyons around Moab, Utah. Engineers from the aerospace industry have created this RV, one of the most innovative and versatile vehicles ever built.
The platform of choice is the Ford F-550 cab chassis truck. This package is only offered with the 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel, a five-speed TorqShift automatic transmission, and a manual transfer case, but it represents a well-thought-out design that's unquestionably from the minds of engineers. The EarthRoamer XV-LT (the XV is short for Xpedition Vehicle) is available as a SuperCab or a crew cab, both with a GVWR of 17,950 pounds.
These aren't the Ford van chassis cabs mass-produced for the Classic motorhome market, with precut sections taken from the roof at the Ford factory. These are truck chassis. To avoid compromising the strength of the steel roof, EarthRoamer removes the rear window and cuts out a 19-inch-wide section that runs from the bottom of the window to where the truck bed would be (the chassis doesn't have a truck bed).
Immediately aft of the cab, a full-vehicle-width steel crossmember is installed on top of the longitudinal chassis ladder rails, with a steel pivot mount added to the center of a crossmember at the end of the ladder frame. This modification creates three mounting points where the single-piece molded fiberglass cabin is attached to the truck platform.
The camper body's a one-piece, molded-fiberglass structure handcrafted by EarthRoamer. Nine separate molds are used to create individual sections, the thickness of each depending on where they fit into the shell-construction pattern. The individual pieces are then fiberglassed together to make a single uninterrupted surface and shell structure.
Each of the nine pieces has its own mold, into which gelcoat is sprayed. Then fiberglass cloth and catalyzed resin (which serves as a chemical bonding agent) are layered in. Next, end-grain marine balsa is cut to fit each individual pattern being created. The balsa is set in place, layered with more fiberglass cloth and catalyzed resin. Once complete, the individual pieces are bonded together with fiberglass to form the monocoque camper body.