A challenge was brought forth within the parent company that owns Sportsmobile West in Fresno, California, a company well known for its four-wheel-drive vans built for off-road adventure with RV amenities inside. The challenge: to engineer and design an all-terrain vehicle, that would be a totally self-contained domicile on wheels; that can go anywhere in any kind of climate and sustain stand-alone RV-style camping where all of the creature comforts would be available, be it in the jungles of Peru, Africa's savannah, Uzbekistan, or Siberia. It was to be a vehicle that would support the user wherever he elect to go. All Terrain Warriors USA, a newly formed division of Sportsmobile West's parent company, stepped up to the plate and answered the call. The list of challenges they would address during the design and engineering phases of this project involved several key line items.
Each unit had to be built so it was homologated (meets all of the licensing and emissions requirements of the country where it would be registered and licensed). For example, Chilean registered vehicle have different requirements than those mandated by Germany; the United States is different from the many different countries in the Far East, while each country in Central and South America has unique standards. A chassis manufacturer had to be brought on board that could make this happen.
The unit had to be able to sustain long periods of stand-alone use and be able to navigate for days on end. There had to be a way to work around being stranded, should the diesel fuel stop, or happened to be contaminated. A key challenge was that the unit needed to have the capability of turning questionable water sources into potable water and do so in huge quantities. The chassis needed to be a worldwide brand, internationally serviceable, and was powered by a factory 4x4 diesel.
Residential appliances needed to use diesel as their fuel source (heating, hot water, cooktop), and the HVAC systems had to accommodate hot, muggy jungle climates as well as the challenges faced when roving the tundra in December. The cabin and chassis were required to articulate independently from one another for future rock-crawling versions of the vehicle. Security during travel and while camped at night was also an item to be addressed.
Another challenge was to build this vehicle as a hard-sided unit, which could fit in a cargo container, allowing shipping worldwide. Under-the-chassis clearance for all-terrain travel was an obvious essential. The completed unit had to have a base MSRP within the grasp of most folks who want a vehicle that can yield extreme adventure travel. All Terrain Warriors USA successfully achieved all of these points with the all-new Bravo model.
Mitsubishi's Fuso became the chassis of choice for the vehicle that All Terrain Warriors rolled out as the Bravo. This chassis is a raised-rail, world-marketed truck chassis that meets the round-the-world service/maintenance requirement the company was after. Its GVWR is rated at 14,050 pounds, and with the dry weight of the first concept Bravo completed tipping the scales at 7900 pounds, this means a total cargo payload capacity for fuel, water, and gear of 6150 pounds.
The factory 3.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel delivers 161 hp at 3500 rpm and yields 295 lb-ft of torque at 1600 rpm. The Fuso chassis' GCWR is rated at 21,765 pounds, which means it can tow 7715 pounds above and beyond the GVWR. Equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, this Fuso chassis comes equipped with a high range exhaust brake, and factory 4WD that features outside front locking hubs that when locked permit the vehicle to reach and sustain highway speeds of 55 mph without unlocking them. For those units that are shipped to countries that permit them, a low/high range transfer case is also available. As this goes to press, Mitsubishi Japan is shipping a Fuso chassis, one that meets the requirements of Chile, to Fresno. There, the company will add the residential/living appointments before the unit is shipped south.
All Terrain Warriors USA teamed up with All Terrain Warriors of Australia, where the suspension and single rear wheels measure 35.4 inches tall and are rated at 6395 pounds at 110 psi. As explained to us, removing the dual real wheels and replacing them with larger single rear wheels permits the front and rear wheels to follow an identical track, which means less plowing (because there are no differences between the front and the rear wheel tracks), and it removes the possibility of having a rock blow out one or both of the dual rear tires. The strength and efficacy of these replacement tires on the front and the rear is hugely important to All Terrain Warriors USA. This change in tire configuration doesn't compromise the Fuso chassis warranty, nor does the replacement suspension that Australian All Terrain Warriors developed for this Fuso chassis compromise the Fuso warranty.
The integrity of the 33-gallon factory fuel tank has not been compromised. Instead, a 30-gallon auxiliary diesel fuel tank has been added mid-center, underneath the chassis. The aux tank becomes the fuel source for everything except the factory diesel truck engine. If fuel is needed to operate the truck engine, an electric transfer pump and a handheld nozzle delivers pumped fuel from the aux tank to the fill cap of the main truck chassis tank. This aux fuel source can also be use to refuel other diesel-powered vehicles such as trucks. With an estimated fuel economy of 13 to 15 mpg, the Bravo has a range of about 900 miles.
The water purification system is manufactured by 3M and was designed specifically for recreational vehicles. The system on the All Terrain Warriors Bravo works like this: You can fill the holding tank using city water, but when city water isn't available, you can tap into most water sources like a lake or stream. The end of the filler hose is dropped in the water source, and the electric pump sucks at 3 gpm, which means that the 80-gallon freshwater tank can be filled in under a half an hour. The intake water is first passed through a chlorine source before it enters the freshwater holding tank. The chlorine prevents bacteria and algae from growing. Should you want to wash the exterior of the coach or anything else on the outside, the high-pressure pump delivers water at 40 psi through a nozzle. When you want potable water, chlorinated water is drawn from the holding tank and passed through a three-stage micro membrane filter and then delivered to the freshwater system inside the unit including the hot/cold outside shower.
For the cabin, the company adds solid walls with windows; even with windows, the unit is impenetrable when travel ready. To use the living quarters, latches are unlocked at each corner of the cabin and at the touch of two switches (one delivers electrical power to motors at the front of the cabin to raise it and motors to raise the rear), the roof is raised to an interior height of 6 feet, 3 inches, plenty for most individuals to move around inside without any problems. The concept unit featured 8 panels of aluminum stud-covered fiberglass. However, the production model (they just went into production in August 2013) will instead feature two molded fiberglass halves, an upper half and a lower half. With the roof lowered, it's impossible to break through the windows to get inside, because behind the windows is another fiberglass wall, a security feature that means you can leave your valuables stowed inside and go off to explore. It also means the unit can be shipped around the world with your gear stowed inside the cabin where it is secure. With the roof raised for use, the windows also raise and are out of reach or view by those walking past.
With the roof raised, there is a front porch, and there's a staircase that pulls out from the side of coach leads up to the porch and is attached. To complete camp setup from the porch, the top half of the cabin is pushed aft to create the full interior living quarters. A crank-out awning can be extended over the porch, railing installed, and a removable table placed for use on the porch area. Dutch doors lead inside. The porch is a great spot to take off hiking or ski boots before going inside.
The living quarters include a full galley with a hot- and cold-running-water galley sink, microwave oven, cooktop, refrigerator, dinette (which can be made into a bed), and a queen size bed at the rear of the cabin. A full bath with shower and a marine cassette style toilet are sequestered in their own private area. A variable speed Fantastic Fan quickly ventilates the inside of the cabin, and windows that open and close let you tailor the direction from which the cool outside air can be drawn. A 26-inch flat-screen television is an option.
For primitive camping without sacrificing creature comforts, a 4-kW diesel generator can power everything onboard including the 12,000-BTU air conditioner that's mounted in the unit's basement. A 2000-watt inverter powers everything else that's 110-volt, from the two house batteries. The chassis features a single battery, but an optional battery can be added. Another option available is a 150-psi air compressor. A basement-located freezer is also an option. Six exterior storage bays yield 24 cubic feet of cargo space. The production Bravo will feature coach-wide pass-through storage. The spare tire is mounted aft off the rear of the coach, which makes it always accessible.
The estimated MSRP of the Bravo model will be between $125,000 and $150,000, depending on options.