In a world gripped by the Coronavirus pandemic, Australians are re-embracing the classic road-trip holiday as they look to explore domestic destinations in lieu of overseas holidays.
And this monster motorhome could be the ultimate choice for a road-trip of a lifetime.
The Australian-made Earthcruiser Explorer XPR, based upon the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U430, is converted into a comprehensive off-road motorhome by a small team of skilled craftspeople on the south coast of New South Wales.
Measuring in at either 4.4 or 3.8 metres, the Earthcruiser XPR is able to be driven on a medium-rigid truck license and has room for up to five on-board.
Power comes from a 7.7-litre turbo diesel engine, compliant to Euro 6 emissions standards and outputting 220kW and 1200Nm. And with 800 litres of fuel capacity, the Earthcruiser XPR has a range of 3500 kilometres between refills. That’s enough to comfortably make it from Melbourne to Cairns with over five hundred kilometres of range left over.
Water capacity is also huge: up to 860 litres.
Effectively a small luxury apartment on wheels, the Earthcruiser has a dizzying amount of built-in features for life on the road: there is a 212 litre upright fridge inside, and a 68-litre ‘locker fridge’ accessible from outside.
There are indoor and outdoor kitchens, a 2.5-kg washing machine, air conditioning, 700-watt microwave and levelling jacks at each corner.
Buyers also get a 400 amp hour, 24-volt lithium battery, powering the heating, cooling, lighting and cooking, with the ability to fit up to 945 watts of solar panels on the roof for off-grid power.
Like any Unimog, the Earthcruiser XPR is well suited to off-roading. Featuring an eight-speed automated manual transmission, integrated low-range transfer case, triple diff locks and a flexible chassis, the Unimog has off-road credentials and pedigree enough to make a LandCruiser quake in its boots.
While there is a more off-road focused variant of the Unimog, huge 48-inch tyres and portal axles gives the U430 Unimog plenty of off-road ability and clearance.
And if you have aspirations to one day take your Earthcruiser overseas on a round-the-world journey, Mercedes’ unique ‘Variopilot’ system allows the steering to be converted between left and right-hand drive in under 30 seconds.
This is the biggest variant of Earthcruiser's range of off-road motorhomes, with the smaller six-tonne EXP range using Iveco Daily, Mitsubishi Canter and other light trucks as base.
Earthcruiser has also developed smaller models for single-cab 79 Series LandCruisers, as well as a slide-on camper for single cab and extra cab four-wheel drive utes.
How much? Prices for the Earthcruiser vary, because they are built to order and contain so many different options and specifications to choose from. However, if you need a ballpark figure to start saving for, kick things off at $600,000.
However, the XPR pictured in this story is priced closer to $720,000.