Automotive

EarthRoamer XV-LTS expedition vehicle gets even meaner

EarthRoamer XV-LTS expedition ...
The XV-LTS comes standard in white, and other color options are available for extra cost
The XV-LTS comes standard in white, and other color options are available for extra cost
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EarthRoamer shows the 2017 XV-LTS at Overland Expo West 2017
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EarthRoamer shows the 2017 XV-LTS at Overland Expo West 2017
The big news is the new Ford F-550 Super Duty underneath, but the latest XV-LTS also gets a new front bumper design and redesigned fender flares
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The big news is the new Ford F-550 Super Duty underneath, but the latest XV-LTS also gets a new front bumper design and redesigned fender flares
The EarthRoamer XV-LTS is as big and burly as ever
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The EarthRoamer XV-LTS is as big and burly as ever
The swing-out exterior kitchen has become cleaner and more integrated since we looked at it in 2014
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The swing-out exterior kitchen has become cleaner and more integrated since we looked at it in 2014
The EarthRoamer XV-LTS at Overland Expo West featured a number of options, including the swing-out storage and rack
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The EarthRoamer XV-LTS at Overland Expo West featured a number of options, including the swing-out storage and rack
The XV-LTS comes standard in white, and other color options are available for extra cost
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The XV-LTS comes standard in white, and other color options are available for extra cost
The 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel gives the XV-LTS 330 hp and 750 lb-ft to work with
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The 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel gives the XV-LTS 330 hp and 750 lb-ft to work with
This XV-LTS features a Crew Cab
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This XV-LTS features a Crew Cab
EarthRoamer offers the Super Duty Lariat trim standard
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EarthRoamer offers the Super Duty Lariat trim standard
EarthRoamer offers the Super Duty Lariat trim standard
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EarthRoamer offers the Super Duty Lariat trim standard
EarthRoamer XV-LTS on display at Overland Expo West 2017
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EarthRoamer XV-LTS on display at Overland Expo West 2017
The available swing-out kitchen includes a grill, stove, sink and plenty of adjustable countertop space
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The available swing-out kitchen includes a grill, stove, sink and plenty of adjustable countertop space
A look inside the doorway of the EarthRoamer XV-LTS
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A look inside the doorway of the EarthRoamer XV-LTS
The XV-LTS comes standard with a single-burner induction cooktop and a dual-burner is available optionally (on some floor plans) 
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The XV-LTS comes standard with a single-burner induction cooktop and a dual-burner is available optionally (on some floor plans) 
Neatly stacked dishes 
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Neatly stacked dishes 
A convection microwave oven comes standard
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A convection microwave oven comes standard
A 12V compressor fridge/freezer is also standard 
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A 12V compressor fridge/freezer is also standard 
A slim wine bottle/glass cabinet is available optionally 
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A slim wine bottle/glass cabinet is available optionally 
The XV-LTS sleeps up to four on the permanent cab-over bed and convertible furniture 
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The XV-LTS sleeps up to four on the permanent cab-over bed and convertible furniture 
A look at the interior of the Overland Expo show XV-LTS
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A look at the interior of the Overland Expo show XV-LTS
EarthRoamer XV-LTS control panel
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EarthRoamer XV-LTS control panel
EarthRoamer has designed the XV-LTS to be an all-season machine
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EarthRoamer has designed the XV-LTS to be an all-season machine
EarthRoamer updates the XV-LTS for the 2017 model year
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EarthRoamer updates the XV-LTS for the 2017 model year
Inside the EarthRoamer XV-LTS
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Inside the EarthRoamer XV-LTS
With its standard 4WD system and EarthRoamer-spec air ride suspension system, the XV-LTS is designed to travel comfortably off-road as well as on
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With its standard 4WD system and EarthRoamer-spec air ride suspension system, the XV-LTS is designed to travel comfortably off-road as well as on
EarthRoamer offers a variety of wood finishes, real and synthetic leather upholstery, and trim options
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EarthRoamer offers a variety of wood finishes, real and synthetic leather upholstery, and trim options
2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS
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2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS
The XV-LTS comes standard with an electric awning and LED exterior lighting 
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The XV-LTS comes standard with an electric awning and LED exterior lighting 
With its 41-in military tires, the XV-LTS makes easy work of rugged terrain 
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With its 41-in military tires, the XV-LTS makes easy work of rugged terrain 
The 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS in its element
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The 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS in its element
2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS
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2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS
EarthRoamer XV-LTS with swing-out storage and outdoor kitchen
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EarthRoamer XV-LTS with swing-out storage and outdoor kitchen
The 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS in its element
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The 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS in its element
2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS
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2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS
Inside the EarthRoamer XV-LTS
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Inside the EarthRoamer XV-LTS
Exploring off-road tracks with the EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
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Exploring off-road tracks with the EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
Inside the 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
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Inside the 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
Inside the 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS
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Inside the 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS
2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
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2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
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2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
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2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
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2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
EarthRoamer XV-LTS interior with distressed knotty alder wood and brown upholstery
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EarthRoamer XV-LTS interior with distressed knotty alder wood and brown upholstery

When we looked at the 2014 EarthRoamer XV-LTS, the beastly hunk of off-road engineering offered one of the smoothest combinations of rugged-terrain capability and comfy living we'd ever seen on the US market. Three years later, the venerable Xpedition Vehicle has gotten even better thanks to a lighter, tougher Ford Super Duty chassis and a more robust list of standard equipment. The latest XV-LTS will get you farther off the grid than ever, sleeping you in style and comfort ... assuming you can manage a US$500K price tag.

Ford got the ball rolling on the latest EarthRoamer when it unveiled the 2017 F-Series Super Duty back in September 2015. As with the smaller F-150, it calls its newest Super Duty design its toughest and most capable ever, owing to an all-new high-strength steel frame, military-grade aluminum body, reinforced 4WD components, axles and suspension hardware, and more towing and hauling capacity. These changes make it both a more capable pickup truck and a more capable base for an expedition vehicle aimed directly at the roadless ends of the earth.

The big news is the new Ford F-550 Super Duty underneath, but the latest XV-LTS also gets a new front bumper design and redesigned fender flares
The big news is the new Ford F-550 Super Duty underneath, but the latest XV-LTS also gets a new front bumper design and redesigned fender flares

EarthRoamer began planting its one-piece molded composite living modules atop the new F-550 Super Duty cab chassis earlier this year, and we got an up-close look at its latest handiwork at Overland Expo West over the weekend. The updated XV-LTS flashes a meaner face, complementing the updated Super Duty front-end with a new ruggedized bumper design that includes a curved LED bar positioned right between the thick central bars of the new Super Duty grille. A 16,500-lb Warn winch is integrated into the front bumper below, and EarthRoamer has also added a new off-road lighting package and new hard-angled fender flares.

"We took cues from the angular look of the new Ford F-550 to inspire the design of our new front bumper and fender flares to create a cohesive look for the 2017 EarthRoamer," EarthRoamer president and COO Tyler Tatro said when introducing the new XV-LTS earlier this year.

The Super Duty base puts a standard 4WD powertrain underneath the XV-LTS, relying on Ford's 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine for up to 330 hp and 750 lb-ft of gear-hauling, rock climbing, dirt-kicking muscle. That engine is mated to a TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission, and EarthRoamer feeds it with a supplementary 50-gal (189L) diesel tank, upping total fuel capacity to 90 gallons (341L) for nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of potential range per fill-up (EarthRoamer estimates fuel economy at 9 to 11 mpg).

EarthRoamer equips each 29-foot-long (8.8-m-long) XV-LTS with an air ride suspension system standard, allowing independent height adjustment at each wheel. Adjustable King remote reservoir off-road shocks smoothen out Mother Earth's unevenness, and heavy-duty anti-sway bars improve stability on the long stretches of pavement that connect off-road tracks.

The 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS in its element
The 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS in its element

The 41-in Continental military-grade tires fit to beadlock wheels provide for a minimal ground clearance of 12.5 inches (up about 2 in over the 2014 model's minimum) and an approach/departure/break-over breakdown of 30/22/14 degrees. An onboard air compressor system adjusts tire pressure at will and can also power tools and fill up external inflatables.

Up above all that rugged and adjustable mechanical hardware, EarthRoamer builds its fiberglass-sandwich camper module out with an impressive list of standard and optional features. Buyers can choose from four different floor plans named after famous Colorado resort towns and cities, seating up to six and sleeping up to four on a combination of over-cab bed and convertible seating and seating.

Each floor plan includes a galley, taking care of cooking and food prep needs with a single-burner induction cooktop (dual-burners and diesel cooktops available optionally), stainless steel sink with electronic touch faucet, 8 cu ft (227L) 12V DC fridge/freezer and convection microwave. A Keurig coffeemaker and EarthRoamer-logo cookware and serving ware can be added optionally.

Inside the 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 
Inside the 2017 EarthRoamer XV-LTS 

The onboard wet bath has a shower, cassette toilet, sink, medicine cabinet mirror and fan.

EarthRoamer has been steadily increasing electrical capacity, and the XV-LTS now carries 1,200 watts worth of solar panels standard, storing energy in a 12 kWh AGM battery bank. That bank can also receive power from the truck's alternators during driving and as a backup at camp and the 30A shore power hookup. The 3,000W inverter supplies electricity to AC appliances like the air conditioner, microwave and induction stove.

EarthRoamer says that the system should offer enough power for most camping applications, assuming good judgment and a little common sense are used (turn things off when you're not using them), and in the event that campers need more power, they can always idle the engine periodically to charge the battery bank.

Campers that prefer being entertained by the sounds and views of nature will be happy to go au naturel on entertainment, but others can add entertainment options up to the full "ultimate entertainment package" with multi-position 32-in HD TV and Bose surround sound. Satellite TV, Internet connectivity, Sirius XM radio and Apple TV are also options. The 120V, 12V and 5V USB outlets let occupants plug in their devices, and a hidden biometric safe keeps valuables under lock.

Even when venturing through extreme heat or cold, the XV-LTS keeps occupants comfy, regulating interior temperature with a standard 7,000 BTU air conditioner and 13,600 BTU diesel air heater. Exhaust fans, screened windows and a remote-controlled screened roof hatch provide additional airflow. The onboard hydronic hot water system keeps the faucets running warm, while an 85-gal (322L) insulated fresh water tank supplies the flow.

The XV-LTS exterior comes standard with an electric awning with LED lighting and wind sensor, electric entry steps, exterior hot/cold shower and exterior-access storage. The available outdoor kitchen area on the exterior swing-out has evolved from what we were looking at three years ago. It still includes a grill and sink but the stove is more integrated and there's more fold-out prep space – a cleaner design all around.

The available swing-out kitchen includes a grill, stove, sink and plenty of adjustable countertop space
The available swing-out kitchen includes a grill, stove, sink and plenty of adjustable countertop space

Unfortunately, the outdoor tailgating entertainment system that was a prevalent option on the 2014 XV-LTS is no longer listed on EarthRoamer's options list, but judging by the amount of customization in the expedition vehicle industry, we're guessing EarthRoamer could still whip something up for an insistent customer willing to pay the right price.

Speaking of prices, the new XV-LTS and its much-upgraded standard equipment package starts well higher than it did last time we checked in, basing just under US$439,000. The truck comes in Ford's Lariat trim and can be ordered in either Super Cab or Crew Cab. A white exterior and clear-coat maple interior cabinetry are standard, but a number of colors, wood finishes and trim options are available at extra cost. The model we looked over at Overland Expo included enough options to raise the price up to $565K.

We're still waiting to see the XV-HD that EarthRoamer teased (to much dismay) in 2015, and EarthRoamer says it's still in the build, taking some time to get all the development and shaking down complete on the very first production model. Maybe next year.

Source: EarthRoamer

2 comments
Jonathan Colvin
That's a ridiculous price.
McDesign
I wonder if I could special-order more bolts on the wheels - it just seems . . . insufficient, as-is.