EarthRoamer builds Chevy Silverado into $1-million no-man's-land yacht
EarthRoamer has bulldozed fresh ground between its HD flagship and LTi "base" model to make room for the impressive new SX. The first Chevy-based all-world expedition RV in the Colorado builder's current lineup, the SX packs on a carbon fiber shell equipped like a mini luxury home. Combining incomparable levels of ruggedness and off-road capability with top-tier amenities like an 18-kWh battery-based off-grid electrical system, media room and two Cali king beds, the SX opens up new worlds of all-terrain exploration while letting its captain and co-captain(s) live like modern royals.
The new 34-foot (10.4-m) SX slots between the 29-foot (8.8-m) LTi and 35-foot (10.7-m) HD, but EarthRoamer pitches it more as a Chevy-based LTi alternative with a few extra luxuries and conveniences thrown in. The upgrading starts with the leap to the 6500 series HD chassis, from the 5500 Ford Super Duty underpinning the LTi. That burly Silverado brings along a 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 grinding out 350 hp and 700 lb-ft (949 Nm) of torque. It splits that torque to all four 43-in Goodyear tired beadlock wheels through an Allison six-speed automatic and Chevy 4WD.
EarthRoamer has never left well enough alone with its Ford F-Series chassis, and it has no intention of doing so with the Silverado. It starts its improvements with an air ride suspension with King off-road shocks for cushy comfort, at-camp leveling and the ability to raise and lower each wheel independently. The heavy-duty anti-sway bars lend on-road stability to the hulking, broad-sided adventure rig; an LED off-road lighting package blows up visibility and safety after the yellow-pink glow fades to black; and a pair of 16,500-lb (7,484 kg) front/rear winches are there to muscle the SX out of any trouble it might land in.
And that's all before EarthRoamer even gets started tackling its primary job description ...
EarthRoamer's now-standard vacuum-infused construction process sees the molded SX living module made via two carbon fiber skins bonded to a foam core. EarthRoamer says the resulting four-season monocoque body shell is lighter, stronger and better insulated than old-school constructions that still dominate RV and overland expedition vehicle design.
Inside the carbon monocoque, the SX carries a rear dinette/front bedroom floor plan laid out to sleep four people standard and six optionally. The rear dinette seats all six people on a wraparound sofa around the table, and buyers can choose whether it converts into a standard 72 x 84-in (183 x 213-cm) California king bed or an optional quartet of bunks. Pair either option with the two-person Cali king in the above-cab alcove and you get your total sleeping capacity.
The dinette also doubles as a media room for those who check the entertainment system option box. That package comes built around a 43-in fold-down TV over the dining table, supported by a Sonos surround sound system that includes a portable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Move speaker for indoor/outdoor sound. When not in use, the TV folds away neatly in the ceiling to clear views of the other widescreen: the large rear window behind the dinette. EarthRoamer also offers a 32-in tilt-mounted bedroom TV for owners who like to watch from the comfort of bed.
EarthRoamer wires the SX for stream/work-from-anywhere capabilities, making it the latest off-road RV to launch with integrated Starlink, the RV-friendly satellite internet now ready to be used while driving. For more basic terrestrial data needs, it also includes a 5G-ready cellular Wi-Fi router with wireless hot spot and roof-mounted antenna.
To make room for the different dinette layouts, EarthRoamer alters the galley size accordingly, and the base four-sleeper model features the longest galley. Regardless of size, the galley's standard specs include a dual-burner induction cooktop, 170-L DC electric stainless steel fridge, convection microwave, and a deep stainless steel sink served by a faucet with retractable sprayer. Standard quartz or granite countertops bring the space together. Options include a wine fridge, mounted Nespresso coffee machine, washer/dryer and auxiliary outdoor kitchen.
The SX steps up from the wet bathroom on the LTi to a full dry bathroom with separated toilet/sink and walk-in shower areas. The shower has a rainfall design with both a ceiling-mounted head and a removable wall-mounted wand. There's also a hot/cold outdoor shower.
All the SX's high-end appliances and electronics are of no use without power to run them so EarthRoamer builds up a state-of-the-art electrical system meant to operate fully off-grid without the need for so much as a backup generator. It all starts with an 18-kWh lithium-ion battery bank hooked up to 1,600 watts of rooftop solar. In the event that proves insufficient to keep the battery running, an auto-start system seamlessly switches on the truck engine for alternator charging. The alternator also charges the battery pack when driving from point to point, and there's a 30-A shore power hookup for days spent camping inside the grid.
The batteries deliver electricity with help from a 7,000-W inverter, ensuring there's both DC and AC power available. A slew of 120-V, 12-V and USB outlets throughout the interior ensure that occupants are able to plug in when and where they need, while a bedside induction tray makes overnight smartphone power-ups as simple as drop-and-sleep. A touchscreen control and monitoring system lets owners keep an eye on the electricals and other essential components.
The SX maintains a comfortable climate using a multi-unit system. In the summer, 19,500-BTU and 13,500-BTU ducted air conditioners cool the living area and bedroom, respectively. In colder weather, dual air heaters and a hydronic heat/hot water system take over. The SX carries 454 L of fresh water in an insulated and heated tank and includes a UV and particulate filtration system. Gray water stores away in a 208-L insulated holding tank, while two 19-L cassettes take care of black water.
EarthRoamer introduced the SX at SEMA 2022 earlier this month and offers it at a base price of US$995,000. It predicts the average build will end up between $1,050,000 and $1,100,000 after optional upgrades. With prices like $26,700 for the six-sleeper option, $14,000 for certain wood finish upgrades, $12,500 for the entertainment center and $6,400 for dishes, the company's estimate might be conservative. But once you're putting down close to a million bucks, what's an extra $100K or two in options? Besides, you're already keeping nearly $1 million in the bank by choosing the SX over the HD, which now starts at $1.9 million.