Automotive

Incredible two-story 8x8 off-road motorhome sleeps 10 people

Incredible two-story 8x8 off-r...
SLRV puts the lift system to the test
SLRV puts the lift system to the test
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SLRV builds the smaller Commander 4x4 on a MAN chassis
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SLRV builds the smaller Commander 4x4 on a MAN chassis
We're thinking the Command 8x8's two-story lifting design might get in the way, but one of the options it offers is a large opening "balcony" window
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We're thinking the Command 8x8's two-story lifting design might get in the way, but one of the options it offers is a large opening "balcony" window
When you're dealing with a smaller motorhome on four wheels, you may have to rely on a lift-away bed, but when you have eight wheels and a second story, you have more options for berths
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When you're dealing with a smaller motorhome on four wheels, you may have to rely on a lift-away bed, but when you have eight wheels and a second story, you have more options for berths
Inside the Commander 4x4 bathroom
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Inside the Commander 4x4 bathroom
Inside the Commander 4x4
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Inside the Commander 4x4
SLRV gets the massive chassis for its monster build
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SLRV gets the massive chassis for its monster build
As we've seen a few times in the past, MAN 8x8 vehicles make the star of some truly special globe-traveling vehicles
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As we've seen a few times in the past, MAN 8x8 vehicles make the star of some truly special globe-traveling vehicles
A peek inside SLRV's shop, showing two very different Commander vehicles in the works
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A peek inside SLRV's shop, showing two very different Commander vehicles in the works
SLRV said in a Facebook Q&A that the Commander 8x8 will maintain articulation between cab and chassis
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SLRV said in a Facebook Q&A that the Commander 8x8 will maintain articulation between cab and chassis
Assembling the Commander 8x8 body
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Assembling the Commander 8x8 body
The upper level drops down for more compact driving
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The upper level drops down for more compact driving
SLRV puts the lift system to the test
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SLRV puts the lift system to the test
SLRV prepares off-grid power systems, and the Commander 8x8's promises to be something truly capable, complete with solar power and a generator
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SLRV prepares off-grid power systems, and the Commander 8x8's promises to be something truly capable, complete with solar power and a generator
Unicat's five-axle off-road support rig combo
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Unicat's five-axle off-road support rig combo
Action Mobil Desert Challenger
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Action Mobil Desert Challenger
Commander 8x8 rendering
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Commander 8x8 rendering

Australia already builds many of the most impressive off-road camper trailers and caravans in the world, including the Bruder EXP-6 GT and Patriot X1-N. Now we can add one of the world's most impressive off-road expedition vehicles to the country’s bragging rights. In construction over at SLRV Expedition Vehicles, this massive two-story 8x8 motorhome will roam the Earth as a go-anywhere, apocalypse-grade travel lodge and veritable fallout shelter. It’s definitely in the conversation of most awesome expedition vehicles in the world.

SLRV builds its expedition vehicles on a variety of trucks, and when you look at its primary lineup, they all have one thing in common: 4x4. That said, a shop that fancies itself the leading builder of MAN-based expedition vehicles in Oz doesn’t shy away from the chance to build a custom MAN 8x8-based motorhome to fit a family of eight, even when it comes to the realization that it’ll be “one of the most technically advanced” builds ever attempted.

Called the Commander 8x8, the beastly exploration machine is the type of build for which you usually have to go to Europe. Specifically, you’d be browsing the work of Germany’s Unicat, Austria’s Action Mobil, Holland’s Bliss Mobil and a select few other shops that’ll turn a huge six- or eight-wheeled work/military truck into one of the most capable, expensive motorhomes money can buy. As it happens, the Commander 8x8 is the most expensive motorhome build to ever come out of Australia, falling somewhere between AU$1 million and $2 million (US$670,000 and $1.35 million), according to camper sales and news source Caravancampingsales.com.au.

As we've seen a few times in the past, MAN 8x8 vehicles make the star of some truly special globe-traveling vehicles
As we've seen a few times in the past, MAN 8x8 vehicles make the star of some truly special globe-traveling vehicles

SLRV took delivery of the MAN base chassis back in May and has been hard at work ever since. In the latest update it released to thirsty social media followers, it showed the full-length second story popped up via the actuator system, a big milestone of the build.

Level #2 is designed to accommodate the buyer’s six children, a sort of kid’s loft bedroom that leaves the parents sleeping peacefully in the downstairs master. Years down the line, when the rolling nest empties, the two parents will be able to travel and live without having to lift the top up because the downstairs also houses a large kitchen and lounge area sized for eight to 10 people. There’s even an electric lift-away spare bed for when the family has a couple guests over.

SLRV prepares off-grid power systems, and the Commander 8x8's promises to be something truly capable, complete with solar power and a generator
SLRV prepares off-grid power systems, and the Commander 8x8's promises to be something truly capable, complete with solar power and a generator

Off-grid power is virtually a necessity with such a large, equipment-dependent expedition vehicle, and SLRV promises a self-sufficient power supply combining a battery pack, solar panels, diesel-operated components, alternator-based charging and generator, along with 12V, 24V, 48V, 240V and three-phase hardware. No wonder they need 8 km (5 mi) of wire!

For its other builds, SLRV relies on a combination of Mastervolt lithium batteries, full roof-mounted solar arrays capable of keeping the batteries running under normal circumstances, and backup generators ranging from small, portable Hondas to built-in diesel units. It further enhances self-sufficiency with carefully planned multi-tank water systems with available creek pumps and reverse osmosis filtration.

Action Mobil Desert Challenger
Action Mobil Desert Challenger

The largest, most advanced expedition vehicles we’ve seen previously were the Action Mobil Desert Challenger (above), another MAN 8x8 build with dual side slide-outs, Asian décor and a professional-grade kitchen complete with walk-in refrigerator, and the more recently detailed Unicat MAN 6x6-based service truck built for the Kazakhstan Raid Rally Team. As you can see in the photo below, the latter works its way into this eight-wheel conversation by pulling an equally rugged, custom-built dual-axle trailer for a total of five axles. Unicat has also built 8x8 off-road motorhomes, as we saw outside the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon.

Unicat's five-axle off-road support rig combo
Unicat's five-axle off-road support rig combo

SLRV has yet to detail the notebook worth of specs that are sure to come along with a build as large and ambitious as the Commander 8x8. We look forward to following the vehicle completion and comparing it to its European contemporaries when all those details are available.

In the meantime, we’ve included a few interior and exterior photos of SLRV’s smaller 4x4 models to highlight some of the features and equipment the company offers.

Source: SLRV via Caravancampingsales

2 comments
Quercus
Hardly a go "anywhere" vehicle in off-road terms, but impressive, nonetheless. However, the difficulty lies in having another more capable vehicle conveniently available to recover you from any situation when you do eventually find the limits. And, of course, if you never find the limits, you're not trying hard enough.... ;-))
PAV
I guess if you can afford this you can afford a driver, so the fact that the cab is separated in that instance may be desired.