Two-story Commander 8x8 off-road motorhome ready to explore the globe
Last time we looked in at the SLRV Commander MAN 8x8 two-story motorhome, it was still in the garage being built. Not long after, the Australian-designed eight-wheeled travel lodge stepped out for its world debut, with SLRV making it the biggest part of a lineup otherwise comprising 4x4 expedition trucks. A marvel of modern engineering, the rolling off-grid explorer yacht already proved itself one of the coolest off-road expedition vehicles of the year, probably decade, and looking at its comfy two-floor interior only strengthens its case. The military-grade shell cracks open to reveal a luxurious duplex you could easily call home.
As tends to be the case with large expedition trucks, the Commander 8x8's interior is every bit as impressive as its exterior, albeit in a very different way – the soft, luxurious yang to the bold, powerful military-grade yin. The floor plan includes a fixed rear bedroom, where the two heads of the wandering household climb up into a raised bed. The focus of this particular motorhome is comfortably accommodating a full family of eight plus occasional guests, so the bed-filled transverse bedroom space is not as roomy or fancy a bedroom as could otherwise fit on the back of an eight-wheeled truck, but it's cozy and private and comes complete with a corner-mounted TV. SLRV also offers the bedroom in other configurations, including a roomier island bed layout.
The rest of the family sleeps upstairs, and in the case of the Commander 8x8 chassis #1 pictured, that space is laid out in dormitory style for six children, single beds running against three walls, a central aisle between them. Each bed has its own reading light, and the room includes an electric-lift TV on the end wall, storage below the strut-lift bed platforms, plenty of windows, and ducted air and heat. Depending on the age of the children, things could get rather loud for mom and dad directly below, but we suppose in other campers, the entire family would be scrunched together in much closer quarters. At least these parents can sneak away. The upstairs is accessed via a floating staircase, a much nicer solution than the ladders that typically provide upper-level RV access.
That's already well more sleeping space than the average motorhome, and there's still one more bed. A spare bed stores up above the dinette, dropping down electrically to provide two more sleeping berths for guests – lost and weary desert nomads in need of shelter, perhaps? The dinette underneath seats the entire family of eight and doubles as a living area lounge, complete with wall-mounted entertainment system.
The center of this particular floor plan is occupied by the aisle-spanning kitchen area, shower room and toilet room. The kitchen features a crisp, modern design with long rectangular countertops, a dual-burner cooktop, oven, microwave and under-counter side-by-side compressor refrigerators.
As a private custom build, the debut Commander 8x8 featured in all the photos didn't come with an attached spec sheet, and SLRV intends to tailor-fit each Commander 8x8 to its individual buyer, anyway. That starts with the choice of regular single-story floor plan with fixed roof or two-story model with full-length pop-up upstairs module. Both styles of motorhome box are built from infused composite fiberglass panels and secured to the chassis with a four-point torsion-free mounting system.
Buyers will be able to lay out their own floor plans before selecting from a full list of available equipment and accessories, starting with a borderline-self-sufficient high-capacity power system with Mastervolt lithium-ion battery bank and roof-mounted solar. The debut 8x8 has a 9.5-kVA alternator for charging the battery off the engine, a component SLRV calls a world first in an RV. A range of back-up generators, from small portable units to built-in diesel models, is also on offer. To simplify power needs, SLRV stresses the value of diesel appliances powered by the truck's fuel supply (up to 1,000 liters), everything from diesel cooktops, to water and room heaters, to ovens.
SLRV equips the Commander with a multi-tank 500- to 1,000-L water system that lets occupants select tanks individually during filling and usage. The system isolates the drinking water tank(s), ensuring that potable water remains separated from other tanks that may contain untreated water from natural sources like rivers and lakes (e.g. those feeding the shower or washing machine). SLRV can also add various purification systems and a mains water hookup with tank bypass.
Other available equipment includes outdoor kitchen hardware, indoor and outdoor entertainment systems, a car garage, and, likely, virtually anything that can be physically installed on a MAN TGS 8x8, so long as someone is willing to pay the bill. That rugged truck comes powered by a 473-hp 12.5-liter D26 six-cylinder diesel and 12-speed automatic transmission with manual override. It has four differential locks, a two-speed transfer case and planetary axles. SLRV adds on standard and optional equipment like a sturdy roof rack with access ladder, front and rear 30,000-lb winches, and a semi-automatic tire pressure regulation system.
SLRV didn't respond to our request for a full pricing sheet on the Commander 8x8 Two Story No. 1, so we'll just have to stick with the ~AU$1.5 million (approx. US$1.03 million) estimate that was previously reported in Australian media. If that doesn't scare you off completely, and you want a more specific number, we reckon you'll want to sit down and have a serious chat with SLRV about your ground-up Commander 8x8 design. Otherwise, you can pop into the photo gallery and enjoy the Commander 8x8 Two Story for the work of functional art it is. Or take a full 360-degree virtual interior tour.