The Mitsubishi Fuso box truck is readily available for sale on the used market because they’re pumped out by the factory in a seemingly endless flood. You see these trucks delivering things every single day, often double parked, flashers on, driver without a care in the world. Where you don’t often see them is traipsing around the backcountry, in full expedition mode.
Enter the Earthcruiser. It laughs at your quaint notions of #vanlife.
For a mere $200,000, I mean, just peanuts really, Earthcruiser will convert a harmless 4×4 diesel-powered Mitsubishi Fuso into a go-anywhere overlanding machine. And it actually can go anywhere. It’s designed to fit in an ocean-going cargo container so it can be easily shipped around the globe. Really.
Earthcruiser replaces the cargo box of the Fuso with a fiberglass camper that houses a queen size bed, kitchen, sink, toilet, and shower. Best part: It’s all powered with solar. No propane. No noisy generator. (Wish the beast engine could be solar powered.) Most of the components are actually marine-based, a beautiful idea, because that means it’s a bit more capable of dealing with weather, and can be serviced pretty much anywhere in the world.
It’s self-sufficient in terms of water and power. Solar, obviously provides the juice, but it has on-board water filtration, too, so it can suck up water from a creek and store it in water tanks. Which means that if you’ve brought enough food, you can hang out in the backcountry for a real, real long time before needing to retreat to civilization.
On the engineering side, the camper isn’t bolted to the truck frame. Instead, it rides on a sophisticated system of springs, so that the weight of the camper won’t lift wheels off the ground as it shifts over uneven territory, nor will the camper jerk and creak as the chassis flexes. Pretty smart.
This is no ridiculous, gimmicky RV. Okay, it’s ridiculous. But it’s also a real-deal off-roader that can get you to some incredible places, then keep you all kinds of comfortable once you get there. While 4×4 Westfalias are awesome, I think I’ll take an Earthcruiser instead. More comfort, more self-sufficiency, more awesome. So long as someone else is buying.
“We’re not trying to build the biggest, baddest truck,” says owner Lance Gillies. “We’re just trying to go to those amazing, fabulous places, wherever they may be.”
Photo by Earthcruiser