What, Exactly, Is an EarthCruiser?
We take a look at what makes these impressive camping rigs so desirable.
What is an EarthCruiser? It might sound like a generic term, but "EarthCruiser" isn't just one thing; it's a brand with an entire portfolio of purpose-built rigs designed to be the benchmark for overlanding. Each model is suited for those looking to raise their overlanding game incrementally, and is built by a company founded in Australia in 2008. It moved to Bend, Oregon, in 2013, where U.S.-market vehicles are manufactured. Despite the company's hop across the Pacific Ocean, Aussies and New Zealanders still get vehicles from EarthCruiser's Sydney-adjacent facility.
We picked out a couple of our favorite models, listed below, that show the breadth and capability of EarthCruiser's lineup, which ranges from plug-and-play truck-bed campers to purpose-built rigs that reach well into the realm of six-figure price tags. For more on EarthCruiser's history and its founder Lance Gillies, check out our feature here.
Perhaps no other vehicle answers the question, "What is an EarthCruiser?" better than the EXP. The EXP is EarthCruiser's flagship model and rides on a Fuso EC body-on-frame chassis. It's powered by a gasoline 6.0-liter Vortec V-8 engine with 297 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque. Power goes to the four-wheel-drive system via an Allison six-speed transmission with in-house programming from EarthCruiser. It rides on a fairly conventional suspension, but the beefy, full-floating DynaTrac Pro Series 80 axles, controlled by a Hero two-speed transfer case, ensure this is a seriously off-road capable vehicle.
Interior amenities include highlights like a full shower, an impressive kitchen, a full dedicated bed, as well as a second bed hidden in the swing-away dinette table. Storage space is vast thanks to clever packaging throughout. Pricing for the EXP starts at $370,000 and climbs from there, depending on which customizations buyers choose to outfit to their vehicle.
This model is made to fit a smaller Ford, Chevy, or Ram chassis. Earth Cruiser offers the EXD with diesel- or gasoline-powered versions in either standard or crew-cab configurations. The EXD is more than a camping unit installed on a pickup truck chassis, however. EarthCruiser also installs heavy-duty front bumpers and wheels, and revises the suspension system for comfort.
Each EXD comes with a standard kitchen complete with a sink. There are two freshwater tanks plus a gray-water tank to boot. Optional equipment includes an external hot- and cold-water shower, a water purification system, and a roof-fan system. EarthCruiser sells the EXD as a turnkey vehicle and asks $220,000 to start, with fully outfitted models stickering for $265,000.
What is an EarthCruiser if not customizable? Indeed, the MOD variant is the company's most personalizable offering. It has a variety of Personal Accessory Kits (or PAK, in EarthCruiser speak) customers can choose to add or delete from their camper, which starts at just $22,000. The base configuration includes a cab-over bed, storage in the corner of the unit, and a power system for the overhead lights and 12-volt accessories. PAK options include small or large seat boxes, a sink system, a storage cabinet, a counter extension, a toilet cabinet, and a cooler cabinet. The MOD camper comes in narrow MOD 300 and wide MOD 400 versions. If you want to get in on the EarthCruiser lifestyle on a budget, this is the route.
EarthCruiser EC Terranova
The latest addition to the brand's lineup is the Terranova, an EarthCruiser based on 2020 and 2021 Ford, GM, and Ram 1-ton trucks. EarthCruiser's pickup truck-connected unit adds sleeping quarters and other amenities to make life easier on the trail, with features like a kitchen sink, a small bathroom, and a ventilation fan. Want one? Expect one of these offerings to set you back a quarter of a million dollars.
If you want an EarthCruiser and live in the U.S., Australia, or New Zealand, you're in luck. Otherwise, the company so far doesn't sell models to the rest of the world. In a year that's made us want to escape more than ever, EarthCruiser's lineup couldn't look more compelling. Perhaps the best answer to the question, "What is an EarthCruiser?" is simply, "Nothing but a good time."
Our Favorite EarthCruiser USA Models
- EXP, $370,000 (base price)
- EXD, $220,000
- MOD 300 & 400, $22,000
- EC Terranova, $250,000