Just when we think we’ve seen the biggest, baddest, most apocalypse-proof vehicle out there, like the Pure 5000 Zetros or this 4×4 military-style RV from Showhauler, someone else is there to take things to a whole new level.
One of the biggest, most expensive expedition vehicles to ever come out of Australia is currently under construction at SLRV’s workshop, a special order from a customer with a big family who wants to create possibly one of the most technologically advanced self-sufficient motorhomes in the world, capable of sleeping a family of eight and roving even the most remote deserts in Australia.
This beast of a camper van, dubbed the Commander 8×8, is built on a MAN 42T all-wheel drive truck base, the kind of truck you’d usually see only in the military or mines in the most remote areas of a country. Its 12.5L six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine can pump out 352 kW (472 bhp) of power with 2,300 Nm of torque and a 12-speed transmission capable of taking on even the most inhospitable road conditions. By its completion, SLRV estimates the truck will weigh around 20T, which is still less than half of what the MAN chassis is capable of carrying.
Onto the back of the truck, SLRV has placed an 8.5m long fiberglass body, taking the total length of the truck up to 10m by 4m high when in transit. This is because the second story appears by lifting the roof on actuators when stationary to create the upper level. A spare wheel carrier on the rear of the truck also doubles as a carrier for dirt bikes or other toys.
The SLRV Commander 8×8 is perhaps the first two-story expedition vehicle to ever be built, designed to sleep the family’s six kids upstairs while giving the parents space to sleep and relax downstairs as well as a living area.
Although the details are still scarce we do know that the upper level will consist of a “kids’ retreat” with six beds and a pop up TV, while the master bedroom downstairs will come with an ensuite.
There’s also a lounge/diner area which can seat eight to ten people and a galley kitchen where the family has doubled up on everything- two ovens, two fridges and double cooktops. A king size bed can also be lowered over the lounge area to create a guest room.
Of course, a two-story camper is going to need a monster amount of power, so SLRV has created possibly one of the biggest and most complex power systems ever seen in any overlanding vehicle.
The Commander 8×8’s roof will be covered in solar panels in a household-style set up which will feed the six 360Ah on-board leisure batteries, which can also be charged via a secondary alternator that operates at a staggering 8kVa. A 9kVa Honda petrol generator will also serve as a back up to power the truck’s four separate 12V, 24V, 48V and 240V systems. They’ve also revealed that the Mastervolt power system was wired into the Commander with an astonishing 8km of wiring- that’s 5 miles of cable!
SLRV has also stated they have plans to install multi-tank water systems, creek pumps and reverse osmosis filtration for when the family is off the grid for extended periods.
“This two storey beast will use some of the world’s latest innovations, to provide the owner with a fully equipped, self-sufficient, luxury mega machine,” the company boasted, adding that the Commander 8×8 will be “one of the biggest, most technically advanced expedition trucks to wander this planet”.
With bold claims like this you just know that final bill at the end of construction isn’t going to come cheap, with SLRV estimating the cost to come in at around $1M – $2M AUD ($670k – $1.35M USD).
We’ve certainly never seen something quite of this scale and expense being built for a family, and SLRV is sure to set the bar pretty high in the world of expedition vehicles once this behemoth is completed.
Source and image credits: SLRV