Earthcruiser-Brisbane show-anyone have a good look??

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 15:23
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Been watching the website for a while now and wondered if anyone had some comments after seeing in the flesh at Caravan show??

Can't see the price on the website anymore.....I love the idea but wonder how pokey it would be inside day after day (wet weather). No aircon for when plugged in, unisolar panels, water capacity a little light, questionable durability of mitsi trucks from around the traps... probably all I can think of against it. Looks and sounds well done with lots of thought and good materials gone in. The fact you can fit it in a container and explore other countries is something not many vehicles out there can dream of-not with a shower toilet etc!

Has to be better than paying similar for a 20 year old OKA?

I think a Cruiser/Off road van is still the most versatile option but this is a whole different way of travelling with potential to explore just about anywhere in Australia and beyond.

Interested to hear from anyone who had a good look.


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Reply By: austastar - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 17:45

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 17:45
I think that is the vehicle Dick Smith & Mrs are touring around the world in.
I know they had some troubles with it. (solved by throwing $ at the problem, but if you can, well why not).
AnswerID: 369939

Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 17:48

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 17:48
Believe they had a slide on on an F4/550???. F truck of some size anyways-fairly different to the Earthcruiser

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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:10

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:10
Dick Smiths Vehicle is a Ford F series and is called an EARTHROAMER XV-LT

Pictured and an article on page 76 of issue 124 of Caravan and Motorhome

Must have weak rear bumper supports by the number of times he had it welded. LOL

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Reply By: JimDi - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 19:29

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 19:29
Had a look at the Brisbane show, "Pokey" is my opinion. I know its horses for courses but our interest was aroused by a newspaper article. We were just not impressed is the best I can say.
AnswerID: 369970

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 22:08

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 22:08
A Cruiser & an offroad van is certainly not the most versitile for touring Oz as that combo restricts access to some of the best remote areas. The Earthcruiser fills that gap allowing you to go almost anywhere for extended periods with a considerable amount of comfort. I see it better to compromise a little on space than tow a thumping big van that stops you going where you want.
Look forward to seeing it myself as it's a concept worth exploring in the future.
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 370008

Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 23:25

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 23:25

You seem to forget that you can disconnect the van from the car :-)) The Earthcruiser might be capable as a motorhome but compared to a Cruiser/Patrol would be much less capable. A tent for afew weeks here or there isn't too hard to hack....

When its pouring rain for a week solid, or 45 degrees and you want somewhere to escape, the big comfy van with aircon etc will look like a palace in comparison.

Totally depends on your type of travel-and duration. Away for 3 months at a time, definately the little motorhome. 1,2...10 years out on the road I'm doubting it won't loose its charm. Honestly, I'm trying to convince myself otherwise!!!! - but I doubt it.

Once you've got used to having 3 odd tonnes of van hanging off the back it really isn't to restrictive-height usually the biggest issue. So many places can be gotten at least close to and explored further with the van parked up.

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Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 14:48

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 14:48
It's easy to say just drop the van off but in reality it's often far harder. Many travellers I ask "Did you stop here or there?" said they couldn't get in with the van & was too much trouble for the short run to the beach or waterfall as had nowhere to leave it that was secure.
Either way you compromise on space if you want offroad ability or comfort for the period you tent it.
Those living on the road just need to decide how far offroad is enough to see what they want remembering a large proportion of the great attractions are out of the way.
Cheers Craig.........
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Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 17:51

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 17:51

Point taken Craig, can't deny I'd never driven past something for that exact reason...

The other side of the argument is- I probably wouldn't have spent as long out on the road, nor have plans to go back if it weren't for the comfort a larger rig gives...forget about me, when there is a female along with you they are likely to miss the comforts long before yourself.

I'm doing a pretty good job of talking myself out of this idea,

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Follow Up By: RovingOz (QLD) - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 18:21

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 18:21
Hey Matt
We had a quick look at it and the concept is very tempting but I straight away thought about the maintenance on something like that and changing one of those tyres would be fun.

Then you've got the age old motorhome problem of needing another set of wheels to shoot into town to get more chocolate to keep the dragon happy. :)

It's a good looking well thought out unit. It would be a little cramped after a while with that bed but fantastic vehicle for an expedition.

Need to win lotto so we can have both. :)

What sort of price are they asking, do you know? When we were there the rep was attending to another customer.

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Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 20:05

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 20:05
G'day there!

Should have thought to ask you guys.

36 inch tyres might be a handfull but I used to have no trouble with 35s on the troopy, hardest part being getting the things on and off the carrier-Earthcruiser has a lowering system which I presume could lift aswell.

No doubt about the standard motorhome issues.....though ducking into town with a vehicle this small wouldn't be much of a headache.

Sounds like you thought it a little pokey too though, bum.

Just reading on another message board re the $$ Seems the price I'd seen on the website a while ago (a little over 100k) was for camper only. Closer to 177k all up-takes a bit of shine off the idea thats for sure!

Definately have to check one out before I'll get the idea out of my head.


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Reply By: Member - Ian M (QLD) - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 22:12

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 22:12
I had a petty good look a the show ... as set up it was pushing $200k - a lot of bickies but a nice unit for what it is intended for.

But then take a Bushtracker (or similar high quaity off road van) and an appropriate tow vehicle and you are probably higher $ still.
Bushtacker is bigger and "better equipped" but unless you are spending a lot of time doing the curcuit there could be an argument for the "all terrain". And then there is the argument for a decent off road camper like a TVan.

Cape York, Simpson etc - "All Terrain" I would say wins. But it IS a truck - from what I can see drum brakes and no airbags, and even with a modded suspension it is still truck.

IF I was interested I would be cautious about paying $ even as progress payments to a couple of guys who are just kicking off. Unless you are careful you run the risk if it is 90% complete and 90% paid for- they go down the gurgler and you lose it all!

Also had a look at Seemed a more substantial organisation but the unit didn't seem to be as well thought out. The one they had at the show with a similar concept was $190K!

Lot of $ but nice dreaming!


AnswerID: 370210

Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 22:22

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 22:22
Thanks Ian,

200k is alot of cash.....

I'm not sure of Bushtracker's current pricing but unless they've gone up alot again since last time I checked, there'd be plenty of change left over from your 200k even including a brand new Cruiser kitted out for life on the road...


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Follow Up By: Member - Ian M (QLD) - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 22:57

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 22:57
Even an 18' Bushtracker (with more equipment that the Earth Cruiser) is well over $100k (four solar panels, four batteries, TV, 80l potable, 320 litres non potable, 190l fridge etc etc) so there is not a huge amount of difference with a LC TD to tow. Others disagree but I reckon 18 or 19' BT is the limit for a Cruiser or similar. The tare is 2700Kg - add water 400Kg, and other supplies and 3500Kg isn't far away. Bigger van needs something like an F250!

More BTs around second hand now but still holding their price. I think I saw an 18' last week for $80k and it was four years old.

The saving grace of the BT is the resale - I would say the guy asking 80K would not have paid much more so it is cheap for four years of touring.

FollowupID: 637526

Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 23:42

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 23:42

Those figures do surprise me.

We actually only sold our Bushtracker about a year ago. Ours sold for more than we paid new in fact (paid its rego/insurance and fuel to tow it!)- though I have my doubts as to whether people paying over 100k now will be doing the same in afew years time when they sell.

If I was going out to buy tommorow I think I'd still buy the same van and maybe ute or late 100 series....I just love the Earthcruiser idea for the extra freedom it gives. I can imagine being on the cape for months at a time, taking alot longer to do desert crossings, not rushing back to the comfort of the van....BUT not for long times out on the road and not for 200k.

Our 18 ft BT had a tare of a little over 2300kgs...2700 sounds like a heavily optioned 21?? What size van did you see that figure?

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Follow Up By: Member - Ian M (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 08:12

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 08:12
Seems like we are on the same page!

The tare weight is our 18' BT (2675 actually with sat TV). It is nearly two years old and cost just on 100k then. My circumstances have changed and I can't spent the long times on the road I was expecting when we bought it - so I am looking for an alternative that is perfect for say a month at a time, two or three times a year. I agree in the current times it would be difficult to sell it for its cost but even so the net cost is not bad, and I doubt it would be beaten by any other van.

Exactly like you say - the Earthcruiser or All Terrain Warrior look like good concepts but 200k is a big ask. And I just can't put aside they are truck based - and we still do a lot of ks on bitumen or good gravel getting to the "good spots." Yeah - I know I'm getting soft!

Before the BT we had a TVan - it was great but we (she!) wanted more comfort for the then expected longer trips. (Sold that for about 2k less than it cost!) Alternatives like Kimberley Karavans (80k+) and the Track Topaz (65k+) are big dollars for what they are - and they still have the restrictions that towing brings. My feeling is I would rather stay with the BT than tow something else.

I believe that if you select the right product and look after it then the cost of ownership shouldn't be too high - borne out by the TVan and your example with BT. BUT the Earth cruiser is an unknown quantity when it comes to resale and I come back (once again) to the Canter as a base. Drum brakes, no syncro on first, no airbags etc etc... Will a base vehicle come along next year that leaves the Canter for dead and therefore kills the resale of the current version of the Earthcruiser?

Interested to know why you sold your BT?

FollowupID: 637557

Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:43

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:43

There you go!

I think the BT for a month at a time might be alot more luxury and space than needed, but if you don't mind towing the thing, why not? We lived in our for several years and loved it. Personally I'd be happy in a much smaller/lighter outfit if it was only going to be a month at a time.....Earthcruiser might be okay but unless you can see yourself going regularly to REALLY out of the way places, probably an overkill. Especially at those $$

Would a well made "rough road" capable motorhome fit (if something like that even exists...)

We had a camper before the BT also, "Dingo", very basic but very cheap-lost about $2k on that over 3 years. Totally agree about the cost of these things, when broken down, can be very cheap if you pick the right one.

Camper trailers like ours was (soft floor/walls roof) get old real fast and if I was going to have another it would probably be an "ultimate" . In fact we seriously considered an Ultimate instead of the BT.... I would say that if I had nothing more than 1 month trips planned, a camper like the Ultimate would suit me perfectly. With the odd night in a motel or cabin to keep "everyone" happy I'd have thought that'd be quite tolerable. Everyones different though and I'm probably kidding myself as once you've had the luxury of something like the BT you get to soft for anything else!

I wouldn't even consider the Earthcruiser for a year or so. Let them get established and fine tune it. Talk to some owners after them having driven them over thousands of k's of corrugations, then I'd be interested. Of course someone has to be the guinea pigs, just rather not me, and I'm in no rush. No doubt it is a truck, you want it to be (everything less breakable you'd hope), just your arse and spine don't want it to be on rough roads...

The truck thats under the Earthcruiser is a fairly new release, so it would be current for a while yet. All motorhomes would have the same problem though with the base vehicle getting outdated before the accomodation part I suppose. I'm not certain but I don't think motorhomes enjoy the resale of caravans- I suppose caravanners make up for that with the loss on tow vehicles. Any way I went I'd stick with it for say 10 years anyway so broken down over the years, the depreciation wouldn't be to painfull.

I think you should just keep your van, and change it from 1 month trips to 3 :-)

I don't know why we sold ours!! Kidding-we are settled down and working for afew years and the van would have just lost value and been wasted sitting around waiting for us to go again. Quite likely we'll order another almost identical in afew years time and live on the road again. In the mean time I still like reading about whats around as when it's to be your home for long periods you have to get it right-or loose big $ changing rigs.

Thanks for the chat,


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Follow Up By: TroopyTracker - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:46

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:46

The penny just dropped, know you by different screenname on BT forum!

Cyou round

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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:57

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:57
I think the EarthCruiser's main attraction is that it can fit into a standard shipping container.

If dollars were no object, that's the sort of vehicle to take overseas.

As far as a BT goes, mine is due in September and, without going into specifics, they know how to charge !!

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 17:08

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 17:08
Everything is a compromise.
It just depends on which ones you make. We are better equipped than most of these and go anywhere they can too and with greater comfort, I reckon.
My compromise was that I had to build ours to get it.
Now we have it, I would not swap it for ANYTHING else that we have seen so far.

OKA16 Motorhome
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