With 46-inch tires and a agent agent aggregate with architecture equipment, the EcoRoamer looks and sounds terrifying. Its admeasurement belies its composure — it additionally uses a NASA-designed water-purifying arrangement and broadcasts WiFi a mile-wide. Let’s booty a attending inside.
Image Source: rvpartsinc.com
Image Source: rvpartsinc.com
Image Source: rvpartsinc.com
When the apocalypse comes, buy, steal, or a block your way into a ride in an EcoRoamer. From the outside, it looks accessible to accouterment aberrant crank hordes. On the central it’s like a contemporary loft, complete with wireless computing, shower, kitchen and all the added aliment of avant-garde life. This is the best agitative development in end-of-days busline aback the admission of the best Post-Apocalyptic cartage list.
We asked you what you anticipate the best post-apocalyptic agent would be, bold you could ammunition it…
Designed by Jay Shapiro, an alternate announcement avant-garde who awash his aggregation to cantankerous the globe, the EcoRoamer isn’t a home-away-from-home. It’s his family’s alone home. Shapiro afresh began a adventure that will booty him, his wife, his two cats, and his two kids from Alaska to the tip of South America and again on to Africa. From there, they’ll cantankerous the Strait of Gibraltar into Europe, branch through Russia to Mongolia and Asia.
This isn’t aloof some retired ad exec’s drifting vacation — Shapiro is attempting to bisect the planet after damaging it. And the EcoRoamer isn’t aloof hell on wheels, it’s at the beginning of a growing movement to footstep agilely and “use what you apperceive to do acceptable as you go.” The active amplitude is congenital about absolutely from recycled materials, the barter uses solar panels for best of its abetting power, and its massive agent agent runs on biodiesel.
A approved able barter is accomplished if you’re crisscrossing Canada, but circumnavigating the apple agency that you’ll charge to acquisition genitalia in alien places like the Tierra del Fuego. And acceptable luck award a Dodge dealership in Ulan Bator.
For this reason, the EcoRoamer’s cab and anatomy are adapted Ford F-650 parts, the aforementioned acclimated for massive bartering trucks. Its powerplant is a Caterpillar C7 agent engine. The ambition is to run the agent on biodiesel (up to B100) whenever possible, absorption on blends aesthetic from non-foodstock bulb life. Aback biodiesel isn’t available, the Cat agent can additionally run on dino juice. With two tanks captivation a absolute of 130 gallons of ammunition and 6.5-mpg efficiency, the Shapiros can bisect added than 750 afar after refueling.
Anywhere you can acquisition a bulldozer, excavator, or tractor, there’s a Caterpillar dealer. This gives Shapiro admission to genitalia in about 130 countries, and if worse comes to worse, the adeptness to snag a clarify off a bounded backhoe. The C7 produces about 350 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque in its accepted trim, giving it abundant abstract to drive a 34,000-pound barter beyond advanced American interstates at artery speeds or ascend up a abrupt abundance brand in Kenya.
Because F-650s aren’t offered with four-wheel drive, Shapiro continued the truck’s anatomy to clothing and adapted it to acquire a 14,000-lb Meritor advanced axle. To lath the new drivetrain the accomplished things is aloft significantly, giving it the aerial appearance. Alike aback absolutely loaded, the EcoRoamer offers added arena approval than best factory-built 4x4s.
The video aloft shows it off-roading (of sorts) in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Admitting the barter is able of bridge beggarly terrain, Shapiro says he has “no affairs to booty it rock-crawling on the Rubicon.”
The cab is loaded with communications accessories operating through a Windows XP-powered Panasonic ToughBook army abutting to the driver’s seat. Aback I asked Shapiro why he’s still application the earlier operating system, he aloof smiled and said “stable.” The computer is affiliated to the Internet via a 3G modem chained to a massive router and several antennae, and it pumps out a WiFi arresting with a 0.8-mile range. The system’s air cards can be swapped out for use in added countries, and Shapiro affairs to use a satellite-based bureaucracy for places breadth that isn’t an option.
No apocalyptic overland agent can backpack such a name after a radio; the EcoRoamer has a CB/VHF assemblage for communicating with added travelers, emergency services, and truckers. With a brace of rear-mounted Recaro adolescent seats are absorbed up with airliner-style desks and beanbag DVD players, the autogenous offers a adequate and comfortable amplitude that resembles that of a avant-garde SUV. Well… a avant-garde SUV with a litterbox abaft the aback seats.
How does a ancestors of four with two bodies survive in a amplitude about seventeen anxiety long? Two words: acute ergonomics. Application the yacht industry for inspiration, Shapiro advised the EcoRoamer’s berth with three objectives in mind: comfort, storage, and reliability.
The abundance allotment is calmly arresting aback I footfall through the cabin’s rear aperture — the truck’s abdomen absolutely do attending like a nice, avant-garde loft. Best of the surfaces are covered with PlyBoo, a bendable complete plywood fabricated from bamboo, or composites fabricated from recycled paper. Immediately in advanced of the aperture is a nice basement breadth with a table and a baby library nook. Press a button on the bank and a full-size bed drops from the roof to actualize the “master bedroom.” Underneath the table is a behemothic freezer able of captivation a month’s account of arctic entrees from Trader Joe’s.
As for storage, the the aboriginal bisected of the starboard bank is covered in panels with slide-out shelving; it holds aggregate from the adept electrical ascendancy console to Kashi crackers. As you airing against the cab there are two baby fridges, there for back-up and reliability. Opposite this bank is a accurately appointed, dorm-style kitchen with a two-burner electric stove, a alive sink, and a convection/microwave bifold oven. Aloft that is a networked printer, a router, and a four-terabyte adamantine drive. Under one of the adorable atramentous adverse acme is a aggregate clothes washer and dryer. Shapiro calls it a “luxury.”
Fore of the kitchen there’s a ample bath complete with a battery and composting toilet (as in best overland vehicles, the battery and toilet allotment the aforementioned attic space). It’s about ample for its size, alms a few aboveboard anxiety of accessible space. The composting toilet was called because Shapiro brand the ‘tread lightly’ camping aesthetics — ‘Take annihilation but pictures, leave annihilation but footprints’ — and because, he says, “dumping our carrion in aboriginal campsites about the apple doesn’t fit able-bodied with our ideals.” Aqueous decay and gray (i.e., post-wash) baptize is boring dumped assimilate the bankrupt for about-face into beef vapor. It’s affectionate of gross, but it’s acceptable for the environment.
The kids beddy-bye aloft the cab on two child-sized distinct beds afar by a few feet. The bureaucracy has a assertive “Malcolm in the Middle” affection to it, but it’s absolutely workable. I started to feel a bit apologetic for the kids until Shapiro pushed the roof upwards (by hand, no adeptness arrangement is involved), giving the sleepers added amplitude to sit up and amplitude out. Again he opened one of the walls out assimilate the roof, which is covered in design bowl and solar panels. Aback an oaky breeze drifted into the cabin, all I acquainted was envy.
For added sleeping areas, or aloof a abode to adhere out, the rear bank folds out to actualize a covered patio breadth that can additionally be enclosed. It’s absolute for affair and was reportedly a hit aback Shapiro activated the barter in New Orleans during the Saints’ Super Bowl triumph. The driver’s-side bank additionally opens in one spot, absolute a fold-out console ample abundant to authority a full-size air mattress. All told, the barter can beddy-bye eight bodies or ten absolutely acceptable friends.
In theory, some of this could be bifold with a box barter (there’d be added space, for sure). What sets the EcoRoamer afar from agnate cartage are its adult and able-bodied active systems. While there’s a advancement agent architect for emergencies, the roof is covered with about two kilowatts’ account of solar panels able of active every arrangement on the vehicle. The abrasion apparatus is the alone basic on the barter that requires use of the architect for operation, admitting that can run off of the alternator.
For comfort, the EcoRoamer’s berth walls are complete from two inches of recycled cream lath sandwiched amid attenuate layers of aluminum. All the windows are able with mosquito nets so they can be opened to pump in air-conditioned or balmy air as bare with solar-powered bankrupt fans. The agent baptize boiler can run on biodiesel; and it can additionally pump baptize aback to the agent to calefaction it in acutely algid conditions.
Because you can’t acquisition apple-pie baptize everywhere, the EcoRoamer purifies its own supply. It can abundance 150 gallons of baptize while on the road. The ablution arrangement was advised by NASA for amplitude flight, and it uses bristles filters to about-face about annihilation aqueous into cooler water. The barter can alike recycle aqueous decay into cooler water, admitting the Shapiros don’t plan on authoritative use of the capability. Open up the ancillary of the barter out aback and there are two faucets apparent “pond in” and “village out.” The family’s ambition is to apple-pie able-bodied or pond baptize for anyone who needs it as they travel.
With an alone partially acrid fixation on the end times, I may be focused on advancing my anatomy for the Thunderdome (for that is the new law), but Shapiro and his ancestors are absolutely planning to do good. Their efforts are funneled through the Muskoka Foundation, a non-profit he founded to advice others do the same. Aback best overland campaign are adequately flush individuals with applied accomplishment sets — doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc. — Shapiro feels that those bodies should do added than booty pictures and cream aback visiting new lands. One of these programs involves creating a “village MBA” aimed at bringing avant-garde business techniques and accoutrement to entrepreneurs in alien locations so that they can aggrandize and advance their businesses.
The EcoRoamer is an open-source project, so if you’re committed to accomplishing acceptable while active the overland affairs you can body your own or accept the Shapiros advice you actualize one. And committed you’re activity to appetite to be: an EcoRoamer as outfitted actuality starts at about $275,000.
“That’s the amount of a nice house!” I say aback Jay tells me.
“This is a nice house,” he replies.
The EcoRoamer will admission in its final anatomy at the Overland Expo in Amado, Arizona from April 16-18. You can chase the absolute activity actuality and apprentice added about the foundation here.
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