The overlanding and journey automobile specialists at EarthCruiser not too long ago introduced their new Terranova camper to Los Angeles forward of an Omaze giveaway that closes on September 1. Based mostly upon a Ford Tremendous Obligation pickup and that includes every thing EarthCruiser realized constructing their unique Mitsubishi Fuso-platformed off-roaders, the Terranova offers a smaller footprint jam-packed with plenty of creature comforts and off-the-grid tech.
I obtained an invite to swing by The Motoring Club in Marina del Rey to tour the Terranova with EarthCruiser founder and CEO Lance Gillies, in addition to Gross sales Affiliate Colin Cronin, who drew the fortunate straw to drive the rig on an Instagrammable street journey down from the corporate headquarters in Bend, Oregon. Like many fans desirous to get out of town, I found a rising private curiosity in off-roading in the course of the pandemic and may now say I’ve accomplished a little bit of overlanding in each a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon and my own 1998 Mitsubishi Montero.
As compared, the Terranova looks as if a a lot greater truck with an enormous, roomy field on prime, so I discovered myself curious to study simply how comfy the perfect of those high-cost campers can actually really feel contrasted with sleeping on a plywood platform at the back of an SUV (or in a tent on the bottom, the old school manner). However a part of residing with a Terranova full-time additionally includes driving it round city, so in fact I needed to hop behind the wheel for a spin by the torn-up streets of West LA, plus some freeway cruising, as nicely.
Climb Aboard The EarthCruiser Terranova
EarthCruiser constructed this primary Terranova utilizing Ford’s F-350 in Lariat trim as a platform, with the manufacturing unit Upfitter swap package deal permitting in-cab performance for the camper’s options. The truck encompasses a 7.3-liter gasoline V8 (versus the 6.7-liter Energy Stroke turbodiesel engine) and a 10-speed automated transmission, with a two-speed switch case providing two or four-wheel drive and a locking rear differential rounding out the drivetrain.
EarthCruiser additionally bolted on new wheels shod in Toyo Open Country A/T III tires, along with the camper shell that replaces the truck mattress, which attaches on to the chassis utilizing a proprietary kinetic mounting system and extends ahead over the four-door Crew Cab. At first, because the truck rolled up, I discovered myself shocked that it appeared smaller than anticipated, maybe because of the illusory shrinking results of a matte gray paint job with blacked-out trim and a customized matte black entrance bumper.
Exterior Design At First Look
As soon as Cronin pulled the Terranova into The Motoring Membership’s storage, nevertheless, and clicked a button on his key fob to activate the pop-up rooftop, the rig started dwarfing a Jeep and a Land Rover close by (and shortly approaching the roof beams up prime). Then, he deployed a 270-degree awning that massively will increase the shady footprint—and barely match width-wise. However that growth from a comparatively compact round-edged field right into a a lot bigger residing space is precisely what EarthCruiser’s clients need from their no-holds-barred overlanding vans.
The ‘Why’ Behind Each Characteristic
The very first thing I seen when Cronin started backing the truck up (utilizing the included backup digital camera and enormous facet mirrors, since a middle mirror cannot see the Ferrari parked close by by the cabin) was a peculiar design inclusion: two completely different trailer hitches hanging at completely different heights on rear of the camper shell. I pointed them out to Gillies, who used the choice for example how EarthCruiser all the time seems to be into the ‘why’ behind each characteristic. Particularly, the 2 trailer hitches enable for various angles whereas towing both on-road or off, with the decrease placement supposed for stability at velocity and the upper providing an improved breakover angle.
Equally, the facet entry panels seen above enable for simpler entry to under-cabin storage as a result of so typically, opening rear doorways on such an extended automobile can really feel fairly cramped in small parking spots (serving to the spare and MaxTrax restoration boards match higher comes as a further perk).
Creating A Comfy Inside Area
Climbing into the cabin itself, the facilities all appear equally nicely thought-out, from the queen-sized mattress to the high-quality supplies (extremely customizable by buyer choice), the management panel (additionally together with smartphone performance), and the drawers that may double as steps (with self-lubricating plastics as an alternative of squeak and squeal-prone rollers). However EarthCruiser achieved essentially the most spectacular feat for the Terranova’s design by creating a way of area or, extra precisely, a scarcity of claustrophobia. I am about 6’1″ tall however, until I squinched up on counters or pillows to get a superb digital camera angle, by no means felt cramped by headroom—the reflective ceiling helps to create the phantasm, very similar to mirrors could make small rooms really feel twice as giant. Panoramic views because of the zippable and triple-insulated home windows, all inside a collapsible, weatherproof, and most significantly, white delicate extension of the partitions additional contribute an ethereal really feel to the residing quarters.
EarthCruiser Places The whole lot Simply Inside Attain
As Gillies explained to me almost a year ago about the Fuso-based EarthCruiser, his many years of off-roading expertise torture testing rigs in all places from the Australian Outback to the jungles of Borneo taught him that irrespective of how nicely he designs, engineers, or builds any of EarthCruiser’s merchandise, one thing can and can go fallacious. Accepting that reality helps to additional reinforce the why behind design selections like preserving entry to water filters, air compressors, and water heaters tremendous fast and straightforward.
However How Does The Massive Rig Drive?
Certain, the Terranova affords all of the options and all of the engineering to justify the borderline-exorbitant pricetag, however how does it drive? Properly, we obtained fortunate sufficient (or unfortunate sufficient, from a content material manufacturing standpoint) that town determined to tear up and repave the roads instantly outdoors The Motoring Membership on the precise day of our go to. On these bumpy, uneven surfaces and going round tight turns, the Terranova’s kinetic mounts helped the Ford keep each agency sufficient and delicate sufficient to encourage confidence whereas making certain consolation. At freeway speeds, lengthy sweepers produced a little bit of physique roll maybe simply barely in extra of any commonplace full-sized pickup—however remarkably little wind noise. The 7.3-liter V8’s energy band, because of the 10-speed, felt greater than ample, as confirmed by Cronin’s declare of a ten.5-MPG journey up to now regardless of added weight and aerodynamic drag. The beefed-up suspension and Toyo tires all appeared to do their jobs, although the short drive positively left me wanting to check how the entire package deal performs on an precise path.
Get In On The Enjoyable Thanks To Omaze
To a sure extent, bringing all of the creature comforts of house out on the path—in a package deal that prices nearly as a lot as a small house—can simply appear apart from the purpose of attempting to get away within the first place. However EarthCruiser’s clientele need precisely that and, as Gillies defined to me, they’ve spent a lifetime incomes the means to purchase what they need. Fortunately, for individuals who lust after one of many world’s most succesful overlanding pickup vans however cannot justify the expenditure, the Omaze raffle system provides a glimmer of hope for winning a Terranova with out shelling out the $289,000 beginning sticker, and likewise consists of money to pay for any incurred tax legal responsibility.
On September 15, the giveaway will present one winner with the identical Terranova, based mostly on the Ford, however not this precise one (a superb factor as a result of Cronin might or might not put some desert pinstrips on it headed house). EarthCruiser additionally plans to transform heavy responsibility Ram and Chevy vans however on the time of our go to, no clients had but ordered these manufacturers (and the Chevrolet choice appears much more unlikely because of the unlucky location of a DEF tank mounted decrease than the entrance axle on diesels). Whether or not the fortunate recipient then feels daring sufficient to drive their six-figure Tremendous Obligation out on a tricky path stays a query of bravery (I definitely by no means imagined that essentially the most helpful automobile I’ve but pushed in my profession would determine as an off-roader).
Within the meantime, this F-350 Terranova proved itself to me, as EarthCruiser hopes it would for these occupied with sparing no expense. Who is aware of, I’d even have to purchase a number of Omaze tickets—and understanding the cash goes towards supporting the First Descents charity definitely helps, too.
Sources: earthcruiser.com, themotoring.membership, toyotires.com, omaze.com, youtube.com, ford.com, and firstdescents.org.
Brian Rabold is shopping for a first-gen Montero right now and thinks they’re about to see a bump in value.
About The Creator