We chose to have GXV build and mount a Safari version of their camper box. You can get the general dimensions and layout of this box from the drawings in the images below (just click the thumbnail to get a larger view).

In broad strokes the camper box (not the overall vehicle) is 15.5 ft long, 8 ft wide and just shy of 8 ft high. The internal layout is pretty much a GXV standard arrangement.

With those camper dimensions the overall vehicle will be (understand that at the time of writing it is not complete) about 26' long, 8' wide and 12'10" high.


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Our choices

The key choices that we made for the camper are:

  • The step down door. We decided to have a drop down for the camper door with an electric auto opening step to make entry easier. I regretted using the chassis space and the perceived reduction in clearance, but my wife at 5'1" would find a door 4' off the ground too hard to manage.

  • The square tail on the camper. Many expedition trucks have a sloping or angled tail on the camper to provide a better departure angle and aid in exiting from ditches and gullies. We decided early on that we would sacrifice that additional maneuverability in favor of greater internal storage. We regained some of our departure angle by having the truck wheelbase extended.

  • An Onan Q3200 diesel generator mounted inside (but isolated from) the rear storage area.

    This is really three decisions.

    • The first decision was whether to have a generator. That we would have one and that it would be diesel was never in doubt. Boondocking in hot weather without A/C is just not my idea of fun.

    • The second decision was to use an Onan. GXV has typically used Fischer-Panada generators in their builds, these are sophisticated liquid cooled units that seem to be used a lot in small yachts. I preferred to go with something simpler.

    • Mounting the generator inside the camper body. GXV typical mounts the generator on the chassis below the camper body. I preferred to have the chassis space available for an additional fuel tank and to keep the generator up away from any water for what we hope will be infrequent water crossings.

  • A pass-thru between the truck and the camper. This was also never in doubt. In our opinion this feature is a major convenience/requirement when camping in bad weather or in urban locations.

  • Roof rails on the camper body. These are metal tubular rails along the leading and upper edges of the camper to protect the camper body somewhat when we inevitably run into some substantial tree branches.

  • A large rear carrying rack that can accommodate more than just the spare tire and its associated small winch. Seems like a good place to carry fire wood, maybe additional fuel and nomadic hitch hikers.

  • Glass not acrylic windows. We had the experience in the Earthroamer of scratching the window panes on tree branches while driving on forest trails; did not want a repeat.

    Also the windows we chose have provision for metal security inserts to make the windows proof against break-in.

Camper equipment and fittings

All the other stuff that goes into making a camper is pretty much standard GXV.

Hotwater

Hot water is provided from the chassis mounted Webasco 90 ST hydroponic heater. This unit is either diesel fired or heated by the engine coolant. It feeds a hot water Isotherm storage tank under the sink area.

Heating

A hot water radiator and fan unit mounted under the dinette is the primary source of camper heating. The fan in this unit forces air over the hot water radiator and circulates the air around the camper.

A small electric heater used in conjunction with the generator is the backup heat source.

There is no heated air system as found in a typical RV.

Cooling

A 13,500 btu roof A/C unit is included. It requires the generator to be running or shore power.

Refrigerator

The Vitrifrigo refrigerator is somewhat unusual for an RV as it has two drawers rather than doors. The top drawer is a freezer compartment and the lower drawer is the refrigerator compartment. It operates from the 12Volt electrical supply.

Electrical

The electrical power system is quite something.

  • The heart of the system is a battery pack consisting of 3 x 250 AH glass mat deep cycle batteries.

  • The batteries feed into a 3.6 kw inverter that is part of an Outback Inverter/Charger.

  • The batteries are fed by

    • 2 x 180 watt solar panels,

    • the truck alternator while on the road

    • the generator when it is running

    • shore power of 110V/60Hz via the charger part of the inverter/charger

    • 230V/50Hz (or any other voltage) shore power through a universal/world charger.

  • All ac appliances operate on 110V/60Hz and are fed by the inverter, or by a direct shore power feed when shore power is 110V/60Hz.

  • The battery pack is wired into the truck starting system and can be used to start the truck engine in an emergency.

Lighting

All lighting is LED.

Bathroom

The toilet is a 5 gallon canister type. Great for boondocking and operating in environments that don't have typical RV park hookups.

The shower and kitchen sink empty into a 25 gallon gray water tank.

Entertainment

Entertainment equipment is relatively sparse. The camper has a radio/cd player and the truck has a satellite capable radio with CD player and iPod connection.

These days almost all of our entertainment comes through our iPods, Kindles or MacBooks.

Finishes and Furnishings

The finishes are nice but simple. The bathroom cabinets and shower grate are teak. All other cabinets are alder. The floor is covered in a woven nylon that is easy to clean and sturdy. Counter tops are granite. The walls retain the white gel coat finish of the composite panels that the camper shell is made from.