What if you want to go off the map and off the grid, but you are not willing to give up the comfort and features of your home? This extreme 4×4 RV by ETL Overland and Plan B Supply is one option worth considering.
The foundation of this off-roading house on wheels is a LMTV military 4×4 truck chassis. It’s the modern interpretation on the classic “deuce and a half” truck. The military acronym stands for Light Medium Tactical Vehicle. Yes, the name that combines “light” and “medium” is a bit confusing, but the family of Medium Tactical Vehicles also includes heavier 6×6 trucks. This truck lineup has served the U.S. military since 1996.
The cabover design makes for an efficient use of space and also offers good outward visibility and a unique driving experience on or off the pavement. Since the driver is siting over the steering axle, making turns in the LMTV takes a little getting used to. Once you get a hang of it, the truck offers surprising maneuverability for such a big machine that’s riding of 47-inch tall tires. I found the driver’s seating position and the large steering wheel be akin to driving a large city bus.
The LMTV is powered by a Caterpillar turbo-diesel engine that has several power ratings that start at around 225 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque and move up from there. The transmission is an electrically controlled 7-speed Allison transmission, which offers gear spacing that is good for both low-range off-roading and rolling on the highway at around 60 MPH.
It also offers cool features like a central on-board air system that allows the driver to adjust the tire air pressure without getting out of the cab. It also has a driving mode selector which adjusts torque split between front and rear axles. In off-road mode, the power is split 50% to the front and 50% to the rear.
ETL Overland build their unique all-aluminum RV “box” that mounts to the truck chassis using a spring system. In fact, the box is hard mounted in the front and spring mounted in the rear. This allows the truck to flex off-road without twisting or damaging the RV box. I took the truck into the dunes at the Knolls, UT off-road park, and the truck performed great. The RV section and the mounting system did their job and no damage was done.
ETL Overland has a clever living space design with in-floor heating, a ventilated attic, and a bed that retracts into the ceiling when not in use. All of the components either run on diesel or electricity, and the company puts a solar panel array on the roof to help. The interior of this truck will be complete this summer, so stay tuned for a follow up story where we show all the appointment of this RV.
ETL Overland offers the raw aluminum RV boxes for around $50,000. The LMTV 4×4 RV you see here will retail close to $300,000. But the sky is the limit with extreme and luxurious RVs. The company also builds larger RVs that can accommodate up to 11 people and optioned to over $1,000,000.