When you think of an amphibious RV all kinds of questions immediately come to mind. How do they keep the water out? Is it awkward to drive on land, or slow in the water?
The machinery itself is complicated by the needs of both sea and land operation and the maintenance is compounded by the multiple systems.
All in all, what sounds like a fun idea is often described as complicated and messy and ultimately, somewhat limited in its use.
What If You Could Turn an Ordinary Motorhome Into a Houseboat?
A fairly new company in Indiana – run by long time RVers – has come up with a pretty cool concept called the Rollerboat. Essentially it’s a large, flat platform, similar to a pontoon boat in appearance, that is equipped to carry a motor home! Yep, anything up to 45 feet long and 80 (!) tons will fit on board your very own floating island.
Here’s the Rollerboat with an RV aboard.
How the Rollerboat Amphibious RV Works
The concept is ingeniously simple. The Rollerboat is pulled up to a concrete boat ramp and anchored in place with a pair of mooring lines.
Then a specially designed docking plate is put in place on the end of the Rollerboat deck, to match up to the ramp. The RV is backed into position on top of the platform!
They answer a lot of good questions on their website, like how does the platform stay stabilized? Turns out, it has ballast tanks that allow water in at each corner to balance the weight of the RV as needed, then the tanks are purged.
The drive and steering system is by far the coolest part. The boat is driven by the motorhome’s engine! Before you even ask yourself how complicated that is – don’t. It’s not. The platform is designed with two sets of rollers for the front and back wheels of the RV.
The rear rollers actually drive the driveshaft of the boat to propel it forward or reverse, at whatever speed you rev the RV up to. The steering is done by servo switches in a transferable box that mounts on the steering wheel so that the driver’s seat becomes the actual “captain’s chair!”
There’s One Catch With the Rollerboat
They mention that the boats are available for private owners, or sold to rental services where you can rent a Rollerboat, but no mention is made of how to trailer or transport the unit.
I assume this means they are rather unwieldy and require special shipping. This may mean you might have to limit your use of the Rollerboat to a location you want to leave the Rollerboat long term, or where rentals are available.