The vintage campers of years gone by may have been known as “tin can” campers, but there’s a category of RVs today that’s anything but. Featured here are some of the toughest RVs to ever hit the road.
Some of these are standard production models, some are customized on another vehicle’s chassis, and some are truly “do it yourself” jobs, but they’re all undeniably rugged.
These campers aren’t just built for driving through the woods or to a mountain campground; they’re designed to take on the world’s toughest terrain for months at a time.
1. Global Expedition Vehicle’s “Pangea”
Slide out campers are common, but what about slide up campers? Global Expedition Vehicles has been custom building RVs for years, but the Pangea Lifting Roof model may just be their best one yet.
The roof actually expands upwards about three feet, revealing windows on the outside and giving more headroom inside. How heavy duty is this dual floor vehicle? It was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Extreme RVs.”
2. Tiger Adventure Vehicles Siberian
The Siberian Tiger is one of the world’s largest tigers, so it makes sense that it’s also the largest vehicle from Tiger Adventure Company. It uses a 4×4 crew cab chassis and sits on a 200 inch wheelbase while using a three-point mounting system to eliminate stresses on the truck’s chassis.
3. Mercedes-Benz Unimog
With a total weight of around 8 tons, this is an extremely massive vehicle with a reputation to match. It’s been around since the 50s, but only really became popular in the 1970s. These are commonly used as snowplows and other industrial vehicles in western Europe.
4. Unicat Terracross TC59
The Teracross TC59 might be similar to other RVs on the inside, but the outside is all hand-made. These vehicles are known for their flexibility over any terrain, and feature a button in the cabin that automatically changes the tire pressure to one of four settings: street, track, sand and emergency.
5. Sportsmobile’s Mitsubishi Fuso
Sportsmobile is a custom camper company that’s used the Ford Econoline van, the Dodge Promaster, and the Mercedes Sprinter as their base chassis for years. But with the Econoline van ceasing production soon, the company is changing things up, showcasing this prototype on a Mitsubishi Fuso base.
6. 1997 Ford E-350 Superduty Ambulance
It’s common to see former ambulances take on a new life as a tailgating rig, a food truck, or as a rolling advertisement for a business. But a man named Bruce Baldwin had something else in mind. He took a 1997 Ford E-350 Superduty Ambulance and converted it into an off-road camper. The vehicle is a perfect fit the owner states, because it’s incredibly sturdy by design. Solar panels were added, along with a shower, refrigerator, and a 40 gallon water tank.
7. Turtle Expedition Vehicle
Gary and Monika Wescott call themselves “modern day vagabonds,” exploring the world in their custom built vehicle. Their adventures have spanned Russia, Europe, North America and Mexico. They’re currently on their fifth vehicle, the Turtle V, a custom, European-style expedition camper mounted to the chassis of a Ford F-550.