When imagining the Tonke Fieldsleeper, the designers were going for a luxury vehicle capable of comfortable boondocking for extended periods. Such vehicles typically present a major problem – how to make all that electricity to power your luxury camper?
Fossil fueled generators can take lot of time and energy to set up, supply and maintain. To do away with those concerns, Tonke did something we don’t often see done in many large RVs, they’ve used solar power exclusively.
The Fieldsleeper International is built on the proven Mercedes Sprinter platform.
Originally called the Desert Yacht, the Fieldsleeper is the largest in its class for Tonke. Every model in the Fieldsleeper line comes with optional solar power but the International was built with solar power in mind featuring an integrated 400 W roof-mounted solar-panel array, 2.6 kWh, 440 Ah AGM battery bank, 3 kW inverter and 1.4 kW charger.
Not only will it do boondocking, it will keep you cool as a cucumber, even in hot climates while living totally off grid.
Overhead plan view of the International’s floor plan.
They didn’t strip down the camper to accommodate the solar power system, either. The Fieldsleeper International features nearly 9 cubic feet of refrigeration in its side-by-side unit, a nearly-full-sized induction cooktop, and a whole house AC system. Heat and hot water are provided by diesel from a dedicated 30 gallon tank.
Gorgeous wood finishes and decor set the Dutch made Fieldsleeper apart.
“We didn’t want to use LP or LPG (liquid propane gas) because of lack of availability in remote areas and because of certain dangers involved,” the Dutch company explains. “A large solar array provides lots of electricity efficiently stored in large battery banks.”
The master bunk and an overhead view of the galley.
While the 400 watt standard sized solar system will run the AC for shorter periods during full sunlight (without resorting to the diesel engine charging mechanism), for especially hot trips Tonke suggests upgrading to the 600 watt solar system which can cool the whole camper for ten hours at a time without charging. Pretty impressive.
Fieldsleeper’s roof with the standard 400 watt solar system.
But if you thought the technology was its best feature, there are those that might argue otherwise – because this beast is gorgeous! From the beautiful exterior wood grain paneling to the handcrafted wood work, this wagon would have been aptly named the Desert Yacht for its luxury interior.
A view from front to rear over the dining table.
The International sleeps up to five, with a full bed behind the cab and a convertible full sized bed that transforms from the dining table. The kitchen, in addition to the two burner induction stove and side by side fridge/freezer, features a hot and cold water tap, run off the boiler.
And the Mercedes Sprinter platform, with available 4×4 for offroad trips, ensures smooth performance on rough terrain. Starting at nearly $200,000 this one is not for the casual RVer. Whatever the cost, the Tonke Fieldsleeper International is a beautiful machine where form meets function.
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