BUYERS GUIDE - MOTORHOMES
The Global Xplorer is a 4×4 motorhome, based on the Fuso Canter cab/chassis. It’s designed with rugged simplicity, for off-road adventures and prolonged, remote-area off-grid camping. Outback Travel Australia checked out the 2022 model.
AAV4x4’s principals, Kym and Lyn Bolton and off-road competition and global travel gurus, who have been building off-road motorhomes and working vehicles on standard cab/chassis for many years. They were also co-founders of the original Earthcruiser motorhome business.
The base is a standard Fuso Canter 4×4 that comes with minimal electronics, manual transmission, mechanical rear limited slip differential and ABS drum brakes. From the extensive list of AAV4x4 modifications are added 9×17 wide-single tyres front and rear (with offset that suits front and rear axle positioning), shod with Hankook 37-inch rubber; suspension changes; fuel capacity increased to 200 litres by a duplicate tank, two 100-litre water tanks and a 45-litre grey water tank.
No wheelbase or with changes are made, so the finished vehicle measures on 620mm long x 2150mm wide x 3100mm high – not much longer or wider than a LandCruiser.
Onto the modified rolling chassis goes a South African made, self-contained motorhome pod. Internal dimensions are 4200mm length x 2070mm width x 1920mm height. Closed-cell sandwich structure provides strength and 38mm-thick wall and roof insulation.
The layout puts the walk-in shower recess/toilet, kitchen and fridge up front, to balance weight distribution and the bulky but light double bed goes aft. Access to the motorhome is via a powered drop-down step and meshed side door, and there’s also a crawl-through opening in the truck’s cab wall, giving internal access.
There are seven Dometic insulated windows; five external storage hatches; four aluminium under-body bins; four LED strip lights and two reading lights; exterior yellow light; two 120Ah AGM batteries; Victron Multi 2000 inverter/battery charger; two 150W solar panels and regulator; diesel hot water system, cooktop and room heater; 145-litre fridge/freezer; removable dining table; storage drawers and cupboards and two fan-forced roof vents.
Options include a front axle differential lock; front axle protection bar; bull bar; 3.5-metre Fiamma awning; BBQ; rear view camera; additional solar panel; additional AGM battery or three 120Ah lithium batteries; Multi 3000 inverter and 240V air conditioner.
The finished vehicle, with full tanks, is said to tip the scales at 4600kg, allowing 1400kg of payload to be added, before reaching the Canter’s 6000kg GVM and the Global Xplorer can also tow a 3.5-tonnes GVM trailer. A light-rigid-truck licence is necessary.
The modular design keeps cost down, so the starting price for a complete AAV4x4 Global Xplorer is around the $200,000 mark, which is what you’d pay for a tow vehicle and caravan that won’t have anything like the off-load capability of the Canter.
Now that Covid restrictions have eased we’ll try to get into an AAV4x4 Global Xplorer, for some on and off road driving and camping impressions.