Look inside the million dollar, double-storey, off-road camper, commissioned to carry a family of 8 around the outback.
Look inside the million dollar, double-storey, off-road camper, commissioned to carry a family of 8 around the outback.

Monster motorhome built for off-gridders opting out of 2020

Interest in campervans is at an all-time high. Perhaps two-stories high.

While it's hard to predict what's on the road ahead, many travellers who would otherwise be planning trips overseas have taken a punt on a motorhome holiday. Online search traffic jumped ten times in the month of May, around the time we started looking at our backyards for travel inspiration. Last month over 100,000 people Googled the term 'camper conversion'.

This summer will be a roadie like no other.

However, you're unlikely to bump into anything like this on your travels.

The 8-wheel drive Commander was commissioned by an adventurous Australian family who wanted to explore the outback- without leaving any home comforts behind.

The Commander is the world's first double decker motorhome. Photo / Supplied
The Commander is the world's first double decker motorhome. Photo / Supplied

To do this the Queensland company SLRV which specialises in custom-built expedition campers built a created a that extends to two-stories, navigate the outback off roads. "They want to explore places that a road going vehicle can't go," said Warwick Boswerger of SLRV.

While going there, the family wanted to be able to bring a lot of things with them. With 10 bunks, four televisions and 475 litres of freezer space - the camper offers "off-grid living" in only the most literal sense. In essence the Commander is a two story house that can drive up the side of a Northern Territory canyon.

Different beast: The furnishings and interior wouldn't be out of place in an apartment. Photo / Supplied
Different beast: The furnishings and interior wouldn't be out of place in an apartment. Photo / Supplied

There's even a washing machine, tucked away into the side of the van.

To power it, Boswerger installed five separate electrics systems from 12v up to 415v a 3 phase power. They designed an 9.5kVA alternator specially for it, to keep the batteries topped up.

All mod cons: There's even a laundrette built into the rear of the vehicle. Photo / Supplied
All mod cons: There's even a laundrette built into the rear of the vehicle. Photo / Supplied

Inside, it is a different beast entirely. Modern white furnishings, a sitting area and kitchen galley are deceptively domestic. Only a few odd touches like the spare bed which lowers over the kitchen table would be out of place in an apartment. Upstairs, is a bit more Spartan with bunks and storage for eight.

The project was finished at the end of last year in Queensland. After which, the family headed into the Australian interior, essentially opting out of 2020. A smart move.

As of June the family were still touring the outback, waiting for inter-state travel to resume after Covid 19 travel restrictions were put in place.

A spare bed lowers over the sitting area. Photo / Supplied
A spare bed lowers over the sitting area. Photo / Supplied

But Boswerger was confident they would be fine in the 40-foot expedition vehicle, which has been described as "apocalypse-grade".

"We have had continued demand for our larger vehicles as they present a luxurious option to tour the country with all the comforts of home - especially in times where overseas travel is not possible."

This family camper was built with room for eight. Photo / Supplied
This family camper was built with room for eight. Photo / Supplied

Although the final cost of the project was not disclosed, an earlier interview estimated cost of the project at between $1 million and $2.08 million dollars.

This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald

See also:

-The best rainforests to see in Australia

- This Aussie road trip is absolutely bonkers

-We ditched everything for this road trip around Australia

-The best Aussie road trips for every generation

-Why you should do the other road trip to Queensland

Originally published as Monster motorhome built for off-grid Aussie family opting out of 2020


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