Jun 19, 2023
1 Of 12 Ever Made: The Jeep Wrangler EarthRoamer XV
This is one of just 12 examples of the Jeep Wrangler EarthRoamer XV-JP that were made. It was developed as a compact camper that wouldn’t compromise the 4×4 capabilities of the underlying Jeep,
This is one of just 12 examples of the Jeep Wrangler EarthRoamer XV-JP that were made. It was developed as a compact camper that wouldn’t compromise the 4×4 capabilities of the underlying Jeep, resulting in an off-grid overlander that can go almost anywhere.
EarthRoamer is a Colorado-based company that has just under 100 employees. They build high-end expedition campers on 4×4 vehicle platforms, they’ve been in business for just over 20 years, and so far that’ve built over 300 vehicles.
The story of EarthRoamer begins back in 1998, when company founder Bill Swails began the process of building a capable off-road camper using his Dodge Ram as a starting point. Initially he tried using all off-the-shelf parts however he quickly grew disillusioned with the quality that was on offer and began fabricating parts specific for his purpose.
EarthRoamer develops their overlander campers carefully to ensure that the 4×4’s original off-road capability isn’t compromised.
As an avid wildlife photographer, Swails needed a camper that would provide a comfortable home on wheels without reducing the off-road capabilities of his 4×4. The answer was to build a camper with a focus on low-weight, aerodynamics, a low center of gravity, and sensible external dimensions.
Once he had the concept and design down, he launched EarthRoamer in 2003 at a facility at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Initially the company had just two employees and the first model was the EarthRoamer XV-LT – “XV” stands for Xpedition Vehicle and the “LT” is for Luxury Terrain.
In the 20 years since the company launched EarthRoamer now has a team of over 90 employees, they’ve built over 300 vehicles, and they’ve become one of the most respected 4×4 overlander manufacturers in the United States.
The EarthRoamer XV-JP is based on the Jeep Wrangler JK platform, specifically the four-door “Unlimited” model.
The Jeep Wrangler JK was released in 2006, it was a blank slate redesign developed to replace the outgoing Wrangler TJ model. The JK had a newly designed steel ladder frame chassis, body, and suspension, and it came in both two and four-door variants.
The top of the EarthRoamer XV-JP folds open in a backward direction, this provides plenty of room inside and also a sheltered outdoor area behind the vehicle.
No two examples of the 12 EarthRoamer XV-JPs are exactly the same, they’re all based on the four-door Wrangler JK, however various engine, transmission, suspension, and interior models were offered.
Unlike many overlander conversions the XV-JP has a permanently-attached camper on the rear, with the shell made from sandwiched fiberglass and balsa wood which creates a light and very strong structure. This same composite construction technique is commonly used in the construction of high-end racing yacht hulls where strength and low weight is a paramount concern.
Most examples of the EarthRoamer XV-JP have lifted suspension, upgraded wheels and tires, steel front and rear bumpers with an electric winch up front, air operated locking differentials, and an EarthRoamer skid plate transfer case/camper battery/exhaust.
The camp section on the rear has a fold-open roof that opens into a popup tent-like structure which is electrically operated, offering almost nine feet of headroom when open.
The front of the Jeep retains its two seat configuration, this vehicle is ideally suited for couples or pairs as it has sleeping accommodation for two.
Inside you’ll find a composting toilet, a shower, a sink, a double bed, cooking facilities including a portable gas burner, an Isotherm fridge, fresh and grey water tanks, a hot water heater, a bank of house batteries, a diesel heater, and an extractor fan.
The lightweight nature of the camper and its low profile mean it’s in demand with people seeking a capable 4×4 with built-in accommodation, but they seem to only rarely come up for sale.
The vehicle you see here is an EarthRoamer XV-JP that’s based on a 2008 Jeep Wrangler which was originally an Australian-market car.
This XV-JP is powered by the 2.8 liter turbodiesel inline-four cylinder engine which sends power back to a 4-speed automatic transmission, a dual range transfer case, and from there to the front and rear live axles.
Power is provided by a Jeep 2.8 liter turbodiesel inline-four cylinder engine which sends power back to a 4-speed automatic transmission and a dual range transfer case.
The vehicle was shipped to Colorado where the EarthRoamer conversion took place, it was later imported into the UK and re-registered with the DVLA in September of 2015.
The specifications include ARB air operated locking differentials, a TeraFlex two-inch suspension lift, heavy-duty Old Man Emu coil springs, Falcon gas shock absorbers, a Warn winch, and an AEV snorkel.
It now has 99,765 kms on the odometer, approximately 61,991 miles, and it’s being offered for sale out of Oxfordshire in England.
If you’d like to read more about this unusual overlander or register to bid you can visit the listing here on Collecting Cars.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.This is one of just 12 examples of the Jeep Wrangler EarthRoamer XV-JP that were made. It was developed as a compact camper that wouldn’t compromise the 4×4 capabilities of the underlying Jeep, resulting in an off-grid overlander that can go almost anywhere.