EarthCruiser: Innovation From the Ground Up
Tyres and Rims:
Your Fuso Canter 4x4 is delivered from the factory with standard 33’ tyres and duel rims at the rear.
Duals are useless off-road!
EarthCruiser changes the dynamics of the Canter and comes delivered to you with five 36” Michelin
XZL 255/100R16 Super Single tyres. These radial tyres are designed to perform in the harshest
conditions and are a military specification tyre that is available worldwide. Being a standard 16” rim
there are also many alternatives. The Super Single rims we are using are DOT approved.
The Fuso Canter 4x4 truck has a carrying capacity of 3500Kg, (GVM 6000Kg) yet the EarthCruiser is
designed for a maximum load of only 2000Kg. Without a suspension upgrade the ride would be
intolerable over extended distances. Our “Hard Road/Soft Ride” suspension upgrade is a standard
feature of EarthCruiser.
Chassis in the Canter and other serious 4x4 vehicles are designed to flex. The EarthCruiser ‘camper’
is attached to this flexible chassis via 8 engineered designed and ADR (Australian Design Rule)
approved truck strength spring mounts. This allows the full chassis movement and any tension
created is taken up within the spring. The frame upon which the camper sits is engineered to 5G’s
Rear Protection Bar & Tyre Carrier:
EarthCruiser’s rear protection bar includes a 3500Kg tow bar, allowing you to comfortably tow a
large boat or significant work equipment. On the left hand side, the standard spare tyre carrier
incorporates an operator easy tyre lowering device. The right hand side is available for the optional
secondary spare tyre carrier, a bicycle carrier or an outboard motor mount. Here the options are
Floor, Wall and Roof structure:
Using knowledge from the ocean yachting industry, our ‘camper’ floors, walls and roofs are a
composite fibreglass construction using marine grade timber for added structural strength.
Internally we use 30mm closed cell structural foam; this combines a high stiffness and strength to
weight ratio with superior toughness. This light-weight sandwich structure can be subjected to both
static and dynamic loads. It has a very low conductivity of heat as well as high insulative properties.
Our ultimate aim is lasting structural strength and minimal GVM. This we have achieved and we
believe our camper should be less than 1000kg gross mass.
Below is our floor plan layout. One of the major differences between this sketch plan and the actual
‘camper module’ is that all the corners both externally and internally are curved giving a pleasing
The internal surfaces are moulded fibreglass, much as you would expect in a modern cruising yacht.
The floor is again moulded fibreglass and covered with removable indoor/outdoor carpet.
A. Under the left hand seat is access to the Battery Distribution Cluster and the inverter. Below
this is a large storage bin easily accessible from the door access.
B. The swing out table is mounted to the forward most part of the ‘camper’. This allows easy
movement of the table to one side and hence access to the wide access to the vehicle cabin.
This table can also be dropped to the seat level and with repositioning of the removable
cushions, a single bed is available.
C. Under the Right hand seat is more storage space and the water heater unit
D. Atop the cooking module is the ceramic cooktop, and behind a lift up storage bin. Directly
below are three storage draws, and to the right a deep slide out rubbish bin. All draws and
cupboards have push button lockable latches ensuring everything remains secure.
E. The shower area includes a shallow bath for when one must be very frugal with water. We
have chosen a Thetford Cassette toilet for reliability and ease of operation in the bush.
F. The double bed is a comfortable 2 metres long by 1250mm wide. Flanked either end by two
large flyscreen windows for breeze or closed with the addition of the privacy screen. At the
head of the bed are two chrome plated flexible reading lights. Below the bed are four (4)
storage bins. Two at the rear provide storage for not so often used items like winter coats,
or for those collectables you have acquired along the way.
G. Set into the 1100 x 600 bench top is a deep bowled sink and mixer tap. To the right is the
pure water drinking faucet. The three storage draws have push button lockable latches.
Above is the command centre featuring the lighting/circuit breaker/water-battery gauge
panel, and Solar monitor.
H. Our specially commissioned 120 Litre upright fridge/freezer is both practical and functional.
Drawing only 38amps per 24 hours is the most efficient on the market. It operates out of
level and is ideal for tropical climates. Personally, I have had ice in my rum every day from
the wet tropics in Northern Australia to the hot deserts of the Sahara.
I. Fibreglass or Vinyl floors are very cold to stand on, so we have covered the EarthCruiser floor
with removable indoor/outdoor carpet. The added advantages are that it is quick and easy
J. The side access panel hides the external shower and mixer taps, the dual water tanks fillers
and the secondary optional fuel tank filler. A fibreglass skirt below the floor line provides
extra storage, a fuel tank cover, and a good smart flow line to the vehicle.
K. Access to the large under bed storage area ( W1200 x D900 x H400)
L. Rear under floor storage.
M. Rear spare tyre mount, and optional dual spare tyre mount, bicycle carrier, outboard motor
N. You will find this to be the most enjoyable part of EarthCruiser, and the centre of activity
when camped with friends. Designed for the quick lunch stop or for the ease of a full camp
setup. Under the large 3 x 2 metre electric awning you can pull out the S/S gas BBQ (Griller,
Stove and Oven), two storage drawers and extendable table.
A 100Lt (+ an optional 100Lt) fresh water tank and a 45Lt grey water tank are provided. Our pumping
system will allow you to draw water from individual tanks, allowing you to use tank 1 for cooking etc
and tank 2 for showering. Flexibility will also enable you to pump from a creek or dam into tank 1 or
2 and pump from tank 1 into tank 2 and vice versa giving maximum control and usage of available
You can also pump directly from the creek into either the internal or external shower by-passing
both holding tanks.
Of course any drinking water will be delivered via the onboard water purifier through the designated
Stainless Steel faucet.
With such an important health consideration, considerable time was spent researching product
options. EarthCruiser will be fitted with the only unit in the world today certified to meet world EPA
The unit provides pure water in 3 ways;
1. Using Ultrafine Micro straining it physically removes Guardia, Cryptosporidium and other
specific parasites and debris down to 0.4 microns. Removing pathogens also removes
disease toxins and is far superior to “poisoning” organisms with pesticides.
2. Using a broad spectrum molecular capture it traps and contains organic and other chemicals
such as pesticides and solvents, as well as chlorine and trace elements that can be toxic and
/or carcinogenic, along with foul taste, odour and colour.
3. The Electrostatic removal process uses specially charged space-age surfaces to remove
minute particles, molecules and colloids suspended in the water.
There is no bacteria growth in the cartridge and it is made from marine grade stainless steel with
lead-free faucets and ports. This is the same system that you will find on most international aircrafts.
The renewable cartridge is good for 4,000 litres or approximately 2 years.
The drinking water system we have chosen has passed the rigorous verification and field testing of
research institutes, health and safety associations, independent laboratories, numerous private
expeditions and above all, individual users. Here there is no compromise.
EarthCruiser, as a true expedition vehicle, is for it to be able to be parked up at your favourite
isolated spot for up to 10 days without the use of additional shore power. Given good sunlight, the
three solar panels and the two 110A/hr batteries will run the 120Lt fridge/freezer and the low draw
12V lighting system for this considerable time.
An 1800watt Inverter (240 or 110Volt) provides true sine wave power and will power up your
computer and supply sufficient power for other AC powered items. Should the batteries drop below
the 50% ideal level, the alarm system will advise. You can then easily top up the batteries by using
the vehicles alternator.
Alternatively, you can also use a generator or shore power, plugging it directly into the 240 (or110)
Volt inlet whereby the inverter will immediately recognise the supply to be AC or DC via its inbuilt
transfer switch. An optional battery charger is also available should you wish.
A chest height command panel gives full access to all power switches plus:
All 3 water tank metres ( two fresh and one grey)
The house and vehicle battery levels
Charge and discharge of house batteries
Remaining capacity in amp hours or percentage
Solar panel input and system usage.
Alarm system for battery and water levels.
A hidden Battery Distribution Cluster and VSR (Voltage Sensitive Relay) allows isolation of vehicle
and house batteries independently with the ability to emergency parallel supply to both.
Alternatively both systems can be isolated in the off position in case of shipping or for added security
When the engine is first started, the VSR is open and remains open until the start battery reaches
13.7 Volt. At the rated voltage, the relay closes providing charge to both start and the house
batteries. When the engine is stopped and the start battery drops below 12.8 Volts, the VSR
disengages and separates the start and the house battery bank. This eliminates the possibility of
draining the start battery, and protects electronics powered by the house battery from harmful
EarthCruiser’s lighting system is both functional and ergonomic. Surrounding the cabin interface
panel are low draw concealed strip lights, these can be adjusted via the dimmer to suit the mood of
the evening. The 12 Volt LED spot lights over the cooking and seating area provide functional
lighting, and at the bed head are two adjustable reading lights.
Externally on each side are water resistant 12Volt external LED flood lights. These provide adequate
lighting for the ‘camp’ area under the RH awning and lighting for the external shower on the LH side.
The positioning of these also provides good light for that late night unpredictable tyre change.
It is through experience learnt from remote international travel that encourages us to also include
appropriately positioned internal night lights for that inconspicuous night camp set up. EarthCruiser
also has a ‘panic’ switch that lights up both the external flood lights. This may prove invaluable when
you hear that unusual noise at night. Furthermore, should the need arise you can be driving away
from a potential problem within less than 60 seconds following a push of the roof & step button, all
without leaving the safety of the inside of the vehicle.
Internally is the very smart Diesel Cooktop. The heat source is an integrated diesel burner drawing
fuel directly from the vehicles fuel tank. The cooking surface is an elegant and clean ceramic surface
which has room for two pots or saucepans.
Externally is a Gas Barbecue on a slide out rack. This burner is a true combination of stove and oven.
Made from 18-9 marine grade stainless steel this BBQ, foldout table and storage draws completes
the perfect outside cooking centre for that quick roadside lunch stop or relaxing under the awning
with a glass of wine whilst the roast cooks.
Air and Water Heating:
The Webasto DualTop will heat up both the cabin air and the domestic hot water. Diesel usage is a
minimal 0.19 to 0.66 l/hr, and has 11 litres of water on standby.
Our most exciting ‘must have’ is a fully retractable 3 metre x 2 metre awning. This electric awning
cleverly retracts fully into the roof to avoid damage in the tight tracks.
Something else clever:
On the driver’s side is a lockable door that conceals many things.
The secondary fuel tank filler, the twin water tank fillers and the external shower and mixer taps.
Hiding the fuel and water fillers minimises the possibility of fuel theft and water contamination. The
external hot and cold shower is obviously handy however it can also be used as a wash down after
‘Pop-top’ Camper Roof:
EarthCruiser is unique, in as such that a full sized expedition motorhome can be containerised. The
regulations that currently prevail with some international shipping lines are that RO-RO (Roll on –
Roll off) vehicles MUST, for security reasons, have NO personal effects within the vehicle. This may
be acceptable for shipping a car from one country to another, however is totally unacceptable for
extended expedition travel. Containerisation ensures your personal effects arrive intact!
With today’s volatile fuel prices economical fuel consumption is important. EarthCruiser does not
have a wall of camper extending above and beyond the leading edges of the drivers cabin and
affords very economical travel.
From personal experience these are my actual fuel consumption figures.
Highway travel at 100 KPH or 60MPH = 18Lt/100Kms or 15.7MPG (UK), 13MPG (US)
Highway travel at 80 KPH or 50MPH = 16.5Lt/100Kms or 17 MPG (UK), 14.3MPG (US)
Dirt track travel at 20-80KPH or 13-50MPH = 17.5Lt/100Kms or 16.4MPG (UK), 13.5MPG (US)
Hard cross country 10-12metre sand dunes (no tracks) 21 Lt/100Kms or 13.5MPG (UK), 11.2MPG (US)
Internally the roof is domed shaped, much like the internals of a modern passenger aircraft. This
provides good structural support without compromising external height. This combined with the
600mm high vinyl interface allows ease of movement within the living section.
For cooling the vinyl interface has eight (8) zipper/ roll down ventilation fly screened windows. At
head height this gives a 360 degree panoramic view of the surroundings.
Our chosen vinyl has three (3) layers, white on the outside to reflect the heat, a black internal
membrane for reduced temperature/light transfer, and a white interior to keep a comfortable
temperature within. Thus temperature transfer is kept to an absolute minimum.
Is it likely that you are going where it is really cold?
We are also working on an Arctic version of EarthCruiser. The vinyl used in this configuration is the
same as that used in refrigerated transport industry where the temperature is kept at a constant
minus 8 degrees C.
Access through to vehicle cabin:
In EarthCruiser we have redesigned the old bellows system of joining the cabin to the body. Our
system is proven over many millions of kilometres in the trucking industry. It is both easy to operate
and completely waterproof. For our overseas customers who are ordering the ‘camper’ section for
fitment to their Fuso, we supply a template of the cut-out and the fibreglass inserts on the vehicle
Electric Lifters and Steps:
Convenience is what luxury is all about.
The roof module is raised by four hidden 12Volt actuators, this and the 3 step electric steps are
activated by a switch confidently located both in the drivers cab and at the camper door. That is to
say, that when you stop the vehicle and push the buttons the roof and the steps are extended.
At the camper door you only have to push one more button to bring out the 3 metre awning.
Camp is set, it’s that easy!
As we move down the manufacturing process we are constantly updating and researching.
Some items listed above may be changed to improve the functionality of EarthCruiser.
Improvements to EarthCruiser learnt from living 6 months in the prototype and travelling
over 37,000 Kilometres:
A more practical internal layout
Double bed does not have to be reset morning and evening from/to a dining table
Split kitchen work area, allows separate cooking and preparation area.
50% increase in storage internally
Improved access to/from driving cabin
Full skirting and storage boxes below the floor line, but retaining the ramp over angle.
A 3 x 2 metre fully retractable electric awning
External cooking facilities
Hidden 12V roof actuators as opposed to pneumatics
Separate auxiliary fuel tank
Two fresh water tanks
Grey water tank
A quality Water purifier
Improved temperature retardant Vinyl interface
Improved electronics monitoring and low battery warning system.
Improved control over house and vehicle battery, particularly in relation to isolation.
75% increase in external storage.
Depending on the nature of your travel you may wish to also consider the following
Driver and Passenger seat upgrade to individual Stratos suspension seats in fabric or leather.
Long range auxiliary fuel tank of 100-125 litres. Giving a total of 200-225Lts
A secondary spare tyre and tyre carrier
Endless Air - A Fan Belt driven Air Compressor, bracket and fittings for tyres and air tools.
Tow Bar goose neck, tow ball, and electrical fittings.
Winch – 15,000Lb Electric or PTO driven Hydraulic
A large black felt pen...
...to mark on the calendar the time frame you will be:
Exploring the World - Russia, South America, Australia, Africa and Beyond
Meeting New People and Different Cultures
Beachcombing Isolated Foreshores
Fishing Remote Rivers
Adventuring beyond where the dotted line on the map ends
And Enjoying Life