ER2K (aka the EarthRoamer 2000)
Great designs rarely happen overnight and that has proven true with EarthRoamer Xpedition Vehicles. Today’s EarthRoamer XV-LT and EarthRoamer XV-HD models benefit from the knowledge gained from the thousands of miles and hundreds of nights that EarthRoamer Founder Bill Swails spend traveling and camping in the original EarthRoamer ER2K. Components like diesel air heaters, diesel cook stoves and three point mounting systems were tested and proven. Systems that did not rely on volatile propane or a noisy generator were developed, tested and debugged. The concept of a robust four-wheel drive vehicle that only used one fuel and solar power to provide all needed energy was advanced and readied for production. Thousands of lessons learned from the ER2K on real world expeditions over a period of over 5 years were incorporated into the engineering and design of the EarthRoamer XV-LT. Yes, the XV-LT (and XV-HD) have ER2K in their DNA!
Some ideas used on the ER2K simply didn’t pan out and were discarded – with one of the most notable being flat panel construction. Sure flat panel FRP (fiber reinforced polyester or plastic) also known as SCS (structural composite sandwich) panel construction is cheap and easy – that’s why many home-built campers use FRP or SCS panels – but the many seams and joints are susceptible to leakage and structural failure, create excessive aerodynamic drag, and provide all the styling of a shed. With over 125 EarthRoamer XV-LTs on the road that have traveled millions of miles in total, we continue to learn and improve every aspect of our Xpedition Vehicle design, engineering and construction. EarthRoamer has experience building Xpedition Vehicles unmatched by any other manufacturer.
Production of the EarthRoamer XV-JP was discontued in 2011 to free up resources to focus on EarthRoamer XV-LT and XV-HD production and development. When the 4-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon was introduced in late 2006, it was widely reported that a diesel engine option would be available in the near future. In fact Jeep had a 3.0 liter CRD diesel Jeep on display at SEMA in 2006.
BC4X4.COM had this to say back in 2006:
SEMA 2006: Chrysler turned fantasy into reality for thousands of Jeep enthusiasts when they set their engineers loose to build this one-off, diesel-powered Wrangler. The 3.0L CRD diesel generates a very healthy 230 horsepower and 390 lbs-ft of torque at 2800 rpm. If this ever reaches the dealerships, and I’m sure it will, Chrysler will have a long list of eager buyers.
Alas, that was before the Daimler Chrysler divorce was announced in 2007 and the global economic meltdown in 2008. So now it is more than 5 years later and there is still no diesel Jeep being sold in the U.S.- and it’s anybodies guess if there ever will be. With the low power, poor fuel economy and poor driving range of the 3.8L gas engine, we believed a diesel engine was critical to the XV-JP being successful in the marketplace. With no diesel in sight, we have decided to pull the plug on XV-JP production. We love the XV-JP design, and we still own the molds – who knows maybe we’ll relaunch it at some point.