Meet the Earthroamer XVLT, the baddest RV on the planet. If Rambo and McGyver came together to build a camping rig, this would be it. The XVLT is built off a Ford F-550 Super Duty Chassis Cab and is powered by the mighty 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8. With 400 horsepower and a globe-twisting 800 pound-feet of torque, the turbodiesel doesn’t care how much weight it has to lug up mountains.
Earthroamer has been manufacturing off-road campers for decades, and the XVLT doesn’t let lose of the legacy. The stock Ford suspension is ditched in favor of a heavy-duty air suspension system with two bags up front, along with four bags out back that replace the rear leaf spring setup. The F-550’s six tires are replaced by four military-grade Continental tires and beadlock wheels.
At the Super Duty’s front, Earthroamer adds a massive bumper fitted with an array of on- and off-road lighting and a winch rated for 16,500 pounds. At the other business end, a second winch with an identical rating is mounted above the 12,500-pound-rated trailer hitch receiver. Swing-away cargo boxes add storage or cooking options. Pull the lever and the boxes reveal additional storage integrated into the custom-built camper shell.
The Earthroamer XVLT is all about exploration off the grid. It contains a massive battery pack that powers everything on the inside. The bank is recharged by roof-mounted solar panels during the day, along with the alternator when the engine is running. Self-contained fresh, gray, and black water boxes keep everything in its place while an additional 50-gallon fuel tank gives the XVLT a 90-gallon diesel fuel capacity.
Of course, that’s just the outside. Keep reading for more on the Earthroamer XVLT
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We have seen the competition between the 2013 Mustang GT500 and the Camaro ZL1 get exhausted in the last few weeks, so seeing yet another comparison doesn’t really interest us much. Then again, if that competition is happening live on a public track and it is between two competitors that have been jawing at each other via forum flame posts, well, we suddenly become extremely interested.
So the story begins with us taking a short trip from the TopSpeed offices down to the Miami Homestead racetrack for a day full of watching various cars tackle the track. We stumbled upon this situation of a stock 2013 GT500 with under 1,000 miles on its clock and 650 ponies under the hood, and a Camaro ZL1, which was modified by Torq and is touted as a true racecar, ready to go head-to-head to settle their online feud of which is better.
The Camaro ZL1 admittedly had supercharger overheating issues in the past, so Torq installed a high capacity water pump to help aid in the cooling. Apparently, Torq overestimated the capacity of the new pump before heading to Miami and the blazing hot South Florida sun resulted in the engine overheating. Yeah, Torq forgot an important fact, if you install a high-capacity water pump, you need to raise the amount of coolant stored in the cooling system.
Ironically, Torq is quoted as saying that pitting the GT500 against this modified ZL1 is “like bringing a knife to a gun fight” and we agree, because the GT500 is better known as a drag-style car and the ZL1 truly is a better road handler. Let’s see if Torq can rectify this issue and get us a good race to see.
06/03/12 Update from Torq: Okay, so it appears as if our article ruffled some feathers in regards to the guys involved in the race and they made it clear that there were a few misunderstandings in our article. We will further clarify what we were intending to demonstrate, as well as include some of the other details that Torq has kindly provided us.
First and foremost the statement that the ZL1 is more of a true racecar than the GT500 was not intended to be taken as a statement by Torq. This is the common consensus of the automotive industry, as the ZL1 is a best suited on a road track, whereas the GT500 is better on the drag strip, though both perform well on either track style. This has nothing to deal with any modifications performed on either car, but rather a statement of the fact around each stock model.
According to a Torq rep, the GT500 is not as stock as we thought it was. Turns out the GT500 is boasting a cold air intake and a performance ECU tune. Torq claims that this puts the GT500 up to 740 to 750 horsepower. And, yes, we rounded the GT500 down to 650 horsepower, when it is in fact 662 ponies. Also according to Torq, the ZL1 is at a drastic horsepower disadvantage, which we, of course, expect, given the factory performance differences.
It also turns out that Torq actually did attempt to compensate for the addition coolant flow by adding in an aftermarket heat exchanger that adds about two additional gallons to the cooling capacity and experimenting with several auxiliary coolant reservoirs, without success. Unfortunately, Torq did not specify why the ZL1 was running hot.
In closing, we are not taking side with either car. We were excited to see this type of real-life comparison take place and unfortunately, it did not. So hopefully you guys can get this heating issue worked out and back onto the track.
On an aside, you can catch the ZL1 in an upcoming issue of GM High Tech, so it is very clear that these guys are no amateurs.
Update #3 from RevanRacing
The GT500 did not have a full blown aftermarket cold air intake but a "factory" ford racing part that is known as a resonator eliminator and makes the supercharger whine louder. The car did have a tune estimated at around 60+ horsepower.
No doubt we will here more about the Torq ZL1 fight against RevanRacing GT500 in the near future because if there is something we have learned, it is that loosing is not an option for any of them.