11 Most Badass RVs You Can Buy Today
Driving cross-country in a multi-million dollar RV is an experience few Americans will ever get to enjoy. While many may fawn over massive machines like the unstoppable Zetros 6×6, few of us have the means to obtain a purpose-built doomsday machine. Sure, there’s the obvious financial obligation, as luxury RV setups can run north of $3 million, but concerns about parking, maintenance, winterizing, insurance, and who’s going to drive the damn thing are also factors to consider.
Fortunately, many of the world’s elite moneymakers have the means to hire a trained driver, and with some of these land yachts running well over 40 feet long, merging and parking can be a real pain for the untrained. But RV enthusiasts aren’t just into slate tile floors and crystal chandeliers, and hardcore 4×4 vehicles are still a hot commodity as they crush terrain by day and then raise their rooflines at night for spacious living.
We recently took the time to peruse the web in search of some of the most over-the-top RV options money can buy, and came up with a surplus of unique options. There really is something out there for everyone, and if your pocketbook is up to the challenge, you can have an entire penthouse suite on wheels built to your personal taste.
1. IKON by Renegade
The IKON by Renegade takes semi-truck styling and combines it with luxury amenities and industry leading self-sufficiency. From handcrafted solid hardwood cabinetry and plush Villa Ultraleather furniture to quartz countertops and heated porcelain tile floors, the good life comes standard in this RV. Tech-wise, it also features things like Samsung 4K LED TVs, Bose Home Theater Sound, and a set of high-tech stainless steel appliances that deliver the goods when it’s time to eat.
It also features VegaTouch control systems, which have dual 10-inch touchscreen controllers with iPad, smartphone, and tablet compatibility. This means you can integrate interior lighting, systems monitoring, HVAC controls, window coverings, awning and slide-out controls, and a whole lot more into an all-in-one touchpad that doubles as a monitor for the perimeter observation camera system.
Buyers will love finding features like hand crafted hardwoods, and a Theater Mode that automatically lowers the shades, dims lights, and raises the 50-inch Samsung UHD 4K TV so it can automatically tie into the Bose home theater system. While a porcelain tile shower and adjustable LED vanity lighting systems are also nice, it’s the Renegade’s attention to towing capacities and ability to be lived out of for weeks on end thanks to its oversized water, septic, and fuel tanks that make it a preferred RV for motorsport enthusiasts.
2. Winnebago Brave
Back in the late 1960s and 1970s, there was no mistaking a Winnebago motorhome for another RV thanks to its bold “Flying W” badging, iconic “eyebrow” designs, clever interior, and boxy body lines. But over time the iconic styling of yesteryear began to morph into a mish-mash of ho-hum engineering and bland RV styling.
But now it’s time to fall in love with classic RV styling all over again, because Winnebago has followed in Dodge’s Challenger footsteps and has rolled out a resto-mod version of the machine that got America hooked on RV life in the first place.
The all-new Winnebago Brave takes vintage styling cues and blends them with modern practicality, efficiency, safety, and useful amenities in order to give the next generation of motorhome enthusiast an RV that is both retro and reliable. While you won’t be able to pick one up for the $4,000 price tag associated with the original, these classic and quirky motorhomes are priced to fit a more modest budget, and can be customized in a wide array of colors and interior design layouts.
3. Global X Vehicles Pangea “Perky Mog”
Global Expedition Vehicles’ Pangea Lifting Roof version of the unstoppable Mercedes-Benz UniMog can be built on either a medium or heavy duty chassis, and can be tailored around various cab configurations. Referred to as the “Perky Mog,” this clever 4×4 RV has a unique lowered position that allows the windows to be covered with the hard side top section, while maintaining full walking height within. Once in the raised position, a huge loft area becomes exposed, which can be reconfigured to the buyer’s preferred sleeping layout, and can hold up to two queen size beds.
Since each vehicle is tailor-made to the buyer’s specifications, there is no cut-and-dry approach to purchasing one of these machines, so be prepared for a lengthy build list and turnaround time. A few of our favorite touches include the G-KAS mounting body isolating mount system, having cab-to-cabin access, exterior tool/utility boxes, how the seating area converts into an additional sleeping space, and how the stair treads are hinged and lift to reveal hidden storage. Add on a duo of high efficiency 200-watt PV solar panels, a 140 gallon fresh water tank, amazing off-road capabilities, and the ability to buy one in 16- to 18-foot lengths, and you’ve got one hell of a capable 4×4 RV on your hands.
4. Newmar King Aire
Engineered to embody “the pinnacle of luxury travel,” the Newmar King Aire takes style, comfort, and technology to a whole new level, with the 2017 model sporting a restyled exterior, and a Spartan K3 tag axle chassis that has been attached to a steel superstructure. Inside, contrast cross stitching highlights the dash, which features a wireless non-slip charging pad, full LCD driver display, and two 12.1-inch touchscreens for system controls and 360-degree outward visibility. Meanwhile, a one-off 11-speaker JBL cockpit audio system and exclusive fabrics from Ralph Lauren add additional flare to the front of the cabin.
For tailgating purposes, two Girard Nova side awnings extend over a specially designed sidewall housing a 43-inch Sony 4K UHD TV and a Bluetooth-compatible Bose soundbar, which rests atop one of the tallest basements in the Class A segment. Buyers can choose Maple, Cherry, or Rift Oak hardwood cabinetry, while polished porcelain plank tile, heated and cooled Pompeii leather front seats, and a 49-inch Sony 4K UHD TV come standard, with a Blu-ray/DVD player and Bose CineMate home theater system. The King Aire’s master bath is available with an industry-leading 50-by-34-inch shower, complete with full tile and a Fresca panel with massage sprayers and a foot washer, and even comes finished with a Whirlpool stacked washer and dryer.
5. Earthroamer XV HD
EarthRoamer has just expanded its product line in order to offer the highly anticipated F-750-based XV-HD. Designed to accommodate up to eight people comfortably and sleep six, this off-road RV features enough ingenuity to make living off-grid for a few days a breeze, as the HD offers anyone looking for wilderness adventures both driving prowess and fantastic amenities.
The XV-HD takes luxury off-grid ingenuity and infuses it with solar panels, a monolithic battery bank, 46-inch military tires, 200 gallons of fresh water, a compact washer/dryer, and a whole lot more. At just over 35-feet long this is no mini RV either, giving all the more reason for Earthroamer to utilize Ford’s 6.7-liter PowerStroke Diesel engine and all 725 pound-feet of torque.
6. Bespoke Coach Sprinter Van
This next road trip specialist is a bit of a hybrid, because while it isn’t a massive RV, it isn’t really a van either. Bespoke Coachworks has been customizing vehicles in Southern California since 1985, and over the past 30 years has created countless custom audio, video, interior, and exterior solutions for celebrities and the elite. So when the Sprinter van finally began getting imported and badged by Dodge and Freightliner back in 2007, requests for customized versions flooded their ears.
After decades of working with companies like Bentley, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes-Benz, the thought of pimping out vans seemed a bit strange, but after one luxury van conversion spawned the next, Bespoke Coachworks knew it was on to something. From opulent mobile offices, to family coaches with built-in beds and entertainment suites, this unique chassis offers an endless array of options for anyone wanting a small and swanky RV, all without the headaches associated with piloting a land barge.
Bespoke Coach’s luxury mobile office incorporates the best technology, design, and materials into a first-class experience, tasking top engineers, designers, and fabricators to make coaches that are both user friendly and innovative. A few of our favorite options include the driver wall partition with motorized privacy window, custom upholstered walls and ceilings, the marine-grade circuit breaker panel, and those Maybach inspired captains chairs. There are also standard iPads, Samsung TV screens, power inverters, customizable lighting, Focal audio upgrades, and Dynamat sound deadening throughout, with a laundry list of unique upgrade options waiting on the wing for the right price.
7. Marathon Show Coach
Marathon Coach, Inc. is widely revered as the world’s largest luxury bus converter and dealer, and specializes in taking commercial buses supplied by Prevost and customizing them into the most opulent RVs imaginable. Built around a Prevost H3-45 chassis, these custom buses feature engineer-driven technologies and a unique “California design viewpoint” that leans toward shades of warm taupe and rich chocolate brown, with deep indigo blue accents inside and out.
Inside, buyers will find things like a marble, limestone, and travertine “basket weave” floor inlay that has been surrounded by Italian porcelain tile, as well as a custom fireplace enclosure designed for both ambiance and warmth. There are soft touches like velvet tufted sofas finished with chrome nail heads, and a stitched leather recliner at the large work desk for when duty calls on the open road.
In the back you will find features like an oversized glass and limestone mosaic shower with a telescopic, glass pocket door that goes opaque at the touch of a button, an integrated, 8-inch rain shower head, as well as a hand-held shower wand. There also are Hans Grohe faucets and fixtures, custom-made hammered stainless steel sinks, a walk-in closet, a TechLink electrical system, and Crestron controls.
8. Sportsmobile Classic 4×4
The Sportsmobile Classic is one of the most recent creations in a long line of heavy duty 4×4 “Adventure Vans” coming out of Sportsmobile. After a successful prototype testing phase, the Classic 4×4 can now be had in a Ford Cutaway body that molds it with a steel reinforced fiberglass shell and an integrated penthouse top that drops flush into the shell for streamlining purposes.
The Sportsmobile 4WD Vehicle is designed to appeal to the most discerning off-road enthusiast, and in order to do so only the best heavy-duty components are installed for a balance between maximum off-road performance and on-road comfort. Over five decades of experience in the designing and manufacturing of van campers has led to this point, and while these machines can only be had on 2008–2014 Ford E-350 models equipped with the 6.8-liter V10 and barn doors, sourcing a gently used donor shouldn’t be an issue.
Full production of the Classic started in late 2016, and the 4WD Conversion model includes a lot of hardcore 4×4 upgrades. A few key features include an Advance Adapter Atlas II All Gear Driven transfer case, a Dynatrac Pro-Roc 60 front axle, Dana 60 rear axle, Fox 2.0 Performance Series Shocks, a high knuckle front end for extra tie rod clearance, and an extra heavy duty steering arm.
We could go on about the military wrap springs that were specifically designed for this van, or how the front sway bar comes with a quick disconnect system and custom shocks, but it would take forever to go over this list of performance upgrades. Finished with a practical and rugged, adventure-ready interior, this RV is a pop-top for the most discerning 4×4 enthusiast.
9. ShowHauler Motorhomes
ShowHauler Motorhomes are heralded as “the safest motor coach on the road,” and their coach frames utilize a unique tubular steel structure consisting of super strong floors, sidewalls, and ceilings. The underbelly is completely undercoated, block foam is placed between steel side-wall supports prior to bonding aluminum exterior walls to the frame, no rivets are used, interior walls are reinforced to create a structural cage, and adhesive bonding is used to apply a bubble type insulation.
Being built on a standard truck chassis with a higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) than a typical motorhome allows for greater carrying capacities, so weight is never a concern and neither are highway crosswinds nor oncoming traffic. Internally, buyers get to choose the hardwood they want for cabinets and fabric patterns and colors, all window framing is finished with hand-formed hardwood, counter-tops are genuine Corian, and buyers can choose either polished ceramic tile floors or carpet.
We personally dig the cab pass-thru, having 7-feet of interior headroom, the cab-over bunk and vent, the 12 gallon gas/electric water heater, 30,000 BTU ducted gas furnace, and the ability to tow damn near anything. ShowHauler Motorhomes are part luxury living quarters, part big-rig, and all cross-country cruiser.
10. Mercedes-Benz Zetros 2733 A 6×6
We eluded to it in our intro, and here it is up close. The all-wheel drive behemoth commonly referred to as the Mercedes-Benz Zetros 2733 A 6×6 is based off a semi with a cab-behind-engine layout, and offers sensational traction and versatility, plus customizable living arrangements.
This triple-axled truck typically weighs in between 25 and 27 tons, and while its powertrain and chassis configuration either come out of the Actros and Axor series of full-size work trucks, it also utilizes a unique Unimog/G-Class 6×6 approach. Powered by a 7.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine, this lumbering beast only puts down around 326 horsepower, but generates around 1,000 foot-pounds of torque in the 1,200–1,600 RPM range.
Buyers can opt for either a hydraulically/pneumatic nine-speed manual transmission (eight forward gears plus crawler), which has a direct-ratio top gear, or they can get the six-speed Allison 3000 SP/PR automatic. The permanent all-wheel drive VG 1700 transfer case has an off-road ratio that is about 20% lower than its all-wheel drive cousins, so crawl control is a strong suit here. Towing capacity has also been increased by about 70% when compared to the on-road gears, and torque distribution between the front and rear axle(s) is 1:3.21 thanks to the splitter box, which becomes 1:1 if the differential lock is engaged.
All told, the Zetros has three mechanical differential locks, all of which can be easily selected via a rotary control that shows the logical sequence in which they need to be engaged. Drivers must start with the center-axle before engaging the rear, with the front remaining the final option, reserved for when terrain is at its most extreme.
11. Iveco Astra HD8 8×6 Expedition Truck
Our final contender today comes from Expedition Truck Brokers, a company that has specialized in connecting buyers and sellers of expedition trucks for over 20 years thanks to a crew that tackles every aspect of the purchasing and customization process. Everything from buying and building, to long distance overland travel and selling transactions get attended to by this highly trained team of 4×4 specialists, and getting things right requires “first hand experience with vehicle based travel in rough conditions through remote regions.”
Simply put, Expedition Truck Brokers sources hardcore off-road “wheel estate” for private individuals and professionals in order to provide the ideal vehicle for overland journeys, expedition support, promotional events, and film. While most people would never need something as insane as an 8×6 diesel behemoth, there is a very particular kind of clientele out there that has the bankroll and need for something like what you see here.
While plenty of other heavy-duty RV options are available on the Expedition Truck Brokers’ website, it’s this Iveco Astra HD8 that has our vote for most badass of the bunch. Professionally manufactured in Germany, this chassis has been widely revered internationally as a construction and mining industry staple, but never a weekend getaway machine … until now.
A few of our favorite highlights and features outside of the Astra’s massive cabin and practical living quarters are the highly autonomous multi-climate design that handles both tropical and frigid environments, and the 600 horsepower EURO-5 Cursor 13 diesel engine. There’s also that dedicated motorcycle platform, all those external storage units, and a slew of locking differentials designed to tackle any terrain.