Michael Gregson, spokesman for EarthCruiser Overland Vehicles, says caravan parks are becoming too expensive for many travellers.
"They spend all day driving around looking at the sights and then want to pull in to camp late in the afternoon and pull out first thing in the morning. They won't pay $30 to a caravan park for that," he says. "That's why so many free campsites are springing up all over the country."
He says travellers also want to be able to go off road to remote sites where there are no caravan parks, but don't want to rough it. His Brisbane-based company has been making rugged go-anywhere self-contained motorhomes based on the Mitsubishi Canter truck for the past three years. They have sold 16 vehicles including one to Egypt, Sweden and the US.
"Customers are from a wide range of ages from people in their 30s to retirement age," Gregson says.
The EarthCruiser range includes short and long-wheelbase Expedition models with a pop-up roof, short and long-wheelbase utes, a dual-cab ute and two new Outback models.
Gregson says the new full-size 4x4 and automatic 4x2 Outback are being built in Portland, Oregon.
"We're having a red-hot go at the Winnebago market," he says. "There is more room inside, more comfort for the older generation with softer shocks fitted and twin suspension seats fitted. They are a high-sided vehicle so there is plenty of headroom (190cm)."
The Outback comes with a microwave oven, airconditioning, sylights and a bigger shower, lounge and fridge. Gregson says the advantage the EarthCruiser has over the Winnebago is that it is based on the Canter.
"Even the 4x2 with off-road tyres will and extra clearance will take you further than you can in other vehicles," he says. "It has a Posi-Lok rear differential that will lock when one wheel slips more than a quarter of a turn more than the other. A good driver can even get along quite well on the beach. They can be driven on a car licence and they are easy to drive."
SWB EXP: $215,000
LWB EXP: $230,000
SWB Ute $85,000
LWB Ute $87,000
Dual Cab Ute $95,000
Outback 4x2 $160,000
Outback 4x4 $190,000