Want green travel on steroids? Meet the Eco-Roamer
Part Ford truck, part NASA and part family RV, this world-traveling vehicle is one big eco-traveler.
Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 01:03 PM
Some environmentalists dream of vacations on peaceful beach villas fueled by hydropower. Others might wish for a solar-powered hut of solitude to make like a modern Henry David Thoreau. Jay Shapiro is not one of these people. As Msnbc.com reports, his Eco-Roamer is a “high-tech, zombie-proof survival RV” and it is making its way to a continent near you.
Shapiro is a former advertising executive who sold his company to travel the world with his wife, two kids and two cats. Shapiro and family are currently traveling the globe, going from Alaska, then to South America, Africa, Europe, Russia and Asia. And they are doing so in the Eco-Roamer, a vehicle that Shapiro outfitted as a sort of green Frankenstein. As Msnbc.com reports, it is made up of two main parts. The cabin and chassis are part Ford F-650, and the biodiesel engine is from a Caterpillar C7.
Shapiro’s motivation is simple: "Go into the world and do well, but more importantly, go into the world and do good.” This is the motto of The Muskoka Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Shapiro. Shapiro says that many overland travelers are often doctors, lawyers, dentists and other professions who could offer their skills to poorer communities they visit. Providing the framework and tools for travelers, Shapiro and his organization want to help reduce poverty and improve living standards for communities around the globe.
So how does this result in a family RV that looks like it could survive "Mad Max Thunderdome"? Shapiro calls his creation “the world's first open-source, eco-friendly, family sized, 4x4 overland expedition vehicle.” Shapiro designed the Eco-Roamer on the principle that it be largely self-sufficient and not impact the areas it visits. It uses a Caterpillar C7 engine that proudly runs on biodiesel — in fact, the vehicle boasts a bumper sticker reading “Biodiesel: No dinosaurs were harmed while fueling this vehicle.” Containing two 130-gallon tanks, it can go 750 miles without refueling and can run on regular fuel if necessary. The Eco-Roamer has 42-inch tires, making it a powerful off-road vehicle.
On the inside, the vehicle holds all the modern conveniences. It has NASA-designed water purifying system, as well as Wi-Fi for wireless connection throughout the cabin. Solar panels cover the roof, and the vehicle contains a backup diesel generator for emergencies. According to Msnbc.com, Shapiro designed the cabin for comfort, storage and reliability. It has a fully outfitted kitchen, a composting toilet and shower, and a washer and dryer. The family comfortably sleeps in a cabin designed for eight people.
The Eco-Roamer is available to other entrepreneurial green travelers. To follow Shapiro and his family on their travels, go to Ecoroamer.com.
For further reading: