A family of 8 is traveling through Australia’s most remote regions in a fully customized, 2-story motorhome. Here’s a look inside.

SLRV Expedition Vehicle - Commander 8x8 - Custom RV - Australian Family of 8
Exterior view of the Commander 8x8.
  • An Australian family of eight commissioned one the largest campers in the world in order to explore Australia's most remote regions for months at a time.
  • Designed by Australian luxury expedition vehicle manufacturer SLRV, it serves as a fully functioning house on wheels. 
  • Dubbed the Commander 8x8, the vehicle is 40 feet long, two stories tall, and can sleep up to 10 people.
  • SLRV did not disclose the final cost of the camper but previously estimated that the price would fall between $670,000 and $1,370,000.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

An Australian family of eight is traveling around the wilds of Australia in a veritable mansion on wheels.

The family, who prefers to remain anonymous, contacted Australia's leading luxury expedition vehicle manufacturer, SLRV, in 2017 about designing a camper that would allow them explore the country's most remote regions for months on end, SLRV cofounder Warwick Boswerger told Business Insider.

This was no small feat: Australia is home to some of the world's last true wilderness and is the driest inhabited continent on Earth, consisting of 70% arid or semi-arid land.

But SLRV was up to the challenge. Boswerger and his team designed a two-story, 40-foot long camper van that New Atlas describes as "apocalypse-grade" and ranks among the largest expedition vehicles in the world. 

As of January 2021, the family is still traveling in the RV, though their travels are subject to restrictions due to COVID-19. Currently, each of Australia's states and territories has its own set of regulations for interstate travelers including closing borders and imposing mandatory quaratines.

Take a look inside.

An Australian family of 8 commissioned an 8-wheel, double-decker luxury camper to explore Australia's most remote regions.
SLRV Expedition Vehicle - Commander 8x8 - Custom RV - Australian Family of 8
Exterior view of the Commander 8x8.

SLRV, the country's leading expedition vehicle producer, designed the vehicle. 

The family wanted to be able to travel around Australia for months on end, SLRV cofounder Warwick Boswerger told Business Insider.

Dubbed the Commander 8x8, the vehicle is built on a military-grade MAN TGS truck base.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Custom Camper - Australian Family of 8
Exterior view of the Commander 8x8.

The Commander 8x8 is SLRV's largest build to date, and one of the largest expedition RVs in the world. SLRV also produces an array of 4-wheeler expedition vehicles. 

"People want to take the road less traveled; they want to see real natural beauty," Boswerger told Business Insider. "You can't see that by driving around on sealed roads. People want to do this in a degree of comfort — and that's what vehicles like ours provide."

The camper's defining feature is its 6.5-foot roof lift. Activated with the push of a button on an LCD screen, it transforms the RV from one story to two.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Commander 8x8 - Australian family of 8
Exterior view of the Commander 8x8.
The camper also boasts a state-of-the-art electric system comprised of lithium batteries charged by a solar panel system as well as a diesel backup generator and alternator.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Commander 8x8 - Australian Family of 8
Close-up view of the Commander 8x8 electric system.

The 9.5kVA alternator is a "world first" in an RV, according to Boswerger.

"We had to design an electrical system that not only powered all the appliances — it had to recharge and keep powering over and over out in the remote wilderness," he said in a release.

The camper's walls are close to 5 inches thick in sections, providing "fantastic insulation," Boswerger told Business Insider. "All this allows you to stay out in Australia's remote."

No inch of space is underutilized. Case in point: A washer unit and sink are accessed from the camper's exterior.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Custom Camper - Australian Family of 8
Close-up view of the Commander 8x8 washer unit and sink.

SLRV did not disclose the price of the camper, but previously estimated that the price would fall between $1 and $2 million Australian, or between $670,000 and $1.37 million US, Caravan Camping Sales reported.

SLRV designed the camper to have all of the comforts of home, including ducted air conditioning and heating.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Custom Camper - Australian Family of 8
View of the Commander 8x8 interior seen from the lounge area.
The first floor includes a lounge area that can seat up to 10 people ...
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Custom Camper - Australian Family of 8
View of the Commander 8x8 lounge area.
... as well as a fully functional kitchen with a double burner stovetop, two microwave ovens, and two fridges.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Commander 8x8 - Australian family of 8
View of the Commander 8x8 kitchen.
Past the kitchen is the master bedroom ...
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Commander 8x8 - Australian family of 8
View of the Commander 8x8 master bedroom.
... as well as the bathroom and shower. The camper can hold up to 264 gallons of water for travel to remote areas.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Commander 8x8 - Australian Family of 8
View of the Commander 8x8 bathroom and shower.
To accommodate additional guests, the lounge can also be converted into a bedroom.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Custom Camper - Australian Family of 8
View of the lounge area converted into a bedroom.
Between the dinette and kitchen, floating stairs lead up to the second level ...
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Commander 8x8 - Australian family of 8
View of the Commander 8x8 floating stairs next to the kitchen.
... which has a TV and six single beds with reading lights and individual windows.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Custom Camper - Australian Family of 8
View of the Commander 8x8 second story.
And there's plenty of storage for life on the road.
SLRV Expedition Vehicles - Custom Camper - Australian Family of 8
View of the Commander 8x8 second story under-bed storage.

 

Today's travelers are increasingly seeking meaningful, transformational experiences, and luxury RVs help them achieve that in style and comfort.
Australian Outback, sunset
The Australian Outback at sunset.

"Australians are quickly figuring out that these vehicles are the best way to spend an extended amount of time exploring remote Australia — and the rest of the world," Boswerger told Business Insider. "You can travel without a timeline — go see all the places you don't get to see on a fly in fly out holiday or organized tour. It's a personalized experience where you, the traveler, take control of where you want to go."

Travelers have transitioned from seeking simply "authentic" experiences to seeking truly meaningful experiences, Business Insider's Katie Warren previously reported. According to the 2018 Global Wellness Summit's 2018 trends report, this new type of travel "doesn't discard the focus on authentic experiences, but takes it to a deeper emotional level."

Business Insider's Taylor Borden similarly reported that millionaires and billionaires are increasingly eschewing "cookie cutter" trips. Instead, they're favoring "transformational" and unexpected, never-been-done-before experiences, Borden found, citing the observations of luxury lifestyle management company Insignia President Richard Lewis. "Our clients like their stable hotels, like the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton, but what we're starting to see is that desire for an immersive experience," Lewis said.

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