RVs range from tiny to spacious, but it’s not often that you see a two-story behemoth like the Commander 8x8 by SLRV Expedition Vehicles. When we first reported on this rolling mansion on wheels, it was about half way finished through its six-month construction. Love camper vans? Come join our community group!
Now, the Australian-designed motorhome has made its debut, and we can finally see more than the oversized exterior (take a virtual tour of the camper, here). The clients are a family of eight who wanted to be able to travel for months at a time through remote regions of the Outback. The motorhome is based on the German-built, military-focused Man 8x8 truck chassis and uses a solid lift-up roof design to add a second story.
Downstairs, the motorhome includes a private master bedroom, bathroom, kitchen galley, and a dinette that can seat the whole family. A king bed also drops down over the lounge to sleep two guests, and the design uses crisp whites and glossy dark cabinets for a sophisticated look. In order to feed and house that many people for long trips at a time, the client requested double ovens, double cooktops, and double fridges.
When the RV arrives at camp, a floating staircase provides access to the upper level, which houses dormitory-style beds for six kids and a pop-up TV. A central aisle lets you navigate through the sleeping quarters and each bed comes with its own reading light.
All of that equipment requires a ton of power, so the Commander 8x8 uses it all: a battery pack, solar panel, diesel-operated components, an alternator, and generator. It’s one of the most complex systems we’ve ever seen, and it will provide 12V, 24V, 48V, and 240V options, as well as massive water tanks to keep you rolling.
For those interested in scoring their own Commander 8x8 in Australia, each build is custom and uses either a single-story floorplan or the two-story model seen here. There’s no word exactly how much this motorhome cost, but earlier reports put the figure at $1 to $2 million.
When the Commander 8x8 was under construction, it prompted the question in our Facebook community group: How big is too big? Some criticized the Commander 8x8 for its oversized footprint, both on the road and environmentally. Others said that it only made sense in remote areas like the Outback, and would never function well in the U.S. And of course many criticized the Australian overlander because of its jaw-dropping price tag.
To be fair, the U.S. has its own giant and expensive RVs. While they may not have two stories, they do have multiple slide outs, hidden garages, and gas mileage in the single digits. Smaller travel trailers and camper vans are growing trends, but a large number of RV enthusiasts still own 30-plus foot motorhomes. The Commander 8x8 is an extreme example, but it demonstrates how many people want their RVs to function as mini-homes on the road—with all the amenities and space that come with it.