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EarthCruiser is one of the absolute top dogs in the overland camper market. As many of us know, the world found a renewed sense of exploration after March of 2020. The pandemic inspired us (Inspired? Sure, we’ll go with that) to separate from our normal, crowded world and retreat to the peace and solitude of the “van life.” It wasn’t just campers and other kinds of RVs that took off during this time; anything that got us outside and away from others became a booming business. Now EarthCruiser has a new stripped-down version of the Isuzu cab-over platform called “CORE,” and something tells me we will love it. 

Is EarthCruiser making a new camper? 

Well, not exactly. It’s cooler than that.

CORE isn’t so much of a new camper model as it is a whole new division within EarthCruiser. This new division is meant to serve any, and all DIY and custom 4×4 builds. Instead of only offering fully realized overland machines, EarthCruiser realized the gap in the 4×4 overland chassis market. Why not allow people to build their own campers the way they want but offer them a high-end 4×4 chassis to build it on?

The introduction of the CORE series, which is based on the 4×4 Isuzu NPR cab-over truck platform, adds a whole new dimension to the EC lineup.

What is the EarthCruiser CORE?

The new CORE series is a clever expansion into other needs and applications for EarthCruiser’s go-anywhere-ness outside of just recreational use. Shane Kwaterski, EarthCruiser’s Sales Manager, was kind enough to sit down with me and talk about what the CORE division is really meant for.

“The cab-over platform has been the foundation for our flagship models, the FX, and the EXP,” said Kwaterski. EC realized that with this Isuzu NPR chassis, there is much more potential than just recreational builds. “We were like, ‘we could use this chassis for many more things outside of recreation….” The realization was that if these strong 4×4 chassis – set up with EC’s proprietary 4×4 driveline – do so well recreationally, then why not apply this platform to municipal vehicles, search and rescue rigs, off-road fire trucks, and DIY campers? 

“It’s a great chassis to up-fit for expedition travel, but there are so many other uses for it that we are just beginning to tap,” he said. “We live in the Pacific Northwest. We are having historic droughts and fires year-over-year. To think that we could build a product to help mitigate these problems in our own backyard is really cool.” 

The idea is that since EarthCruiser isn’t really in the fire rescue business or search and rescue, the team might not be the most equipt to build those kinds of rigs. Instead, the service professionals can buy a rock-solid platform to build the specific rig they need. An all-purpose platform for purpose-built 4x4s is the ethos of the CORE.

The new EarthCruiser rig is actually pretty small

As we know, EarthCrusiers can be big. However, with this new NPR Chassis coming as a sort of blank canvas and not necessarily as a fully fleshed rig, two things are now happening. The first is that Kwaterski says, “the footprint is no bigger than your average midsize pickup truck, like a Toyota Tacoma.” He makes a point to explain that while EarthCruisers can fit in a normal parking spot, you’re still likely to get a lot of attention because these things, while shorter and more narrow, are still large, commanding vehicles. 

How much does the EarthCrusier CORE cab-over cost? 

The base CORE chassis starts at just over $100,000, available in single and double cab. Keep in mind that this is just the truck with the cab. There is no camper built at this price. EC did this to allow for a cheaper entry point for the EC proprietary 4×4 system in a rig trusted by them to get you there, wherever “there” is.

The idea is that this platform can be transformed into whatever rig a customer needs. From rural fire trucks to family camper rigs, the CORE is opening up loads of new opportunities for more types of customers to come to the EarthCruiser brand, and that is a beautiful thing. 


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