Prepare to be Impressed!
When you think of a purpose built expedition truck that offers 14 feet of interior living space, you probably wouldn’t use the word “nimble” to describe it. I mean 14 feet, almost 100 sq. ft., is a lot of space in a vehicle. An average Sprinter van conversion only gives you 83 sq. ft. of space, and in an EarthCruiser you have a good size indoor shower, dinette table for 4, full kitchen, and queen size bed you don’t have to crawl up into. So how can we call this a purpose built off-road truck? It would be too big to go anywhere… right? Wrong.
On our way back from the Baja XL Rally, we decided to do a comparison of an EXP expedition truck to a short-bed Toyota Tacoma that had our MOD camper on it. Here’s what we found:
First we made sure to line the trucks up so the front bumpers were even. This will help us see just how similar these trucks are overall. The first thing we noticed was how similar the height of an EXP with the roof down was to the Tacoma with the MOD camper on it. Now this Tacoma has a small lift, so the EXP is a few inches higher if it was compared to a stock truck.
Secondly we took a look at the wheelbase, as this is one of the most overlooked things on an expedition truck. In most cases, the shorter the wheelbase the better your break-over angle and turning radius will be. This means you’ll be able to handle tight switchback turns and crawl over obstacles without high-siding your vehicle. With this comparison we were a bit surprised to see that the wheelbase of our EXP was only 6 inches longer than the wheelbase of the Tacoma short-bed. That is pretty impressive!
To fully optimize your turning radius, you need to have good front wheel articulation. We knew that the EarthCruiser EXP has more articulation than the Tacoma, so when we got back to EarthCruiser HQ we had to test this a bit more to see how the overall turning radius compared between the two trucks. Here’s a quick video we made of our test:
Lastly we looked at the overall length of the two trucks, and noticed that the EXP was just over 1 foot longer than the Tacoma. This did not take into account the spare tire carrier or optional storage box on the rear bumper, so if you want to get picky you can include those.
We were skeptics at first too, but after lining them up it was proof that our “BIG” EarthCruiser EXP is very similar in size to the Tacoma. So if you consider a short-bed Toyota Tacoma a “nimble” off-road vehicle that’s music to our ears!