There is no way around it, the EarthCruiser Mercedes Benz G-Pro Escape is an object of desire. This tightly integrated pop-up camper mated to a Mercedes Benz G Professional chassis has serious off-road capability combined with a refined and compact living space.
EarthCruiser Australia Builds A Beast
With offices in Bend, Oregon, and New South Wales, Australia, EarthCruiser describe themselves as a “world-class overland company dedicated to a community who want a lifestyle of traveling without barriers.” With founders Lance Gillies and his wife, Michelle Boltz, two well-traveled explorers, it’s easy to see how EarthCruiser vehicles have evolved to become a well-regarded choice for the most remote and demanding international overlanders.
The G-Pro Escape (offered by EarthCruiser, Australia) upholds EarthCruiser’s quality and durability standards, but with a wheelbase of just over 11 feet, it is one of the smaller vehicles in their lineup. Compared to other offerings like the Unimog, Iveco Daily Euro, and Fuso EV 4×4, the G-Pro Escape opens up even more remote and technical overland objectives thanks to its smaller footprint (it can fit in a standard shipping container). And although Mercedes is discontinuing the G-Pro in AU until a re-release in 2022, EarthCruiser still has some of these older models available.
The EarthCruiser Mercedes Benz G-Pro Escape at a Glance
As you might expect with a price tag over $200K, the Escape has an extensive list of features: powered pop-top roof, powered retractable steps, and a powered sunshade/awning, all run by a 500 amp/hour set of lightweight, lithium house batteries. There are also 540 watts of roof-mounted solar panels to keep everything powered and a 3000-watt inverter produces enough electricity to run an optional air conditioning unit.
Clear, vinyl windows surround the perimeter of the pop-top, letting in ample sunlight (with opaque coverings for sleeping). Insect netting ensures that you can open the windows on warm days to keep things comfortable inside the camper.
The cab of the G-Pro Escape is intentionally minimalist, although EarthCruiser has done quite a lot to “soldier-proof” things, as they say. Everything is built for remote travel, with the only real trappings of luxury here being the brown, leather upholstered seats. The EarthCruiser team extended the rear cab wall, giving the front seats approximately 3 inches of additional travel for a more comfortable seating angle. They have also added a small center console which is not standard.
The cab does have one other unique addition; a touch screen control panel where you would expect to find a rear view mirror. From this screen, users can access multiple vehicle cameras (i.e., backup, sides, and front), emergency lighting (bar, fog, etc.), and DC peripherals like the camper pop-top and steps. This control panel also lets you transfer fuel from the auxiliary fuel (160L) tank to the main fuel tank (90L).
The side entryway to the camper body doubles as a bathroom with a powered, retractable toilet and wet-shower. A sail-fabric shower curtain stows under a hard plastic hatch in the ceiling above. There is even an additional outdoor shower that stows in a hard-sided exterior cabinet.
The kitchen has a 22L fridge/freezer combo, Webasto diesel cooktop, and one duel-plug power outlet on the backsplash. Molded polyethylene storage cabinets with soft-close hardware and travel locks keep cabinets and drawers from opening up when you’re rambling across rough terrain.
*An additional touchscreen control panel is located in the kitchen.
Leather-trimmed seating for two and a stowable Lagun table make up the main seating area. The dinette converts for sleeping with a slide-out, double-sized bed. Manual “critical override” switches for all electrical components and systems can be accessed from inside the camper, below the seating in the dinette area. And a control panel for the camper heating system is mounted right next to the bed, allowing users to turn on the heat and warm up the living space without getting out from under the covers. earthcruiser.com
V6/135Kw/400N, 6 cylinders, diesel
5 Speed Automatic
SUSPENSION AND DRIVE
Upgraded shock absorbers
Coil spring upgrade
Tire monitoring (TPMS)
3 lockers—front, center, and rear
WHEELS AND TIRES
35 x12.5R17 wheels, track wider by 150 millimeters and custom flares installed
RECOVERY AND ARMOR
Rear snatch points
OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES AND UPGRADES (NOT INCLUDED ON BASE MODEL)
Central tire inflation and monitoring (CTIS)
On-board compressed air
Front and/or rear 13,000-pound Runva winch
EarthAir rear-mounted air conditioner
80 channel UHF (GME) with aerial
Upgraded sound system featuring Hema mapping, Bluetooth and iPhone connectivity
But what if you live in the USA? There are a few options, including purchasing the vehicle and registering it in Australia, although that will only permit international travel, as it is too new to import to the USA. Or, you’ll want to check out the EXD which EarthCruiser Oregon can build on your choice of a Ford F350 or Ram 3500 chassis.