Would You Buy This $190,000 Camper or $19,000 Camper?

Life’s all about choices. Do you have a salad for lunch or order that double cheeseburger with fries? Do you drop $1,500 on a new suspension, or do the maintenance you’ve been putting off for a while? Sometimes making the decision isn’t so fun, which is why today I’m happy to present you with a choice that is. Would you buy this EarthRoamer for $190,000, or a four-wheel-drive Isuzu for a little less than $19,000? Both are diesel-powered, four-wheel drive, and boast comfortable interiors, but one costs 10 times more and carries at least 10 times the luxury. Take a look below, and see which one you’d choose.

The 4×4 JDM Isuzu Camper- $18,500

Year: 1990

Engine: 2.8L 4JB1 turbo-diesel

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Mileage: Not stated

 

The original advertisement is listed below. Please note some capitalization and punctuation has been altered for readability. 

The Isuzu Rodeo is a Japanese factory-produced motorhome with a one-piece fiberglass shell, very similar to the Sunrader motorhomes. Powered by a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine (4-cylinder inline) and a 5-speed manual transmission with 4×4 high-low range. Runs and drives great. Good power, and great fuel economy! Interior Specs: This RV will sleep up to 4 people comfortably, has a large overhead sleeping area, and also a dinette and couch which fold into another Large sleep area. Has a bathroom with a shower and sink, a kitchen area with a cooktop, refrigerator, and kitchen sink. Lots of cabinets and other storage areas, along with outside basement storage areas. There’s a two-way fan in the center of the camper for ventilation. Flex Solar panel adhered to roof with charge controller easier accessible inside.

When my wife and I bought this, it had the original interior and was long overdue for some upgrades so we gutted the dingy carpet and laid new flooring. We pulled and painted cabinets, cut and placed new wall panels, and did tongue and groove across the roof. The cushions have also been reupholstered. The inside has a bright and clean updated look now that makes you feel so much more at home.

Everywhere we go in this thing people are stopping and asking about it. At first glance, you think it’s just another small camper, but then you realize it’s diesel, 4×4, and the driver is sitting on the right-hand side. From there people are asking nonstop questions about it.

It has been a lot of fun. My wife and I took this on as a project and still have some work to finish before completion, but we have our eye on another rig, so this one needs to go.

Clear Oregon title. A/C. Plenty of windows with fly screens. Camper has a large double bed over the cab and a pass-through into the camper from the cab. Table with a large sitting area that converts into more beds. Three-way fridge (12v/100/gas) currently not working (maybe something simple, may need to be replaced). Back of camper has a small sink and 2-burner stove with hood. Controls for the water pump, water tank, and waste tank, hot water, etc. Storage underfloor for food (common in Japan). Camper has central hot air gas heating for winter. The rear of the camper has a shower with hot water. Cassette toilet designed to fit in the bottom of the shower. Has outside awning, but the brackets are a little wonky. It still works but I was going to replace it. Outside of the camper, there are large storage compartments and storage for gas bottles. Ladder up to roof. Spare tire on the rear of the camper. Internal inverter to power 100V electrics. External power connection that also charges camper batteries and powers 12v internals via a second built-in inverter.

Here is a list of things I plan on continuing to work toward until the camper sells. Full disclosure, if we do any major repairs, the price will go up.

Exterior paint – Although it’s not bad, I had planned on either painting or wrapping the shell to address some faded and peeling paint. I sprayed the lower rocker panels black. It should be redone as well. I wasn’t too worried because I was going to address the whole rig anyway.

Awning –  The support bracket on one side was missing. I removed the other side so it can be used. The plan was to replace it with a new awning.

Fridge – I’m not sure why but the fridge doesn’t cool. I think it needs the element replaced. According to an RV dealer, they are absorption style cooling units and you either replace the entire unit or just the cooler. I haven’t looked into it any further.

Pass-through – The pass-through isn’t quite finished out as I want. I still may have it carpeted.

I’m sure there are other needs but those are the major ones. The camper is in perfectly usable condition right now. It has been freshly gone through by a local shop to check for issues. ALL fluids were replaced last summer. Brakes are in good condition. Ready for a new home. When I get a Craigslist ad built up, I will attach it. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Located in Junction City, OR

For more information and contact details, view the complete advertisement here.

The EarthRoamer XV-LT – $190,000

Year: 2007

Engine: Bulletproofed 6.0L Turbo-Diesel

Transmission: Automatic

Mileage: 62,500

 

The original advertisement is listed below. Please note some capitalization and punctuation has been altered for readability. 

Hello all, up for sale is our EarthRoamer #58 built on a 2007 F550 chassis. 62.5k miles in Bend, OR for $190,000. The 6.0 has been bulletproofed with Sinister Diesels Complete Solution Package, ARP head studs, F.C.I.M. and aftermarket turbo piping. In the past year, it has been through EarthRoamers maintenance/500-point inspection as well as having a new roof hatch and new house batteries installed. 2007 was the last year before they started to require D.E.F. additive on diesel trucks so no third tank or loss of power to worry about.

Body
• One-piece, molded composite laminate body
• TriMount camper mounting system
• Camper body painted to match Ford truck paint color
• Automatic electric entry steps
• Electric roof mount awning
• Full-size spare tire with hand winch for easy removal
• LED tail and brake lights
• LED area outdoor lighting
• Exterior storage access (two flip-down handle/steps and grab handle)
• Locking billet fuel and water doors

Living Space
• Enclosed bathroom/shower with expandable changing room
• Seating that converts to additional sleeping area
• Swingarm table
• Slide-out pantry
• Locking storage drawers
• Cedar closet with clothes hanging bar
• Extended flip-up granite counter in bench seat configuration

Cabinetry
• Premium wood cabinets
• Durable conversion varnish finish
• Hardwood dovetail drawers on full extension slides
• Real granite counters
Interior Upholstery
• Commercial grade, durable flooring
• Commercial grade vinyl seat and wall covering
• Commercial grade vinyl headliner

Interior Lighting:
• High-efficiency fluorescent lighting
• Task lighting over gallery and table
• Reading lights in bunk
• LED lights over the dining area

Appliances
• 7.0 cubic foot Norcold compressor refrigerator/freezer
• Ceramic cook-top stove (diesel)
• 1.5 cubic foot Sharp convection microwave

Electrical Systems
• Pre-wired for trailer
• Three 170-watt Sharp solar panels with solar charge controller
• 510-amp/hour AGM battery bank (two 255 amp-hour batteries)
• Battery charge monitoring system
• 2000-watt pure sine wave inverter with integrated 100-amp battery charger
• Marine AC and DC circuit breaker panel
• Marine-grade wiring and heat shrink connectors used throughout
• Camper battery and engine starting battery isolation system
• 30 amp external AC power connection (power cord and adapter included)
• Exterior AC/DC outlets

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems
• 7,000 BTU high-efficiency air conditioner with digital
thermostat
• 13,600 BTU diesel air heater with thermostat
• Dual-pane acrylic windows with built-in shades and bug screens
• Skylight/fan in bathroom
• Insulating curtain and pillow to seal cab from camper

Water System
• 85-gallon heated and insulated freshwater supply
• Dual freshwater filtration system
• 26-gallon heated and insulated gray water holding tank
• High capacity variable output water pump
• Cassette toilet
• 6.3-gallon hot water tank
• Diesel hydronic hot water and engine pre-heating system
• 10-inch-deep, polished, stainless steel sink
• Outside hot and cold water tap
• Filtered drinking water tap

Truck Accessories
• 50-gallon auxiliary fuel tank
• Fog lights
• HID driving lights
• Halogen off-road lights
• Billet aluminum grill
• Bug deflector
• Mesh radiator bug screen
• Heavy-duty front and rear aluminum bumpers
• Aluminum light guards on rear bumper
• Heavy-duty remote reservoir shocks
• Step bars
• Fender flares front and rear
• Heavy-duty front and rear stabilizer bars
• Air compressor, air horns, and air tank
• Sound-deadening material under carpet and in doors
• Heavy-duty “drive” tires on the rear wheels
• Heavy-duty “steer” tires on the front wheels

Options and Upgrades
• 16,500-pound electric front winch with synthetic rope
• 9,500-pound electric rear winch with synthetic rope
• Hella 4000 HID off-road lights
• Single-sided over-cab bunk cabinetry
• Keurig coffee maker
• Oasis XD3000 6 gallon air compressor
• In-cab Entertainment: * 7-inch touch-panel LCD screen * DVD
player * Navigation system * NavTraffic where available * Back-up
camera * Satellite radio * Voice recognition * 10 GB Music Library *
iPod-ready * Bluetooth-ready
• 4 channel amplifier and 4 upgraded speakers
• Rear seat headrest video displays with wireless headphones
• Security System including camper door and anti-theft Cyclops key
fob
• Samsung LCD TV
DVD player, separate MP3/CD/
Radio and 2 speakers

For more information and contact details, view the complete advertisement here.


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Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.