The Ultimate in Super-Duty Expedition Vehicles

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By Mark Williams

We’ve seen some well-built Super Duties in our day, but this one had us stopping in our tracks at the 2011 Overland Expo in Amado, Ariz.

Built by Global Expedition Vehicles, this UXV 550  starts with a Ford F-550 crew-cab dually frame and makes quite a few body and suspension modifications, putting military-grade airbags at all four corners with military spec rims and tires as well.

Body camper construction can be customized to order. This S84 model includes a small dining area, an oversized Teak wood bathroom, an overhead sleeping deck, all the kitchen amenities and two large swing-out windows.

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The outer body uses bullet-train and marine-grade technologies to mold, support reinforce the structure and skin. Under the hood is a 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine. Two full-size spare tires are in back, with a small winch-operated bike rack held out of harm’s way.

 
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Racer (and self-described outlaw) Jesse James heard about this vehicle being built and thought it would be perfect as a support vehicle for his race team, as well as the ultimate base camp explorer. Global Expedition Vehicles doesn’t sell a lot of vehicles — just a few a year — but when they do, it’s something special. And it’s not limited to Fords. Current models are also built on Unimog, International and Mercedes-Benz chassis.

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As you might expect, these units are not cheap. Many models start at several hundred-thousand dollars and build from there. It all depends on what you want, what you need, and how deep into the backcountry you want to explore.  

 

Comments

I don't like fords, but thats a nice truck.

This is near where I live! I went to the one last year but missed this year's. It is an incredible expo for the off road crowd. There are also many presenters who talk about awesome things they have done. One for example spoke how he and a team of like 6 or so experts in different areas, went out to rescue a Russian airplane from Antarctica. How they had to take food and supplies to sustain themselves for a month and also a jet engine for the plane. It was just incredible to hear and see what these guys experience.

Only issue I have with it is that it needs more ground clearance, especially with such a long wheelbase. Hi-centering comes to mind.

I would like to see how well it does in the sand and deep mud. Can the weight of this fine vehicle not sink down to the axles?

I'll take the FJ in the background...

Of course it takes a Ford Super Duty to be the base vehicle. Built Ford Tough! The vehicles are awesome.

Ditch twist bait

The mentioned air bags should add some lift. Looks like they tried to keep the wheels small so the spares fit into the sides. Foo-foo interior would have to go.

So it's like a smaller, wussier version of a Dakar Rally truck?

This, however, is certainly about the limit of what one can do with an F-550 chassis, although I have doubts about the extent to which this thing can cope "off the beaten path" with its low-hanging pumpkins and probably massive weight.

Further, who considers it camping when there's an indoor bathroom?

um Bob, wrong story? I believe your looking for the one where they are gonna test the ecoboost f150 right?

DROOL!!!

@Tom,

It doesn't matter which story Bob posts to he always says the same thing.

wow i didnt know the 5.3 chevy was related to this...i think i missed something.

@Bob

Stop whining. Ford's old 5.4 had as much torque as GM's 6.0.
I know by experience towing 8000lbs.
Everyone complains about the 5.3's lack of power.
The only thing I give GM is the "Isuzu" Duramax and it's Allison tranny.

I work for the Ford dealer that sold this truck, this truck is massive up close, great looking truck, and for the chevy fanboys, this isn't ford vs chevy, this is just an article showing of what a truck can become!

I see those are Continental tires, but what kind? Can't find them on the internet. They look good.

The F550 based Expedition vehicle works in the Americas, but it is pretty vunerable if you want to take it elsewhere globally. F550 parts are rare as hens teeth, that is why they are not at all common as an Expedition vehicle base.

@Bob
Well you couldn't help yourself could you. You come to an article thats not even related to GM and you whine about GM's 5.3L.

Its obvious you have an inferiority complex about the 5.3L...I mean why else would you come to an article completely unrelated to GM and start comparing the 5.3L to Fords new engines....Fords new 1/2 ton engines aren't even mentioned in this article!!!!

Jesus dude, lay off the GM koolaid.

Cool rig!

LMFAO at the TROLL!


Well you see you guys, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. In addition to the offending poster, the noun troll can also refer to the provocative message itself, as in "that was an excellent troll you posted". While the term troll and its associated action trolling are primarily associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labels highly subjective, with trolling being used to describe intentionally provocative actions outside of an online context.

While many webmasters and forum administrators consider trolls to be a scourge on their sites, some websites welcome them.

This site and others are often used as a base to troll against sites that their members can not normally post on. These trolls feed off the reactions of their victims because "their agenda is to take delight in causing trouble."

Thanks Bob!

http://www.mclol.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/troll1.jpg

@Bob wrong story hoss. This thing is cool. I cant even afford the regular one much less this beast. Oh heres something to think about. I wonder what the old Chevy and GMCs would've done with the ditch twist test. I believe it would look alot like the Ford did. GM has the most rigid frame lets get over it. The Super Duty hasnt had a major frame adjustment in years. Its ok because at the end of the day GM still has Howie and Ford has Mike.

I would rather have a Toyota Hilux or a Toyota Land Cruiser pickup .

@Taylor your on the money there. Expedition vehicles outside NA tend to be F450 to F650 sized for serious long range touring.

Yup, I can just picture all that pretty fiberglass cracking on the old ditch twist test! Actually, flexible chassis not withstanding that's a nice rig. I think if I were to build a rig like that I would start with a surplus M35. Why settle for 'mil-spec' tires and wheels when you can get a whole 'mil-spec' truck for (lots) less money?

I get bored after 1 day of camping...

"Many models start at several hundred-thousand dollars and build from there. "
Just a rich kid's toy. Not something a working man, or even his boss, could ever afford.
Gimme a 3/4 ton 4x4 with a camper on the back.

You ever need a spare nut in the boonies there are at least twenty spares on the front wheels.

@Marco- I'm more than a little jealous.
@Ken- Perhaps the bags are in a lowered "park" position. The tires aren't any bigger than what they are, because that would adversely affect durability, and no one cares how big your tires are, when a wheel bearing decides it's had enough of your trip. What Foo-foo interior? Teak is durable as hell, the rest looks easy care to me.
@Different Luke- Not sure what type of travel you have in mind, but the point of expedition trucks isn't to see what jeep trails thay can manage.
@UncleBud- Conti MPT81's- http://www.conti-online.com/generator/www/us/en/continental/industry/themes/products/multipurpose_tires/radial_tyres/mpt81/mpt81_en.html
Looks like standard fare on the 'Mog
@RobertRyan- right you are, but for N America (and much of S America) the F550 offers a great value, better servicability, and arguably more comfortable driving.
@Big Bob- the camper units on trucks like this are (almost) always mounted on a 3-point system, allowing the frame to trwist, as it should. M35s are cool, if like going 45 on the highway, going deaf, and getting low single digits in fuel economy.
I'd really like to see how something like this stacks up against the TurtleV on one end, and a Unicat truck on the other. Cheers!

@Mrknowitall, thanks. Perhaps they may be a bit overkill for a pickup.

@Frank, thanks a bunch for the great info about trolls, although all it served to do is define you as one.

@UncleBud,

You don't hear me touting the 5.4L is the best engine in the world, I don't end my post with let it be written, let it be done.

I give props to GM and all Truck makers. Although a GM is the bottom of the barrel list for me, you don't hear my sounding like Bob. I got a life, mind you.

Your post was an utter failure, I suggest you retract yourself and try to define what you really said. Incoherence.

Thanks Uncle BOB, I'm mean Bud!

I can't afford the price of admission to this world.
My overland vehicle is a pickup with a canopy and a sheet of plywood across the top of the box with a foam matress and sleeping bag. LOL.
I think a Unimog or any truck with portal axles would be the way to go to gain the ground clearance to compensate for the mass.
In reality - this truck won't see anything more difficult that what a standard motorhome might experience.
Must be nice being someone with too much money and too much free time...

@ Frank
i like your post it was the truth we all like to come here and share info not shove it down somebody throat like Bob does

@Frank, I am not Bob, but I can see how much fun he must have aggravating you.

@Lou,

Whoever bought this thing is going to wake up one day wishing he just had, as you do, a "pickup with a canopy and a sheet of plywood across the top of the box with a foam matress and sleeping bag" instead of this $250,000 headache. Sleep tight in the back of your pickup, Lou.

@Uncle Bud,

Riiiiiiiiight! And the Chicago Cubs just won the World Series.

@ UncleBud -
I can't do that kind of stuff anymore with 2 kids, 2 dogs and a wife.
Well????
Maybe the kids and the dogs would like it. LOL.

I actually think a lot of people could benefit from this. After all, camping now days involves taking showers, don't believe me ask my wife.

@ Bob - is your new strategy "good cop, bad cop"?????
"New" Bob acts semi civil to throw off the quivering, confused masses and then some "new" poster - Chevy man, Uncle Bob acts like the "old" Bob. Brilliant plan.
On the subject of recalls - this site needs to do its own recall, not airbags but windbags..... namely you!

Lets break down your list:
1.First place techonology. Onstar.
Actually NO
Technology sites say OnStar is good for "older" technically unsophisticated people.
Sync is much better for everyone else.

2.First place beauty. Silverado.
Didn't you say that beauty was in the eye of the beholder or beer holder?

3. First place features. Bed height.
Please clarify that one?
The village idiot (Howie Long) goes out of his way to say that Ford's sit higher now he is saying they sit lower....
Make up your mind!

4. First place fuel economy. 23 highway.
That would be with a hybrid that costs.... what?
12,000 dollars more than Ford's 3.7 V6 that gets the same highway MPG and basically can tow the same.

5. First place offroad. Z71.
You really serious on that one?
2 words (actually 3) Raptor, Power Wagon!

6. First place power. Duramax.
On paper no. In the tests yes.

7. First place luxury. Denlai package. heated steering wheel
I recall a certain commercial where a certain baffoon made fun of the heated steering wheel on a Ram.
I'd say everyone else had better luxury trucks before the Denali (as nice a truck that it is)

Oh, by the way you spelled Denali wrong.

8. First place towing and payload. GM.
That one I'd have to disagree with as well. Pick a truck. Post your correct answers?

9. First place innovation. Chevy Avalanche.
I'm not sure what you are refering to? The midgate? a feature that is useless anywhere outside of sunny SoCal?
A truck that usually gets outsold by the Ridgeline.
Try again.

10. First place braking.
Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes Standard Siverado Not Available on Ford.
You have to find a more accurate source for information than GMC's website.
You are correct.
Drum brakes are not available on a Ford.
They've had better disc brakes on the rear for years now.
Do you know why GMC went back to drum brakes in the rear?
They couldn't make rear disk brakes that would survive when they got dirty, muddy or grimmy.
I don't know about you. but my truck gets dirty, grimmy, and muddy quite often. That is why I bought a 4x4.

11.
What Makes a Silverado a Silverado?
Traction control system, smooth responsive handling, StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System, remote keyless entry, full size spare tire, power passenger side mirror

Ford and Dodge Ram have those features as well.

12.
the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road

I agree 100%. No guy in their right mind will take a Chevy truck off a road!
That is why they make Dodge and Ford.

School is out for today.

@Lou,

His helmet was on too tight today, the short bus left him and now I must call his Parent/Siblings to pick him up.

He's throwing a fit, he keeps saying........ I want my mommy, let it be written, let it be done.

The other kids are making fun of him and throwing things towards him calling him a dunce.

I do hope they take good care of this child.

whit this light frame y hope they dont go in the wood and drive only on pave road..

@ Frank -
Acting like the spines on a cactus is a choice.
Riding the shortbus is not!

I do agree that something was too tight today.

Must of cracked from the pressure of trying to behave like a civil human being!

You guys are nuts. The name UncleBud comes from what my niece and nephew call me, because I used to wear a Budweiser uniform everyday back when I had a beer route. Currently, I work with a timber management company, as Lou and I have discussed. Sorry Lou, Bob wasn't in your class today. Frank, how long did you spend on the definition of 'troll' anyway? I'm willing to bet it was longer than Bob spent worrying about your opinion.

Reminds me of the Earthroamers

@UncleBud - I respect your opinion. My opologies. I do like your nick-name once the story is expalined.
Frank gets tense with anti-Ford comments and
Bob is....... well.........Bob.
Bob does get the pleasure of attending my class. Problem is - he ends up getting most of his posts killed by the site administrator.
Looks like a few got through.
Good night.

@Bob

Lol were you not reminded by Mike that insulting will get your comments deleted and/or fourms shut down?

If I was Bob I'd cry myself to sleep after seeing all these people hate me. Back on the subject of the story though check this for an "overland"vehicle
http://www.crittergitters.net/
I'd like to be able to kill what I want, when I want, where I want. That is true luxury.

@Hurry'up'n'wait-I really liked the original Earthroamer. The Jeep set-up is cool, but $6k gets you in the door with the Flip-pac Habitat. The new earthroamers are one-piece shells, which is cool, but they are HUGE. I think they would do well to adapt the same tech to something closer to the original.

@Mr Knowitall EarthCruiser a local Expedition vehicle has had its product reviewed in a US RV magazine site. It was designed to go into a ship container and to have an off road suspension that was not hard on the occupants.
http://www.roamingtimes.com/press-release/9/3-earthcruiser-rv-expedition-vehicle.aspx

@RR- The Earthcruiser is pretty sweet, especially in terms of maneuverability. The FG is a nice chassis, but in America it's expensive compared to a Cummins Ram (~$36k). Sure, Fuso or Mercedes might have better global support, but in the US, Canada, and even Mexico, domestic trucks a great way to go. Personally, the ultimate platform to me would be a VDJ78 with a Dyna Cab.



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