Bill Swails, designer of EarthRoamer XV-LT and XV-JP Xpedition Vehicles, has teamed with former key managers to start a new company and re-launch the EarthRoamer brand, according to a news release.
The new company, Xpedition Vehicle Service LLC, has purchased the remaining assets of EarthRoamer.com LLC which filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy in late 2009. The original EarthRoamer XV-LT molds and “EarthRoamer” trademark were among the assets purchased by the new venture, and the company will be operating under the trade name “EarthRoamer.”
The new company recently resumed production of EarthRoamer brand Xpedition Vehicles.
When launched in 2002, the four-wheel drive, turbo-diesel, Ford F-550 based EarthRoamer XV-LT revolutionized the expedition vehicle marketplace with its innovative design, quality construction and “go anywhere” capability. The XV-LT is capable of running entirely on renewable biodiesel and solar energy.
In a marketplace where traditional RVs continue to rely on noisy generators for electrical power, the EarthRoamer XV-LT utilizes a 0.5 KW solar panel array and a 6.1 KW/h AGM battery bank. Biodiesel compatible air heaters, water heaters and stoves replace the propane appliances found on traditional RVs. EarthRoamer XV-LTs are designed to tackle any terrain with features like four-wheel drive, aggressive military tires, front and rear heavy duty bumpers with winches, and high intensity discharge (HID) lighting.
2007 marked the launch of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited-based EarthRoamer XV-JP. The XV-JP quickly established itself as the most capable four wheel drive camper in production by being the first self-contained camper to complete the Rubicon trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The EarthRoamer XV-JP with its revolutionary LoftTop design was later recognized by the Boulder County Business Report when it received their IQ award for innovation.
Demand for the revolutionary camper design was strong and over 100 EarthRoamer XV-LTs were sold between 2002 and 2008 at an average retail price of almost $250,000 each. The company’s rapid growth was recognized in 2008 by Inc. Magazine when it reported EarthRoamer as the 597th fastest growing private company in the U.S. Inc. Magazine also identified EarthRoamer as the eighth fastest growing private transportation company in the US and the ninth fastest growing private company in the Denver metro area. With growth limited by production capacity, in mid 2005 EarthRoamer.com LLC purchased 3 1/2 acres in Lafayette, Colo., and began design of a new corporate headquarters and production facility.
Following record sales the 4th quarter of 2007, EarthRoamer.com LLC moved into a new 56,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in February of 2008 – just as diesel fuel prices began to climb to over $4.50 per gallon and the stock market began a precipitous decent. High fuel prices and a faltering economy caused a rapid drop in new vehicle sales and by midsummer 2008 the company had laid off half of its work force. By the end of 2008, the company was unable to service the debt on the new corporate headquarters and had ceased operations. Subsequently, EarthRoamer.com LLC was forced to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Recognizing the need to service and support existing EarthRoamer vehicle owners and an opportunity to revive the EarthRoamer brand, Swails joined forces with former production manager Eric Rexroth, and former service managers Tyler Tatro and Mike Funari to form Xpedition Vehicle Service LLC. The new company, operating under the trade name EarthRoamer, recently signed a long-term lease for production space and corporate offices just north of Denver at Long’s Peak Business Center in Dacono. Currently the company is manufacturing EarthRoamer XV-LTs in temporary leased space until the new space is ready for occupancy.
Swails and his team plan to offer its expertise in expedition vehicle design and construction to provide design/build services for individuals with unique requirements.
“If you can dream it, we can build it,” says Swails, president and CEO of EarthRoamer. In addition, the team is actively working on implementing new technologies like fuel cells, external combustion generators, lithium ion battery packs and parallel hydraulic hybrid drive systems.
According to Swails, “By aggressively embracing new and exciting technological advances and emphasizing world class design, EarthRoamer will continue to be the recognized leader in designing and building the most comfortable, capable and environmentally responsible expedition vehicles in the world.”
For more information, go to www.earthroamer.com.