Everywhere our truck goes it is admired! It doesn’t matter whether we park outside a market, supermarket, bank or in an RV park, campground or National, State or Regional Park, there is a steady stream of people wanting to take a picture, ask what type of vehicle it is and whether it will “go anywhere”.
This page lists the questions that we are asked every time we go anywhere – with answers!
There are videos on our Instagram and Youtube Channel – see links on this blog. There is also a gallery of pictures of our truck in many places we have taken it – see the galleries section on the main menu.
What is it?
It is an RB44 Camper Conversion. It is an overland truck, expedition vehicle and off-road RV that will go anywhere.
What is that then?
A Reynolds Boughton RB44 with a custom-built camper body.
What’s the spec’?
Our truck chassis/cab is a an RB44.
Converted for the British Army by Reynolds Boughton, UK, it was based on a Renault Dodge 50.
The engine is a Perkins Phaser 110MT 4 litre Diesel.
It has a manual 5 speed gearbox and selectable high/low transfer gearbox with a central locking differential and limited slip rear differential, Dana 60 axles.
It is a left-hand drive with power assisted steering [the British Army made half of these right hand drive and the other half left hand drive – it has not been changed].
It has leaf spring suspension giving excellent stability on and off road.
The cab seats are comfortable giving a great vantage point all round.
The cab has extra locks on the cab doors for added security, a through-door to the camper and there is built-in storage for everyday things like maps, snacks, cameras etc as well as a small safe.
How big is it?
It is similar to a Unimog in size.
It is just over 7 ft wide, under 20 ft long, only 10.5 ft high.
From floor to ceiling, ie; standing up space in the cooking area, it is 6′ 1″.
Inside dimensions of the camper body/box are: length 10’ 2” and width is 6’ 5”.
It will go anywhere, even a supermarket parking bay.
I would describe it as halfway between a Unimog and a delivery truck, good on road and good off-road.
How many horses?
The Perkins engine produces a mighty 110 horsepower. It will never be known as a fast getaway vehicle but it cruises at 60mph all day long and gets us where we need to go quite easily.
Is it a camper?
Yes. Jon [a qualified engineer] built the custom-made camper body that is mounted on the chassis. We get a lot of comments on the quality of the finish of the truck as he took tremendous care with a lot of attention to detail. It is very well-made.
Inside there is a full queen-size double bed with a proper sprung IKEA mattress, new in August 2016]. The bed has a winding mechanism to take it up into the roof when not in use. There is enough headroom to sit up in bed for tea/coffee in the morning.
Underneath the bed is a comfortable seating area and a table for dining, relaxing and working. There is enough room for 2 adults to stretch out comfortably, one either side of the table and room on the table for food or laptops etc. We even sat round this table with Sarah’s brother and her 12 year old nephew one day when they visited us at a UK campground. They brought supper to our camp one evening before we left the UK and there was just enough room for 4 to sit and eat it.
For cooking there is a [very clean] oven with 3 burner hob and grill, a small sink and draining sink, a WAECO compressor fridge. There are various drawers and cupboards and under seat lockers [currently housing our inflatable canoe and outside chairs among other things].
There is a large storage hatch above the cab and storage inside the cab area.
Has it got heat, lights and water on board?
There is a propane powered air heater and water heater. The truck is very well insulated, cozy in the winter and cool in the summer.
It has LED lights throughout and even in some of the cupboards when you open the doors.
We run on solar most of the time but can plug into an electric hook-up to charge batteries if parked up for a long period in dull weather. Our leisure batteries charge through the solar panels and also when driving – so if we move, we charge and if there is sunlight, we charge.
There are 2 water tanks – one inside [protected from the cold] and one outside underneath the chassis. They hold 85 litres and 90 litres.
A 60 litre grey water tank collects the waste water from the sink.
There is a large built in propane/LPG tank and also 2 additional propane bottles as backup.
I guess it will go anywhere, right?
Yes. It is permanent 4 wheel drive with a locking central differential and limited slip rear differential.
Is it heavy on gas?
If you are used to a car – yes. If you drive a truck – no.
It runs on any type of diesel it is not fussy.
It has a top speed of 68mph or 110 kph. It cruises best at 60mph.
The engine has no electrics, it is all mechanical.
There are 2 fuel tanks of 125 litres and 90 litres giving a range of about 850 miles or 1370 km.
As of October 2017, current figures are approximately:
Current mileage on the clock is around 27500 miles [when we started our road trip it was around 5000].
16 litres diesel = 100km
1 litre diesel = 3.75 miles
1 US gallon = 15 miles
1 UK gallon = 18 miles
Not too bad for a 5 tonne truck, fully loaded including fuel/water!
How did it get here?
We had it shipped into Halifax, Nova Scotia. We have driven from there to where we are now. There was no option to ship it directly from the UK so we caught a car ferry from Harwich, UK, to the Hook of Holland, then drove to Antwerp, Belgium.
In Antwerp, the truck was eventually put on a ship called Atlantic Sail. The original ship was Atlantic Cartier. This was changed and then Atlantic Sail was delayed. The whole process took 28 days in total from delivery at the port in Antwerp to collection in Halifax. This should have been 17 days and the delay cost us dearly.
We arranged the shipping through Seabridge.
Where has it been?
So far we have driven it from the UK to Belgium in Europe, then [after its trip across the ocean by boat to Canada] from Nova Scotia to Niagara Falls, then into the USA at Michigan. Our first USA/Canada Road Trip covered central USA via South Dakota through Badlands and Custer Parks, back into Canada at Osoyoos in British Columbia and around to Banff. We came back into the USA at Glacier Park for our second USA road trip through Montana, Idaho, Oregon, California and finally into Mexico at Tecate.
We have driven all around Baja California and completed part of the off-road route for the Baja 500 race across the mountains from the Baja Observatory to San Felipe. We drove down the Baja peninsula before catching a ferry across to Topolobampo near Los Mochis [for a visit to Copper Canyon]. We drove on down the coast through Nayarit to Puerto Vallarta, inland to Lake Chapala, Jalisco, for Mexican Independence Day and on to the colonial city of Zacatecas, before various places in Chihuahua and finally crossing back into the USA at Big Bend National Park. Since then we have started our 3rd USA road trip in Texas, arriving in New Mexico for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October 2017.
Numbers of USA states driven through so far: 15
Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico.
Canadian Provinces: 6
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta.
Border Crossings: 8
UK/Holland, Holland/Belgium, Nova Scotia [by sea], Ontario/Michigan, Washington State/British Columbia, Alberta/Montana, California/Baja California, Mexico/Texas.
Miles covered: around 22000 over 12 months!
Here is a picture of a note left on our windscreen one day.