Recreational vehicles and motor homes range from basic camper trailers to luxury homes on wheels. However, there is a niche that most people have never heard of – the military grade RV. What is a military grade recreational vehicle? And how do the military grade RVs differ from other types of RVs? We’ll share seven differences that make an RV a military grade RV?
Item 1: Four Wheel Drive
Military grade recreational vehicles typically have four-wheel drive. This gives them far better traction on dirt roads, slippery surfaces and other rough or dangerous driving conditions. And in many cases, this is but one of the design changes necessary to allow the RV to go off-road.
These vehicles may be referred to as “bug-out vehicles” to carry your family to safety in a disaster. Realistically, most of them are ideal for hunters who want to take their RV into the mountains or along trails to their destination.
Item 2: The Ultra-Rugged Tires
Military grade RVs are designed to travel off-road. To achieve this, they have much larger and more durable tires. For example, you’ll often find 44 inch tires on a military RV that can drive over rough rocks, branches and other debris that would puncture a car tire. And in many models, they are actual military vehicle tires. The spare tires are equally rugged, and they are generally mounted high off the ground so that it isn’t damaged when you drive through uneven terrain. That’s why the vehicles come with a special winch to get the spare tire down.
Item 3: The Powerful Engine
Military RVs are built around powerful engines. Forget the standard truck engine. You’ll get a 200 to 400 horsepower diesel engine, depending on the manufacturer. It isn’t just capable of pulling the heavy living quarters but often towing an additional load on a hitch. Whether you’re pulling another travel trailer, ATVs, jeep or supplies depends on the situation. Depending on the model, the military-grade RV can pull an additional 10,000 to 20,000 pounds. This allowed the military to take water, fuel, supplies or aid to remote locations in addition to skilled personnel who might live in the RV for weeks at a time.
Item 4: The Steel Shell
Most military RVs have steel sides. Note that most RVs have fiberglass for the exterior. The steel shell may not be aesthetically pleasing, but it will take a lot of abuse without cracking or breaking. If it gets dented, you can bang it back out. Yet the interior of the military RV is rather conventional. You’ll get a kitchen and bathroom along with sleeping arrangements. Air conditioning may or may not be installed. However, a decently sized fridge, stove and often a microwave are part of the package.
Item 5: The Mega Fuel Tanks
Military RVs are designed to travel hundreds of miles through hostile territory. You can’t stop for gas. That’s why they typically have two, large gas tanks. It doesn’t just give you greater range. It also means you have fuel if one tank or the other is damaged. In military grade RVs or retro-fitted military RVs, this allows you to run a generator for days in addition to being able to drive several hundred miles between fill-ups. A few military-grade RVs come with water purification systems or massive water tanks.
Item 6: The Different Sleeping Arrangements
A military grade RV is designed to be lived in by a group of people for an indefinite amount of time. There isn’t a single large bedroom in the back like a master bedroom. Instead, you have bunk beds or double sleeping areas for six to eight people. They make up for this by having a much larger bathroom. The bathroom may be wet or dry. The military RV length can be anywhere from 20 to 30 feet. Some models have slide-out portions to extend the living space when you’re parked.
Item 7: The Increased Ground Clearance
Military RVs are anywhere from three to five feet off the ground, depending on the chassis it is built around. The high ground clearance allows the RV to drive through modestly deep water without stalling. This does mean the RV needs steep stairs to enter. The driver is also so high up off the ground, so that they have an excellent of the road.
Military RVs might be built around a Light Medium Tactical Vehicles shell or other work vehicle. However, all of them allow you to go off blacktop roads and into the wild for at least a little while. They’re designed to handle rougher terrain and take more abuse than the standard RV.