How much does an expedition truck cost?

Before you can travel around the world with your own vehicle, you need to purchase and/or remodel one. The price tag of an expedition vehicle can vary immensely – from a few hundred for a motorcycle to half a million or more for the most luxurious expedition trucks.

 

The price of an Expedition Truck

Even within the class of expedition trucks the prices vary greatly. Various factors impact their total cost:

Expedition truck next to Portuguese cliff

CHASSIS:

  • The offroad capacity of the truck
  • The kilometers on its clock (PS: an full-size truck with 100.000Km is just in its infant years)
  • Engine power (Its difference you notice especially on hills and when taking off.)
  • Quality of material (e.g., shocks, tires, paint, regular or stainless steel, thickness, …)
  • In case of an older truck, when and how much it has been overhauled

The age of the rig itself is often less relevant. For example, +25 year trucks can be an immense benefit: cheaper oldtimer insurance & Taxes, easier import, … Many also prefer less technology over complicated tech. Since this  allows them to resolve issues themselves (with or without any bush mechanic) No specialized expertise needed.

Interior of Expedition Truck | Terratrotter®

LIVING UNIT:

  • Size. (But remember bigger is not necessarily better. 
  • Material used for its interior (e.g., plastic vs wood vs aluminum)
    • Watch out for lower-grade plastic and wood used for regular Motorhomes/RVs. These often don’t survive bad gravel roads or the test of time.
  • Technology on board (e.g., no name brands or well-established specialized products; how much solar; …)
  • Amount of intelligent, innovative and custom-made solutions (contributes to a comfortable home in a limited space) 
  • Fresh water capacity (–> how much time of your traveling do you have to spend looking for water)
  • Comfort
  • Its overall condition and workmanship
  •  

 

How did we (roughly) estimate the cost of our truck?

    1. We first tried to decide what kind of vehicle (including its amenities) would best fit our travel plans and needs.
      TIP: “5 questions helping you choose the right overland vehicle”
    2. We searched online for similar vehicles and their prices.
    3. We approached expedition truck owners to check if our estimations were realistic. Notice that we did not do this earlier nor asked them rudely “How much did you pay for it” as our one and only question. Owners and professional builders are more likely to help you when you’re genuinely interested and well prepared.
    4. Finally, we adjusted our expectations based on the budget we have !AND! adjusted our budget to our dream/plan 🙂

 

Vehicle and material costs

As a result we quickly realized that building a high-end expedition truck was far more expensive than we initially thought. We wanted a vehicle that could deal with all sorts of terrains and weather. And at the same time it needed to be comfortable and esthetically pleasing. This meant that almost everything had to be custom-made, with durable materials. So after 6 months into the project we came to the realization that we wouldn’t stay under 100.000 Euro ($114.000) to cover everything: 4×4 truck, it’s overhaul and upgrades, high-end materials, tools, custom-made products, etc.

 

If we were paid for the work…

Now how much would the truck have costed if we were paid for the circa 1500 hours we spent on the build. When you multiply the average hourly labor rate (In Germany = 82.75€) by 1500, you quickly realize the price tag changes substantially. The question now is do you earn more or less (including all the benefits), do you have the time and energy for such build (See: “Building a full-size expedition truck in 8 weeks; Fact or Fiction?”),   and do you want to wait this long?

 

Companies who build these kind of trucks for their customers probably spend somewhat less time on one build.  They don’t have to reinvent the wheel and can standardize some of the work and materials. On the other hand, they still  don’t mass produce and want to make profit, which will be added again to the price.

 

Conclusion

Thus, there is no correct answer to the question “How much does an expedition truck cost?” What one person finds important, another doesn’t. But when your want a high-end, all-season, all-terrain, comfortable home on wheels it will not come cheap. Even when you build it yourself.

PS: And be honest do you rather have a unique expedition truck or a plastic Morelo RV that can not leave the the paved road?

 


Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the access code to Premium Content:


 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *