First up, let me state that calling the SLR Commander Expedition a ‘motorhome’ is like calling a battleship a mere canoe. This latest SLR rig is one of the most interesting and capable off-road RVs available in Australia. It has been designed with long term, long range off-road touring in mind, and it is specifically aimed at those people who both talk the talk of off road travel, AND who also walk that off-road walk.
The Commander Expedition is a pretty imposing vehicle, with high, flat sides, a cutaway rear and a very businesslike front. There is good clearance underneath and of course this rig is seriously 4wd, with front and rear diff locks and Michelin XZL military grade tyres. Being so high, there is excellent forward vision from the MAN cab, and the driving and passenger position is comfortable.
The Commander Expedition is built on the MAN TGM 18.340 4X$ truck and is powered by a 340hp MAN DO836 6.87-litre Diesel. The body is custom built by SLR using 60mmm fibreglass composite panels, and sits on SLR’s exclusive torsion free chassis.
Among the features of this rig you’ll find a tyre inflation system, a custom winch and bullbar, with a platform above the cab mounting four spotlights. This is a kind of shooting platform (well, not really these days) accessed by a ladder built into the mounting. Brush bars run from the platform down the corners of the cab to protect the bodywork.
At the rear is a spare wheel mounted under the cutaway, with extensive storage along the flanks, including one huge ‘garage’ with ramps, winch and tie downs designed for a quadbike. Up top is a flat deck with skylights and SLR’s classic railing all around. Six 135 watt Kyocera solar panels are fixed on top as well, providing almost limitless power out in the bush.
An entertainment suite is tucked into a hatch by the entry so you can kick back and enjoy the outdoors while you watch the Aussies beat the Poms in the cricket. An electric awning provides shelter if needed (recessed so that it will not catch on anything). An external bbq and sink is fitted, along with an external shower. Two cameras cover the rear of the Commander Expedition, while another is mounted forward.
There are stacks of other interesting features on the outside and as part of the base vehicle, but it’s on the inside where you’ll find most of the comforts and accessories.
Entry to the Commander Expedition is via a door mounted forward of the kitchen area, where an electric three-step entry takes care of the height issue. Forward of the entry is the lounge/bedroom area (I’ll get to that little trick shortly), while the kitchen area is positioned amidships and the bathroom at the rear.
The lounge area is positioned right behind the cab, with emergency access into the cab via what could be described as a “priest’s hole” – a hatchway that can be closed off.
The lounge comprises two leather bench lounge/seats positioned along the sides, with an adjustable table between. Big windows flank the lounge area, and a single seatbelt is fitted to each lounge to accommodate passengers. A light is positioned directly above the dining table, but it’s not in the roof! It’s under the bed!
In a very innovative system designed to create more space, the SLR team have fitted a retractable bed fitted with an inner spring mattress above the lounge. Operated electrically and with very substantial mountings, the bed lowers so that the base is at lounge level. The bedroom has the benefit of partial windows along the flanks, and a huge skylight above. There are also downlights around the edge of the bedroom ceiling.
There’s a step up into the bed, but it’s pretty short – nowhere near the step you’ll find in most slide-on campers. This system makes for a very versatile living area in the forward part of the vehicle.
The kitchen is positioned to the rear of the entry, with a sink and cooktop in a bench adjacent to the door, and another bench opposite.
A diesel cooktop has been fitted on the kerbside bench along with a Corian sink. There is storage beneath this bench, which is backed by a side window and illuminated by a main cabin light. A downlight is fitted above the sink, beneath a locker console, while a rangehood is positioned above the cooktop. Fans are fitted above the kitchen bench and an additional freezer is fitted in the entry beneath the kerbside lounge.
The bench opposite features an array of drawers beneath, along with a fridge freezer and a slide out pantry. Above the bench is a locker console, with downlights beneath. A window backs the bench and at the rear is a TV mounted on a swivel arm, visible from lounge or bed. At the rear of this bench is a large floor to ceiling storage console/wardrobe with hanging space.
The bathroom across the rear features a flush toilet forward of a benchtop across two thirds of the rear. Within the benchtop is a vanity unit backed by a mirror, with good lighting above and with storage space above and below. A washing machine is fitted in the benchtop alongside the loo. The shower recess is on the kerbside, a roomy unit with glass door, small external window and even a shampoo shelf beneath the window. The bathroom can be closed off via a glass door (frosted, of course).
The independent camping capability of the Commander Expedition is as good as it gets in an RV.
She carries almost 800 litres of fresh water and capacity for 150 litres of grey water. Her solar capability is outstanding, and she also has a diesel generator and diesel cooktop, so there is nothing to prevent a Commander driver from staying out bush long term.
There are so many standard features and extras on this vehicle, we’d need a dozen pages to list them all. Ducted air conditioning, insulated windows, diesel water and room heater, the list goes on. It is as close to a rig with everything that opens and shuts as you’ll find. Suffice to say that if you are looking for a genuine off-road motorhome that provides the best in comfort and exceptional off road capability, take a good look at the SLR Commander 4×4 Expedition.
Find Out More
Model: SLR Commander 4×4 Expedition Custom
Pricing: prices will vary widely depending on accessory level and truck body type.
SLR Caravans and Motorhomes
11 Industrial Avenue
Molendinar Qld 4215
(PO Box 2057, Southport Qld 4215)
Tel: (07) 5564 9099
Fax: (07) 5564 8099