Friday, November 27, 2015

The Beast - Ford 550 - Global Expedition Vehicle

This is the GXV (Global Expedition Vehicle - I purchase online from a very nice couple from the Netherlands, JP and Hannie.  JP and Hannie had the  GXV custom built in 2011 from a shell and drove it all over north and south america.  They did a fantastic job specifying the unit.  Check out their blog at

I wanted to drive the Pan Highway, but didn't want the enormous hassle of getting a vehicle ready for a major multi country trip.  The solution was to purchase one already proven and located in South America.  A simple internet search for "overland vehicles in Argentine" brought up the perfect one.

Yes this was a bit risky in that one could be purchasing a used up and worn out vehicle ready to fall apart.  But after a month learning the systems and driving it 774 miles, I feel like a got the deal of the century.  I absolutely love the quality and systems.  I grew up with campers and feel at home in them.  What I like about this one is the overall quality and systems (see below for specification).  Unlike most RVs,  this one is not dump station and propane dependent.  The solar panels provide the power for the lights, frig, and combo oven/microwave, and the hot water, stove, and heat are provided by using diesel out of one of the truck tanks.  I especially like the queen size bed that extends out the back.

I sent a picture of the truck to friend Brad Anderson.  He called it "the beast"... and after driving it for a month now I think it fits.

South America
Chassis 2011 / Body 2011
120.000 Km
6.7 liter Turbo V8 450 HP
260 liter
7200 Kg / 9000 Kg Max
3.40 meter
7.50 meter

2 person fixed 150 x 200 cm 1 child 80 x 160 cm dinner conv.
200 liter
75 liter
Webasto Diesel 2 burner cooker
Diesel heater - Air Webasto DualTop
Chem. Toilet, Shower, Sink
Compressor with Freezer

12V – 320 Ah AGM
Crawl-through to living unit Wheelbase 4.20 meter Diff. Locks Front and Rear axle Air suspension front + rear axle Automatic gearbox 16.500 LBS Front Winch
Dual shock absorbers
19.5 inch Hutchinson alloy split-rims 360 watt Solar panels
Interior Height 1.97 Meter Sold with Spare parts + Tools
Consumption: 18.5 liter / 100 km 7.8 US Gallon / 100 m

2+ person US registered Expedition Truck custom built on a new Ford F550 4x4 chassis in 2011 by a professional company.
The first owners have traveled North, Central and South America over the past years. They are looking to sell their Expedition Truck to a new crew.
This Expedition Truck can seat & sleep 2 adults and 1 child. To seat 1 child in the drivers cab, an extra (collapsible) jump seat can be fitted. (not delivered in this sale) A collapsible seat provides access to the crawl-through door to the living unit.
A hydraulic slide-out in the rear creates a Queen Size 2 person fixed bed.
The body is an isolated GFK / SCS sandwich panel box with 60 mm walls and a 100mm floor with a lockable crawl-through door to drivers cab.
Body and chassis are connected with a torsion system supplied by the conversion company. The chassis has Kelderman Air suspension for front and rear axle.
The truck is sold with kitchenware, spare-parts, tools and – ready to go for a new Expedition crew.

Truck chassis summary
􏰀􏰁 Ford F550 Heavy Duty XLT 4x4 from 2011 – bought new
􏰀􏰁 2 front seats + optionally 1 jump seat (collapses as console)
􏰀􏰁 Maximum weight 9000 Kg
􏰀􏰁 Engine tuned for all types of diesel
􏰀􏰁 Black Maxx Engine management system with dashboard console
􏰀􏰁 Engine block heater for cold regions
􏰀􏰁 2 diesel tanks in total 258 liter/ 68,2 gallons
􏰀􏰁 6 Speed TorqShift ® SelectShiftTM Automatic gearbox
􏰀􏰁 Tow/ Haul Mode for better control while hauling or towing
􏰀􏰁 ABS + Traction control
􏰀􏰁 Air suspension with dual shock absorbers with dashboard console
􏰀􏰁 2 Pressured Air outlets on each side for inflating tires
􏰀􏰁 Michelin XDE2 285/70R 19.5 tires
􏰀􏰁 19.5 inch Hutchinson alloy split-rims
􏰀􏰁 Two 12 volt alternators
􏰀􏰁 Garmin navigation system
􏰀􏰁 Crawl-through to living unit
􏰀􏰁 Roof rack with 2 jerry can + aluminum storage box
􏰀􏰁 4 x Hella spotlights, 2 x day and 2 x fog lights


Reminder List when you’re going to drive:

1.              Close all windows and Sky lights
2.              Flip over the bed mattress and put the panel under the matress
3.              Be sure there’s nothing near the bed and nothing on the back side (outside) of the vehicle
4.              Turn the key in the control panel and push the button to retract the slide out. Always look and listen very well.
5.              Close all the push buttons, including bathroom
6.              Fantastic Fan off
7.              A/C Off
8.              Open wall closed
9.              Door cabin/cab locked
10.          Switch off the 220 (4 x on the right side)
11.           Turn of the Tripe Lite
12.          TV/Radio off
13.          Be sure everything is in the cabinets/closets or drawers
14.          To safe power/electricity; close the door when you’re inside and use the switch to put up the stairs. Turn it off and jump out of the vehicle

15.          Lock the door with the key: Done!

Spare parts

2x Fuel filter location under motor hood
2x Fuel filter location under the truck on the drivers side
2x Oil filter
1 x Air filter + Foam filter
8x Wheel rubber seal  (when changing tire also seal)
1x Seal between Body & Cabin
1x Belt Motor
2x set brake pads
1x gas bracket for panorama window
2x shocks complete
4x gas bracket for closets inside body
2x air inflators for wheels
1 x control unit for heater system
2x sensor for air system
1x ring seal toilet
1x power connection box  & power plug
2x Compressor filter
2x Mosquito screen for door

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