How would you like a semi truck sized RV that can travel over nearly any type of rugged terrain to cruise up to Alaska in this winter? And what if, not only could you take your whole crew and park it in the lot at resorts, you could drive it right into the backcountry and use it to bus your homies from the top of the run to the bottom. Well The Kiravan, a gargantuan 6 wheel drive mobile home / command center is a real thing and it’s in its final stages of completion over at Applied Minds, LLC in Glendale CA. Note that some of the included photos are digital illustrations, not because the real truck doesn’t exist, but because it’s not yet complete. The Kiravan is set to hit the road (or trail) for real later this year.
The KiraVan™ tractor is a modified Mercedes-Benz Unimog U500NA with a Mercedes Benz 6-cylinder in-line 260HP high-efficiency intercooled turbo-diesel engine providing 700ft-lb of torque. The chassis frame has been stretched and reinforced, a four-door composite crew cabin added, and an off-road articulating fifth-wheel trailer hitch attached.
Don’t be fooled by the moderate number of ponies under the hood, this beast still produces enough pulling power to handle it’s total weight and then some. In addition to the modifications done to the tractor’s structure, there are countless add on’s built into the vehicle that make it one intensely technological and highly advance piece of mad-science. Seriously though, this truck is like something out of a science fiction movie.
The Kiravan has a limit of 70 miles per hour on the highway, but with an 8 speed transmission, three differentials and an auxiliary gearbox housing off road specific crawler-reduction gears, this baby really shines when you take it off the pavement. The most spectacular thing about the Kiravan is it’s incredible off-road capability, thanks to it’s “permanent 4-wheel drive on the tractor, with 6-wheel drive at speeds up to 25mph using a Hydro-Drive system that powers the trailer axle.” And trailer articulation off road is no issue thanks to the two-axis articulated mount with hydraulic damping and locking. Also beneficial off road is the Hydro-Pneumatic suspension system, and the 46 inch diameter, run flat, self-level monitoring, 300 lb. each, all terrain Michelins.
The trailer features two bedrooms, a bathroom, an office and a kitchen and is “fully capable of operating independently as a stationary base station when the tractor is in use for other purposes. Even when separated, the two vehicles remain data-connected and may perform coordinated tasks.” With rising roof and swing out expansion sections, similar to the traditional pop out sides of a regular RV, the Kiravan has the ability to nearly double the interior capacity of its trailer. A hushed 25kW diesel generator and dual alternators help pump electricity into the vehicle in order to power the onboard office which features “two network-connected general purpose computers (plus portable device wi-fi access), a printer/scanner, and access to the vehicle computers and database storage servers.” Also in the office is the Operator's Console, which houses the equipment, displays, and controls for communications, receiver control and signal analysis, HD video and high-resolution imaging, and remotely-operated vehicle control.
Though incredibly technologically advanced this trailer lacks no amenities that one would need in their normal home, the kitchen features a refrigerator, freezer, convection oven, microwave oven, induction and infrared cook tops, and a sink with hot and cold-filtered water. And in the entryway / bathroom, a wall shower, hideaway toilet and vanity sink sit under a unique and pretty amazing skylight.
If that’s not enough to convince you that this is the ultimate adventure mobile, maybe consider that it’s partnered up with a turbo-disel 100mpg endure motorcycle dubbed the Kirabike, featuring the highest of GPS and onboard motorcycle technology, including a built in but removable tablet.
The concept for Kiravan began in the mind of inventor, technologist, and former head of research and development for Disney's Imagineering department Bran Ferren. He created Kiravan so that his daughter Kira and their family could experience the joys of adventuring anywhere they please in the safest and most unique way possible.
Just imagine the snowboard trips your could take with this thing, it’s an RV capable of going the types of places only Jeep enthusiasts and other off-roaders dream of. It’s 170 gallon fuel tank has a 2000 mile range and can run on Bio Diesel as well as regular Diesel fuel, so you could drive from Jackson Hole to Tahoe to Alaska in one trip no problem, and still be environmentally friendly about it. Or you could drive out into the wilderness for three weeks because that’s how long food, water, and provisions supplies (fully stocked) could last a party of three in the Kiravan, Adventure Mobile? Apocalypse Mobile is more like it.