Everyone knows that boats travel on water and RVs travel on land. But an amphibious camper or “camper boat” offers the ultimate way to explore by land or water in the same rig. Can you imagine having an RV where you can head to a boat ramp and drive right into the water to go camping? It sounds crazy, doesn’t it?!
But amphibious campers do exist. There’s more than one camper boat, and some are super easy to launch. In this post, we’re looking at recreational vehicles that function as a land RV and a boat/water RV.
What Is an Amphibious Camper?
An amphibious camper is a hybrid land RV / boat you can camp in on the water. Some are towables, so they’re towed by a vehicle on land but can also be launched into the water with a motor and a rudder. Like any RV, an amphibious camper can provide a comfortable living space with a sleeping area, sink, shower, and kitchen.
Different models and brands of amphibious campers are available, each with their own features and specifications. Here are some examples of real-life amphibious campers/RVs that have been successfully operated on both land and water.
CAMI Terra Wind Amphibious Motorhome
Believe it or not, there’s actually a luxury Class A RV amphibious motorhome with pontoons that emerge from the sides, allowing the motorhome to be driven right into and across the water. It might be more accurately called a “Floaterhome.”
Don’t believe us? Meet the CAMI Terra Wind Amphibious Motorcoach
Yes, the Terra Wind is a 43′ luxury Class A motorcoach that is as water-worthy as it is land-worthy, despite weighing 33,000 pounds.
It’ll cruise the highway at speeds as high as 80 mph with its Caterpillar 3126 turbo diesel engine, and it’ll run up to 7 knots on the water on its aluminum hull and two 19″ propellers.
It’s not designed for saltwater situations, so you wouldn’t want to drive this rig into the ocean, but there are plenty of lakes and rivers where we’d love to take this thing.
It’s luxurious on the inside, with a gold inlay table and a 46″ TV. It also features a padded leather dash that resembles an airplane cockpit with lots of instrument gauges and system controls. It even has a computer docking station, GPS, navigational charts, and moving maps.
Here’s a peek at the galley area:
Terra Wind amphibious motorcoaches are custom-designed to the individual purchaser’s wishes, and price is dependent on options. But the Terra Wind shown in the video above retailed for a cool $1.2 million bucks about 10 years ago.
We’re not sure anyone has ever seen a Terra Wind other than the one in this video, but it sure does look like fun.
Caravan Boat Amphibious Camper
The Caravan Boat is a camper boat with a spacious interior that includes a full kitchen, a bathroom, dining area, sofa bed, and a sun deck. It’s also set up for off-grid camping with solar panels, batteries, and a generator.
Up to four people can camp on land or water in this unique travel trailer. The Caravan Boat is made in Germany and can be towed like any travel trailer.
It can also be enjoyed as a land camper.
And it can be deployed into the water for use as a houseboat.
This cool amphibious rig is supposedly available only in Germany. Have you ever seen a Caravanboat?
CaraBoat Amphibious Camper
This one’s from down under! Australian CaraBoats come in 25′ or 28′ lengths and are both trailerable houseboats.
They have a wide-angle front hatch for panoramic views, and a fully-sealed fiberglass hull. The helm even folds away to offer better accessibility when in living mode.
CaraBoats are thoughtfully built with a shallow draft to make it easy to pull up on beaches and access more secluded spaces for overnighting. CaraBoat currently makes their trailerable houseboats only on a built-to-order basis in accordance with the customer’s specs.
The CaraBoat has a 47-gallon freshwater tank, a 15-gallon grey tank, and a 5-gallon black tank.
CaraBoats are being shipped in parts from Australia to Michigan where they’re assembled. That means people in North America can buy a CaraBoat amphibious camper for about $125,000.
SealVans Amphibious Caravan
A Turkish startup known as “SealVans” has launched two amphibious campers (which they call caravans). These are hybrid travel trailers designed o travel over land and sea, providing comfortable, well-appointed cabins for living and traveling.
The Seal 4.20 meter model accommodates up to two adults, while the Seal 7.50 is suited for up to three adults or two adults & two children.
SealVans utilize either a 50 HP Honda outboard motor or an electric propulsion system. It can cruise at a speed of 13 knots on the water and is towed on a trailer on land.
The Boaterhome originated in the 1980s and is a hybrid of a Ford Econoline van and a 28′ boat. There were only 21 Boaterhomes made, but there are still some out there on the road and the water to this day. We actually saw one of them in person being launched on Lake Mead a number of years ago.
The way this rig works is that when backed up to the water, the boat section launches by releasing it from the van half of the rig. The boat half would slide into the water and the van half could be driven away and parked.
You might have to see it to believe it, so here you go:
If you love to camp and you also love the water, an amphibious camper offers the best of both worlds. Amphibious campers are very versatile and allow you to explore more of nature than just an RV or just a boat. And if you love boondocking like we do, an amphibious camper is great for camping off the grid, including on the water.
Camper boats may not be easy to find, but they sure look like they’d be worth the effort. Just don’t forget the life jackets!
- Includes four U.S. Coast Guard Type II PFD
- Fits adults 90 pounds and up, with 30 to 52 inch chest
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