From our hilltop campsite in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest, 35 miles southwest of Denver, we could hear the vicious buzz of a colony of ATVs and side-by-sides coming from a row of spruce. A speedy pack of Polaris riders came screaming up to our red sandstone cliff like school children rushing a trough of Mountain Dew. A bearded portly fellow held up his smartphone from the driver’s seat in an LED-laden RZR OHV and declared: “Dude, I’ve got a lot of badass s$%&, but that thing is f$#%^ badass!” This, among other reactions of sheer bewilderment from anyone able to spot a mountain, happens continuously when at the helm of the EarthRoamer LTi adventure vehicle.

The EarthRoamer LTi is simply unignorable. Some 29 feet long and 12 feet high, the LTi 52 weighs around 17,000 pounds, or about as much as your typical Class C RV. Seeing one breach the trees on an ORV trail is like watching the forest give birth to Paul Bunyan. It’s built for long-term remote use as a roving substitute for a home or command center. EarthRoamer says Ford’s factory 40-gallon diesel fuel tank combined with the additional 55-gallon unit can take you as far as 1000 miles. We drove it through the Rocky Mountain National Park and up to Devil’s Playground at Pikes Peak and crawled along ORV trails, averaging 9 mpg overall.

While each LTi begins its life as a four-wheel-drive Ford F-550 Lariat dually, after nine phases of production, a boring chassis cab eventually pupates into the Jason Momoa of RVs. The LTi is produced by hand at EarthRoamer’s base camp in Dacono, Colorado. Like a Singer Porsche, every EarthRoamer is made to order, and with over 330 built so far, no two are identical. More than 110 craftsmen handle each detail. The team sands and paints the cabinetry, constructs the fiberglass bath, and hand-pulls wire fettuccini. One guy welds all the aluminum pieces. One guy welds every steel piece. They are not the same guy.

This truck’s as-tested price of $837,597 might get you 300 acres in Arapahoe County, but the EarthRoamer’s property line stretches as far as the continent’s coasts. And it’s as much a vessel for off-road adventure as it is an incredible place to stay. The LTi 52 we sampled had the Breckenridge floor plan. Of the six offered, the Breckenridge is the most popular, with seating and sleeping for up to four campers thanks to a dinette table that can convert into a bed. The LTi 52’s charcoal oak wood-finished cabinetry, complete with an illuminated wine rack, is beautifully sundered with seeded glass and satin nickel push-button drawer knobs. The silverware drawers use magnets to hold every knife and fork in place, while the ceramic plates and bowls are seated with felt and never rattled during our nearly 500-mile trip.

A large part of the EarthRoamer transformation involves upgrading the Super Duty’s existing hardware. EarthRoamer installs a rear four-link air suspension system to the chassis cab and removes the factory dual rear wheels. The self-leveling air suspension can be controlled from the driver’s seat, making leveling the camper as easy as pressing a few buttons. The factory frame rails are extended to support the massive carbon-fiber shell, and a pivoting design allows the camper to move independently from the cab. A pass-through between the crew cab and the camper means EarthRoamer also must replace the rear bench seat with its own captain’s chairs. Passengers can freely move between the dining room and the driver’s seat without lacing up their Tevas.

Like a wrecking ball, we crunched through tight and technical ORV trails near Rainbow Falls in Manitou Springs. At one point, that meant clinging to the center console just to keep upright as we used controlled slides and some well-placed optimism to navigate forest roads not much wider than a Miata. Part of the charm of the LTi’s enormity is that its mass makes it thrilling to drive anywhere. It’s not fast, but it’s still an absolute blast to drive. There’s nowhere you will stop, where someone won’t come up to you and ask about it.

Jumping onto highways requires a running start, but driving an EarthRoamer isn’t as intimidating as it looks. The most helpful piece of kit is its active rear camera mirror that’s mounted tall enough to see above and beyond the car immediately behind you. On the highway, 65 mph is the sweet spot for this thing, but the enormous Goodyear tires are rated for up to 81 mph.

earthroamer lti

King Off-Road Racing Bypass Shocks come standard and are but one piece to a fully beefed-up suspension and steering system. EarthRoamer, with help from Kelderman Manufacturing, adds custom-fabricated radius arms, anti-roll bar mounts, and a steering stabilizer. An aftermarket Carli torsion sway bar keeps the EarthRoamer from handling like a bloated tow truck. Each heavy-duty piece is a prerequisite for the next. Despite nature’s best efforts, the carbon-fiber camper shell took every bash and scratch without dent or puncture. Its battle wounds were scrubbed away later at a carwash, returning the X-Guard paint to its original Coleman green glory.

Although it’s equipped with front and rear 16,500-pound Warn recovery winches, you can prevent using an inch of synthetic braid rope by slapping the transfer case into 2LO. This gives you the capability of low-gear crawling mixed with better steering articulation when the front axle is disconnected. We were able to crawl up and out of a viciously banked hairpin with one tire floating in the air. Not a single drawer fell open, and the bottles of wine didn’t shoot from the cabinet like glass torpedos. Eventually, you overcome the paranoia of hearing what 17,000 pounds sounds like when it falls in the woods.

Coming down from Devil’s Playground on Pikes Peak (roughly 13,000 feet above sea level), the Super Duty’s engine-braking system was the real hero. Letting the engine slow the descent down the mountain instead of putting the brakes through high-heat hell was the best strategy. When we reached the temperature checkpoint, the ranger told us the brakes were at ambient temperature. We could smell the metallic barbecue under the Chevy Suburban in front of us; they weren’t so careful.

The list of badass equipment fixed to the LTi runs as long as the Colorado River, but like the outdoors, not knowing how to handle it can get dangerous quickly. The dry bath uses a chemical-free cassette toilet with a tank that can be removed and emptied. A bit of advice we learned is that when emptying it at a gas-station restroom, make sure the drain is pointed at the toilet before you press the release button.

The truck’s 330-hp turbocharged 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 circulates coolant throughout the rest of the rig so you’re provided instant heat and hot water when you arrive. Two smaller diesel hydronic heaters keep the coolant as toasty as the truck’s Traeger smoker, acting as an engine-block heater between ignition cycles.

We spent roughly 12 hours at each camp inside the carbon shell, living lavishly. After cooking with the induction stovetop, using the sink, shower, and microwave, and keeping the heat going, the truck’s 11.0-kWh lithium-ion battery bank drained to just 70 percent. That was quickly replenished during driving, but should you want to remain remote, four rooftop 330-watt solar panels help keep the batteries juiced.

It’s big. It’s mighty. It’s more than a tent. It’s more of a luxury hotel suite that you can park in the marsh. The EarthRoamer LTi is built to deliver more than you’ll ever need, so you’ll always have enough. Even with the staggering cost of options welded to its $695,000 base price, an LTi is still cheaper than the median price of a house in California. It ultimately comes down to who you’d rather have on your front porch. The bears, or an HOA?