Earthbound RV - The Rules Have Changed
Earthbound RV revolutionizes With a Lighter, Environmentally-Friendly Trailer Packed with High-Tech Amenities
Article Date: September, 2012
Every now and then something revolutionary comes along that changes our way of thinking. Earthbound RV is
doing just that. Its towable RVs are a perfect fit for the changing times.
Rising fuel costs are forcing RV owners to abandon their RVs, to travel far less than they used to,
or to look for ways to operate them affordably. Ever stringent pollution and fuel-economy standards are forcing manufacturers
to lighten their vehicles and reduce engine size. This is fine for daily drivers, but it just doesn't bode well for hauling
The environment is another issue. Existing RV construction depends heavily on limited resources, such
as luan plywood from Southeast Asia. The adhesives used in this construction outgases some pretty nasty fumes, including
formaldehyde, when it cures, and this can take quite a bit of time to vent out of a new RV. There is a lot of waste that
doesn't get recycled.
Earthbound turns its back on existing construction techniques and begins with a clean sheet of paper.
It places great emphasis on quality and includes features that are sometimes not even found in higher-end class-A motorhomes.
In fact, when we visited the Earthbound factory in Marion, Indiana, we found it more akin to a top-notch aircraft assembly
plant than an RV facility.
The biggest difference that you'll see in Earthbound is that there isn't a single piece of wood in
its RVs. By not using wood, it eliminates the possibilities of rot, mildew, or mold. Instead, Earthbound uses recyclable
materials, such as aluminum and aerospace-grade composites. Its commitment to the environment not only saves trees, but
has earned the company the highest rated "Emerald" status at the NTA, and Roaming Times named it the "Green RV of the Year"
Sidewall, roof, and floor framing are accomplished with double-welded aluminum tubing that is later fitted with
high-density insulation and vacuum bonded between layers of aluminum and composite materials.
The frame is electrostatic powder coated to improve resistance to rust. A wide-stance X-Track axle system
offers a lower center of gravity for improved handling. Dual 3,500 Dexter axles with EasyLube hubs and independent torsion bar
suspension make for a very smooth ride.
The crossmembers are fastened with huckbolts for strength up to five times greater than rivets or welds.
Propane lines utilize lighter weight composite lines rather than heavy steel water piping to reduce weight and improve longevity.
Power scissors jacks are attached to the frame for leveling the RV and feature manual overrides. Each jack is also protected by
a skid plate to prevent any damage to the jack motors. The 15-inch Goodyear tires are mounted to polished alloy rims and a spare
tire is conveniently located beneath the frame.
The holding tanks are seamless rotomolded and mounted beneath the chassis. Each holding tank is
equipped with a 12-volt heat pad, which is strategically located near the valve. Each tank is sprayed with a ceramic-encapsulated
insulation. Earthbound showed us how effective the insulation was by coating half of an electric skillet, which was heated to
300 degrees. An ice cube placed on the uncoated side instantly melted, but an ice cube placed on the coated side lasted for
nearly 7 minutes. Using your Earthbound RV in cold weather will not be a problem.
Interior walls are also framed up with welded aluminum tubing. Interior walls are used as part of the unibody construction
and add to the overall strength and rigidity of the structure.
The floor and walls consist of an aluminum-tubing framework. All tubing is double welded on a jig to
ensure accuracy and reliability. Rather than use the typical 1.5-pound foam, Earthbound uses a special high-density 2-to-3-pound
foam insulation. Nonconductive conduits are then placed into the foam to prevent any electrical problems that can occur when
wiring looms degrade overtime. Aluminum skins are bonded to the aluminum tubing and insulation using a specially formulated
adhesive to ensure a secure bond. Multiple layers of composite skins and thermal breaks are added to the floor and roof
assemblies to provide additional protection from the elements. These assemblies are vacuum bonded and ready to assemble. All
of the interior walls also use aluminum tubing and everything is welded together to create a true unibody structure.
The frames are electrostatically powder coated for superior rust resistance. Cross members are then huck bolted
All holding tanks are equipped with 12-volt heating elements for cold-weather use. Each tank is coated with a sprayed
ceramic-encapsulated insulation equivalent to an R-13 insulation value.
Interior cabinetry is also made of a composite construction. High-tech finishes are applied for a durable and
Wall assemblies are routed out by hand to allow for the various openings for windows, doors, and slide outs.
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