The "boaterhome" is the best of camping and boating rolled into one.
Many outdoor enthusiasts have a dual interest in camping and boating. Unfortunately, investing in both a camper and a boat is not always a realistic scenario for many people. Apparently, someone thought the same thing back in the 1980s, and the answer was the Boaterhome.
Seriously, this thing is half boat, half van, and apparently, all fun. You may recognize it from a recent Little Caesar's pizza commercial where it would have been easy to pass this combo vehicle off as a trick of modern computer CGI.
However, it turns out this unique motorhome/houseboat is entirely real. Owner John Ortlieb owns not one, but wo of these fascinating vehicles and he gives a quick tour and rundown of the unique ride in this video from Barcroft cars.
This van hybrid puts a whole spin on the term "van life." The front half of this vehicle is a simple Ford Econoline Van while the rear is a 28-foot boat. It looks surprisingly roomy for a campervan, which tend to be a bit packed in most cases, especially DIY-style projects. We are also not surprised to see this thing used as a party bus on the Las Vegas strip in Nevada. If there is one place this giant vehicle wouldn't look out of place, that would be it.
We were curious and did a little more research on this thing because we wondered why the concept didn't get beyond the 20 or so vehicles made in the 80s. After all, the Ford E-Series of vans is still being made. However, it appears this model is front wheel drive only. That becomes a problem when you are talking about a heavy tail end and steep boat ramps. Not to mention probably taking away any off-road potential completely. We also imagine it's not easy to drive at nearly 36 feet in length. Although, it probably is easier to back down the ramp considering there's not trailer involved.
Some novelty vehicles just never catch on it seems. However, we are glad John was able to rescue the second boaterhome from a junk yard. These truly are unique vehicles that are sure to bring a smile to anyone's face and they deserve to be preserved and appreciated.