in 1973, led zeppelin and elton john each started world tours. each band calculated that it was more cost-effective to rent a jumbo jet with a fireplace, a bed covered in fur, an electric organ, and a stocked bar topped with cocaine mirrors than flying, taking a bus, and booking hotels. maybe, in fact, the "starship one" was cheaper.
it's also arguably better to camp in a 45-foot coach bus with a deployable outdoor grill and 203 gallons of diesel than sleep on top of a subaru outback. let's face it, sometimes the numbers don't have to add up. this converted prevost x3-45 vip—itself a tour bus used by the likes of musicians—is one of the ultimate rigs for recreational vehicle enthusiasts.
modified by loki basecamp, a québécois outfitter of pickup truck campers, the xl coach series is the "ultimate motorhome for active adventurers." hence, there's a rooftop light bar blasting 76,000 lumens to help the adventurer avoid tree limbs and bridges. the bus is nearly 12 feet high, after all. when parked, the real woodsy people can pitch a tent on the roof deck next to a 2.0-kilowatt solar array—assuming the two queen beds and double bunks within the bus are already occupied.
the interior design is either disappointingly sordid—almost as if it were a college dorm suite—or minimalist chic. we've tested rvs and little airstream trailers with insides that look more luxurious, though admittedly none of the offered a rainfall shower inside a full-sized bathroom, had a washer/dryer combo, or heated floors.
power shades and thick r16-rated insulation keep the party sealed (there's a thumping paradigm stereo and three televisions, too). loki basecamp reserves the prevost's underfloor storage for the slide-out grille and mountain bike racks. there are more l-track rails inside the bus to hold gear.
as for off-road performance, there's no treading lightly with a 31,000-pound curb weight. the front overhang is six feet long, so prevost hides any mention of approach and departure angles. however, the vehicle's 11.0 inches of ground clearance bests that of a standard ford bronco, and the volvo-sourced d13 six-cylinder engine belts out 1850 pound-feet of torque at 1050 rpm. the price is undisclosed.
according to loki basecamp, when a customer asked for the company's biggest and best camper, "we simply could not resist." who could?