Nevada startup AEONrv offers a small Class C Ford expedition rig. The motorhome combines a single-ton Ford van chassis with a custom-built living area built to Silicon Valley-level technology standards to allow for complete four-season, off-grid wilderness exploration and living.
The AEONrv seeks to find that sweet spot between a nimble, agile all-terrain vehicle and a smart, autonomous base camper. It’s intended to do this with a price that’s not as daunting as an overland vehicle.
“AEONrv was born from my own frustration with what I perceived as the lack of quality and innovation in RVs built by the traditional manufacturers,” AEON CEO Jim Ritchie explained during the company’s introduction in October. “The RVs I looked at purchasing were constructed with low-quality plywoods and plastics using staples and other flimsy fasteners that tend to fall apart over time. I thought we can build something far more durable and rugged yet appealingly modern and sophisticated, and we’ll figure out how to do it at a price point that customers appreciate.”
AEONrv constructs its Transit-mounted box from insulated, fiberglass-reinforced panels, industrial adhesives, and marine-grade components. Insulated doors, dual-pane windows, and thermal transfer-free building techniques aid to keep the cooled air inside throughout the summer and the heat in the winter.
The rig’s interior is designed to fit two adults and two children. The floor plan is free of popular options in favor of a simple, minimalist design with a raised 60x 80-in queen-sized rear bed. Kids can sleep on the huge 68-inch-long bed that can be converted from the dinette with two benches.
The dinette bed begins as a single, but it can grow into a double bed that measures 48 inches. Two dinette seats facing forward serve as back seats for passengers while driving. The flexible, fully adjustable table also doubles as a portable workstation and can be used as a sit-down and standing desk.
In the opposite direction from the dinette, the versatile kitchen is equipped with a portable outdoor/indoor induction cooktop that can be stored away when not being used. A 150-L fridge/freezer in the front corner near the driver, overhead cupboards, under-counter drawers, and cabinets, as well as a pantry that slides out provide ample space for cooking equipment, food items as well as kitchen essentials. A small microwave is available as an option.
The AEONrv has a wet bath space with an outdoor and indoor shower, a flip-up sink, and a cassette toilet. The bathroom can also be used as a mudroom, ideal for storing and drying wet clothing and equipment.
Off-grid capabilities for all seasons are integral to AEONrv’s function and design. It begins at the 8.2-kWh self-heating LiFePO4 battery pack charged by 700 Watts of Victron solar panels. It also has 1.5-kW alternator charging. This can be upgraded up to 5.5-kW/24-V alternator charging.
Campers can monitor and control the electrical system via the Victron Cerbo GX interface, accessible via the touchscreen onboard or a mobile device. AEON is also planning to introduce an integrated smart full-camper home-style control system.
Heating, air conditioning, and hot water systems work together to create a pleasant living space all through the year. Freshwater is stored inside a tank of 250-liters, and gray water makes its way into a 106-L freeze-protected storage tank before being dumped.
AEONrv builds on top of the Ford Transit AWD one-ton SRW cutaway chassis with 306-horsepower 3.5-L EcoBoost V6, 10-speed automatic transmission, and 3.73 limit-slip axle. The build comes with a Van Compass 2-in lift kit and custom heavy-duty front coil springs, custom-tuned rear shocks, and BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires.
The rear bumper is custom-designed, and there is also a differential skid plate, a rear-facing LED light bar, and rear-wall L-track to mount shovels, traction boards, and other items.
AEONrv is already considering the future of a more electrified type of vehicle for expeditions. It is planning to leverage its experience on the Transit platform to be a base for developing an Electric Transit-based RV or even a hybrid.