I really didn’t intend to get off on dream vehicles when I wrote about the extreme Unicat in a previous blog. The blog was thinly disguised as a discussion of boondocking, and the Unicat—and others similar in concept—offered the ultimate boondocking vehicle. But when researching for my Green RVer seminar at Life On Wheels I came across the Terra Wind, an amphibious luxury motorhome.
Even though I am a fulltime RVer and have been for about fifteen years, before that I lived on my 33-foot Ranger sailboat for three years and thoroughly enjoyed living on the water. So when I saw the Terra Wind (TW), I had to investigate. And I guess no concept vehicle is too surprising if you throw enough money at it. The built-from-the-ground-up 42.5 foot Terra Wind is actually a boat (with a 100% aluminum non-rusting hull) on wheels, then disguised as a motorhome and outfitted with a luxury interior.
All units are custom built so you can build your own dream machine to your own particular scale. It will drive on land safely up to highway speed limits (and beyond) with its Caterpillar 330 horsepower diesel engine and through water at 6 to 7 mph. Now you might think that the TW in a light breeze or moderate chop would turn turtle in the water, but according to TW “All of our weight is in the bottom of the boat. When we built the Terra Wind every single component was taken into consideration for the weight and balance of the stability. “
Designed for protected inland waters, like lakes, bays, rivers, and sounds, they claim that it will be stable in winds up to 40 mph and three-foot waves when the outrigger sponsons (pontoons) are extended. You can also put out the slides when on the water.
I thought one of the neatest features was the six-foot rear swim platform that folds out from the rear deck (under which is an anchor). The deck is large enough for sunbathing, fishing, a small waterside cocktail party, or intimate al fresco dining, and includes cleats to tie up visitors’ boats, a sailing dingy, or jet skis.
So why would you want to take your RV in the water? Think of how many times you have gazed out to an uninhabited island in a mountain lake, or a deserted inaccessible shoreline or hidden cove—kind of the equivalent of boondocking on water. With the TW, you not only have a comfortable motorhome, but a comfortable houseboat as well. The only drawback for me is the $1.2 million price tag. And though I tried to get you readers out there to email Unicat people to give me a Unicat to tool around in, I won’t ask you to email the Terra Wind people (unless, of course, you want to, in which case the same deal applies—I’ll give all of you a free ride. You just supply the champagne).
what happens if you cant get off the water
I think, while it may float and make headway, the getting in and out of the water would be a whole other issue. The photo of it entering the water is on a long reduced grade launch ramp. You are not going to find these, or anything close to this at that mountain lake or picturesque bay. Instead, if you try, you will have a coach half stuck in the water needing a tow. Unfortunatly, this great idea has a very limited water use due to access both in and out of the water.
I’ve been seeing that prototype on Internet, TV and other mass media for years, but haven’t heard about any produced for sale.
Is that thing for real? Beside the price tag?
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An interesting concept, but most RVs already require many repairs and upgrades to get the bugs out. I can see an amphibious motorhome needing even more. Great pictures! What about the price tag?