Mongolian Off-Road RV

The Mongolian steppe can be a cold desolate place.


However, the weather and terrain did not deter a pair of wealthy businessmen friends from Ulan Bator, Mongolia. They found a way to enjoy the snow-covered plains while living in the lap of luxury.

The men purchased two military-spec Mercedes-Benz Zetros trucks and retrofitted them with living quarters fit for the Great Khan himself: heated marble floors, leather couches, automatic folding tables, two flat-screen televisions, and a side bay for an ATV, according to the Aether Journal blog.

Don’t let the gratuitous wood-paneling fool you, these aren’t any typical recreational vehicles, according to the blog.

Under the hood the motorhomes boast a mighty 7.2-liter inline-six cylinder turbo-diesel engine that cranks out 326-horsepower at a thunderous 959 pounds-feet of torque between 1,200 and 1,600 RPM—enough torque to climb up a wall, if they didn’t weigh 10-tons each.

And with two fuel tanks holding 110 gallons, you can afford to miss a fuel stop every so often.


There are two transmission choices: a standard nine-speed that includes a crawler gear for those rock-hopping moments or an optional six-speed Allison 3000 automatic transmission. Three mechanical differential locks can be selected on the fly using a rotary control and offer the maximum amount of traction available.

And just in case one of them gets a flat, each vehicle carry two spares wheels with them at all times.

Details include a portable satellite dish, a Bose audio system, a 46-inch flat-screen TV, a dedicated lifting system which enables cargo to be hoisted onto the cab roof, and specially built furniture “designed for use in tropical and desert regions.”

The pair of Zetros came complete with gun safe, mosquito nets, and triple-action locks—as well as a fancy dinner service for eight.

At over 33 feet in length and 8.8 feet in width the Zetros will struggle to fit into two parking bays. Despite these vehicles being designed for the harshest conditions, our Mongolian friends have spared no expense in creating the ultimate motorhome.

The table in the cabin can be electrically raised and lowered. When lowered it creates an additional, large bed.


The luxurious bathroom sports a bidet, marble flooring, and under-floor heating, while the living room and bedroom are of generous proportions.

But it’s the superbly equipped kitchen which stands out, with a full sized gas stove, refrigerator, and even your own bar.

And if you’re worried about how to power all this, fear not—an onboard water-cooled diesel generator said to “ensure independence from the power grid” powers a SAT receiver and dish, Mac Book laptops, and a 46-inch monitor.

These all-terrain behemoths certainly are impressive, but the combination of luxury and off-road capability seems a bit eccentric. What exactly do these two businessmen need these vehicles for? The answer is one that can only be found in Mongolia…

The duo uses their all-terrain vehicles for multiday excursions into the Altai mountains to go hunting, for wolves, with eagles. Apparently Mongolians have been using giant trained eagles to hunt wolves for centuries.


Before the men had to ride horses and sleep in tents to access the remote hunting grounds, but they’ve now substantially increased their range as well as their level of comfort.

It’s a win-win for everybody, well, except the wolves.

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Worth Pondering…

If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens.

—Fay Weldon

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