Auroch Is the Stuff of Legends: Heavily Modified Defender Is a Near-Indestructible Camper

Auroch Camper 26 photos
Photo: Duckworth Overland
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Auroch. That's what you're looking at. Simply put, it's nothing more than a handcrafted off-road abomination that takes the meaning of "garage build" to the next level. Oh, just so we're on the same page here, the most standard unit requires a whopping $430K to get things rolling.
The aurochs were a species of bovine or cattle present in Europe before any of us walked the Earth. The last known specimen is said to have perished in 1627. Centuries later, I learned this new word through the work of a customs shop operating out of the U.K., Duckworth Overland. While aurochs have no business here, it is the name given to the monstrosity we'll be exploring today.

I'll be honest, the first time I saw the Auroch RV, I thought I was looking at a reconditioned machine that may have been born back in the day. Nope, this is fresh and very modern work, and the only modifications made here are to the base vehicle, a Land Rover Defender. Actually, reconditioned doesn't quite express the extensive attention and changes made to this Defender.

Starting with this base vehicle, we're looking at a "new" galvanized chassis, bulkhead, and doors, and a complete engine rebuild, the Td5. Ashcroft handles running gear, and no, it's not the end of what your hard-earned cash will grant you. The base vehicle's suspension is provided by the crew over at Air-Ride and includes self-leveling abilities. Even more goes into the Defender's interior, but you know me, it's all about that living space.

Auroch Camper
Photo: Duckworth Overland
Now, Duckworth's approach to building the living space you see is very modern. Each unit is drafted in CAD in order to render a 3D model of the habitat. From there, the crew considers your needs and wants and goes to work creating the removable wooden template used as a base for the framework, aluminum sheeting, and insulation that follows.

Once the frame is freestanding, the plywood base is removed, and Duckworth then adds the aluminum sheeting. After 2,000 rivets and buckets of glue and sealant are consumed, 60 millimeters (2.4 inches) of closed-cell insulation is added, and finally, the interior bamboo paneling. Drop in the furnishing you paid for, and voila. Standard interior features include a complete kitchen, sitting area, and modular dinette that doubles as your sleeping space. But I've seen nothing about a bathroom.

As I explored this machine, I noticed that while there may be no bathroom available, there's plenty of space to connect one and even bring a toilet along. Best of all, Duckworth calls upon industry giants like Victron, SureCal, and Eberspacher for electricity, warm water, and heating. Again, all this is open to customization, so feel free to speak your mind.

But what does all this amount to? Well, we first need to consider the base vehicle, that tuned and pimped-out Defender. What's the limit to where you can go with this? I think rock crawling might be the only limit here. We all know what Defenders are capable of: roads, paths, muddy trails, grassy hills, riverbeds; why not actual rivers?

Auroch Camper
Photo: Duckworth Overland
As for when you finally get to where you're going, the only thing you may have to worry about is blinding the local wildlife with that reflective aluminum skin. Imagine you're a fellow glamper, and first, you hear the growl of that engine pulling through the woods, and as the sound grows louder, you spot what can be considered a UFO. That's one hell of a UFO if you ask me. Luckily for us, its inhabitants probably come in peace, because if you've got at least $430K to drop on something like this, you've got enough cash to have lived a rather decent and worry-free life.

Whatever greener pastures you aim for in your nomadic exploration of this wild and beautiful planet, the Auroch camper comes across as the sort of beast you want to aid your lifestyle. Hell, it might end up doing so for decades.

P.S. I'm in love! Apparently, with nothing more than a "bovine."

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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