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Solera Motorhomes Prove That Great Off-Grid Things Come in Small Custom Packages
While searching the world for the best of the best, I've decided to check back with an RV corporation that, in time, bought out the majority of American camper and motorhome manufacturers that ever sprouted roots in this nation.

Solera Motorhomes Prove That Great Off-Grid Things Come in Small Custom Packages

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That crew is Forest River, and since 1996, this group of companies has been growing by acquiring private RV manufacturers and creating the sort of service that can offer nearly every RV style out there. The only machines that I haven't seen coming out from under the Forest River umbrella are expedition vehicles.

Nonetheless, since it's RV Month here at autoevolution, I've decided to comb through the brands operating under Forest River and ran across Solera, a brand focused on nothing other than Class C motorhomes. Best of all, there are several vehicles that the Solera can be built upon, each resulting in a different floorplan with various capabilities. Still, all aimed at a complete on-road and off-grid experience.

For example, the Solera is available in three different vehicle configurations; a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500, a Ford E350, and a Ford E450 chassis can be chosen from. Since the largest unit is that which uses the E450, I'll focus most of our attention on that. In case I don't have your attention, let me point out that a 27DSE floorplan can cost you anywhere from $95,000 (€93,000 at current exchange rates), and depending on the features included, you can easily pass the $100K mark. Oh, and this is the smaller of the three Ford E450 plans available, so bring your checkbook for this one.

Once your mobile home is ready for delivery or pickup, you'll be looking at a habitat that's rocking a 7.3-liter V8 engine with six-speed automatic transmission. Dropped onto the chassis will also be your living space, one that makes excellent use of aluminum framing, fiberglass roof and walls, and gel coating to protect your dwelling from the elements. Insulation then ensures that you have a warm cave during winter and a cool one during summer.

After testing out the new machine on the way home, you and your gang of friends or family have their gear ready at the door and waiting for your arrival. Don't worry; you'll be able to fit the climbing gear and your outdoor camping equipment. If you grabbed a bike and/or roof rack, bring the kayaks and e-bikes. Time to hit the road.

Since you've been driving for a few hours now, it's time to pull over and see if anyone else wants to take to the wheel. With no one vouching to take control of this behemoth, you decided you'll be staying put for the night. What, this is as good a place as any. That's one of the beautiful things about owning something like this; you can call anywhere home, as long as you're not trespassing.

Considering that some of these units can sleep up to six or seven people with modular furnishings, there needs to be adequate systems and storage for food to keep everyone alive and comfortable. What's worth noting about the Solera is that all but one unit includes slideouts and that alone is not to be underestimated when traveling with so many folks.

In those slideouts, guests can find spaces such as dinettes, entertainment centers, and even bedrooms, depending on the cash you have for one of these units. Overhead storage is also plentiful and found all around the RVs. Want more locations to put knickknacks? Go ahead and use the under-bed space and cabinetry or the countless exterior bays tattered all over your unit.

Since it's late and the kids are starting to get cranky, it's time to unfurl all the sleeping capabilities this bugger hides. The floorplan I find most optimized for living with multiple people is the 32DSK, and in it, there's an over-cab bunk, a sofa, modular dinette, and best of all, a queen bed sitting on one of the slideouts I mentioned earlier.

While the other sleeping spaces are much like you'd find in most other RVs, the bedroom is prepared with the possibility of an entertainment center, multiple wardrobes, a linen closet, and right before the entrance to the room, a bathroom can be accessed. A bathroom that sits separately from the bedroom area is not to be underestimated if you're not traveling alone or with someone who knows the pattern of your back hair.

Taking things even further off-grid are features like generators, water heaters, a 30,000 BTU furnace, another 15,000 BTU ducted ceiling air with a heat pump, and of course, roof-mounted solar panels with 190 watts of processing power. Go a tad further with your own additional panels. Feel like taking a break from the great outdoors? Sign a satellite or cable contract and go nuts.

Listen, I could go on and on about what is available to future owners of a Solera branded vehicle, but in truth, I'd be taking away from your own discovery of the Solera motorhomes, and where's the fun in that. After all, mobile living is all about discovery. Get to it!

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.
Images in the gallery display an array of Solera motorhome base vehicles and custom interiors.


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