It’s huge, has hefty 46-inch tires, and its diesel engine bellows louder than a pack of lions — but when it comes to the environment, the EcoRoamer, designed by interactive advertising pioneer Jay Shapiro, is as gentle as a midsummer breeze.
For Shapiro, the EcoRoamer isn’t just a vehicle — it’s the only roof over his head, as well as those of his family. Jay, his wife, their kids, and their two cats have embarked on a journey that will take them across Alaska, South America, Africa, Europe, Mongolia, Russia, and more, all from the comfort of the EcoRoamer. “Shapiro is attempting to traverse the planet without damaging it,” says Jalopnik.com. “The living space is built almost entirely from recycled materials, the truck uses solar panels for most of its auxiliary power, and its massive diesel engine runs on biodiesel.”
Because of the eclectic mixture of parts that comprise the EcoRoamer, Shapiro built the EcoRoamer with some well-known brands to ensure he wouldn’t be out of luck should the vehicle break down in remote locations unfamiliar with anything beyond conventional vehicles. The EcoRoamer’s cab and chassis are modified Ford-650 parts; its powerplant is a Caterpillar C7 diesel engine; and one of Shapiro’s goal is to run the vehicle on biodiesel using blends that are refined from non-food stock plant life.