Stephan Wirths, CEO of Saalfelden-based overland RV manufacturer Action Mobil GmbH & Co. KG., recently brought to my attention the omission of AM’s triple axle Atacama 7900 expedition vehicle from Examiner’s August 2012 piece entitled “The world's ten best car carrying motorhomes,” though in fairness it should be noted that the Action Mobil Atacama 7900 was included in our tongue-in-cheek Revenant’s Guide to “Motorhomes that can survive a zombie apocalypse” whilst the company’s Mercedes-Benz-based Atacama Zetros 1 had little trouble finding its way into Examiner’s list of “The world’s best overland expedition vehicles.” In any event, by way of an act of contrition to our good friends in the “Land der Berge,” we’re going to take a virtual tour of their extreme car carrying overland expedition vehicle.
Based on the rugged MAN Nutzfahrzeuge TGS chassis, the 42,220 pound GVWR (19,000kg) Action Mobil Atacama 7900 comes equipped with a MAN 540hp, 6-cylinder inline turbo diesel with intercooler with a displacement of 783 cubic inches. With permanent 6x6 AWD mated to an automated manual ZF 12 Astronic TipMatic gearbox with a 2-speed transfer case this is one seriously heavy duty truck. Couple this with twin integral fuel tanks -- providing a total capacity of 235 U.S. gallons (880 liters) and a range in excess of 1500 miles -- the 6x240 watt solar system (tied to a Lithium battery bank), the 260 U.S. gallon (980 litre) fresh water supply and the 69 U.S. gallon (180 litre) waste water tank and you’ve got a built in off-the-grid overlanding capability that would be the envy of many mainstream RV manufacturers.
Whilst it’s often said that you should not judge a book by its cover it’s plain from just a cursory examination of the rig’s exterior that this is a quality product. Action Mobil’s signature burglarproof, scratchproof top hinged windows -- with their double insulated thermal window glass -- are a far cry from the cheap and cheerful windows that you see on so many RV’s. In fact the whole rig oozes quality, from the porcelain toilet and pricey plumbing fixtures to the diesel powered warm water central heating system which feeds radiators in the living area as well as a towel radiator in the shower room.
The 2,470mm wide (8’ 10”) and 11,300-milimetre-long (37’) RV is comprised of three sections; cab, living quarters and car garage. The living quarters can be accessed directly from a 61mm thick (2.4”) exterior side door, via a pass through door at the rear of the driver’s cab or even through an optional electrically operated ceiling hatch above the master bed.
The beautifully appointed interior cabin can be configured to provide sleeping accommodation for four persons via an upper deck bed platform (that can be extended into the cabin and retracted when not in use) and a dinette table and u-shaped seating area that can be converted into a 2-berth sleeping space.
The spacious kitchen is a testament to Action Mobil’s well deserved reputation for sweating the small stuff. The company’s focus on innovative space saving solutions is immediately apparent with many of the high quality built-in galley appliances like the fridge, dishwasher (beneath the induction hob and oven) and freezer incorporating pull out drawers. I especially like the extending tray mounted espresso coffee machine that pulls out of one of the wall cabinets. Even the onboard washing machine is hidden away behind the dinette seating.
There’s a separate shower room and bathroom either side of the central corridor that leads to the front cab and just before you reach the cab corridor there is a flush mounted flat screen TV that automatically drops down from a hidden ceiling compartment to provide the family with some onboard audio-visual entertainment.
The Atacama 7900’s pièce de résistance has to be the rear car garage which can comfortably handle either a Suzuki Jimny 4x4 car (for comparative purposes the Jimny measures 3675mm x 1600mm x 1670mm), two quad bikes, a couple of motorbikes or even a snowmobile. Entry and egress from the garage is effected by a cleverly engineered fully automatic autolift which lifts the satellite dish out of harm’s way, opens the rear garage door and then gracefully propels the car platform backwards out of the vehicle (check out the video for a demonstration).
In retrospect it’s clear that the Atacama 7900 was erroneously omitted from “The world’s ten best car carrying motorhomes” but to spare my blushes I’ll leave it up to my readers to determine which of the suggested car carrying motorhomes in the top ten list it should replace.
Related: A car carrying trailer that actually matches your motorhome: Dethleffs Esprit matching travel trailer and motorhome wows RVers
Additional Information: Action Mobil GmbH, A5760 Saalfelden - Leogangerstr 53, Austria Tel: +43 6582/727120
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