Love it or laugh at it - this is the most expensive motorhome in the world. The Marchi Mobile EleMMent Palazzo is the favourite recreational vehicle of Arab oil sheiks, and one recently sold in Dubai for more than $3 million.
It looks a bit like a space craft, and as you would expect with that kind of price tag, it is dripping with luxurious appointments and high-end gadgets. The interior is more like a billionaire's land yacht than a conventional highway explorer.
It's like a private business jet on wheels.Mario Marchi
The 12-metre two-storey motorhome boasts a suite of large rooms, including a master bedroom, a living room complete with a fireplace, an enormous television screen, pop-up cocktail bar and state-of-the-art kitchen.
- Find more stories on prestige motoring
There's also a huge extra room that slides out automatically, something reminiscent of the tent canopies that can be attached to caravans, but this one is lined in marble instead of canvas.
To top it all off, there's a terrace that can be raised and lowered at the push of a button.
The wheel deal
The rooftop nightclub rises out of the body complete with a mood-lit canopy, Audiophile sound system, banquette seating and - of course - another bar. The Palazzo's 20-tonne pile of ostentatious fittings and heavy equipment is mounted on a Volvo truck chassis and powered by a Volvo engine that can whisk it along at up to 150 km/h.
Luigi Colani, whose other bulbous imaginings have been incorporated into vehicles for BMW and Alfa Romeo, designed the basic shape. Mario Marchi, owner of the Swiss manufacturing company Marchi Mobile, says the vehicle combines characteristics from motor sports, yachting and aviation in the one design.
"You can choose your own interior design ranging from a royal mobile home to a limousine version, which is like a private business jet on wheels," he says.
However, if $3 million is stretching the wallet too far, you can always downscale to the second and third most expensive motorhomes in the world.
The cheaper options
The Featherlite Vantare Platinum Plus sells for $2.5 million. It has a more conventional bus shape, but features a slide-out garage so owners can bring along their sportscar, presumably nothing less than a Ferrari.
Climb the marble steps into the cabin and you'll find custom-built sculptures on the ceiling, surrounded by Swarovski crystals, and fittings with rare Inca marble, copper, pearlised Italian leather, suede, antique bronze and onyx.
The master bedroom has a king-size bed with a plasma TV that lifts out of the floorboard. The vehicle's cockpit, meanwhile, comes equipped with an Avic N-2 GPS system with real-time traffic and weather alerts.
Dropping a million dollars or so brings us to the third most expensive, the Prevost H3-45 VIP, which sells for about $1.6 million. The tall converted coach stands at 3.8 metres high, giving it the motorhome equivalent of cathedral ceilings.
The outer shell is made from moulded fibre composite, and inside the Prevost is as opulent as a sheik's palace.