Tennessee-based EcoTrek claims that many off-road campers on the market are little more than off-road tires mounted on teardrop and pop-up designs built for the road. By contrast, EcoTrek builds the 510 for off-road use from the ground up, starting with a MIG welded tubular 6063-T6 aluminum frame supported at critical areas with cross braces and gussets. That skeleton is skinned, inside and out, with an aluminum-polyethylene composite material that EcoTrek says is 3.5 times lighter than steel and 1.5 times lighter than standard aluminum. The interior is insulated, and the alu-composite panels are sealed together with butyl tape.
I own a Winnebago motor home and a Mini-Cooper that I haul behind it. It would be nice to combine the two and only have one vehicle. OK, so I might have to give up a few things, such as living space, air conditioning, the dinette, the queen-sized bed, the microwave, and the bathroom. Still...
I wrote earlier at http://goo.gl/rLn4ha about some concept vehicles designed by Mini-Cooper. However, these vehicles were simply the product of the company's design team's dreams. Mini-Cooper has no plans to build them. However, any Mini-Cooper owner or owner of any other small vehicle can go camping NOW by using the SylvanSport GO.
Perhaps the ultimate "get away from it all" recreational vehicle is the Bimobil EX 480. It isn't your typical luxury motor home that takes all the comforts of home with you. Instead, the Bimobil EX 480 is a heavy-duty, long-distance expedition vehicle.
Click on the picture above to view a larger image.
Remember when camping was called "roughing it?" Most of today's recreational vehicles hardly match that description. There is one possible exception: Bravo Company's Sportsmobile. However, even that self-contained RV brings luxury to the wilderness. It is the perfect RV for use in the jungles of Peru, Africa's savannah, Uzbekistan, or Siberia.
The estimated price of the Bravo model will be between $125,000 and $150,000, depending on options.
This looks a lot like some of the ideas for Mini-Cooper camping mentioned earlier. However, it from a different company and fits all sorts of automobiles. The RoomBox EasyTech is designed to transform a station wagon or van into a functional camper within just five minutes. Its series of panels, attachments and hardware creates sleeping, cooking, eating and showering space, even in smaller cars.
The EasyTech is an à la carte system that lets the buyer choose his own camping gear or to purchase additional units designed for use with this camper. The entry level ($4,275) EasyTech one-star model includes only the basic sleeping and table structure. The tool-free system is designed to be quicker to set-up than the HighTech, taking only about 5 to 10 minutes. It uses a new adjustment system that allows it to fit inside of both smaller and larger cars.
I own a Mini-Cooper and love it so I was quick to read a new announcement from BMW. (Mini-Coopers are produced by BMW's British subsidiary.) The announcement describes the new concept vehicles as "overnight solutions." The three products are the Clubvan Camper (a tiny camper van), the Cowley (a compact caravan) and the Countryman ALL4 Camp (a rooftop tent).
The QUQUQ is a German-made camping box that transforms a regular passenger vehicle into a fully equipped camper for two. Within just one minute, you can be sleeping, cooking or just hanging out in your QUQUQ camper van.
The QUQUQ (say that five times real fast) is essentially a 132-lb (60-kg), rectangular chest that two people can easily carry and lift into the back of a compatible van. The 43 x 30-inch (110 x 75-cm) camping box fits in the back of the van with the rear seats up, leaving room for transporting passengers or stowing extra camping gear. Removing the rear seats altogether provides storage space below the extended bed.
The modular, build-it-yourself Teal camper is officially available for purchase. Teal debuted its first model, the Tail Feather, at the Colorado RV, Sports, Boat and Travel Show last week and has begun production on the camper. You purchase the individual modules to fit your needs and then assemble the pieces yourself.