Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper

A Star Wars fan turned his Volkswagen recreation vehicle into a R2-D2 Road Tripper. He recalled how he did it on his blog.

Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper
Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper

Artoo-Deetoo is an icon, a fictional character and one of George Lucas’ greatest creations. There are plenty of epic Space Odyssey fans out there that also drive cars. Few, if any, own a Hellcat, but even so, some of them wrap their cars as a tribute for the epic franchise.

A gifted Star Wars fan also is a Volkswagen Transporter driver who decided it was time to leave Tatooine for a change and embark on a rather Earthier experience. He recreated all the objects on R2D2 and adapted them to fit on his VW bus. According to his Instructables log, “all the measurements and computer work took about 50 hours, plus vinyl wrapping till we lost count”.

The vehicle itself is a 1992 Volkswagen Transporter that is powered by 1.6-liter air-cooled engine with 58 hp that was converted to run on CNG too, which gives it better mileage, but even less power.

Yeah, the force it’s not strong with this one.

According to his Indestructables blog, the R2D2 VW Bus was created in 14 steps.

Step 1: Planning the design

Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper
Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper

R2D2’s body is a cylinder, so the initial idea was to unroll the cylinder and wrap the bus with that pattern. But it ended up not becoming one with the force, that is the bus. It was all planned based on vinyl wrap customization, since they already worked with vinyl stickers.

Step 2: Recreating the objects [vector]

Based on a high resolution blueprint image from the web, they recreated in vectors by manual tracing each and every object on CorelDraw. At first they left the black outline, then realized they did not want a cartoon-looking robot.

Step 3: Recreating the objects [color]

Once the vectors were done, Photoshop work began. Most of this was done by setting layer styles, since it is an easy way to create a sense of depth.

Step 4: Photoshop overview

First, save the vector you created on CorelDraw and export as high-res .jpg to use on Photoshop. Once you have your image, and if you use crazy contrasting colors, you can easily select each section with the Magic Wand tool. Create a new layer and fill the selection with a medium shade of grey. For each new layer, work with layer styles to set “gradient overlay” and “bevel and emboss”.

Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper
Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper

Step 5: Measure everything

If you cannot find a blueprint of your car on the internet accurately depicting every measure and the position of every light, hinge, handle and what not, you’ll have to measure them all. That may take some time, but it is the only way to make sure the design becomes one with the vehicle.

Step 6: Prepare for printing

Once they had all the objects, they had to decide on where to place them. For that, you can either use a vector of the vehicle or pictures of the front, back and side.

Step 7: Cutting the stickers

A rule of thumb for wrapping is to always work with more material than the surface to be wrapped.

Step 8: Preparing the bus

This proved to be an exhausting part. They spent a lot of time on treating all the scratches and rust, then painting over it and sanding.

Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper
Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper

Step 9: Wrapping the front

They started applying the stickers by the front, since it would probably be the hardest part.

They used felt squeegees to press the vinyl bit by bit, careful not to leave any bubbles or wrinkles.

Step 10: Real buses have curves

The second target was the back, to rest from the hard time they had on the front. No major issues on the flat surfaces. On the curve, they dreaded the decision of planning it on a single module.

Step 11: Sweet sides

These were quick and easy. The advantage of picking a VW bus for the project. Since it is all flat, there is very little need for the heat gun.

Step 12: A few more details

It took a while to wrap the top grid. Might have been easier to paint it?

Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper
Turning a VW Camper Into an R2-D2 Road Tripper

Step 13: Are we there yet?

Well, almost! Since they were done with the printed stickers, a silver one was added to the window columns and another stripe of blue to the top.

Step 14: What a cool droid!

They plan to add Millennium Falcon to the top, and maybe write “On a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” as well.

Worth Pondering…

Good bye, old friend. May the Force be with you.

―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to his former Padawan Anakin Skywalker before traveling to Utapau

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Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan

Rolling Homes recently introduced the new entry-level campervan.

Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan
Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan

All the practicality of a VW camper conversion but at a fraction of the cost is the promise of the new Shackleton, entry-level VW camper conversion.

The Shackleton provides the ideal starting point for anyone looking for their first new motorhome.

“This entry-level camper is built using the same components as the more expensive models,” according to a company statement.

“This has the same level of craftsmanship and attention to detail, but with a softer price tag.”

Based on a VW T5 Transporter, the Shackleton features a front elevating, German SCA deluxe roof, color coded to match the vehicle paintwork, plus handmade, lightweight, real wood veneered board with solid oak edges, extensive cupboards and wardrobes, and solid surface kitchen worktops.

Included is a deluxe bed which gives extra sleeping room for two adults.

Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan
Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan

A 110 amp/hr marine battery powers the 12v system that runs the compressor fridge, LED lighting, and water pump and is charged when the engine is running or connected to the mains via a discrete 240v hook up.

The layout is a classic side kitchen with the rear seats forming the double bed.

The kitchen offers 50-litre Waeco compressor fridge/freezer, Smev twin-burner hob with integrated sink, water tank, and pump.

At the front a double-passenger seat swivels round to face into the cabin.

All the internal sides are fully insulated with sheep wool and the carpet features a soft, dark-grey trim.

Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan
Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan

Overall length of the vehicle is 4.89m (16 feet) and the height with the roof extended comes to 3.04m (10 feet).

The basic OTR price is £36,995 ($54,547) but there are a number of extra options that can be specified.

These options include a long wheelbase version, which is £1,200 ($1,770) extra, reversing sensors, awning rails, and awning itself, 75w solar panel, under seat safe, VW bike rack, swiveling driver’s seat and an electric blow heater.

If you want to try out a Rolling Homes campervan before you commit to buying then try hiring one for a short break. If you decide to buy after your rental then Rolling Homes will refund half the hire cost.

Alternatively, just rent one for weekends or an entire week with either the Columbus model with one twin bed and a twin in the roof, or the Livingstone model with a rear kitchen and two single beds and a twin in the roof.

Details

Rolling Homes

Rolling Homes is a small family-run business based in Shropshire.

Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan
Rolling Homes Introduces New Entry-Level Campervan

Rolling Homes is committed to offering exclusive and luxurious handcrafted and lightweight bespoke wood units at a competitive price. The company does not use imitation wood and plastics. They only use the highest quality lightweight wood, materials, fittings, and appliances to ensure that your camper will outlast the most enduring camping adventure. Quality is paramount at Rolling Homes.

Since what each customer wants varies from camper to camper, they offer lots of choice that is tailored to your requirements.

Address: Cartmel Drive, Shrewsbury SY1 3TB

Phone: 01743 443877

Website: www.rolling-homes.co.uk

Worth Pondering…

May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view……where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you.

—Edward Abbey

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Bett Mobil: Versatile Modular Campervan

The Bett Mobil carries a sliding pod inside a camper-in-a-box package.

Bett Mobil: Versatile Modular Campervan
Bett Mobil: Versatile Modular Campervan

Last month’s CMT Stuttgart, an International exhibition for caravaning, motor, and tourism in Stuttgart, Germany featured the Bett Mobil, a versatile Volkswagen camper van based on a VW Multivan facelift Line 2010.

Reminiscent of the DoubleBack camper van, the Bett Mobil has an extendable living module sliding pod.

Extendable living modules are not new in the camper van world with each new sliding pod offering its own set of advantages. In the case of the Bett Mobil, the upper slide-out adds extra interior room while maintaining the classic Volkswagen camper van footprint. It also retains dedicated cargo space for camping provisions and sports gear.

The Bett Mobile consists of several modules.

The key component of the Bett Mobil is the second story bed module that turns the Volkswagon Multivan into a full-fledged camper van. The sliding, folding bed module fits neatly inside the tailgate and sets up in a matter of minutes then removes completely to give the owner a standard van back. According to Bett Mobil it will take the owner about an hour to convert from camper back to regular van.

Bett Mobil: Versatile Modular Campervan
Bett Mobil: Versatile Modular Campervan

The simple screw-in system allows the interior fixtures to be easily rearranged or removed completely. With this set-up the owner is able to create a campervan with up to four seats and remove the camping modules altogether, giving users a camper van for camping holidays and a regular van to transport passengers the rest of the year.

After sliding the regular van unit out, one folds the side and rear walls out and secures them to the tailgate, which serves as the roof. The lower legs fold out to support the weight. This creates a 53.5-inch x 78.7-inch interior bed that provides clear views outside via a rear windshield skylight and the large rear window that opens. The lockable storage cabinet below the sliding module stores gear and tools.

A natural extension of the Volkswagen Multivan base platform, Bett Mobil’s sliding sleeping module uses floor rails to offer interior flexibility. Bett Mobil capitalizes on this defining Multivan feature to make its camper package fully modular and customizable. The bed and storage modules are secured to the vehicle by way of the floor rails, as are the kitchen and washroom modules.

The washing area module includes a sink hooked up to a 5.3- gallon fresh water tank, a 2.6-gallon waste water tank, a 13.2-gallon compressor fridge, and a storage compartment for a camping toilet.

The cooking and kitchen module includes a canister stove and storage space for knives, utensils, pots, and pans, and other cooking tools.

Bett Mobil: Versatile Modular Campervan
Bett Mobil: Versatile Modular Campervan

An outdoor kitchen is available as an option, opening up room for four seats inside.

The van can be equipped with a high Polyroof with integrated storage cabinetry or a pop-up roof with built-in bed. Though Bett Mobil’s hardware is designed around the Multivan, the company can equip it to the Comfortline, Highline, Pan Americana, and California Beach models with a few additional modifications.

Rolf Hänle and his son David originally designed the Bett Mobil camper in 2009 as their own personal home away from home, Gizmag reports. Since their camper generated interest where ever they traveled and camped, they decided to bring the design to market, testing the waters at last year’s Abenteuer Allrad show in Bad Kissingen, Germany, before bringing it to the larger 2015 CMT Stuttgart.

Bett Mobil sells its modules directly, not as complete vans. They perform the original installation, which requires a few professionally installed parts. After that, the package is designed for the owner to remove and reinstall the modules as desired. The bed module costs $9,970, and a total camper package runs between $13,413 and $17,200, depending upon options selected.

Worth Pondering…

Far too late to understand many of the missed goals in life:

Joy, beauty of nature, health, travel and culture,
Therefore, man is, time wise!
High time is it! Travel, travel!

—Wilhelm Busch (1832 – 1908)

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Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage

Enjoy a slice of vintage style with a handsome Camper Van Toaster.

Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage
Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage

There are many ways to start the day including in the back of a camper van.

But for those of us who prefer a more upscale recreational vehicle experience, here’s just the thing—wake up to breakfast straight out of the Camper Van Toaster.

Not only does your toaster have dual toasting facilities it’s also the funkiest toaster you’ve ever seen!

It’s rather cute, blue, and white and reeks of 60′s nostalgia.

Embracing the classic style of everyone’s favorite camper—even down to the split front windscreen—this handsome two-slice toaster is a great way to add a splash of vintage charm to your RV’s kitchen.

Its funky wheels and cool blue color is sure to make your RV kitchen feel like a sunnier place even on the most dreary overcast days.

Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage
Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage

Your little blue Camper Van will give new life to sleepy mornings!

Can’t vouch for the crispness of the final breaded substances, or the longevity of its glowing wires, but you really care?

Camper Van Toaster Description

A toaster in the style of a classic VW Camper Van

Can toast two pieces of bread at a time

Variable heat settings

Mains powered: 240V, 3-pin plug

If you live in the US or Canada, you will need to purchase a step-down converter for this to work. Available from all good electrical stores or Amazon.com.

Please Note: This product will not be available for delivery until late November.

Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage
Camper Van Toaster Offers a Slice of Vintage

Retail Cost: £21.85/€26.17/$34.99

Available for order from thefowndry.com.

Worth Pondering…

Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Lookin’ for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Yeah Darlin’ go make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once
And explode into space.

—Words and music by Mars Bonfire

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Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Looking for a quirky option for your Christmas tree this holiday season?

Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree
Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Look no further.

Bombki is now offering a Little Camper ornament.

Each decoration is made from hand-blown glass, then hand-decorated with glittery embellishments all in the shape of a very festive looking VW campervan.

Each ornament is made from hand-blown glass and then hand decorated with glittery embellishments.

They’re available in a variety of color options including the classic orange pictured above, lime, pink, and ice blue.

The WV campervan Christmas tree ornaments are currently IN STOCK and available for ordering from Not On The High Street.

Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree
Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Each decoration is priced at £17 ($29.11)

International delivery to United States and Canada is available.

Estimated delivery time is 5-10 days from dispatch.

Estimated cost of delivery is $11.90.

Worth Pondering…

Forget sugar plums!

When you drift off to sleep,

I’ll be dreaming of fabulous RV destinations I’d love to visit,

Acadia, Mount Rainier, and Yellowstone national parks

Sweet dreams and happy holidays!

Snowbird Christmas

Cranky as an RV space heater,

I groan and grumble in pre-dawn chill,

wait for the coffee pot to finish playing

reveille to my numb mind.

Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree
Little Camper Ornament for Your Christmas Tree

Shuffling around the RV Park,

Snowbirds and Winter Texans make mischief,

cackling like contented

chickens under the Arizona sun.

A grateful respite from grueling

gray cold fronts of International Falls,

Winnipeg, and Green Bay.

Amid chants of Go Packers Go!

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Volkswagen’s California Van Marks 25 Years with Anniversary Edition

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles celebrates 25 years since the California was launched—an exotic name for a dedicated camper van.

Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25
Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25

For many this type of vehicle has meant freedom to travel and explore new places and California has marked an important point in the construction of recreational vehicles dedicated to those families who want to spend their vacation on wheels.

In the 80s, air travel was not within everyone’s reach, and the tent was no longer fashionable. Those people interested in holidays, from Western Europe, were seeking an alternative to these two options. Towed caravans or traveling by train were not appreciated and not flexible enough, so the European tourists, especially those wishing to explore the southern European have turned to motorhomes or camper vans.

Volkswagen had taken advantage of this new trend and created a new model: the California.

It was not a totally new idea. A number of independent manufacturers existed which altered commercial vehicles to suit this purpose. The Westphalia, for example, was a manufacturer that already had a history in this area and even one related to the Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen Westfalia was the official partner in the recreational vehicles segment. The first model was modified in 1962. It was the SO34, a modified original VW Transporter for the holidays.

This was followed by the Westfalia SO42, based on the same design, but with a greater number of specific features. The model SO42 was very popular in the United States.

Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25
Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25

Westafalia continued to produce models dedicated to the holidays in the 70s using the base vans and from other brands too. They carried the names of explorers like James Cook, Sven Hedin, and Marco Polo.

In the early 80s, Westphalia was to have a major success with the Joker model, based on the Transporter T3. The Joker was basically a modified transporter, the rear seat could be converted into a bed and a small kitchen with a fridge, gas hob, and sink were located inside. Thus the Volkswagen California was born, which the folks at Volkswagen manufactured for 25 years.

The most important element that debuted on the California and was preserved until today is that it can raise the ceiling to create additional sleeping space inside.

The previous models were modified to have a super fixed ceiling, an element that could affect vehicle stability and its ability to pass under low areas.

Over their 25 years of existence, Volkswagen produced 100,000 copies of the California, which covered three generations of the model. The current VW California is available in a variety of engines, with two 2.0 TSI developing 150 and 204 hp, and five TDI engine (84, 102, 114, 140 and 180 hp).

Some of these engines can be associated with the automatic DSG transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive.

To celebrate 25 years of the California model, Volkswagen has launched an anniversary version, based on the Multivan, named Edition 25.

Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25
Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25

Details

The VW California Owners Site

The VW California owners’ site for all your California accessories new and used, classified ads, Thule accessories, ‘Vanorak’, funky carpet and sisal sets, bicycle carriers, luggage carriers, kayak carriers, and mattress toppers.

This is the only site dedicated to The VW California, designed and published by California owners for California owners.

The pages on this site provide an information resource for owners, dreamers, enthusiasts, and potential owners.

Website: thevwcalifornia.com

Worth Pondering…

Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
—John Muir

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Luxury Campervans

Campervans have always had their appeal, but by installing some of the many things modern technology has to offer, it is now possible to have a luxurious home away from home.

Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)
Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)

Camping has become a common option for many people who had never tried it before, as they realize how enjoyable yet affordable it can be.

Campervans have always been popular, particularly as a project among men who like to tinker, reports JustLuxe.

However, by installing some of the more fabulous things that modern technology has to offer into the traditional shell, it is now possible to have a luxurious home away from home while on the road.

VW California Campervan

The Volkswagen California is the ultimate all round compact camper.

The VW California is the first and only factory built, purpose built camper van by Volkswagen. Despite the Volkswagen brand being synonymous with camper vans, all previous incarnations were after market conversions.

With two gas hobs, its own sink, a movable folding worktop that doubles as a table, an extremely handy fridge, and room for all the pans and utensils you’d expect at home, you can tour safe in the knowledge that you have all the equipment you need to enjoy your mealtimes while you take your next vancation.

Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)
Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)

What makes this camper different is the easy pop-up electrically powered roof, which becomes a ventilated but cozy second bedroom. No more three-in-a-bed situations! While sleeping, the side and front curtains ensure maximum privacy for your family.

You also get heated seats, plenty of storage including a wardrobe, double glazing, heating (which is just for the living area—there’s air conditioning up front), and all the safety features such as airbags, traction control, and ABS, JustLuxe reports.

For those who opt to restore their own camper, the possibilities are endless. It is very important to most that they keep the original features as well as adding their own.

Many get very creative, installing accessories such as fold out flat-screen TVs with surround sound systems and even satellite connections so they can watch their favorite TV programs while on the road. In some, they have high gloss kitchen units with marble effect counters, just like you pay thousands for in your own home.

Carpets with a deep pile are popular, as is the use of leather for the seating area, and they help to keep the vehicle warm while maintaining a luxurious feeling.

It’s not just the VW that makes a fabulous home on the road—Mercedes Sprinter and Ford Transit vans with the longer wheel base also lend themselves well to the job. The extra height allows for the installation of pull-out awnings, extra beds, and more storage space. In one Sprinter, the person doing the conversion was able to fit a washroom with a separate shower cubicle.

Gone are the days when camping meant having a bad hair day. With a luxury campervan, it’s possible to tour in style while keeping the spirit of camping with the family.

Details

Vancations

Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)
Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)

Vancations is the cooler cousin of Benfield Motor Group, an independent family owned business that was founded in the North East of England in 1957.

Website: vancations.com

The VW California Owners Site

The VW California owners’ site for all your California accessories new and used, classified ads, Thule accessories, ‘Vanorak’, funky carpet and sisal sets, bicycle carriers, luggage carriers, kayak carriers, and mattress toppers.

This is the only site dedicated to The VW California, designed and published by California owners for California owners.

The pages on this site provide an information resource for owners, dreamers, enthusiasts, and potential owners.

Website: thevwcalifornia.com

Worth Pondering…

Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
—John Muir

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End of the Road for Volkswagen Kombi

The classic Volkswagen Kombi is set to cease production next year, ending some 63 years of continuous production.

The last Volkswagen Kombi will be built on December 31, 2013. (Source: autocar.co.uk)

The Kombi, or VW T2 as it is known in Brazil, the only country where it is still produced, will be forced out of production due to new safety legislation coming into force in South America’s largest country, reports Autocar.

To comply with the new Brazilian market legislation coming into effect on January 1, 2014, all new vehicles must come with anti-lock brakes and dual front airbags as standard, meaning an end to the production of the more simplistic Volkswagen Kombi.

VW’s product development chief for Brazil, Egon Feichter, told Autocar that to comply with the new legislation, the Kombi would need to become “a new car”.

It is likely the last Kombi models will be built on December 31 2013, a full 63 years after the nine-seater first went on sale in 1950.

Feichter confirmed that it was only the new safety laws that prevented the Kombi from still being built, as it conforms to every emission regulation needed for new car markets in South America where it is still sold.

The new safety legislation is only for Brazil, but its position as the largest new car market in South America by some distance means it’s not financially feasible to continue with Kombi production.

Some 251 Kombis are still produced everyday at VW’s main Anchieta factory for South America in Sao Paulo.

Replacing the Kombi with a like-for-like model would be almost impossible, as “you can get two Kombis for the price of one normal car,” Feichter told Autocar.

The Volkswagen Kombi has been in production for 63 years. (Source: caravantimes.co.uk)

Volkswagen will continue to make the VW California, the latest incarnation of this 1960s, Volkswagen camper vans which was launched in 2001.

There are many companies out there that renovate old campers, but the California is the only one built and sold wholly by Volkswagen.

The company also has plans to launch a new compact Caddy van in 2013, reports Caravan Times.

Worth Pondering…

A man does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all morality.

—John Fitzpatrick Kennedy

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DoubleBack Ultimate Camper Van

Looking for the freedom and mobility offered by a mid-to-full-size recreational vehicle, but want the practicality and fuel efficiency of a camper van, too?

VolksWagen Transporter DoubleBack Luxury Camper Van

The DoubleBack may just be the ultimate camper van that you’ve been looking for.

For those that want the freedom and independence an RV can bring, with the comparable fuel efficiency and convenient size of a van, then the DoubleBack looks to be a solid choice, reports Digital Trends.

What makes the DoubleBack unique is just how much space it actually has, and how easily you can expand or contract its size to fit your recreational needs.

Need more room? Use the electric slide-out rear pod to extend the vehicle’s rear. You can even expand the roof and walk around the camper van’s kitchen and lounge.

Based on Volkswagen’s T5 Transporter, the DoubleBack is a camper van modified by Overland Motorhomes Ltd. into a pop-up, electrically extendable camper perfect for young couples or small families who hear the call of the wild, but want to take their campsite with them, reports Torque News.

You may recall seeing the old VW Westfalia pop-up vans, which were once quite common, based on the iconic VW Microbus.

Remarkably, the DoubleBack is the first enhancement of that original camper concept, adding a six and one-half-foot module that electrically extends from the rear of the van. Retractable legs level the vehicle. Once extended the back still opens as a lift gate.

The DoubleBack is intended to emulate the space of a motorhome in a compact vehicle with a kitchenette, fold out bed, and other refinements. Still it reportedly retains the functionality of a driving van.

“The DoubleBack has been inspired by a desire to see a truly spacious, comfortable camper with all the practical advantages of a smaller vehicle,” said Craig McCormack, founder of Overland Motorhomes Ltd.

It should be noted that the fifth-generation T5 is sold in the UK, Russia, Germany, France, and Turkey due to its classification as a light truck, which requires a 25 percent import tariff on the vehicle.

When Volkswagen last sold the Transporter van in the U.S. in 2003 it turned out to be the worst selling vehicle in the country—a distinction not easy to achieve. Remarkably the one-millionth model of the T5 rolled off the assembly line during 2009.

Powering the DoubleBack custom camper is a 2.0 TDI VW engine, which based on official figures from VW can expect 36.7 miles per gallon, although due to modifications and weight of the rear pod that number could suffer slightly.

According to DoubleBack, the T5 was the optimal choice, allowing the company to apply their design ideas and offer a “modern take on the classic campers of the 60s.”

The van provides adequate space to fit all your recreational needs, while being small enough to take to the open roads that may prove too difficult for larger motorhomes—and of course, finding a space to park the DoubleBack van is undoubtedly easier than a mid-to-full-size RV.

Pricing for the Doubleback starts at £55,000 (about $87,000), but now for the bad news: the DoubleBack van is only available in the UK, so admirers this side of the pond are out of luck.

Details

Overlander Motorhomes Ltd.

The Company founders have been fascinated by design excellence for many years and wished to apply some of these ideas to the concept of the camper van.

The T5 was the ideal vehicle platform to work on, being the vehicle of choice for those who want a modern take on the classic campers of the 60s.

According to the website, the DoubleBack is revolutionary. The DoubleBack represents the first true innovation in the market since the advent of the elevating roof over thirty years ago.

“We’ve fused the practicality of driving a compact Transporter with space levels approaching that of a full motorhome.”

Revolutionary design! Revolutionary functionality!

The Company is based in South Wales in the UK.

Address: 121 Caer Wenallt, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, South Glamorgan CF14 7TJ

Website: doubleback.co.uk

Worth Pondering…
The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.

—Victor Papanek

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The Ecco: Flipping Amazing RV of the Future

Life in the traditional camper van has always been a cramped affair.

The Ecco is set to revolutionise the humble camper van with space-age design that includes collapsible walls and a flip-top upper deck. (Credit: swns.com)

But design experts in Switzerland want to bring that experience to an end with a cutting edge concept—a futuristic Swiss camper van that doubles in size by flipping open “like a Swiss Army knife.”

Since space is the main theme, in design and concept, passengers enter the 15-foot-long electric vehicle from the rear through a huge stairway that folds into the ceiling. The space is then transformed with a flip-out top deck, expandable walls, and fold-down seats for extra room.

Called the Ecco, it is a very green vehicle, topped with a solar-paneled roof that charges its battery and produces zero emissions. An eight-hour charge supposedly lasts a full day, providing enough juice to reach highway-driving speeds. According to published reports the Ecco is able to reach a top speed of 90 mph.

The eco-friendly camper van can sleep a family of five and boasts a kitchen, bathroom, and lounge area.

Flipping futuristic: The Ecco doubles in size when it is unfurled and motorists can even darken the windows for privacy when the vehicle is stationary. (Credit: swns.com)

Both the driver and passenger have a circular window built into the large doors which open vertically towards the sky, while a large windscreen gives travelers a panoramic view of the road.

Swiss designer company NAU said the Ecco was inspired by the Volkswagen camper van and the Airstream. The result is vastly improved interior volume, wonderful sight-lines for all passengers, and less wind resistance to boot. It hopes the futuristic vehicle will prove as iconic as the VW camper van.

While a bit wider than its Volkswagen predecessor, the Ecco’s form is more aerodynamic, and the vehicle rides closer to the ground.

“We want to bring the freedom of the road back to generations of the future,” a NAU spokesperson said.

The Swiss company NAU promises to put the Ecco on sale in 2014, but hasn’t suggested a price.

Is this three-wheeled, teardrop-shaped concept RV legit? Will the Ecco ever exist in real-life?

What do you think?

Details

NAU

Functions: 1-2, Van opens; 3, electric power hook-up; 4, air intake; 5, windscreen; 6, solar power panel; 6-7 Softtop opening roof; 8, fold out stairs. (Credit: arch.nau.coop)

NAU is about making spaces—spaces that tell a story.

NAU is a multidisciplinary collective of designers. They are architects, art directors, interactive designers, visual effect artists, and film makers.

Address: Riedtlistrasse 27, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland

Phone: +41 44 271 0680

Website: arch.nau.coop

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