Still not thatMcLaren. We're talking again about the British camper van converter that works exclusively with big vans like the VW Crafter and Mercedes Sprinter. A few months before going full-on Savage with the Crafter, it was performing some of its first conversions on the generation-3 Sprinter. Its updated Shadow two-sleeper van capitalizes on the latest Mercedes tech, adding a cozy, sealed-off interior with space to sleep, cook, freshen and relax. And for those that yearn for a little more speed and adventure, it also offers bike-hauling Sprinter Sporthomes.
The idea of overlanding in an electric vehicle, meandering miles and miles off the electrical grid for days on end, has so far been largely unfathomable, a bit terrifying, even. But we've seen that it's not impossible, and now electric truck startup Rivian is hoping to make it more mainstream. Less than a year after turning heads with an LA Auto Show double debut, it made the trip to Overland Expo West to show how electric power can be a boon rather than bane for overland travel. Its all-electric pickup camper offers an estimated 400 miles (644 km) of range, a roof-top tent and an electric kitchen.
New Mexico-based startup Earth Traveler is developing a very different style of teardrop trailer, a skeletal archway built of lightweight composite meant to put minimal strain on your engine and wallet. And while the range-topper will be made from carbon fiber, the more interesting version will use a composite concocted from chicken feathers, a material that's literally featherlight. At camp, full-length gull-wing panels will rise up like a phoenix, creating standing room and a spacious, breezy interior intimately connected to the surrounding outdoors.
With the success of its first diesel-electric snow groomer, the 600 E+ "Green Machine", launched in 2012, the team at PistenBully was inspired to work towards developing a 100-percent electric, zero-emission groomer. While the honor for the first all-electric snow-vehicle belongs to Monaco's Venturi Automobiles, PistenBully claims its 100 E is the first fully electric solution for the snow grooming industry.
If you were looking over an SUV or truck trying to find the roof-top tent (RTT), the most logical place to look would be ... the roof. But California startup Rubicon Expedition Products wants people to expand their idea of what a roof-top tent is and where it belongs on the vehicle. Its Hitch Tent system drops the roof tent down to hitch level, making it easier to load and unload and freeing up the vehicle for day trips. The integrated frame stands the tent above the cold, rocky ground below.
We've been following new Volkswagen Crafter camper vans since the launch of the second-gen model in 2016. Whether we're talking Volkswagen itself, a large conversion shop like Westfalia, or a smaller name like NordVan, one thing these Crafter camper vans tend to have in common is a layout with rear bed and central bath and kitchen. German camper van converter, supplier and equipment specialist Reimo has different ideas for the Crafter, swapping the bed and bathroom and carving out the kitchen for a more spacious, versatile travel and adventure space.
Back when we looked at the Leentu pickup camper at Overland Expo West 2017, it was very much a rough prototype. But that rough prototype made it out of testing and development, leading to the well-polished Carbon Camper production model launched this winter. Now Leentu is moving away from expensive IndyCar-grade carbon fiber and onward to a more affordable aluminum honeycomb topper for the pickup-camping masses. The Leentu Sunzal Utility Pop-up maintains a low weight but comes in well under the price of the Carbon Camper, providing a more economical way of turning a regular, old pickup truck into an all-out adventure vessel.
The GoSun Chill is a portable cooler that, instead of needing to be loaded up with ice, draws on a 144-Wh detachable powerbank for refrigeration (or topping up your mobile devices). To keep the powerbank charged and the cooler chilling on the hottest of days, GoSun also provides a number of solar panel options for completely off-grid cooling capabilities.