Australia is nearly the size of the United States, but has less than a tenth of its population, mainly dotted around the perimeter. It's a rough, rugged and beautiful country, and it offers some of the toughest and most rewarding camping on the planet. Check out how the locals are doing it in 2019.
Germany's Frankia doesn't just name its new camper van "Yucon" to send visions of epic trips amidst colossal mountains and glacial turquoise dancing through your head. Naming the Sprinter van after Canada's sparsely populated northwestern territory also emphasizes the sheer feeling of size and space inside. With the Yucon, Frankia packs a roomy living area derived from its larger motorhomes within the compact driving footprint of a camper van. Clever space-saving features slide and swivel throughout this "microliner."
Straying from the hard-sided pop-out expansion modules we've seen on the likes of the Westfalia James Cook, RP Rebel Slide and Pinnacle Finetza, a new Toyota camper van from Australia's Bus 4x4 relies on a simpler solution: a drop-down expansion tent. The tent hangs off the tailgate, providing a breezier camping experience and pulling the bed farther back to open up the living area. A powerful 4x4 system borrowed from the Land Cruiser Prado completes a camper van that can travel to remote, rugged lands and live large once there.
A leading name in custom camper vans, Outside Van developed one of its latest customs with a different purpose in mind. The Next Gen van is an experimental prototype designed to optimize and centralize weight, using new strategies and experimental components. It doesn't skimp on features, though, keeping the lights and A/C on with a beefy 720Ah lithium battery pack wired to roof-mounted solar. If the van's design works out, it paves the way for a new generation of lighter, better-handling and more fuel-efficient camper vans.
Automaker-badged and sold camper vans are big business in Europe, and business appears to be booming. Last year, Volkswagen expanded its iconic California camper van lineup with the Grand California, and this year Ford is following suit in growing its Nugget lineup with a larger Big Nugget. The new 19.7-ft (6-m) concept camper van converted by Westfalia previews a forthcoming production van that will give road-trippers more room to stretch out.
Last year's Volkswagen Grand California debut added some serious buzz to the annual Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. Volkswagen won't likely have such an impactful presence at this year's show, but it will have another new camper van to reveal, the California 6.1. The streamlined update of VW's most iconic camper van is more than just a simple nip and tuck, adding comfort and convenience on the road and at camp with features like a touchscreen command center and reclining bench.
The newest member of the Hymer family, Germany's Crosscamp seeks to extend city dwellers' footprints into surrounding mountains, beaches and forests. And we're betting its sporty, compact camper van of the same name will be successful at doing it. Based on the Toyota Proace Verso, this sub-5-m (16.4-ft) camper van transports, sleeps and feeds four people, readily switching over to a cargo van or seven-seat people-mover. Use it to move across town one weekend, take the kids and their friends to football practice during the week, and venture out on an extended road trip the following weekend.
You don't really need a shovel until you really need a shovel. So taking up a third of your car roof with a man-height ditch digger's shovel doesn't make much sense ... that is, until you find yourself spinning tires helplessly in three feet of snow or mud. The shovel experts at Jackson, Wyoming-based DMOS Collective present a better way to stay prepared: a near-unbreakable spade that telescopes and folds, easily clasping to your car roof, spare tire or even shoulders. When it's time to break ground, the new Delta Shovel grows into a full-length T-handle that can pile on more pounds of dirt and rock than you'll care to ever toss over a shoulder.