UPDATED September 28, 2006 A few weeks ago we reported on the Innovan which fits to a 4WD chassis to turn it into a campervan, and can also be dropped off the flatbed and serve as a stand-alone unit. The key aspect of the Innovan’s engenuity is the folding design which enables it to cheat the wind by folding down when driving, and open up to offer a spacious interior when parked. Now we’ve seen another variation on the same theme and it’s equally worth a look as it is even more aerodynamic than the Innovan.
The Quickup camper’s carbon fibre shells are very light (about 360 kgs unladen), extremely strong and very versatile – the modular design accommodates a variety of interiors, with the interior of the Quickip offering an 8 x 8 ft room with headroom for people to 6 ft 4 inches. Accordingly, it could become a mobile workshop or a completely portable office that can be set up 30 seconds after the host vehicle’s engine has stopped.
As a camper, it offers enough room for a double bed and lots of storage and when configured for travel, the roof folds down flat with the roof of the host vehicle, offering an identical frontal area and an aerodynamic shape that’s probably better than the original ute, so cross-winds present no problems, it fits inside standard-sized garages and the gas mileage can be legitimately close to the best you can expect for the vehicle.
Designer Jay Baldwin told Gizmag that it's possible to mount a bunk sideways in the Quickup. "Unfortunately, the complex hinged system permitting erecting the crossways bunk in the widest part of the Quickup is not easily captured because the person doing the deed blocks all useful angles," says Jay. "Suffice it to say that it works, and takes less than a minute and it's so well designed that at no time do you need to lift more than five pounds."
"We're currently seeking the right manufacturer for the Quickup but we're keen to discuss the possibilities with any interested parties. In the meantime, we have put about 10,000 miles on the prototype under a wide variety of conditions. It drives really well, and is, as I intended, super-stable even in violent crosswinds. Handling is sweet and friendly, making twisty mountain roads a pleasure.
"Gas mileage has averaged around 20 mpg, including much (normal in CA) freeway cruising at 70-75 mph, and some city duty going in and out of LA at rush hour. It gets about 24 mpg at 60 mph, which is 5 mpg better than EPA Hwy for the empty truck (A 4.6 V8 with automatic) at the same speed. As shown, the Quickup conversion weighs about a half-ton dry, and about 2000 lbs fully loaded with 2 people, water, propane, 14 drawerfulls of belongings and food for two weeks, so performance is relatively peppy. You’ll never delay the folks behind you.
"We expect it to sell in the midrange of pickup campers: that is, nicely equipped as shown, about US$12,000-$15,000 installed, depending on equipment, plus your full-size, long bed truck. Right now, you can buy a suitable Ford 150 or Toyota Tundra long-bed work truck new for about US$15,000. I'd also like to see the Quickupcamper offered inexpensively as just the shells and opening hardware, with everything else optional so customers can order what they want or can afford, or build their own interior. The modular Finnish plywood interior shown can be removed in 15 minutes, and the shells in an hour.
"We do not plan to offer models for older truck designs or small pickups Quickup advantages do not work usefully on small pickups. We may offer truncated models for full-size pickups with short beds. In that case, the storage space and certain kitchen features will suffer a bit, but the dinette will still seat four and the roomy crossways bunk will remain longer than 7 feet.
"The Quickup prototype has 75 watt, 12-volt solar electricity with 100 amp/hr storage, propane stove, water heater and cabin heater, pressurized water system, and a real electric refrigerator/freezer. It is wired for Bluetooth and satellite.
"It sleeps 3 as shown (one on the padded floor). One more adult or two kids could sleep on an aftermarket bunk conversion of the back seat of most 4-door pickups. The table sits four. When the shells are folded, there is a clear floor space 5 ft long x23 inches wide x 30 inches high for cargo. Additionally, on top of the folded-in end pieces, there is room for skiis, snowboards, and anything else that isn’t too heavy about 7 ft by 4 foot by about 18 inches high. We commonly carry a river raft and a couple folding bikes. All inside.
Interested parties can contact Jay here.