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MINI unveils its 3 latest camping concepts

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July 19, 2013

MINI's Clubvan Camper, Cowley and Countryman ALL4 Camp concepts

MINI's Clubvan Camper, Cowley and Countryman ALL4 Camp concepts

Image Gallery (51 images)

MINI has chosen the height of the British summer to unveil its new motoring-cum-camping concepts aimed at music festival goers and outdoor types in need of what the company euphemistically describes as "overnight solutions." The three products are the Clubvan Camper, the Cowley and the Countryman ALL4 Camp; a tiny camper van, a compact caravan and a rooftop tent respectively. Let's have a look, then.

MINI Clubvan Camper

A moonroof can be opened for ventilation (or to look at the moon, obviously)

Described by the company as "arguably the world's smallest luxury camper van," the Clubvan Camper is a Clubvan adapted to provide sleeping for one at the expense of all seats other than the driver's. When bedding down for the night, the drive occupies a berth that extends front to back on the passenger side of the vehicle.

The space behind the driver's seat has been filled by a kitchenette which extends out of the Clubvan Camper's pair of rear doors, and which includes a propane stove and a chest fridge. A moonroof can be opened for ventilation (or to look at the moon, obviously).

An auxiliary heater, a small flatscreen TV and, notably, a handheld shower designed to be used outside of the vehicle round out the home comforts included.

MINI Cowley

Don't look now, but MINI might just have made the caravan sexy

What at first looks like a generous storage trailer, the MINI Cowley concept is in fact's MINI's suitably compact take on the traditional towing caravan.

Named after the company's Oxfordshire factory, the Cowley packs in little more than two sleeping berths into its interior, though an entertainment system complete with TV, DVD player and audio equipment are on hand if you can't think of anything to do.

Cunningly, MINI has opted to shift the kitchen to a compartment on the outside. This packs in a dual-burner gas stove, a sink with water tank and pump, and a refrigerator. The door opens upwards, providing a modicum of shelter.

The whole thing weighs in at under 300 kg (660 lb), and is just 12 cm (4.7 in) wider than a MINI Clubman. Don't look now, but MINI might just have made the caravan sexy.

MINI Countryman ALL4 Camp

Though pictured above a Countryman ALL4, the Camp is designed to be mounted on more or les...

Though pictured above a Countryman ALL4, the Camp is designed to be mounted on more or less any current MINI or MINI Clubman. It's a rooftop sleeping compartment designed to be on hand when sleeping quarters are needed at the drop of a hat, which simply unfolds upwards out of its slim storage box, and folds down again (nice and quickly, MINI says) in the morning.

Though perhaps the least fun of the three concepts, it might just be the most useful.

Unavailability

Alas MINI says that for now, it has no plans to put these concepts on the market. For now, then, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the dearth of things.

Source: MINI

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
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9 Comments

The Mini is a stupid marketing exercise riding high on the fashion for retro and the nostalgic feeling we have about the original Mini and this latest idea from BMW is just lame and uncool.

The original Mini was cheap and there was some brilliant thinking behind it. The BMW Mini is neither cheap nor brilliant and it is just an over priced smallish car.

Instead of these increasingly silly concepts they should focus on making the car cheaper to buy and to run, so that it could be just a little bit like the original.

BZD
19th July, 2013 @ 09:10 am PDT

I love those little camper trailers. I have never used one but love the idea of getting one to tow behind my Versa (Tiida). Even if MINI doesn't move forward with the design and production, there are other companies that make teardrop trailers. Camp-In and Little Guy are two companies that come to mind.

Tyro
19th July, 2013 @ 09:30 am PDT

Cunningly, MINI has opted to shift the kitchen to a compartment on the outside. ----- Uhm.. No No No No No. Mini hasnt opted to do anything. This is a tear drop trailer, the design has been around for decades, and the kitchen goes on the outside in the back. Mini has created nothing new here, possibly only made the configuration light enough to be towed by their cars and be damn sexy while doing it.

David Zentner
19th July, 2013 @ 10:59 am PDT

As long as the transmission is unrepairable who bloody cares!

Max Kennedy
19th July, 2013 @ 02:30 pm PDT

Aye, copying the wonderful old teardrop is not "cunning." There are plans and examples galore, some super-light. What would impress me is someone making it actually streamlined. It should be close-coupled to help smooth the wake of the tow vehicle, and not exceed 20 deg of slope. The wheels need proper fairings, not abrupt fenders, and the front edges should be rounded.

"The smaller the vehicle, the bigger the adventure."

Bob Stuart
22nd July, 2013 @ 03:01 am PDT

Wow! A great article, rather a photo article. Enough to make a sluggish non adventurist to stop and think. With 51 pictures to explain, words fall far behind. No need to strain your imagination. All are depicted.

Great effort, a successful effort at that!

Er. A.K.Mittal
22nd July, 2013 @ 03:43 am PDT

No, nothing new as you mention. The only pinched the tear drop trailer idea. It is a shame in my eyes. The only thing what is "new" is pimping up the thing with a stereo etc.

When you look up under "tear drop trailer" you can find many of them even plans to build one yourself.

The only thing what is "new" is pimping up the thing

Bernd Kohler
22nd July, 2013 @ 04:36 am PDT

It would be smarter of them to dispense with the sleeper space inside the first Mini and make the interior for two and have more toys inside in the back. Then couple it all with the rooftop sleeper for two. That combi would probably sell like hotcakes to those who are not BMW Mini-bashers.

To the bashers...can it. This is a retro concept and has nothing to do with the original mini, that we all know. But, BMW is the one who bought the rights to the Mini heritage, not you. It is thus theirs to do with as they wish. Stop crying like babies. If you want to be (okay, if you can be) creative, then buy an original, restore it and then show up the new Minis at rallies.

Yes, I have the right to say this as I have owned 3 of the originals in the past.

dutch
22nd July, 2013 @ 05:53 am PDT

Very good, "the drop of the hat" and a "overnight solution" as this is what people want, things to happen easily and conveniently. It's very much what Coverstep modular tonneau cover has achieved for the pickup truck.

I hope Mini will move forward with this concept.

PaulSimon Macke
23rd July, 2013 @ 04:18 am PDT
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