After years of waiting, North America has finally gotten the 4x4 version of the Mercedes Sprinter van, which is quickly gaining popularity amongst camper van converters. We took a look at the rugged Sportsmobile Sprinter 4x4 expedition van a few months ago, and now Winnebago has rolled out a more highway-friendly 4WD Sprinter camper called the Era 4x4.
For those of us of a certain age, the old VW camper van introduced in the 1950s held the promise of a compact, affordable home away from home – or just home. Never mind that it had an engine like something off a sewing machine, steered like a bucket, and negotiated hills on a 50-50 basis – it represented the freedom of the road. Volkswagen is continuing this tradition with a new California variant of its recently released Transporter T6.
Not every family has the budget for a full-blown Type A, B or C motorhome for weekend and holiday use. One of the options we've seen a lot of lately is the Type B that can effectively double as an everyday people or cargo hauler. The Volksleisure and Horizon Multi Concept Vehicle are two such dual purpose-built vans, and now the folks at WildAx Motorhomes have their own idea on how to give the van a split personality. With their Pulsar, they've added a kitchen and bathroom to the back of a Citroën Relay, leaving a roomy, uncluttered four-person cabin for everyday driving.
We've spent a lot of time covering overland expedition vehicles of late thanks to the recent Overland Expo and Abenteuer und Allrad shows. The all-new Marq concept from Quantis GmbH may be our favorite of the bunch. An interesting blend of function and fashion, the prototype design features a clean, modern shell atop a rugged, military-style Land Rover Defender 130 chassis. It also has an efficient, versatile interior. This vehicle is ready to ride anywhere and everywhere and look pretty damn cool doing it.
For 54 years, Sportsmobile has been building rugged campers on a variety of base van platforms. We recently took a look at its work in transforming a Ford E-Series Cutaway into a custom-built van, but that wasn't the only new model it had on show at this year's Overland Expo West. With the recent introduction of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4 to the US market, Sportsmobile now offers an efficient, all-terrain Sprinter diesel camper.
The EarthRoamer XV-HD wasn't the only all-new earth-shaking expedition vehicle at this year's Overland Expo West. Similarly named competitor EarthCruiser showed the FX, a new simpler, lower-priced Mitsubishi Fuso-based expedition truck with fixed roof.
“That’s cool, but you’re never going to sell one.” It’s a sentiment that EarthRoamer, builder of some of the world's toughest off-road expedition vehicles, has heard many times over the 12 years it's been rolling product out. But it has sold them, 150 of them, in fact. The company is so confident that it will keep selling them that it is now working on an even larger, more expensive 4x4 motorhome. We previously took a look at the basic specs of the all-new XV-HD expedition vehicle, and after traveling to Overland Expo, we have a few more details about this beastly build, including its near-seven figure price tag.
Gizmag traveled to last week's Overland Expo West in Northern Arizona to explore the latest in 4x4s and adventure campers. In contrast to last year's warm, beautiful weather, this year was cold and rainy with a touch of snow, creating tire-swallowing, ego-crushing mud that left many a vehicle grinding its gears fruitlessly. It wasn't ideal weather for a camping trip, but it proved the perfect backdrop for showcasing rugged four-wheelers with specialized chassis and powertrain components.
When Ford discontinued the E-Series commercial van last year, California-based Sportsmobile found itself without one of the primary van platforms it relied on for its rugged 4x4 camper vans. Rather than discontinue the model to focus on other designs, Sportsmobile decided to transform the still-available E-Series Cutaway into a custom-built camper, designing its own fiberglass shell to fill the void left by Ford. Sportsmobile's E-Series camper van is now more spacious and focused than ever.
The all-new Horizon Multi Concept Vehicle isn't the first camper van based on the new Mercedes Vito – we've already seen the Terra Camper Tecamp, for one – but it is purportedly the first such camper made in the UK. The new camper van is designed to adeptly straddle the fence between everyday family van and holiday camper. A host of quick-converting interior amenities help it achieve that duality.