1936 Stout Scarab: The World’s First Minivan?

The 1936 Stout Scarab came about in the early 1930s when William B. Stout, head of the Stout Engineering Laboratories in Dearborn, Michigan, dreamed of rear-engine/rear-wheel drive. “When we finally ‘unhitch Old Dobbin’ from the automobile,” he wrote in Scientific American, “the driver will have infinitely better vision from all angles. The automobile will be lighter and more efficient and yet safer, the ride will be easier, and the body will be more roomy without sacrificing maneuverability.”

The Stout Scarab was a streamlined, fenderless, monoform six-passenger sedan that can stake a claim as the world’s first minivan. With a stubby front end, a boxy middle and a gloriously curved rear, the car certainly resembled its beetle namesake, the scarab.

 

 

The packaging was probably the Scarab’s greatest contribution to the development of the modern car. The wheels were placed at the corners, not unusual for the time, but rather than following the convention of expressing the fenders and running boards as separate design elements, the car’s body stretched right over them in a single, sleek form.

The engine was located in the rear, and the hood and front-end assembly were minimised. This allowed the passenger cabin to be stretched out between the wheels, giving the volume of a small room and the appointments to match. The driver sat immediately behind the front wheel, creating the first cab-forward architecture.

 

Art Deco design details included the winged moustache sitting between the two eye-like headlights, and over a smiling hood shutline, chrome wraparound bumpers, and an epic waterfall grille that extended from the top of the rear window down across the engine to the bumper below.

The interior was accessed either through a driver’s door or a single middle door on the passenger side. The driver’s seat and the rear bench seat were fixed, but other seats could be moved around to face each other, creating a traveling social space, complete with a small table.

 

The seats could be removed and the table folded out to allow space for a small portable office for the traveling businessman, complete with a bed. The seats were leather and chrome, and the interior finishes were light wood panelling and a polished wicker headliner.

“The interior of the car is extremely comfortable and roomy, with a table and movable chairs,” reported The Phillips Shield, a publication of the Phillips 66 petroleum company.

The creative engineering of the Scarab was equal to the packaging, employing one of the first examples of monocoque construction and four-wheel independent suspension.

The first running prototype Scarab was built in 1932 and subsequent cars were built over the rest of the decade. Stout had never intended to build more than 100 cars a year, at a price of $5000 (or around $89,000 today) and they were to be sold on an “invitation only-basis”. Records are missing and stories conflicting, but between six and nine Scarabs were built, each different according to the owner’s tastes.

 

Stout abandoned his Scarab project as World War II intervened, and he sold his company and services to Consolidated Vultee Aviation Aircraft (Convair). However, after the war, he developed one more Scarab – the Experimental. Working with Owens-Corning, the car was the world’s first to feature either a fibreglass body or pneumatic suspension.

William Stout, left, with a Scarab.

 

A final, updated version constructed in 1946, the Stout Scarab Experimental, utilized a fiberglass body shell—claimed to be the world’s first—and air suspension. That’s Bill Stout at the wheel. This car still exists today in the collection of the Detroit Historical Society.

Today, miraculously, five Scarabs still exist, and two of these are in running condition. The Scarab and William Stout remain an inspiration to designers, especially now as we consider anew the interior space of the car without a driver. Will it have the flexibility and functionality of the Scarab?

Stout’s talents for transferring technology between one form of transport to another should inspire us to look around for trends and inspiration in unlikely places. And lastly, Stout’s personal engineering and design motto, “Simplicate (as opposed to complicate) and add lightness” – often wrongly ascribed to Colin Chapman – inspires us in an era of over-designed objects and environments.

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10 Of The Worlds Best Camper Conversions.

1. VW Crafter Sven Hedin Westfalia Camper

So, we’re going to start with a big one, the Sven Hedin Crafter Volkswagen Westfalia Camper. We’ve actually been inside this one ourselves, and if it wasn’t for the $100,000 price tag we’d snag one up pretty quickly! Just by looking at it from the outside you can tell that this is a serious camper. It’s designed for living in luxury with up to four people, it’s also going for that stealth black look with the gunmetal grey and blacked out accessories. We absolutely dig it.

As mentioned it’s built on a VW Crafter, one of the larger camper vehicles out there, for you that are new to the Crafter, it’s very similar to Mercedes Sprinter conversions. So what does it feature? Being on of the more expensive campervan conversions in this list it… has a lot. Starting at the back it comes with a large double bed, with more than enough space to fit two adults and even your adventure dog if that’s your thing.

Volkswagen Westfalia Camper - Inside

Moving further down, you have a fully fledged hot water shower with a built in toilet, and we have to mention this showers looks and works better than most hotels we’ve been in, it’s a spectacular feature to have when off the grid, it’s a necessity that most van life travellers have to live without, but if you’ve got the money it’s something you’ll never look back on. Plus the toilet is huge too, letting you to your number to in peace, and not feeling like you’re crammed in Harry Potter’s bedroom.Just outside of the shower room, you have the storage and kitchen area which has been assembled with precision and beauty. It comes with a giant 70L fridge that is located right next to the door, this allows you to easily access those cold beers from the outside without bringing in mud or taking of your shoes,  lovely!

Volkswagen Westfalia Camper Exterior 1

It also comes with 100L of fresh water on board, which is one of the largest we’ve  seen in campervan conversions, this means you can shower as much as you please, venture as far as your eyes can see, and wash as many dishes as your heart desires…. wait, what?

Westfalia also gives you the option to upgrade and install underfloor heatings, this is aimed towards users in colder climates obviously, but it’s a nice featured that will undoubtedly keep you warm this winter, and if you’re a fan of van yoga, this will help keep your bums warm! What a nice touch, but remember, nothing is free so this will cost you more… yes more than $100,000. The normal edition does in fact come with a 4.8kw diesel heater, so if you’re wondering if the base version comes with heating, it does.

Volkswagen Westfalia Camper - Bed

Here’s a full list of features in the Sven Hedin camper conversion:

  • Passenger Seat with lumbar support
  • Power heated outside mirrors
  • Seats with heating in driver cabin
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • Cruise control
  • Heating for windscreen washer nozzles
  • Air conditioning “Climatic” in driver cabin,
  • Rear Bed “Comfort” with electric Westfalia Pop-Out rear left
  • Flyscreen door,
  • LED Ambient Light Package:
  • Multi-functional display “Plus”
  • Multi-functional steering wheel
  • Navigation system “Discover Media”
  • *Light and Vision Pack : £402.00

To round it off number one on our campervan conversions list is most likely out of reach for most of our readers, but it’s something we can all dream of owning one day, right? It’s an almighty conversion that Westfalia has crafted with excellence and precision, everything in this conversion feels like its been taken out of a million dollar yacht and we can’t help but love it. But if this isn’t to your taste, and you want to bump a few thousands off the price tag, the Ford Campervan Conversion next might be something for you.

2. One of the finest Ford Transit campervan conversions around

One of the newest campervan conversions on our list is this beauty from Outside Van. Outside Van is a campervan conversions company based in the United States, they mainly specialise in Mercedes Sprinters, but just last week, they revealed their all new Ford Transit Campervan conversion, and it’s beyond beastly. We’ll admit the Ford Transit gets a bit of a bad rep, especially in the United Kingdom, some people see it as the classic builders van, but with these campervan conversions, it’s making a comeback, and a memorable one at that. 
On the roof of the Cascade you’ll find an Air Top hard shell roof tent, so if you have a few friends wanting to tag a long on your adventure, there’s a spacious bed for them that overlooks your location. There’s a strong ladder, an aluminium bumper and a tubular roof rack which is all attached to the body of the van, and with the included super awesome light bar you won’t have to spend any more time struggling to see wildlife that want to try and scare you!
This Ford Camper Conversion also comes with a reliable solar package to keep your batteries and van life essentials topped up on the go, oh and an awning if you enjoy a little bit of shade whilst sipping on a frosty beverage.
Ford Camper Conversion - Cascade
Living off the grid is no easy task, so having a tonne of top cooking accessories and one of the most comfortable campervan conversions on the market, will certainly help you chomp down on those long haul rides. It features a two hob stove that’s built directly into the worktop, so no folding stuff out, it’s ready for you to cook some mean meals.
Next to it is a spacious sink, a stainless steel fridge, a gas powered heating system and lots more all located behind the drivers seat with an accompanying window for you look into the wild while you chill out with your crew.
Ford Camper Conversion - Kitchen
Outside Van know the appeal that their products have on the digital nomad scene, so all of their campervan conversions come with a overkill power centre that can handle all of your electric needs. Their power inverters turn 12V power into the 110V power , meaning that you can charge up your laptop, smartphone, camera and power banks without using any special adapters. The Inverter in this camper can provide up to a whopping 2000 watts of power, which is more than enough juice to power up a 700-1000w microwave for those late night time snacks. 
Ford Camper Conversion - Bike storage
This is no normal camper conversion, it’s built with the adventurist in mind, so under the bed, and towards the back of the Ford Transit camper, you’ll find a bike garage. That’s right, you can fit two mountain bikes in the back if needed, you can even convert this space into more storage or an outdoor kitchen if mountain biking isn’t you thing, Outside van is open to ideas and will work around your concepts.
And is that an outside shower that we spy in the bottom left of the picture? Yes it is; Outside Van want you to spend as much time outside your van as you do inside it, so now you can get as muddy as you want and clean off before tea, or even clean your mountain bikes before popping them in the back. Handy

3. A weekend warriors dream VW T6 Campervan Conversions

The VW Camper is without doubt one of the most popular campervans in Europe, making it a great long term purchase if you want reliability and a sense of historical authenticity when it comes to the VW name. Its size is perfect for getting around the city in the day while at the same time being able to transform into a one of the most luxurious compact campervan conversions around in minutes.
It’s built for weekends, a trip to the forest, an evening camping under the mountains or a week away at Glastonbury Festival. This eye catching VW Camper is called the Trakkadu 450 S and it’s built upon a Volkswagen T6, crafted by the talented team that is Trakka in Australia. It’s truly something special and the team should be proud. We’ve never wanted a VW Camper so bad in our lives.
VW Camper Exterior
It’s built for van lifers who want to camp, but also travellers who want speed, it’s completely pimped out with a 7-speed automatic transmission and a bi-turbo diesel engine that will tear up the road once you put your foot down. It’s also been hooked up with some of the best tires money can buy, meaning it will tackle dirt roads, mountains, and wet terrains with ease.
Again, another completely spotless interior, it’s like something out of Star Trek. Neon lights surround the sliding door and the cockpit, this illuminates our camper with light and just shouts money when people look inside. It comes with all of the normal bits you’d find in these campervan conversions. Pop top, fridge, desk, two burner stove and a lot more tiny details that can only be appreciated when seen with your own eyes.
VW Camper Interior
The exterior is beyond monstrous, it features a golden yellow paint job with a touch of black in places that fit its yellow beast aesthetic perfectly. On the front you’ll see bright LED headlights that make the road shine with detail, to the side an electric sliding door which makes you feel like Obi Wan Kenobi every time it opens and there’s also heat insulated windows that are tinted to match its stealth black features.
And lastly towards the back there’s a heavy duty protection plate that helps keep the back bumper scratch-free when loading and unloading your camping accessories from the back. And throughout the body work you have a number of Trakkadu decals sprinkled around the exterior that adds a nice custom appeal.
The interior is just as exciting as the exterior and we’re certain every van life enthusiast will love it. It packs a fridge, a diesel stove, a hot water system, 38L water tank, fold away tables to do your work on thego.Youmay have guessed that a campervan of this magnitude does not come cheap, and with a price tag of over £100,000 ($140,000) it’s certainly out of ours and possibly your price range. It’s built for adventurers who are serious about taking to the road for their next thrill, if it’s in your price range then it’s worth saying g’day to Trakka in Sydney.

4. Mercedes Sprinter camper conversions are taking over the world

Outside Van Exterior

And while we’re on the subject of bikes, the reason it’s called Power Station is because it features 3 long life AGM batteries, a e-bike charging station for your charging your best e-bikes for travelling and a diesel heater to keep you warm on the go.

Looking into the main living area of this camper, from the picture below you can see that it looks like a homely, spacious place to live in, and we couldn’t agree more. It’s well lit, has an actual dining area that meets the swiveling passenger seat, and a spacious kitchen with even more storage! We bloody love storage!

Outside Van Exterior 3

All these things add up to bring the customer a great way to explore and enjoy the tiny home life in ways you could not imagine. When you give Outside Van’s creative mind a shot, you will be blown away with the results. The Power Station is by far one of the most technologically advanced campervan conversions they’ve made, as they included just about everything campers need to sustain living off the grid with lots of tech.

5. The big blue giant by Nomad Vans campervan conversions

If you follow us closely over on our Instagram, you’ll know that this blue Mercedes Sprinter by Nomad Vanz has a small space in our hearts, it’s one of our most wanted campervan conversions ever and the fact that it’s in our favourite colour too makes us extremely jealous of whoever owns it.
Nomad Vans are a Canadian based campervan conversions company who also specialise in converting Mercedes Sprinters into insane off road vehicles with features like full blown showers and front spotlights for going down any route you want, when you want. 
Off Grid home - Front shot
This is for someone who wants to stand out, stealth is not an option, and someone who wants their interior design to pop, just like its exterior. These guys are known for creating vehicles that blow peoples minds, and the M&M blue makes it look like no other camper you’ve seenbefore.Thesecolourful conversions are very family friendly, but don’t let that fool you; these campervan conversions are just at home on the campsite as they are in on top of a mountain or hidden forest, your camper, your choice!
They’re the real deal, and this is an off grid home that we could definitely live in all year round. This particular model is called ‘Out Of The Blue’ – the best trips come when you least expect them after all!
Off Grid home - Cab
Taking a closer look at Nomad Vanz interior you can see that these campervan conversions certainly do not lack detail, infact it is so well designed every inch is made to do something, be it their swivel chairs, to the funky carpet, everything has a reason, and that’s exactly why this conversion is on our top list.
It’s attention to detail, it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, there’s even orange LED lights that go alongside the floor to match the interior colour scheme. And (you’re probably bored of this by now) there’s a bike garage in the back, under the bed too!
Simple builds start from approx $50,000, and the big upgraded builds cost around $250,000. It might sound expensive, but you can’t put a price on comfort, style and the ultimate adventure vehcile. We love this van, and if you’re looking for a 4×4 off grid home with a difference then this is the vehicle for you! Head over to the Nomad Vanz website to find out more about their vans and to speak to their dedicated customer service team!

6. Blacked Out VW T25 Camper Conversion

We’re huge fans of the VW T25, in fact we own one ourselves, but unfortunately for us it’s not as good looking as this handsome fella here. Meet the blacked out VW T25 Syncro with a roof top tent and a bike ramp that goes over the van itself to create an insane course for down hill bikers who are constantly on the move.

It was converted by Rob Heran, a professional mountain bike addict who loves the minimalist lifestyle, and with that he has created one of the most unique T25 conversions we’ve seen in a long time. He purchased this fella in early 2017 and since then has been travelling around the states with one thing in mind… adventure.

campervan conversions

The engine has been replaced with a reliable 120hp TDI, the interior re-crafted, all doors replaced and a tonne of biking essentials has been added. Not only that, but its equipped with new LED lights, two new batteries, a new 100-watt solar panel and Recaro seats for comfortability while travelling all of those miles around the states.

The most noticeable feature of this VW T25 is the Heimplanet Inflatable Tent which fits onto the roof rack, with this camping tent there is no poles needed, simply a few strong breaths and the outside chambers will fill with air and shape the tent in minutes. Rob, is without doubt a member of the Camp Clan!

If we take a closer look inside, you can also see that the windows have been turned into chalkboards, increasing productivity and free’ing the mind, all while taking in those incredible views. He’s used reclaimed wood on the ceiling which has been taken from a nineteenth century church in Ohio, adding a sense of history in what’s a stunning modern day camper van.

The bed can be flipped up into a chair, allowing for an even more relaxing environment to work in. The desk has a pull out block chair which can be tucked underneath to keep everything clean and tidy. Plus, the desk can be flipped up and transformed into a cooking area which has a turn burner stove hiding underneath. A neat touch, and we love how everything is hidden and keeping it minimalist vibe.

Zach’s van is run by a couple of solar panels that power most of his camping essentials, and its heavily insulated so that he can work off grid in any climate. There’s a hidden kitchen for cooking up some tasty snacks.

Studio Cargo Van Conversion

If’ there’s one thing that living in a mobile home can give you, its memorable experiences but sometimes you may want to earn money on the road while you do that, a bit like we do, so having a place that enhances creativity, and a space that lets you escape the busy world and tap into your third sense is priceless.

This is an incredibly DIY conversion, that doesn’t go into to much details, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to do something like this. All you need is a bit of pre-planning, determinations and a couple pals to help you out. Nice work Zach, you’ve made the Van Clan team jealous!

10. A peak inside at incredible VW T6 Campervan Conversions

We had the privilege of taking a look at this VW T6 camper at The Camper Show in Birmingham, UK on Thursday, and lucky for us there was a number of very tidy campers on show, but one that really stood out for us was this incredible short-wheel-based VW T6 camper modified by Danbury MotorCaravans.

It’s a 2L TDi Surf King camper conversion with a tonne of extra add-ons. On the outside you have this incredible white and deep blue colour combo, with 18″ alloys, a pop top roof and chrome side bars that give it that clean, modern look.Now inside is where the magic happens, after you open up the side door you’ll be greeted with a deep blue hue from the LED’s which makes you feel like you’re in some kind of Star Wars star fighter.The drivers and passenger seats swivel around to greet your main living area, the sink has a useful slide out desk which can be used for cooking or working on your next digital nomad project and there’s tonnes of storage sections with nifty sliding doors, because those pull out doors just waste too much space!

VW T6 Camper

It also features a 50L fridge freezer, 2 burner gas hobs, a grill, a wine rack and tonnes of electricity sockets, including USB ports. And now the main event, it’s fold out double bed that’s as easy as pulling the latch under the seat! Just don’t forget to take those head rests off.Modern VW T6 Camper

Everywhere you look inside of this camper there’s a touch of detail that you keep missing, for example, the deep blue diamond stitching in the seats, the stealth awning, tinted back windows for privacy and even grey chevron flooring. Everything done to this camper shouts luxury, while keeping its modern, hi-tech styling. Danbury MotorCaravans have done a cracking job with this one.

So there you have it, our top 10 camper conversions of all time. Most of them are premium, or high end conversions but we will be revealing our top 10 DIY camper conversions soon. So if you know somebody that has an incredible DIY camper, be sure to hit us up on Instagram!

The Luxury Apartment on Wheels: Camping in Style in a 1930s Jungle Yacht

The Jungle Yacht was created for and used by Italian explorer Commander Attilio Gatti and his wife, who both traveled extensively to the African Congo as a deluxe apartment “for his 1937-1940 (his 10th) and 1947 (his 11th) expeditions” and “equipped them quite lavishly.”

The International Harvester ‘Jungle Yacht’

The expedition used two streamlined trailers designed by Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky and using 1937 International Harvester D-35 chassis, and were 44 feet long and weighed 9 tons. The vehicles were built by the International Harvester company, who was evidently one of the sponsors of the expedition.

The trailers were pretty luxurious accommodations for camping out in the boonies of British East Africa. They were joined together in camp as a deluxe 5-room apartment on wheels, and served as headquarters while the expedition’s personnel sought out the secrets of the dim heart of Africa.

The camps were equipped with electricity and air conditioning and had a workshop, a photographic lab, and a ham radio station (Gatti was an enthusiastic ham radio operator). Electricity was supplied by a 110 volt generator mounted behind the cabs of the trucks. Each night a single wire 4500 volt electric fence was put up to dissuade the large specimens of the local wildlife from approaching the camp.

One of the vehicles in transit from the International Harvester factory to New York.

 

Cocktails in the deepest heart of Africa

 

The living room

 

The Commander’s desk in the living room

 

The bedroom

 

What could the T7 look like?

VW-T1-Retro-9555

It’s the benchmark. The yardstick. The trendsetter. And that makes each generation of VW Camper very important. The iconic splitties and bays of the mid 20th century went on to bear new generations of cult-creators and it comes to the 21st century and the – slightly reserved – T5 and T6.

T6 and T1

Incredibly well respected, the most modern camper is still the epitome of a usable motorhome – the vehicle you can use day to day to pop to the shops and do a school run, yet still go for a week away in the far reaches of Unreachistan. It’s compact enough to go under the radar when exploring single-track roads and not disrespect the white lines of the supermarket car park, yet spacious enough to support human life.

The next generation, the T7, is sure to take those traits and bring them even further into the future. At the moment it’s hard to hear much from VW itself (just watch, the day this goes live, VW will probably launch a T7…) but plenty of talented designers have had a stab at guessing the style of the next icon, like this T1 Revival from David Obendorfer.

 

volkswagen-id-buzz-production-12VW-ID-Buzz-Concept

In terms of size and space, the formula works now – so don’t expect T7 to be any greedier with its personal space than the T6. Safety for pedestrians and occupants will be a way to step up so expect more crash and impact protection, more autonomy and sophisticated driver aids.

In terms of powertrain it’d be prudent to look to alternative fuels soonish, and expect the T7 to embrace hybrid power. VW created a ‘Buzz’ with their electric van called, er, I.D BUZZ, and the Bulli and Budd-e concepts, but range anxiety for those attempting to explore the depths of what the world has to offer would probably appreciate a petrol engine – there aren’t many fast charging docks available in the third world – and although diesel probably makes sense it would be bold of VW to make it the only option and cower from the backlash as everyone reminds them of their emission issues of the past few years.

Having said all that, it’ll probably be the practicality and looks that get it off the forecourt. Practicality is almost a given – layouts have been well-established since the first camper was proposed in the late ‘40s. The looks, however, are a tricky one. The T7 has to look super cool and yet not alienate purists. This blend of retro style with modern application, thankfully, works very well. VW did it first with the front-engined Beetle in the late ‘90s, and sold bugloads of them. BMW soon jumped on that bandwagon with the MINI, and Fiat whipped up a 500, and the young drivers of Europe practically sold limbs and organs to get them.

Great designs are already popping up from speculators with great graphic designs skills, VW look like they will end up with a sales hit in the T7 unless they somehow manage to cock it up.

T7 concept

How bold will VW go? The T7 could be the most iconic of them all, or it could be the generation that nobody likes to talk about in a few decades’ time.

THE CONQUEROR OVERLAND ADVENTURE TRAILER

You know those houses that seem to go on forever and ever, and you always find a different cool feature in every room. Well the Conqueror Overland Adventure Trailer series are all just like that, only they’re portable, and built like a tank.

Checking Out The Conqueror Overland Adventure Trailer

This thing has everything, and I mean everything. Like a big kitchen? You got it! Like an outdoor wine holder too? Don’t worry, you’ve got it! The Conqueror Overland Adventure Trailer series has everything you could possibly need to enjoy an adventure in luxury and more besides.

Conqueror off-road Camping trailers have been safari and outback tested for over 25 years in the harsh and unforgiving environments of Africa and Australia, so we already know that they’re rugged and can withstand anything that you’re likely to put them through.

Unlike some of the more rustic trailers that we’ve looked at, there’s no wood in this build whatsoever. Conqueror don’t want their builds to get damp and then rot, so the main construction of the chassis is CNC cut and bent 3 mm steel.  Other critical strength parts are made of thicker material and laser cut for precision fitting.

Conqueror Overland Adventure TrailerRemember how the Vintage Overland Trailer didn’t have room for a kitchen sink? Well this beast has room for two, plus a pull out hob, plenty of food prep space, and an outdoor toilet and shower area further round the back.

Conqueror Overland Adventure Trailer

The inside living area is pretty nice too. There’s a double bed up in the pop top sleeping area, and a TV for those that like to really feel at home on the road. The interior definitely gives off that military inspired vibe, which I guess isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea..

Conqueror Overland Adventure Trailer - Back
I Have The Power!

Your not going to be without juice in the Conqueror Overland Adventure Trailer. It features a Neutron 12 Intelligent Power Management system with Smart Phone apps-110v (which has gotta be good, right?) There’s 3 LED lights fitted inside, 2 Hella Plugs, 2 battery boxes with circuit breakers for extra safety, and an Anderson plug with 16mm wire connected to batteries for vehicle or solar charging.

The trailer holds a 130l water tank too, which is plenty for cooking and showering on the road.

Final thoughts…

You can park the Conqueror Overland Adventure Trailer anywhere and everything is ready to roll. It’s easy to operate and set up, but it would be a little but inconvenient in wet and windy weather. It’s ok saying it’s been tried and tested in Africa and Australia, i.e two hot countries, but I’d like to see this do a stint in the Lake District in the middle of Winter to see how it holds up.

The whole build is outdoors orientated; it prompts you to cook outdoors, to shower outdoors, and basically spend a lot of your time using the exterior features. If you like sitting on the pull out bed by the coal fire then this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re already in the market for an adventure trailer than you can’t go wrong with the Optimus Prime of all off road vehicles.

Conqueror Adventure Overland Trailer - Back shot

 

THIS TAXA MANTIS TRAILER IS THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE CAMPER

 Get Wild With The Mantis Trailer

Last week we covered a great little teardrop trailer, and it got us looking into the different versions of what I like to call ‘ the cars best friend’ that are out currently out there on the market. We found ourselves wishing for an off-grid trailer that looked great but could cope with some serious (and we mean serious) adventuring . Then we found the Mantis, and all of our prayers were answered.

Here it is, the Mantis Adventure Camper from TAXA Outdoors. With its cool steel exterior, Praying Mantis logo and distinctive orange pop top it certainly looks like the adventure camper that we’ve been dreaming of.

The Mantis Trailer is ultra-lightweight (it weighs under 2,300 pounds, which means it won’t guzzle your petrol) and measures 18-feet-long! TAXA also say that there’s enough room to comfortably sleep four adults (or three and one dog if the picture above is anything to go by!)Mantis Trailer - Outside 2

First impressions are that theres definitely plenty of room to live comfortably in it without feeling cramped. It’s might not be as homely as the teardrop we covered, but inside it packs a punch with its space saving ideas.

What’s Inside

Mantis Trailer - Inside

Well we’ve already mentioned the pop top, which means that you can stand up and move around without having to pretend you’re Gollum. For me thats a must in any van or trailer!

There is also a queen-sized bed for two adults, which can be converted to a couch, as well as two adult-sized bunk beds at the trailer front. Other nifty features include integrated plumbing and electrical system, a wet bath, fully-equipped kitchen, plenty of storage space, as well as a Thule cargo deck and rack on the roof.

Mantis Trailer - Bunk beds

Mantis Trailer - Wet Room

Just past our lovely assistant there is the wet room. Now I think this is pretty cool and a great use of storage. You’ve got your toilet and shower area in a box that comes up to waist height, with a flip down lid that probably turns into an extra ten beds or eighteen chairs. The Mantis Trailer really does makes the most of every inch of space.

Final Thoughts…

It’s clean, it’s as rugged as Tom Sellick’s moustache, and its as light as a trailer sized feather. All in all an awesome bit of kit. I found one online for just over £24k, which considering how much space you have and the amenities include inside is pretty good value.

What’s more, with all that space you can crack out your best Yoga moves. Now if I can just figure out how to remove my leg from around my neck I can work on the Praying Mantis pose….

The “Back To The Future”Themed VW Bus

 

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While this vehicle is more reminiscent of the counterculture movement of the ’60s, this particular 1967 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon has been revamped to incorporate a Back to the Future theme.

We all love a good custom VW bus, be it a pub in a dub, a shorty bus or even a well designed off-road T3.

You’re most likely thinking “this looks nothing like the DeLorean!” but that’s the whole point. The artist wanted a challenge and wanted to create a replica car with something as far from a car as possible, and it’s so good it makes us think it should have been the original.

The stunning gun metal paint scheme, gullwing doors and bright orange interior makes it look real special, and if you take a closer look you’ll see a flux capacitor behind the seats.

It’s a remarkable piece of memorabilia, and as a VW Bus addict we can see that it has been incredibly restored with a reupholstered and reworked interior, a pristine condition engine and a rugged roof rack for the adventure junkies out there.

The best bit… it’s for sale. If there are any bus enthusiasts and Back to the Future fans out there this could be the chance to get hold of your dream bus, just make sure you have £65.000 ($89,000) saved up.

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