Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Extensible VW T5 Transporter camper

Westfalia is known for making classic VW campervan, for many it is the quintessential campervan, it almost defined how a campervan should be. Recently a UK campany called Doubleback has entered the fray to challenge Westfalia with innovation that turn a standard looking VW T5 Transporter van into an campervan with extensible living space.

When it is not deployed, the Doubleback VW T5 campervan looks deceptively like a standard T5 van. However, once it is on the camp ground, it demonstrate a transformer like ability to change into camper with full time living space with standing room and full time sleeping berth. 

The Doubleback VW T5 with in fully deployed mode

When in road mode, it looks no different to any standard T5 van

The back slides out along with the tail gate. The extended part is supported by self leveling struts capable of supporting 600kg of static weight

The pop top provides standing space

The view form inside ( from the driver seat looking back ). The transformation of living space truly astonishing. The washing basin and cook top is part of the sliding structure.

You can see how clever the packaging design is.
Once slided out, the extended part becomes a full time sleeping berth.
Schematic layout of the extensible structure

Saturday, April 7, 2012

UAZ-452 Buhanka "Bread Loaf" Van

UAZ-452 also known as Buhanka or "The Bread Loaf" in Russian - is a special four-wheel drive passenger van. If you watch any documentary involving Russian wilderness, chances is the vehicle that carries the production crew would be a UAZ-452. It is tough 4x4 van, while not pretty by any stretch of imagination, it's look has certain honest charm similar to the German Unimog. The machine is manufactured by Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant since 1957. It is available as a window van or dual cab version. Body of the car can be equipped with single-wing side doors and rear folding door (door configuration depends on the version).
A fully equipped "Bread Loaf" ready for off road excursion

The main advantage of the car - versatility and loading space plus serious off road capability. The passenger body version can carry up to 10 passengers or up to 1 tonne of cargo. Built for Russian winter, it has a furnace strength heater to keep occupants warm, and numerous interior options as diverse as ambulance, mini bus, military mobile command center and campervan.

A UAZ -452 with snow tracks

A dual cab body type

The UAZ bread loaf may not be well known outside its native Russia but it is a rugged, go-anywhere and reliable vehicle, perfect for overlander application. In terms versatility and the range of add-on parts to enable it adapt to various roles, it rivals the Unimog. Which such attribute it becomes a natural candidate for the basis of go-anywhere campervan.

A pop-top campervan adaptation

A nice looking UAZ 452 camper interior

This is a "safari" campervan concept designed by an Italian company

Thule's UAZ-452 campervan design concept

Another pop-top campervan adaptation, this van could give any VW T3 Syncro campervan a run for their money  in terms of combination of living space and offroad capability

A more basic campervan adaptation, but still very usable from the look of it.