If you haven’t seen of the Prius Camper, you should. It’s a battery-powered RV. You’ve probably seen and driven the Toyota Prius, but Camp Inn brought the Prius to the next level.
There are numerous jokes about the Prius’s size and power (or lack thereof), but the Prius Camper is not one of them. With a stronger battery and a reinforced back axle, you might want to understand more about it prior to writing it off. Let’s have a look!
What Is a Prius Camper?
A Prius Camper is odd, but it’s also charming. The camper accommodates four people comfortably. It’s remarkable what designers can accomplish in such a small space.
The vehicle’s appearance may not be the most appealing cosmetically, but it is rather useful. The Japanese translation appears to be from a modern video game. The camper is 20 inches longer than a regular and 80 inches tall, making it slightly larger than an average compact automobile.
Advantages of Prius Camper
We could discuss for an entire day discussing why a Prius is an excellent vehicle for a camper, but we’ll attempt to summarize it for you.
It is simple to convert.
There are numerous videos on YouTube about Prius campers. This is due to the ease with which this car may be converted into a home on wheels, especially without the use of tools. Some tourists claim to have spent less than $100 converting their own. Simply load up your favorite camping equipment and you’re prepared to go.
All you had to do in the Prius camper is fold down the back seats, throw out a cushion, blankets, and sleeping bags, and you could easily sleep two people in the back. The bags and backpacks would be stored on the floor behind the passenger and driver seats. Easy to use for city stealth camping!
It is cost-effective.
The vehicle on its own is inexpensive, especially if purchased used. Many individuals use Prius automobiles from 2006 to 2010 for medium to long camping trips. Maintenance is also reasonably priced. So, if you will not have time to accumulate funds and need to be on the road quickly, acquiring one of these beauties is a terrific choice.
There is adequate space inside.
The automobile is quite lengthy for a car, and the back seat is big enough to fit a double bed. It can accommodate a fit couple or a solitary camper with adequate gear space.
However, make sure you double-check the measurements first. When you move the front seats forward, the room expands significantly, so bring the measuring tape with you when you go to see the car. The quantity of space in the back varies depending on the type of Prius you have. A Prius V camper had far more space than the ordinary Prius. You could even sit up back there!
It features a large battery that can keep it running all night.
The Prius includes a “ready mode” due to the hybrid engine, which enables you to run the vehicle solely on a powerful battery. This is revolutionary since you can keep the heating or cooling on all night. You won’t have to worry about depleting the battery or risking carbon dioxide poisoning. Many van dwellers travel with a microwave, an instantaneous pot, and even a television. Talk about glamping in your car!
Along with several other Prius campers, if you leave the vehicle running all night, it only uses around 1 gallon of gas. Of course, it is dependent on when you switch it on and off.
It uses less fuel.
In addition to having a hybrid engine, the Prius is also incredibly fuel-efficient, which assists you to save money on road trips. A camper even claims to get 45 miles per gallon on road trips!
It is undetectable.
Using the Prius camping enables you to be as discrete as possible. If necessary, you can sleep comfortably in cities. Simply hang drapes behind the front seats and across the back windows. Some Prius models have tinted windows, which provide additional privacy during the day.
It is dependable.
When traveling long distances, to remote locations, or cross-country, you must be able to rely on your car. You can simply sleep with the Prius. According to consumer evaluations, the Toyota Prius is the most dependable automobile on the road in the United States.
Where Is the Prius Camper Made?
If you desire to know where the Prius Camper is made in North America, you’ll have to drive quite a distance. The Prius Camper, or “Relax Cabin,” was born in Nagano, Japan, and has long been a showpiece for aficionados at the Japanese Auto Salon in Tokyo.
About Camp Inn
The Prius Camper is manufactured by Camp Inn, a Japanese conversion firm. The company generally specialized in modifying small vans, but with the Prius, it built something new and much more fuel-efficient.
The Prius made complete sense as the top contender for renovation because it is the best-selling car in Japan and a hybrid. Camp Inn successfully converted a Prius into the world’s first hybrid camper. The new layout may not be visually appealing, but Camp Inn performed a tiny miracle.
Toyota Prius Camper Varieties
The Toyota Prius has been produced in a variety of models over the years. Each of these has slightly distinct characteristics. There were three primary versions on the market in 2016.
- Cargo space: 34.3 cubic feet
- Engine: 1.8L Hybrid 4-cylinder
- Fuel economy: 43/39
This is the most typical version you’ll see. It has a good cargo room and a powerful engine. The fuel economy is great. The size is ideal for a single camper. Some people even began with a normal Prius before upgrading to the Prius V, which was significantly preferable for two people!
- Cargo space: 34.3 cubic feet
- Engine: 1.8L Hybrid 4-cylinder
- Fuel economy: 43/39
The Prius V is the family’s biggest model, with a load size of more than 34 cubic feet. If you intend to carry a lot of gear or stay with a companion or buddy, take a close look at this model before purchasing. The extra space will be well worth the wait.
- Cargo space: 17.1 cubic feet
- Engine: 1.5L Hybrid 4-cylinder
- Fuel economy:53/46
The Prius C is the most compact model. It is slightly shorter than the other two and has a less powerful engine. Because of the restricted inside space, this may not be the greatest car to take camping. However, it can function well for a short solitary camper.
The Prius Prime, a higher-end model, was debuted in 2018. It has a larger engine and a bigger battery capacity. However, it is not as inexpensive as the most prominent designs.
Choose an older vehicle with lower mileage if users want to save money on the buy. Many people agree that 2006 was an excellent year for Prius vehicles. Take into account that a well-maintained Prius will typically last around 200,000 and 250,000 miles.
What More To Expect From Prius Camper
As previously said, the Prius camper is a stylish modern RV conversion that can accommodate up to two to four people. Its unique exterior is not the only aspect that jumps out; the interior is equally unique.
The camper car is 20 inches longer than a standard Prius and 80 inches tall, enabling you to stand securely within even if you’re 7 feet tall. The curved design of this modern RV is significantly distinct from the typical angular motor home. Nonetheless, this alteration is beneficial because it creates a cozier and warmer atmosphere.
The camper is divided into two chambers; the bottom cabin of this motor home houses a convertible double bed that can be converted back into chairs by folding the backseats up.
The top compartment, which runs over the driver’s head, on the contrary hand, offers additional sleeping space. It resembles those found on boats as well as pickup campers. Two wide windows behind the upper berth help the inside look more inviting and enable natural light to enter the camper.
Aside from being large and comfortable, the Toyota Prius camper can charge electrical devices and run electronics using its 100-volt battery. Moreover, the conversion model includes a little kitchenette with a battery-powered microwave and fridge.
Furthermore, the backseats may be folded and converted into a little dinette table. This allows you to eat your lunches within the camper in the most enjoyable way. If you are a long-term camper, you can also add things you want inside the camper, including a sink. The Prius Camper undoubtedly provides travelers with the best level of comfort.
Climate Control and Fuel Efficiency
The temperature control system on the Prius makes it a great choice for conversion into a camper van. Simply turning on the ignition causes your automobile to function on battery power rather than engine power. Only when the battery runs out will the engine start. The engine will go back to sleep as soon as the 12v battery is fully charged.
Another advantage of climate control is that it can support you in both dry and cold weather. The engine initially heats the coolant before turning off to provide warm air. The combination uses an electric compressor to provide cold air. On the contrary hand, it has sparked heated debates about its fuel efficiency. Given the additional weight and aerodynamics, it will undoubtedly consume more fuel while traveling, yet it remains one of the most fuel-efficient automobiles. Furthermore, if you leave the climate control on all day and night, it will use a lot of fuel. It may necessitate extra trips to the petrol station.
Ideas for Smaller Campers
For generations, camper trucks have been an excellent method for families to travel to other countries around the world for vacations and enjoy the scenery along the route. Most campers are large vehicles that may not be appropriate for a small family. The Toyota Prius Camper throws light on smaller and more environmentally efficient camper vans. Some companies have already begun to implement the “little is good” mantra; the Honda Element Camper Kit is a prime example.
The Price of a Prius Camper
Getting the Prius camper modification is appealing, but the price tag may make you reconsider. If you choose the 2019 model, the base variant of the altered Prius would set you back more over $48,000. If you already own a Prius and want the conversion, it will cost you more than $20,000. Contact Car Taka if you do not own one and want a firm to acquire a Prius and personalize it to your specifications.
In fact, the Prius Camper is ideal for eco-friendly family vacations. It offers everything you might want in a family vehicle.
Prius Camping Tents & Awnings
If you’ve been going wild camping or to a campground, you can increase the amount of space available in a Prius by adding a tent. There are solutions for everybody, whether you wish to add extra space with full height or just a small extension.
However, Prius tents are not recommended for stealth camping. It’s much easier and more discrete to just crawl in the back.
Hatchback Tents for a Prius
Hatchback tents, like as this one designed exclusively for a Prius by Inhabitents, wrap around the trunk of the Prius, allowing a lot of extra headroom in the back of your camper. There are large hatchback tents that generate a full extra area in the back of the car, as well as smaller ones that increase the available capacity in the trunk. Because the trunk is accessible when they’re up, both versions allow you to lengthen the Prius.
The best part? Regardless of the smaller version, the tent door can be left open when it rains. While the tent zipper is unzipped, you can cook, sit, or lounge on your bed. This enables rainy-day camping much more pleasant. In addition, the tent and side windows provide excellent ventilation in the heat.
If you’re going as a pair and intend to bring a significant amount of gear, consider a rooftop tent. Install a roof rack and then place a rooftop tent on top of it. Sleeping on the roof allows you to keep a large amount of gear in the back of the vehicle at all times.
Rooftop tents with a durable fiberglass exterior, such as TentBox, are available. This allows you to keep it on the rooftop at all times, even now in strong winds or rain. It is simple and quick to set up at night.
If you intend to travel in the summertime or in places where the weather is never too chilly, you could consider a side awning.
These attach to the roof rack and provide a protected area to the side of the vehicle. It’s a great, light-filled place in which to cook, eat, and unwind. Remember to bring a camping table and chairs. If it rains, re-park your car so that the awning is facing the reverse way of the rain. It will keep you dry. A batwing awning, which provides a patio on the side and back of the car, is also available. RhinoRack creates some amazing models.
Some Toyota Prius Camper Modifications
If you’ve made it this far, you’re undoubtedly sold on the idea of converting a Prius into a camper. We’ve compiled a list of the coolest DIY Prius campervan modifications available to get you started on your own project.
Dana’s Prius C Camper: Short Trips
Dana was able to turn the smaller Prius C into a camper. This build makes car camping look Instagram-worthy thanks to the incredibly lovely soft furnishings she chose. Because of the vehicle’s limited size, she mainly uses it for short journeys.
Dana wanted a momentary rig for a short road trip, so she converted her Prius C into a camper using what she had at home. She made do with carpets, cushions, blankets, and boxes. She packed the boxes into the back of the car and piled a mattress on top. She strung rugs to form privacy drapes after dressing the mattress with blankets and pillows. That’s all. In the boxes, she only carried typical camping goods. Because it takes little planning, this type of Toyota Prius camper conversion is ideal for anyone who wishes to go on last-minute, spontaneous vehicle camping adventures.
Bo’s Prius Rig: Full-time
Since the summer of 2020, Bo has been traveling solo across the United States in his Toyota Prius camper. He’s driven it to national parks, cities, gorgeous routes, national forests, and far-flung locations. His goal is to spend the entire year exploring the United States in his Prius camper.
He was inspired by Japanese capsule hotels when converting his automobile into a camper (pod hotels). Everything in Bo’s Prius is in order. He went with a fairly simple design for the project. He dismantled the back seats and erected a platform to make a permanent sleeping place.
His bed consists of a simple foam mat and an air mattress. He kept an instant pot, a microwave, a toolbox, his utensils, a fridge, and his food next to it. He keeps a few necessities, including such toiletries, underneath the sleeping platform. He watches movies on a bendable tablet holder. Bo’s dog is sleeping in his camping bed on the front seat.
While this design appears to be simple, Bo was able to incorporate all of the creature comforts he desired. He couldn’t have hauled as much power-hungry gear in a different automobile.
Nikki’s no-build camper
In 2019, Nikki converted her 2006 Prius into a camper to travel across America and serve as a travel counselor and tour guide. This is a departure from her prior roles as a celebrity hairstylist, model, and fitness teacher. Nikki removed all seats except the driver’s seat and attached a bike rack to the back of the vehicle. The interior design is straightforward. She constructed a tiny platform in the back to house most of her equipment. She rests her mattress on two coolers in the front of it.
She chose to sleep on a soft foam double mattress because she wanted to utilize the entire back of the car as her bed. She keeps towels and other necessary items in the cubbies close to the mattress. The remainder of the gear is kept in a roof box. She stores her backups and part of her gear in the trunk, under the bed. This arrangement is ideal for a lone camper because it allows you to sleep in a double bed in a spacious Prius camper. Riding solo implies you do not have to carry as much kit, thus a roof box will be enough.
Ben’ Prius Camper
Ever since the summer of 2020, Ben has been traveling the Australian outback. He upgraded the suspension and placed a light bar in front because he intended to spend a great deal of time in rural areas riding offroad. He squeezed a single bed, a microwave, a mini-oven, a kettle, a slow cooker, and a TV within. That’s not terrible for a vehicle camper! He keeps a refrigerator and a water tap under the front passenger seat.
He also created an awning with a drop-down side that serves as a projector for watching movies and playing video games. This is the most creative conversion we’ve discovered. Who thought the Prius could go offroad? And the quantity of power-hungry gear Ben employs is astounding. We suppose he spends a lot of time driving about on the gas tank, but considering how fuel-efficient the Pius is, it’s not the end of the world.
The Prius Camper offers a lot more features than you might expect. It won’t be a monster off-roader, but it’s more impressive than it sounds. Who would have believed a little hybrid car would accommodate four people, cook dinner, and do the dishes?
You might not be capable of purchasing your own Relax Cabin, but nothing prevents you from taking inspiration from the Prius Camper. Now head back to your drawing board and show the world what you’re capable of!