Kia Ray pop-top micro-campervan might be the cutest RV in the world
Close your eyes and imagine for a second what a cute, little pop-up camper van the Kia Soul would make. Now imagine how adorable it would be if the camper were instead based on the Soul's smaller, cuter Korean-market brother, the Kia Ray. Now open your eyes back up and see that exact pop-up camper van standing before you, every bit as adorable and fun as you could have imagined. It's called the Ravy, and it quite impressively packs in a full camper van layout with two beds, a kitchen, camping gear storage, heating and electricity.
The Kia Ray measures a mere 141.5 inches (359.5 cm) from bumper to bumper. That's 2 feet (61 cm) shorter than the Soul and 10 inches (25 cm) shorter than a two-door Mini Cooper. Comparing it to other mini-campervans, the Ray is about 3 feet (91 cm) shorter than the new Volkswagen Caddy California and 10.5 inches (27 cm) shorter than the Fiat Fiorino-based Flexcamper. It's tiny, although its van-like roofline does stand taller than other minicars at 67 inches (170 cm). Width measures in at 63 inches (160 cm).
The Ray's boxy, van-like, four-door passenger compartment gives it some of the versatility of an MPV despite its diminutive size. The rear bench basically sits in the trunk but has 60:40 folding to flatten out and accommodate groceries or luggage. The front passenger seat also folds flat to handle longer gear, such as snowboards or skis. A sliding rear door on the passenger side joins three traditional doors, giving the Ray a natural minivan feel. The extra-small minivan zips around town under the power of a humble 75-hp 998cc gas engine.
Incheon-based motorhome specialist Daon TNT molds the little Ray MPV into the properly tiny Ravy micro-campervan. Not surprisingly, the Ravy is the smallest camper in Daon TNT's lineup, which also includes camper vans and larger motorhomes based on Hyundai and Renault van chassis.
In order to make any type of viable living space inside the Ray, Daon starts by increasing headroom and overall interior volume with a pop-up roof. The Ray's compact load area couldn't sleep even a single adult with just the rear seats folded or removed, so Daon also works the folded front seats into its bed design, pushing the 49 x 79-in (125 x 200-cm) folding mattress right to the steering wheel. Fold the front seats up, and the mattress leans against them to become a sofa — perfect for when you back the Ravy into a scenic camp spot and want to enjoy the view from the comfort of your micro-camper couch.
This design would be cool even if Daon merely created a sleeper van with pop-top and folding mattress, but what we really love is that the converter went all out in creating a full-functioning camper. That work starts with a slide-out kitchen with a sink and a long drawer to hold a single-burner stove.
There's no fridge or cooler so owners will have to squeeze food in elsewhere, but Daon does have a solution for dishes, hanging cups and bowls on window organizers integrated into the black-out shades.
The Ravy camper only accommodates two people on the ride, but it can sleep three or four. More than mere added ceiling height, the pop-up roof has a fold-down sleeping platform with 41 x 74 inches (105 x 188 cm) worth of space. Daon even vents in air heating from the camp heater below and charging outlets wired to the 100-Ah leisure battery. The battery and electrical hardware are controlled via a command center located just inside the tailgate, where campers will also find 220-V, 12-V and USB outlets.
Even more so than Hyundai's Porest motorhome, the Daon Ravy makes us want to rush across the Pacific and try traveling through South Korea via camper. It wouldn't be the comfiest RV experience, but the super-efficient camper design and small, easy-driving base vehicle would make for a unique road trip experience. And the Ravy certainly looks like a plus for stealth camping.
The Ravy starts at KRW25.6 million, which looks intimidating at first but converts into a very attractive US$22,700, as of publishing. Needless to say, that monetary conversion doesn't matter much because the Ravy is a Korean-market camper based on a Korean-market car.
Source: Daon TNT (Korean)