Automotive

Nissan pops the top on adaptable city-to-seaside camper van

Nissan pops the top on adaptab...
The Nissan Seaside camper van includes a pop-up sleeper roof and folding lower bed
The Nissan Seaside camper van includes a pop-up sleeper roof and folding lower bed
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The Nissan Seaside measures 508 cm long by 204 cm high by 196 cm wide
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The Nissan Seaside measures 508 cm long by 204 cm high by 196 cm wide
The Seaside by Dethleffs is based on the new Primastar that Nissan refreshed last year
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The Seaside by Dethleffs is based on the new Primastar that Nissan refreshed last year
The Nissan Primastar/Renault Trafic doesn't taper much toward the roofline, making it a nice, boxy option for camper van expansions
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The Nissan Primastar/Renault Trafic doesn't taper much toward the roofline, making it a nice, boxy option for camper van expansions
Setting up a seaside base camp with the Seaside camper van
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Setting up a seaside base camp with the Seaside camper van
Nissan will launch the Seaside camper van at select German dealerships this summer
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Nissan will launch the Seaside camper van at select German dealerships this summer
Enjoying camp with the Nissan Seaside by Dethleffs
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Enjoying camp with the Nissan Seaside by Dethleffs
The Nissan Seaside camper van includes a pop-up sleeper roof and folding lower bed
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The Nissan Seaside camper van includes a pop-up sleeper roof and folding lower bed
The Seaside camper van can transport up to six people and sleep four
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The Seaside camper van can transport up to six people and sleep four
Closing out the day with a Seaside sunset
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Closing out the day with a Seaside sunset
One, two, three or four people can gather around the removable dining table
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One, two, three or four people can gather around the removable dining table
The Nissan Seaside comes powered by buyer's choice of 150- or 170-hp diesel engine
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The Nissan Seaside comes powered by buyer's choice of 150- or 170-hp diesel engine
The Seaside doesn't come with as much natural cargo room as some camper vans, but owners can remove or reposition the rear seats to add more
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The Seaside doesn't come with as much natural cargo room as some camper vans, but owners can remove or reposition the rear seats to add more
The Seaside by Dethleffs looks like a solid pop-up camper van and successor to the Michelangelo from Westfalia
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The Seaside by Dethleffs looks like a solid pop-up camper van and successor to the Michelangelo from Westfalia
The Seaside is ready to escape the city at moment's notice, but it's also designed to be small and capable enough for everyday city commuting
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The Seaside is ready to escape the city at moment's notice, but it's also designed to be small and capable enough for everyday city commuting
Inside the Nissan Seaside camper van
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Inside the Nissan Seaside camper van
Vis-a-vis rear seats
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Vis-a-vis rear seats
The Seaside camper van includes a rear wardrobe
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The Seaside camper van includes a rear wardrobe
Breakfast is served
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Breakfast is served
Pop-up roof bed
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Pop-up roof bed
Lower bed made up and ready for lights out
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Lower bed made up and ready for lights out
Nissan Seaside camper van kitchen
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Nissan Seaside camper van kitchen
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From Japan to Europe, Nissan has been playing around with camper, digital nomad and adventure van concepts for the past few years. Now it's getting a little more serious, working with the RV specialists at Dethleffs to create a small, configurable camper van made to bridge the gap between city commuting and open road exploration. The Primastar midsize van serves as the base of the Seaside camper, which uses adjustable rail-mounted captain's chairs, a pop-up roof and two beds to transport and accommodate four adults in full comfort.

Prized for its boxier dimensions as compared to vans that taper in more above the belt line, the Renault Trafic has long served as the base for many creative camper vans, from those with in-van movie theaters to tightly packaged leisure vans complete with corner bathrooms. The Nissan Primastar/NV300 has been less common in the camper van market but not non-existent, as we saw with Nissan's 2018 introduction of a Spanish-market camper van family and that year's launch of the Westfalia-converted Michelangelo.

The success of the now-retired Michelangelo served as the inspiration behind Nissan's collaboration with Dethleffs. Nissan says it sold more than 400 units between 2018 and 2020, when the Michelangelo was an attractive alternative to other Westfalia-designed midsize-van campers, such as the Ford Nugget or Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo.

The Seaside is ready to escape the city at moment's notice, but it's also designed to be small and capable enough for everyday city commuting
The Seaside is ready to escape the city at moment's notice, but it's also designed to be small and capable enough for everyday city commuting

After a short stint as the NV300, Nissan's midsize European-market van bounced back to the Primastar name during a refresh last year. In transforming the van into a camper, Nissan and Dethleffs stick closely to the formula that set the Michelangelo apart from the competition, eliminating the rear bench common in the midsize camper van market in favor of two captain's chairs, each independently mounted to floor rails. These seats can be removed or moved around as necessary, making additional space for cargo. As in the Michelangelo, owners can position the two seats on one side, making room on the other for long cargo such as surfboards, bicycles or skis. Owners can also purchase two extra seats separately, creating a six-seater ready for everyday passenger-carrying duties.

Vis-a-vis rear seats
Vis-a-vis rear seats

The Seaside includes a driver-side kitchenette with two-burner gas cooktop and sink combo, 36-L refrigerator and plenty of storage. A removable dining table attaches to the kitchen, accommodating the full family, who sit on the rear seats and swivel cab seats.

At night, the Seaside quickly transforms into a dual-bed hotel room. The 79 x 49-in (200 x 125-cm) lower bed folds out in the cabin, and the 74 x 49-in (189 x 125-cm) upper bed drops into place in the pop-up roof. The van sleeps four comfortably, making it an excellent family camper option.

Nissan Seaside camper van kitchen
Nissan Seaside camper van kitchen

The 200-in (508-cm)-long Seaside comes built on a Tekna-grade Primastaree and is powered by a 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel engine that puts out 150 or 170 hp (110 or 125 kW). It includes an 8-in touchscreen-based infotainment and navigation system.

Nissan will launch the Seaside by Dethleffs camper van this summer at select dealerships in Germany and is exploring additional European markets like France. The Seaside will come with a Nissan five-year/160,000-km warranty on both van and camper conversion. We expect pricing to be announced closer to launch.

The Seaside camper van can transport up to six people and sleep four
The Seaside camper van can transport up to six people and sleep four

The Seaside, of course, is another European camper van with no hopes of an American counterpart. Not only does Nissan not offer the Primastar in the US, but it discontinued its existing American-market vans, the NV and NV200, in 2021.

Source: Nissan

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