Automotive

Stunning Rocket Mountain 4x4 camper van seeks adventure and solitude

Stunning Rocket Mountain 4x4 c...
Rocket Camper jumps over to the MAN TGE 4x4 from the Fiat Ducato to create the more rugged, off-road-ready Mountain camper van
Rocket Camper jumps over to the MAN TGE 4x4 from the Fiat Ducato to create the more rugged, off-road-ready Mountain camper van
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The Caravan Salon Rocket Mountain included a full roof rack with auxiliary lighting
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The Caravan Salon Rocket Mountain included a full roof rack with auxiliary lighting
Off-road lighting mounted to the platform roof rack
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Off-road lighting mounted to the platform roof rack
Rocket offers optional 18-in wheels and all-terrain tires
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Rocket offers optional 18-in wheels and all-terrain tires
The new Rocket Mountain camper looking good at the 2021 Caravan Salon
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The new Rocket Mountain camper looking good at the 2021 Caravan Salon
Rocket Camper jumps over to the MAN TGE 4x4 from the Fiat Ducato to create the more rugged, off-road-ready Mountain camper van
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Rocket Camper jumps over to the MAN TGE 4x4 from the Fiat Ducato to create the more rugged, off-road-ready Mountain camper van
These flares look like detachable gear pods from afar but are designed to widen the interior and accommodate the bed
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These flares look like detachable gear pods from afar but are designed to widen the interior and accommodate the bed
Rocket Camper offers a variety of off-road upgrades, including differential locks, a snorkel and skid plates
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Rocket Camper offers a variety of off-road upgrades, including differential locks, a snorkel and skid plates
The new Rocket Mountain starts at 83,750 euros
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The new Rocket Mountain starts at 83,750 euros
The interior includes a detachable dining table, L-shaped kitchen, rear bed/lounge and swivel driver cab seats
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The interior includes a detachable dining table, L-shaped kitchen, rear bed/lounge and swivel driver cab seats
The dual-burner stove is available as an option
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The dual-burner stove is available as an option
The sink serves both the kitchen and bathroom (i.e. slide-out portable toilet)
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The sink serves both the kitchen and bathroom (i.e. slide-out portable toilet)
Rocket offers plenty of drawer space
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Rocket offers plenty of drawer space
An 80-L fridge comes standard
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An 80-L fridge comes standard
More drawer storage
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More drawer storage
Buyers can add one or two rear seats or leave the center of the van more open in two-person configuration
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Buyers can add one or two rear seats or leave the center of the van more open in two-person configuration
Rocket Camper offers a variety of hanging storage bags
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Rocket Camper offers a variety of hanging storage bags
The struts allow the bed to tilt upward
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The struts allow the bed to tilt upward
MAN TGE 4x4 cab
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MAN TGE 4x4 cab
The Rocket Mountain interior includes a tilt-up rear bed, L-shaped kitchen, removable dining table and swivel front seats; rear seats are available optionally
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The Rocket Mountain interior includes a tilt-up rear bed, L-shaped kitchen, removable dining table and swivel front seats; rear seats are available optionally
View gallery - 19 images

This weekend's Overland Expo West show promises to deliver some seriously burly go-anywhere camper vans from around the United States. But before that show begins, we have an equally rugged, stunning all-terrain camper van from across the Atlantic. The new Rocket Mountain Camper pulls Rocket Camper's unique floor plan into a rugged MAN TGE 4x4 platform, inviting adventurers to string together global expeditions from patches of hot desert sand, high-alpine granite and snow, and loamy forest floor.

Rocket Camper broke all camper van molds when it introduced the fanciful Rocket One camper van in early 2020. Some of the concept's thought-provoking but impractical features have since been traded out for simpler alternatives, but the distinctive floor plan lives on in Rocket's small but growing lineup of camper vans. With the new Mountain, Rocket brings that layout to a stout, all terrain-ready platform in the MAN TGE 3.180 4x4.

Rocket Camper offers a variety of off-road upgrades, including differential locks, a snorkel and skid plates
Rocket Camper offers a variety of off-road upgrades, including differential locks, a snorkel and skid plates

At its debut at the 2021 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon, the 19.7-foot (6-m) Rocket Mountain wore a gorgeous tint of matte bronze paint matched to black-out trim. It looked a little too good, in fact, as we don't even like imagining what happens to that pristine paint job when the van rambles down even an easy-going trail lined in scrub brush, boulders and tree branches. Besides, the van looks perfectly at home on the carpeted floor of Rocket's expo booth.

But no one's buying the Rocket Mountain to display it standing still, and any sane owner will want to put MAN's torque-splitting all-wheel drive to use in creating epic memories. The show model is all dressed up in optional support gear, including a full-length platform rack, off-road auxiliary lighting and all-terrain tires. We're surprised they left off the obligatory snorkel, but that does appear on the options sheet, as do additions like a differential lock and underbody skid protection.

Off-road lighting mounted to the platform roof rack
Off-road lighting mounted to the platform roof rack

Rocket Camper's distinctive floor plan remains intact inside the sliding door. In back, the transverse bed pushes out into the pod-like side flares that look almost like Land Rover Defender-style gear carrier modules from outside. That bed includes tilt-up positioning at the rear, but instead of the pulley the original Rocket One used, it relies on a simpler pair of struts to push the bed frame up.

The typical camper van has its kitchen block on a sidewall, but Rocket supports bigger culinary explorations with an L-shaped kitchen that runs sidewall to sidewall. A single-burner or available dual-burner stove is located below a large, flip-open worktop cover just next to the bed, while the sink stands on the driver's side. An 80-L compressor fridge keeps fresh food close at hand in the cabinet unit below the stove, just millimeters over from a slide-out portable toilet that ensures van dwellers don't have to wander outside and dig a hole on dark, moonless nights.

The Rocket Mountain interior includes a tilt-up rear bed, L-shaped kitchen, removable dining table and swivel front seats; rear seats are available optionally
The Rocket Mountain interior includes a tilt-up rear bed, L-shaped kitchen, removable dining table and swivel front seats; rear seats are available optionally

The Mountain comes standard with a fixed roof, thereby sleeping only two. With that in mind, the show model from Düsseldorf left the rear seats behind to pair the swivel cab seats with a removable dining table attached to the console next to the sink. A pop-up four-sleeper configuration is available optionally, and the integrated rails on the floor ensure that buyers can also add in two rear seats for a complete four-person configuration.

The Rocket Mountain starts at €83,750 (approx. US$98,200), and the base TGE van brings a 174-hp diesel four-cylinder, eight-speed automatic transmission and aforementioned all-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes a Webasto heater, array of 230-, 12- and USB outlets, full insulation package, and insect screens and shades on the windows. Options include the pop-up sleeper roof, solar power, water heater and outdoor awning.

Source: Rocket Camper

View gallery - 19 images
2 comments
2 comments
BlueOak
Slick rig. The VW-Man styling is so much better than the seemingly intentionally ugly Fiat.

But that silly “Rocket Mountain” Branding does not translate well to the US. What’s up with that, anyway?

And off road skid plates + 18 inch low profile tires? No thank you. Those rims would be destroyed after one off road trip and who’s going to run low profile tires with lower air pressure for improved traction?
christopher
Do these designers ever go off-road? All the driving lights point forwards, but there's practically no straight roads when you're on dirt, putting the bulk of where-your-going into the shadows, right where their light-bars are NOT pointing...