Leaving the Volkswagen Transporters and Fiat Ducatos for the other guys, German camper van startup #camperliebe does its magic with the Hyundai H350. The Hyundai van supplies a 168-hp diesel engine and some of the latest driver-assistance technologies, and #camperliebe adds the rest, including four sleeping berths, a bathroom and a tablet-based interior control system. This Hyundai is your smart home on wheels, and it starts under $70K.
Volkswagen, Mercedes, Fiat ... these are the badges we've come to expect to see adorning the grilles of camper vans. This year, though, we've been watching some different emblems work themselves further into the market. Nissan found itself the subject of Westy and all-electric camper van conversions, Toyota went cute and small on the Wellhouse Lerina, and even the heavy truck guys at MAN got in on the camper van action.
And now for something different yet again. When the five founders of Camperliebe (we're dropping the annoying hashtag for our sanity and yours) got together in 2017, they could have gone local with the usual VW Crafter/Transporter or Mercedes Sprinter/Vito. Or they could have gone with Europe's most popular camper van, the Fiat Ducato. Or a newer option in the MAN TGE.
Instead, they looked to Hyundai, selecting the H350 for what they consider its sleek, sedan-like cockpit with 8-in touchscreen navigation system and its capable 168-hp Euro 6 powertrain. These five men believe it the perfect base for the modern camper van and call their creation the first motorhome based on the H350.
The CL1 isn't simply a matter of using a different base van for the sake of being different, but using it as the foundation of a modern camper van that Camperliebe's owners would be happy to campground-hop in themselves. We think they've done a pretty good job of designing a van that will resonate with the legions of wanderlusting young professionals out there.
Camperliebe's design really pops thanks to an extra touch of modern technology. The CL1 includes a command tablet for monitoring and controlling various systems and features. Specifically, the tablet puts eyes on things like the water system, lighting, climate control and battery.
Camperliebe houses its modern technological suite within an interior made from light gray high-pressure laminate (HPL), which keeps things bright and contemporary. Occupants walk in through a stepped entranceway that climbs quickly up to a platform dining table. The two-seat bench and dual front swivel seats combine to seat four people, whether dining, driving or just lounging around. The van also sleeps four on the combination of its pop-up roof bed and rear cabin bed.
A compact kitchen unit and a slim bathroom are set across from each other amidships. The former includes a dual-burner stove, sink and 130-L refrigerator, while the latter has a full wet bath layout with toilet, sink and shower.
Critical equipment listed within the CL1 standard features list includes a Truma Combi 4 Plus heater, 95-Ah AGM battery, Thule Omnistor awning, and 100-L fresh and waste water tanks.
Inside the driver cab that Camperliebe's founders like so much, owners will find the 8-in touchscreen nav system with Bluetooth and Hyundai MapCare, a multifunctional steering wheel, and a reverse camera system. The 2.5-liter diesel engine puts out 168 hp and 311 lb-ft and works with a six-speed manual transmission. Onboard safety systems include electronic stability control, lane departure warning and hill start assist.
Camperliebe premiered the CL1 in Berlin earlier this year. The full van starts at €58,500 (approx. US$68,000), and Camperliebe also offers the conversion on customer H350 vans for €29,500 (US$34,400).
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