Modular Toyota camper van brilliantly bridges city life and outdoor adventure
The newest member of the Hymer family, Germany's Crosscamp seeks to extend city dwellers' footprints into surrounding mountains, beaches and forests. And we're betting its sporty, compact camper van of the same name will be successful at doing it. Based on the Toyota Proace Verso, this sub-5-m (16.4-ft) camper van transports, sleeps and feeds four people, readily switching over to a cargo van or seven-seat people-mover. Use it to move across town one weekend, take the kids and their friends to football practice during the week, and venture out on an extended road trip the following weekend.
Building a camper that's as suitable for cities as it is for open spaces starts with choosing a compact base van, and Crosscamp strays from usual suspects like the VW T6 or Fiat Talento/Renault Trafic and chooses the 495-cm (195-in) Toyota Proace Verso, building on top of Toyota's unmatched reliability and customer satisfaction. The Proace Verso brings along a trio of available four-cylinder Euro6 diesel engine options, ranging between 118 and 174 hp, each paired with a matching six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
Standard assistance features include cruise control, rain sensor, and front and rear parking sensors, while the options list tacks on available Toyota Pro Touch & Go Navigation and Safety Sense bundle with lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control with distance regulation, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, and other technologies.
The capable little Proace Verso only gets more capable at the hands of Crosscamp, gaining a versatile floor-rail-based conversion that blurs the distinctions between camper, cargo and passenger vans. Central to this versatility is a removable indoor/outdoor kitchen block that can flame and sizzle in the van's midsection or outside under the vast, cloud-smeared sky. Removing it involves loosening a couple screws, detaching a few electrical connections and setting it up with the optional outdoor kit, which includes a 12V extension cord and leveling stand. The kitchen comes stocked with the usual dual-burner stove and sink and also houses drawers, a storage compartment for 2.8-kg propane canister, and 10-L fresh and waste water tanks.
When the kitchen is inside the van, the removable dining table attaches to the front to put some plate-and-cup surface between the swivel cab seats and rear bench. The dining table can also secure to the kitchen outside, working as extra prep space.
The Crosscamp sleeps up to four people on its folding rear bench and pop-up roof beds. The upper bed measures 120 x 200 cm (47 x 79 in) and features springs for added cushion, and the lower bed measures 114 x 199 cm (45 x 78-in). The roof itself ducks down under the 2-m (6.6-ft) mark when closed, so the Crosscamp can easily navigate parking garages back in the city while still offering more than 2 m of front headroom when popped open at camp.
Crosscamp puts some storage cabinets at the back of the van and drops an optional compressor fridge between the cabinets and the kitchen block. It can also add a second fridge between the driver and passenger seats for keeping cold drinks at the ready during the ride. The rear cabinets also house the 95-Ah battery and electrical components that run the LED lighting and other equipment.
Crosscamp doesn't just envision its camper serving as a rolling vacation, or even as a motorhome + secondary household vehicle, but as a fully-functioning everyday driver that can have more fun than the average family car. The van is capable of quickly transforming from work commuter, to errand runner, to small project support vehicle, to family van, to motorhome and back, all thanks to its floor rail mounts. The rear cabinets and fridge remain permanently installed, but the kitchen can be removed to open up space for up to seven seats. All seats can remove just as easily, creating a compact but capable cargo van. Five seats come standard, and buyers can add the two extras optionally.
Between its standard dual side doors, indoor/outdoor kitchen and modular camper/cargo/passenger van interior, the Crosscamp is clearly playing in the same arena as Europe's other ultra-versatile mini-campervan powerhouse, the Pössl Campster. And it seems a very attractive alternative for those that prefer the Toyota badge over a Citroën-based conversion.
The Crosscamp starts at €42,999 (approx. US$47,625), and thanks to the long reach of the Hymer Group, the vans are available at a wide variety of motorhome and Toyota dealerships. Options include a cabin heater, an exterior awning and ambient lighting.