Glampervan multi-use camper van doubles as a mobile office and observation deck
It may be called "Glampervan," but this San Francisco company doesn't build the most luxurious camper van out there. Its Promaster MUV (multi-use vehicle) is all about getting the most fun out of both the ride and the destination, and what it lacks in full-blown glamping amenities it makes up for in smart, compact multipurpose design. Switch gears between weekends out on the open road, weekdays of intermittently punching the accelerator and the laptop keys, and chore days hauling big cargo. No matter which type of day it is, wind it down by enjoying the views from your own rooftop deck.
The Promaster MUV appears to be heavily influenced by the digital nomad lifestyle, helping owners untether from the 9-to-5 grind to take to the road for both work and play. Its layout promotes 1-on-1 power meetings as much as quiet, starry nights, miles away from the worries and headaches of worker bee life.
Interestingly, Glampervan skipped over the largest Ram Promaster in favor of the medium 136-in (3,454-mm) wheelbase model with high roof. This leaves less room to stretch out, but the company feels the enhanced maneuverability, nimble handling, and ability to park, blend and stealth-camp more than make up for it.
"Glampervan's mission is to get more camper vans into the hands of urban dwellers, where cost, size, drivability and potential for day-to-day use is important," Glampervan president and "chief excursion officer" Rob Novotny explains. "We want to be a huge upgrade from your tent/car camping life, but unlike a lot of RVs/camper vans, we have no desire to compete with the comfort and features of your house or Airbnb."
So a medium wheelbase it is. Besides, Glampervan has done serious work to get the most out of the space the Promaster 136 does have.
Perhaps the most pivotal piece of Glampervan's two-person floor plan is the transverse Murphy bed secured all the way in back. Instead of lifting straight up like the rear bed of the Winnebago Revel 4x4 and other vans, this bed swings against the passenger side wall when not in use, completely clearing the central space inside the double rear doors for cargo hauling. It could also serve as a way of providing the proverbial red carpet to business associates with whom you might want to host a mobile meeting, letting them walk right on in. And no need for them to come to your office, you can bring it to them.
The bed itself measures 60 x 78 in (152 x 198 cm), just 2 in (5 cm) short of the legit queen you'd slide in your home bedroom.
The other unique piece of the Glampervan puzzle is in the very front of the van. In place of the 180-degree driver and front passenger swivel seats that are a part of virtually every other camper van and motorhome, the Glampervan's seats swivel 90 degrees to seat driver and passenger at a removable center table. The seats can continue to swivel around to about 135 degrees, but the kitchen unit right behind the driver's seat looks like it'll prevent a full 180.
Between those two unique bookends of design, you'll find plenty of cabinet and storage space, along with a kitchen area. The familiar stainless steel sink is there, but the built-in stovetop is not. Glampervan shows small portable stoves stored inside the kitchen area drawer but doesn't list any on its spec sheet, so we reckon you'll have to source your own stove. The 65-liter Dometic fridge/freezer shown in the lower drawer is on the pricing sheet, though.
To help with its multipurpose mission, the Glampervan MUV carries a 300-Ah three-battery array, supplying several days' worth of off-grid power. Those batteries charge off the engine when driving, via shore power hookup or with the available 175 W solar panel. A spread of 110 V, 12 V and USB outlets lets you tap into battery power to keep devices and appliances running.
Hovering over the top of that work/play/live interior is what we'd call Glampervan's pièce de résistance – the roof deck. Not enough camper vans or motorhomes include this great feature, in our opinion. After all, what's better than a high vantage point for taking in the scenery you drove hundreds of miles to experience? One or both van occupants can bring chairs up top to the plywood deck and relax, work or take in some local entertainment. Glampervan recommends only two people at a time, citing the van's 330-lb (150-kg) dynamic max roof load.
Novotny says that the roof deck is primarily designed to be mounted permanently but won't prevent drivers from carrying cargo up on the roof rack while driving. He also says that Glampervan can work to accommodate more specific types of gear racks and cargo boxes.
To help streamline the customer's camper van purchase, Glampervan offers three different equipment levels, starting with the very simple US$22,351 Core Upfit package with bed, 300 Ah batteries and electrical system with outlets, insulated van cabin, vinyl floor, birch walls, interior lighting, and extra windows. That van could work as a base-level overnight sleeper/adventure chaser, and Glampervan also advertises it as an option for DIY van enthusiasts who can get the basics, then build it out as they see fit.
The next level up is the $31,738 Standard Upfit package, which includes the above, adding the kitchen area with sink, 23-L fresh and waste water tanks, water pump, Dometic fridge/freezer, and cabinets and storage; the swivel front seats and dining table; and window shades. With the addition of the kitchen, this one is more a proper camper van that can sleep and feed you on and off the grid.
The $50,462 Deluxe Upfit package throws the full Glampervan offer sheet in with all the inclusions of the lower packages, plus the roof rack, deck and ladder, 175 W solar panel, Webasto space heater, upgraded audio system, additional cabinetry, BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, running boards, manual outdoor awning, and full outdoor lighting array with porch lights and off-road auxiliary lights. This is the rugged, boundless-adventure camper variant, albeit without 4WD or other full off-road upgrades.
A removable toilet and outside shower with water heater plus upsized fresh and gray water tanks are additional options on offer.
Glampervan is currently offering 10 percent discounts on the above prices for conversion contracts signed before May 1. All prices are for the conversion only, and the base Promaster 136 van will run $32,495 before dealer incentives. The van comes equipped with a 280-hp 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic driving the front wheels.