Nest mini-campervan keeps your footprint small and path wide open
Designed for some of the biggest adventures of your life, the Nest Cuckoo is also one of the smallest camper vans you're likely to journey out in. But you won't want for anything in this Slovenian rental camper, thanks to its combination of long, comfy bed, tailgate kitchen with stove and fridge, and seating for four. The Cuckoo mini-campervan lets you write the script of your own European vacation, maneuvering nimbly between tight city streets, switchbacking mountain climbs and breezy coastal drives, all for less than the cost of a hotel room.
Less a van, more a minivan or MPV, the diesel-engined 2017 Citroën Berlingo Multispace that underpins the Cuckoo measures just 172 in (438 cm) in length, making it well smaller than the 190-in (482-cm) Ursa Minor Transit Connect or 187-in (475-cm) Cascade Camper, and smaller, even, than the 173-in (440-cm) Campmobil Caddy Tramp we looked at among the other mini-campervans of this year's Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. It's properly tiny, and Cuckoo renters can expect nimble, car-like handling, long spans between fuel stops, and parking spot squeezes that other camper van drivers could only daydream about. Nest lists estimated fuel consumption at 5.5 L/100 km, or over 40 mpg.
On the other hand, a Berlingo-based camper van could easily go wrong in terms of living space, comfort and amenities. But with help from the camper module experts at Sipras, Nest fits a functional mobile living area into the minivan, creating something that looks plenty appealing for travelers. Not only is the Cuckoo van cute and stylish, it looks like a comfortable place to spend a week or two and an affordable ticket to self-authored adventure.
Much like Ququq or VanEssa, Slovenia's own Sipras offers a plug-and-play camper-in-a-box system for transforming everyday vehicles into camper vans, focusing attention on medium and small vans/minivans. The three-compartment Sipras system turns a regular, old Berlingo Multispace into Nest Cuckoo, an adventure wagon ready to explore the beautiful country in Slovenia and beyond.
The Multispace lacks the room for the big interior kitchen block, fixed bed and dining area common in larger camper vans, but the Sipras system puts an expandable bed atop the tailgate kitchen boxes and folding rear seats. The double bed extends partially over the tilted-forward front seats atop a fold-out/slide-out frame, offering 79 x 55 in (200 x 140 cm) of sleeping space – quite comparable to what you'd find in larger camper vans.
The Cuckoo doesn't include a pop-top or roof bed, so it's designed to operate primarily as a two-person travel van. However, Nest points out that while it usually removes the rear seats for added cargo space, it can also leave them in, allowing four people to venture out in one Cuckoo, with the caveat that two of them would need to sleep outside the van. Nest rents tents, extra furniture and roof cargo boxes for additional fees.
The Cuckoo tailgate galley comes with a small sink, counter space for the single-burner gas camping stove and slide-out storage on the chef's right. The 20-L fridge fills out the middle, and a second slide-out on the left offers deeper storage space. A 13-L fresh water tank keeps the faucet flowing, and the water runs to a 13-L gray water tank on the other end. The tops of the storage modules double as a worktop
An indoor dining area and swivel seats aren't in the cards for Cuckoo renters, but Nest includes an outdoor table and two chairs as part of the rental, giving travelers a place to sit, dine and relax. In bad weather, we reckon you'd just eat and relax inside the van.
Nest rentals come complete with a camping light, frisbee and playing cards, along with kitchen supplies, utensils, cleaning supplies and other campsite essentials. The company also rents a variety of optional extras to enhance the travel and camping experience, including a BBQ grill, baby seat, hammock, solar shower, and even bikes, kayaks and scuba gear. The base Berlingo Multispace is a modest vehicle with manual transmission, but it does include air conditioning, cruise control, hill-start assist, parking sensors and USB/Bluetooth audio.
Nest launched its rental service in 2017 and now offers 10 pick-up/drop-off locations in Slovenia, Austria, Croatia and Italy. The Cuckoo ranges between €57 and €67 (approx. US$65 and $77) a day, depending upon season. Rentals include unlimited mileage and basic insurance, and add-on insurance is available for an extra fee. Renters can travel anywhere in continental Europe with the vans, stringing together short, in-country trips or long, multi-country tours as they desire.
Those looking to rent a larger family camper can step up to the 2017 Citroën Jumper-based Stork, a more conventional four-sleeper camper van that includes an indoor kitchen, dining area, and a combination of main double bed and two single beds.
Nest's blog is filled with local travel ideas, tips and other information. We were attracted to Nest based entirely on the smart design of its camper van, but looking through its website has definitely made us yearn for a trip to Slovenia and its greater environs. It looks like a gorgeous mix of history, culture, and natural beauty in forests, mountains and sea.
Source: Nest Campers