Automotive

Wild horses: Off-grid adventure vehicles and 4x4 camper vans of CMT 2019

Wild horses: Off-grid adventur...
Kerkamm shows one of the larger expedition vehicles at CMT, the EX 525
Kerkamm shows one of the larger expedition vehicles at CMT, the EX 525
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Genesis Import shows a Toyota expedition pickup with Alu-Cab pop-top camper
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Genesis Import shows a Toyota expedition pickup with Alu-Cab pop-top camper
Tom's Fahrzeugtechnik shows the Toyota Land Cruiser-based "Big Boy"
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Tom's Fahrzeugtechnik shows the Toyota Land Cruiser-based "Big Boy"
Tom's Fahrzeugtechnik "Big Boy"
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Tom's Fahrzeugtechnik "Big Boy"
Kerkamm shows one of the larger expedition vehicles at CMT, the EX 525
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Kerkamm shows one of the larger expedition vehicles at CMT, the EX 525
Kerkamm EX 525
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Kerkamm EX 525
This €349,000 (US$398,000) Kerkamm EX 592 is built on a 285-hp MAN TGM 13.290 4x4, but Kerkamm also offers a variety of other base vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz Unimog, Arocs, Sprinter and Atego options
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This €349,000 (US$398,000) Kerkamm EX 592 is built on a 285-hp MAN TGM 13.290 4x4, but Kerkamm also offers a variety of other base vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz Unimog, Arocs, Sprinter and Atego options
The Kerkamm EX 592 kitchen includes a three-burner stove
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The Kerkamm EX 592 kitchen includes a three-burner stove
Dutch expedition specialist Bliss Mobil designs in "truck independent" expedition vehicle modules, not expedition trucks. Its self-contained camper boxes include all systems, tanks and hardware and can ride on a variety of truck chassis, as opposed to other company's vehicles that include tanks and hardware mounted to the chassis itself
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Dutch expedition specialist Bliss Mobil designs in "truck independent" expedition vehicle modules, not expedition trucks. Its self-contained camper boxes include all systems, tanks and hardware and can ride on a variety of truck chassis, as opposed to other company's vehicles that include tanks and hardware mounted to the chassis itself
Bliss Mobil offers one of the more stylish and modern slide-out kitchen areas we've seen
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Bliss Mobil offers one of the more stylish and modern slide-out kitchen areas we've seen
Smart organization and ease of access are key to Bliss Mobil's modules
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Smart organization and ease of access are key to Bliss Mobil's modules
One of the newer names in German world-conquering expedition machines, Ziegler Adventure was founded in 2015 and launched its impressive Moghome a year later. This one was priced at €369,000 (US$421,000)
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One of the newer names in German world-conquering expedition machines, Ziegler Adventure was founded in 2015 and launched its impressive Moghome a year later. This one was priced at €369,000 (US$421,000)
KEC Motors shows the rugged, little Mountaineer Sport VW T6 Kombi adventure van
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KEC Motors shows the rugged, little Mountaineer Sport VW T6 Kombi adventure van
KEC's Mountaineer Sport includes a kitchen area with below-counter stove and attachable dining table
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KEC's Mountaineer Sport includes a kitchen area with below-counter stove and attachable dining table
KEC Motors Mountaineer Sport all-terrain adventure van
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KEC Motors Mountaineer Sport all-terrain adventure van
Extrem Fahrzeug offers a 4x4 conversion for Ford Transit Custom models, including the Nugget camper van
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Extrem Fahrzeug offers a 4x4 conversion for Ford Transit Custom models, including the Nugget camper van
According to Extrem Fahrzeuge's website its, Ford Transit Custom 4x4 system costs €12,490 ($14,250)
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According to Extrem Fahrzeuge's website its, Ford Transit Custom 4x4 system costs €12,490 ($14,250)
Ford Nugget 4x4 camper van by Extrem Fahrzeuge
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Ford Nugget 4x4 camper van by Extrem Fahrzeuge
Cargo Camper Mountain 4x4 MAN TGE camper van
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Cargo Camper Mountain 4x4 MAN TGE camper van
Austria's Autocom Rental & Trading GmbH designed the Cargo Camper Mountain 4x4 MAN TGE, a rugged, versatile adventure van that uses a modular camping furniture system with pegboard-style walls and ceiling
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Austria's Autocom Rental & Trading GmbH designed the Cargo Camper Mountain 4x4 MAN TGE, a rugged, versatile adventure van that uses a modular camping furniture system with pegboard-style walls and ceiling
This MAN 4x4 camper van includes black-out wood trim over the load doors, but Autocom also offers  pegboard-style door trim for securing accessories
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This MAN 4x4 camper van includes black-out wood trim over the load doors, but Autocom also offers  pegboard-style door trim for securing accessories
The versatile Cargo Camper Bed-and-Breakfast unit combines a double bed and dining set into a foldaway chassis
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The versatile Cargo Camper Bed-and-Breakfast unit combines a double bed and dining set into a foldaway chassis
We're cheating a bit with this Sunlight Cliff 640 since it's not actually a 4x4 all-terrain van, but with the Husqvarna electric mountain bike hanging off the back, it looked more adventurous than many of the other vans at CMT
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We're cheating a bit with this Sunlight Cliff 640 since it's not actually a 4x4 all-terrain van, but with the Husqvarna electric mountain bike hanging off the back, it looked more adventurous than many of the other vans at CMT
While the e-bike is secured to the back, you could roll it right into the Sunlight Cliff camper thanks to the foldaway rear bed
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While the e-bike is secured to the back, you could roll it right into the Sunlight Cliff camper thanks to the foldaway rear bed
Electric mountain bikes make for interesting new possibilities in terms of multi-vehicle touring and adventure. They're easier to transport than motorcycles and offer the possibility of more range than traditional pedal bikes. It's no wonder they show up regularly around major camper, off-roading and overlanding shows
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Electric mountain bikes make for interesting new possibilities in terms of multi-vehicle touring and adventure. They're easier to transport than motorcycles and offer the possibility of more range than traditional pedal bikes. It's no wonder they show up regularly around major camper, off-roading and overlanding shows
Karmann Mobil shows the Ford Transit-based Dexter 560 4x4
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Karmann Mobil shows the Ford Transit-based Dexter 560 4x4
Inside the Karmann Dexter 560 4x4
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Inside the Karmann Dexter 560 4x4
A look at the rear bed/load area of the Karmann Dexter 560 4x4
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A look at the rear bed/load area of the Karmann Dexter 560 4x4
Germany's Robeta doesn't specialize in off-road campers the way some of the other brands in the gallery do, but they do offer 4x4 variants of their camper vans, including this mid-size Helios based on a Citroën Jumper with Dangel 4WD
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Germany's Robeta doesn't specialize in off-road campers the way some of the other brands in the gallery do, but they do offer 4x4 variants of their camper vans, including this mid-size Helios based on a Citroën Jumper with Dangel 4WD
A look inside the Robeta Helios 4x4
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A look inside the Robeta Helios 4x4
Robeta creates a rather stylish interior with small curio cabinet and a set of hanging vials we assume are for spices
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Robeta creates a rather stylish interior with small curio cabinet and a set of hanging vials we assume are for spices
Robeta Helios 4x4 bathroom
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Robeta Helios 4x4 bathroom
Robeta Helios 4x4
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Robeta Helios 4x4
World travel 4x4 graphics on the Robeta Helios 4x4
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World travel 4x4 graphics on the Robeta Helios 4x4
Robeta Helios 4x4 folding rear bed
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Robeta Helios 4x4 folding rear bed
Multicamper had a number of rugged camper vans on show, this is its simple €45,990 "LowBudget" model with James Baroud hardshell roof-top tent. Its spec sheet doesn't mention 4WD, but it does ride on all-terrain tires
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Multicamper had a number of rugged camper vans on show, this is its simple €45,990 "LowBudget" model with James Baroud hardshell roof-top tent. Its spec sheet doesn't mention 4WD, but it does ride on all-terrain tires
Inside, the Multicamper LowBudget includes a kitchen area and convertible bed/sofa
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Inside, the Multicamper LowBudget includes a kitchen area and convertible bed/sofa
Inside the Multicamper Adventure van - we particularly like the wall-mounted faucet
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Inside the Multicamper Adventure van - we particularly like the wall-mounted faucet
The Multicamper Adventure's table folds out to size
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The Multicamper Adventure's table folds out to size
This Multicamper Adventure includes all-wheel drive, a locking rear differential, bamboo flooring and an airy pop-up roof
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This Multicamper Adventure includes all-wheel drive, a locking rear differential, bamboo flooring and an airy pop-up roof
The €93,990 Multicamper Adventure 
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The €93,990 Multicamper Adventure 
The Multicamper Adventure's slide-out tray makes for easier gear access
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The Multicamper Adventure's slide-out tray makes for easier gear access
Inside the Multicamper LowBudget
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Inside the Multicamper LowBudget
The countertop of the Multicamper LowBudget pops up to reveal a Primus camping stove
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The countertop of the Multicamper LowBudget pops up to reveal a Primus camping stove
La Strada Regent S 4x4 based on the new-generation Mercedes Sprinter 
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La Strada Regent S 4x4 based on the new-generation Mercedes Sprinter 
Expedition vehicle specialist Bimobil shows an EX 366 based on the outgoing gen-2 Mercedes Sprinter and an HR 380 based on the new gen-3 Sprinter
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Expedition vehicle specialist Bimobil shows an EX 366 based on the outgoing gen-2 Mercedes Sprinter and an HR 380 based on the new gen-3 Sprinter
Big, old Unimog-based Bimobil EX 432
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Big, old Unimog-based Bimobil EX 432
La Strada shows the Avanti L 4x4
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La Strada shows the Avanti L 4x4
Like the Robeta Helios 4x4, the La Strada Avanti L 4x4 is based on a Citroën Jumper with Dangel 4WD
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Like the Robeta Helios 4x4, the La Strada Avanti L 4x4 is based on a Citroën Jumper with Dangel 4WD
Another Dangel 4x4-upgraded Citroën Jumper-based camper van, this time from Clever Vans
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Another Dangel 4x4-upgraded Citroën Jumper-based camper van, this time from Clever Vans
Clever 4x4 camper van
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Clever 4x4 camper van
Summermobil Offroad pop-up Volkswagen Transporter camper van
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Summermobil Offroad pop-up Volkswagen Transporter camper van
Inside the €47,500 Summermobil Offroad
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Inside the €47,500 Summermobil Offroad
Summermobil Offroad
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Summermobil Offroad
Werz shows off one of the most rugged VW off-road camper vans at the show, complete with side-mounted traction aids
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Werz shows off one of the most rugged VW off-road camper vans at the show, complete with side-mounted traction aids
Inside Werz's rugged all-terrain VW Transporter camper van
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Inside Werz's rugged all-terrain VW Transporter camper van
Werz helps its VW Transporter camper van breathe with a snorkel
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Werz helps its VW Transporter camper van breathe with a snorkel
Werz puts a smaller kitchen block and L-shaped couch in its Piccolo camper van
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Werz puts a smaller kitchen block and L-shaped couch in its Piccolo camper van
Unless there's a slide-out bed in one of those compartments, it appears the high-roof on the Werz Piccolo is dedicated to extra storage, not sleeping space
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Unless there's a slide-out bed in one of those compartments, it appears the high-roof on the Werz Piccolo is dedicated to extra storage, not sleeping space
This €78,937 VW T6-based Piccolo with high roof isn't as rugged as the Werz pop-up VW camper van, but it does still come with 4Motion all-wheel drive
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This €78,937 VW T6-based Piccolo with high roof isn't as rugged as the Werz pop-up VW camper van, but it does still come with 4Motion all-wheel drive
One of the very first production MAN TGE camper vans we've seen, this 710 4x4 with high-roof comes from Poland's Balcamp
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One of the very first production MAN TGE camper vans we've seen, this 710 4x4 with high-roof comes from Poland's Balcamp
Inside the Balcamp MAN 710 4x4
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Inside the Balcamp MAN 710 4x4
The high roof of Balcamp's MAN 710 makes room for the foldaway bed and a high-mounted TV that can be watched in the cabin or on the bed
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The high roof of Balcamp's MAN 710 makes room for the foldaway bed and a high-mounted TV that can be watched in the cabin or on the bed
Simple kitchen block in the Balcamp MAN 710 4x4
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Simple kitchen block in the Balcamp MAN 710 4x4
Looking back at the rear bed of the Balcamp MAN 710 4x4
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Looking back at the rear bed of the Balcamp MAN 710 4x4
Filling in that last cushion of the Balcamp MAN 710's rear bed
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Filling in that last cushion of the Balcamp MAN 710's rear bed
Nicely upholstered seating in Balcamp's new MAN 710 camper van
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Nicely upholstered seating in Balcamp's new MAN 710 camper van
Balcamp MAN 710 bathroom
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Balcamp MAN 710 bathroom
This 175-hp Balcamp MAN 710 wore a base price sticker of €96,435 at the show
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This 175-hp Balcamp MAN 710 wore a base price sticker of €96,435 at the show
The breezy dining area of the Bimobil EX 432
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The breezy dining area of the Bimobil EX 432
The HR 380 launched just last year, and Bimobil updates it again with a new Mercedes Sprinter base
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The HR 380 launched just last year, and Bimobil updates it again with a new Mercedes Sprinter base
Another new-Sprinter based Bimobil, the €175,465 ST 702
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Another new-Sprinter based Bimobil, the €175,465 ST 702
Bimobil ST 702 rear garage
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Bimobil ST 702 rear garage
We're counting three bunk beds all stacked up at the rear of the Bimobil ST 702
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We're counting three bunk beds all stacked up at the rear of the Bimobil ST 702
Inside the €127,656 Bimobil HR 380
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Inside the €127,656 Bimobil HR 380
Bliss Mobil at CMT 2019
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Bliss Mobil at CMT 2019
Beyond caravans and motorhomes, the CMT show is also a travel show, and one of the more eye-catching vehicles this year was this safari truck displayed by Taruk Reisen
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Beyond caravans and motorhomes, the CMT show is also a travel show, and one of the more eye-catching vehicles this year was this safari truck displayed by Taruk Reisen

We spent several days last week walking the numerous halls of the CMT show in Stuttgart, Germany, looking at many of Europe's latest, most up-to-date camper vans, trailers and large motorhomes. While the show wasn't quite Abenteuer & Allrad in terms of 4x4 adventure vehicles, it had its share of impressive all-terrain campers, including a few giant off-grid expedition machines. If your sense of travel and adventure find you daydreaming about exploring remote corners of the globe, these vehicles are for you.

Bimobil EX 432

Big, old Unimog-based Bimobil EX 432
Big, old Unimog-based Bimobil EX 432

What better place to start than with a big, snarling Mercedes-Benz Unimog? That's the EX 432, and it's one of the latest all-road expedition vehicles from Germany's Bimobil, an outfit that also offers the EX 435 Unimog motorhome. Like the 435, the EX 432 is based on a 228-hp diesel-engined Unimog U 4023 4x4 lifted up on portal axles and measuring 23 feet (7 m) in overall length. The newer 432 features a completely refreshed floor plan, however, with a fixed rear bed, front dining area next to a breezy picture window, and central bathroom with retractable toilet. Onboard equipment includes a Truma Combi heater/hot water boiler, 110-L compressor fridge, 300-L fresh water tank, 210-Ah gel battery and 4,200-W generator. The EX 432 seats two for the ride but that can be expanded up to five.

The breezy dining area of the Bimobil EX 432
The breezy dining area of the Bimobil EX 432

We didn't catch the EX 432's price at the show, but to give you an idea of the ballpark it's playing in, the EX 435 started at €279,590 (approx. US$318,750, converted today) when it debuted in 2017.

Multicamper Adventure

The €93,990 Multicamper Adventure 
The €93,990 Multicamper Adventure 

Way down the sizing chart from the EX 432, but still a big, bold vehicle in its own right, the Multicamper Adventure was one of the standout all-terrain camper vans of the show, featuring a ruggedized exterior and stylized interior. Based on a 148-hp all-wheel-drive Volkswagen Transporter, the Adventure van includes a locking rear differential, 18-in all-terrain tires and a pop-up roof. Its interior is equally impressive, the light bamboo flooring providing some appealing contrast with the dark cabinetry. A slightly different look from the average VW camper van kitchen area, the Adventure's includes a portable dual-burner stove below a hinged countertop and a faucet emerging from the rear cabinet unit.

The Multicamper Adventure's table folds out to size
The Multicamper Adventure's table folds out to size

All in all, the Multicamper Adventure is a convincing package inside and out, and we guess it needs to be to justify the €93,990 ($107,150) price tag it wore at the show. But Multicamper does offer a full lineup of sporty VW camper vans, right down to the "LowBudget" model you can learn more about in the gallery.

Robeta Helios 4x4

Robeta Helios 4x4
Robeta Helios 4x4

Given that we were in Germany, we were expecting the majority of 4x4 camper vans to be of the Volkswagen and Mercedes varieties, but another van that jumped out quite was the Citroën Jumper with Dangel four-wheel drive conversion. The Helios from Slovenia's Robeta was our favorite of the bunch, sliding a stylish interior inside the doorway of the capable base van. The 236-in (599-cm) Helios is the mid-size model in the Robeta lineup, sleeping up to four people on the foldaway rear bed and convertible dinette. What caught our eye was the rich look of the furniture, the contrasting earth tones, the artificial leather upholstery, and small touches like the spice vials hanging from the kitchen wall.

Robeta creates a rather stylish interior with small curio cabinet and a set of hanging vials we assume are for spices
Robeta creates a rather stylish interior with small curio cabinet and a set of hanging vials we assume are for spices

We don't have a price sheet for the show model itself, but the Jumper-based Helios starts between €46,890 and 48,189 ($53,450 and 54,950), depending upon engine, and the Dangel 4x4 is available to add on for €14,400 ($16,425).

That's really just the tip of the iceberg, and you can see the rest of the 4x4 camper vans and expedition motorhomes by jumping to the photo gallery.

1 comment
guzmanchinky
Nothing better than a 4x4 camper. Driving up a random dirt road to be by yourself in the middle of nowhere and be able to camp and shower and cook and maybe take a bike out for a ride is wonderful.