There are many ways to road trip. The first is in a car, paired with dodgy motels along the highway. The second is more picturesque and for the outdoor lover, packing a tent in the trunk and pitching it at camp sites along the way. The third is a combination of the two, driving a vehicle that allows for mobile sleeping options. Some go for a motorhome, some a camping trailer, some a Winnebago and some a vintage Airstream.
But if you though that mobile camping vehicles had to be large and bulky, think again: you can now buy your very own Mini Camper. Thanks to the British subsidiary of BMW Group there is a new trio of cars, all in the Mini family, intended for the weekend warrior. A pop-up camper on one of the smallest cars out there? Yes. Hey, if your kayak fits in the back, even better.
Compared to a traditional RV or Airstream, it’s good for the budget. Depending on the size of an RV, you’ll get somewhere between 6-10 miles per gallon. Newer Airstreams will do slightly better, and even more so if you run them on diesel, but that’s nothing compared with a Mini. The new Mini Countryman All4 Camp is quoted at about 40 miles per gallon, and even if you’re driving it hard and getting half of that, you’re still well beyond the classic mobile camper options. And you can still make it your city car.
Will the new miniature sized camping vehicles win over the Airstream and combi van lovers? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, better start downsizing your camping gear.