Unicamp Kia minivan camper grabs baton as reasonably priced US pop-up RV | Digital Noch

With the American compact van market quick going the best way of the dinosaur and dodo (possibly not the dodo), small, reasonably priced pop-up camper vans just like the Free Fowl and Cascade Camper are quickly to be no extra, if not already gone. Las Vegas-area conversion store Caleche Customs helps fill the void by bringing over the Korean-designed Unicamp Univan RT CL, a Kia Carnival minivan-camper pop-top equipment. The corporate is now providing {hardware} to create Carnival gentle sleeper vans and extra full campers.

Caleche beforehand targeted its conversion efforts solely on Mercedes-Benz autos, providing each Sprinter and Metris camper van choices. However then, Mercedes joined the wave of auto producers discontinuing their smallest van merchandise with its plan to tug the midsize Metris off the North American market in 2023. Nissan kicked the development off when it canceled the small NV200 (and full-size NV3500) following the 2021 mannequin yr, and Ford and Ram have adopted go well with, saying plans to wind their respective small vans down this yr.

Like that, the American small van market has disappeared.

If there may be to be a small, reasonably priced camper van market within the North American market near-term, then, it falls on the minivan phase and conversions just like the Oasis Sienna. Caleche Customs has turned to a special minivan mannequin for its new small camper van providing, however as an alternative of fabricating its personal ground plan, it has sought out tried-and-true merchandise from different international markets, beginning with Kia’s dwelling base of South Korea.

Unicamp arrives in the US to help fill the gap being left in the small pop-up camper van market
Unicamp arrives within the US to assist fill the hole being left within the small pop-up camper van market

Unicamp USA

Unicamp was based in 2011 and provides a number of Korean-market camper vans primarily based on home fashions from Hyundai and Kia. The corporate launched its newest Univan RT CL following the fourth-generation Kia Carnival’s Korean launch in 2020.

The Carnival got here to the US as a 2022 mannequin, changing the Sedona. The American-market Carnival provides seven- and eight-seat configurations, offering loads of house for the complete household. In actual fact, whereas it technically qualifies as a minivan, the 203-in (516-cm) Carnival measures longer than any of the aforementioned discontinued compact or midsize vans, offering ample house for in-vehicle tenting. All that is wanted is a better roof.

The Unicamp roof comes with a five-second automatic open/close mechanism with manual backup
The Unicamp roof comes with a five-second computerized open/shut mechanism with guide backup

Unicamp USA

Caleche brings that prime roof choice over the Pacific with the formation of its Unicamp USA subsidiary. The Univan RT CL pop-up roof expands the Carnival’s inside house upward, including “gentle camper” to the versatile minivan’s hat assortment. Made with a sturdy, weather-ready thermoset plastic shell, the roof sits slightly increased and extra conspicuous when closed than some pop-up roof designs, but it surely finally simply reminds us of an MPV carrying a roof field.

The Univan RT CL’s electrical carry operation matches properly with a base automobile that provides hands-free and single-button sliding door and tailgate operation. In actual fact, Unicamp says it could actually even be opened and closed with the identical Kia Sensible Key that additionally opens the doorways and tailgate. The roof opens and closes in a mere 5 seconds and features a self-locking function for click-and-go comfort. A guide backup system ensures it could actually nonetheless open and shut if the electrical motor fails.

The tent-like open roof space features a 40 x 85-in (102 x 216-cm) mattress designed to sleep two folks. The mattress additionally lifts away to clear headroom over the van ground under.

The integrated bed measures 40 x 85 in
The built-in mattress measures 40 x 85 in

Unicamp USA

Unicamp USA not too long ago put in its first Carnival pop-top and is now providing the sleeper roof at an introductory worth of US$16,000, a $2,000 low cost off the deliberate $18,000 retail worth. The Carnival itself begins between $33,100 and $46,200, relying on trim and never together with $1,365 vacation spot payment, so patrons can stroll away with a brand-new sleeper MPV beginning simply over $50,000. The pop-up roof permits the Carnival to stay a flexible on a regular basis driver and household hauler whereas at all times carrying dual-sleeper capabilities for an impromptu overnighter. Out there seating choices such because the detachable sliding second row and floor-height-folding third row add to the sleeper-MPV’s general versatility.

Unicamp has additionally added a extra full four-sleeper camper van package deal with an outside tailgate kitchen and second mattress. This $4,000 add-on originates from Germany, the Ququq camper-in-a-box with which we have develop into fairly acquainted over time. The 110-lb (50-kg) tailgate-mounted equipment features a field with three compartments, a fold-out mattress with three-piece 43 x 77-in (110 x 195-cm) mattress, and kitchen facilities corresponding to a dual-burner gasoline range and two 10-L water canisters. The fold-out rear face panel doubles as a kitchen counter and desk.

The Ququq kit comes with a simple but functional tailgate kitchen set
The Ququq equipment comes with a easy however useful tailgate kitchen set

Unicamp USA

Sadly for individuals who like slightly extra all-weather and all-terrain functionality from their tenting automobile, whereas Kia took care to present the Carnival sturdy, SUV-inspired proportions, it didn’t add an all-wheel-drive choice. So the MPV’s 3.5-liter V6 engine sends all 290 out there hp to the entrance wheels alone. None of these different US-market small or midsize vans provided an AWD or 4WD choice, both, however the Toyota Sienna and Chrysler Pacifica minivans do.

Supply: Unicamp USA

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