Green Update: Prius Camper Takes Togetherness to a New Level

Car camping in Japan must be like much else in the country: squeezing more people into limited space. According to what I’ve read, this Prius Camper thing can sleep 4 (maybe 5) in very close quarters. Imagine for yourselves the sounds, smells and scrunches of such an overnight.

Anyhow, a company called Campinn showed off the concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon. The “Relax Cabin” will reportedly cost the Prius owner around $52,000—which can buy a lot of motel rooms. Or gasoline for a normal-sized RV.

But if you are addicted to living in your car and don’t mind being laughed at, on or off the grid, the Prius camper could do it for you. Whether your car will have enough power to get out of its own way—with all that extra weight added—is a question still to be addressed. Whether it will be stable on the road is something we rather doubt.

There seem to be two beds inside—one taking the place of rear seats and trunk space, the other inside the roof of the plastic tumor that appears to be eating the car alive. One writer compared it to “a giant telephone handle stuck onto the top of a Prius.” To me it looks like a space shuttle being transported.

There is also an optional coffee table that flips out of somewhere and an optional sofa. Perhaps Campinn will later offer an optional flip-out toilet.

Now, the Greenies haven’t yet rushed to defend this nutty idea, but I found a piece that does offer three reasons why the Relax Cabin could make sense. First, if it were packaged with a Prius plug-in hybrid, it could find free juice and a home at many RV parks. Second is comfort—compared to sleeping on the ground. Third is inspiration to take cheaper, more eco-friendly vacations together.

All these reasons together make it clear that Campinn has a potential winner on its hands. If you’re still a skeptic, buy a Prius V wagon.

Okay, fans, is there really any excuse/purpose/reason for this thing’s existence?


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