Campervans are quite popular here in the UK and in Europe in general. Companies are springing up left and right with neat-o designs for motohomes, from small vans to large caravans. PlugVan takes an innovative approach to the market, in that the company doesn’t produce a camper van or a caravan trailer to tow. Instead, PlugVan builds a cool living module that “plugs” into an existing van, or for that matter, any vehicle with a bit of cargo space to spare.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this, but it could be the most convenient. According to PlugVan’s website, the living module can slide into the back of a van in just five minutes – be it a work van that a person already owns, or a generic cargo van rented for a weekend camping trip. The module is supported outside the vehicle by retractable legs on wheels, making it easy to manoeuver into position. A second set of floor-level wheels on the module let it roll into the van, where it’s then secured using built-in vehicle tie downs. The walls and ceiling are also designed to expand, accommodating vans of different sizes for more living space inside.
New Atlas was on-hand for PlugVan’s big reveal at the recent CMT show in Stuttgart, billed as the world’s largest event for tourism and leisure. Getting up close to the six-foot-long module, the New Atlas report says it comes fully equipped with a small kitchen featuring a refrigerator, sink, and a single-burner stove, with a 43-litre capacity for fresh and waste water. Naturally, there’s a sitting area that can convert to a bed, and there’s a comprehensive electronics suite that controls everything from the climate system to lights and fans. It can even be connected with Amazon Alexa for voice control.
According to the report from New Atlas, the cost for the module starts at around €20,000 (approx. £17,300 at the current exchange rate) for a decked-out unit with all the bells and whistles. Simpler versions should cost around €6,000 (£5,200), but unlike dedicated campervans, PlugVan modules shouldn’t experience the same kind of depreciation you find with complete vehicles. For camping fans who lack the space or the means to own a dedicated motorhome, this could be a convenient solution.
For now, PlugVan is available only in Europe.