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The future of RVs

September 9, 2011
by
Ape RV

How many will it sleep? (Emil Näpflein photo)

I’m looking out the window of the coffee shop and there’s this mega-pickup pulling a 40-foot recreational trailer. Which has a rack on the back that’s holding two quad-runners. I couldn’t begin to imagine what their fuel bill for one trip must be. Surely more than I spend on the GTS and the Fourth Estate. In a year.

I’m thinking the future of RVs will be more along the lines of the Ursa Minor Ecamper. And the one above.

As you can see, this Piaggio Ape RV is not some cobbled-up backyard job, but a decently finished vehicle. There’s even a rooftop deck for your lawn chairs. Probably no kitchenette, but it looks like two could sleep in it.

Being based on an Ape, its performance is most likely even more, shall we say, leisurely than a regular one. You’d lose a drag race with a Vanagon Westfalia diesel, for sure. You’d definitely need to stick to the back roads. Which is not a bad thing.

But with the popularity of scooter camping rallies trending upwards at the moment, I’m thinking this would be perfect for someone who’s not crazy about pitching a tent and pooping in the woods. Like me, for instance. Favicon

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6 Comments
  1. Dan Gould permalink
    September 9, 2011 1:58 pm

    500cc diesel? I spent a day looking at piaggio pages by country; france, germany, italy. I seem to remember this one but not as an RV.

  2. September 9, 2011 5:23 pm

    Dan, I know none of the details of this vehicle… I just found the picture and posted it. 😉

    However, there is a brand name above the camper window (and a line drawing of an Ape RV), but I’m not sure exactly what it says—it looks like “Campari” or “Camperi”. Or something. I find nothing about an RV when I google any variation of that name.

    In any case, Piaggio doesn’t do caravans/RVs. This is like the Winnebagos built from Sprinter vans; the Camp(whatever) company buys the cab & chassis from Piaggio and builds the RV body on it.

    And I would hope it’s powered by the 422cc Piaggio diesel…

  3. September 12, 2011 3:41 pm

    Still trying to figure out the name of the company that built this one, but in the process I ran across a similar, more fleshed-out concept:

    http://www.greenmuze.com/climate/travel/2971-piaggio-ape-50-camper-.html

  4. Jack Riepe permalink
    September 13, 2011 9:35 pm

    Dear Orin:

    I have a fascination for compact campers, never having owned one. The closest I ever came was a 1995 GMC Suburban (4×4). It was fully cartpeted, a delight to sleep in or get laid in, had a tailgate to cook on. It had no bathroom facility, but neither do any of my tents. Before this arthritis made an old and useless man out of me, I loved to camp in a tent. I own five specialty tents, including one with a woodburning stove.

    I often thought of what it would be like to own a Vanagon Westfalia, but yhe vehicle that really captures my fancy is the Roadtrek RS-Adventure, which is 22’9″ lomg, with a bathroom, a kitchen and a nice sleeping area that is fully air conditioned with a water system. I consider these facilities minimal. But the unit runs about $129,000 (USD). But it will easily pull a trailer with 2 x 1,000 pound bikes on it.

    The Ursa Minor Ecamper is entirely too minimalist for me.

    Great blog as usual.

    Jack/reep
    Twisted Roads

  5. September 15, 2011 12:01 am

    automotto.com
    Revealed at the Dusseldorf Caravan Salon 2010 by Dethleffs Camper Builder, this extremely small camper will allow you to enjoy camping to the maximum. Though we already introduced you with Piaggio APE 50 which was a fully furnished camper for one person, yet Piaggio APE MOCA is a different story altogether. This small and affordable camper that a Piaggio APE can take seems to treasure two world records at the same time: one for being the smaller than known and the other for being the slowest with its top speed at 60km/h. However, for those who look for something compact, Piaggio APE MOCA is the best with option to load the camper on Piaggio APE when you go for camping and unload it when you don’t need it, letting Piaggio free to run around. The mini home on the wheels is powered by 10hp engine that makes it run at 60km/h. The removable cell weighs 175 kilos and has ample space for two people to sleep with ease.

  6. September 20, 2011 4:07 pm

    It kinda reminds me of this little Interceptor variant. I was wondering if this little guy was long enough to sleep in… ? This is the “wagon” version of our MeterMaid carts in San Francisco.

    http://www.norcalbarneys.com/124/

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