“It is important that our vehicles appeal to camper van bodybuilders as well, of course, to end customers,” Mercedes explains. Now, ‘camper van bodybuilders’ isn’t what you think it means.
It’s not a niche where bodybuilding enthusiasts exclusively use camper vans to increase muscle mass (though if this is indeed a thing, do get in touch), but instead a host of companies who turn your vehicle into a camper van.
Step forward, the Mercedes-Benz X-Class. At this year’s Caravan, Motor, Touristik show, Mercedes is showing off a few new concepts that turn the posh bakkie into a mobile human accommodation unit. That’s right, an X-Class… as a camper ‘van’.
The first concept is from ‘bodybuilder’ Tischer, and it’s a big un’. You get a fully demountable cabin that fits onto the back of the X, featuring a “comfortable” sleeping system in an alcove some 150cm wide. There’s two metres worth of headroom, a kitchen with a three-burner gas stove and “three cosy seats”. Amazing.
You can transform said cosy seats into a second bed if required, and there’s also a fold-away wash basin and a swivelling toilet unit, which sounds lightly treacherous in the wrong hands if we’re completely honest. There’s even space enough to take a shower.
The second concept on offer is an altogether more slender unit via a company named VanEssa. Weighing in at 250kg, it’s a pull-out ‘module’ slotted into the X’s generous load bay featuring a fully equipped kitchen. Features include items you might readily require to, um, cook: ‘cooking facilities’, a washing-up area, and space for plates and supplies.
A second pull-out module provides space for more things, while VanEssa claims the load compartment is protected via a cover made out of teak wood.