PlugVan Converts Most Vans Into Full-Fledged Campers in 5 Minutes

pugvan camper van module plug campers 2
PlugVan

Whether you’re a hardcore backcountry man or an off-grid car camper, there’s an undeniable draw to getting back to nature. However, traditional campers and travel trailers can be prohibitively expensive both to buy and to maintain. PlugVan is a unique plug-and-play module designed to literally “plug” into a variety of stock work vans, converting them into full-fledged camper vans in less than 10 minutes.

PlugVan is a 6.5-foot cube that slides into the rear of most cargo vans. Setup is accomplished manually with the help of four retractable legs that help guide it into place. Once the unit is secured, the walls and roof expand up to a foot to guarantee a snug fit in even the widest and tallest of vans. The module packs a ton of features in a compact space including a kitchen area, a convertible bed/lounge/dinette, climate control functionality, multi-zone lighting, and optional smart home-oriented features to monitor onboard electronics all with touchscreen controls. Because the module doesn’t occupy the van’s entire rear cargo space, it leaves plenty of room for stowing all your outdoor adventure gear behind the front seats.

PlugVan

This “deconstructed campervan” model opens a world of possibilities for wanna-be camper owners who can’t or don’t want to commit to purchasing a dedicated travel trailer. Weekend nature-seekers can trick out their work van — or even rent one if they don’t already own — on a Friday afternoon, then remove the module in time for work Monday morning.

This solves one glaring problem with all-in-one drivable campers: the mechanics of the automobile itself are literally part of the living quarters. In most cases, the latter is going to outlast the former. When the engine, or the transmission, or the whole thing finally kicks the bucket, owners are left with a perfectly livable camper that they can’t actually drive to the campsite. By disconnecting the camper compartment from the van itself, PlugVan allows owners to swap the module into other vans on the fly. When it’s time to upgrade your van, merely transfer the PlugVan module to the new ride and ditch the old one.

Of course, this isn’t the first such product designed to convert your everyday work or leisure driver into a backcountry-ready camper. Rooftop car tents have been around as long as there have been crossover vehicles and people willing to sleep in them. In the last year, several European companies have created similar drop-in modules, but most offer only basic amenities. Nestbox, for example, brings the convenience of a workable sink, a two-burner cooktop, and a bit of storage space to the rear of almost any vehicle. However, PlugVan looks to be the first module to boast all the features of a well-equipped travel trailer.

The downside is that PlugVan is designed primarily for European model vans, although it’ll technically fit almost any van with room to spare. Pricing for the entry-level model starts at less than USD $7,000. The tricked-out flagship edition with Alexa-enabled smart home features and a host of high-tech amenities tops out closer to $23,000. The company is also working on a separate bathroom add-on that will allow PlugVan customers to live off-grid almost indefinitely.

Travel

Bowlus Road Chief’s Luxurious Endless Highways Is the Original Silver Bullet Camper

Airstream popularized the iconic silver bullet design, but Bowlus Road Chief did it first.
Food & Drink

Cocktail Rescue: Jon Taffer Launches New Line of Mixers

Feeling lazy? Taffer's Mixologist cocktail syrups are here to help.
Travel

12 Best Travel Backpacks to Take With You on the Road

No matter where you're going or for how long, travel backpacks are the single most versatile type of luggage available.
Living

Stainless Steel and Concrete Rise from the Desert Floor in this Net-Zero Home

Rather than standing out, the materials help the home blend into the land, becoming one with the rolling hills of the Sonoran desert.
Auto

The Secret to this Featherweight 298-Pound Teardrop Trailer Is Chicken Feathers

A trailer so light, you could almost tow it with your Vespa. Almost.
Travel

The List of Must-Have Gear, Gadgets, and Services for Your Next Road Trip

Because you can't survive a road trip on gas station snacks and Google Maps alone.
Auto

A Brief History of the Chevrolet Corvette, America’s Most Iconic Sports Car

Before this world-famous car was ever recognized as one of the best American-made models, it wasn't even called the Corvette. And it wasn't a sports car, either.
Auto

14 Best Road Trip Cars, From the Practical to the Drool-Worthy

You want a car that can go the distance — maybe even cross-country. But you also need to balance practicality with style.
Travel

Best Road Trips in the World: 12 Drives Worth Flying For

There’s no shortage of stunning road trips here in the U.S., but some of the world's most beautiful drives are worthy flying for.
Auto

5 of the Fastest Electric Cars in the World

We’re now in a whole new era where electric vehicles are shattering world records.
Auto

The Best Motorcycle Tents for Camping on Two Wheels

When you’re ready to overnight along the way and an ordinary roadside motel won’t do, you need a proper motorcycle tent.
Auto

The Airy Carapate Teardrop Trailer Is Your Window to the Natural World

The unique, playful aesthetic would feel perfectly at home in a Wes Anderson flick.
Auto

The Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato Shows Us What an Off-Road Supercar Would Look Like

The new concept car transfers supercar technologies and engineering to a frame designed to conquer more rugged environments.
Travel

Airstream Brings Back 2 of Its Most Popular and Affordable Travel Trailers

These two Kennedy-era Airstream trailers are among the most popular of all time. Even better? They're price tags aren't too steep.