Saturday, February 20, 2010

An alternative overlander... the Demountable Camper

In my quest to find an alternative overland vehicle, I have looked at the standard Mazda Bongo campervan, alternative overland vehicles and now the Demountable Camper.

I don't want to talk about the requirements for an overland vehicle, as our needs vary considerably.  However, I do want to consider alternative options rather than your standard Land Rover Defender or Toyota Land Cruiser for an overland vehicle that offers interior living space.

The Demountable Camper 
Wikipedia describes the Truck Camper as follows:
Truck campers are usually considered the most versatile form of recreational vehicle. They are capable of going virtually anywhere a pickup truck can go. The truck camper has been around since the early 1950s, and has gone through an evolution in development that places it on par with many larger and more expensive RV types in terms of amenities.
The benefit of this type of camper is clearly the ability to de-mount the camper and utilise your vehicle on a daily basis.  Normal holiday breaks would also allow you to claim your camping spot whilst doing a day drive.
The big question is whether a demountable would stand up to the rigours of a year long overland trip.  I have more questions than I have answers for - here are a few that I have thought of:

  1. Flexing - would rough roads flex the camper and cause damage?
  2. Wind resistance - in strong winds (like Patagonia & Mauritania), what effects does this have on the vehicle
  3. Space - how much living space does this give you over and above a camper?

Please feel free to post comments on your thoughts.

Photos & Video:
I did a quick search different images of demountable campers.  The following images were taken from the Ebay UK website:

The interior of an Apollo demountable.  This unit support 3 person configuration and includes a shower.





A very neat Land Rover Defender 130 which came up for sale on the UK Ebay website:




A few more photos from Northstar:




The following video was taken at the Overland Expo 2009 conference and demoed the XP Camper:



Forum resources:
Expedition Portal
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10126

Additional Sources:
Popup Demountable - Nene Overland
Northstar Campers