Turn Your SUV Into A Camper With This $2,000 Conversion Kit

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Camping modules for vans have gained popularity in recent years. These portable kits offer many features found in dedicated camper vans without being permanently installed. In short, you can use your van for normal weekday errands and then escape for a weekend adventure. But people don’t drive vans through the week. They drive SUVs.

That’s why the latest camping kit from Van Lab caught our eye. It’s a drop-in module designed to fit a plethora of popular SUVs, from the compact BMW X3 to a beefy Chevrolet Suburban. The company also lists some station wagons such as the Subaru Outback on its compatibility chart. Chatting with Van Lab Director Ian Fitzhenry, he explained the SUV kit is a one-size-fits-all product, versus the usual vehicle-specific kits they build for vans.

“We have some design limitations that we have to factor in,” Fitzhenry told Motor1. “For example, we wanted to ensure a customer could fully enclose a refrigerator/cooler into the unit as that’s important. However this also restricts how small the unit can be, so headroom when sleeping is compromised slightly in smaller SUVs. But it gives a really great tailgate experience and still allows for you to sleep with the bed addition.”

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The kit is available in two components. Buyers can opt for just the kitchen, which functions here as an outdoor setup accessible at the rear of the SUV. It incorporates two locking slide drawers with space for a small stove, sink, cutting surfaces, and storage for dinnerware. Within the unit is dedicated space for the aforementioned refrigerator, and there are two fold-out tables as well. Made of Birch Plywood, the kitchen kit weighs 64 pounds and mounts in the back without any permanent fixtures.

Van Lab SUV Camping Module

The second version includes provisions for a bed platform. Four sections are included, extending to create a full-size bed that’s 75 inches long by 51 inches wide. Obviously, you’ll need to have folding or removable seats in the back to set it up, not to mention enough space for it to fit. Judging by the photos, sleeping is a cozy affair that doesn’t leave much headroom. But Fitzhenry tells us a second version is in development that focuses more on the sleeping experience.

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The SUV kit is available now for order, starting at $1,950 for just the kitchen. The bed option bumps the price to $2,350, and you can add special cushions for another $450, though it’s presently sold out. Fitzhenry tells us there’s a lead time of three to four weeks between orders and delivery. So if you’re planning to go on an adventure this summer, we suggest getting your order in now.