Many small camper vans are constructed to double as on a regular basis three-row MPVs full with seven or eight seats. Typically such camper vans require eradicating or putting in seats and different tools when switching between camping and every day driving modes. A brand new Toyota HiAce camper van from Japanese aftermarket elements and conversion store UI Vehicle makes it even simpler, switching modes in seconds with out the necessity to take away or set up a single piece of kit. It’s each a full-time camper van and a full-time passenger van, with little or no compromise.
UI’s seven-seat HiAce camper is not a brand-new design. The company explains that it was as soon as a well-liked possibility in its lineup however needed to be discontinued within the mid 2010’s on account of a difficulty with Japanese car registration laws. Those laws had been modified earlier this year, opening up the trail for the return of the HiAce seven-seater. The new van is an adaptation of the company’s five-seat Freestyle camping package deal, and we’ll name it the Freestyle 7. UI held a premiere of the newly revived mannequin this previous weekend on the 2022 Fukuoka Camping Car Show.
The Toyota HiAce underpinning the Freestyle 7 is downright roomy in comparison with the tiny sub-4-m (13-ft) kei automobile micro-campers we’re used to seeing come out of Japan’s home market. Still, at simply 470 cm (185 in) lengthy, it is fairly tiny by Western camper van requirements, a correct mini-camper that lands between an ordinary VW Caddy and a VW Caddy Maxi in size.
In MPV mode, the Freestyle seems like an unassuming small passenger van. It has three rows with two seats within the rearmost row, three seats within the center row and two cab seats up entrance. It’s prepared to hold the household round to work, college, sports activities, band apply and no matter else is inked on the weekly schedule.
Mini-camper vans have a tendency to stay with a single rear bench as a result of as soon as you set a center row in, you find yourself devouring space for a kitchen block and eating lounge. But UI’s bench is kind of totally different from the typical. Its seat cushion flips as much as work as a rear-facing seat again whereas the front-facing again folds right down to double because the cushion. In a number of seconds, the passenger bench turns into a rear-facing camping bench.
The detachable desk attaches between the flipped second-row and third-row benches to finish a five-seat eating lounge. In this manner, UI does away with the necessity for swivel cab seats, leaving the entrance seats accessible as overflow seating for the 2 unfortunate campers who do not safe a seat on the essential eating desk.
Both rear benches are mounted to flooring rails and might slide into varied positions to enhance consolation, on the trip and at camp. At night time, the seats fold flat and crew with a set of rear cushions to create an enormous mattress that spreads wall to wall and stretches a full 2.9 m (9.5 toes) from the tailgate to the B-pillars.
A seven-seat minivan with sleep- and eat-in capabilities can be useful sufficient, however UI goes the additional step in giving it a extra full set of camping tools. The consoles that flank the two-seat third row do extra than simply maintain cushions to increase the mattress width. They cover over the wheel wells up entrance and make room for compact micro-camping facilities towards the again, simply contained in the tailgate. The driver’s facet console homes a slim sink fed by a pump submerged within the 10-L water tank, and UI reveals a small single-burner transportable camping range standing subsequent to it as a lightweight, versatile cooking resolution.
The passenger facet console is used to accommodate the non-obligatory leisure battery for at-camp energy. It can run issues just like the expanded overhead lighting package deal, USB, 12-V and 240-V shops, and an electrical cooler.
It may appear like the three rows of seating intervene with the Freestyle 7’s capability to go full cargo van, however the third-row bench folds in half and each rear benches slide ahead to filter out a load space. So house owners get a cargo van massive sufficient to haul a bicycle, scooter or loads of baggage in seconds, with out having to take away any seating or parts.
The Freestyle 7 joins the nine-seat Southvan Allrounder as two of probably the most versatile little vans we have ever seen, every with its personal distinct structure. The Freestyle 7 appears excellent for any lively household. It can carry as much as seven individuals round city all week, simply accommodate groceries and different packages, carry 5 individuals plus a great deal of sports activities gear or baggage on the weekend, and function a quick-converting two-person+ camper anytime it is wanted … even when when the in a single day keep wasn’t a part of the unique journey plan. Throw in a camping tent, and it may seat and sleep the entire household.
The UI Freestyle 7 is available in each standard- and wide-body variants with fuel and diesel powertrain choices. Pricing begins at ¥4.85 million (approx. US$34,625) for the fuel 2WD and ¥5.74 million (UA$39,050) for the fuel 4WD. In addition to the inside conversion, UI provides in suspension and working gear upgrades for a smoother trip. Additional choices embrace a small camping heater, a 400-W inverter, black-out curtains, and overhead rear audio system meant to enhance car audio muffled by the cushions overlaying a part of the rear sidewall audio system.
Source: UI Vehicle (Japanese)