BBC Autos

The Roundabout Blog

Camping Minis: Roughing it in miniature

About the author

Deputy editor of BBC Autos, Jonathan was formerly the editor of The New York Times' Wheels blog. His automotive writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Details, Surface, Intersection and Design Observer. He has an affinity for the Citroën DS and Toyota pickup trucks of the early 1990s.


Airstream, Winnebago, Microbus – and Mini?

The British subsidiary of BMW Group has produced a trio of cars perfect for your next glamping expedition. The concepts are based on three models in the Mini portfolio: the Countryman, Clubman and Clubvan.

Already a bare-bones affair, the Clubvan, Mini’s commercially oriented panel wagon that, incidentally, BMW discontinued last week for lack of sales, is kitted out with an extending kitchenette and a hand-held shower nozzle. It also contains a sleeping berth for one, meaning a passenger would have to wrangle accommodation elsewhere.

No such compromises with the Countryman All4 Camp, which contains a screened, pop-up sleeper mounted on its roof, with a collapsible ladder for ease of access. And the Cowley, based on Mini’s extended-cab Clubman model, features a teardrop-shaped trailer lined with blonde wood and a bed built for two, with all the modern camper conveniences: gas stove, water tank and sink, mini-fridge and television.

Mini is no stranger to stretching the utility of its cars – and the credulity of its fans – with one-off concepts such as these. It brought a surfer-camper Clubman concept to the Milan furniture fair in 2009, complete with customised Airstream trailer.