• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Toyota Land Cruiser micro-RV rolls out in busy off-grid base camp

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Oct 6, 2022

Like a multi-tool you can drive all over the world, then stop and live, the all-new Kamelback from South African motorhome specialist Bushwakka folds, slides, swings, tumbles and flips out of a truck compact Toyota to a cozy tiny home in the backcountry. . The smart motorhome perfectly combines the utility and outdoor living benefits of an Australian-style awning with the interior security of a pop-up motorhome. It supports modern explorers with a full-length outdoor kitchen, full outdoor bathroom, oversized bedroom, and professional-grade off-grid power system.

There’s no doubt that the Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the world’s most reliable off-roaders, and the 70 Series is its toughest iteration. So in markets where it’s readily available, the Land Cruiser 70 makes a natural base for an all-terrain motorhome to explore every mesa, canyon and riverbed, as we’ve been regularly reminded via launches like the EarthCruiser XTR and high-roof Desert-Tec J70. No surprise then, Bushwakka chose the 70-series pickup, the 79, as the base platform around which the Kamelback is specified.

When we first saw the all-aluminum Kamelback on the kitchen side, we mistook it for a camping awning with a roof tent, much like this Redarc build. But it’s actually a full-fledged motorhome with an interior that travelers can spend hours of day and night in. Bushwakka basically repackaged their Sundowner camper trailer into a truck box.

The Kamelback borrows the Z-shaped pop-up frame from the Bushwakka’s Nest rooftop tent and Sundowner caravan

Bushwakka

The Kamelback roof is directly based on the zigzag pop-up of Bushwakka’s Sundowner and Nest roof tent, both of which use a unique two-tier opening mechanism to support loads of headroom and wide views at 360 degrees. Since the Kamelback is based on a single-cab Land Cruiser, there is no need for Bushwakka to fit the Nest Bed into a pop-up roof configuration, instead maintaining 6.6ft (2m) of headroom permanent while leaving double occupancy duties in the oversized 79 x 79 in (2 x 2 m) bed. This bed resides half on the hard floor, half inside the fold-out fabric side wall. It doubles as a bench to use with the L-shaped flip-top table top to create an indoor dining area and workstation.

The interior also features a series of cabinets and storage under the bed. An exterior canopy above the fabric sidewall expansion housing the bed helps prevent late sleepers from having to endure the inopportune awakening of first light.

The Kamelback offers an exceptionally large 79
The Kamelback offers an exceptionally large 79″ x 79″ bed

Bushwakka

The Kamelback can only carry and sleep two people, but its expansive “bush kitchen” is designed to comfortably cook meals for up to four people. Bushwakka fills the entire passenger side with various cabinets and compartments, starting with the large central pantry with a drop-down door that becomes the main workspace and cooking area. The double burner stove sits atop this worktop, leaving plenty of empty space for food prep.

To the right of the chef is a swivel faucet stowed just below the water heater. It works in conjunction with the removable collapsible sink below. The large hatch to the left of the pantry houses the National Luna 90L slide-out refrigerator box, while the small cabinet directly above holds the propane tank with room to spare. A 180 degree swivel awning stowed above the kitchen provides shade when cooking in wild, open spaces battered by the sun. The kitchen is even complete with crockery and utensils, all neatly stored in the pantry.

The galley takes up the full length of the passenger side of the motorhome, bringing a double burner stove, sink, slide-out fridge and plenty of work and storage space
The galley takes up the full length of the passenger side of the motorhome, bringing a double burner stove, sink, slide-out fridge and plenty of work and storage space

Bushwakka

Around the rear, past the scissor stairway and the 6.2ft (1.9m) front door, Bushwakka attaches a deployable shower room in the right rear corner. It works with a swivel arm bar shower head and could also be used as a privacy tent for a portable toilet. To complete the bathroom space, Bushwakka conceals a separate hot/cold water connection in a cabinet behind the pivoting spare wheel carrier. It works in conjunction with a removable sprayer stored in the cabinet above and a removable worktop with foldable sink. It is a rather pleasant and complete outdoor bathroom.

Swivel shower arm works with pop-up privacy tent
Swivel shower arm works with pop-up privacy tent

Bushwakka

To keep the lights on and the water pumping, the Kamelback relies on a Victron off-grid power system with 100 Ah lithium battery, inverter, 280 watt solar panel available on the roof, monitoring system battery with Bluetooth, 220 V mains connection, and DC-DC charger. It carries fresh water in an 80 liter stainless steel tank.

Bushwakka unveiled the Kamelback in August and began rolling it out to customers. It will showcase the new motorhome alongside its trailers at a promotional camping event between October 14-16. The unit starts at R385,000 (about US$21,650), not including the truck, and is ready to be fitted directly to the original bed mounting points on the Land Cruiser 79 chassis, using rubber padding to cushion the vibrations. It is also designed to be easily transferable from one 79 truck chassis to another.

The Bushwakka Kamelback folds into an unassuming cube that's not much bigger than the cabin of the Land Cruiser 79
The Bushwakka Kamelback folds into an unassuming cube that’s not much bigger than the cabin of the Land Cruiser 79

Bushwakka

We’re very used to getting jealous of European motorhomes and their low prices, but this motorhome, its price, and the non-US truck rig that hauls it has our US team members in a frenzy Absolute Envy – This seems like a great set for off-road and off-grid landing that encourages users to spend every possible minute in the outdoors without leaving basic comforts behind. Bushwakka has an operation in the United States, but since this motorhome was designed specifically for a truck that is not sold as new on the market, we are not holding our breath for a version suitable for the United States …and certainly not at that pretty price converted to USD.

The 21 minute video below provides a very detailed overview of each compartment and feature of the Kamelback.

Bushwakka Kamelback Camper Conversion FULL DEMO

Source: Bushwakka