We recall quite clearly making a sharp 110-degree left after catching the original PlugVan camper box out of the corner of an eye at CMT 2019. After answering our initial “What the #@!$ is that?!”, we ended up walking away quite impressed with the all-inclusive camper van floor plan built to roll in and out of full-size vans. Since that original debut, PlugVan has been growing a full product lineup of plug-and-play van modules for both work and play. Its latest is a smaller camper kit that instantly converts small and midsize vans like the Volkswagen T6.1 and Caddy, Mercedes Vito and Citan, Ford Transit Custom and Transit Connect, and Toyota Proace and Proace City.
A big self-contained box like the original PlugVan camper module doesn’t work quite as naturally with small and midsize cargo vans as with large ones, so the PlugVan Small takes on an open-topped form. It looks a lot like a camper van interior prop made for a movie scene, with furniture built out on a flat floo
Like the original, the PlugVan Small wheels to the van atop a height-adjustable cart and rolls in on its own set of base-integrated wheels. From there, it’s strapped down to the van’s tie-downs. The whole process takes a matter of minutes and reverses just as easily so owners can store the RV floor plan for next camping trip and enjoy an empty cargo van in the meantime.
As for layout, PlugVan relies on the simple, versatile vis-a-vis kitchen and side sofa set-up that we’ve seen more of lately thanks to the VW ID. Buzz. This layout combines a longitudinal multi-person sofa on the driver’s side with a long kitchen block against the passenger-side wall. The open center aisle can be used to carry luggage, camping gear, bicycles and more on the way to camp, filling out with the extended 79 x 47-in (200 x 120-cm) double bed once there.
The kitchen comes fully plumbed, centering its rectangular sink between fresh and waste water tanks in the under-counter cabinetry. There’s even a hookup for an outdoor shower. A small optional fridge box can be run directly from the vehicle battery or via an optional Jackery power station with solar panel charging.
The PlugVan Small kitchen does not come with an inbuilt stove, leaving buyers to order a gas cartridge stove as an option or use their own camping stove. A portable camping stove supports the flexibility of the layout and can be used outside via the under-sofa drawer that slides out through the rear of the van to support a makeshift outdoor kitchen. A small worktop that flips open through the sliding passenger-side door is another option for holding the stove.
The standard swivel table delivers interior dining space toward the front of the sofa, ensuring the tiny PlugVan Small camper can serve meals as easily as it prepares them. The table also works outside. PlugVan offers a portable dry toilet to give the van full, but decentralized, bathroom amenities.
Sadly for the most tech-savvy of mini-RV enthusiasts, the PlugVan Small lacks the impressive touchscreen and app integration of its big brother. We guess that might be overkill for such a small, simple camper, though.
The PlugVan Small is designed to fit many small and midsize vans. In addition to the models already mentioned, PlugVan says it’s compatible with older VW T4 and T5 vans, the Fiat Doblo/Peugeot Partner/Citroën Berlingo, Renault Trafic/Nissan Primastar, Renault Kangoo/Nissan Townstar, and a few others. It measures 6.6 feet (2 m) long and adjusts in width between 48 and 65 in (122 and 164 cm) to properly fit individual makes and models.
PlugVan introduced the Small kit in Germany this summer, and pricing starts at €5,880 (approx. US$6,300) before options or VAT.