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Toyota-based camper van claims 1,000-mile range

by Ben Hsu

A Japanese camper by way of Scotland.

A new conversion van for camping enthusiasts claims a 1000-mile range. The Toyota-based Eco Explorer, built by Campers Scotland, debuted at the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show earlier this month.

The vans start out as Japanese-market Toyota Alphards, a luxury van often used as town cars and limousines. 3.0-liter V6 engines are available from Toyota, but the Eco Explorer uses Alphard equipped with a factory 2.4-liter gasoline-hybrid option with electronic all-wheel-drive.

That setup allows for 43 mpg in the UK's driving cycle. However, the 1,000-mile range come from an optional "Tribrid” option, that uses LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). Once converted, LPG can power not only the van itself, but the camper's heating systems (and stove and water heater). Using these fuel sources in unison provides the four-digit range, an equivalent of 80 mpg.

The hybrid battery powers items like the refrigerator, lights, and electrical outlets. You can plug additional appliances such a microwave oven or coffee maker into the outlets as well, which are all constantly charged through the hybrid system's regenerative braking.

Inside, the three rows of seats fold flat, and additional sleeping space is available in a pop-up rooftop canopy. A hideaway dining table and center console cooler add to the fun. Campers Scotland say they want to enter the US market, according to New Atlas.

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