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The Cramper Van Is How You Turn a Bicycle Into a Fully Working Camper
If you’re the kind who overpacks for a single-weekend trip, you’re about to have a panic attack at the mere sight of what was once billed the smallest camper in the world.

The Cramper Van Is How You Turn a Bicycle Into a Fully Working Camper

In 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper VanIn 2013, Andy Saunders created the world's smallest camper, the Pedal-Bedzz aka the Cramper Van
Meet the Pedal-Bedzz, affectionately also known as the Cramper Van, for all the obvious reasons. It was never officially recognized by Guinness as the world’s smallest yet fully functional camper, but based on its compact dimensions, it’s definitely a strong contender. It is the creation of Andy Saunders, the British mechanic and fabricator often referred to as “the Banksy of cars.” Saunders has several Guinness titles for his creations, so no wonder he didn’t seek one for the Cramper Van.

What sets the Cramper Van apart from his other ingenious builds is the fact that it is not motorized. While it is a camper for all intents and purposes, it is legally a bicycle, so you don’t have to register it, pay tax or deal with the hassle normally associated with car ownership. You will have to have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s legs if you plan on actually using it, though.

The Cramper Van, like most of Saunders’ creations, is a one-off. It was actually created in 2013 as a marketing gimmick for Kampers and Kars, a company that deals in motorhome and camper sales and repairs. Saunders co-owns the company, taking over from his father when he passed away.

In the years that have passed since the Cramper Van was unveiled, it’s attained a sort of mythical status and the kind of worldwide fame only the Internet can provide. It has also come to be regarded as one of the many strange, but ingenious creations that prove a lot can be achieved with very little.

Most of the appeal of it lies in the fact that it’s incredibly small – it’s tiny, to be more accurate. Saunders came up with the idea when he heard a fellow mechanic wax poetic about whether you could turn a bike into a camper. Within 15 minutes, he had the idea for it. Two weeks later, the Cramper Van was born, and the final cost, not including Saunders’ work, was under £1,000 ($1,343 at the current exchange rate).

Saunders found a 1960 Butllins bicycle cart lying around and purchased a Bedford Bambi autohome for the project. He then proceeded to cut both off to shorten and narrow them and then welded them together. The result is a bike cart that allows for double pedal power and a camper that provides amenities for a proper, four-person tea party inside.

At 4 x 4 feet (1.2 x 1.2 meters), the camper lives up to its Cramper name, but it still packs seating for four people and a table, a two-burner stove and a sink, as well as a small 2.6-foot (0.8-meter) bed that can sleep one adult. Assuming guests are more on the shorter side, they might even have a chance to stand up inside.

All this was possible through ingenious use of the very small available space. For instance, one of the benches for seating lifts up to uncover the stove and the sink, so you have to have the tea ready for serving before you sit down, or else. The bed is in the “cab-over” area, and Saunders himself says it’s more for short napping than for actual sleep.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the Cramper Van is that it remains a bicycle. Propulsion is by pedal power only, and even Saunders admits that taking it up a hill is a challenge even when both set of pedals are being used. “It can be pedaled but you do need legs like Arnold Schwarzenegger,” the creator said back in the day. “You certainly wouldn’t want to go camping in it around too many hills.”

Camping is probably not an option altogether with this thing, but it could still work as a fancier Buttlins bike for picnics and daily excursions out and about. The “cab-over” part offers protection in case of an unexpected shower, a very essential detail given the predictably rainy British weather, while the camper is more than enough for a cozy lunch or afternoon tea. The camper is insulated, so if you’re caught in a proper downpour, at least you’ll be dry and warm. Cramped, but otherwise very comfortable.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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