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Toyota Proace Campers Are the Compact Vanlife Vehicle for Modernist Minimalists

Toyota Proace Campers are the old school way people used to camp in a van, most often vans like the Volkswagen Campmobile or Chevy or GMC vans adapted to the task. The difference is that these models are built on top of reliable diesel drivetrains simple, rock-solid transmissions.
Toyota Proace 7 photos
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Toyota showed a few updated camper models at the 2021 Caravaning Expo in Barcelona, Spain, over the weekend, and they’re a far cry from the vans which served campers in the olden days.

These are modern vans, and sadly, the Proace is not available for the American market.

But should you be in Europe, you can select from an efficient and hardy 1.5-liter inline four-mill or a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder diesel. There’s also a fuel-efficient choice between a six-speed manual transmission - or an eight-speed automatic. While they don’t offer four-wheel drive prized in the American market, they should be more than adequate for the not-so-far-off-the-road camping enthusiast.

The vans begin their days as a Proace Verso or Proace City before being modified by Spanish outfitter Tinkervan. They then become what Toyota refers to as the Proace Verso Camper and the Proace City Mini Camper.

Tinkervan snips off the stock roof setup and replaces it with a tent built into the body of the standard Proace Verso, and as a bonus, you get an awning as well.

The Tinkervan upgrade also includes rotating seats, a 10.5 gallon (40-liter) fridge, and a modular kitchen with a sink and a single stovetop burner. The sink is outfitted with a 12V water pump and a water delivery system. The vans also include a propane tank with a dedicated storage compartment.

While the Proace City comes without the kitchen sink, it does sleep up to four people - two in the rooftop tent and two in the interior on a modular bed. To get to the tent in the Proace City, access is via a ladder on the outside of the vehicle.

Outdoorspeople in Spain can purchase these ready-made directly from Toyota, and that’s nice in that the conversions come from a third-party builder.

The Proace City Mini Camper starts at $31,945 (€27,547) and the Proace Verso Camper starts at $42,600 (€39,699).

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