By Francois Huysamen
Whether you want to call it a motorhome or a campervan, the Maxmo Campy is, in a nutshell, a versatile recreational vehicle that provides luxury accommodation and travel for adventurous campers.
The vehicle can be used as normal during the week when carting the kids to school or going shopping, but is also ready to hit the road over the weekend to go camping. In a flash it transforms from a minibus to a bedroom to a lounge/dinette.
Leon Ras, the owner of Maxmo Adventure Campers, says his builds are focussed on quality and convenience – almost all the customising is done with imported products.
The Campy is the smallest in the Maxmo range, but the clever designs offers almost everything you get in a more conventional motorhome (including a toilet).
EXTERIOR & ENGINE
Length: 4 876 cm
Width: 1 793 cm
Height (roof down): 1 960 mm
Height (roof up): 2 600 mm
Tare: 1 845 kg
GVM: 2 260 kg
GCM: 3 500 kg
Floor bed as single: 200 x 70 cm
Floor bed as double: 200 x 113 cm
Roof bed: 195 x 93m
Headroom: 160 cm in front, 195 cm in rear
Price (starting at)
Base (81 kW): R638 000
M49: R686 000
Trend: R758 000
The “mini camper” comes in three versions: The standard Campy 81kW (manual), the M49 and Campy Trend.
The vehicle we took out for a test (and some camping) is the M49, based on a VW Caddy Maxi Crewbus Long Wheel Base. The 2-litre turbo diesel engine is mated to a 6-speed Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG), and provides 103 kW and 320 Nm. That’s ample power and torque if you want to tow as well (tow hitch optional extra).
From the outside, the Campy looks almost like a standard VW Caddy, except for the addition of the pop-top Reimo roof.
But once you lift the roof (which is almost the entire length of the vehicle, and fitted with gas struts for easy lift), open the sliding doors on both sides and at the back, you’re going to draw some attention. When we met Leon in Melkbosstrand to pick up the Campy, a crowd of passersby, surfers and cyclists gathered to take a look and snap some pictures. The Campy clearly hit the spot with outdoor adventure enthusiasts.
The motorhome comes standard in white, but for R5 700 extra you can get it in silver, grey or orange.
Driving the Campy is smooth and enjoyable, and the Caddy is surprisingly fuel efficient – we drove on the highway and a bit gravel and averaged over 13 km per litre.
The cabin is premium space as can be expected of Volkswagen, with most of the bells and whistles you’d want as standard.
There is, of course, a host of extras that can be fitted and installed, including power windows, cruise control, media touch screen, parking distance control, towbar, etc. Many of these extras were already fitted in the vehicle we tested.
INTERIOR – PACKING SPACE & SLEEPING
Obviously, the real shine for the Campy comes on the inside, where clever design work allows various arrangement options.
Entering from the back, you find to your right you find a cupboard unit with an impressive amount of packing space for such a small van. This area also has a washbasin with tap and small work surface. In one of the drawers below the washbasin is a 13L fresh water tank and a 13L grey water tank.
All the drawers are “soft close”, which adds an extra touch of luxury to the motorhome.
In the drawer below the work surface, there is a one-plate gas burner stove on a slide, so you can make your coffee (or some food), right inside your home on wheels.
Sleeping options in the Campy are varied. On the left at the back are two seats that fold down to create two seats (which can also be a single bed), or with the extension plank also unfolded it forms a double bed.
We found that the furniture in the Campy is expertly designed and is sturdy as a seat or a bed. The seats rest on aluminium tube legs, and the double bed extension rest on pop-out clips installed in the cupboard door on the right.
To the front, behind the driver and passenger seat, the normal seating has been removed and replaced with a two-seater bench, which forms the top part of the bed. The bench doubles as a storage space.
Next to the bench (on the right, next to the basin cupboard) is space to install a fridge/freezer on the floor.
There is an optional interior setup of the Campy where the seats are not removed, and then you have a smaller fridge that is installed in the cupboard. This option means less packing space as there’s no underbench area and your one cupboard is now also full.
INTERIOR – LOUNGE
Converting your bedroom into a lounge is as simple as folding away the double bed extensions and one of the seats and clipping on the table, which attaches neatly to the edge of the washbasin/work surface.
The table surface and leg is stored neatly behind the passenger seat.
This leaves you with sitting space for two in the front on the bench, and a third chair at the back on the left. It is possible to have the table set up and pull out the gas stove.
Believe it or not, but the Campy can actually sleep up to four people. With the roof lifted there is a wooden platform that creates the base for another bed. This base can also be lifted up when not in use to create more interior headroom.
With the roof lifted, there is enough space to stand upright in the back of the van, and even with the roof bed platform down there is space to stand, because the base does not extend all the way to the back door.
Clambering up to the roof bed can be a bit uncomfortable, so it’s probably best to leave this sleeping space for the children.