When it comes to campers and living the van life, there’s nothing better than the good old trusty panel van. From Mercedes Sprinter conversions right through to the Ford Transit Camper, it’s a strong shape and solid foundation for creating a kick-ass camper that knows no bounds. The Carado Axion is no exception and is the latest creation to come under the Van Clan Microscope (we don’t have a microscope…Brandon doesn’t let us play with science while we’re working.)
Plan The Perfect Trip Away With The Carado Axion
Our first impressions are that the Carado Axion looks a little bit like the Knauss Boxdrive CUV in design, mixing modern living with essential design touches that make living in a van even more exciting. All of you fact-geeks out there might want to fasten your seatbelts, because I’ve got a whopper here for you. The Carado Axion is now made by Thor Industries, who have become the world’s largest RV manufacturer. How’s that for a cool story to tell your friends at parties!
What’s On The Outside
The Carado Axion is built on the framework of a RAM Promaster, making it a reliable choice for vandwellers who want to get a quality vehicle that can handle a lot of miles. The Axion has the appropriate room if you want to upgrade and include solar panels on the roof for charging up your 200AH battery and gadgets on the go, and it has ports for external propane hook up for when you’re relaxing back in campsites. The 16-inch wheels and 3.6 L gas V6, 24 valve engine will be enough to get you up the steepest of country lanes (something that I wish my van could do), and with a parking camera mounted on the rear of the vehicle you’ll have no problems parking in tight spaces. You could even go one step further and add the Owl Car Cam to the mix to create the safest vehicle in town!
The Axion measures 17.9 feet long, making it a smaller conversion that should prove easier to handle. If you’re new to van life or want something that won’t require you to perform a 5 point turn around sharp bends, then this could be the vehicle for you.
What’s Inside The Carado Axion
It’s important to mention at this point that the Carado Axion is designed as a two-person camper, so if you’re looking at something for the entire family then you might be a little bit disappointed. If you’re a couple without children or are rejoicing because they’ve finally gone off to university, then this could be the perfect weekend warrior vehicle then you’ve been dreaming off. Either way, children or ‘throuple’ relationships won’t work in the Carado Axion.
The inside of the Axion has a sleek and sophisticated look, almost like a first class train carriage on the orient express (but on four wheels and much more portable). It comes with a day and a night floor plan, with a comfortable looking sofa that folds out into a bed. The bed takes up most of the living space when erected, so we wouldn’t recommend keeping it up 24/7 (unless you like cooking from the bed that is, then knock yourself out!)
I’m really impressed with how much the Carado Axion can fit into its compact space. Carado has managed to include a fully equipped kitchen with a two hob stove, a refrigerator for your fresh items, a microwave for those lazy mornings when all you want is last nights pizza, an adequately sized sink, and an extendable countertop that could probably double up as breakfast bar.
Is It Suitable For Off Grid Living?
Absolutely, in fact it even has its own bathroom. Now you don’t have to crawl from between service stations whenever nature calls. There’s a sink, shower and toilet at your disposal wherever you go, and although you’re going to have to potentially carry more water and fill up more regularly, it will give you that piece of mind if you’re not used to the outside camper shower technique that can be honed through living the van life long term.
You can use the side for on the Carado Axion to enter you off grid home, or you can enter through the rear doors if you want to point the back of your van out to a nice scenescape. Using the back of the van also means that you’ll enter the bathroom first, which is great if you don’t want to trail muddy boots or wet clothes into your living area.
Speaking of which nice scenescapes, the Axion has a lot of large windows that you can use to look out at your surroundings, and they also let a lot of natural light into the camper. This could prove to be a problem when it comes to condensation, especially if you’re heading out for a romantic weekend away…(we’re obviously talking about the steam from the meals that you’ll be cooking, get your mind out of the gutter people!). When you want to hit the hay, there’s a privacy shield that you can pop down to block out the light and any peeping toms that might be in the vicinity.
With air conditioning, an awning and a power inverter as standard, the Carado Axion gives you a modern-day home from home for the digital nomad couple that love to get away. Charge up your devices on the go, watch your favourite shows on your devices with a glass of wine in the evening, and go to sleep safe in the knowledge that you’ve got everything that you need to live comfortably off the grid when you wake up the next morning.
The Carado Axion comes in at just over $71’000 dollars, making it an expensive choice for anyone who is wanting to buy a camper for the odd weekend getaway. For $30K cheaper you could get yourself a compact camper with a pop top that will do just the same things with a little less luxury. But, if you like the style and the height, and love the modern furnishings on the inside then the Carado Axion may well be the perfect off grid van for you.