RVs come in many shapes and forms from a simple camper van to the giant Class A beasts with more amenities than a five-star hotel. This 1992 Toyota Coaster Camping Saloon is imported from Japan and is a rad way to show up at the campground. Oh, and did I mention it’s for sale here in America?
Japan has all sorts of weird campers on its roads. Some examples are Mitsubishi Delica-based RVs or vans like the Mazda Bongo Friendee that we featured on a recent Dopest Cars entry. But what if you don’t want to sleep in a van with a tent on top and a Delica RV just isn’t big enough?
Toyota offered the option to go bigger by taking its Coaster minibus and building it out into an RV.
The Toyota Coaster has been in production since 1969 and has seen use over its generations as everything from public transit buses to school buses. However, Toyota also catered to the recreational vehicle market by taking the Coaster and turning it into a spacious RV. The result is the Camping Saloon, and one of them is for sale on Craigslist near Naples, Florida, for $24,000.
This is one of the larger vehicles that I’ve seen imported from Japan. Shipping costs tend to get exponentially higher with vehicle size, so this likely wasn’t cheap to get here.
It looks bigger than it actually is. At about 6.40 m, it’s only a few feet longer than a Ford Excursion or extended-length Chevrolet Suburban.
The seller calls it a “JDM Mystery Machine” and I suppose it is what the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo would look like as a Japanese minibus. Forget the boring swoops of the everyday American RV, this thing is painted in bright green!
The RV features a cab-forward design, which makes for easy manoeuvring in tight spaces. Further aiding manoeuvring is a sweet lower window that allows the driver a better view of what’s happening on the left side of the vehicle.
The Coaster has gotten some upgrades over the years with the biggest change on the outside is some custom lighting out back.
Inside, the driver gets a big GPS on the dashboard and they pilot the rig from a wood-trimmed Momo steering wheel.
Up near the front is a 4.2-litre turbodiesel making 165 horsepower and 122 kg-ft torque. That’s paired to a four-speed automatic. Yep, this thing has a mid-front engine layout!
The living area comes with all of the essentials needed for your trip away from home. There’s comfy seating for the whole crew on this rig, too.
In back is a combination master bedroom, living room or dining room, depending on how you have it configured.
In its bedroom configuration it turns into a spacious king-size bed, too!
It’s a clever way to use the limited space that’s available. The seller says that the Camping Saloon sleeps about six people. The RV also comes with dual air-conditioning and dual heat.
But there are some limitations. The rear air-conditioning only runs when the engine runs and cooking is handled by a propane stove in the kitchen. Thankfully, the kitchen does have an exhaust fan. Also, check out what this bathroom looks like:
This Camping Saloon isn’t a giant palace on wheels or a weird custom build, but it’s definitely a cool way to travel. There appears to be few of these in the country, too. One of the few others in the country popped up for sale in 2018 on Bring A Trailer.
Weirdly, even though Toyota doesn’t appear to make Coasters into RVs anymore, plenty of others do. First Choice Motorhomes, a conversion company in Australia, notes that regular Toyota Coaster buses make for a popular conversion platform and sure enough, there are a ton of these converted into RVs.