Now that SEMA is over, the popularity of overland machines is obvious. Factor in a global pandemic and the safety of isolation, plus the rugged appeal of off-road machines, and it’s easy to explain why the overlanding fad has come to be. It all strikes me as the logical conclusion of car camping, but sometimes I have to ask myself whatever happened to throwing a sleeping bag in the backseat?
If you don’t want or need a dedicated overlander but want something better than a sleeping bag, the European company Egoé will sell you a camper conversion kit for your SUV, van, hatch or wagon that splits the difference.
Egoé’s Nest was featured at SEMA, as Expedition Portal reports, and it could turn your daily driver into a part-time camper. Depending on your daily’s off-road capability, this could be an alternative to an expensive overland build.
The company has a range of conversion kits that will fit a lot of cars. I usually expect kits like these to fit only off-road favourites like the Wrangler or the 4Runner, but Egoé lists a generous number of compatible cars.
The camper kits are modular, and made up of steel frames and birch plywood. They basically fit together like IKEA furniture. Drivers slot in and strap down the kits in the cargo area of their cars. It looks simple to add or subtract parts, but the kits mostly give you a comfortable surface to sleep on, plus food-prep basics like a sink, fridge and burners. It’s about food and shelter, mostly.
Depending on the model, the complete camper kits cost from €2,196 to €3,916 before VAT, which is about A$3,422 to A$6,103. The company entered the North American market last year, but it’s based mainly in Europe. Still, there’s a bunch of American-market cars on their compatibility list.
Of course, you don’t need a Nestbox if you have the know-how and ability to make something similar, but these kits are relatively cheap and ready to setup. Like Expedition Portal claimed, the Nestbox is for people who aren’t interested in replacing their existing car, or who don’t need a dedicated camping rig. Not everyone needs a Unimog with a tiny home. A Forester and Nestbox could do.