There’s something very special about small camper vans. We’ve seen a number of high-quality builds from European, American, and Japanese companies, and we have to admit this is probably our favorite camper segment. There’s a new and very strong player on the market - and it literally comes with all you could ever need during a quick escape in nature hidden under a very familiar package.

Meet the Free Bird, a small camper manufactured by Caravan Outfitter, a firm inspired by the golden age of the Volkswagen camper in the United States. Seeking the “ultimate combination of an everyday vehicle with one perfect for camping,” the team has just updated one of its core models that was originally launched in 2017 as a tribute to the Westfalia. Now, for the 2022 model year, the Free Bird is getting a host of upgrades that make it an even more attractive option on the camper market.

Gallery: Caravan Outfitter Free Bird

The Free Bird is based on a Ford Transit Connect LWB Passenger Wagon and offers seating for four grown-ups and a completely stock exterior. More importantly, when the rear seats are folded, a full-size bed can be deployed on top of them providing comfortable sleeping for two. Also new for 2022 is the redesigned kitchen box at the back with a sink and a gas stove, which deploys from the cargo area of the Transit Connect. Last but not least, there’s also a folding table that can be used for meals, games, or as a workstation.

Caravan Outfitter says it selected the Transit Connect as a platform because Ford’s van is easy to live with, has quality materials, and is fun to drive. After all the modifications to the interior are done, the total weight of the vehicle is approximately 4,160 pounds (1,887 kilograms), which is not a lot more than the stock vehicle. The company will begin accepting pre-orders in about 10 days from now and will offer financing options and even trade-ins. A number of additional features are offered optionally, including an $850 awning, a dual bike carrier for $770, and a rear tent for $395.

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