We've been covering motorhomes, camper vans, and travel trailers for years. We love them, and we know Motor1.com readers around the world love them as well. Most of the time, we see relatively normal RVs with inventive, unique features. But occasionally, we come across something different. Really different.
That's what we're celebrating here. We perused our dedicated motorhomes news category to find the weirdest, wildest, or simply the coolest RVs we've written about. And you know what? There are so many awesome campers in our archives that it's very hard to choose just a handful. As such, we had to exclude limited-edition builds from dedicated companies. Everything here is a custom creation, and in some cases, custom is a terrific understatement.
We scoured our archives for interesting campers. Here's what we found, presented in no particular order. If you want to learn more about these special machines, click the header for each section to read our original article.
Is this the wildest of them all? That's debatable, but we can't imagine a more extreme custom RV project than fusing the fuselage of a vintage Douglas R4D into an International semi-truck. It took a year to create and only cost $20,000 ... and a whole bunch of elbow grease from its owner and builder who calls it a labor of love.
We discovered the Atomic Camper way back in 2018, which was built from scratch just a few years prior. The mad scientist behind this unique travel trailer designed and created it while recovering from injuries sustained in an airplane crash. Whether that experience influenced the design is unclear. But nothing says invincible quite like living in something resembling a nuclear bomb.
At a glance, this big black RV doesn't look appreciably different from a standard A Class motorhome. In fact, this is an epic school bus conversion where the only thing that remains is the engine, the cab, and the frame. Even then, the frame is modified to hold an extra axle. Everything else is fabricated from scratch, including the sides, roof, and a workshop large enough to repair snowmobiles.
This amazing rig is the inspiration for this list of crazy cool campers, and crazy cool doesn't get much better than this. A classic Kenworth is the foundation for this black-and-chrome combo, but the Airstream travel trailer isn't simply bolted to the back. The level of customization in this build is off-the-scale, from modifications on the truck itself to a pass-through connecting the cab to the camper.
No vehicle or trailer on this list is ordinary, but if you saw this classic 1968 C20 Longhorn on the street, you wouldn't suspect it was more than a beautifully restored pickup with a vintage topper. However, there's never a problem starting a campfire when this truck is around thanks to a legit flamethrower installed in the longhorn skull.
This oddly elegant travel trailer is a concept from a China-based designer featuring an organic exterior inspired by whales. In transport mode, it buttons up for easy towing. But with several pop-ups and slides built in, the trailer expands to offer a surprising amount of space. As of late 2021, there were tentative plans to put it into production. However, we've yet to hear any updates on progress.
Smyth Performance offers pickup bed conversion packages for several vehicles, but the Beetle Utes are arguably the coolest of them all. That wasn't enough for the owner of this VW, who had a fifth-wheel mount going unused in his garage. He designed and built this pop-up camper trailer from scratch, specifically for use with the Beetle and it works amazingly well. In an interview with Motor1.com, the builder also revealed his unique camping rig gets 30 mpg on the highway.
Big deal, just another classic Chevrolet pickup with a topper replacing the bed, right? Take a closer look. The cab is also gone, leaving the driver to navigate through a windshield facing forward. Rumor says this was a rare camper conversion done by a company back in the 1960s, but we've been unable to verify that claim.
The Mitsubishi Fuso is a great platform on which to build a self-contained camper van. Generally speaking, you don't find one with gullwing doors but that was done by the builder here to bring the outdoors inside. It's a functional design that trades aesthetics for functionality, but it's certainly creative.
Speaking of functional and creative, here's another semi-truck repurposed for RV duty, but with a twist. That's a modified fifth-wheel travel trailer mounted to the chassis at the back, but there's no pass-through to the front. Instead, there's space in the middle to carry a small car perpendicular to the truck. We've seen small garages on supremely large RVs, but this cool creation in a smaller package certainly offers a novel alternative to flat towing.
It takes serious vision to turn the bane of motorists into something awesome. On the outside, this big old Volvo B10MA looks like a typical city bus, ready to shuffle gobs of passengers around town. With all those seats gone, however, there's incredible space for a custom RV. The entire front portion of the bus is devoted to the kitchen. The rear is home to the bathroom, a sizable office, and a secluded bedroom.
Okay, this last RV isn't real. But it still qualifies because it's custom built with awesome functionality you wouldn't expect in a scale model RV, never mind one built from Lego. There are two functional slide-outs for the bedroom, storage bins around the base, a deployable rear porch, and that's just what you see from the outside. With the roof removed, the interior is fully equipped with beds, a bathroom, a kitchen, you name it. If you could shrink to Lego size, this RV is legit ready for off-brick adventure.