When Cars Have Tried to RV

1958 Ford Country Squire

Allow us to start off by saying we love camping. We would never discourage anyone from getting out into the wild and enjoying every minute of it, in an RV, in a car, or in a tent.
But there are times when people take things to an extreme. Sometimes “extreme” is the starting point.
Let’s begin with the 1958 Ford Country Squire Camper. Imagine the Fifties. America’s love affair with the car was well underway. So it only made sense that someone would look at the station wagon and think, “We could!”
To quote Jurassic Park’s Dr. Malcolm, “…they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
The Country Squire looked like a boat atop a large family station wagon. But at the press of a button, the dinghy flipped over to reveal a two-person tent on the roof. The station wagon back opened up to provide a sink, cook top, and a refrigerator. One more button brought out an awning that could possibly have been the inspiration for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


1958 Ford Country Squire

The Country Squire: road ready and campground unfurled.

Thus was born the Frankencar. Or not; it was never put into production.

But it wasn’t alone. Just a few years later, Toyota came out with the RV-2. This promised less than the Country Squire. The roof opens to create a tent in the back. The back hatch became a cushioned bench.

1972 Toyota RV-2 Brochure

Toyota RV-2 Sketch

Even the sketch looks horrified at the idea of itself. It never got to the market.















But not all of these Frankencars were failures. For instance, you could get the Toppola for a Saab hatchback until production stopped in 2006. You just had to remove the hatchback door of your car.

And now there’s even a sleek “Prius Relax Cabin” from Camp-Inn of Nagano, Japan. You’d have to get one imported, but it too, would let you remove the hatchback of your Prius, and create a camper.

The Toppola and the Prius Relax Cabin

If all of these seem—well—unseemly, but just a little inspiring, then give us a call at Poulsbo RV. We’ll try to get you into something that will let you camp in comfort and style. Or at least no one will point and laugh. Or stare. Or run screaming away…