Once upon a time there was an ideal vehicle for the wanderer, and it wasn’t a tent or a massive RV. The classic VW Westfalia provided a compact design, perfect for the drive to work or a weekend at the lake. Pull in, pop the top and there was a home away from home, a base camp for swimming, surfing, hiking or biking. For over 50 years, Volkswagen delivered, but like many products, the VW Westfalia gradually crept up in price and down in availability. And then it was gone (at least in the USA.)
Not so many years later, Honda launched a mid-sized vehicle called the Element. With a design aimed at function over form, it lands somewhere between a van and an SUV. SUV sounds better, and in the brochure there was a bit about sleeping inside. It looks uncomfortable. On the bright side, the clever design featured useful details such as power outlets, rubber floors that are easy to clean, and a large flat floor space.
This layout got the old brain thinking that this particular vehicle might hold some hidden potential.
In a small composites company with an owner that both camps and is an engineer, it seemed like a great little concept to putter with on the side - especially since we already owned an Element.
Like many projects however, creating the first ECamper took longer than planned, cost a little more than expected, but the end result really worked. Put into use shortly after the last bolt was tightened, we've been camping all over southern California and Baja. From gas stations and grocery stores to remote beaches, more than a few people liked the idea. It turns out it's hard to camp when people are constantly asking "where the heck did you get that pop up?"
We started quietly building them for other enthusiasts here in Southern California, gradually expanding our production and improving the design as word got around. And that's the story of Ursa Minor Vehicles & the ECamper™.
Call us when you're ready to wander...