Behold: The Kei Mini Campervan

Have you always dreamed of having a tiny house? Are you mildly obsessed with Japanese kei cars? Well we have the car for you! Behold, the Kei Mini Camper! Based on the tiny, 660cc mini cars of Japan, these little rigs feature a campervan back half for all of your lilliputian overlanding excursions.  旅行しよう!

Whether you’ve always fantasized about owning  a Suzuki Every or Carry RV, or find yourself to be more of a  Mazda Scrum campervan kind of guy, TS Export has a the microcamper you’ve likely never actually dreamed of, but are probably thinking about at this very moment. Admit it—you’re actually pondering what it’d be like to travel in one of these rolling micro huts. 楽しい!

Scrum Campervan

Take this Mazda Scrum Camper, for example. Just look at it! Sure it’s top heavy as shit and only makes like 58 hp or something, but tell me this wouldn’t be just kind of awesome? I think it’d be really awesome. Really slow, but really awesome. I think the speedometer only goes up to 120 kmh (75 mph). 恐ろしい …

Scrum campervan interior

Other ridiculously fantastical features include 4WD, automatic transmission, sleeping area, built-in cabinets, fridge, and stove. The picture above doesn’t make it look all that miniscule, but I bet it it’s cozy! 居心地のよい!

Scrum Interior

This little bastard will likely set you back a cool 2,675,926 yen, or $23,614 USD, but who cares? You’d be the only one at the RV park with one. ユニークな!

Now the bad news: You can’t actually import and register this tiny travelall. It’s too new—it’s a 2014. And unfortunately, nearly all of the vehicles on this website are too new. Cars imported into the U.S.  from other markets must be at least 25 years old. 私はがっかりしています.

Suzuki Carry Truck

So here’s the good news: You can legally buy a host of kei vehicles that are 25 years old now, like this Suzuki  Carry in Oregon; you’d just have to make your own camper. Daunting for some, a whimsical project for others. 魔法のような!

Do you actually have a kei campervan or know someone who does? Schedule an intervention and then shoot us an e-mail. We’d love to know more.  Until then, peep this rad 2007 Suzuki Carry camper.

Suzuki Carry Campervan

I think I’m in love. 愛

To view more of these camper, check out TS Export and  さようなら!


  1. Wow. Great find… thank you for writing about it. Just a brilliant little design.

    If you were creating a camper here in USA land, what would you use? I’m not quite brave enough to start with a 25 year old right hand drive vehicle. The best option I find is a few year old Ford Transit Connect… they are beginning to get reasonably priced $.

    1. Wayyyy back in the day, I spent a lot of my time vagabonding in a VW camper van. I have also owned a Subaru Sambar KEI micro van, and it was perfect for around town, and weekend camping trips. It carried two friendly people and a BIG dog, plus all our camping gear. I always wanted to convert the Sambar into a camperized van.
      BUT instead,
      For more room, cargo capacity, and comfort, I built a Mini Motorhome on a 1999 AWD GMC SAFARI van chassis. It is slightly bigger than a KEI van, but much more practical for roaming long distances and living aboard long term. As a SNOBIRD, I travel between Canada and Mexico with the seasons. The AWD feature allows me to go down ” the road less travelled”, and the small size lets me get into tight terrain, like abandoned logging roads.

      I am still considering buying another KEI van to camperise, and possibly an ELECTRIC conversion.

  2. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a popular choice these days. I’ve seen a few of the Ram Promaster (aka Fiat Ducato) around, too. The Ford Transits are also now starting to be come campervan options. In the past, it’s been American vans (Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge) that have been turned into RVs.

    If Ford or Dodge offered the Transit Connect or Ram Promaster City (Fiat Doblo) in AWD/4WD, I think i’d make a great little camper.

    From our Subcompact Culture:

  3. What advantages do the Promaster or Transit have to offer over a “regular” minivan like a Grand Caravan or Sienna for this purpose?

  4. WAOO… It’s looking beautiful. I have my own van but minivan looks just amazing… it’s totally awesome… I would like to buy one day a minivan…..

  5. I don’t get why the US doesn’t built like the Asians oh wait a minute then what would happen to all the big oversized RV’s stock piled at dealerships and then people wouldn’t need to rent overpriced apts yea now I get it

  6. Safety… Kei cars are notoriously unsafe. Imagine a 3 ton SUV and a Kei car in a wreck. Forget that, compare a 1999 Subaru Sambar and lets say a 1999 Subaru Forester to a brick wall would be enough to see the problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *