$4,500 Truck Camper Includes an Electric Pickup Truck

©. Elektro Frosch

Perfect for the slow traveler. If only it had a bit more range...

A truck camper is a "demountable recreational vehicle (RV) that is loaded and unloaded from the bed of a full-size or mid-size pickup truck. In the United States and Canada, truck campers are also known as truck bed campers, slide-in campers, pickup campers, and cabover campers. Europeans call them demountable campers. In Australia, they are commonly known as tray campers."

Elektro Frosch head on view

© Elektro FroschUsually people buy them when they own a pickup truck, but here's one that costs less than many people pay for the camper alone, and you get a pickup truck thrown in. It's perfect for TreeHugger types who believe in sufficiency (how much do you really need?) and like slow travel, taking your time to take it all in: it's the Electro Frosch, or Electric Frog, a three-wheeled electric pickup truck that has been modified into a camper.

It won't take you too far with its 60 km (37 mile) range (with a full load on hilly terrain, mileage may vary), nor will it go very fast with its top speed of 40 km/h (25 MPH), but getting there is half the fun in such a cute little thing.

The motor is rated at 2500 watts with a peak oomph of 7500 watts for short bursts on steep hills with a full load. It is powered by a deep cycle 72 volt VRLA (valve regulated lead acid) gel battery holding 60 ampere-hours, and recharges in 6 to 8 hours. Remarkably, the vehicle weighs only 240 kg and can hold over twice that at 525 kg. Compare that to a car or an SUV that weighs three tons and can carry a fraction of that; this is a very efficient vehicle.

All of the camping gear is removable, so you are also getting your own electric pickup truck that you can carry a lot of shopping in; it is a multipurpose package. But the camping setup has a lot to offer:

Elektro Frosch ladder holds up tent

© Elektro Frosch

The tent folds out and stands on the ladder to keep from toppling over, and comfortably sleeps two.

Elektro Frosch big tent over table

© Elektro Frosch

Then another tent covers the dining table and kitchen setup, which all looks quite comfortable.

Elektro Frosch table and seating

© Elektro Frosch table and seating

There's storage in the table and lots of seating.

Food storage

© Elektro Frosch

Thirty-seven miles might get you between campsites in Europe, but in North America this could be problematic. I didn't even think that I would be able to get to a campsite from where I live, but in fact, Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Campground is only 35 miles and there were lots of others within range. It would be great if they offered a lithium battery package with greater range, but that would cost a lot more money.

Elektro Frosch rear

© Elektro Frosch

Sure, it might take me three days to do the 108 miles to Buffalo, but it would be fun along the way. This is indeed slow travel. It's also cheap travel; fully loaded, the Electro Frosch is 4,900 Euros, or US$5,346 – pretty good for a pickup truck with a camping package. More info at Elektro Frosch.