Sunday, October 2, 2022


RV Review: Mystic Mini Pop Bee Active Gear pickup camper

Today we’re looking at another RV that gets great mileage, but that we can’t have: the Mystic Mini Pop Bee Active Gear. Well, actually, this isn’t so much an RV as a pickup camper sort of like the Four Wheel Campers Hawk Pop-Up Camper that I spent ten days in recently. But smaller. Ludicrously so. 

Japanese RV manufacturer Mystic has created a drop-in camper that can fit on the back of the Daihatsu Hijet truck and is available with real four-wheel-drive. This cabover mini truck is part of the “Kei” class of vehicles in Japan. At 134 inches in total length, it’s actually more than six feet shorter than a Toyota Tacoma. 

Sleeps four

Yet it can accommodate four people (who really, really live well together). And it features many of the amenities you might expect to find in an RV. Except space—there isn’t a whole bunch of that. 

Like the Four Wheel Pop-Up Camper, this one, too, features a pop top. So when you get to where you’re camping, you simply raise the roof and you’re ready to go. 

Meal prep is done on the smallest corner kitchenette I’ve ever seen—but everything in this space is miniaturized. That kitchen is essentially a single small cabinet atop which is a sink and faucet. There’s a bit of counter space which can almost be doubled by flipping up a hinged extension. 

If you want to keep your saké cold, there is an optional refrigerator. Your cooking option consists of whatever stove you’ve chosen to bring on the journey. 

Convertible space

By day, the middle sections of the bed come up and there’s a drop-in table, so you legitimately could seat four people in here. Well, not four people built like me, but you get the idea. 

At night, the whole floor of this rig turns into a bed with one side being a bit shorter due to the kitchen being there. Further, there’s the berth above the cab of the vehicle, so now you have sleeping for four. 

Unlike the typical pickup truck with bed-top pop-up camper, the Mini Pop Bee features a more integrated design with a full pass-through between camper and driver cab. The camper cabin can also be accessed via a rear door with step.

The Active Gear package upgrades the camper

The Active Gear package includes a few performance and cosmetic upgrades to separate it from the basic Mini Pop Bee. Mods like the front push bar, Toyo Open Country rough-terrain tires and contrast over-fenders give the micro-camper truck a bit more all-terrain capability and rugged off-road looks to go with it. Four-wheel drive is on offer, as are suspension upgrades.

Mystic has finished off the Mini Pop Bee Active Gear camper package with a 105-Ah lithium battery, external power hookup, LED lighting and side windows with screens. It offers the package on the Suzuki Carry and Toyota Pixis Kei trucks in addition to the Daihatsu Hijet. Prices start at ¥3,732,400 (approx. US$31,550) for the 2WD model and ¥3,885,300 (US$32,850) for the 4WD. Options include a camping heater, fan, second battery and solar panel.

Maybe we can get the Mini Pop Bee in the future

Mystic is only selling the Mini Pop Bee in Japan for now, but they hope to sell globally at some point.


I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

Tony comes to having worked at an RV dealership and been a lifelong RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife.

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

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5 months ago

Owner of a Diatsu Hijet Kei camper from Vanbang and a Suzuki Carry. I’ve also rented Mystic Registro in the past. I think they are great, I’ve put a lot of highway miles on all of the above… The only struggle is uphills with the campers. So when they say 4 people… You really need to choose your routes and avoid hills (not mention there is only 2 seats). 2 max IMO. Also Kei’s and long drives are not ideal for bigger western bodies. Really for mid to smaller humans… It would be a limited market in the US IMO. But if you can fit, they are amazing, and go anywhere.

5 months ago

The vehicle looks like the old Jeep cab-overs. That was a great little truck.

5 months ago

Though meeting federal import standards and already registered, the state of Maine has banned such vehicles from operating on public roads. Applying some rather convoluted logic, the owners receive demand letters to turn in their license plates because their Japanese mini vehicles are for off road use only. The targeted models are Delica, configured as RVs, which get two and three times the MPG of typical US motorized RVs.

Leslie Berg
5 months ago

It’s adorable. I’ve seen a couple of these trucks, (without camper) reviewed on YT. I get the impression they aren’t really freeway capable, though. But they’d be great for local camping.

Donald N Wright
5 months ago

Tony, can you actually fit behind the wheel ? Actually, this looks like a fun project to build yourself, and maybe a bigger engine. Think of a rally with these little campers…paint them bright colors. Thank you for reviewing this,

5 months ago

Cute! Bigger than some Tokyo apartments. Very typical Japanese sleeping style.

Glen Cowgill
5 months ago

Not for Sumo wrestlers!

Bob p
5 months ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

Doesn’t look like anyone over 5’6” and 150 lbs.

5 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Which describes the average Japanese adult!

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