Tuesday, September 27, 2022

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RV Review: Tiny Suzuki Every van conversion by Oka Motors

As we become more aware of the fuel economy of our own RVs and all vehicles, for that matter, I thought we’d take a look across the pond once again and see one of the better uses of space that I’ve seen in an RV. Yep, we’re taking a peek at a Japanese-market RV that’s based on a tiny Suzuki Every, a very mini van offering by that company. 

In a space much, much shorter than a U.S.-market Toyota Corolla, for example, the Suzuki Every van is a super tiny box. But Japanese van converter Oka Motors has created space for three in this diminutive box, called the Miniature Cruise Cozy. 

Conversion

To start the conversion, Oka removed the two rear seats in the little van. But the items they brought to the table mean that three people can have a seat in the van on the way to the campground. There’s also space for all three to sleep when they get there. Incredible. 

Remembering that the Japanese drive on the wrong side of the road, there is a long counter along the driver side of the vehicle. In this center is a sink, a microwave and a 12-volt cooler. It’s a full kitchen. But that cooler has another cool feature. It’s on a sliding drawer so you can slide it out at the back of the little van and get to it from back there. 

Kitchen in the Every van conversion

Like so many things in this van, the kitchen counter serves multiple purposes. One of its jobs is to be the platform for a loft bed. That is thanks to the flip-up cabinet faces on either side of the microwave along with some drop-in side support panels. Inflate the sleeping pad and you’re all set. 

I had mentioned the slide-out drawer with the cooler on it. Those drop-in panels that make the bed are stored beneath that. 

Dining

Dining is done via a table that rides on a rail and can move back and forth along the kitchen counter. There are two cup holders cut into the table top. You can also pop the table off the rail and use it on what is otherwise a handle at the back of the van (with the hatchback open). So now you have an outside dining table. 

The microwave isn’t the only way to heat your grub. The van also comes with a single-burner propane stove. 

Sit and sleep

Seating is another area where Oka has really thought things through. 

There’s a sofa arrangement on the passenger side (again, where we Yanks have our driver’s side). This couch arrangement is pretty darned clever—kind of like the whole rig. 

You can have the couch with a back rest facing the kitchen counter. That facilitates use of this space as there isn’t a pop-top on this rig. There’s a center cushion in the couch that can be removed. So now you have face-to-face seating and can use that sliding table as a dinette. 

Take out the backrest cushions and fold the front seats forward—now you have a two-person bed. Well, as long as those two folks are skinny and really like one another. Remember, this is a tiny van. 

Off the grid

Power for the tiny traveler comes courtesy of two 85-amp-hour batteries feeding the van through a 1500-watt inverter. If you really wanna go nuts with power, you can upgrade the batteries to a dual 100-amp-hour setup. 

A lot of travel trailers I’ve been writing about, even some of the more “affordable” ones, sell for more than the roughly $28,275 of this van—and that includes the van! 

Take a video tour of the Every van conversion

I love including video tours with the articles I share with you and here’s one for the Every van conversion. But, for some odd reason, I seem to have issues with understanding what the gent is saying. Still, it’s pretty darned cool to watch. 

Oh, and you can even get one with four-wheel-drive!

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 RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long 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.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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Steve
6 months ago

Despite the larger size of Americans, I can easily see this design scaled up to fit any American minivan. Add a poptop, ala VW Westfalia, and one of those tents that fit snugly over the tailgate: instant 3-person weekend camper! However, I might have the third (short) person sleeping on a drop-down bed between the sliding doors, rather than on the kitchen counter. I have even read that old Westfalias have become worth their weight in gold to do exactly that kind of camping.

Roger Spalding
6 months ago

Don, That was my first thought, too. The average Japanese person is 3″ to 4″ shorter than the average American. Furthermore, we Yanks are about 40 to 50 lbs. heavier. Tony didn’t list any specs, but I would not be surprised if three average sized Americans maxed out this rig’s CCC. People, in general, don’t seem to get into, or avoid, RVing because of a rig’s MPG. RVing is not an appreciating asset. Like one’s own vacation home, RVing not a business. Most of us get into it for non-monetary family enjoyment. I will continue to RV in our 5thW and Ford F-250 whether gas is $3.50 a gallon or $7.50 a gallon. This insanity will end eventually and we all will get back to status quo ante.

Tommy Molnar
6 months ago

This guy (in his wife’s jacket) is about 5′ tall. He can barely sit up in this van. The way I see it, this is a one person setup. But, this simplistic design might just appeal to a few people here. I had more room sleeping in the back of my pickup back in the 80’s (with a camper shell, of course).

Donald N Wright
6 months ago

Lot’s of good ideas we could use on our smaller RV’s and tear drops. However, I think a car top tent would be a good option.

Don
6 months ago

Fantastic! As long as you’re the size of a typical Japanese person. Not gonna work very well for us ‘Mercan Fatties… 🙁

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