The best Kei campers in 2021

Kei Campers allow a quick and efficient way to enjoy the outdoors. While they are smaller than the RV or your typical pull behind, they offer a solution to those who require little space. There are several styles and brands in the market. You may wonder which is the best KEI campers of 2021. Here are a few.

Daihatsu Hijet

A Daihatsu camper with sliding doors.

The Daihasu camper is one of the best Kei campers because of the top fold-out option. Most campers have a hard top which constricts a person of height. Most of the Daihatsu models have a hardtop, but it folds up allowing for additional head room. The Diahtsu Hijet camper is a changed Dishtsu Hijet. The camper is just an add-on to the standard Daihatsu truck. You can expect:

  • ·       Led Headlamps provide brighter lighting than the standard lights that you find on some vehicles. Check to see what headlights are compatible with your Kei’s make and model.
  • ·       Around 2,000 x 1410 floor space (not including the cabin)
  • ·       2 wheel or 4-wheel drive options
  • ·       Anti-rust steel plate upper body and surface area

The Daihatsu Hiject Kei Campers are typically sided door access, meaning that they look and feel more like a Kei van than a kei truck or camper. Depending upon the year, you may have a rear access option available. . When designing your camper, ensure that you keep a clear path for the rear door access. Keep in mind that the overall design is to be for one to two people. These are mini campers. Those with large families may find that a camper is a great temporary retreat for summer trips.

Honda N Box Kei Campers and Truck

Kei campers can be tow behinds like this image.
Image of a micro truck and camper.

Those seeking a bit more sleeping space may want to consider the Honda N Box tow-behind camper. This trailer/camper appeared at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon, showcasing the Kei style and a glamping aesthetic. The camper is equipped with a hard fold-up top. Access to the space is by the back, though certain models have side entrances as well, giving it a homier feeling.

Because the Kei Truck is unaltered apart from adding towing capabilities, you can expect to find:

  1. Bright Color Selections
  2. Split color or classic designs
  3. Soft Touch interior materials
  4. 64HP 600 3-cylinder Engine
  5. Back-up cameras
  6. Auto on Headlights
  7.   Heated Seats
  8. Apple Carplay compatibility
  9. Modern safety features

Should you not wish to have a tow-behind, there are many custom-made Honda N Box campers available on the market. Usually, these customizations are to the existing model, allowing for one person to camp comfortably. Tow-behinds do require additional equipment in order for the camper to be securely fastened to the Kei truck.

Subaru Sambar

Kei campers are highly customizable. Image of a Subaru Sambar camper.

The Subaru Sambar Kei Campers have a very strong resemblance to the 1951 Voltz Wagon. Though a fraction of the size, and the cost, these campers are very much an aesthetic tribute to that classic vehicle. However, the Kei Subaru Sambar campers follow the design of the Sambar. This means that you have a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive, and a separate chassis rather than a unibody. The Sambar camper is ideal for those who:

  1. Wish to have a classic look but modern features and functionality
  2. Want customizable colors and graphics without compromising the integrity of the vehicle.
  3. Seek a dual sliding door and/or rear access. Most campers have side door access for both functionality as well as to keep the camper aesthetics.
  4.   Do not care about a hard-top fold-up. Most campers increase headroom by allowing hard-tops to fold up. While you get some extra space, a tall person may still have trouble.
  5.  Want direct access from the cabin to the camper because of unibody design. This is accomplished by either having an access door to the cabin or by having the cabin and the body of the camper designed as one unit.

Because of the design, the Subaru Sambar looks and drives more like a microvan than it does a Kei truck or camper. It is important to note that it falls under the standards and the requirements for import/export. While it is uncommon to find a Subaru Sambar Camper with a fold-up top, you may find customized vehicles which offer this option.

A note about customized Kei Campers

While there are many manufacturers who offer tow-behinds or hard-top camper modifications, there are also many campers on the market who are personal customizations. These customizations must be checked against the current regulations for Kei trucks. There are height and length requirements for Kei vehicles. If importing remember that the standard is that Kei trucks should be 25 years old to easily import the vehicle in the United States.

Besides the regulations and standards, you must consider the weight and the means of attachment. Weight which is not distributed properly can cause the bed to wobble or increase the odds of rolling. Attachment should be secure, not loose-fitting or weight-driven. The ability for Kei trucks to travel up steep inclines (sometimes at a 20ᵒ angle) makes it critical to have the camper secured or towed properly.

Which Kei camper is the best for you?

There are pros and cons to every Kei camper. Finding the right camper for you should be based on your needs. If you require a bit more space than the Kei Truck allows, then your best option would be a pull behind camper. Keep in mind that if you choose a tow camper that the weight and pull of the addition will need to be with a Kei truck which can support the needed HP to do so. Should you desire to have an all-in-one option, the camper van may be your best selection. And if you just require space for you and one other, then the fold-up top may be your best pick.

Be sure that you check the year, the model, as well as any regulations for importing/exporting the vehicle in 2021.