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This Crazy Inventor Built the World’s Best Camper Van, And He’s Giving it to a 4-Year-Old Girl

It's the ultimate dream RV. So why is he giving it away?

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A CGI image of what the KiraVan looks like. Photos: Bran Ferren/Applied Minds LLC

If you’re proud of your RV or campervan then you might want to stop reading now, because trust us, it’s got nothing on this.

Designed by Californian inventor Bran Ferren the KiraVan, which will be launched later this year, is the ultimate off-road machine. However its creator maintains it’s not for him, but for his 4-year-old daughter Kira – hence the name.

Based off a modified Mercedes UniMog chasis, this beast is designed to transport her and the rest of the family through the world’s most inhospitable environments in style and comfort.

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The cockpit interior.

It’s 6-wheel drive, with a massive modified engine that enables it to tackle 45 degree slopes. Its multiple fuel tanks that mean it can go 2,000 miles without needing to stop.

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What the KiraVan will look like in action.

It’s got kevlar reinforced tyres and a “nitrogen hydraulic” suspension system that mean it can handle almost any terrain and is festooned with communications equipment, enabling it to call emergency aircraft from almost anywhere in the world and send emails through a three-layer thick rainforest canopy.

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The media suite in the trailer.

Detachable drones can be despatched from the truck to send back video reports of the road and conditions ahead, while a spaceship-like panel of screens and readouts keeps the driver up to date with everything that’s going on with the vehicle and the world around it.

“It’s basically as if we’re an airplane, just stuck to the ground.”

“It’s basically as if we’re an airplane, just stuck to the ground”, Ferren said in an interview with Wired.

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A view of the van at night

There’s a motorbike attached on the back like a dinghy on a yacht, enabling Ferren and family to nip into town should they need to, and then of course there are the living quarters, which Ferren has placed in a detachable trailer.

Even the kitchen looks like a spaceship.
Even the kitchen looks like a spaceship.

As well as beds, it includes a full kitchen (complete with convection oven, microwave and work surfaces) with space enough for two weeks worth of food for his family of three. There’s an eco-friendly bathroom and a specially built “penthouse” for his daughter, designed with her input.

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Another view of the kitchen.

So why is he making the van? Well, Ferren told Wired, it’s all for his daughter. “There’s a big world out there,” he says and he wants to explore it with her, but he wants to explore it safely.

An aerial view of the roof showing some of the communications equipment.
An aerial view of the roof showing some of the communications equipment.

Having made his millions as an designer and engineer for top Hollywood studios (including Disney), Ferren can afford to be indulgent. And as an older father, he wants to make sure he makes the most of his time with his daughter while he can, and leave her something incredible to use and appreciate when he’s gone.

The living quarters with a view of one of the beds.
The living quarters with a view of one of the beds.

If that includes making her a custom leather seat that uses Bose headphones’ noise-cancelling technology to absorb the bumps in the road, so be it.

When you’re building what is surely the world’s greatest RV for the person you love the most it would be a shame to let money get in the way really wouldn’t it?

To find out more about the KiraVan project and Ferren’s other work, check out the KiraVan website and the site of his company, Applied Minds.

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