- Advanced RV unveiled the Asteroid of Happiness, a camper van RV built on its “B Box” concept.
- Advanced RV has seen an increasing number of sales.
- See inside the tiny home on wheels, which can seat and sleep four people.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Popular camper van maker Advanced RV has turned a 170-inch (432cm) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cab into a tiny home inside of a box on wheels named “Asteroid of Happiness.”
But unlike most of the Sprinter camper vans currently available on the market, the Asteroid of Happiness wasn’t built inside of a Sprinter body.
Instead, it’s based on Advanced RV’s “B Box” platform, which was unveiled last year. This “box” fully replaces the Sprinter body.
“When we discovered a box that would allow us to meet our clients’ objectives on a cab chassis, we pursued building a prototype because we knew of the spatial, insulation, and off-grid advancements a box would provide,” Mike Neundorfer, the president of Advanced RV, told Insider at the time of its release.
Using an in-house constructed “box” instead of the typical curved walls of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van creates more interior space, according to the team.
Plus it’s well insulated, allowing the camper van to operate through all four seasons.
Advanced RV didn’t provide the exact price of this build, but Neundorfer noted in an email interview with Insider that the last three B Box vans were between about $US425,000 ($AU584,916) and $US490,000 ($AU674,374).
And looking ahead, the company already has plans for 13 more custom B Box vans, a testament to the success of its in-house creation.
At the same time, Advanced RV has been seeing an increase in sales.
This growth in business and popularity has been common for RV and camper van makers throughout COVID-19.
But Neundorfer believes Advanced RV’s success is potentially only “somewhat affected” by the rise of road travel throughout the COVID pandemic.
“Most of our clients have been in touch with us for years, so we conclude that our growth is more a result of our abilities and reputation and not so much a reaction to market trends,” he said.
Now let’s take a look inside the new Asteroid of Happiness.
The van was made for a client named Willy, a designer and artist who travels with his family, according to a YouTube video tour of the van. He also helped design the van.
Advanced RV started discussing the Asteroid of Happiness with this client over a year ago, and the van itself took over six months to build.
“To generate these sorts of ideas, you’re pulling together lots of other influences … [like] your experience in an old RV and how it might be enhanced or improved,” Willy said in the YouTube video.
Overall, the tiny home on wheels stands at 24.5-feet (7.47m) long with a standing height of about 6.7 feet (2.04m).
This tiny space includes two bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen, and a dining and lounge area.
The Asteroid of Happiness seats and sleeps up to four people, which is a “challenge [to do both] … in a small, nimble vehicle,” according to Neundorfer.
The van can sleep two adults and two children using the permanent bed in the back of the van …
… and a pop-top roof with colorful LED lights that can hold two children’s sleeping bags.
This smaller sleeping space can be accessed using the ladder.
The permanent bed has a small curtain for privacy and under-bed drawers that can be used as a closet.
The “upstairs” bedroom also has a curtain that can divide the space in half, giving the children more privacy.
Moving on, the bathroom is similarly divided into two spaces. One room has the shower …
… while the other has a medicine cabinet, toilet, and sink. Your typical bathroom features.
Both spaces are also vented.
Moving along, the kitchen is located just across the two bathrooms.
This cooking space has a single induction cooktop, cabinets, a microwave …
… a coffee maker, a refrigerator and freezer, and a drinking water faucet besides the typical sink setup.
There’s also a washer and dryer in the kitchen.
The kitchen and its amenities are mounted and supported, creating a secured cooking area while the van is roughing it on the road.
Unlike many camper vans that have removable and movable items – such as removable tables or bed panels – everything in the Asteroid of Happiness is secured into place for more safety and stability.
Speaking of tables, the tiny home on wheel’s table is located in front of the two rear passenger seats.
It’s secured down but can be folded and extended for more table space.
The front driver and passenger seats can then swivel to face the table, creating an on-the-go family dining room.
Now onto the exterior of the van, which has a garage that can fit four bicycles …
… and an awning with an attached light for leisurely outdoor afternoons under the shade.
All of these amenities are powered by the alternator and an 830-amp-hour lithium battery setup.
The bathroom and kitchen are also hooked up to the 50-gallon (189l) freshwater and two 27.5-gallon (106l) grey and black water tanks.
If you’ve enjoyed exploring the van’s design, you’re not alone.
The company has received deposits from other clients who have been interested in some design aspects of the Asteroid, according to Neundorfer.
But because the company “considers the design the property of the client,” it won’t build a duplicate of the tiny home on wheels, Neundorfer said.