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Camper van sleeps 7 with lift-away beds

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An innovative bed system provides flexibility and space

Innovative RVs are popping up everywhere these days, and the one type of camper that’s seen the most interesting advances is the Class B adventure van. From vans that can fit a snowmobile to others that look more like a hip apartment than an RV, camper vans are hot. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.

But for families with kids, the biggest drawback of the camper van is that they can’t always sleep very many people. Most vans can accommodate a couple without a problem, but if you want to sleep two, three, or four kids, it can feel impossible.

That’s why the latest van from Germany’s Knaus is so striking. Using the Fiat Ducato as its base, Knaus revamped the Boxlife with a few different floorplans. In the 630 ME design, a queen-size bed uses an adjustment system that lets you set it to different heights. A bit like Winnebago’s Revel, the bed can be stored up high in order to haul bikes and gear, and then drop down to sleep at night.

That’s pretty standard, but where the Boxlife 630 ME becomes interesting is in its add-on sleeping options that can sleep seven in total. One bed can mount below the rear lift-away bed to create a bunk bed layout. This same lower bed can also be used in a sofa position or even be removed completely to keep the van’s gear hauling versatility. You can also opt for a single bed so that the rear area sleeps three.

So how do you sleep seven? A front dinette seat converts into a single bed, and you can add two more sleeping spots with a 76 by 51 inch lift-away bed that also fits into the front. We don’t have any photos of this additional bed, but the Knaus website confirms that if buyers choose all the sleeping options, they can fit seven at night.

That’s a big deal. Even in custom vans like this one, it’s often necessary to use a rooftop tent in order to sleep six or seven in a camper van.

Other amenities in the Boxlife van are standard. A kitchen includes a dual-burner stove, sink, fridge, and foldable counter. A wet bathroom boasts a shower and toilet, while other perks include LED lighting, storage, and blinds.

One challenge is that while the Boxlife 630 ME can sleep seven, it only has seatbelts for four. This severely limits the appeal of the Boxlife for families with more than two kids, and it’s our hope that camper van manufacturers can figure out how to sleep and drive five or more people in the future.

The Boxlife is only available in Europe—like a lot of cool campers—at a starting price of $58,325, much to the dismay of potential U.S. buyers. But it does show what’s possible: A camper van that can sleep a crowd and still use modular features to haul gear when necessary.