OMG! A Prius RV!

Just when we thought we had seen it all, something new comes along, this time from a Japanese auto show, and introducing the very first prototype Prius RV!

Yes, you heard that right, an actual stand up, bathroom and shower included Prius RV!  I know at least one lovely lady who might like to upgrade, if the price was right!

The one big problem that I see with this thing is the looks. I don’t know about you, but I think it is downright ugly! Maybe if they didn’t try to make it look like a botched job of converting a small car body to a space ship all in one move, it might not hit us so harshly all at once!

I think it would work out better, space wise, AND looks wise, if they widened it slightly right behind the driver’s (and passenger’s) doors, and made it more like a little class C with nice rounded corners to keep the wind drag down. You know, like the VW Rialta’s, and like Glenn Morrissette’s Chinook Concourse. Now, those were nice looking RV’s!

After all, a vehicle that purportedly gets up to 50 MPG in stock form wouldn’t lose a whole lot of economical value if it lost a few MPG in the process, would it? If they could still get even 40 MPG, it would certainly beat the competition by a long shot! At least in this country.

In case you haven’t been watching the news, there are other companies out there that offer small RV’s to everyone but us! They have nice economical chassis like the Peugot diesel, the Toyota Hi-Ace, and many more that we can’t seem to get here! Even the VW Routan is sold as a diesel overseas… but not here!

But maybe that will change, since the Prius is already being sold in this country. This might be a chance for us (in this country) to finally get a small economical camper vehicle. And Toyota already has a pretty good dependability and quality rating overall, so if they don’t screw up on the camper part of this new vehicle, they might just fnd a market for it.

There was no cost mentioned in the article on the Prius RV, so we can only imagine that it will be comparable to others, based on it’s size and amenities, but considering the savings in fuel, and maybe with some tax deductions thrown in, it might make it cost effective enough to pay the price for a ready-made camping vehicle! And if you have a way to write it off for business (or at least part of it) that could be an extra advantage.

Now, I have a question… if other countries can come up with this idea on a vehicle even smaller than our minivans, then why can’t someone in the RV industry do the same thing to one of the existing minivans, and create a small Class C-type camper? People were buying the old Astro bodied pop-up campers, along with the small Class C Toyota campers before Toyota quit building the cut-away chassis for them. We all know we’re in an economical crunch as well as an energy crunch. Couldn’t someone have picked up the ball and run with it? What are we waiting for? We keep paying out billions of dollars to foreign oil companies every year just to satisfy our bad habit of always wanting “bigger and better”. It’s time we all wake up to the fact that oil and gas isn’t going to be around forever. Sure, the more we conserve on it, the longer it will last… while we’re twiddling our thumbs and ignoring the urgency of the situation!

And if that isn’t enough, doesn’t it simply make more sense to spend less money on fuel, so that we can perpetuate our habit of continually buying more “toys”. After all, I would love to have more “toys”, particularly ones that make our country more strong and independent. Things like solar power systems, refrigeration that can run on a small amounts of current, heating that can be produced either from the sun (and not just when it’s shining on us) or from a constantly refreshable chemical reaction.

Yeah, you heard me right! If we have the technology to produce things like hand warming packets that operate from nothing but chemical reaction, then why can’t that area of expertise be expanded?

We’ve all seen those chemical light sticks. Now they even have glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces at the fairs. Sure, the chemical reaction dilutes itself after a few hours until the light goes completely out, but let’s quit thinking small scale here.

What if, on a larger scale, the process could be renewed and refreshed? What if there were an economical way to seperate the two components and then start the cycle all over again? If they can do it with light, then why can’t they do it with heat? In other words, mix two chemicals together to generate enough heat to heat a home, and have a separation process constantly working to refilter those two checmicals back into their original state, and then remix them to start the process all over again!

Think what such a concept could do! If enough heat could be generated, it could take the place of nuclear energy, coal plants and other fossil fuel methods of producing both heat and electricity! Smaller versions could be used safely in our vehicles to produce zero emission vehicles that could go “forever” and be refueled with water! Forget having to produce hydrogen stations and all the infrastructure needed for vehicles that “produce” water! Let’s use water for steam to drive them, and then we can refuel anywhere at practically zero cost!

Our homes could be heated by renewable chemical energy (no need to produce steam) and a simple reclaiming process would separate the chemicals and then remix them to keep it working “forever”!

Sure, the chemicals would have to be safe for consumers to use (in case of leaks or accidents), but I’ll bet any first year chemical student can figure out several different combinations of two chemicals that when mixed will produce heat, and yet each be safe on it’s own and well as when mixed. We have cleaning agents in our homes every day that can explode when mixed because they have such violent heat reactions. All we have to do is figure out a way to control the process, and also to separate the two chemicals back to their original states, so that the process can be repeated!

Are our scientists on the wrong track here, in experimenting with the wrong solutions to the answers? Why mess with dangerous uranium, and play with methods to “save” fossil fuels? Let’s think outside the box here, and start with a concept that isn’t new, but has been totally forgotten… chemical reaction!

I know this got off the subject a little bit, but let’s hear some comments on why (or why not?) this process would (or wouldn’t) work. What do you think about the new Prius RV?  Do you feel that there is a better way to conserve without downsizing our RV’s to this level?

And again off the subject, but just this weekend have I finally shaken off this nasty cold that has had me down since a week before Christmas. Now maybe I can get back to work again on the minivan project and book that most of you have been waiting for.

Hang in there, and please participate! I’m not a mind reader. I need comments in order to see what you think, what your opinions are, and how to proceed from here! To date, I have thrown out more comments than I allow, because most of them are spam that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. I know you have opinions, so let the rest of us hear them! We don’t want just one and two word comments. Let’s open a discussion, provoke some thought, and maybe even a little controvercy!

UPDATE! One of my readers sent me a personal note about “why” my theory is not workable. I don’t understand it all, but I’m not an engineer or chemist. I asked permission to post his reply here, so this is what he had to say:

“Just a note regarding your blog. I did enjoy the reference to the
Prius-based RV. However, at one point you state “If we have the
technology to produce things like hand warming packets that
operate from nothing but chemical reaction, then why can’t that area of
expertise be expanded?”

There is something known as the Stefan-Boltzmann Law in physics
which relates energy and temperature. It is not a linear
relationship, it is a fourth power relation. This and the relationship
between volume (a cubic relation), surface area (a square relation)
and mass of objects, preclude you from scaling such things as ants
(you can’t have human sized ants) and hand warmers. There is also
something known as the first and second laws of
thermodynamics which prevent you from doing some of the energy
concepts you wrote about as well. Please don’t blame American engineers
for not being able to do what the laws of nature preclude us from doing.

H.”

I figured there must be a reason that someone hasn’t accomplished this before, and now we know why. Thank you. H., for the explanation, and for contributing to this blog and to our knowledge. We appreciate your participation.

3 thoughts on “OMG! A Prius RV!

  1. As the very happy new owner of a 50,000 mile-old 2010 Prius, I, for one, think this concept is Pricisely on target for today’s economy. I actually am in the market for a small RV which will not break the bank , in terms of both aquisition and operating costs…thereby ruling out the Sprinter-based Class B’s. As an enthusiastic free-thinker, I had actually just begun pondering the practicality of doing something similar with my “new” car when a search turned up this Prius concept. It makes sense on so many levels. If done right, it would be a reversible modification to a standard Prius, thereby allowing the daily use of the prime mover, and one less vehicle to license/insure/maintain. If the price tag is not outragious, I will be first in line if they ever import it. Incidentally, I agree that we ought to be able to develop our own version right here in the good ole US of A.

    • Hi Mark,

      Although many of these ideas for new campers sound great, too many of us end up in sticker shock after we realize what they want for them! That’s why we came up with our idea of a minivan camper that has no modifications done to the body, and the components can be moved to another minivan when you trade, so that you never lose your investment in those components. Unlike the Prius camper shell, which would have to fit the exact same body style, our concept can work in almost any minivan, or even a larger, full-sized van. If you have not yet read our free ebook on how to create your own minivan camper, please feel free to check it out. At 94 pages long, it covers everything from RV electric and solar and how to hook up at campgrounds, all the way up to both passive and active methods of staying safe while traveling. How many small campers have a comfortable recliner to relax in on the inside, without having to use a fold up recliner outside? Not many! Our concept does, plus a wider bed than most others, and with the use of a rear tent, you even have stand-up room, a shower stall, and “on-demand” hot water! The only way to get those things in a normal minivan is with an expensive pop-top, which you lose when trading off that van! With ours, you keep EVERYTHING to use indefinitely, through many van trades if necessary! And a good used minivan can be found almost anywhere at ridiculously low prices.

      Of course, if you want something ready to go, and don’t mind paying a little more, join the GTRV(Westy) group, or the Sportsmobile group on Yahoo Groups where good used ones come up for sale occasionally. I am also one of the moderators for the Yahoo car_living Group, that is geared toward living and traveling in cars and other small vehicles. If I can be of any assistance, just let me know, and thanks for taking part in the discussion.

  2. I like the Prius RV so far. Of course I would want details and specifications, but so far it looks good. (I would want non-red cushions, though.) If produced for a reasonable price, this would make a sound camper for one person and be useable for two while providing a “driver” with plenty of mileage. I’m no judge of looks, but at least it’s prettier than our 1995 Grand Caravan after 200,000 miles.

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