As you might have guessed from the name of this website, we are focused on writing about cars from the “high output” generation. The funny thing is, we seem to have an eye for spotting weird-ass recreational vehicles.
Mike brought you the Flat Black RV and the BMW Vixen and Cameron brought you the riced-out motorhome that uses Acura headlamps and Dodge truck tail lamps. Well on today’s issue of Recreation: High Output, I’ve got an unusual RV to feature as well. Meet the Salem Kroger 4×4 Camper Van.
This particular camper van was built by Salem Kroger of Red Bluff, California. Their website was online from about 1999 through 2011, and it looks as though the company is not around anymore.
These vans look very similar to another popular off-road camper called the Sportsmobile, which is the biggest name in the 4×4 camper van business. Paradoxically, this van has a Sportsmobile sticker on the front bumper! It’s kind of like putting a PlayStation 3 sticker on your Xbox.
This vehicle is built on a Ford E250 commercial truck chassis, so it’s heavy duty from the start. Forget sleeping in a tent or dragging a pop-up trailer to an overcrowded campground. This 4×4 camper van has more ground clearance than a stock Jeep Wrangler and can take you – and all the comforts of home – anywhere you want to go.
Salem-Kroger installs the pop-up roof, beefed up suspension, and the interior cabinets and bedding to the customer’s specifications. As you can see, this van has been customized with a roof rack, bike rack, and some additional lights on the rear. It is ready for whatever adventures you may encounter.
I really like this vehicle because it takes something which is usually lame (a camper) and makes it cool. This is not the kind of vehicle you come to own accidentally, it is a purpose-built machine for a serious outdoor enthusiast. Everything about this vehicle is functional, from the brush guard to the extra lights to the roll-out shade screens. There is nothing ornamental or decorative anywhere on this thing, and that’s why I love it.