Home Miniature house Transforming Japanese micro-camping optimizes space as a wonder of the world

Transforming Japanese micro-camping optimizes space as a wonder of the world

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We continue to be amazed at the amount of features Japanese kei motorhome builders can squeeze into the smallest vans on Earth. Oka Motors takes it to another level with its newly refurbished Miniature Cruise Cozy. The ingenious interior/exterior layout morphs in multiple directions, allowing a 134-inch-long Suzuki Every minivan to transport, feed, clean and sleep up to three occupants. The cabin bed converts into a dinette and sofa, and the long, slim kitchen block extends in width to create a bunk bed, accommodating everyone from solo digital nomads to adventurous small families.

We’ve seen Suzuki Every functionality in a campervan conversion before, and we were impressed when this converter handled a very simple single berth with light sports gear storage and little else. Oka Motors has stepped up its efforts to make the Every a complete and truly “comfortable” motorhome for two or three people, without even adding a retractable roof. He began the overhauled conversion by eliminating one of the two rear seats to free up space for new RV gear, giving the van a three-person capacity on the way to and from camp.

The Suzuki Every measures only 340 x 148 x 190 cm (L x W x H), but Oka Motors makes the most of every square inch

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With the extra space left by the rear seat removed, Oka is able to give the Cozy the long driver’s side kitchen block that it previously lacked. This makes this kitchen an essential multifunctional element to bring the whole cabin design together.

The kitchen block looks quite simple and traditional at first glance, but offers additional capabilities through multiple extensions and extensions. The block extends the full length of the aft cabin using a folding counter extension at the front. It sets up campers with a long counter and undercounter microwave, providing hinged hatch access to a rectangular sink and 18-liter top-loading refrigerator.

The Miniature Cruise Cozy includes an 18 liter refrigerator accessible from inside or outside
The Miniature Cruise Cozy includes an 18 liter refrigerator accessible from inside or outside

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But the Cozy kitchen is not just a kitchen. The flat, level counter doubles as a 69.7″ x 22″ (177 x 56 cm) loft bed with help from the drop-down cabinet faces on either side of the microwave and some support panels recessed sides. Add an inflatable mattress and it’s a comfortable spare bed. At less than 5ft 10in long, taller people will see their feet dangling at the end, but it’s a comfortable option for those shorter than that threshold.

The galley block spans most of the length of the cabin using a fold-out extension
The galley block spans most of the length of the cabin using a fold-out extension

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The loft bed isn’t the only sliding trickery on the kitchen block. Jump outside the van around the tailgate and the fridge slides out for quick access to the outside. Beneath the fridge slide, a second drawer stores the loft bed extension panels and doubles as a worktop to hold the portable gas cooker. The versatile dining table can also attach to the outside of the fridge slide to create a side table or a hatchback dining nook, keeping drinks stable with its recessed cup holders.

The sofa bed is just as multifunctional and convertible as the kitchen. With its multi-cushion design, campers can create a long, passenger-side sofa with backrest, perfect for lounging, dining, or doing remote work while using the counter as a desk. Flip the two large cushions over and they become dining benches on opposite sides of the removable table that hooks onto the kitchen block. Tilt the cabin seats forward and the rear cabin can be filled with all the cushions, becoming a 71.6 x 33.5 inch (182 x 85 cm) bed.

The dining table becomes a side table with the cushions rearranged into a lengthwise sofa
The dining table becomes a side table with the cushions rearranged into a lengthwise sofa

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The bed probably stretches the definition of “double” a little too much, even for a Japanese kei camper, so it might be hard to call the Miniature Cruise Cozy a full-fledged three-person camper. Older Miniature Cruise Cozy models had a true double bed that spanned the full width of the van. Still, the main Cozy bed could probably accommodate a parent and a young child, allowing the van to accommodate the entire family of three. Or the lower bed could just double as a single bed, working with the loft bed to sleep a pair of friends on a hunting/fishing/cycling/camping trip, no need for them to share a bed.

It looks like the Miniature Cruise Cozy main bed might fit a small couple (very comfortably), but it would be better for a single person or maybe a parent and child
It looks like the Miniature Cruise Cozy main bed might fit a small couple (very comfortably), but it would be better for a single person or maybe a parent and child

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The rear frame of the Miniature Cruise Cozy sofa houses the dual 85 Ah battery configuration and 1500 W inverter, and buyers can upgrade to a 200 Ah lithium battery. Oka doesn’t offer a toilet option as far as we can tell (there are limits to what you can fit in an 11-foot-long small van, after all), but the kitchen sprayer takes out the Driver’s side sliding door to double as an outside shower.

Oka introduced the remodeled Miniature Comfort Cozy in February. Its website lists the base price at ¥3,272,500 (about US$28,275). The 4WD model starts at ¥3,404,500 ($29,425).

The 13 minute video below is in Japanese, but provides helpful footage showing how the various Miniature Comfort Cozy components work with someone on board.

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Source: Oka engines (Japanese)