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A horizontally expanding motorhome is all well and good, but what happens when your pitch isn’t long enough to extend the sleeping quarters?

The answer, obviously, is to use a vertically expanding motorhome instead — and that’s just what three Japanese students have developed as a pet project.

Built on a Toyota ‘Toyoace’ 1.5 ton chassis, the “Camping-car” consists of a lower living area with kitchen and bathroom (complete with bathtub), and an upper ‘Japanese-style’ four-berth sleeping area accessible via an interior staircase. The upper level is raised using a generator, abut compressor and two pneumatic lifts — a process that takes two minutes to complete.

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The ‘van has distinct DIY look about it and took two years to complete, but the builders freely admit that they knew little about carpentry or engineering — and their handiwork was still sufficient to see them on a 25,500km trip around Japan.

More details and photos at the makers’ web site.

[Two-Story Camping Car]