Gear Review: SylvanSport VAST Camper
The Gear Junkie
Pull-behind campers get an adventure-oriented upgrade this summer. The SylanSport VAST is a new take on RV design, including modular features and multiple places to stow and stash your gear.
It bridges a gap between a luxury RV and a tent on the ground. I got inside the VAST at the trade show and was given a full tour by the founder of the company.
Its boxy interior is equipped to the hilt with compartments, doors, windows, moveable beds, storage, a bathroom, and a kitchen unit that moves to reveal a shower underneath.
SylvanSport unveiled its first unit, the popular GO camper, more than a decade ago. The VAST is a full reboot, built off a box-trailer template and assembled with gear hauling in mind.
Kayaks can attach on the side with a unique rack. In the back, a door opens as a mini “garage” to stow bikes. A “storage pod” on the front offers 18 cubic feet of additional storage in a waterproof, lockable space.
The indoor-outdoor kitchen is likely the most innovative part of the design. It slides in and out on a non-motorized rail system.
You can cook and prep food inside if it’s rainy or cold. On a nice day, the entire kitchen slides down and out, offering the same two-burner stove, sink, and refrigerator outside.
I tested it out at the trade show. The system is slick, with the whole modular kitchen easily moving out on smooth tracks. A table folds down for more food-prep space, making the kitchen a bona fide place to cook a camp feast.
Inside, once the kitchen is moved on the tracks, you can access a residential-size shower in its place.
SylvanSport configured the interior for a variety of lounging, sitting, and sleeping arrangements. There is a unique, artsy light on the ceiling.
A custom-designed bed stows up at ceiling height. At night it lowers via a motorized lift, and a second bed nests underneath. The bunkbed setup can accommodate a small family sleeping in the VAST.
The VAST measures about 21.5 feet long, 7.9 feet wide, and 9.5 feet tall. It weighs 2,500 pounds and can be loaded with 500 pounds of food, gear, and other supplies. It is made in the USA, in Brevard, N.C.
Its outer shell has a composite skin laminated onto an insulated wall structure. SylvanSport built this on an extruded aluminum frame.
The VAST will sell for around $45,000 when it comes to market later this year. Check it out if you’re looking for an ultimate, gear-centric base camp of your own.
“Without any exception the worst snow storm known since the advent of the railroad west of Leadville has been raging over the crest of the continental divide since last Thursday,” asserted the Aspen Tribune on January 31, 1899.