The Kia Carnival is a stylish and luxurious minivan that doesn't quite look like a minivan. It's already quite a nice place to spend time with the brood, an activity made even easier now that there's an aftermarket firm building a roof-mounted pop-up tent specifically for the Carnival.
When retracted, the Unicamp Pop Top has a sleek profile like any number of rooftop cargo boxes. With the click of a button, which can be paired with a Kia Smart Key, it expands into sleeping quarters on the car's roof. It takes only five seconds to fully open or close electronically, and the 85 by 40-inch floorplan can sleep two adults.
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Access to the tent area is granted from inside the van, so you never need to unlock or exit the car. However, the conversion does appear to be a one-way job, as a significant hole needs to be cut in the roof of the donor van. A padded divider with vents and integrated lighting then becomes both the headliner of the passenger compartment and the floor of the tent, which supports up to 485 pounds.
The Unicamp costs $16,000 for now, but that's a discounted introductory price. According to New Atlas, the retail price will actually be $18,000. Unicamp also makes a $4,000 modular rear kitchen and bed that can be installed in the Carnival's cargo area.
Add in the $34,235 to $47,335 for the Carnival itself (including a $1,335 destination charge), and you can have a complete camper van setup starting at $55,000, which isn't bad for a brand new build. Of course, it's not as spacious as a Sprinter, but it'll be more luxurious and easier to drive. You could also remove the seats you don't need.
We were impressed with the Carnival's car-like steering, plush interior, and many creature comforts and safety features when we test drove it. If you don't need a ton of space, this could make a compelling alternative and you might actually enjoy getting to the destination as well.
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