Camper Van Review – Mini-Review | Carado Axion Studio | Affordable Pop-top Camper Van That's Only 17 Feet in Length!
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Pop-tops are making a comeback. Check out the new Axion Studio by Carado! Everything you need in a 17 foot van!
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The Axion Studio competes with a growing list of pop-top camper vans including: The brand new Tofino from Pleasureway; the Hymer Aktiv 1.0 and 2.0 Loft Editions and the Recon Envy Camper van. Like the Tofino and Aktiv Loft models the Axion Studio is built on the Ram Promaster chassis. That means it’s powered by the same engine that powers all Promasters: a 3.6L V6 Pentastar gas engine with a 6 speed transmission that’s capable of delivering up to 280hp and 260 lbs-ft of torque. But just like the Pleasure-Way Tofino the Axion Studio is built on the Promaster 1500 chassis which is the shortest Promaster chassis available here in North America measuring just 17′ 9″ in length! That short length means the Axion drives more like a car and more easily fits in a standard parking space with feet to spare.
The star of the show is the Axion Studio’s pop top! It’s identical to the one found on the Hymer Aktiv models. To open it you just unhook it and then push up. Gas struts automatically do the lifting for you. Once the top is up you can hook up an aluminum ladder and climb on up into your studio! It’s a large space featuring 3 zippered windows with screens (one in front and one on the sides) and a large 50″x78″ bed. This studio bed as it’s called is larger than the main bed down below! This is a spot your kids or grands kids are going to love. It’s like having a second story on a 17 foot van!
Down below everything is identical to the regular Axion… There’s one layout option which features a large, rear, 3-piece wetbath – a wetbath means that your toilet, sink and shower all share the same area; a galley along the passenger side and your lounge/bedroom opposite the galley along the driver’s side. The galley is equipped with a compressor refrigerator, a 2 burner propane stove, a microwave, sink and plenty of counter prep space. When the cab seats are swiveled around the lounge has seating for 5. There’s an optional 24″ LCD TV and when seated on the couch there’s a flip up extension in the galley that can act at a workstation. There are also USB and AC power outlets in the lounge. You can sleep on the large bench seat as a single bed or you can easily extend it out into a double. A pedestal table can be setup in the lounge or between the two cab seat when swiveled around. You have only 1 interior décor option which is a faux walnut laminate for the cabinets and vinyl flooring in a wood pattern, the couch color on newer models is a cream faux leather.
As far as options: The Axion’s got everything you need and maybe a few luxuries you wouldn’t expect like: the Swedish made Alde heating system, dimmable rope lighting, an undermount air conditioning unit which is both very powerful and quieter than normal RV air conditioners and up front in the cab: Sirius XM, Bluetooth connectivity and GPS navigation – all standard. But one of the biggest upgrades is to the electrical system where you can opt for the very capable EcoTrek 400 lithium battery system which gives you an impressive 400ah of lithium battery capacity; an underhood generator for fast recharging of those lithium batteries and a 250w portable solar panel. Those are some fantastic electrical system upgrades that put this pop-top into a class all its own.
As far as pricing, the MSRP for a base model Axion Studio is around $85k and fully loaded models have an MSRP of around $92k. We’ll have to wait and see what actual dealer pricing is once the Axion Studio hits the lots. Like all Carado’s the Axion Studio comes with a 2 year warranty and 2 years of roadside assistance.
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