Wildlife, beware! This might look like just another commercial van, converted into a weekend camper. Outside Van's Launch Pad, though, has a lot more on its mind than merely providing a comfortable spot to sleep while enjoying the great outdoors. American specialists Outside Van, of Portland, Oregon, say their Launch Pad is designed to "create the ideal launching point while out on the hunt", and they do mean actual hunting, with actual guns. If you're a deer roaming peacefully somewhere in Oregon, you might want to watch out if the Launch Pad rolls up.
Outside Van describe their latest customer creation – they convert about 100 vans each year – as "a fortress of a vehicle" and indeed there are dedicated - and happily lockable - compartments for the guns and the knives that hunters require as well as ample storage space for essentials like walkie-talkies and backpacks. Dogs will be pleased to know there is plenty of accommodation for them as their owners are headed out on their next adventure.
Humans are well catered for, too. Underneath the Launch Pad's custom stealth grey semi-camouflage vinyl wrap is a top-of-the-range four-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, fully fitted out by Outside Van with leather benches, enough sleeping space for up to four as well as what's described as a "premium sink" and cooking facilities. Solar roof panels serve to recharge the substantial lithium battery that powers all the ancillaries, including a full-sized air conditioning unit. Mechanically, the Sprinter remains standard, for which read very capable indeed, given its hefty ground clearance and substantial grunt.
Our favourite addition though is up top: a dedicated roof-mounted platform for a hammock, so that the more relaxed hunter can kick back while waiting for the next target to trot into view. Of course, there's no pressing need to use the Launch Pad to kill anything at all, but as a survivalist off-roader, this extraordinary conversion has few, if any, competitors. Perfect if your name is Rambo, John Wick or even Mad Max.
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