A few other motorhome manufacturers have attempted stretchable panel-vans in one form or another. Perhaps the most radical is the latest “Littoral” design from Atlanspace, a French company based in the Loire-Atlantique departement. This takes a 3500kg Renault Master panel-van and places a secondary GRP ‘skin’ over much of the original metal bodywork rearwards of the cab.
When the motorhome is parked, the skin section can be slid backwards (in about 3 minutes apparently) increasing the vehicle’s overall length from 5.50m to 7.30m and internal volume by some 70%.
Despite the weight of the secondary bodywork, payload was said to remain reasonable at 490kg.
Asking-price was quoted as 63,500 Euros, so it ain’t cheap.
There was a piece about it on page 8 of the July 2007 issue of Le Monde du Camping-Car and the photos reveal the amount of modification needed to make the design viable.
They also reveal potential drawbacks (at least on the prototype) as the 2nd-skin must be slid back to expose the fridge vents (presumably a compressor-fridge would be employed on production models). It would also be interesting to learn how well extending the 2nd skin works in practice, as it must exert a lot of leverage.
It’s probably significant that the photo of the motorhome in lengthened state shows steadying-jacks deployed beneath the very rear of the GRP body and another set of jacks just behind the vehicle’s rear wheels. [www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=11283&posts=7]