Spot Cool Stuff is a huge fan of glamping. The word is a conjunctive of “glamorous” and “camping” and can describe pretty much any travel experience that is more luxurious than staying in a typical tent but more outdoorsy than an ordinary hotel. A glamping experience might involve sleeping in a portable treehouse, staying in a human-sized bird nest, making an espresso in the middle of nowhere—or touring in a cool camping trailer.
The number of unusual, creatively-designed campers currently on the market is truly amazing. Clearly neither the upward trend in road traffic or fuel prices are deterring some people from taking a mini-home with them on an adventure. Here’s our rundown of five especially cool caravan camping trailers:
Sealander Aquatic Trailer
Driving to the lake and can’t decide whether to tow along a boat or a camper? Bring both. Though looking like something out of a James Bond movie, the Sealander is not a movie prop, a concept product or a billionaire’s personal pet project. It’s the world’s first production amphibious trailer, made by an eponymous German company. And you can buy it right now—if you happen an extra €15,000. The Sealander’s integrated waterproof chassis lets you back the trailer directly into the water and then take off across the waves propelled by a small 5 hp gasoline or electric outboard motor. Inside, the trailer has a kitchenette with sink and small portable toilet. Pair the Sealander with a Water Car for the most amphibious road trip ever.
What do you do if you are an architect who just finished working on the design for the International Space Station? If you are Garrett Finney, you design a camping trailer. The Cricket Trailer, to be specific. The Cricket is full of many more cool features than its compact design would suggest. But its best feature isn’t one that shows up in photos and videos—the Cricket is very lightweight. That translates into huge fuel savings, especially when you consider that you can tow a Cricket with a smaller car that might be too underpowered to pull any other similarly sized trailer. For more on the build and interior, check out the video tour below:
Not to be confused with the un-numbered Moby, the Moby1 is a trailer designed for one primary purpose: To go off road. The company has a variety of models to choose from, including one meant to be towed by a motorcycle, but their coolest option is the XTR (photos, below). With the optional rooftop tent, the XTR can sleep up to four. Add to that the XTR impressive array of optional features—including a kitchenette, outdoor shower, hot water heater, air conditioning and propane-fueled cabin heater, portable toilet and electricity production via a generator and/or solar panels—and you have a comfortable home you can bring nearly anywhere. The price for the XTR starts around US$15,000, making it a relatively reasonable deal.
The Mehrzeller trailer was first conceived of as part of a graduate student project at the Technical University in Graz, Austria. After it caught the attention of BMW and several big companies, the trailer was moved into real-life development.
The idea behind the Mehrzeller was not to create a trailer version of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, despite how it may look in the photos. Instead, what’s different is the use of algorithmic architecture to create a customized product. The goal is to allow customers to go online and decide the layout and features they’d like in their trailer. The distinctive cellular design is the result of the modular components Mehrzeller combines to create the custom result.
Spot Cool Stuff believes that the use on-demand modular construction will become increasingly common in the near future, not only for trailers but also when purchasing products such as cars and household appliances. (We previously wrote about a modular refrigerator). Expect us to report back on Mehrzeller if/when they bring their trailer to the mass market.
Dub Box camper trailer
The best, coolest, most fun vehicle Spot Cool Stuff ever personally owned was a 1971 Volkswagen Camper Van†. So it’s no surprise that our favorite trailer listed in this review is the Dub Box. Think of the Dub Box as the caboose part of the classic Volkswagen. Or as a VW Camper Van without the van.
The look of the Dub Box is decidedly retro, both inside and out, yet it sports modern touches like an iPod dock and stainless steel sink. Each Dub Box is handmade, either in England or at the new USA franchise in Oregon—or at your house. There’s a DIY kit you can buy for around US$9,000 that lets you assemble and paint your own Dub Box. A pre-assembled version costs around $20,000. That’s more than you’ll spend on a used 1971 Camper Van. But very much unlike a vintage Volkswagen van, the fiberglass body of a Dub Box will never rust.
† Technically, we co-owned it with two high school friends. Together we drove it across North America before the van met a smokey end when the engine blew up in remote Canada. Needless to say, we appreciate how the Dub Box, not having an engine, feels like an altogether less fire prone.
5 Amazing Glamping Resorts
The Hüttenpalast: Berlin’s Unusual Hotel of Indoor Caravan Trailers
A Review of the Aerobed Pakmat Inflatable Matress
ExOfficio Give’n'Go: 1 Week of Travel, 1 Pair of Underwear
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