Car­a­van de­sign­ers turn to smaller, cuter mod­els to show off their skills

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

WHILE car­a­van­ners al­ways re­quire more space, it seems car­a­van de­sign­ers en­joy noth­ing so much as to de­sign smaller, cuter mod­els to show off their skills.

In Colorado, one such en­thu­si­ast is Brit­ton Purser, who de­signed the Vintage Over­land teardrop trail­ers, which Purser and his co-de­sign­ing broth­ers say are light­weight but tough enough for veld work.

Empty, a Vintage Over­land teardrop weighs only 317 kg, but it has the usual dou­ble mat­tress with read­ing lights in­side and kitch­enette un­der the nose-cone.

For those who don’t want to go of­froad, but need space both to sleep in and trans­port stuff, the Mogo Free­dom trailer of­fers a rec­tan­gu­lar space that opens on both sides to cre­ate a sim­ple but very ver­sa­tile shel­ter and bike trans­porter.

With very lit­tle space to work with, flex­i­bil­ity is key, and no car­a­van is more adap­tive than the HC1 Adap­tiv. Like a box of Lego bricks, the HCI of­fers six base com­po­nents — a bench, kitch­enette, ta­ble, cush­ion, floor panel and lid, which all click into place on the floor so that the car­a­van­ner can cre­ate a lay­out that best suits their needs — from a bed to sleep five to empty floor space for moun­tain bikes.

All the com­po­nents can also be used as out­door fur­ni­ture. Other ac­ces­sories in the HC1 in­clude a Bose sound sys­tem, built-in USB and AC power sock­ets and a tablet dock­ing sta­tion. On the roof a 100 Watt so­lar panel gen­er­ates power for the wa­ter heater.

In Bel­gium, Olivier Caluwier, cre­ative part­ner of the de­sign firm Five AM, did not have play in mind when he de­signed a mo­bile of­fice us­ing an old car­a­van. Call­ing his cre­ation dojo-wheels, Caluwier’s of­fice-from-home has a raised floor on draw­ers and a cen­tral, cir­cu­lar ta­ble that can be lifted from the floor or dropped back to form part of the bed’s base. The round ta­ble can seat six in rel­a­tive com­fort, with read­ing lights and work lights above the desk.

Most no­table about the dojo-wheels is its fridge, which can keep 150 bot­tles of beer chilled. It is a Bel­gian car­a­van, af­ter all.

Fur­ther north in chilly Den­mark, de­signer Jonas Hall­berg’s Tiny Of­fice on wheels is less fo­cused on cel­e­brat­ing that deal and more on keep­ing warm.

The car­a­van, which is made from re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, fea­tures a cut­ting-edge lit­tle Gaia Marin wood­burn­ing stove, mounted on a wall.

Each Tiny Of­fice is hand-made, which is Euro­pean for bloody pricey, and unit prices start at R171 609, not in­clud­ing the fully kit­ted-out of­fice which adds another R79 783 to the price.

But Hall­berg’s Tiny Of­fice is cheap com­pared to the “three­room” ex­pand­ing teardrop made be French car­a­van­ing com­pany Beauer.

Selling for R361 282 in Eng­land, the one-ton 3X teardrop tele­scopes out the 1,85 me­tre-wide body on both sides to ex­pand the 4 m² to 12 m² in about 20 sec­onds. In­side a bed­room, bath­room, din­ing area with kitch­enette awaits.

The Vintage Over­land teardrop weighs only 317 kg, pro­vid­ing a cosy room and en suite kitch­enette off the beaten track.

The HC1 Ada­tiv has mod­u­lar fur­ni­ture that clicks onto the floor like Lego bricks in what­ever con­fig­u­ra­tion suits the camper best.

Be­ing Bel­gian, the do­jowheels is an of­fice on wheels — with a fridge that can keep 150 bot­tles of beer chilled.

The Mogo Free­dom trailer opens on both sides to of­fer ver­sa­tile space and in­stant awnings.

Made from re­cy­cled wood, this Tiny Of­fice trailer from Den­mark may look like a gar­den shed, but it sells for over R200k in Europe if equipped with a few sticks of ba­sic of­fice fur­ni­ture.


Beauer’s x3 teardrop elec­tri­cally ex­pands to of­fer a bed­room, bath­room, din­ing area with kitch­enette.

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