Tag: campers & trailers

While an image like this would normally be cause for concern to the average road tripper, it's just another day for the owner of what possibly qualifies as the coolest camper to hit the market in years.

Der Schwimmcaravan, or "the Swimming Caravan" as its German manufacturer calls it, the Sealander is a fully amphibious trailer that goes from highway to waterway with no conversion whatsoever. Just mount the included outboard motor and you're off.

It comes standard with a sunroof, storage areas, bed and removable table, and can be configured with a kitchen, cooler, audio system, barbecue and chemical toilet.

It's sleek, it's sexy, and I want one.

Thanks to Lee-Ann for the tip!

Tired of escaping the city just to be surrounded by dozens of other campground dwellers? French artist Bufalino Benedetto has the solution with his scissor-lift camper.

Titled "La Caravane Dans Le Ciel," or "Caravan of the Sky," Benedetto's creation hydraulically elevates itself several stories above the earth for a penthouse view of any destination.

Sadly, it's more a work of art than functioning trailer. The camper is hollow. But it does give a person ideas.

See it in action below. ... Continued

I wouldn't say the method by which one reaches his destination is nearly as important as the destination itself, but there is something to be said for comfort and style. In that vein, I've compiled a handful of rides I've recently come across that, if nothing else, would catch the attention of fellow travelers.

The Magnificent

First up is one of the most jealousy-inflaming RVs I've come across in some time. Christened the Decoliner, it's a one-off, not-to-be-duplicated motorhome that embodies the showiest side of the art deco scene.

Designed and built by Randy Grubb and his Grants Pass, Oregon-based team of custom-car enthusiasts known as Blastolene, the Decoliner is a luxurious work of art with the coolest of features: a flybridge that allows you to drive from the rooftop. ... Continued

I just returned from my annual winter campout this afternoon and found that one of my fellow campers had already sent me a link to what has to be my dream accommodations for next year's outing: a stunning rendition of an Airstream trailer with an interior that harkens back to the best of the Space Age.

The trailer is the result of a collaboration with architect Christopher Deam, who brought Airstream's signature "silver bullet" exterior to the inside, constructing nearly every surface with anodized aluminum. The final product is a beautiful cross between classic aircraft simplicity and space-capsule aesthetics.

Sadly, it's only a concept model, so even if I could afford it, I wouldn't be able to get my hands on one. But here's to dreaming.

Doing who knows what, I stumbled across this wonderful excerpt from a 1970 issue of the British magazine Drive, chastising trailer designers for the garish colors in which they choose to paint their products.

The author recommends ditching the drab colors that he calls "depressing as tombstones in a dog's graveyard," and offers a few guidelines, as well as some distinctly '70s palettes.

I just had to share this handcrafted Airstream-shaped coffin currently on sale at Ebay.

Such fantasy coffins, which have become an increasingly popular tradition in the Republic of Ghana over the last 50 years, are created by only a small number of skilled craftsmen. The custom-built caskets are highly desired not only as functioning sarcophagi in and around Ghana, but also as collector's items around the world.

Some of the more unusual creations include coffins shaped like giant crabs, fish, chickens, Mercedes Benzes, outboard motors and shallots, but for me, this scaled-down 26-foot 1956 Airstream Overland takes the cake.

Incidentally, you can read more about such coffins, a collection of which are on display at Houston's National Museum of Funeral History, in Weird Texas.

About a month ago, I wrote about the hideous Inhalt camper, a travel trailer that took a comfortable-looking mobile home and wrapped it in a huge, partially digested chunk of white chocolate.

Thankfully, the future holds alternatives, a couple of which actually look pretty promising. WebUrbanist has put together a list of some of the most recent concepts to hit the drawing board.

Personally, I prefer the classically styled, teardrop-inspired T@b, pictured here ... despite the stupid name.

I've never been a fan of the ubiquitous rectangular motor homes that resemble little more than giant shoeboxes on wheels, but the new Inhalt concept camper that's being billed as the solution to boxy, cookie-cutter RVs appears to be as much an answer to unimaginative design as half a ton of dynamite is to a beached whale.

Its creators, Christian Freisling and Thersa Kalteis of Graz University of Technology in Austria, insist that their "multicellular caravan" fills a need for individualist tourists looking for tailor-made travel digs. Using an online wizard, users can choose a layout that suits their needs, and a computer generates the configuration. As their Web site explains in typical, artistic obfuscation:

The caravans are produced using the principles of "mass customization": this allows both the individual wishes of the customer to be accommodated while producing the caravan with series methods.

... Continued

Why should Mom and Dad have all the fun in their portable road-trip digs, when Muttley can enjoy the RV life in a tin can of his own?

Created by Straight Line Designs, this fiberglass and aluminum puppy camper is one of the cutest little dog houses I've ever seen. It's got a wonderful Airstream-like design, features water and food dishes on the trailer hitch and, from what I've gathered, includes a customized license plate.

The limited-edition camper will reportedly run you $2,500. That's $17,500 in dog dollars, which is still cheaper than a real Airstream.

For roadside fanatics who'll be in the Los Angeles area anytime in the next six months, the Petersen Automotive Museum is having a special exhibit on the early history of road trips.

Titled "From Autocamps to Airstreams: The Early Road to Vacationland," the display recounts the birth of American auto travel, complete with a selection of vintage vehicles and campers that helped give rise to the earliest of roadside attractions.

Starting with the "Tin Can Tourists" of the early 1900s, who braved rough roads in luggage-laden Model T's, the exhibit follows the evolution of autocampers through the boxy days of customized "house cars" and into the more streamlined era of diminutive teardrops and majestic camping trailers.

Among the museum's prize acquisitions is a custom-built 1934 Thompson House Car and the oldest known Airstream trailer in existence (pictured).

The exhibit is scheduled through Feb. 8, 2009.