Inflatable double bed, luxury kitchen with BIG fridge, heated bathroom with shower and loo, power and lights, infrared heating – all in a camping trailer small enough to be pulled by a tiny car? Is this the future of comfort camping?
It’s certainly the design task Duncan Chapman has set himself – and we could be seeing the fruits of his ingenuity next year. Trailer tent meets glamping, anyone?
Can we have something a bit like camping, please???
“I’ve always loved tented camping, but Sam, my wife, likes her comforts. A fully catered hotel holiday with the kids is typically where we end up,” says Duncan.
“When pushed, Sam’s up for caravanning or motorhoming, but for me the whole point of camping is the outdoor experience – views, airs, sand in toes, al fresco life with good company, sausages and red wine.”
Duncan used to be an architect, specialising in designing mobile event units such as VIP suites for Mercedes and Peugeot and a mobile cinema for HiArts.
“I started investigating recreational vehicles (RVs) and those rows of off-white identikit caravans at the NEC,” he says. “I also Googled all the unmade concepts people had put out there. It was probably unearthing the results of a competition run by the Caravan Club and Bailey (from ten years ago) that got me actually designing. I thought a good design would be easy…that isn’t what I think now!”
With a company formed, Duncan’s first product will be the QPod (a working title at the moment), planned for launch in late 2019.
Piecing together the Panda puzzle
“I want it to solve a conundrum –how to enjoy the qualities of tent camping, in comfort and with all amenities, but still be able to go wherever you please with your own kit. Mobile glamping?”
Turn away now if you LOVE your caravan. Duncan says caravanners may think they have the glamping solution, but without setting up a caravan side-tent and a load of furniture outside, he thinks they’re ”a bit rubbish” and have weight and sustainability problems.
“Trailer tenters may think the same, but show me one with a decent loo, shower and fridge,’ he says. “Tent campers have to travel round with a hell of a lot of kit and spend a lot of time setting stuff up.”
The QPod certainly looks promising. We’re not certain if it gets away from the need to set up extra kit (there are still side tents and furniture to arrange), but it looks totally different from anything else available now. We’ll report back when the prototype is built.
Meanwhile, have a look at our Why Pull Dull? round-up of interesting trailer tents and more. And our guide to our favourite compact caravans and campervans.