Leave it to the French to design one of the chicest camper we’ve seen in awhile. Carapate’s line of caravans may not feature all the high-tech bells and whistles of their peers, but they more than make up for that with their delightful, retro-inspired aesthetic.
The startup’s eponymously named Carapate and Carriole trailers aren’t for city slickers looking to bring all the pleasures of home with them of the road. But if all you’re looking for is a stylish place to sleep while getting away from it all, the brand might have exactly what you are seeking.
Designed by Fabien Denis and Jean-Marie Reymond, the 10.5-foot campers feature an oversized side door that is meant to make you feel more connected to your surroundings, according to a recent interview in Dwell. Both models feature a tried-and-true teardrop design and are made from military-grade plywood, which helps ensure that the trailers are light enough for a compact to tow. They also feature a curved frame, plenty of wooden details and bold colors—there a wide variety of reds, greens and blues to choose from—that give the campers a nostalgic, circa 1960s yacht feel.
“Woodworking was a central element in the trailer’s design—for its characteristics, its aesthetics, and its environmental sustainability,” Reymond told the magazine. “Our design is inspired by various elements: tiny houses, watercraft, and caravans.”
Denis and Reymond aimed to maximize the campers’s 65 square feet of space. The designers claim that each has enough room to sleep two full-sized adults and a child, thanks to an optional child’s mattress. An over-sized sliding drawer houses a no-frills kitchen that can be used both inside and outside the caravan. There are a selection of optional “backpack” options that allow you to customize the camper to your heart’s content, including a roof-mounted solar panel, additional storage, blackout curtains and a battery system that will give you enough juice to live off the grid for a few days.
The Carapate model starts at $16,500, while the comparatively stripped-down Carriole starts at $12,500. The startup is currently focused on Europe—they deliver to Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK—but intends to start selling its campers on other continents in the near future.