The humble, swiveling USB flash drive is the inspiration behind what is set to become the latest innovation in camping-trailer design. At the push of a button, the center section of the lightweight, composite-bodied Romotow camper, rotates outwards 90 degrees, creating its own built-in outdoor patio.
It’s the work of New Zealand industrial design firm W2, which aims to have its Romotow, projected to be priced at $350,000, in production by 2020.
The lofty cost reflects the trailer’s advanced construction, with the chassis being made of light, but super-stiff carbon fiber and the body structure being molded using advanced composites. The overall savings in weight translates to better gas mileage for the tow vehicle. Other high-tech considerations include gyro-assisted self-leveling pads and struts, a rear camera, and pneumatic shocks.
W2 has been working on the design since 2012, perfecting the complex mechanism for the trailer’s inner section to slide forward before rotating on the outer frame. It has also be finalizing dimensions of the first model, settling on a length of 30 feet and a width of 8.5 feet.
Inside there’s 290 square feet of living space, with the interior divided up in to a separate bedroom, central kitchen and bathroom, and a large living area that can easily be converted into a second bedroom. Huge semi-circular windows (with option for louvers) flood the forward part of the camper with light.
The highlight of the Romotow, however, is the large, synthetic teak–floored patio created when the main body spins outwards. Adding 70 percent more floor area, it’s spacious enough for a table with four chairs and features a fold-down grille for al fresco cooking.
To protect against the elements, there are clip-in fabric screens to close-off the entire outdoor section, plus there’s a roll-out sun awning. And the entire roof of the U-section features solar panels to feed a 400Ah battery.