Caravans (or motorhomes as they are known in the United States) are going green. This is in part to events like the Dusseldorf Caravan Salon. The event caters to campers looking for an eco-friendly and modern edge.
One concept that had crowds in awe at this year's show is France’s Green Cat Technologies sCarabane. This one-of-a-kind trailer starts as a plain silver container but folds out into a stunning living space complete with both solar and wind power generation.
A defining feature of this sleek home on wheels is its ability to rotate 360 degrees to catch enough sunlight to produce electricity and hot water.
However, the company claims there is one caveat to consider before using it year round. It does entirely depend on location, season, user behavior and conditions to be a self-sufficient powerhouse.
According to Green Cat, it takes just 30 minutes to take the caravan from road ready to lounge ready and only one person to do it. That's about as much time as it takes to watch one episode of The Office on Netflix, and it's certainly shorter than a Game of Thrones episode.
The 25.6-ft-long box on wheels contains hardware that can retract, flip-up and twist out from each of the trailer’s two sides. One side contains an actual outdoor deck complete with a retractable awning, and the other features two bedrooms and a living room.
Besides the portable lazy susan-esque 360 track for sun optimization (an idea borrowed from the tiny house craze) the caravan is especially impressive for the green heart of its operation.
The harbinger of this sustainable power is the 65-sq ft parabolic concentrator mirror on the roof which heats water for the range of appliances aboard, including faucets, a shower, washing machine, and dishwasher. Included in its solar system is the 500-W array also placed on the roof.
Additionally, the sCarabane utilizes the sun in a range of other innovative ways. An adjustable bubble window can be adjusted via a reflective shade to allow occupiers to determine the level of natural light and warmth they’d like throughout the living space.
In an aesthetically pleasing touch, a "rose-window" on each bedroom ceiling resembles a flowery array of sections that can also be changed per the amount of light required.
Not only is the sun a factor in this traveling house’s set up, but the wind also plays a part in keeping it up and running. A retractable vertical axis wind turbine takes full advantage of excessively breezy days at the campground by using the gusts to power electrical equipment inside, such as the TV.
The pictures accompanying the release of this super trailer are astounding. There’s even a mini-bar with a sink, propane stove, countertop and dishwasher.
A six-person dining set also transforms into more sleeping room aside from the 77.5-sq ft (7.2-sq m) master bedroom and 59-sq ft (5.5-sq m) children's bedroom. Even better, there is multimedia system mounted on the wall and a dry bathroom with a separate toilet, sink and shower compartments.
Now that they’ve tackled the sun and air, next on the power harvesting menu for sCarabane is water. Green Cat is currently working on a rainwater collection and water filtration system so the trailer can even produce its own clean water.
Road trips will never be the same again.