The idea of glamping (camping glamorously) has gone from parody to practice in recent years. Concurrently, the options available for green living have also multiplied. Ecocapsules will arrive in 2018, Volkswagen’s sustainable microbus is coming in 2022, and a Tesla tiny house is currently touring Australia. More recently, France’s Green Cat Technologies revealed the concept for the sCarabane. This self-sustaining caravan unfolds into a spacious camping area that utilizes solar and wind power to make you feel right at home.
Keeping Camping Glamorous
When folded up for towing, the sCarabane is 25.6 ft (7.8m) long, 9.2 ft (2.8m) wide, and 8.2 ft (2.5m) tall. It weights about 5,500 lb (2,500 kg). It doesn’t take long for the off-grid camper to transform into what appears to be a permanent-looking tiny home. Both sides come equipped with swing-out, flip-up, and fold-down hardware that reduces setup time to about 30 minutes for just one person.
Once unfolded, one side of the sCarabane sports a roomy outdoor deck complete with a retractable awning. The outdoor deck is large enough to accommodate an outdoor dining set and has a fold-down mini-bar window.
The hatch next to the mini-bar window leads into a kitchen area complete with a sink, refrigerator, three-burner propane stove, microwave, dishwasher, and dining area. Even after all of this equipment, the kitchen also has plenty of drawers and cabinets for storage.
The 6-person dining area is decorated with a bubble window that can be adjusted to change the amount of sun light and warmth entering. It also comes equipped with a TV/multimedia center. The area can transform into another bed if needed.
The kitchen leads to a dry bathroom area that comes equipped with a sink, toilet, shower, and washing machine.
The sCarabane’s other side unfolds to a 77.5 sq ft master bedroom and 59 sq ft children’s bedroom. The master bedroom contains a double bed while the children’s room sports two single beds. Rose windows on the roof allow each room’s occupants to control the entering sunlight intensity.
Keeping Glamping Green
Of course, all of these camping accoutrements would not be viable without a good source of energy. The sCarabane utilizes solar cells and a telescopic wind turbine. The camper sits on an electrical circular stand that rotates 360 degrees to maximize the efficiency of green energy acquisition.
The sCarabane uses a 65 sq ft (6 sq m) parabolic mirror (solar concentrator) to determine the optimal direction for solar energy and heat water. So not only do you not have to worry about rotating the camper yourself, but you get a change of views automatically.
Solar cells also on the roof can provide the sCarabane with up to 500 watts of green energy.
Next to the solar concentrator is the retractable vertical wind turbine. Like the solar cells, the turbine is also capable of generating up to 500 watts of clean energy. When wind is producing more energy than solar, the rotation system can adapt and rotate based on optimal wind direction.
The Future of Off-The-Grid
Green Cat showed the most recent sCarabane iteration in Düsseldorf, Germany earlier this week. Originally, Fillon Technologies started work on the concept of the sCarabane in 2013. Last month, Green Cat took control of development and Fillon became a partner in the concept. The Düsseldorf showcase primarily appeared to be a way for Green Cat to display its current ideas and technologies for the sCarabane concept.
The France-based company has mentioned it is looking for more partners to not only further the development of the sCarabane but also to apply its patented technologies to other products. Other than that, there is no official launch date or cost for the sCarabane.
Green Cat mentions that achieving self-sufficiency with the sCarabane will strongly depend on variables like location, season, and user behavior. Small things, like the fact that a bottle of propane is still needed to start cooking, need to be worked out. Currently, the company is working on a rainwater collecting and filtration system.
The current concept for the sCarabane looks promising for the future of off-grid living. Regardless of it becoming commercially available, the concept is sure to spark conversations and influence current developments in caravan camping.