Man caves are great, but they are generally fixed firmly in one place, often a back shed or garage. The Dutch-designed Mannen Caravan lets the man of the house cast off the shackles and take his man cave on the road. He can tow his retractable TV, beer keg, big-screen projector system and roof-top lounge anywhere the road takes him and set up camp like a king among men. There's even a remote-controlled beer cooler.
Starting with a humble 2008 Eifelland Deseo caravan, Wateringen-based Van Vliet Caravans set out to bring a vision of the ultimate man's caravan to life. It worked with more than two dozen suppliers and partners to build out the perfect caravan for male bonding during tailgates, festivals and camping trips. We'd imagine an owner might even park it in his driveway and hang out there on weekends.
What was once a plain, rounded box takes on new life as a colorful rolling mural with tons of personality. Inside its painted door, the Mannen Caravan is perhaps more bachelor pad than man cave thanks to the L-shaped couch upholstered in a deep purple fabric that most wives would likely veto immediately, even if the selection was meant solely for hubbie's men-only retreat.
The upholstered housing of the retractable, satellite-fed flat-screen TV adds to the bachelor pad feel, as does the built-in Krups/Heineken Sub mini draft system. Decor like the model cars, beer mugs hanging from the wall and neon Heineken sign would be at home in a man cave, bachelor pad or college apartment.
The interior is usually the most compelling part of the caravan, but in the case of the Mannen Caravan, the exterior manages to outshine it. Van Vliet has created a manly outdoor living space that includes a video projection system with awning-mounted screen, a roof-top drinking lounge with bar table and umbrella, a full sound system with four exterior wall-mounted speakers, and a full-sized Weber grill secured to the tow bar. Van Vliet dresses the design with a pair of couches on the "front porch" positioned to watch the big screen or just relax.
Arguably the coolest part of the Mannen Caravan design is an add-on accessory – a Dometic refrigerator driven by a Truma XT caravan mover. This set-up serves as a remote-controlled beer cooler, portering beer around the campsite. No need to get up from the couch and miss the big screen action; just roll the cooler right to your feet.
Van Vliet revealed the Mannen Caravan at an open house last November and has been showing it at various events ever since, including the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon earlier this month. It's a living project, as Van Vliet plans to add more equipment, including a Truma iNet remote-controlled climate system. There's no commercial future for this particular man caravan, but it could certainly serve as inspiration for caravan home builds.
Van Vliet was kind enough to send over a big stack of photos, so you can see all the nooks and crannies of the Mannen Caravan in our gallery.