Unassuming mini-camper packs tiny home living in a box trailer
Born from the pandemic-driven need for a self-sufficient means of travel and overnight accommodation, the new German-designed 7even50 One trailer looks like little more than an empty industrial cargo trailer from the outside. Open the rear load door, though, and you'll realize it's optimized for holding people, not goods. The colorful convertible interior provides a homey space for two that serves as a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and dining lounge. With a weight just over 1,200 lb, the stealthy mini-camper tows behind a large variety of vehicles, turning a basic car into a holiday-ready RV.
One of many RV innovations molded by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 7even50 One trailer was designed in reaction to the wide shutdown of lodging and travel services that followed the spread of COVID-19. The idea was to create a flexible means of travel that could be entirely relied upon in place of the usual tourism infrastructure. That could describe virtually any camper, but 7even50 aspired to create something small enough to transport and store easily, affordable enough for modest budgets, and well-equipped enough to work as a self-sufficient living space, without being entirely reliant on RV hookups. The project grew into a small caravan that you can tow with even a compact everyday car, store easily in the garage, and rely on like a hotel room-on-wheels while road-tripping around Europe.
Rather than attempting to reinvent the trailer with a ground-up build, 7even50 used what was already out there, beginning its build with a single-axle box trailer from German manufacturer Humbaur. The broad-sided box isn't exactly as stylish as a teardrop or aluminum zeppelin, but it provides a 3.3-sq m (36-sq ft) living space with 1.5-m (5-foot)-high ceiling. That's not a huge amount of space, but it does open up a convertible lie-down/sit-down/hunch-over interior that the typical teardrop trailer lacks while maintaining a small, lightweight footprint.
A basic cargo box trailer's interior is much too cold and spartan to serve as the base of a comfortable living space, so 7even50 trims the walls and ceiling in a combination of quilted artificial leather and felt, both available in a variety of colors. This trim immediately lends a softer, more colorful ambiance. To prevent the trailer from feeling like a hot, stuffy and poorly lit cargo crate, 7even50 adds a side window and roof vent.
Since the One is made for travel and road trips more so than camping, it's been designed to include all of the amenities travelers need to meet their basic daily needs, without requiring extra camping gear or set-up outside the trailer. The floor plan finds its anchor in a corner dinette set with L-shaped sofa. During the day, it works as a dining lounge with help from the removable tabletop mounted to the wall; at night, it converts into a 132 x 200-cm (52 x 79-in) double bed.
The One's small kitchen stands in front of the sofa, bringing a single-burner gas stove, a stainless steel sink hooked to 12-L fresh and waste water canisters, and an 18-L compressor fridge box on a slide-out built into the sofa frame. Powering that fridge, and the LED lighting, is a 515-Wh power station with integrated AC and DC outlets. A 120-W solar panel and 230-V external hookup come standard to help keep the power station charged and ready to go.
There's no room for a complete bathroom on board, but 7even50 does include a standard portable toilet, an amenity that many mini-campers forego but that this hotel room-inspired build simply can't do without. A small 15.4-in TV with built-in DVD player can be added as an option, fitting comfortably on the overhead shelf. Also included is an array of fabric storage bins.
The 7even50 One has a base weight of 550 kg (1,213 lb) and a gross vehicle weight of 750 kg (1,653 lb), hence the company name. It's designed to be towed at speeds up to 62 mph (100 km/h). The trailer has a base price of €12,599 (approx. US$14,825), and for those looking for something cheaper, 7even50 offers the €8,699 ($10,250) Two, a sleeper caravan with the convertible dining lounge but without equipment like the kitchen, power station or toilet. Buyers can also add individual One components on their Two trailer as extras.