Outdoors

Carapate brings a fresh shape and plenty of fresh air to the teardrop trailer

Carapate brings a fresh shape ...
The Carapate mini-caravan
The Carapate mini-caravan
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The three mattresses set up as an L-shaped sofa during the day
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The three mattresses set up as an L-shaped sofa during the day
The rear-mounted spare tire is a classic touch
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The rear-mounted spare tire is a classic touch
Enjoy big-time views and plenty of fresh air inside the Carapate trailer
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Enjoy big-time views and plenty of fresh air inside the Carapate trailer
The Carapate trailer has a unique combination of lift-up side door and door knob
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The Carapate trailer has a unique combination of lift-up side door and door knob
France's Carapate Adventure has its own ideas on what a small, light teardrop trailer should look like
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France's Carapate Adventure has its own ideas on what a small, light teardrop trailer should look like
Carapate teardrop trailer
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Carapate teardrop trailer
The interior gets plenty of light thanks to the three wide windows and skylight
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The interior gets plenty of light thanks to the three wide windows and skylight
The mattresses slide together to create a bed
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The mattresses slide together to create a bed
Available wall pockets help create a more organized, homey interior
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Available wall pockets help create a more organized, homey interior
Available gas/electric fridge
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Available gas/electric fridge
The skylight includes a mosquito screen
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The skylight includes a mosquito screen
Enjoying a sit on the sofa
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Enjoying a sit on the sofa
The available electrical package adds LED lighting, a battery and charging
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The available electrical package adds LED lighting, a battery and charging
On the road with the Carapate trailer
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On the road with the Carapate trailer
The kitchen slides for indoor or outdoor use
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The kitchen slides for indoor or outdoor use
Enjoying a blue-sky day in the Carapate trailer
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Enjoying a blue-sky day in the Carapate trailer
The Carapate stands 5.6 feet (1.7 m) high
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The Carapate stands 5.6 feet (1.7 m) high
It's not hard to see why large gull-wing and lift-gate doors have been growing more popular
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It's not hard to see why large gull-wing and lift-gate doors have been growing more popular
Loading up and preparing to travel
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Loading up and preparing to travel
The Carapate is a simple, stylish trailer inside and out
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The Carapate is a simple, stylish trailer inside and out
Kitchen ready for indoor cooking
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Kitchen ready for indoor cooking
Carapate door knob
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Carapate door knob
The front platform with fold-up counter can hold an optional child bed, upping sleeping capacity to three
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The front platform with fold-up counter can hold an optional child bed, upping sleeping capacity to three
Electrical command center (optional)
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Electrical command center (optional)
Stabilizing jacks
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Stabilizing jacks
Nice rear view
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Nice rear view
The Carapate mini-caravan
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The Carapate mini-caravan

We've seen a number of angular teardrop styles, from the fairly common squaredrop to the much rarer faceted polygon. French startup Carapate Adventure tries something different with its eponymous mini-caravan — a rolling wooden trapezoid with rounded corners, vibrant color and plenty of style. Designed to better connect people and nature, the Carapate trailer features a modular bed layout, indoor/outdoor kitchen, nearly as much window area as a greenhouse, and a series of optional upgrade packages for more function and comfort.

The 10.5-foot (3.2-m) Carapate trailer's shape doesn't technically look anything like a teardrop, but Carapate was heavily inspired by the effortless style and compact escapism of the classic tear. In fact, its website has a section dedicated to the history of the teardrop camper.

We have to say that Carapate has crafted a successful living homage to the teardrop trailer, capturing a similar level of simplistic beauty and captivating style as the teardrop but with a look all its own. Much like the teardrop, the Carapate appears almost guaranteed to attract double-takes and invite questions from strangers.

On the road with the Carapate trailer
On the road with the Carapate trailer

Built from marine-grade plywood, the 990-lb (450-kg) Carapate trailer keeps things stylish but simple, pulling the focus away from the trailer interior and keeping it on the surrounding outdoors to prevent campers from forgetting why they decided to camp in the first place. The oversized lift-gate side entry immediately lessens the divide between inside and out — pop it open and let the breeze roll over your skin and local scenery fill your eyes. When it's time to close up shop for the evening, large panoramic windows and a skylight ensure the fresh air and scenic views don't disappear.

Oversized doors have become a small trend in camping trailers, bringing in more of the great outdoors while still offering the option to sneak away behind four solid walls. Just last month we saw similarly large doors and hatches on the Overkill T.K.4.7 and Earth Traveler, and traveling a little further back in time brings us to other recent debuts like the Droplet trailer, Taxa Tigermoth and Mogo Freedom.

The interior gets plenty of light thanks to the three wide windows and skylight
The interior gets plenty of light thanks to the three wide windows and skylight

Carapate keeps the innovation flowing inside its high-swinging door, where three single-sized 55 x 25-in (140 x 64-cm) mattresses replace the usual single triple-folder. At night, the mattresses piece together to fill out the floor area with a roomy bed for two. During the day, they stack and rearrange into a functional L-shaped sofa or front-facing sofa. An optional child's bed kit turns the platform in the front window into a small bed, allowing the Carapate to sleep a family of three.

More than just a potential sleeping platform, the front bench plays an even more important role. Lift the top away to reveal the indoor/outdoor kitchen. Campers can cook inside the trailer or slide the entire kitchen out to cook under the open sky. The slide-out unit packs room for a single-burner stove and simple sink with spouted water canister and collapsible bucket. A storage compartment and shelving at the far end keep pots, pans, dishes and other kitchenware right where you need them. When used outside, the kitchen has a slide-out cutting board/worktop, and when used inside, the fold-up shelf provides a counter.

Kitchen ready for indoor cooking
Kitchen ready for indoor cooking

In keeping with the simple, natural theme of its design, Carapate equips its trailer quite basically with the three mattresses, kitchen drawer, PVC flooring, spare wheel, stabilizing jacks and various storage compartments. From there, buyers can select from a number of options packages, adding an electrical pack with 110Ah gel battery, LED lighting, USB ports and control panel; 120W solar charging pack; kitchen equipment pack with sink system and single-burner stove; gas/electric fridge box and more. Carapate co-director Fabien Denis told France news site Presse Ocean last month that prices range roughly between €14,000 and 18,000 (approx. US$15,850 to $20,400), depending upon options.

The 2-minute clip below provides a closer look at how the Carapate's individual features work.

Carapate - Design & Caractéristiques

Source: Carapate Adventure (French)

4 comments
TomLeeM
I like how light and airy it seems. I like the compact design.
jerryd
I was thinking nice interior with good ventilation and easy entering and exits, excellent qualities. The bad parts are why is it not aero shape which allows a light weight along with letting smaller cars tow it faster at better mpg. With a curve in the sides front to back and a rounded front with a nice curve aft for the roof, the rear a little lower than midsection, could be very aero, 3x stronger plus being lighter. Such could cut the car's air drag enough to make up for the trailer drag if done right. With curves aero style can use 1/2 the thickness plywood lowering weight, costs. And the worst thing is the ungodly high cost. If it cost more than $4k to build, they are incompetent or greedy. A handy person could build it for $1k easily.
Joshua Tulberg
@jerryd: If you think you can build this for $1,000 then you are mistaken. When was the last time you sourced marine grade plywood? When was the last time you put together a complete BOM?
Mark in AK
I love the design and like many companies they do a great job of presenting their product in such a way that you can easily see yourself in the photo using it. That said for many it is not useful without modifications unless you camp where it is always, warm, dry, and insect free. The open air look is great until it is raining, windy, and there are thousands of mosquito's buzzing around.