Outdoors

Gull-wing mini-caravan brings color and edge to the road less traveled

Gull-wing mini-caravan brings ...
Ready to camp with the FIM Migrator
Ready to camp with the FIM Migrator
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The rugged Migrator Off-Road on show at the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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The rugged Migrator Off-Road on show at the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
The highlight of this Migrator "Summer Edition" was its half-width kitchen, which leaves the other side completely open to the interior
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The highlight of this Migrator "Summer Edition" was its half-width kitchen, which leaves the other side completely open to the interior
FIM Migrator Summer Edition
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FIM Migrator Summer Edition
The simpler kitchen of the FIM Migrator Summer Edition includes a single worktop and sink
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The simpler kitchen of the FIM Migrator Summer Edition includes a single worktop and sink
The FIM Migrator Summer Edition appears to be inspired by sun and surf
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The FIM Migrator Summer Edition appears to be inspired by sun and surf
This Off-Road package included several add-on options, like the refrigerator drawer and diesel heater
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This Off-Road package included several add-on options, like the refrigerator drawer and diesel heater
A wine holder hides below the dual worktops. In travel mode, the worktops drop down to serve as the face of the kitchenette
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A wine holder hides below the dual worktops. In travel mode, the worktops drop down to serve as the face of the kitchenette
The refrigerator isn't exactly going to keep you stocked for weeks, but it at least provides some 12V cold storage
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The refrigerator isn't exactly going to keep you stocked for weeks, but it at least provides some 12V cold storage
FIM shows the Migrator Off-Road at the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
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FIM shows the Migrator Off-Road at the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
The FIM Migrator gets pulled toward adventure
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The FIM Migrator gets pulled toward adventure
A better look inside the FIM Migrator
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A better look inside the FIM Migrator
Peeking in over top the half-width kitchenette
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Peeking in over top the half-width kitchenette
FIM's surfy Summer Edition
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FIM's surfy Summer Edition
The front-end of the Migrator houses a clamshell battery and general storage box
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The front-end of the Migrator houses a clamshell battery and general storage box
FIM Migrator caravan
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FIM Migrator caravan
Inside the FIM Migrator - notice how the kitchen shelf works as an interior shelf
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Inside the FIM Migrator - notice how the kitchen shelf works as an interior shelf
FIM has designed its trailers primarily for off-road/all-terrain use
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FIM has designed its trailers primarily for off-road/all-terrain use
The kitchen sink doubles as a shower
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The kitchen sink doubles as a shower
FIM's Migrator has a distinctive look and color selection that catches the eye immediately
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FIM's Migrator has a distinctive look and color selection that catches the eye immediately
Ready to camp with the FIM Migrator
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Ready to camp with the FIM Migrator
The Migrator rides on an AL-KO chassis and runs an axle-less suspension
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The Migrator rides on an AL-KO chassis and runs an axle-less suspension
FIM houses controls and lighting in a single unit at the head of the bed
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FIM houses controls and lighting in a single unit at the head of the bed
The FIM's three lift-up doors give it a unique look when it's open (the second gull-wing side door is an option)
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The FIM's three lift-up doors give it a unique look when it's open (the second gull-wing side door is an option)
FIM Migrator refrigerator
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FIM Migrator refrigerator
A look outside over the complete FIM kitchenette with optional fridge
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A look outside over the complete FIM kitchenette with optional fridge
Worktops dropped into travel mode
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Worktops dropped into travel mode
The Migrator offers plenty of opportunity for fresh air
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The Migrator offers plenty of opportunity for fresh air
FIM Migrator Off-Road
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FIM Migrator Off-Road
FIM Migrator Summer Edition
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FIM Migrator Summer Edition
FIM Migrator Off-Road with kitchenette minus the fridge cabinet
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FIM Migrator Off-Road with kitchenette minus the fridge cabinet
FIM Migrator kitchenette
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FIM Migrator kitchenette
Spreading its wings, but not quite ready to fly
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Spreading its wings, but not quite ready to fly
FIM Migrator kitchenette
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FIM Migrator kitchenette
Lift-up bed panels access the storage built into the floor
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Lift-up bed panels access the storage built into the floor

Romania's FIM Caravans takes the idea of a "mini-caravan" in a different direction from the typical teardrop. Its Migrator trailers share some general characteristics with the classic tear – compact dimensions, tailgate kitchens and mattress-filled interiors – but they look quite different, with sharp angles and hard lines taking over for rolling curves. FIM also brings some unique features, like gull-wing doors, a tailgate-access interior and a modular kitchen design. Whether you're rolling down dry highway or wading through muddy track, FIM keeps you equipped for a several-day stay.

We touched upon the FIM Migrator briefly in our Düsseldorf camping trailer gallery, but we couldn't help but think these distinctive, little campers deserve a closer look. They're quite unlike anything else we saw in Düsseldorf – or outside it, for that matter.

Looking at the 13.1-foot (4 m)-long FIM Migrator, we imagine that if you took a profile picture of a teardrop and drew a rough set of hard lines and angles inside and around the curves, it might end up looking similar – a face that protrudes toward the tow vehicle, albeit with a series of hard edges instead of a single curve, a long, flat roofline and a rear-end that drops off in a steady slope. We reckon the roof might slope a little more, and the rear-end a little less, if they were really going for an angular teardrop, though.

Either way, it's an interesting little shape, and the vibrant colors offset by neutrals in the clean color split only make it more interesting. It's a hard trailer to miss, even if it's tucked quietly away toward a corner of the world's largest caravan show.

The rugged Migrator Off-Road on show at the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon
The rugged Migrator Off-Road on show at the 2018 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon

To create its colorful, hard-edged trailer, FIM drops a fiberglass body atop an AL-KO chassis, with an off-road-ready Timbren Axle-less suspension cushioning the 16-in wheels. Removable mud guards help keep the dirt on and below the tires, and closed cell foam keeps the interior insulated.

Inside the cabin, each FIM caravan features a teardrop-like layout with full-floor 79 x 55-in (200 x 140-cm) mattress for two. The level roofline makes for a spacious feel, as far as small trailers go, keeping interior height at a fairly steady 47 inches (120 cm). The two sides of the platform below the mattress are hinged toward the middle, lifting in much the same way as the gull-wing doors, for access to the floor-integrated wardrobe space below. LED interior lighting takes over for the skylight when the sun drops below the horizon.

A better look inside the FIM Migrator
A better look inside the FIM Migrator

The real fun of the FIM design takes place below the full tailgate in back. A tailgate kitchen is a predictable enough feature on a small trailer like this, but FIM's design is a little different from the norm, offering a wall-free connection with the interior.

The modular kitchen can be built to several specifications, the largest filling the entire width of the tailgate with cabinetry and equipment. That layout still leaves a pass-through to the interior over the upper shelf, which serves as an interior storage shelf when the tailgate's closed. Drop the optional refrigerator cabinet on one side of the shelf (like below), and the pass-through is cut in half but still available for looking outside or passing things from outside in, inside out. FIM relies on a portable camp stove in place of an inbuilt cooktop and feeds the sink/shower with a 40-L fresh water tank.

A wine holder hides below the dual worktops. In travel mode, the worktops drop down to serve as the face of the kitchenette
A wine holder hides below the dual worktops. In travel mode, the worktops drop down to serve as the face of the kitchenette

The kitchen option that really caught our eye in Düsseldorf was the half-sided layout that leaves open a full-height pass-through into the interior so you can easily jump into bed directly from the back of the trailer. This kitchen features a single cabinetry unit with the sink/shower and a fold-down worktop.

The highlight of this Migrator "Summer Edition" was its half-width kitchen, which leaves the other side completely open to the interior
The highlight of this Migrator "Summer Edition" was its half-width kitchen, which leaves the other side completely open to the interior

In addition to easier access from kitchen to cabin, we'd imagine the full pass-through is nice if you want to lie in bed and enjoy the view out of the open tailgate – certainly better than a smaller side door. Beyond that, we're not sure it offers any great advantages, but it is definitely different from the more common set-up that cuts off the tailgate kitchen completely from the cabin. All in all, the design feels roomier and more flexible, though you might just end up filling the extra space with the cooler, stove and cooking gear you'd otherwise store in a larger kitchen.

FIM's entry level Migrator "Basic" does away with the kitchen altogether, featuring a simple sleeper layout with bed and full tailgate access inside. It also includes an 80-Ah battery, LED lighting, road tires and a few other features.

From there, FIM offers more generously equipped "Off-Road" and "Summer Edition" models. You can request more specific, up-to-date price quotes directly through its website, linked below, but to provide some reference, the red-sticker "best price" advertised in Düsseldorf on the nicely optioned, range-topping Off-Road 100 model (dark green in our show photos) was €13,999 (approx. US$16,200), including off-road tires, a larger 100-Ah battery, an optional Webasto diesel heater, and a kitchenette with refrigerator and 40-L fresh water tank.

FIM's surfy Summer Edition
FIM's surfy Summer Edition

The blue Summer Edition, which rode on off-road tires, included a 100-Ah battery and had the basic, half-sized kitchenette, was priced at €10,999 ($12,740). It did not share the above Off-Road's add-ons like refrigerator, diesel heater or second gull-wing door.

The FIM Migrator weighs in at roughly 992 lb (450 kg) and offers up to 660 lb (300 kg) of payload.

Source: FIM Caravans

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