Base camp trailer generates H2O & power for off-grid RV & cabin life
Not everyone has the wherewithal to go all-in on a US$360,000 wheeled aluminum tiny home that makes its own drinking water. For those who live on the road in more modest vehicles, Seattle-based startup BluOasis offers a more flexible mobile water-making solution. The all-new BluMobile trailer puts deployable solar power generation, lithium battery storage and water-making capabilities atop a military-grade off-road trailer chassis, providing autonomy to RVers, overland explorers, permanent off-grid inhabitants and everyday adventurers. The trailer even features accommodations for four people, allowing it to work behind an RV or as an RV.
BluOasis starts its work with an ultra-rugged M1101 utility trailer that would usually be found following a Humvee on official military business. Instead of trying to turn that cold, hard metal trailer into a warm, cozy camper, it focused on creating a different style of utility trailer that just happens to have enough space to get four people up off the ground and sleeping inside its walls.
The BluMobile trailer is built first and foremost as an autonomous off-grid base camp or command center, capable of creating and storing its own power and water. While BluOasis debuted the trailer at an overland show and imagines RVing, overlanding and off-grid living among its primary uses, the trailer could also be the perfect solution for remote job site support, disaster response, search and rescue, and more.
Each BluMobile trailer comes topped with an expandable solar panel array that essentially doubles in size and output when parked. A powered automatic expansion system raises the pop-up roof and slides the lower solar panel out to complete the 1,500-W solar charging array.
Electricity generated from the solar panels is stored on board in a 15-kWh lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack. Buyers looking for more power can upgrade to a 30-kWh pack and add an extra 1,500 or 3,000 watts of charging with a freestanding solar panel setup that stores inside the trailer.
The BluMobile trailer can serve as an RV or tiny home power hookup through integrated 120-V/30-A and 240-V/30-A outputs. The integrated outdoor side table serves as a cover for the central power panel and control center, which includes several 120-V outlets for plugging in appliances, laptops and more. The 6 kW of continuous inverter output power can be upgraded to 12 kW.
What makes the BluMobile particularly well-suited to overlanding and off-grid camping or dwelling is its ability to also develop its own clean water via an integrated atmospheric water generator. Much like the portable system from Watergen, BluOasis' generator tech separates natural humidity from air using a condensation process, then runs it through UV-powered purification and filtering. The water then flows into the BluMobile's onboard 150-L storage tank.
BluOasis estimates that its water generation system can create 38 L of fresh water per day, assuming a temperature around 80 °F (27 °C) and relative humidity of 60%. It consumes roughly 12 kW of energy per day, running off the integrated battery bank. Should the H20-generating rate prove too quick for a given group, they can bring along additional water canisters or tanks to store the extra water, assuming they want the surplus. Or simply turn off the water generator.
The BluMobile is not a typical cargo or camper trailer, but it is equipped to work as both. The dual rear doors and drop-down tailgate deliver access to the nearly 4,250 L of internal storage that easily swallows coolers, storage boxes, camping gear and other cargo. When empty, the trailer can sleep four on a queen-size upper space in the pop-up roof area and a full-size space down below. It's far from the most luxurious camping trailer out there, but between the fabric pop-up and side windows, it should at least offer a ventilated, well-sheltered place to spend the night.
The BluMobil trailer weighs in around 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) to start and measures 110 x 60 x 84 in (279 x 152 x 213 cm, L x W x H). Along with increased electrical capacity, BluOasis plans to offer available upgrades including a backup gas generator with automatic start system, a Dometic fridge/freezer, communications equipment and more.
BluOasis showed its first BluMobile build this month at Overland Expo Pacific Northwest but has not yet made it available to order on its website. It suggests that interested parties contact it directly to discuss the specifics of potential builds. For reference, the BluOasis 1506, a standalone, non-trailer unit that offers the same water-generation capabilities and onboard battery capacity as the base BluMobil trailer but without the integrated solar panels, starts at $24,500.
In the 10-minute video below, BluOasis founder Jason Andrews provides a closer look at the features and layout of the BluMobil trailer.
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