Hitchable slide-out kitchen helps convert a car or truck into a camper
Want a sweet slide-out kitchen like a mini-camper van but don't want to mount something semi-permanent and hard to remove? Polish startup Camportable has a new solution in an all-in-one kitchen that mounts to the vehicle hitch, easily adding rear galley capabilities without any tinkering inside the vehicle.
The vehicle itself is free to carry passengers and cargo, and the kitchen is always at the ready, whether for an extensive arrival dinner or a quick roadside lunch break. After the camping trip ends, it removes in one quick motion, bringing the vehicle back to everyday form.
We've seen a variety of plug-and-play camp kitchen solutions over the years, from camper-in-a-box kits, to expandable outdoor kitchen boxes, to slide-out drawer kitchens, to pickup bed kits.
We've also seen a hitch-mounted product or two, but the Camportable kit is more comprehensive than other hitch products, carrying all the amenities you'd get from a full camper kitchen in an 84-lb (38-kg) aluminum crate filled with Dometic appliances.
Camportable promises that set-up takes a mere 30 seconds, faster than the typical rooftop tent. Campers simply unlock the waterproof sealed lid, flip it open and gain immediate access to the Dometic sink/dual-burner stove combo and worktop. The stove is powered by a 1-kg gas canister, and the sink is plumbed to 10-L fresh and 10-L waste water tanks. The under-counter drawers store the tanks, a 14-L Dometic fridge box and space for kitchen utensils, dishes and tools. A spout on top provides easy fresh tank filling, and the box weighs a total of 106 lb (48 kg) with a full fresh water tank.
The Camportable kitchen rides on a lockable hitch bar that raises it above bumper height to improve ground clearance and departure angle. Like some bike racks and gear carriers, the Camportable hitch bar includes a tilt-back feature, allowing users to move the kitchen out of the way to access the lift-gate.
The 47 x 25 x 24-in (120 x 64 x 60-cm) Camportable features an aluminum skin, along with plastic trim, atop a plywood frame. Plans call for it to be packaged with the hitch mounting kit, electrical connections, rear vehicle lighting bar and interior LED strip lighting.
Camportable completed its production-ready design in 2021, but it will have to find a new path to funding after today's cancellation of an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign. The campaign mentioned a planned retail price of PLN18,450 (approx. US$4,600) and a two-part launch plan for European and global deliveries.
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1) add the ability to at least partially extend/rotate the unit away from the vehicle to allow rear door access
2) better utilize the interior of the lid, with specialized pockets for cooking/eating utensils, lighter, etc.
3) make an extendable countertop that slides out to the left side.
But more importantly, look at the clearance between the road and typical car or minivan hitch - this thing would get destroyed at the first parking lot exit.