Owomo interlocking panels make world's simplest DIY camping furniture
German company Owomo is looking to simplify the build-your-own camper/base camp process with a series of plywood panels that serve as lids for the common gray Eurobox. The panels and accompanying accessories interconnect like puzzle pieces, creating basic furniture such as beds, tables and lounge chairs. With a few Euroboxes and a few hundred euros' worth of Owomo panels, you can create a modular indoor/outdoor camper floor plan with loads of portable cargo storage.
We've covered dozens of car-to-camper RV accessories, camper-in-a-box kits, modular in-vehicle beds, airline-ready suitcase campers, and even at least one camper-in-a-bag, but Owomo's system appears to be the simplest possible solution. It reminds us a lot of another modular German camper kit we covered a few years back, the Cübes system from Camp It Simple, but instead of building its own proprietary boxes and lids, Owomo relies on the basic cargo boxes already quite ubiquitous in European camping and overlanding.
Each Owomo panel works as a snug-fitting lid for a 60 x 40-cm (24 x 16-in, W x L) Eurobox, its rectangular base surface fitting securely inside the box to create a simple building block. The jigsaw puzzle-like edges stick out so that the panels can secure together to create flat surfaces. The height of the boxes shouldn't matter so long as they're the same or varied in a way that's compatible with what you're building.
Beyond filling out the interior of a cargo van with a full-width sleeping platform ready to be topped by an inflatable or folding mattress, Owomo shows its two-part building blocks being used to create various styles of in-van and outdoor benches, side tables, desks, chairs, shelves and solo beds. It even stacks multiple Euroboxes into an outdoor bar.
The Owomo panels remind us a lot of the puzzle-like multicolor foam play mats that line the floors of many a daycare center and pediatrician waiting area, but Owomo's design is, of course, a heavier duty construction. Each 1.8-cm-thick (0.7-in) panel is made from Beech plywood, and while it looks quite lightweight, a single panel weighs close to 3 kg (6.5 lb), more than the typical Euro box itself.
In addition to the perforated panel pictured, which features a central pull handle for easy removal, Owomo offers a solid panel for the creation of DIY modules such as an inset sink or stove and a set of back supports that prop up a panel to make a seat back. The panels price between €59 and €69 (US$65 and $76), depending on style, and the back supports cost €49 (US$54) per pair.
Owomo estimates that 10 panels will work well for filling out the interior of a full-size van like the VW Crafter or Mercedes Sprinter with a 205 x 125-cm (81 x 49-in) sleeping platform, so you're looking at €590 (US$649) for the panels plus the cost of the boxes, if you don't already own them. Beyond camping, the made-in-Germany Owomo system can be used for commercial purposes, such as to create a workbench out of crates filled with tools.
The video below does a nice job showing how the Owomo panels transform basic cargo boxes into numerous styles of functional furniture.