Ultra-moddable camping trailer transforms from cargo crate to micro-RV
German camper innovator VanMe recently took a short break from designing stylish camper vans to introduce one of the more modular camping trailers the world over.
Called the Bobo, the boxy cargo trailer comes loaded with an empty interior that can be filled out with VanMe's custom-fit array of camping slides, boxes and drawers. Outside, it has tie-down track for mounting accessories and a top rack ready for carrying a rooftop tent or more cargo. At the end of the trip, all components can be removed to leave the trailer ready and able to get to work hauling cargo come Monday morning.
VanMe starts its camper build out with an empty 873-lb (396-kg) trailer that stands on off-road tires below step-on fenders. The rear wall is a full-size swinging tailgate designed for easy loading, and the roof is hinged at the front so it can be lifted up with the help of gas struts, providing space for oversized cargo. Payload checks in at 1,323 lb (600 kg)
VanMe actually sells the basic trailer just like that, charging €4,969 (approx. US$5,300) for the 10.1-ft (3.1-m) base version and €7,049 ($7,500) for the 12.5-ft (3.8-m) XL model. From there, the Bobo can serve as an all-terrain tagalong cargo-hauler for work, home improvement and outdoor recreation.
To turn the Bobo into a full blown expandable camper, VanMe has developed five modules that fit the interior like puzzle pieces. The first is a slide-out kitchen box that works with a drop-down door on the passenger-side of the trailer to deliver a long surface for outdoor cooking. Owners will have to stock it with their own cooking gear and dishes, but it includes deep storage space for provisions like pots and pans, appliances, dishware, spices and utensils. The rugged checker plate worktop provides space for prepping food and cooking on a portable stove or grill.
Module #2 stacks inside the trailer atop the kitchen box, bringing all the electrical hardware. Essentially a custom-built power block, it's based around a 100-Ah lithium battery and includes a Victron inverter/charger, 20-A charging booster, shore power connection, electrical outlets and gooseneck lighting. It's accessible from outside the trailer via a hatch door above the kitchen, making it handy for plugging in kitchen appliances and tools.
A cage-like unit VanMe calls the "underground parking garage" (module 3) mounts to the floor in front of the kitchen, bringing with it a cargo slide designed to hold luggage, miscellaneous camping gear or whatever else the owner wants to stuff down low. The upper beams of the cage are used to mount two top slides (modules 4 and 5). The first of those two is a long, narrow slide with a front holder fit to two 20-L water canisters, and the second is designed specifically to accommodate a 50-L fridge/freezer and a portable grill or a standard plastic Euro storage box.
The modules secure to the trailer quickly via the tie-down track on the floor and the tracks and hardware built into the modules themselves. They remove the same way, making it easy to return the trailer to a stripped-down empty cargo-hauler whenever necessary.
With all five modules installed, the interior of the trailer is a functional camper garage with storage, cooking and power capabilities. To gain overnight accommodations, buyers can add the optional Airhome Maggiolina hardshell rooftop tent to the roof rack, bringing in an extra-long 51 x 91-in (130 x 230-cm) sleeping area on which to retire at day's end. For a bathroom option, VanMe offers a deployable shower room with dry separating toilet.
VanMe's full-blown modularity separates the Bobo from similar trailers, such as the larger Blackcamp Freeda, and it continues on the exterior, where a tie-down track on the sidewall is pictured holding accessories like a drop-down side table from Oryx Solutions, a cup/bottle holder and a Bluetooth speaker mount. Buyers could foreseeably use the track for carrying other accessories, such as traction boards, a shovel, Rotopax canisters and more.
VanMe offers the smaller base Bobo camper with all five interior modules for a price of €11,999 ($12,775), the XL version for €13,499 ($14,375). The Maggiolina tent is a €3,793 add-on, and other accessories include a €389 side awning, €699 roof vent and €599 200-W solar charging add-on for the electrical kit.