Outdoors

Offbeat micro-camper cycles on land, floats on water

Offbeat micro-camper cycles on...
The Z-Triton is currently in the prototype stage and Zeltini hopes to bring it to market by mid-2021
The Z-Triton is currently in the prototype stage and Zeltini hopes to bring it to market by mid-2021
View 17 Images
The Z-Triton features six small solar panels on its roof
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The Z-Triton features six small solar panels on its roof
The Z-Triton is made from plywood and fiberglass, with a steel frame
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The Z-Triton is made from plywood and fiberglass, with a steel frame
The Z-Triton's tricycle includes pedal-assist motors
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The Z-Triton's tricycle includes pedal-assist motors
The Z-Triton's dashboard includes a USB charging station, electric horn, and controls for turn signals
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The Z-Triton's dashboard includes a USB charging station, electric horn, and controls for turn signals
The Z-Triton has an area to store a small plant
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The Z-Triton has an area to store a small plant
The Z-Triton shown ready to hit the road in tricycle mode
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The Z-Triton shown ready to hit the road in tricycle mode
When it's time to go on the water, the Z-Triton's wheels fold up and a couple of tiny inflatable pontoons are attached to improve stability
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When it's time to go on the water, the Z-Triton's wheels fold up and a couple of tiny inflatable pontoons are attached to improve stability
The Z-Triton definitely isn't a good fit for claustrophobic types
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The Z-Triton definitely isn't a good fit for claustrophobic types
The Z-Triton includes a pet seat which can be swapped out for a child's seat if preferred
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The Z-Triton includes a pet seat which can be swapped out for a child's seat if preferred
The Z-Triton includes both exterior and interior lighting
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The Z-Triton includes both exterior and interior lighting
The Z-Triton's electric tricycle setup offers 40 km (25 miles) of cycling assistance, depending on terrain
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The Z-Triton's electric tricycle setup offers 40 km (25 miles) of cycling assistance, depending on terrain
The Z-Triton is equipped with a 12-V Electric Outboard Trolling Motor with a range of approximately 10 km (6 miles)
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The Z-Triton is equipped with a 12-V Electric Outboard Trolling Motor with a range of approximately 10 km (6 miles)
The Z-Triton has a range of around 10 km (6 miles) while on the water
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The Z-Triton has a range of around 10 km (6 miles) while on the water
The Z-Triton is currently in the prototype stage and Zeltini hopes to bring it to market by mid-2021
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The Z-Triton is currently in the prototype stage and Zeltini hopes to bring it to market by mid-2021
The Z-Triton is designed by Latvian start-up Zeltini
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The Z-Triton is designed by Latvian start-up Zeltini
The Z-Triton features a small cockpit area for piloting it on the water
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The Z-Triton features a small cockpit area for piloting it on the water
The Z-Triton features a Z-shaped steering wheel
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The Z-Triton features a Z-shaped steering wheel
View gallery - 17 images

What do you get when you cross a camping trailer, a tricycle, and a boat? Well, if you're Latvian design start-up Zeltini, you end up with the Z-Triton, which is currently in the prototype stage and sleeps two people ... and a small dog.

The Z-Triton measures 3.6 m (11.8 ft) in length, 1.2 m (3.93 ft) in width, and has a height of 1.55 m (5 ft). It's made from plywood and fiberglass, with a steel frame, and there are also some 3D-printed plastic parts too.

When used as a tricycle, it's powered by two 250-W electric motors, hooked up to a 36-V battery. According to Zeltini, it offers 40 km (25 miles) of cycling assistance, depending on terrain. Features include disc brakes, lighting, a horn, USB charging ports, seating, an umbrella, two water bottle cages, a fold-up passenger seat, coffee cup holder, and a pet seat (which can be replaced with a child seat). Additionally, six solar panels are installed.

The Z-Triton's electric tricycle setup offers 40 km (25 miles) of cycling assistance, depending on terrain
The Z-Triton's electric tricycle setup offers 40 km (25 miles) of cycling assistance, depending on terrain

You're obviously not going to be crossing the Atlantic Ocean in this thing, but once its three wheels are folded up and tiny inflatable pontoons for extra stability are attached, Z-Triton can explore a calm lake, for example. Its cockpit is on the opposite side to the tricycle seat and is equipped with a dashboard with controls, windshield wiper, Z-shaped steering wheel, additional seats, and a winch. The whole thing is propelled with a 12-V Electric Outboard Trolling Motor that has a range of approximately 10 km (6 miles).

Finally, when it comes time to eat and bed down for the night, it has a basic folding kitchen and dining table, plus some shelving. Once the seats are removed and stored, the interior becomes a bedroom. Though, it does make the Rickshaw tiny house look spacious, so wouldn't suit claustrophobic types.

The Z-Triton definitely isn't a good fit for claustrophobic types
The Z-Triton definitely isn't a good fit for claustrophobic types

There are some concerns, such as the price and whether you'll need thighs of steel to use it regularly. That said, Zeltini is currently busy testing it thoroughly in all weathers, with a view to bringing it to market by mid-2021, so we'll keep you posted.

Source: Zeltini

View gallery - 17 images
7 comments
minivini
If this were slightly bigger (say an additional two feet longer and one foot wider), built of purely composite (fiberglass/Kevlar/carbon/3D print material), it seems like both the weight and comfort would be improved. Of course that would likely increase the unknown price. I love the concept, even if the prototype looks a little rough.
paul314
Among many other issue, that doesn't look like a lot of ground clearance. Obviously pedaling is going to ilmit you to minimal slopes and relatively smooth roads/trails, but when bottoming out means having to patch the boat...
sk8dad
From the pictures, at least, the workmanship has a degree of artistry to it. There are some great details like the simple bench position adjustment system. What I do question is the utility of it. It's a penny-boat-camper-farthing. Just how far is one expected to pedal this (500 lbs?) thing on a fixed drive train when rider cannot even pedal out of saddle? Usually locations with lakes are also situated near mountains I'm thinking. I'd love to see a video of the procedure for making the transition between land and water.
Tom Lee Mullins
if there is electric motors powering it in the water, why not an electric motor to power it on the land? Perhaps an in wheel motor? I think it is neat looking.
Aross
With out proper gearing or an electric assist for the drive on land I don't see this going anywhere except on flat ground or down hill.
CraigAllenCorson
Tom Lee Mullins - Why not TWO of them? "When used as a tricycle, it's powered by two 250-W electric motors, hooked up to a 36-V battery."
Gotta read the article, Tom.
JohnAyer
Four legs to keep it stable and off the ground as a camper. All parts helpfully labeled in English, more widely understood than Lettish. I too wonder where this would be useful: perhaps in Ireland, which I hear (have never visited) is flattish, with many loughs with many islands? Couldn't carry much camping supplies, I fear.