Romotow: Mobile Space like No Other

Leading design architects W2, located in Christchurch, New Zealand, have launched the next frontier in mobile living—the Romotow.

The Romotow
The Romotow

A combination of the words ‘room to move’, the Romotow is an innovative design that folds out like a Swiss Army Knife to ensure that the tourer offers roughly 70 percent more living space than an average caravan trailer.

The Romotow is created for today’s innovation savvy generation, with a contemporary mobile living design that delivers an experience in a class of its own. Its design is a radical departure from the boxy and cumbersome hybrid travel trailer and caravan concept of yesteryear, said Director Matt Wilkie, in a news release.

During the last decade, the motor caravan lifestyle has experienced a major surge in popularity. Statistics from the National Caravan Council in the UK, the Caravan and Camping Association in Australia, the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, and others all confirm that the caravan, motorhome, and camping industry is the fastest growing domestic tourism sector.

To capitalize on this burgeoning market, W2 directors Stuart Winterbourn and Matt Wilkie designed the Romotow—a head-turning patented innovation that promises a stress free, spacious, and comfy escape for all sorts of exciting outdoor adventures. Its point of difference is a living area that uniquely extends out from its sheltered exterior, with an ingenious automated swivel, to reveal up to 70 percent more floor area to enjoy.

Features include aerodynamic and lightweight construction for increased fuel efficiency and towing stability, power assisted braking, pneumatic shocks, gyro assisted self-leveling pads and struts, and a rear mounted camera. Fit-out variations can include a sheltered BBQ deck area for entertaining and relaxing, windbreak, sliding doors, louvered windows, stylish and easy clean furniture, and more.

The Romotow exterior
The Romotow exterior

Designed for both young and old, with unprecedented indoor-outdoor flow and modern stylish living, use of this innovation will only be limited by the buyer’s imagination and pocket.

W2 first played with the idea of what an extendable mobile living space should look like while enjoying a family picnic at the park.

“A friend of ours imports caravans from the UK and we got talking one day about the potential cost savings of a flat-packed caravan design that would be easy to manufacture, ship, and use. We did some research and realized that caravans had taken a bit of a bad rap in previous years, and campervans were on the increase,” said Matt Wilkie.

“Often the negatives of campervans and RVs (compared with larger tents) are the expense and lack of covered transitional space. While looking at the movement of a Swiss army knife at our picnic, an idea came to us on how we could create this covered area. We then sketched a ‘mobile living’ unit that could be anything: a caravan, a mobile café, a home office, a weekend escape, or a new lifestyle of discovery and wonder for retirees—and from that moment the concept took on a life of its own.”

“You can take it camping, or on a sales trip or road show, or enjoy your retirement exploring the country, or extend your property with a mobile office come guest room. You can even use it as a home and horse float and travel with your horse to an overnight equestrian event. The dream is yours to realize with the Romotow.

“The Romotow will come in a range of sizes and aesthetic features, including a sheltered decking platform providing 70 percent more floor area, multiple berths, kitchenette, bathroom, large louvered windows for air flow, shade and privacy, and much more.”

W2 is now approaching leading caravan manufacturers with the view of building a prototype for testing and fitting and eventual production, and is seeking feedback from the public as they refine the designs.

The Romotow open
The Romotow open

W2 hopes that the Romotow will be on the market by 2015.

Details

W2 Limited

W2 Limited, a multi-disciplinary design consultancy, was established in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2007 when interior designer Matt Wilkie and structural engineer Stuart Winterbourn joined forces to offer a unique blend of international experience gained in the commercial capitals of London and New York.

The company offers both residential and commercial design services, and specializes in bringing fresh ideas with different materials to the building of efficient and dynamic structures.

Address: Unit 1, 77 Gloucester Street, Central City, Christchurch, NZ 8013

Mailing Address: PO Box 130111, Christchurch, NZ 8013

Phone: +6 4 3 3660966

Website: w2.co.nz

Worth Pondering…

Think big. There are unforeseen forces ready to support your dreams.

—Cheryl Richardson

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Airstream Introduces 604 and Studio Models

Penrith, Cumbria-based Airstream & Company introduced two new trailers to their current range of caravans at last month’s (October 16-21) NCC Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC in Birmingham to meet the demands of a fast-growing customer base.

Airstream International Studio has an office area in the nose end.

The innovative caravan manufacturer opted to spotlight two of its latest tourers at the event—the office-themed Studio with home-workers in mind and the 604, a lighter four berth trailer that can be towed by mid-sized 4x4s as well as other standard cars.

604 European Airstream

The eagerly-awaited 604 is a smaller, twin axle European Airstream that has a bedroom to the front and the usual array of surprisingly spacious onboard features.

Although it has the full en-suite bathroom and larder fridge-freezer of its bigger brother, the 684, it has lower and upper MTPLM’s of just 2000kg (4,400 pounds) and 2100kg (4,630 pounds) and can be towed by the latest generation of fuel-efficient, mid-sized 4x4s.

The 604 features a rear seating area that easily converts from a dinette to a large L-shaped sofa. Like in the 684, the 604 interior design features 40mm (1.5 inch) thick worktops finished in Formica Ebony laminate and flowing radius corners throughout.

Corian worktops are offered as standard in the bathroom and as an optional upgrade in the kitchen, where the Corian option includes a residential-style undermounted Franke sink and Corian drop-in lid.

The five-berth International 685 proved to be a hit at the expo.

Also following the styling of the 684, one of the major bonuses of the 604 layout is a true bedroom suite which can be created by opening the bathroom door 90 degrees to create a private bed/ bath/dressing area, separate from the rear of the trailer. The angled wardrobe and bathroom partitions greatly increase space and views too.

“Tow vehicles are becoming much more fuel-efficient and we have designed the 604 to meet customer demand and enable those with lighter vehicles to own—and tow—the ultimate travel trailer. This new addition to the range provides the luxury and practicality of larger trailers in the range but in a package that is compatible and convenient, said Anthony Slocock, Technical Director at Airstream & Company.

The International 604 is priced at £49,970 ($79,362).

Airstream Studio

The show also marked the arrival of the Airstream Studio.

Based on the Series 2 684 2.5m (8.2 foot) floor plan, and having all the refinements of the award-winning flagship model, the innovation lies at the rear, where a bed and large desk are interchangeable.

The Studio comes with an additional door at the rear as standard, making a very versatile working and leisure vehicle that is sure to appeal to home-workers and exhibitors at corporate events.

“With the Studio, the challenge was to design an Airstream that would fulfill the needs of the modern Airstreamer and provide a practical work space that could easily be converted to a sleeping area and vice versa,” said Slocock.

“Ensuring customer satisfaction and being able to respond to customer needs are factors that influence our new designs significantly and we think the Studio delivers a true multipurpose Airstream with aplomb.”

The Airstream Studio is priced at £58,470 ($92,862).

Details

Airstream & Company 

Airstream International Studio

Wally Byam founded Airstream in 1931, driven by a passion to build an innovative, well-designed, high quality trailer product that met the needs of a new breed of adventurer.

Airstream, Inc. has been making trailers ever since for people who want to realize their travel dreams.

Seventy per cent of all Airstream trailers ever made are still on the road or in use today—and of the 400 U.S. recreational vehicle manufacturers active in 1936, Airstream is the only survivor.

With the rising popularity of caravan and motorhome travel, and consequent surge of enthusiasm for the iconic ‘silver bullet’, Airstream trailers are more popular than ever.

This popularity extended across the Atlantic with the launch of Airstream Europe in 2006 and now a full range of Airstream trailers meeting European requirements is available in the UK and across mainland Europe.

Address: Clock Garage Industrial Estate, Tebay (J38), Penrith, Cumbria. CA10 3SS United Kingdom

Phone: 01539 624141

Website: airstreamandco.com

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

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Five-Berth Airstream Unveiled at London Caravan Show

A slice of classic Americana that is big enough to accommodate larger families was unveiled by Airstream Europe at the recent ExCel Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show.

The Airstream International 685 proved popular at the London Caravan Show. (Source: caravantimes.co.uk)

Showcasing the latest additions to their award-winning range of aluminum trailers, the pioneering U.S. trailer company introduced its latest family-oriented five-berth trailer— the new International 685 and the Series 2 534—at the London show.

The president of Airstream and Company partner Airstream Inc, Bob Wheeler, flew in from the U.S. to take part in the show, Caravan Times reported.

“Airstream has always been synonymous with great style and design and these two additions to the European range have got both in abundance, said Wheeler.”

The new 685 has a neat layout that includes three fixed bunk beds at the rear, with a clever partitioning door allowing a children’s bedroom to be created in addition to the traditional double or twin singles at the front.

Instead of simply stacking all three bunks on top of each other, the middle bed is set at a right-angle to the other two, resulting in more headroom for all the youngsters in the back.

In addition, the bathroom door can double up as a solid dividing door when opened by 90 degrees, meaning that parents can enjoy added peace and quiet in the front of the trailer.

This new model has been five years in the making and was designed in reaction to feedback from customers with larger families, following the launch of the International 684 in 2006.

Airstream International 685 interior (Source: airstreameurope.co.uk)

The new family-sized twin-axle Airstream would require a serious heavy-duty tow vehicle while also carrying a starting MSRP of £59,980 or nearly $81,000, Caravan Times noted.

Anthony Slocock, technical director of Airstream and Co, said that in creating the 685 the company was responding to demand for a bigger family model.

“The Series 2 534, meanwhile, is still gracefully compact but is incredibly roomy for a single axle trailer,” he added.

Details

Airstream Europe Ltd.

The new 685 has a neat layout that includes three fixed bunk beds at the rear. (Source: airstreameurope.co.uk)

Wally Byam founded Airstream 80 years ago. Wally was driven by his passion to build an innovative, well-designed, high quality trailer product that met the needs of a new breed of adventurer. Airstream, Inc. has been making trailers and motorhomes ever since.

Over sixty percent of all Airstream trailers made are still active on the road today—and of the 300 U.S. trailer companies active in 1936, Airstream is the only survivor.

Address: Clock Garage Industrial Estate, Tebay, CUMBRIA, CA10 3SS, UK

Phone: +44 1539 624141

Website: airstreameurope.co.uk

Related Stories

 Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

Read More

Art Galleries on Wheels

The whole notion of caravanning has been turned on its head by a Portsmouth couple who converted their vintage 1969 mustard-yellow tourer into a traveling art gallery; Annelise Atkinson, a designer, artist, and printer who uses a tourer as a traveling boutique from which to sell ‘zines; and Duckett and Jeffreys, a contemporary art gallery, who turned a fifty year old Sprite caravan into a touring art gallery.

Caravan Gallery

A couple have turned their vintage caravan into a touring art gallery. (Credit: caravantimes.co.uk)

Having recently published their third book of photography, Jan Williams and Chris Teasdale spend their time travelling around the UK in their mustard-yellow caravan, taking pictures and displaying them in their caravan.

In their latest book, ‘Is Britain Great? 3’, they use weird, wonderful, and bluntly realistic photographs to pose questions about contemporary Britain, the News in Portsmouth reported.

Readers of their book will find photographs of pigeons enjoying a cream tea, graffiti scrawled to amusing effect on billboards, and grey photographs of second hand car yards, all of which are designed to get audiences thinking about Britain in the 21st century.

Travelling to an area, Jan and Chris will get a feel for the place, wandering around and snapping photos before returning with their developed images exhibited in their mobile gallery for the locals to enjoy.

“We take it to places galleries can’t reach and get all kinds of visitors,” Jan told the local newspaper.

“If we’re at an art event we’ll have artists and curators coming in, but we might also be at shopping centers or festivals.

“A lot of people come in out of curiosity and end up staying. Some come in just because they like caravans.”

Having bought the caravan for just £250 ($390), the artistic couple turned it into the Caravan Gallery in 2000 and have been travelling around in it ever since.

Despite converting the inside into a genuine art gallery, they decided to hold onto the brown curtains and flowery upholstery so that it keeps the feel of a vintage caravan.

Now the Caravan Gallery has become their full-time jobs.

Caribou Caravan

A one-of-a-kind vintage caravan has cropped up in Nottingham, with funky decorations and a big stack of ‘zines for sale from inside its cozy confines.

The Caribou Caravan features vintage magazines and various arts and crafts. (Credit: Samantha Gallagher Photography)

The ‘Caribou Caravan’ is the brainchild of Annelise Atkinson, a designer, artist, and printer who used the tourer as a traveling boutique from which to sell ‘zines—homemade magazines made by a global subculture of artists.

Having bought the caravan from a wheeler dealer in Bournemouth, Annelise brought it all the way back the Midlands to house her business, which is currently residing at the Hopkinson’s Gallery in Nottingham, Leftlion.co.uk reported.

“The idea of the shop is that it is a travelling boutique, and can bring artists’ work to a wider audience and spread the good word of ‘zines around the country,” she explained.

Determined to take hehr ‘zines to the wider public, Annelise will soon take the Caribou—a cross between caravan and boutique—on tour around festivals and markets and anywhere else she sees fit to travel.

Touring Art Gallery

This mini art gallery was made from a 1960s Sprite caravan. (Credit: Ryedale Art Fest 2011)

A fifty year old Sprite caravan has been given a new lease of life as a touring art gallery.

Converted by contemporary gallery Duckett and Jeffreys, this tiny tourer headed off on an 11-venue regional tour earlier this year, Caravan Times reported.

The purpose of the tour was to draw attention to the work of the gallery’s 23 local artists, including painters, sculptors, felt-makers, ceramicists, print makers, and even a blacksmith.

Stef Mitchell, founding artist at Duckett and Jeffreys, who is on the tour, said: “We aim to show artists that are brave, confident, and imaginative.”

Worth Pondering…
Recreational vehicles are wonderful… To travel by RV is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches and rivers, in fact, to see life.
—with apologies to Agatha Christie

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Venus Launches Four New Models

Venus Caravans is set to launch “an exciting new brand of caravan” at the Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show, at the London ExCel Center, February 14-19, 2012.

The Venus brand, which is being launched by Lunar Caravans Ltd., will focus on a range of lightweight, compact, and affordable caravans that will formulate a very different product offering from the existing Lunar brand, according to a news release.

The models are aimed at caravanners who would like a compact, lightweight caravan that is great value for money and extremely practical for touring holidays and short breaks.

Sales and Marketing Director for the Venus brand, Martin Henderson, says “Venus Caravans has been developed to appeal to a very different market to the one served by our existing Lunar brand. There has been a substantial growth in the popularity of two berth and fixed bed caravans that are affordable, compact, and lightweight. We are, therefore, extremely excited to put 40 years of expertise into this new caravan brand. We are confident that Venus Caravans will be the lightest, most compact and most practical value for money caravans available in the market place.”

Credit: venuscaravans.com

Venus Caravans will offer customers a choice between four single-axle model layouts that range from two-berth to four-berth fixed beds.

Weights are estimated to range from under 1200kg (2646 pounds) to less than 900kg (1984 pounds).

Venus Caravans announced yesterday (January 6) that four new models will make their first public appearance at the mid-February Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show:

  • 320/2
  • 380/2
  • 490/4
  • 500/4

Venus Caravans estimate the MTPLM weights to be the following:

  • Less than 900kg (1984 pounds) for the 320/2
  • Less than 1000kg (2204 pounds) for the 380/2
  • Less than 1200kg (2646 pounds) for both the 490/4 and the 500/4

These models are all designed to be…

  • Ultra Lightweight
  • Cleverly Compact
  • Extremely Practical
  • Temptingly Affordable

The Venus brochure will be available early February; the Venus website will also be fully launched soon packed with specs, images, and 360 tours.

Related

Details

Lunar Caravans Ltd

Address: Sherdley Road, Lostock Hall, Preston, Lancashire, UK PR5 5JF

Website: lunarcaravans.com

Venus Caravans

Website: venuscaravans.com

Worth Pondering…

When you travel you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the language the people speak. You begin to be more accessible to others, because they may be able to help you in difficult situations.
—Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

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Lunar Caravans Introduces Lightweight Venus Brand

Lunar Caravans Ltd. is grabbing a stake in the entry level caravan market with the launch of the UK’s lightest range of tourers under a brand new name—Venus Caravans.

The Venus brand is a range of lightweight, compact, and affordable caravans that the Preston, UK-based manufacturer says is a very different product line from other trailers currently built under the Lunar banner that includes Ariva/Quasar range, Stellar/Lexon range, Clubman/Delta 2012 collection, and the Caravan Matchmaker.

The Venus models are aimed at caravanners wanting compact, lightweight caravans which are good value and easy to handle, whether on short breaks or touring holidays, Lunar reports in a recent news release.

Sales and Marketing Director for the Venus brand, Martin Henderson, says “Venus Caravans has been developed to appeal to a very different market to the one served by our existing Lunar brand.  There has been a substantial growth in the popularity of two berth and fixed bed caravans that are affordable, compact, and lightweight. We are, therefore, extremely excited to put 40 years of expertise into this new caravan brand. We are confident that Venus Caravans will be the lightest, most compact and most practical value for money caravans available in the market place.”

2012 Lunar Caravan Matchmaker (Credit: lunarcaravans.com)

At launch, Venus Caravans will offer customers a choice between four single-axle models that range from two-berth to four-berth fixed beds.

Weights in the new compact range are expected to start from under 900kg (1984 pounds), meaning that a Venus caravan can be towed by almost any family car.

By comparison, a Lunar Ariva weighs in at 995kg (2193 pounds), but the company is keen to stress that Venus is a completely new brand that has been designed from the ground up.

Venus Caravans is set to launch at the forthcoming Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show at the London ExCel Centre, February 14-19, 2012.

Lunar Caravans reports that the new Venus website will be launching early February where you will find lots of information which includes model specifications, images, and 360 tours.

Details

Lunar Caravans Ltd

2012 Lunar Ariva/Quasar Caravan interior (Credit: lunarcaravans.com)

Address: Sherdley Road, Lostock Hall, Preston, Lancashire , UK PR5 5JF

Website: lunarcaravans.com

Venus Caravans

Website: venuscaravans.com

Worth Pondering…

Nothing endures but change.
—Heraclitus, Lives of the Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius

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Airstream Europe Introduces Five-Berth Caravan

Airstream Europe has announced plans to introduce a brand new addition to its iconic range of silver bullet tourers in the form of the five-berth International 685, the Caravan Times reported Friday (December 2).

The 685 will feature the iconic silver-bullet exterior of its predecessor the 684. (Credit: caravantimes.co.uk)

Due to be launched at the NCC Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show, February 14-19, at the London Excel Center, this model will offer a slice of classic Americana that is big enough to accommodate larger families.

The 685 is the first European Airstream caravan to feature a bunk bed arrangement and the triple bunk in this model is certainly out of the ordinary.

Instead of simply stacking all three bunks on top of each other, the middle bed is set at a right-angle to the other two, resulting in more headroom for all the youngsters in the back.

In addition, the bathroom door can double up as a solid dividing door when opened by 90 degrees, meaning that parents can enjoy added peace and quiet in the front of the trailer.

As you would expect from an Airstream, the build quality of this tourer is unrivalled, with Italian-made aluminum alloy framed beds that are at least six-feet in length.

A convertible double bed in the front end, a nearside kitchenette, and an offside bathroom complete this unique layout.

This new model has been five years in the making and was designed in reaction to feedback from customers with larger families, following the launch of the International 684 in 2006.

Airstream International 685 trailer cutaway. (Credit: caravantimes.co.uk)

Michael Hold, sales director for Airstream Europe, said: “The interest over the years in a large family-orientated European Airstream has always been there and now we can deliver a travel trailer that comfortably fulfils the requirements of a family of five.”

The new family-sized twin-axle Airstream would require a serious heavy-duty tow vehicle while also carrying a starting MSRP of £59,980 or nearly $81,000, Caravan Times noted.

You can place your order now for spring delivery, or if you’d prefer to wait until you can see one for yourself, make plans to attend the NCC Motorhome, Caravan, and Camping Show, February 14 to 19 at the London Excel Centre.

Details

Airstream Europe Ltd.

Wally Byam founded Airstream 80 years ago. Wally was driven by his passion to build an innovative, well-designed, high quality trailer product that met the needs of a new breed of adventurer. Airstream, Inc. has been making trailers and motorhomes ever since. Over sixty percent of all Airstream trailers made are still active on the road today—and of the 300 U.S. trailer companies active in 1936, Airstream is the only survivor.

Airstream International 685 trailer cutaway. (Credit: caravantimes.co.uk)

Airstream’s European range was developed in 2004-2006 by Airstream Europe in tandem with engineers in the U.S., essentially to follow the design cues of the most successful décor developed to date (the International CCD, styled by architect Christopher Deam) and put this into a European compliant form.

In early 2010, Airstream Europe obtained permission to take all design work in house, to develop the new vehicles completely themselves, giving them control on materials, specification, etc.

The first generation 684 was named Best Caravan in the Caravan Club Caravan Design Awards for three years running from 2007 to 2010. Airstream Europe decided not to enter the competition in 2011, but to return in 2012 with the Series 2 model.

Address: Clock Garage Industrial Estate, Tebay, CUMBRIA, CA10 3SS, UK

Phone: +44 1539 624141

Website: airstreameurope.co.uk

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

Read More