The camper industry may still sell a fair number of giant RVs, but people are increasingly foregoing luxury behemoths for compact Class B vans and trailers. Smaller campers and trailers allow for easier travel, are more economical, and can be a good option for anyone who needs to fit their camper in a garage or storage facility. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.
To deliver more compact trailers with the amenities of larger RVs, the camper industry is finding new ways to maximize space. Innovative campers can expand at the touch of a button, spin to reveal more bedrooms, or unfold to fit a family of four.
The latest take on the expandable camper is the Tipoon. Made by a French startup and called a compact “travel machine,” the Tipoon at first glance looks like a normal travel trailer: Small and short, with a style that is reminiscent of the Airstream Basecamp thanks to a poly-composite shell construction and aluminum trim. But instead of having to crawl in and stay lying down your whole camping trip, the Tipoon features two slide-outs on the side and a rising roof. Press a button on the remote control and step inside to find 6 feet 2 inches worth of head room and 10.5 feet wide of living space.
Taking a cue from large RV slide outs, the Tipoon slide outs provide plenty of space in camp set up. The cabin can sleep four in different configurations, all stemming from a pull-out cabinet system underneath the main bed. A couple can set up the camper in a king-size high bed mode, or sleep on a smaller single bed. Four people—or more likely, two adults and a child or two—would be comfortable in the dual sleeping mode, with the pull out in a lower bed and the upper bed fitting the two adults.
For dining, you pull out a table and two cushions for seating, while the opposite wall features a galley kitchen with sink, stove, and countertop. A small bathroom area has a shower, sink, and removable toilet—available in chemical or dry options—that is stored below the sink. Other amenities include portable magnetic lighting that can move around the pod, a 50-liter fridge, awning options, and roof cross bars.
The Tipoon clocks in around 14 feet long; the final length depends on whether you use a short or long drawbar to pull the pod. And that’s actually one of the drawbacks of the Tipoon: Although pricing is still being finalized, the base price is advertised at $30,000, but that only includes the pod and not the trailer to pull it. The company says you’ll need a trailer with a gross weight rating of 2,425-2,866 pounds.
First developed in 2014, the Tipoon introduced its prototype last year, comes in four different colors (plus custom options) and you can reserve one now for deliveries in June. Their website doesn’t say much about availability in the U.S., but according to the Tipoon Facebook page, the pods are coming to America “soon.”