NASA architect creates 'camping machine' with the Cricket Trailer
Take caravanning in to the 21st century with the Cricket Trailer
Thursday, 26, Apr 2012 01:02
by Maeve O'Donnell
Is the idea of a serious touring caravan a little much but the thought of sleeping in a tent horrifying? If yes, fear not, there is a solution and it comes in the form of the Cricket Trailer.
We present to you what could well be the future of caravanning and camping, as brought to us by no less than NASA designer and architect, Garret Finney. A man determined to at least half fulfil his childhood dream of owning a houseboat.
Garret, being a lover of the great outdoors but far from keen on camping with his family in tow wanted something lightweight and flexible to travel in and so the Cricket Trailer was born.
You may well be thinking that caravans have absolutely nothing to do with crickets. But, as Garret points out crickets can be found everywhere from deep inside caves to the mountain tops.
Since this trailer has been designed to travel pretty much everywhere it makes perfect sense. The alternative explanation was that one of the mechanisms resembled a cricket's leg but that isn't quite as poetic.
Now we have established what the Cricket's purpose is and the story behind it, how does it fare for real life caravanning?
Custom built for you
The idea behind the Cricket is that you custom build the interior to suit your travelling needs so you choose either the Folding Couch or V-Berth layout, exterior colour, and then plan the inside selecting everything from appliances to soft furnishings.
The exterior is eye catching to say the least, its angular shape immediately establishes it as a caravan for the future and the orange of the pop up roof reinforces that this is not your usual white 'van.
Made from stress-skin aluminium, the lightweight frame is available in either green or blue and has dual access, including one extra wide door, making the caravan easy to get in and out.
Each window is fitted with mosquito nets and privacy blinds so you can get the mix of ventilation and privacy that suits you.
So far, so good but for those used to fully equipped, full sized touring caravans Cricket living may take some adjusting to.
Back to basics
For instance, if we move on to the interior, the kitchen area contains a sink, space to have a camp stove inside and adequate storage for both food and kitchen equipment. All the necessities are there, but it might not be for those who enjoy a home-from-home holiday.
Also found in the kitchen is the adjustable shower, which can stretch outside to wash off people and/or animals (in a similar way to the design on the Elddis Xplore 302) or be used inside alongside a rubber mat and shower curtain.
Not forgetting the camping toilet, which is not everyone's favourite but may come in handy if you join the real crickets at the top of a mountain.
Sleeping arrangements are dependent on the frame you choose, but generally these caravans are suitable for either two or four people. There is a futon-style bed for the adults and for children weighing up to 130lbs a bed unclips from the ceiling.
Though it doesn't exactly look sturdy Garret assures children will sleep in "comfort and style".
A camping machine for the future
The size and weight do mean that the Cricket is far from offering all mod-cons, but what it lacks in luxuries it makes up for by bringing you as close to the outdoors as possible, without actually being outside.
Garret is proud of his "lightweight, athletic camping machine" and hopes everyone will come round to, what he regards as, 21st century camping.
A real plus point for this caravan is that it is seriously lightweight, coming in at around 630kg for the Folding Couch model and 715kg for the V-Berth. This weight is calculated before add-ons but the equipment is so light even when full the Cricket can be towed by virtually anything.
Prices start at $14,300, which works out at around £8,600 before you kit it out, so the Cricket is more similar in price range to a trailer tent than a touring caravan.
Importing it all the way from Texas could be problematic but Garret and his team do take enquires here on their website.
If you are environment or money conscious but still want to have a caravan-style adventure then the Cricket Trailer could be just the thing, not to mention you will look pretty unique doing it.
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