FEATURE: German designer shows us the Vespa of campervans

We believe this is where the phrase 'sleep tight' originates

by Damien Sharkov
“At a certain season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house.”
If you are compelled to live in the secluded countryside and as meticulous about finding the perfect spot as Henry David Thoreau, then the services of the Buffalino are ideal.
Designed by Cornelius Cormanns, the converted tuk-tuk solo camper is intended as an answer to the solitary traveller with just more than basic demands.
The vehicle features a fold-up bed, sink, cooker, running water, a fridge and somewhere to hook up your laptop.
“My aim was to give people a better understanding of the country, the surrounding, and the range they have travelled,” Cornelius explains, as we look at the CGI designs of the Buffalino.
“The travelling vehicle is always with you, like some kind of a base camp, while also being used for moving on in an easygoing and spontaneous way,” he continues.
The slightly militaristic comparisons may be all bit too apt here, as the sleeping arrangements are slightly Spartan. The driver’s seat reclines back into a bed.
One a more serious note the camper is a conversion based on a Piaggio APE 50 three-wheeled scooter, famous for being a cheap and fuel efficient platform.
Our friends at Piaggio tell us the crux of their scooter line-up’s conception, among which is the illustrious Vespa, is freedom, friendliness and style”.
It is interesting to note that, humorous as the Buffalino may seem, Enrico Piaggio’s Vespa also once inspired little more than a snicker.
The backbone of their Piaggio’s success, by their own admission, has been precisely the appeal of lone travel.
Solo campers have been rising in popularity lately and it seems very appropriate its future lies in parallel with the evolution of the scooter from the car industry.
Indeed Cornelius admits a major advantage of his design is the vehicle’s scrappiness on less than immaculate terrain.
“The Buffalino encourages users to explore the surrounding off beaten tracks,” he says. “Meanwhile the furnished interior consisting of a bed, two seating units, a cooking zone, a basin, storage space, a water tank and a refrigerator offers the comforts of a home.”
Of course the solo camper is still but a concept and it is far from being a complete, albeit smaller, motorhome as it boasts no washroom or toilet facilities.
It is certainly a long way away from being drooled over like the latest Vespa.
Yet it underlines a powerful trend of liberated solo caravanning, as well as providing quite a fascinating question as to just how big of a gap in the market caravan manufacturers have ignored up until now.
If nothing else, we think the name is pretty snappy – the Buffalino rolls off the tongue.
What do you think about the design of the Buffalino? Would aspiring caravanners benefit from the opportunity of a quick, solitary getaway, without the worry of high petrol consumption and wasted space? Tell us in the comment section below.