by Marc Basiliere
June 19, 2014
Can’t quite justify that van?
While many of us lust after a dedicated bike tripping van, not everyone can justify the cost or the day-to-day challenges of relying on a brick for transport. Invented by ’90s mountain bike hero Philippe Perakis, the swissRoomBox FreeTech is said to be the world’s smallest car-to-camper conversion. A large, flat suitcase, the device deploys to become in-car scaffolding, supporting sleeping pads 7in or thicker.
With the front and rear seats folded flat (and, in this case, headrests removed), a swissRoomBox bed is created that runs from the steering wheel to tailgate. Adjustable to fit different makes and models, the platform runs from 180-200cm long and 100-14ocm wide. Rather than resting on the seats or armrests, the swissRoomBox is suspended at the front from the car’s seatbelts- quite clever if it can be made stable. The arrangement is tapered to clear rear wheel wells and the whole arrangement can be leveled front-to-back and side-to-side for sloping sites. The sides of the case transform into a pair of tables, which attach to the rear of the bed and provide dining or working space under the raised hatch. Made in Switzerland of renewable compressed paper, the swissRoomBox weighs 29kg (~65lb) and has wheels for easy transport. Pricing is 2,000 Swiss Francs (£1,315)- not cheap, but less expensive than maintenance and tax would run on even the least expensive second vehicle. A few nights in a waterlogged tent could make this seem like a very good idea indeed.