There’s no lack of visionaries who would like to give travels a whole new dimension – Bufalino and Ecco-Camper are examples of projects that go beyond of what we could find so far on our roads.
The model APE 50, branded by the Italian manufacturer of the Piaggio scooters, is a small tricycle with a small engine. Although it looks like a miniature truck, inside you won’t even find a typical steering wheel, but one that seems rather appropriate for bicycles.
A two-stroke engine with a capacity of 50 cm in many countries enables you to drive such a vehicle even without a license. Perhaps it’s the reason why the APE 50 is so popular even in Asia. It can carry more goods than a bicycle, it’s much more comfortable than a bicycle and provide a roof over your head. But is this construction O.K. to base a project of a camper on it?
It was hard to comprehend for anyone ... Anyone, besides German student named Cornelius Comanns, a former intern of the prestigious design studio Art.Lebedev in Moscow. Commans based his thesis right on the model APE 50. Or more precisely - on the creative transformation of Italian tricycle into a functional camper for the modern single.
The young designer has left the main construction components of the APE 50. He didn’t change the engine or frame, thanks to what the camper called Bufalino won’t go at a speed typical for the car. But it has a certain advantage - it allows you to see the world in a new way, slower, more accurate, giving a closer contact with nature than when you speed in fast cars through highways.
To the one, who wants to contemplate travels, Bufalino offers not only a roof over the head. It’s a small vehicle (its length is 2.5 m), nonetheless it can fit in the bed, as well as plenty of compartments (numbered, which makes easier to keep an order) and a gas cooker. The rear doors have been designed so as to facilitate the drying of laundry. Bedclothes can be kept in the net suspended under the roof. There’s even a place for a laptop - on a shelf next to the steering wheel and thus it can serve as a navigation.
All the equipment has been designed to occupy as little space and to be as light as possible. This allows to use the space and constructional possibilities of APE 50 in an optimal way.
However, if you find the idea of driving Bufalino too extreme, you may be interested in futuristic Ecco-Camper. Although it is also a tricycle, its character is totally different.
This unique camper was designed by the studio Immersive Cocoon. The vehicle of a teardrop shape can “grow” bigger thanks to the unfolded roof. This is where the solar panels are placed, that convert sun rays into electricity.
In this case, the single doesn’t have to stay alone, as Ecco-Camper is able to accommodate up to five people. How’s this possible? This tricycle isn’t as small as it appears in the pictures - in terms of dimensions it was based on an old Volkswagen, in Poland called "cucumber". Ecco-Camper measures 4.62 mm in length and up to 2.55 m in width. The height (while driving) is 2.05 m. Therefore, there’s a place both for a folding bed and a toilet.
The number of wheels is not the only thing these vehicles have in common. Both Bufalino and Ecco-Camper are conceptual vehicles that perhaps won’t ever be produced. It's a pity, because it would bring a nice diversity to our roads.