The Carcamp - caravan car integration
By Darren Quick
September 12, 2009
Anyone who has towed a caravan and encountered a ‘snaking’ situation, where the caravan swings from side to side, knows just how scary such an experience can be. There are some ways to lessen the risk of such scenarios, such as not loading heavy items towards the rear of the caravan, but motor home manufacturer Heku has come up with an interesting design called the Carcamp that's designed to enhance stability even at high speeds.
The somewhat bizarre looking Carcamp is the result of coupling a specially fitted housing unit with a standard Opel Astra, which is probably not the first car to spring to mind when looking at motor homes. The housing unit is attached to the car by two “sideways” towbars, to give a snug fit between it and the car. This flush fit results in an aerodynamic profile that Heku claims gives the Carcamp its stability and the ability to travel safely at speeds of 120-140 km/h (75-87 mp/h). The aerodynamic shape also assists in the vehicle’s fuel economy.
Although the Carcamp looks like it could be hard to maneuver, by placing the rear axle of the housing unit as close to the rear of the car as possible, Heku says it has been able to provide handling similar to a large sedan. And since the housing unit isn’t welded to the car, it is just a matter of removing a few screws to leave it behind and scoot around town in a regular car. As an added bonus Heku says the Carpool is considered as one entity, so there shouldn’t be any additional tax or insurance costs.
Heku offer the Carcamp in a number of different configurations ranging in length from 5m to 6.65m and heights from 2.65m to 2.99m. Prices start at EUR€45,480 (approx. USD$65,066 at time of publication) for the 100 hp/74 kW T494, and top out at EUR€55,700 (approx. USD$79,687) for the 130 hp/96 kW T674. A 157 hp/116 kW Multijet Power Turbo-diesel Engine is also available for a EUR€1,970 (approx. USD$2,818) surcharge.