Swiss camper suitcase brings a campsite around the world
By C.C. Weiss
January 31, 2014
Since we first covered the SwissRoomBox in 2012, the manufacturer has been streamlining its design, offering products that are smaller, simpler and cheaper. The all-new FreeTech represents its smallest model yet, a suitcase-sized camper that you can easily roll into the car and take on a plane. Camping in comfort is easier than ever.
SwissRoomBox likes to refer to its camper-in-a-box systems as the Swiss Army knives of campers, carefully crafted multitools that unfold to offer various wilderness functions. Sticking with that analogy, the FreeTech is like a Victorinox SwissCard, folding the most essential tools into a flat, easy-store package while cutting bulk and expense that some users don't want.
The packed FreeTech measures 100 x 50 x 11 cm (39 x 20 x 4 in) and weighs 29 kg (64 lb). The handle and wheels make it easy to transport, and SwissRoomBox says that it can be checked as baggage on most airlines (though at that weight it might cost extra).
The FreeTech is essentially the bones of the camper without the meat. SwissRoomBox has stripped things like the sink, shower and mattress in favor of a slim package of bedding platform, dining table and food prep table. The user is left to finish it off with air mattresses, camping stove, etc.
The FreeTech sets up in just five minutes, without any tools or modifications to the vehicle. A new 3D adjustment system allows it to adjust to various sizes of vehicles. The car version adjusts in width from 100 to 140 cm (39 to 55 in), in length from 175 to 200 cm (69 to 79 in), and in height from 25 to 45 cm (10 to 18 in). The van model offers similar adjustability, and SwissRoomBox reckons the FreeTech fits more than 50 percent of cars on the global market. The bed and tables can be leveled out even when the car is parked on a slope, providing flat, comfortable sleep, food preparation and dining.
With each simpler model, SwissRoomBox drops the price accordingly. The FreeTech retails between €1,645 and 2,220 (US$2,230 and 3,000), about a quarter the price of the original. While considerably less expensive than past models, the FreeTech is also much simpler, eliminating a lot of the equipment that you need to really camp.
For that kind of money, we'd be inclined to invest a couple hundred dollars (or less) on air mattresses, cooking equipment and folding tables, then just fold the seats down and sleep in the car at night. The idea of being able to transport this around the world and use it to convert rental cars into mini-RVs for road touring is kind of cool, though.