David MottonSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by David Motton
The Wide Path Camper costs €2000 (a little over £1400 at today's exchange rate). It weighs just 45kg. That's extremely light for a caravan with room to sleep two people. Even the tiny Going Cockpit S has a Mass in Running Order of 480kg, and the Wide Path Camper weighs less than a tenth of that.
There are some interesting design features. When travelling, the Camper folds down to measure just 99cm across and 130cm in length. When you arrive at your campsite, the back of the Camper pulls out to double the length of the caravan, to 260cm.
Wide Path says it takes just three minutes to get the Camper ready once you have found your pitch, extending the folded section and lowering the support legs.
Inside, there are two bench seats facing each other across a small table. It looks rather cosy in there from the pictures, and the maximum height is just 130cm.
When it's time for bed, the two seats convert into a 97cm x 200cm bed. That's quite a squeeze for two in terms of width, but should be long enough for six-footers to sleep in reasonable comfort.
Wide Path says there's 300 litres of storage inside, although they don't quote a payload.
A number of optional extras are available or in development. For an extra €300 (£215), the Lux package adds a plusher mattress (the price list actually reads 'madras' but that's a lot of money for a curry!), two cushions and a tablet holder. The Outdoor package will set you back €100 (£72), and adds two foldable chairs and a table which attaches to the outside of the caravan. If you'd like an ethanol-fuelled lightweight cooking device, pots, a pan and a kettle plus plates and cups for two, you'll pay €150 (£108).
The standard colour is white, but you can change to another colour of your choice (including metallic shades) for €850-€1300 (£609-£932). For that kind of money, I'd be more than happy to stick with white, thanks all the same.
The Camper is available to pre-order now with estimated delivery "before 1 July". There's no dealer network, with caravans delivered directly from the Danish manufacturer.
Wide Path will deliver to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK. I can see the Camper going down well in countries like the Netherlands, where there's a strong cycling culture and a highly developed network of cycle paths.
It also helps that the Netherlands is largely flat. Weighing in at 45kg, the Wide Path may be featherweight by caravanning standards, but compared with a tent strapped to a bicycle luggage rack it's seriously heavy. Is it suited to riding in the UK? Perhaps in the Fens, but it would be a struggle to ride anywhere hilly. Things might get interesting on the way down, too, with 45kg chasing the rider downhill.
I'm also curious as to how well the Wide Path Camper copes with windy conditions. Although the length of the caravan is reduced for travelling, it's still a large surface area exposed to any breeze.
As much as I like caravanning and cycling, I'm not sure yoking the two together in this way really works, at least not on British roads and terrain.
I think I'll stick to B&Bs or a tent for my cycle touring trips. But I'd be intrigued to try the Wide Path Camper to see if I'm wrong.