We've previously made the case about why tiny houses aren't recreational vehicles and vice versa, but we've also seen some cross-over hybrids that don't quite fit in either category. Defying categorization is the sCarabane from France's Green Cat Technologies, a sleek recreational camper that can unfold automatically into a house-like configuration, and is powered by solar and wind technology.
When travelling on the road, the sCarabane's exterior looks like a neat, nondescript trailer measuring 26 feet long. When on site however, the sCarabane's sleek metal box transforms in a small but full-featured 580-square-foot home with the push of a button. When fully deployed, two side decks flip out to extend the available square footage, adding an exterior deck on one side, and another space for two bedrooms on the other. You can watch a quick tour of the sCarabane at an exposition in Germany via YouTuber Tobias Hiendl:
To help it to optimize sun exposure, the sCarabane can sit on a circular track that allows it to rotate 360 degrees, allowing the whole structure -- and its solar panels -- to follow and capture sunlight throughout the day.
Inside, there is a kitchen, dining area, bathroom with toilet, shower and mini-washing machine, and two bedrooms that are situated in one wing of the fold-down spaces. An extra guest bed can be had by converting the dining table space. According to the company, it takes about 30 minutes to either open the sCarabane up or close it completely.
It's powered and supported by a combination of systems, including solar panels that can generate 500 watts, a telescopic wind turbine that can produce an additional 500 watts, and a parabolic solar concentrator to heat hot water.
There's also a semi-reflective rotating bubble window on one end that lets light into the dining area only when desired.
It's a pretty impressive design that balances off-grid possibilities with comfort; however, it's a prototype design so there's no word on actual prices yet, though the Green Cat Technologies team is currently refining the design further (they aim to add some water harvesting and management systems), for production in the near future. For more information, visit sCarabane.