It's got quality and technology and can go anywhere; this is a concept with legs.
Maarten van Soest doesn't just build campers and caravans (trailers in Europe). He describes his designs:
We like to built beautiful things. Things that have been built with pleasure, that everybody likes to see, products that inspire people... Our products need to be sturdy, sound and function flawlessly. That makes these products sustainable: because of how they are built they have a long expected lifespan. That results in a smaller ecological footprint and a smaller depreciation over the years.
All the Tonke custom builds are stunning, but the Tonke Fieldsleeper instantly caught my eye. It's built in a box that sits on a flatbed truck so that you can separate the body of the camper from the truck, dropping it anywhere and leaving it on hydraulic legs. "This enables you to use the vehicle without the unit when camping. You can also place your Tonke in the garden, to be used as exclusive guest accommodation, as an inspirational workplace or as a bed & breakfast annex."
The fancier international version is actually designed to fit right into a shipping container so that it can be shipped anywhere for a lot less money than going on roll-on, roll-off ship.
I was really excited to see this version on its legs because it actually took me back to my childhood and university days. My father was a pioneer in the shipping container industry, before there were cranes and forklifts everywhere to get containers off trucks. They had to figure out how to do these things without equipment, so they developed flatbed trucks with hydraulic lifts; it would come up to a loading dock and be jacked up to dock level. Then they would stick on the legs, drop the flatbed down and drive away.
In university, I designed a camper version using the same idea, with hydraulic legs to drop it lower, just like Maarten van Soest does. I wanted my dad to build a prototype, but he thought it was nuts: Who would ever want to live in a shipping container? Alas, I cannot find the drawing; I may have to redo it.
It certainly wasn't as nice as the Tonke Fieldsleeper, which in effect is a land yacht, beautifully built and finished, but also with top of the line technology.
Our products don’t only look nice, they are VERY WELL BUILT. This is a big problem for many RV: they are built with inferior materials, inferior batteries, chargers, wiring, insulation. An example: We use no plywood with formaldehyde glue; no headaches in our RVs in the morning. And if products from the caravan world do not live up to our standards, we simply take products from the yacht industry instead. Even if they are ten times the price. Without compromise.
The international version is extraordinary, and can go anywhere. It comes with a 68 gallon water tank, a 4Kw solar array and 2.6kWh of batteries. It has a very fancy diesel space and hot water heater, so that no dangerous propane is needed. "FULLY solar powered, standard air conditioning, large battery banks, heavy inverters and large capacity water tanks for extended periods OFF-GRID. Result: this is an EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE RV even in remote areas around the world."
The basic Fieldsleeper starts at 103,271 euros (US$ 113,889); the International version at 145,644 Euros ( US$160,619). Compared to your average luxury yacht, that's pretty cheap. Compared to your average camper trailer, it's not, but not that far out of line from high end RVs, and I think they throw in the Mercedes Sprinter.
And the idea that the box can be detached is brilliant. You can drop it down and store it in a garage. This is a concept with legs.