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The Circular Caravan as the future?

At Glaravans, we convert old and dilapidated caravans into modern, stylish caravans, with which the basis of the Glaravan is already circular. Glaravans is using the exhibition in Utrecht as the starting point to delve into the subject and build the highest quality circular caravan. Glaravans' idea of the future caravan uses sustainable & circular materials and products, so that in the future next generations will also be able to camp in nature.


The concept of Glaravans is already circular in the first sense; we reuse the old base and build something new in it. We already make partial use of sustainable materials but wish to intensify this in the future. The Glaravan that is yet to be built will be a model for this and is therefore also in fact a concept model. The project is currently in the study phase; here we present the main objectives.


The current market & developments

Today's camping is going to change; the electric car is emerging. At the moment, the electric car has a little range & tractive power for caravans. Exceptionally, only a few electric models can pull high weights, such as the Volvo XC40 P8 which can pull 1500kg or for example the Hyundai Ioniq 5 which can pull 1600kg. But the range of the towing e-car can in some cases even be halved. In addition, the infrastructure on campsites is not yet suitable for the electric car.

There are some innovations to be found. For example, the installation of an auxiliary electric motor with a battery pack is a solution to extend the range of an electric car, although the sustainability of this is questionable. For motorhomes, too, the current drive-through will change with the current low range, high weight and lack of infrastructure. In the context of sustainability, you also see fully electric caravans that do not use gas.

History

An often asked question of Glaravans and assumed by many people is the worry about the weight of an old caravan. In the old days, cars were not enormously powerful and not all of them had the power to pull a caravan. So there was a need for lightweight and small caravans. Small due to the fact that big was also more weight, but also small as in compact to keep the air resistance as low as possible. The light weights (often well under 1000kg) and compact construction offer many advantages for the driving range behind the electric car, as well as the petrol consumption of the current car.


The project & goals

The aim of this project is:

"Build the highest quality circular caravan"

A number of starting points were set:

  • Lightweight as possible
  • In view of the uncertain future, the caravan must be as light as possible in order to maximise the range of the electric or hydrogen-powered car.
  • Sustainable & circulair materials
  • Our aim is to use as many sustainable and circular materials as possible, without compromising on safety or weight. We are also still looking for partners.
  • Reuse of interior where possible, but not a goal
  • We sometimes get the question why we completely remove the interior and often only partially reuse the upper cabinets. In fact, in some cases we could restore the interior, but this is not what the customer wants from us. Our customers want an old-looking modern caravan and therefore a piece of character. Apart from our customers' demands, it is also easier and cheaper for us to build a partly new interior with the new techniques and contemporary standards. An example of this is the kitchen; the old kitchens in caravans are often 80 to 85 cm high, just like in houses built in the 1930s, resulting in back pain. And of course, when you are on holiday, you want to have a well-cooled cold beer or wine; the old fridge is no longer adequate.
  • Safe & sustainable technologies
  • Safety in both driving and comfort areas is the highest priority. But also the replaceability of parts in the future. A major stumbling block of older caravans is the large number of different parts and the lack of them. By improving & modernising the driving technology, the caravan will last for decades again.
  • Self-sufficient
  • The caravan will soon be able to function fully without standing at the charging station.
  • Commercially interesting & affordable
  • Ideally, we would like to build the lightest caravan that is 100% durable and also has 300 kg of packing space. Of course, this is a utopia, so we have to weigh things up. Nobody buys a sustainable caravan in which they can't pack anything. If, for example, a certain type of circular insulation is too heavy, but a lighter sustainable alternative is available, we have to outweigh what is most important to our customers. In this case, it will probably be weight when you are talking about a difference of 10kg.
  • Implement feasible techniques & construction methods in our Glaravans in the future.
  • Although we already use some methods and technical aspects in our current Glaravans, we would like to make this more of a standard feature in all our Glaravans in the long run.


Timeline

The caravan has no deadline. Finding the right partners and materials takes time. You can follow the construction on our website via blogs, videos and our social media.


About Glaravans

New caravans in the old familiar shell. Glaravans are old vintage caravans that have been completely renovated and modernised according to the wishes of our customers. Our Glaravans are all different but have one similarity; they all have a story. We make caravans that combine the best of old & new. In addition to our caravans, we are the online & physical shop for the most stylish camping items.

With our caravans, we offer the charm and feel of the past in a circular environment. The old caravans we use are recycled up to 60% and are often in such poor condition that renovation is the only option. By retaining unique elements & bringing back certain characteristics, makes every Glaravan unique and every caravan we deliver has its own story.

At Glaravans, you can also hit the road safely because we completely modernise and renew the chassis with new axles & brakes. Inside the old 'shell, we build a custom interior to the customer's wishes. If desired, we add technology such as hot water, a bathroom, air conditioning & a large refrigerator. Also movers, solar panels or via the mobile operated climate-control belongs to the possibilities. By default, all electricity, gas and water are reinstalled. So Glaravans are in fact old and new caravans in one.

The caravans are completely made by hand, which allows us a lot of flexibility and creativity. Our aim is to send the caravans on the road again for 30 - 40 years.


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