Since the development of the first recreational caravans 130 years ago, there have been numerous adaptations to the typical trailer model and its usability and affordability.

Caravans have become much cheaper and commercial since their original conception, and now manufacturing companies are experimenting with the physical limitations and design of the iconic vehicle.

If there is one specific caravan that’s doing such it is the German Sealander Schwimmcaravan. This astounding trailer can navigate both land and water, thanks to having the additional attributes of an electric power boat! Wunderbar!

How does it work?

The multi-purpose Sealander caravan is the very first effective one of its kind! Although a similar amphibious caravan called the Thansadet caused a stir when its design plans were released in 2010, it has not yet been brought to realisation. This makes the Sealander trailer the first to actually venture into these daring waters successfully.

This modern day marvel is rendered amphibious due to its waterproof and ultra-light fiberglass material. The mini electric 5hp motor ensures that you can traverse lakes and bays with happy ease.
Note: please don’t attempt to cross the Pacific just yet – the caravan is only intended for shallow waters!

The useful motor can also even double up as an energy source for all your devices on-board. If you’re a poor swimmer you needn’t worry as the trailer’s fiberglass reinforced plastic shell has a double bottom to keep you protected from leaks and sinking. As the Sealander is so lightweight, most vehicles will be able to tow it and attach onto it with a standard caravan tow bar too.

What’s the design?

The superb trailer was originally developed by Daniel Straub, a German-based industrial designer, and it was first



built in Germany in 2012 using state-of-the-art manufacturing methods. The fancy Sealander can also be completely personalised to match your needs and tastes!

It has a variety of modules on offer and you can pick a range of colours and materials for the interior. All Sealander caravans possess the standard utilities of a heater, a cooler, a washing-cooking module and a table with two benches that can be rearranged to enlarge the deck area or change the bed space.

The seating will comfortably fit six people and can be made into either a double bed or even bunk bed! It’s the home away from home that you never knew you needed! If the weather permits, you can also remove the roof so that you can enjoy the summer sunshine or view of the stars.

This amazing mobile home isn’t too grand in size, measuring at 12.8 x 5.25ft with an internal space of 5.1 x 6.56ft and weighing an overall 380 kg.

It’s quite small in contrast to many of the older caravan models like ‘The Wanderer’, which was built way back in the mid-1880s.

The caravan industry has seen a lot of diversity and progress since the first model: The Wanderer (pictured). Source: Andrew Jenkins.

The caravan industry has seen a lot of diversity and progress since the first model: The Wanderer (pictured). Source: Andrew Jenkins.

This leisure vehicle was described as a ‘land yacht’ as it was 30ft in length and was even able to fit a piano inside with plenty of room to spare! What’s your opinion about caravan sizes? Do you find that bigger is better or are compact caravans more convenient?

Should I get one?

Even though the Sealander is an extraordinary boat and caravan cross-breed, it does not need a special license for owners to operate it on water, so there are no limitations in that area. What may make you hesitate however is the hefty price; at present the caravan costs around EUR 15,000. This is another way in which the trailer is creating a splash, but in more murky waters.

It is fair to say that for the same sum of cash you could even construct your own small home or purchase a boat and caravan individually! You can take a peep at other traditional and inexpensive caravan types throughout history in this infographic from Salop Leisure. For instance, the 1996 Elddis Genesis trailer can currently be bought for under £3,000.

Despite the high price, you could argue that the Sealander could be worth it considering the unrivalled possibilities, practicalities and impressiveness it presents. If you’re interested in sharing your next camping adventure with this modern caravan, you’ll be happy to hear that it should be available now or else in imminent months!

What’s your opinion on the Sealander concept and its variation from the more familiar caravan models? Is it a modern miracle or monstrosity?

© 2015 Katrina Hinrichsen
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