USB-shaped caravan polarising Kiwi campers

Sat, Mar 18

Kiwis are known for their love of caravans - the quintessential camper being synonymous with summer road trips.

But one Canterbury duo have smashed the perception of what a campervan looks like - with a futuristic design that's polarising people.

To some, it looks like a giant USB stick, a Bluetooth speaker or even a Swiss army knife.

However, its designer says it’s the “ultimate caravan”.

The Romotow is the brainchild of Christchurch designers Matt Wilkie and Stuat Winterbourne. It took them 13 years to build.

It’s divided the caravan community, who seemed polarised in their opinions on it.

But the two designers aren’t paying any mind to it.

“It's been called a USB drive, and maybe that's in my head somewhere that's where it came from, but she's just a beautiful thing to sit in, those shapes, those curves, solid how robust it is, it's just a beautiful thing to experience,” Wilkie said.

“Love it or hate it, you have to experience it.”

Wilkie said he came up with the idea after spending years camping with his family - he wanted to add a luxury spin to a classic Kiwi adventure.

“After, you know, camping for twenty years with my parents, seeing the problems of being in a tent, high winds and looking at caravans as they're constructed today, I just wanted to do it differently,” he said.

Stuart Winterbourn said it was inspired by the luxurious serenity of sailing in a yacht.

“Well, I guess that was the original driver. That was kind of the feel - how can we take that experience of a luxury yacht or a luxury apartment and combine that with getting out into the wilderness and enjoying nature and adventuring like a camper?”

However, luxury comes with a price - with the base model costing $429,000, with some going up to $2 million.

Prospective buyers can pop down to the Covi Motorhome Show and place an order.


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