What’s a Hippie Caviar Hotel? Well, it’s basically Renault’s idea of a five-star camping experience, built into an all-electric version of the Trafic van. The concept will be shown off at the Caravan Salon show in Dusseldorf, later this year.
Increasing campervan sales
Along with rivals Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford, Renault has decided to offer a camper conversion as part of its van lineup. The Trafic SpaceNomad will go on sale in Europe next year and will be converted for Renault by French campervan manufacturer Pilote. There are currently no definite plans to sell the SpaceNomad in Ireland, but given the recent strong sales performance of campervans, there is at least an outside chance that we’ll see it here at some stage.
The Hippie Caviar version is a concept which shows just how far you can take the campervan experience, and Renault says that its design has been worked out with Covid-19 restrictions specifically in mind — the whole idea is that you can get far away from everyone, but bring the luxury of a boutique hotel with you.
“Hippie Caviar Hotel was born with the desire to escape, to experience nature in an idyllic setting with all the comforts and amenities of a five-star hotel,” said Louis Morasse, Renault LCV Design Director.
Glittery water-colour paint
Although based on the Trafic, the front-end styling has been changed to give it a more elegant look, and the cab of the vehicle gets its own unique colour — a glittery water-green colour called “Almond Flakes.” The living quarters behind gets painted in “Anodised Silver Grey.”
Inside, the design has been — of course — inspired by high-end hotels. There’s a wicker-effect dashboard with a leather band that looks like an expensive picnic basket. Instead of grey plastic, the cabin and living space is filled with exotic wood, natural fibres (linen and wool) and plant-based foam. There are also Japanese paper-effect “washi” paints, which are a nod to the sixties when camper vans first became globally popular.
At the back, there’s a bench seat that folds flat into a 145cm x 195cm bed. That bed can be inside the vehicle or slid outside to the “contemplation” position, where the open tailgate and draped fabrics give you both privacy and protection from the weather. Not entirely sure they were factoring Irish weather into their calculations there…
Hippie Caviar gets a rooftop terrace
Flip the bed up into a bench again, and it combines with a corner-mounted armchair to create a cosy living quarter. There’s even a ‘rooftop terrace’ accessible by a retracting ladder and has a coffee table and two removable backrests.
As anyone who’s tried camping in a van knows, bathroom facilities can be a bit of an issue, but Renault has thought of this too. A ‘logistics container’, which includes a shower, lavatory, and electric recharging point, can be delivered to your destination ahead of time, and there’s an on-call concierge service should you suddenly remember that you’ve forgotten to pack fresh milk. Or a swimsuit. Those items can then be delivered to you by drone. In theory…
How serious is Renault about any of this? Probably not very, but expect to see at least some influence on future real campervans.