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Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.

The concept

The Extane is a recreational vehicle (RV) designed to be used in RV parks—and in cities—around the world. It could expand vertically to generate space while living inside it and provide an alternative to exploring the country by using existing infrastructure. Each Extane would be self sustaining during its overnight stays.

Renderings provided by Charles Bombardier

The background

Imagine if you could rent a new kind of self-sustaining urban RV designed to travel across the continent, but including overnight stays in large cities where space is really scarce? How could you leverage your position? The idea behind the Extane is to use the overhead space by extending the vehicle upward.

How it works

The Extane would be designed so it could easily use an existing parking space of townhouse owners. Each urban camper would agree to only use the footprint of the vehicle.

The Extane would be electric and autonomous. Its roof would be capable of extending up to reveal two rooftop terraces. The vehicle would feature a master bedroom and all the amenities of existing RVs. During inter-urban travels, the upper floors would fold on themselves with specially built furniture. The terrace's ramps could also be folded away.

The shower located on the first floor would double as an elevator to save space. A large video display integrated in the windshield could be used to watch movies at night from within the Extane or show a map of the itinerary during trips. I imagine this giant screen could also display the city’s highlights in augmented reality to the family.

Special fabrics or power windows would be used to cover the third floor’s walls. BBQ cooking could be done on the fourth floor. It would be interesting to push the concept further by thinking about other variations. Four-wheel steering would definitely make it more manoeuvrable, and various sizes could be designed.

What it's used for

The Extane could be used to travel in developed urban regions where traditional camping is normally impossible (with slide-out sections, use of an adjacent garden, etc.). If you can rent a parking space, why not make the most of it? The Extane could thus be used in traditional RV parks, but also in cities where it would be less prone to flip over when there is a lot of side wind gust.

The designer

The Extane concept was developed in collaboration with Ashish Thulkar, an industrial designer from Bengalore, India. Thulkar graduated with a master’s degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014 and currently works as a freelance vehicle designer. He also created the concept of the Venus cyclist friendly car and the Mozeca urban driverless motorcycle.

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