South Africa has taken centre stage in the international design industry when EdgeOut – the South African-designed and a world-first rotomoulded teardrop camper-trailer designed for use on tar and gravel roads – was awarded the prestigious Red Dot Design Award 2022 in the category Product Design in Germany in June this year.
A total number of 7 900 entries from 60 countries from across the globe were submitted in this category. With this award, EdgeOut and its designer Retief Krige Industrial Design in Stellenbosch, find themselves in the company of internationals such as Ferrari, Philips, Google, Lenovo, HP and Siemens, and now has the approval to use the coveted Red Dot seal as an acknowledged and revered international seal of outstanding design quality.
EdgeOut – a leading-edge design approach
The low-weight EdgeOut teardrop camper-trailer – designed by Retief Krige Industrial Design in Stellenbosch, South Africa – consists of two individual, linear-mounted rotomoulded low-density polyethylene sections. The one section is a comfortable sleeping pod or cabin (the bedroom) and the other a compact, well-equipped cooking and entertainment area (the kitchen). These are aesthetically secured together, and mounted onto a galvanised steel trailer chassis.
From a design and user perspective, it draws attention for its spaciousness, innovative design and a host of technical features. It has a rugged and bold shape, with a faceted design approach which was made possible by using a forward-thinking and innovative mould construction method with bent sheet metal plates welded together to create the two moulds in which the two pods are roto-formed.
The pioneering use of rotomoulding technology as a first in the field of teardrop camper-trailer design, gave the designer the freedom to break away from the traditional design approach and to create something totally new, yet maintaining the nostalgia associated with teardrop trailers. While the traditional teardrop trailer uses flat panel material and construction methods which usually result in a side view extruded flat-sided shape, rotomoulding allows for a full 3D-created shape in all directions, while still keeping the teardrop-shaped silhouette. This unique EdgeOut design identity was furthermore repeated in all accessories and fittings to emphasise the design concept throughout the entire look and feel of the product.
While rotomoulding technology is generally applied to produce single, standalone items, the EdgeOut design aesthetically combines two different and rather voluminous blow-moulded items to produce an unrivalled and remarkably functional product as a whole. The polyethylene materials used for the two rotomoulded pods, furthermore, are favoured in industry for its long lifespan in the outdoors, and being high in value as far as recycling goes. Rotomoulding technology also allows for lower material and production costs, as opposed to the higher costs of traditional camper-trailer materials and manufacturing techniques.
Equally impressively equipped
EdgeOut – with the rotomoulded components produced by 4EVR Plastic Products, and manufacturing done by EdgeOut (both companies located in Cape Town, South Africa) – satisfies the requirements of varied camping market demands. It is positioned at the top end of the camping market and offers luxury outdoor accommodation. It is ideal for those not wanting to use bulky caravans any longer, or those who have been camping in tents before, now wanting to enter into the camper-trailer domain.
The camper-trailer’s insulated sleeping cabin features a near-queen-size mattress, as well as an array of cleverly-located overhead cabinets and various shelves and cubbies that provide an abundance of storage space. The tailgate galley provides for a full-width countertop with two slide-out drawers underneath. One drawer accommodates a built-in glass-top dual-burner gas stove, sink faucet and bucket, as well as storage drawers. The other holds a built-in refrigerator or cooler. The trailer also features a microwave oven – rather atypical for a rugged teardrop trailer!
Water is stored in a 110 litre water tank and distributed via a built-in 12 Volt pump. This, together with the trailer’s built-in LED lighting, is powered by a deep-cycle battery. Included is a charging system which can be hooked up to the vehicle, or wired to optional solar panels.
Being of a seamless design, both pods are totally waterproof and dustproof, with the sleeping cabin well-insulated to ensure a quiet and cool interior. It has a low gross weight (below 750kg) which falls within the legal towing category for light vehicles.