Thursday, 29 May 2014

Rally - Happy camping

It’s a bit late for this weekend’s Jim Clark Rally but the nation which brought you the Swiss army knife, have done the same for campers. When I first saw their original (bigger) module I was fascinated, but now the ‘RoomBox’ folk have brought out an even more compact version for smaller cars.

It will never replace a camper van, but for those folks who follow rallies and travel long distances this could provide the ideal alternative to sleeping in the car seats. Not only does this fold out to make a flat double/twin bed, it has a couple of picnic tables built in. And if you buy one of those tent things out of Halfords to hang over the tailgate, then you’re under canvas too.


It really is ingenious and there is a bigger version of the RoomBox for estate cars and 4x4s which includes a basin and shower!

The only drawback is cost. Prices start from 1645 Euros, but how much do you spend on B&Bs following rallies? The added bonus is you can take it abroad and stick it in your hired car. Now there’s a thought, Acropolis Rally or Le Mans on the cheap. The money you save on accommodation could be spent on even more Vin Ordinaire and snails on toast.

The pictures show the system in use in a Honda Jazz which ain’t the biggest of cars, but it gives you an idea of how it works. You’ll still need your own wee stove and pots and pans and a coolbox for the sausages, but at least you’ll sleep easier at night.

Does anyone remember the good old days of walking into a forest on a crisp November morning to see the ‘proper’ Lombard RAC Rally, or the week long trek around the RSAC Scottish Rally, to be greeted with the smell of bacon and sausages being cooked on wee gas stoves by those who had parked overnight? And the reason they were hunched and crouched awkwardly over their stoves had nothing to do with the size of the stove sitting on the ground or their humphy backed ancestors. It had all to do with stiff joints, creaking bones and being knackered after a night of fidgeting sleeplessness spent in the car seats. We all did it, and we all survived, eh.

If anyone out there has got one of these RoomBox things or ever used one, what do you think? I could be tempted just to re-live the good times.

There’s more info on their website if you want to have a nosey:
www.swissroombox.com

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