If there's one prevailing concept we tend to appreciate above all others, it's simplicity – whether that's in automotive design, infotainment systems, or in this case, camping. Which is why we dig the ElloBox.
Like so many of our favorite automotive creations, the ElloBox comes from Germany, and is designed to let you ditch the costly, stand-alone camper van and enjoy the great outdoors right out the back of your daily driver, whatever car that may be.
The idea is the brainchild of one Pascal Schalapski, who enjoyed camping in his Volkswagen Microbus until he realized how much it cost him and how little use he got to use it. So he ditched the bus and fit everything he might need into the back of his hatchback.
His solution is a relatively compact package that can fit into the back of most any vehicle with a liftgate. It’s a custom wooden crate measuring 2.3 by 2.2 by 1.6 feet and weighing a little under 200 pounds. That's smaller and shorter in width than many other camping boxes that fit into the cargo space of small hatchbacks; it's much more common for these boxes to gobble up the entire width of your car.
Gallery: ElloBox Camping Box From Germany
The box doesn't include sleeping accommodations – you'll need a roof-top or pop-up tent for that – but does include a whole lot else. Inside the box, Ello Camping fit a pair of 3,200-watt (10,900-BTU) gas burners, a 24-liter (6.34-gallon) fridge, a 16-liter (4.2-gallon) water tank, and a collapsible sink with spray-hose for washing up. It all fits into drawers built into the box, along with space for utensils, spices, and whatever else you might need to prep your food out in the wild. We’ve seen plenty of camping boxes before, and none offer as many features as the ElloBox. But that’s not all...
The ElloBox is powered by a 90-amp gel battery that also fits within the box and has three solutions for keeping it charged: plug it in to your car's cigarette lighter, run a power cable to a campside power outlet, or hook it up to an optional solar panel. And it comes with a quartet of USB outlets, 12-volt socket, and (optional) inverter for charging your devices.
Priced (tax-in) from €2,700 to 3,265 (or about $3,000-3,600 USD), the ElloBox isn't exactly cheap, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a separate camper van for your ventures off the beaten path.