Electric campers have a certain charm to them, being able to explore the open road powered by the free sun rays beaming above you. But what if you could combine that freedom with the versatility of an electric boat and an electric bike? That’s exactly what Aigars Lauzis sought to capture when he designed the BeTriton electric camper.
It may not be the first three-wheeled electric RV we’ve spotted, but it’s definitely the most versatile.
The Latvian-made electric camper isn’t designed for cross-country trips, at least not quick ones. The smaller size means less battery, and that results in a range of around 30 miles (48 km).
But it’s what you can do over those 30 miles that really seems to count. The BeTriton (formerly known as the Z-Triton 2.0) doesn’t only house a typical sleeping area for overnights, but the entire contraption also transforms into a boat for water voyages.
Built on an aluminum frame and with a fiberglass hull, the BeTriton electric camper can hit the water to cruise at a modest 3 mph (5 km/h).
The transition includes folding the wheels up and attaching inflatable floating stabilizers in their place on the sides of the craft. An electric trolling motor is lowered down from inside the cabin to complete the transformation. Attachable paddles are available just in case the operator runs out of charge while still on the water.
The on-land speed is around 5x faster at a maximum of 15 mph (25 km/h), or the maximum legal speed of electric bicycles in most of Europe.
That’s likely because the BeTriton also happens to be a street-legal electric bicycle, or at least an electric tricycle.
A 1,000W Bafang Ultra e-bike mid-drive motor powers it up inclines (with the help of an internally geared hub) and helps it maintain its 15 mph top speed with a bit of pedaling help from the rider.
Suspension is also included to improve the ride over rough and unpredictable terrain, even for the passenger. Oh, that’s right. There’s a passenger seat complete with seat belt when in e-trike mode so that a second rider can join on the adventure.
There are 100 watts of solar panels on the roof of the camper, though they aren’t large enough to entirely charge the BeTriton’s li-ion battery pack each day. Instead, they can help slightly extend the range or provide a slower recharge when parked for several days.
For continuous use, the camper can still be recharged from a wall-outlet or extension cord each night to begin the next morning with a completely charged battery pack.
Spending the night inside the BeTriton seems surprisingly comfortable.
The living area is well equipped, including a “fold-up kitchen table, USB chargers, utility and reading lights, GPS, luggage storage compartments, cupholders, and a sound system with Bluetooth,” according to Business Insider. The steering wheel pops off to create more sleeping and maneuvering space inside the cabin, and there are even power outlets to recharge USB devices from the camper’s battery.
The BeTriton is now headed for full-production and is priced at €14,500 (approximately US $15,400) before shipping and VAT, making it simultaneously one of the most expensive electric tricycles on the market yet one of the cheapest electric campers. The plan is to ship internationally at some point, but the company is starting with Europe first. “The intention is to test the product in relative proximity before it gets shipped overseas,” explained the company.
Lauzis hopes to reduce the price by producing the BeTriton as a kit that can be assembled by the end user, reducing the labor and shipping requirements of the camper.
The end result is pretty amazing to watch in action, and you can check it out in the brief video below.