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From Search and Rescue to Classic Camping, Da Orffo's Utility Trailers Are a Must

As the RV and camper industry moves forward, designs are increasingly aimed at a particular purpose. Well, a Polish crew, Da Orffo, builds all their utility trailers around the idea that necessity is the mother of all invention.
Life Chariot 17 photos
Photo: Da Orffo
Life ChariotLife ChariotLife ChariotD1D1D1D1 SuspensionD1D1Life ChariotLife ChariotLife ChariotLife ChariotD1U1Life Chariot
Folks, Da Orffo is a Polish brand of utility trailers built a bit differently than most and aimed at specific purposes. From cargo solutions to camping and even search and rescue, this crew does it all. How? Well, because this under-the-radar crew is family-owned, it works outside pre-established norms set by industry giants. As a result, we have something to talk about for the next few minutes.

Now, Da Orffo has only been around since 2022, but the owners have actually been in the trailer design and manufacturing game for around a decade and are responsible for crafting cargo and glamping solutions mainly for Europeans. However, their most recent design is the reason they've been receiving worldwide attention recently.

If you've been keeping up with autoevolution, you may have caught the article we completed on the Life Chariot MedEvac unit. If you didn't, lend us your attention for a moment or so and see why this trailer won the prestigious James Dyson Award and why Da Orffo should be on your radar, even if we're living halfway around the world.

Life Chariot
Photo: Da Orffo
The Life Chariot was designed by Piotr Tluszcz, son of Da Orffo's co-founder, Krzysztof Tluszcz, and upon coming up with the concept for Life Chariot back in 2022, and testing underway soon after, it was clear that Piotr was onto something. But it wasn't until a 3D virtual reality scale model was sent to "the head of the Ukrainian medical military unit in Donetsk" that things really took off; interest peaked.

Why? Well, the idea behind the Life Chariot is to act as a combat rescue and EVAC unit, and this means that it has to stand up to some of the world's most unforgiving landscapes and situations, including trudging through mud and water, over rocks, roots, and whatever else the terrain throws at it.

Now, as Piotr mentions in the video below, this puppy was built upon the previous designs this crew had developed over the years, and since off-road excursions were already the name of the game, the ability to take things to the next level was rather straightforward; make it bigger, make it tougher, but with purpose.

This means a proprietary and customizable Da Orffo suspension with trailing A-arm and massive coil-over dampers, upon which tubing for a steel cage is laid down to offer a shell upon which the rest of the Chariot can be developed. After all, things are rough on the battlefield. Do take a look at the video below to see just how this thing fares in the real world.

D1 Suspension
Photo: Da Orffo
With the shell in place, the Chariot is then completed with two lateral seats and a central slide-out where a gurney can be added for those in need of more serious medical attention. Now, one question I had about all this was how a bumpy off-road ride is going to feel for those heavily injured. Watch the video and be just as amazed as I was regarding how little effect the local landscape has on the carriage.

A few other aspects of the Life Chariot that have landed it at the top of the awards ladder is its ability to accommodate medical supplies and other gear, be it on top of the cage or within it. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, a canopy can also be added around the cage. Apparently, with light modifications, the Chariot even has the potential to be used during winter.

Currently, there are two units being used by medical military forces over in Ukraine, and since this puppy is still being refined, it could be very little time before Da Orffo secures a serious military contract if they haven't done so already. Heck, even if the military passes on the Life Chariot, its applications extend far beyond search and rescue or military use, even though that's what it was crafted for.

D1
Photo: Da Orffo
But what about Da Orffo's other machines? Just two other designs are showcased on the manufacturer's website, the U1 and D1, two off-road-ready machines designed to be light, durable, and modular, allowing future owners to create the utility and camper trailer with only the essentials they need and nothing else. You know, why buy a camper with a heater if you're only glamping during the summer?

The U1 is the more bare unit for those of us who use a trailer for more than just glamping, and the D1 is aimed at the more devoted modern migrator, ready with an elevated rack for a tent and integrated cargo options. Oh, and with prices for these units starting at just €10,000 ($11K at current exchange rates), who can resist sending these folks an e-mail for an off-road trailer done right?

Regarding the Life Chariot, it's not clear if it'll even be for sale to the general public, but it doesn't have to be; with a rather simple yet highly effective design, you could probably head down to a local manufacturing shop and build one of these babies yourself. If you've got a friend or two into product design and engineering, the next article we complete about heavy-duty and off-road machines could be about you. Just a little something-something to think about.

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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase an array of Da Orffo units.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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