Vanlife is not for everyone, and there’s no shame to it. For the Sunday vanlifer (not an actual term, but it works in this context), a halfway solution is more convenient, practical, and affordable. As long as he or she is of the outdoorsy type, German maker Kuckoo has a noteworthy proposition.
In between camping on the ground and going all in as a vanlifer (i.e. sell the home, move everything into a van, RV, tiny or any other type of motorhome, and hit the road), there’s Bruno. Bruno is the latest from Kuckoo, a company based in Löchgau in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, described as an all-terrain, all-season capable squaredrop camper trailer.
Bruno is tiny but still distinctly elegant and with a strong personality; more importantly, Bruno aims to be mighty competent. Launched earlier this year, according to German-speaking publication Stern, it’s meant to serve as a base station and not as a rolling mini-apartment. The distinction between the two is important: this camper trailer is perfect for sleeping and cuddling, and that’s it because it’s not of standing height.
In that capacity, as a base station, it offers almost every amenity needed to make regular outings more comfortable. “Almost” is the key word here.
In a sense, Bruno is a rolling bedroom with included storage and an indoor/outdoor kitchen. But Bruno is more than that, if only because it renders itself to further personalization, and comes with its own terrace space and roof rack. Measuring 4.45 m in length, 1.85 m in height, and 1.94 m in width (14.6 x 6 x 6.3 feet), it can be towed by most passenger vehicles and doesn’t require a special permit. It’s also small enough to fit into most garages, which means the Sunday vanlifer it was designed for won’t have to worry about special storage.
Available as a standard braked chassis, it has a very low curb weight of just 530 kg (1,168 pounds), with a total payload between 750 kg and 1,300 kg (1,653 and 2,866 pounds). Because of its angular shape, it packs more amenities into a compact space than a teardrop trailer. It’s coated in fiberglass but comes with a real wood interior that offers a more rustic, unfussy vibe. Kuckoo says choosing real wood over plastic helps keep production costs down and add sustainability to the project.
The cabin holds a full-length bed, with the kitchen at the head of the bed. When the weather doesn’t permit it, all cooking can be done inside the cabin, but the kitchen can also be used outside thanks to a lateral slide. The standard offer is with the slide and kitchen storage, but everything else (one-burner stove, sink, and cooktop combo, fridge/freezer combo) will add to the final bill.
The cabin offers ample storage in the form of three generous cupboards and pockets and shelves. Above the bed is a skylight that allows you to stargaze yourself to sleep or even to sleep in the open air—more or less. Up top is the terrace. It’s nothing fancy, but a platform you can use while you enjoy your morning cup of Joe or haul gear like bikes and boards because it comes with a roof rack.
Part of the standard offer are the windows with integrated blinds and mosquito nets, interior and exterior LED lighting, and 12V power supply and outlets. Kuckoo offers add-ons like solar panels on the roof and an inverter, an outdoor shower, kitchen gear, and an awning that turns the outdoor kitchen into a more home-like space. You’ll have to bring your own toilet if camping at dedicated sites is not your idea of “getting away from it all.”
The Bruno starts at €15,990, which is roughly $19,228 at the current exchange rate.
Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends. Full profile
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