In reality, an amphibious trailer like the MiniBig is not a novelty even on the U.S. or European market. The Sealander, designed by Daniel Straub for the company of the same name, and sold out of Germany since 2014, employs the same principles and similar form factor, to outstanding results. It is perhaps the most famous amphibious trailer in the world.
Without a doubt, there is a very small niche on the market for this type of vehicle, which remains of high interest to weekend warriors looking to get an all-in-one solution for their adventures, whether they’re on dry land or out on the calm waters of a lake. These weekend warriors must also be very well-heeled, because niche products are always priced above average.
The MiniBig measures 439 cm (14.4 feet) in total length, including the hitch, 164 cm (5.38 feet) in width, and 193 cm (6.33 feet) in height. It features two openings on either end, which come very in handy during water operation, offering cross-ventilation and preventing the interior from turning into a legit greenhouse. Unlike the Sealander we covered on a previous occasion, there is no skylight integrated into the roof.
The interior is modular, offering maximum functionality depending on the time of day. There’s a small kitchen block with a sink and some storage, and another unit where you could place a small cooker and some more kitchen stuff. During the day, you have two benches facing each other and a small table, while at night, the entire surface turns into a bed. This sounds more complex than it is in reality: this is a small area that aims to offer home-like functionality, so everything is downsized to the maximum.
According to the maker, the MiniBig can sleep three people before buoyancy becomes an issue. It’s perhaps for the best if they’re of a more slender constitution, or there will be little room left to move around in your sleep.
Moreover, due to its small size and light-weight, the MiniBig can be towed without a license, and can be used on the water with just a small boat operation license, at least in Japan. If the outboard you choose is less than 5 hp (3.7 kW), then you won’t need a ship inspection, either. Put it differently, the MiniBig is so small that it’s able to skirt certain local regulations, and is thus more convenient than a boat on a trailer.
The MiniBig can be just as convenient on the road, as a camper, with the same condition that you’re not particularly picky about on-the-road accommodation. Based on the video available at the bottom of the page, it can even serve as a storage room for all your gear.
Pricing for such an amphibious trailer starts at ¥2,280,000, which is a little over $17,600 at the current exchange rate. If you add the outboard engine, entertainment options like a TV and speakers, and other necessary stuff, you’re looking at a much higher bill, and by the time you’re done, you’ll probably be wondering whether such a 2-in-1 solution is worth the hassle.