As with anything that breaks down into several other pieces for transport or storage, the biggest issue with these trailers was durability and overall weather resistance. They were lightweight and compact, it's true, but they were also not made to last a lifetime – which sort of explains why they were never more than the occasional flash in the pan of the RV segment.
That's not to say that there isn't appeal to a product of this type. French designer Jean P. Fevre is convinced it's still strong enough, especially with the wider adoption of electric vehicles for which towing a regular trailer is (still) too much drain on range. If you drive an EV, you want a trailer that impacts range as little as possible, and that means a very lightweight one. Something like the Origami would be just perfect.
Measuring 2.4 meters (7.9 feet) in length and just 1.20 meters (3.9 feet) in height when folded down for transport, it pop-up at camp into a camper for two, with the basics for a comfortable but short stay. Its compact size means you can store it inside the garage and tow it with your daily driver. Its dry weight of just 380 kg (838 lbs) allows you to position it in place with ease.
Fevre says he's a fan of the vintage Esterel folding caravans, so he drew on those for inspiration when he set out to create a trailer that he could tow with a small vehicle or even an electric one. His "perfect” towable had to meet certain requirements he wasn't willing to compromise on: it had to resemble a teardrop trailer in road mode, it had to include a small washing basin with hot and cold water, a bed, a kitchen, a bed, and standing height.
Standing height inside is 1.95 meters (6.4 feet), and you get storage inside three large plastic bins, a Porta Potty toilet, and even a couple of nice homey touches like a floating shelf and a mirror, both of which you have to put up every time you set up camp. The kitchen is outside, with another smaller sink on one side and a portable electric cooker and cabinets on the other.
Additional storage is available in a lockable locker accessible from both sides on the tongue, which can house a generator or a large cooler. Origami is designed with a 30-liter (8-gallon) freshwater tank and a 23-liter (6-gallon) tank for gray, a Truma on-demand water heater, LED lights, and power outlets (including in the exterior galley).
Origami is "the smallest folding trailer with a rigid structure fully insulated," Fevre says, but despite its size, it packs plenty of functionality to be a solid, preferable alternative to regular camping. That would be ultimately dependent on pricing, which is the only thing Fevre doesn't get into because he's still looking for that business partner that could bring it into production. But if we know anything about the Internet, it's that it has the power to will things into being. Maybe Origami ends up being one of them.