Tiny caravan that almost triples in size at the flick of a switch

Bigger on the inside… the tiny caravan that really is a Tardis, as 8ft long pod extends like a telescope until it almost triples in size at the flick of a switch

  • The Beauer 3X caravan expands from six foot to 15 foot in under a minute
  • Daily Mail’s Tom Rawstorne tried it out at a campsite in Kent with his family
  • French inventor Eric Beau now makes the models in Nantes and is targeting the British holidaymaker market
  • They range in price from just over £20,000 to around £44,000

It is a problem faced by many a family seeking a holiday in the great outdoors. How do you find a caravan small enough to tow but large enough to fit you all in?

The answer may well be the Beauer 3X – as I found out when, accompanied by my daughters Bea, 14, and Martha, nine, plus our dog Goliath, I put one to the test.

Arriving at the campsite in Kent, the caravan we have towed looks tiny. Shaped like a biscuit tin on its side, it is just over 6ft wide by 8ft 6in long.

How do you find a caravan small enough to tow but large enough to fit you all in? The answer may well be the Beauer 3X – as I found out when, accompanied by my daughters Bea, 14, and Martha, nine, plus our dog Goliath, I put one to the test.

Like magic, a flick of a switch and in less than a minute the caravan has almost tripled in size, extending like a telescope until it is 15ft wide

‘How will we all fit in that?’ says Martha. Bea shakes her head. But, like magic, a flick of a switch and in less than a minute the caravan has almost tripled in size, extending like a telescope until it is 15ft wide.

As with Doctor Who’s Tardis, it is much bigger on the inside than first appeared possible from outside. Not only has the floor space trebled, but enter through the sliding front door and all the furniture is already in place.

At one end is a banquette seat and table, at the other a double bed. In the middle is a kitchen with hob, sink and fridge, behind which is a toilet and shower. Eric Beau, the caravan’s French inventor, says the bed and the banquette unfold as the sides go out – a bit like a pop-up book.

As with Doctor Who’s Tardis, it is much bigger on the inside than first appeared possible from outside. Not only has the floor space trebled, but enter through the sliding front door and all the furniture is already in place

The caravans, which can be operated using a solar-powered battery, come in three sizes. The 2X, designed for two, doubles in size

‘I came up with the idea ten years ago,’ says Mr Beau, 56, an IT consultant with Orange. ‘I had never been on a caravan holiday but decided it would be fun to take my family of four. I wanted something small that would fit us all in. But there was nothing on the market.’

He built a prototype – which provoked much interest. Two years ago, Mr Beau set up a small factory near Nantes and is now targeting the UK market.

The caravans, which can be operated using a solar-powered battery, come in three sizes. The 2X, designed for two, doubles in size. The biggest, the 3X Plus, sleeps six. They range in price from just over £20,000 to around £44,000.

Eric Beau, the caravan’s French inventor, says the bed and the banquette unfold as the sides go out – a bit like a pop-up book

Two years ago, Mr Beau set up a small factory near Nantes and is now targeting the UK market. They range in price from just over £20,000 to around £44,000

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