Would You Camp in An Opera House-Shaped Tent?

November 6, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

Sydney Opera House tent camperEditor’s Note: The following story on this European-made Opera capsule caravan (shown at left) comes from, which bills itself as ‘The Pop Culture Travel Guide.” For more more information on this unique “tent camper” and a look at a video, go to

There’s a certain class of people who enjoy the idea of being in nature but are less than enthusiastic about the “dirt” and “sleeping on the ground” and “being outside” parts of the experience. Their idea of roughing it involves a covered caravan, a $750 credit card bill at REI, and a case of white wine. Not red wine, because that would be too luxurious.

Within that group, there’s a certain subclass of folks who also have something of an nouveau riche air about them. In addition to actually “camping” in decadent comfort, they need to look like they’re camping in decadent comfort. The new Opera capsule caravan, styled after the Sydney Opera House, is designed with them in mind. 

We can’t believe we’re saying this, but this “tent” has a wine cabinet and more. 

Made in hardwood, stainless steel and leather, this contemporary living tent features magical dimensions and it sets up inside 5 minutes almost like at the press of a button without tent pegs, stabilizer jacks and loose tent poles. The interiors feature a residence measuring 7 meters long, more than 3 meters wide and 3.5 meters high with two first class and electrically adjustable beds that become one with a single simple movement, hot and cold water, ceramic toilet, LED lighting and a mobile hob and barbecue. The other luxuries include a wine cabinet, warm-air heating, espresso bar and an enclosed teak veranda.

The product’s site, branded “Your Suite in Nature,” insists that “freedom has a new face” and that you can be “comfortably settled within minutes.” There were a few more slogans during the excruciatingly slow flash animation—set to teeth-grindingly inspirational music—but the montage goes for like 20 minutes and we lost patience. There’s also no skip button.

We also don’t have a price for you because the “learn more” screen is just a form where you fill out your e-mail and cross your fingers. In some sense that’s fair. The caravan won’t even be presented until the Kortrijk (Belgium) Design at Work trade fair in December, with limited production to follow afterward. So pricing is a little premature. On the other hand, we kind of get the feeling that the whole point of making customers jump through hoops is to build an ethos of elitism, which would be fine except for how the entire concept of “luxury camping” is kind of moronic.

Also, and this is neither here nor there, but we have no idea what the phrase “magical dimensions” means.

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