Mobility scooter owners now have a new way to make sure they're first in line for the early-bird special or senior discount day with the QTVan, a mobility scooter-towed mini caravan. The trailer was designed by English company Environmental Transport Association as a convenient way to dodge lines, or a handy place to stay should your Rascal crap out on you. With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, ETA is touting the mini camper as a perfect way to beat the crowd in comfort and style.
It's no Airstream by any means, but manages to fit a raft of features into a package just over six feet long. Inside, there's a full-size bed, a tea service, a full bar and a 19-inch flat-screen television. It's even available for short vacations, though with a 30-mile range and six-mph top end, it won't get you much further than the park.
For those with a green-sensitive mindset, the ETA says the QTVan is 100-percent carbon neutral, provided you use sustainable energy sources to charge it. Conveniently, ETA will also sell you a mobility scooter
The QTVan is available now to English customers, with a starting price of £5,500, or about $9,000, not including the scooter itself. Breakdown coverage will run you £49.99, or around $82, per year. Click past the jump to check out an epically awesome video of the QTVan in action.
[Source: YouTube via ETA]
Elderly spectators hoping to bag the best spot on the Royal Wedding procession route, but unwilling to spend a night camping on the pavement, can now buy a caravan designed to be towed by a mobility scooter; the QTvan launched this week is small enough to be used on the pavement, but manages to accommodate a full-size bed.
The £5,500 QTvan is the world's smallest caravan and is so named because it caters to three peculiarly British obsessions: queuing, tea and caravans. As well as a 19" television on which to watch the ceremony highlights, and a drinks cabinet with which to toast the happy couple, the tiny caravan boasts tea-making facilities - essential for a royal day out.
If any extra provisions are needed, the caravan is so compact it can be towed inside a supermarket.
The Environmental Transport Association (ETA) developed the QTvan to highlight the estimated 220,000 people who use a mobility scooter without breakdown cover and face the prospect of a very long wait should they suffer a mechanical fault or their battery runs flat.
Spokesman for the ETA, Yannick Read, said: "An increasing number of people rely on mobility scooters, but if you develop a fault or run out of battery power and don't have breakdown cover – or a tiny caravan in tow - your only options are to push something that weighs the equivalent of two men all the way home or call on a relative with a large car."
The ETA warns that the QTvan is best-suited to local trips. If it is used to venture further afield, extra time should be allowed.
For example, a trip from London to a popular caravanning destination like the New Forest would take 2 days, while a journey to Whitby would take one week.
>From Monday 18th April, both the QTvan (£5,500) and mobility scooter breakdown cover (£49.99) can be ordered from www.eta.co.uk
The QTvan is on Youtube – search QTvan mobility scooter caravan or visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHUL1ZnLZ-c
Dimensions: 2m x 75cm
Top speed: 6mph
Range: 30 miles on a single charge
Power: 240v hook up or battery
Entertainment: 19" TV, radio, alarm clock, book shelves
Accommodation: Full-sized single bed
Cooking facilities: Kettle, drinks cabinet Eco rating: Entirely carbon neutral (if electricity bought from a sustainable provider)
Optional extras include: Solar roof panels, air horn and extra-wide wing mirror for mobility scooter, satellite dish, gaming console, central heating, external luggage rack, bespoke paint.
The Royal Family has an association with small caravans; a two-thirds scale caravan was presented to Prince Charles and Princess Anne by the Caravan Club in 1955
The QTvan is the world's most environmentally-friendly caravan.
Using a conventional caravan for a 'staycation' within Britain remains a relatively green way of taking a holiday, but if the electricity used to charge the mobility scooter is bought from a green provider, the QTvan is entirely carbon neutral.
A record number of the 500,000 caravans in regular use are expected to take to the roads this Easter, but since the QTvan is towed by a mobility scooter the only queues it is likely to cause are on the pavement or at a supermarket checkout.
The ETA has launched a breakdown recovery service for mobility scooters that costs £49.99 for a year's cover. If a mobility scooter user breaks down or their battery runs flat, they will send out a qualified mechanic.
If necessary the scooter will be taken to a local garage for repairs and the driver will have their taxi fare home paid for if they are unable to get into the recovery lorry. www.eta.co.uk