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RV Pod: Shipping Container or Something More?

We can safely assume from first glance that this RV pod design from Atelier Workshop, a New Zealand based architectural design firm is definitely not your average shipping container. Cecile Bonnifait and William Giesen of Atelier Workshop have built a custom design of what is called in New Zealand, A “bach”. A bach for the people of New Zealand is a name given to traditional,  small, and modest homes scattered typically in vacation locations. They are a culturally important and are a common find in New Zealand.


The proto-type for this unit was built in China and shipped to New Zealand. Made simpler by the fact that its a shipping container no doubt. It is now on display in the Puke Ariki Museum in New Plymouth, New Zealand.  Unfortunately this RV pod is not in production and you would be on your own to source all the parts and fittings. Bummer!

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The RV pod vacation home from Atelier was designed with several considerations:

  • Portability.
  • Secure.
  • Quality finishes.
  • Designed to be environmentally clean.
  • Comparatively inexpensive.
  • Comfortably sleeps two adults and two children.
  • To be power, water and sewer independent, it is well suited to remote or non-service supplied land.
  • To be connected to available services.
  • Quick and easy transportation (via truck or helicopter) and installation to any orientation with minimal impact on site.
  • Unfolding to create a living space and refolding to create a secure unit for storage or relocation.
  • Fully enclosed exterior steel shell (when folded up).
  • Appointed with large internal storage cupboards and shelves / stainless steel kitchen and fittings / bathroom with open shower, sink, composting toilet.
  • Interior fabric screen system gives the versatility of creating rooms within the large open living space : includes bunk beds, double bed room, dressing room, kitchen and bathroom.
  • Exterior canvas screen system allows to shelter the deck area for comfortable indoor/outdoor flow and living.
  • 6 concrete footings form a stable, non-invasive ‘foundation’, allowing you to situate the unit on a wide range of ground conditions.


I can see people purchasing a flat bed truck and permanently fastening this RV pod to it and making their very own ultralight RV.  I can also envision setting one of these up on a piece of land that you temporarily leased or a business that sets these up in remote locations for vacationers. Given that it folds up neatly into a standard container, I can also see this being used by retirees as a mobile home without the road travel. Ship your RV, and meet it via airplane at the other end. The options are endless.


Hopefully this RV pod design gains traction or influences manufacturers to consider other methods of creating a mobile lifestyle.



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