The Maverick camper cube from British firm Caboose & Co is a campervan alternative that digs a corner at the intersection of ground tents, pop-up trailers and the tiniest of tiny houses, making it a fun little abode for on-grid or off-grid net life. It packs flat for easy transport and can be set up in less than five minutes to provide a secure, lockable hard-walled living space for two. The interior isn’t exactly luxurious, but it’s no less shabby than a tent or basic camper shell.
For those of us above the equator, it’s camping season, and I’ve spent a lot of time lately looking for the right camper box, that is, a sturdy storage box to carry camping gear like cookware, sleeping bags, lighting, and more. The best boxes for this purpose tend to be as close as possible to vertical walls for the most efficient use of space, to stack neatly on top of each other, and to be completely waterproof. The Wolf Pack Pro is a popular option that fits all of these criteria. If space is really at a premium, it never hurts to have a box or crate that folds flat when empty, freeing up room in the car.
I never would have thought that looking for a stackable camper box would land on a man-sized variant that offers all the desired qualities listed, but in a package that fits real campers, not just their gear. But that’s exactly what’s changing today.
Caboose & Co is a spin-off of Worcester, UK-based portable structures company Cube Modular, specializing in pop-up event accommodation, providing highly portable temporary shelter for event staff and guests. Maverick, the smallest solution it offers, is the result of a collaboration with Campsule, the Hungarian company that developed the units. Caboose & Co is a distributor in the UK and Ireland and launched Maverick in the midst of the pandemic in autumn 2020 as a safe and secure way to escape a sick grid.
Caboose calls the Maverick a glamping pod, but unless you’re planning on putting it inside a five-star resort, we think that’s a bit of a stretch. The unit itself is as basic as a hard wall shelter. There is a floor for sleeping pads and sleeping bags, two USB ports for charging devices, an LED light, a fan, and windows. The standard unit is designed to connect to mains power via the included plug, but the Caboose also offers an off-grid option – or you can run off-grid and bring your own torch and portable charger.
The Maverick comes in a flat individual package for shipping, measuring 225 x 180 x 30 cm (7.4 x 5.9 x 1 ft). Caboose says it’s designed to take less than five minutes to set up. A fiberglass roof and floor serve as the bottom and lid of the flat pack container, holding all other components inside. Both are set by aluminum legs and corner frame beams, which then hold the XPS insulated walls in place. The doors and side walls feature polycarbonate windows, and the other walls have built-in ventilation.
The cube has a maximum height of 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) and is not designed for adults to stand on, but rather for lying down and sitting up. Still, the solid, insulated walls and above-ground design do promise to create a warmer and safer four-season living space than your average tent. Door locks for added security.
The Maverick’s adjustable legs help level the structure on uneven ground and can also be retracted for stacking. The units are designed to be stacked two levels to form a two-story micro camping pod.
Weighing just over 350 lbs (160 kg), the Maverick will definitely take several people to move around and set up. We can understand why Caboose is more focused on events and commercial sales and leases than retail, but we can see Mavericks on private land as a low-cost semi-permanent shelter solution—simpler than a yurt, more intimate than a tiny house. Inexpensive and stronger than portable camping tents.
Caboose & Co didn’t list current pricing, but it announced that the Maverick will be priced at £2,999 (about $3,850) excluding VAT when it first launches in 2020.