Faro Out Extra-Vehicle Activity: Cricket Trailer Prototype Hits the Streets

Parked out front: The first working prototype of the Cricket Trailer, fashioned by International Space Station furniture designer, architect, and sometime blacksmith Garrett Finney. It’s now ready for the road! Or at least some test driving. Spotted recently tooling down Studewood, the lightweight, fits-in-your-garage camping vehicle is street legal, sporting a VIN, license plate (apparently a police officer had to come by to make sure the thing was legit), and an official Texas inspection sticker from the Kwik Kar Lube & Tune on 11th St. in the Heights.

After testing a full-scale cardboard-and-wood-frame mockup and several smaller models, Finney assembled the pop-top prototype from a custom-built frame, composite panels, and high-tech fabrics in his Woodland Heights studio. Finney, who calls his design firm Faro Studio, is aiming for a trailer light enough to be pulled by a standard 4-cylinder car.

How does the Cricket look when it’s opened up?


The prototype’s interior isn’t exactly cushy, but that’s the idea. Finney hopes it’ll prove useful for 2-to-4-person outdoor adventures. The former NASA designer told mobile-architecture blog Squob last year that he considered the Cricket “much less an RV and more a piece of outdoor equipment. . . . It’s made for comfortable camping and isn’t a house on wheels.”

Photos: Faro Studio

20 Comment

  • This looks cool : like a pop-up camper wed to a Casita. What is the total weight of the unit?

  • Casita was also the first thing I thought of when I looked at this. While I’m not that into camping (my wife’s idea of camping is when room service is late), this looks like a rather ingenious concept. Now could very well be a great time to bring this to market with the economy on everyone’s minds. Cost conscience vacationers and sports adventure types are most certainly target markets. With it’s spartan design, it should be lightweight, inexpensive to maintain and simple to utilize. Kudos to Finney for his cool concept. I would hope this would have a cheap price tag.

  • Saw this coming down Cortlandt on Saturday while I was walking the dog. It looked very cool up close too although I have to admit I was assuming it would expand more than that in the fully open position. I wonder how the weight compares to a standard folding caravan.

  • The question I have is whether or not it’d survive the conditions at Burning Man. Pretty cool.

  • You’d be better off buying a good tent.

  • I appreciate the effort and work, but I’m scratching my head looking for the design breakthrough here. Typical chassis, looks like it uses the ubiquitous torsion bar suspension axle and wheels. I will assume it uses a basic trailer brake system (it should). Other than that, its use of flat panels speaks more to cheap manufacturing than utility.

    I’ll give it three yawns, Biff.

  • I agree, you’d be much better off buying a good tent. Nothing groundbreaking here, and minimally useful, if you ask me.

  • I think it would break.

  • I think it’s for people who want to be outdoors but not so outdoors as to sleep in a tent.

  • I’m with Brad. Except for the “space age” materials, there’s nothing new here that you wouldn’t have found in the popup camper that my family used in the 1970s.

  • Thanks for all the comments. I really appreciate them all – pro, con and mystified. I am not sure how long a post can be but:
    – a finished production Cricket will weigh about 1300 to 1400 lbs, little enough that it is quite likely that you already own your tow vehicle
    – it would certainly survive Burning Man and I would take it there to test but it is not quite ready for that. We need to test it here first. The pictures are of the very first prototype and we are experimenting on ourselves. I will not be doing the sewing for any production models. I can tell you that! The stuff we have gotten wrong we are changing. That is the whole point of a prototype. We are drawing up an improved Cricket 2 right now.
    – We love tents! Some people and some places and some ‘jobs’ require more security, comfort and safety than a tent can provide. The Cricket is much more inspired by tents – their lightness and agility – than it is by RVs. RVs tend to be ‘houses on wheels’ and think a lot of people want to get away and NOT bring everything with them, just the stuff they want.
    – design breakthroughs? We of course think there are a lot of those and I would love to explain our green, sustainable, smaller is better (but not too small!) high tech thoughts at length. Here is a partial answer ….. a lot of thought went into what is not there at all – that most people could tow this with the car they already own (by the way a Prius reccomends against towing anything), that it is small enough to fit in a garage and not require renting a parking space for it outside of town, that its car width makes it easier and safer to tow and more aerodynamic (most all RVs are around 8 feet wide, the Cricket is 6′-6″)…. the modulor interior outfitting lets you build to suit – do you want bunks for 4 or a double bed? maybe you don’t even want to buy the kitchen at all? certainly you get to choose your own colors ….. those folded panels are insulation, structure, unique form, interior and exterior finish all in one.

    That’s all for now. Ask questions, post more comments, we like that!

  • Way to go. I like the idea. When traveling, settin up a tent in the rain, or in a roadside park, can be a real pain. It seems you are doing the “Swiss Army knife” of RVs. Being able to lock the unit up, when going out for a while is a good feature also. Nice to have those personal items still there when ya get back from a hike. Keep up the good work. If ya need someone to give Her a test run, give me a shout. I could use some road time, when it cools off some.

  • This concept is reallly cool!! I cant wait to see these go into production. I have used regular pop-up campers before and they are such a pain in the ass to use. This looks to address many of the setup and takedown issues that those other trailers have, and it looks rad!!

  • I think this is a great idea i love camping in a tent but i hate when a storm come and i have to go to the car because it get to windy or if it starts to flood then all your stuff gets wet i cant wait till i can buy one of thes does anyone know how much they are going to be to buy?

  • whats the latest on your rv in 2012
    saw it on tv tonight!
    My husband worked for GE for the first man landing-early 70s in fla.
    Larry A Burkett!
    what is the cost of your rv ?

  • Live the outdoor and camping. Saw this on tv this evening and thought ,WOW, this has just what I need with out all the bells and wistles. Great trailer for just getting outdoors with a little more then just a tent.

  • I too just saw this on TV… Ok I saw it on my DVR recordings, but that’s not the point. I like It. I like it alot.

    Although I am noticing one problem. It’s not all that high off the ground. Some of us like to get out there… Way out there! I’m just not entirely certain that this would get to all the places I like to go. I am however certain that if I could manage to get it there it would be fantastic! Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these, and when I do I’ll probably be trying to find a way to gain a little more ground clearance. (I’m thinking 33″ tires) Unless of course they beat me to it. In which case I’ll just buy their lift kit, which will naturally be a modulated unit.

    Still curious how much they cost though, checked their website; no price listed. Seems to be a common thing among the sales side of any industry.

  • Solves the security problem I have with pop-ups and tents, light,easy to tow.
    We are retiring and looking to see the country, economically, this will fill the bill

  • I can’t wait to see the trailer this coming September to LA,me and my wife Want to get one of this. But I want to check first the hight and length of the trailer before I put my order, hopefully is fit to my garage, any body there have idia what the exact size of this trailer? I have standard size of garage door.thank you and more power!

  • Garrett: I love camping& trailers (Airstreams) rule. I’m 6’4″. How tall is this baby fully puffed up?