NASA designer designer Garrett Finney left the struggling space agency in 2009 to pursue his dream of designing and building his own, compact, DIY camper. It might have seemed like kind of a strange dream, at the time, for a spaceship-designing visionary to have. That is, until you see the thing.
Finney’s creation is called the “Firefly”, and it’s a compact and utilitarian next-gen trailer designed to fit in the back of a pickup truck, or else towed on a small trailer. In a word, Finney’s vision for a DIY camper looks either “super-futurey” or “space-tastic”. These are terms that you’d be hard-pressed to associate with the DIY campers we’ve featured before, and which my editor is likely to claim is somehow both “two words” and “not a word”.
If you look at Finney’s original Firefly RV concept drawings …
… you can immediately see the same kind of “go anywhere” and “see it all” sort of love for the Earth that leads people to buy Argo mini-tanks and drive four or five hours out of their way to see a canyon they didn’t know existed. There aren’t many campers that give off the sense of “any time, any place” ruggedness of the Firefly, and you can almost imagine these getting dropped out of a spaceship’s belly tank on an alien world, immediately ready to accept terraforming colonists, you know?
Finney sees it the same way, and he designed the FireFly’s interior to be minimal, with folding bench tops doubling as the sleeping and living surface, storage compartments cleverly packaged underneath. Finney hopes to attract the eco-campers and serious off-roaders who might require a robust trailer, initially. After that, though, Finney hopes to be able to air-drop Firefly RVs into disaster-relief operations in remote stricken areas.
Keep an eye out for one of these in the next Michael Bay space-thing-breeds-horrifying-disaster epic, then. In the meantime, you can check out the photo gallery, below, and see Finney’s go from sketch to fully-formed reality. Enjoy!