Home Acura NSX The X-Cabin Camper Is Like A Lightweight Japanese Airstream But Its Price Will Make You Gasp

The X-Cabin Camper Is Like A Lightweight Japanese Airstream But Its Price Will Make You Gasp

The X-Cabin Camper Is Like A Lightweight Japanese Airstream But Its Price Will Make You Gasp


The riveted aluminum travel trailer holds a special place of wonder in American RV culture. People are willing to pay well over $100,000 to sleep in a shiny metal tube without slides. But, what if your tow vehicle doesn’t have a great tow rating? The lightest Airstream is the 2,650-pound Basecamp, too heavy for Volvo’s latest wagons and will even exceed a Subaru Forester’s tow rating with some gear and a full tank of water. One solution comes from Japan with the X-Cabin 300. It looks like a vintage riveted aluminum trailer and weighs just 1,600 pounds. But, most of us can’t have it just yet, and if you could, you might faint at the price.

If you want a new riveted aluminum camper today, your choices are pretty limited. Riveted aluminum campers look great, and they’ve been proven to stand the test of time, but you don’t really find particularly tiny versions of them. Airstream is an obvious choice, and Bowlus has been revived in recent years. There’s also that crazy expensive Living Vehicle, Kimbo truck camper, or the Mammoth Overland camper. I’m sure there are startups out there I’m missing, but you get the point. And if you want that riveted aluminum trailer to have a classic style, your choices are basically just Airstream and Bowlus.

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X-Cabin is a new face from Japan, but started from an established company. Its trailers take on a classic riveted aluminum style, but at a low 1,600-pound weight, allowing the trailers to be towed by wagons, small crossovers, and even a Suzuki Jimny!

Tiny Trailers From Japan

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This company has actually been around since 2020. Its parent company is the Effect Meiji Corporation. Founded in 1895 as a clock manufacturer, the company is known for its LED lighting, UAV photography (drones), and some lighting construction projects. So, this is a well-established firm with a ton of experience. Effect Meiji Corporation also has some interesting subsidiaries including some warehouses, a cafe, and the Free And Easy Camp Resort in Komono in the Mie Prefecture.

Opened last year, the luxury campground is open to tent campers and RVers alike, but also features cabins that are really X-Cabin travel trailers fixed in place. Amenities include a dog park, BBQ, a sauna, a nearby hot spring, and pastry chef Hirohiro Tsujiguchi.

So, Effect Meiji Corporation has a lot going on from LED lighting to campers and a resort that in part advertises said campers. As for those campers, X-Cabin is looking to expand into new markets. Right now, the company is targeting European customers. X-Cabin rolled into the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon looking for a partner for European distribution. At least for our European readers, you might see these rolling across your roads soon.

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What you’ll be getting is a trailer with vintage riveted aluminum style. A lot of the press on the trailer has been comparing the trailer to a vintage Airstream, and I can see the resemblance. But these may be even closer to the squarer Silver Streak. To my eye, these are like an old riveted aluminum camper mixed with U-Haul trailer and I can get behind the look.

X-Cabin says the body is made out of aircraft-grade riveted aluminum and that the trailer rides on a galvanized steel chassis from German automotive supplier AL-KO. All other parts are aluminum with marine-grade stainless steel fasteners designed to resist salt damage. The trailer’s overall length is 15 feet and its width is 6.95 feet wide. Completed, the empty weight is about 1,600 pounds.

Those specs make this trailer a couple of feet longer than the smallest fiberglass trailers, but also about 500 pounds heavier.

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For an interesting note, it’s also two feet larger than the super cheap Coleman Rubicon 1200RK while weighing a little less. X-Cabin does not state interior height, but the trailer sits 7.1 feet tall, so an average American might actually be able to stand up in it.

Inside the X-Cabin is where things get funky. There are four versions of the X-Cabin, all inspired by boat and airplane interiors. The X-Cabin 300 below nets you what is more or less a couch that turns into a bed, a sink integrated with some cabinetry, plus a 1,800Ah portable battery.

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Next is the X-Cabin 300 GLAMP, which trades the boring gray couch for a convertible teal couch.

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The X-Cabin 300 SOLO is next with a bed for one and a lot more storage cabinets in the space opened up by the smaller bed.

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Finally, there’s the X-Cabin 300 FT, which is a food truck platform, and the X-Cabin body kit, a bare trailer you fill up yourself. All of the camper versions of the X-Cabin come with the aforementioned portable battery and sink.


The options list is a bit interesting and it includes the ability to get barn doors instead of a hatch, stools to enter the trailer, a ladder to reach the roof, a luggage rack, and an emblem to put on your luggage rack. Interior options get bizarre, like the ability to get an engraved wood clock and a wood cupholder.

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Thankfully, there are practical options like bigger batteries, solar-powered ventilation fans, a cooler, and an outdoor shower system. Apparently, this trailer is also meant for you to finish to your liking using the huge list of options. So, if you want an air-conditioner, shore power, solar panels, Wi-Fi, a table, an awning, or a floor that’s nice to look at, all of it can be purchased as options.

The Shocker

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You’d think that the price of the base trailers would be pretty low. After all, if you want to chill food, that’s an option. If you want a table to eat that food on, it’s also an option. Well, the base X-Cabin 300 costs ¥5,800,000, or the equivalent of $39,300. Apparently, this price does include tax, but that’s still pretty hefty! The X-Cabin 300 GLAMP is the equivalent of $42,000 (¥6,200,000) while the SOLO version is about $48,790 (¥7,200,000) and the food truck is $31,170 (¥4,600,000). X-Cabin notes that the food truck trailer price does not include any equipment. If you order just the bare trailer with nothing in it, that will set you back about $16,700.

X-Cabin has uploaded a promotional video for its presence at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon.

To order an X-Cabin like the one in the video and promotional images will set you back $66,600 after you dial in the options. Amusingly, you can get a package deal on these. If you buy nine or more X-Cabin 300 kits, the per unit price goes down to $15,600 each.

I do like what I see here. The trailers look neat and should last a long time. X-Cabin even puts out a bold claim that the trailers will last 100 years and that you’ll be able to pass them down from generation to generation. The company also says you’ll be able to ride out emergencies in the camper. According to that promotional video, the kit version also exists as a way for people to import these trailers into countries without having the trailer classified as a vehicle. I’m not entirely sure how that may work in the United States, but X-Cabin pitches it as a fun way to build your own camper.

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Still, those prices seem far too high for such a tiny trailer with so little in it. I’d say knock about 50 percent off of those prices and it would be a winner. But, maybe I’m wrong and X-Cabin will find plenty of buyers in Europe and perhaps beyond. At the very least, I’m glad that at least one more company is playing with riveted aluminum bodies.

(Images: Manufacturer.)

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