x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Top five: Portable homes

Here are five of the most outlandish portable homes ever made - or filmed.

The Heat mobile home
The Heat mobile home

It’s nice to have a place to stay when you’re on the road, whether you’re camping or working. Over the years, portable living spaces, whether towed or under their own power, have grown in size, complexity and luxury to meet people’s needs, but sometimes they can get a little out of hand. Here are five of the most outlandish portable homes ever made – or filmed


The Heat mobile home

Created by Anderson Mobile Estates, the Heat was one of the star attractions at the Big Boys Toys exhibition in Abu Dhabi in 2009. It is the mobile home of choice for Will Smith and Vin Diesel (his comes with a rooftop deck), and it is more spacious than some people's apartments, especially when its compartments are extended out. The Heat has two storeys with 14 televisions, a granite bathroom and a handmade staircase, and will cost between Dh7.3 million and and Dh18.3 million, depending on options.

The Globe caravan

Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, the man known as the Rainbow Sheikh, owns the Globe mobile home trailer. The giant, multi-storey caravan is said to be one-millionth the size of the actual earth. The eight-room contraption sits beside an even larger caravan, but the Globe is clearly the weirder one. You can see them both for yourself at the Emirates National Auto Museum, on the way to Liwa, and find the answer inside the museum as to what could possibly tow these caravans.

Red Bull Energy Station

The Red Bull Energy Station, according to the Formula One website, makes "motorhomes previously dubbed palaces look like mere gazebos". This F1 team accommodation, which also serves sister team Toro Rosso, is an impressive three-floor motorhome with several dining and refreshment areas and terraces. It is transported by 40 trucks and takes 40 workers two days to erect, but once up the public areas are open from dawn till dusk. The race drivers have their own private workout rooms and showers.

The Eagle Lunar Module

If portable means you can take it anywhere, then perhaps one could consider the Eagle Lunar Module as the ultimate mobile home. Engineered by Grumman, it was the module that housed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin when they went to the Moon in 1969 on the Apollo 11 mission, the first of six times it was used on the Moon. It cost $1.5 billion, but was designed for outer space use only, so each was discarded before the astronauts returned to earth in another vehicle.

EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle

Perfect for a place to relax on the road while battling Cold War-era Russkies. The EM-50 isn't actually real - it was featured in the 1981 film Stripes, starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. In the comedy, the bumbling duo join the US Army and, despite their irreverence for military rules, are assigned to protect a secret weapon, the EM-50, which looks strangely like a late-1970s General Motors motorhome. But its features come in handy when the two have to rescue their squad in Soviet Czechoslovakia.