The Barefoot joined the nuCamp family in December of 2022, debuting in the captivating color seaglass. To celebrate its first anniversary, nuCamp unveiled a brand-new dazzling addition to its palette — pearl pink.
The new color was revealed for the first time at the Florida RV SuperShow in January. To further commemorate the one-year milestone, nuCamp invited Cathy Chamberlain and Ben Matthews, the original minds behind this unique travel trailer, to join their team in Florida. Cathy and Ben met with news outlets and shared the vision behind the Barefoot and the story of its creation.
Creating the Barefoot
The Barefoot is the brainchild of Cathy Chamberlain, who hails from the United Kingdom. Cathy is an outdoors enthusiast and loves camping along the coast and at music festivals. Ten years ago, a particularly wet weekend tent camping was the catalyst that prompted her to start thinking of transitioning to RV camping.
“I just couldn’t find something that I liked,” Cathy explained. “I wanted something that had all the home comforts that I’d just feel comfortable in and proud to own and use. I had the random idea that I would design and build one myself.”
Cathy envisioned a curved camper and knew fiberglass would be the perfect medium to bring her vision to life. After talking with several fiberglass companies, Cathy connected with Ben, who specialized in fiberglass sidecars and motorcycles.
“We never dreamed of making a caravan,” Ben shared. “It’s just not what we do. … We liked the idea, and we thought, ‘why not?’”
Cathy and Ben debuted the first Barefoot at a small RV show in the UK. With its unique shape and design, Cathy said she was terrified it wouldn’t be received well. However, it was evident they had struck a chord within the market.
“When you create something brand new and unique, you just don’t know, do you,” Cathy said. “It became very clear very quickly that it evoked a lot of interest and demand and lovely comments in the UK and overseas as well.”
Partnering with nuCamp
The Barefoot gained traction and interest after being featured on BBC World News. nuCamp entered the scene after a mutual connection, Bruce Bannister, started the dialogue between the companies. Cathy and Ben brought one of their models to Salt Lake City for nuCamp representatives and dealers to view and gauge market reaction.
After receiving positive feedback and interest, Barefoot Caravans and nuCamp established their partnership.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Cathy said. “When you create something from scratch and then suddenly, you’re taking it to America — It’s a really unusual thing to happen. Lots of things come from America to the UK and the rest of the world, but for it to go the other way is quite unusual.”
With the rising interest in American RVers, finding a partner in the US made the most sense, Ben explained. Shipping a caravan overseas wasn’t cost-effective or timely. He added they have found nuCamp to be an excellent partner.
The first step to bringing the Barefoot to the North American market was Americanizing the shell and layout of the camper. Driving lanes are opposite in the UK, so the door was moved to the passenger side, and the interior layout was mirrored to fit the new door position. Other changes were made to match the American RV market, including adding air conditioning and ensuring everything met federal regulations.
Ben said figuring out the new layout was the most challenging part of bringing the Barefoot to the US, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the midst of design and engineering.
“What they’ve produced is absolutely fantastic,” Ben said of the completed US Barefoot Travel Trailer. “The quality is amazing,” Cathy added with a smile. “We’re really happy with it.”
nuCamp CEO Scott Hubble said it’s hard to believe it’s been more than four years since the decision was made to partner with Barefoot Caravans.
Throughout those four years, nuCamp has found Barefoot Caravans to be a strong partner who shares the company’s core values.
“When we discovered that Cathy and Ben shared the same passion for creating exceptional outdoor experiences, we knew this was a partnership that was meant to happen,” Scott recalled. “Cathy and Ben are not only amazing partners, but people as well. Their kindness, creativity, understanding, and support has been instrumental in propelling the success of the Barefoot.”
It was a long and challenging journey to bring the Barefoot to North America as nuCamp navigated challenges brought on by the pandemic, including supply chain shortages.
Since production began one year ago, the Barefoot has created a massive buzz at RV shows and across social media platforms, Scott commented. Several Barefoot TikToks have gone viral, generating more than 2 million views.
Like its predecessor, the pearl pink Barefoot received positive feedback at the Florida RV SuperShow. This color variation features a cream-colored interior with a light, minimalist design, giving the trailer a sophisticated and elegant feel.
The pearl pink Barefoot is now available on dealer lots alongside the original seaglass. With its retro graphic and chic curvy fiberglass shell, the Barefoot is destined to steal the spotlight at any campground.
“The Barefoot has captivated enthusiasts with its distinctive design, creative use of space, and high-quality construction,” Scott said. “We continue to receive amazing feedback on the Barefoot, which drives our commitment to elevating the product to even greater heights in 2024.”