From Ecocapsule To Romotow: 5 Cool Trailers To Love

Contemporary living design, mobility, and living on the move are very important themes of our fast-moving age.

Fun, creative, and futuristic, here are five distinctly different in design and function.

Ecocapsule

Live Off-grid In An Ecocapsule
Live Off-grid In An Ecocapsule

For many the appeal of an RV road trip is enhanced by getting away from it all and living off the grid for a few days. Now, one design company seems to have taken the idea and turned it on its head, with the introduction of the Ecocapsule.

Packed into a compact form (it’s 14 feet 7 inches long and 7 feet 10 inches wide), the solar-and-wind-powered Ecocapsule merges an energy efficient shape, compact volume, and off-grid capabilities with the luxuries of a warm bed, running water, and a hot meal. The completely self-sustaining design, featuring its own solar panel system and high-capacity 9,700-watt-hour battery, tripled with a 750-watt wind turbine, allows for up to a year’s worth of energy.

BeauEr 3X

BeauEr 3X slide-out caravan
BeauEr 3X slide-out caravan

Originally launched in 2010, this tin-can shaped tourer looks like just another micro-caravan, until you put the key in and operate the telescopic sliding mechanism, which allows this trailer to slide out in both directions, tripling the interior space in just 20 seconds.

Built on an Al-Ko chassis with a polyester bodyshell, Beau claims it is also highly aerodynamic due to its smoothly curved exterior design.

The four-berth layout comprises a pair of double beds, measuring up at an ample 6 feet 3 inches x 4 feet 7 inches and 6 feet 10 inches x 4 feet 7 inches respectively.

But one thing’s for sure—if you pitch up in one of these this summer you will certainly turn heads.

Odorico Pordenone

Odorico Pordenone concept (named after an Italian late-medieval Franciscan friar and missionary explorer traveler)
Odorico Pordenone concept (named after an Italian late-medieval Franciscan friar and missionary explorer traveler)

Czech designer Jakub Novak’s Odorico Pordenone concept (named after an Italian late-medieval Franciscan friar and missionary explorer traveler) allows up to four people to travel together in a home-like environment. Novak envisioned the trailer to have aluminum walls with padding to keep the temperature stable, painted white on the inside but kept silver and given a brushed texture on the outside.

Since Novak’s concept is meant to accommodate four people, the usual lack of living space inside a trailer is addressed by building expandable wings that can pop out at the push of a button.

Safari Condo

Safari Condo Alto R Series (retractable roof)
Safari Condo Alto R Series (retractable roof)

Safari Condo teardrop trailers are lightweight and boast an aerodynamic shape increasing the ease of towing. The Alto R series incorporates an electric retractable roof providing more interior space than traditional teardrop trailers. With the rood open the Safari Condo offers a very comfortable interior height of 82 inches.

Romotow

The Romotow folds out like a Swiss Army Knife
The Romotow folds out like a Swiss Army Knife

A combination of the words ‘room to move’, the Romotow offers a contemporary mobile living design that delivers an experience in a class of its own. A radical departure from current boxy and cumbersome travel trailer designs, it folds out like a Swiss Army Knife to offer roughly 70 percent more living space than an average caravan trailer.

Features include aerodynamic and lightweight construction for increased fuel efficiency and towing stability, power assisted braking, pneumatic shocks, gyro assisted self-leveling pads and struts, and a rear mounted camera. Fit-out variations can include a sheltered BBQ deck area for entertaining and relaxing, windbreak, sliding doors, louvered windows, stylish and easy clean furniture, and more.

Worth Pondering…

Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.

—James Dean (1931-1955)

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From Modern-day Ark To Futuristic Helicopter: 5 Cool Trailers To Love

Mobility and living on the move are important themes in today’s fast-moving world.

Fun, creative, and futuristic, here are five revolutionary RV models that are sure to turn heads.

Blue Eye Noah

Blue Eye Noah exterior
Blue Eye Noah exterior

This revolutionary RV model is considered as a modern-day Ark constructed for those “Blue-eyed Noahs” with full protections and best facilities, it’s an ultimate sanctuary more than the pleasure road trips in leisure days.

An innovative design for multiple uses—recreational mobile home for fun, safety, and survival. Optional packages will give this RV multi-function adaptability to serve as a boat house, ice-fishing house, snowmobile house, and even to meet other challenging landscapes.

Innovan 

The efficient and flexible Innovan slide-on truck camper
The efficient and flexible Innovan slide-on truck camper

The efficient and flexible Innovan slide-on truck camper and the Innovan XC off-road trailer caravan are really quite different from anything else on the market.

The Innovan can be fully setup including awning is less than 30 seconds. It opens out like a Swiss Army Knife. When configured for travel, the aerodynamic shape of the camper minimizes wind drag and the cross-wind problems usually associated with campers and vans. Its light weight means that when attached to a four wheel drive, it can go just about anywhere.

This space-efficient caravan is designed to seamlessly slide onto the back of a truck and comes with a whopping 13 storage compartments for all your outdoor gear. It weighs 1,100 pounds and boasts a queen-size bed, pull-out dining area, and air conditioning, among a slew of other sweet features.

SylvanSport GO

Lightweight and easy to manage, the SylvanSport GO can be pulled by even the smallest of cars.
Lightweight and easy to manage, the SylvanSport GO can be pulled by even the smallest of cars.

Billed as “Mobile Adventure Gear” rather than a trailer, the Sylvan Sport Go is an 840-pound pop-up trailer that can carry extra gear and outdoor equipment such as canoes and trailers and can be towed by a small car.

To complement its GO trailer line, SylvanSport has recently introduced the GO-Easy adventure trailer.

Bufalino

Bufalino Camper
Bufalino Camper

German industrial designer Cornelius Comanns has converted the existing Piaggio APE 50 three-wheeled delivery vehicle, a cheap, and fuel efficient platform, into a small camper, called the Bufalino.

It is a small camper which is equipped to meet the basic needs of one person. The concept behind the project is to offer absolute flexibility during periods of travel.

Bufalino encourages users to explore the surrounding off beaten tracks. Meanwhile the furnished interior consisting of a bed, two seating units, a cooking zone, a basin, storage space, a water tank, and a refrigerator offers the comforts of a home.

Monopod 660

Out of this world: the Monopod 660 is the first ever caravan from IH Leisure
Out of this world: the Monopod 660 is the first ever caravan from IH Leisure

Is it a spaceship on wheels? Is it a futuristic helicopter?

A wildly futuristic space-age vehicle, the Monopod 660 is a high-end luxury caravan with an extraordinary striking look. The name derives from the one piece monocoque body shell, a design technique taken from the automotive industry which allows stresses and strains on the vehicle to be carried by the outer skin.

The front section is reminiscent of a helicopter with its slanted separate windows and curved front, while the design allows for a pure shape with few visible joins.

Inside, the Monopod 660 feels like stepping into a boutique hotel from another age, with warm contrasting tones and rich woods. The Truma blown air heating system is used throughout, while the lounge area is large and well appointed with comfortable foam back rests.

Worth Pondering…

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes.

—Frank Lloyd Wright

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Cool Trailers: From Vistabule To Ecco

In a day where many recreational vehicles can easily cost six-figures and measure 40-feet or more, some customers are looking for alternatives to the mass-produced recreational vehicles.

Life on the road can be enjoyed in a distinctly different, fun, and creative trailer in one of five ways:

Vistabule

Vistabule Introduces ‘Cab Forward’ Teardrop Trailer
Vistabule is a popular ‘Cab Forward’ teardrop trailer

Streamlined and weighing just 1,220 pounds, the Vistabule teardrop trailer can be towed behind nearly any small car.

Oversized windows and a cab-forward design set the Vistabule apart by offering panoramic views that no other teardrop trailer offers. You’re oriented to the front where all the action is. The huge window affords a view to the world as well as the sky.

The queen sized bed converts in seconds into a delightful sitting space with a fold up table and the smartly fitted kitchen allows people to prepare meals while protected from rain and sun.

Colim

The Colim Caravan Concept
The Colim Caravan Concept

Facing the dilemma of whether to buy a new motorhome and toad, truck and fifth wheel trailer, or SUV and travel trailer or caravan?

The brain child of German designer Christian Susana, the futuristic looking Colim (an acronym meaning Colors of Life in Motion) is an attractive combination of car and a caravan camper—the perfect example of an intelligent motorhome design. The Colim motorhome allows drivers to detach the cockpit so they can drive around the resort more efficiently. The vehicle has a top speed of 90mph.

Lil Snoozy

Lil’ Snoozy Goes Camping
Lil’ Snoozy Goes Camping

A fiberglass trailer with an ultra-aerodynamic shape and clean flowing curves, Lil Snoozy is available directly from the manufacturer.

Customers love the Lil Snoozy because Lil’ is only 17 feet, 3 inches in length; 7 feet, 11 inches in width; and 7 feet, 5 inches high. The interior space is 14 feet, 6 inches by 6 feet, 6 inches. There’s a bathroom with shower across from a kitchen area (with sink, refrigerator, and microwave), a couch in front of an entertainment center, and a queen bed.

Within a unique two piece fiberglass unit modern coring materials and state of the art manufacturing processes have been incorporated, adding strength and insulating properties, while tremendously reducing weight.

DoubleBack

DoubleBack Ultimate Camper Van
DoubleBack Ultimate Camper Van

Looking for the freedom and mobility offered by a mid-to-full-size recreational vehicle, but want the practicality and fuel efficiency of a camper van too? The DoubleBack may just be the ultimate camper van that you’ve been looking for.

What makes the DoubleBack unique is just how much space it actually has, and how easily you can expand or contract its size to fit your recreational needs.

Need more room? Use the electric slide-out rear pod to extend the vehicle’s rear. You can even expand the roof and walk around the camper van’s kitchen and lounge.

Ecco

Functions: 1-2, Van opens; 3, electric power hook-up; 4, air intake; 5, windscreen; 6, solar power panel; 6-7 Softtop opening roof; 8, fold out stairs. (Credit: arch.nau.coop)
Functions: 1-2, Van opens; 3, electric power hook-up; 4, air intake; 5, windscreen; 6, solar power panel; 6-7 Softtop opening roof; 8, fold out stairs. (Credit: arch.nau.coop)

The Ecco is set to revolutionize the humble camper van with space-age design that includes collapsible walls and a flip-top upper deck.

A futuristic camper van, the Ecco doubles in size by flipping open “like a Swiss Army knife.”

Since space is the main theme, in design and concept, passengers enter the 15-foot-long electric vehicle from the rear through a huge stairway that folds into the ceiling. The space is then transformed with a flip-out top deck, expandable walls, and fold-down seats for extra room.

The eco-friendly camper van can sleep a family of five and boasts a kitchen, bathroom, and lounge area.

Worth Pondering…

The only important thing about design is how it relates to people.

—Victor Papane

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4 More Cool Trailers

In a day where many recreational vehicles can easily cost six-figures and measure 40-feet or more, some people are returning to basics resulting in the minimalist RV trend gaining momentum.

Numerous vintage trailers, Airstreams, and other cool campers have been featured in Vogel Talks RVing. From modular trailers to bizarre shaped campers here are four that’ll certainly turn heads.

Teal Feather Camper

The Teal Feather Camper
The Teal Feather Camper

There is no other camper on the market quite like the Teal Feather. A modular camper that fits on a utility trailer or pickup bed, the Teal Camper is 8.5 feet long, 6 feet wide, just over 6 feet tall, and weighs a mere 500 pounds, hence its name.

The camper can be put together by one person in 60 minutes by piecing together panels made of polyethylene plastic filled with insulation. Only a Phillips screwdriver is purportedly needed for the job. When taken apart, the camper’s parts occupy a space of 4 feet by 5 feet.

Inside, the camper features a sink with a drain and a bottle to pump water to the faucet. The cabinets look more like a duffel bag—they open with zippers—though they have shelves and panels to support storage of belongings.

Dub Box

Dub Box is a customizable camper manufactured in Oregon.
Dub Box is a customizable camper manufactured in Oregon.

The Dub Box is a fun and creative retro camper with a new twist. The initial design was born from the American vintage trailer, merged with retro styling, and infused with modern conveniences for style and comfort. While it may appear that the company buys up all the Volkswagen camper vans remaining on the planet, Dub Boxes are manufactured from new fiberglass shells.

The initial design was born from the American vintage trailer, merged with retro styling and modern conveniences for style and comfort. And the rest of the design is up to you.

Dub Boxes are light enough to be towed by most vehicles, compact enough to be stored in a garage, the exterior and interior decor is customizable, and the layout can be altered to suit its intended use.

Eggcamper

The Eggcamper: Lightweight molded composite travel trailers
The Eggcamper: Lightweight molded composite travel trailers

As the name suggests, the Eggcamper has a distinct eggshell look.

Distinctly different in design and function, Eggcampers are handmade from nine molded lightweight composites — the entire camper weighs less than 2,000 pounds — and thus is easy to tow.

The entire exterior is intentionally painted an eggshell white color, which obviously helps give the product its name, but also makes it simple to clean and easier to keep cool.

The company also offers a smaller Teardropp trailer that’s based on a shape that was popular in the 1930s and is manufactured using a similar process.

Mehrzeller

Mehrzeller, a multi-cellular caravan
Mehrzeller, a multi-cellular caravan

If you don’t like to follow current trends and prefer to stand out from the crowd then this bizarre shaped caravan trailer with sleek angular lines, the Mehrzeller, may be the recreational vehicle for you.

The multi-cellular caravan  design can be entirely personalized by each customer resulting in an attractive one-of-a-kind trailer. The configuration is generated by a computer using the customer’s inputs, and then the final design is done by parameters from the architects to yield an attractive and practicable result. The caravans are produced using the principles of “mass customization”: this allows both the individual wishes of the customer to be accommodated while producing the caravan with series methods.

Worth Pondering…

All things are possible until they are proved impossible—and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.

—Pearl S. Buck

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RV/MH Museum Introduces Historic Shasta Exhibit

Elkhart, Indiana-based RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum recently introduced its newest exhibit featuring a retrospective on the evolution of the iconic Shasta brand of travel trailers.

1954 Shasta display in the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, Elkhart, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
1954 Shasta display in the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum, Elkhart, Indiana © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The display includes a 1954 Shasta that’s been in the museum’s inventory for years and a 2015 reissue of a 1961 Shasta Airflyte 16sc, courtesy of Mick Ferkey, owner of Greeneway RV, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, and a member of the RV/MH Hall of Fame board of directors.

While the reissue of a 1961 Shasta Airflyte 16sc has the look and style of the 1960s model, it is fully equipped with modern features and appliances, including a full bath, according to an RV/MH Hall of Fame press release.

“Shasta has a rich heritage and is the industry’s longest producer of RVs. The brand has been in continuous product since its founding in 1941,” said Darryl Searer, president, RV/MH Hall of Fame.

“When Californian Robert Gray built the first Shasta ‘house trailer’ to be used as mobile military housing, he had no idea his homes on wheels would play a major role in establishing a billion-dollar industry—or that the little trailers would spark wanderlust in Americans that would carry them across the miles and into the next century.”

The evolution of the Shasta display in the museum actually began when Mark Lucas, president/general manager, Shasta RV, a division of Forest River, noticed a yellow and white 1961 Shasta for sale sitting in a front yard, just up the road from his office in Middlebury, Indiana.

1954 Shasta (left) and 2015 Reissue of a 1961 Shasta Airflyte 16sc (right)
1954 Shasta (left) and 2015 Reissue of a 1961 Shasta Airflyte 16sc (right)

“I’ve always been a car guy. I’ve restored and customized a bunch of older cars. My wife has a 1960 Cadillac convertible with a white interior,” said Lucas.

“So when I ran across that 1961 Shasta I envisioned towing the restored 1961 Shasta behind my wife’s car. I bought it and brought it to the factory.”

As it turns out, a restoration was not as easy as Lucas first thought.

“We started to pull it apart and discovered it had aluminum water tank and aluminum water line, so I said, ‘Pull it out and we’ll replace it’,” Lucas continued.

“They said, ‘It’s got that old style wiring,’ so I said, ‘Pull that out and replace it.’

Lucas’ crew kept pulling it apart until they ended up with a bare frame. He laughed and added, “That wasn’t part of the plan—my wife’s going to be pretty mad. I got with our engineer Mark Dunithan, and we started researching parts and found that about 80 percent of what we needed was readily available.”

Dunithan suggested to Lucas that they just build a brand new one for him.

But rather than just building one, they came up with the idea of building 1,941 in honor of Shasta’s first year.

Lucas said, “There were some things that were hard to find. We had to get a casting made for the Shasta emblem on the front, and we replicated the door handles. Vendors really stepped up for us. For example, Hehr International, an RV window manufacturer, remade those awning style windows for us.”

Cadillac_ShastaLucas unveiled the 2015 reissue of a 1961 Shasta Airflyte on the opening day of 2014 RV Open House, and by noon the next day, the complete product run was completely sold out.

It was during the RV Open House that board member Mick Ferkey noticed the product and fell in love with it. Ferkey knew the museum already owned 1954 Shasta and thought a display of the 1954 Shasta alongside the reissue of the 1961 could be an exciting and educational exhibit for museum visitors.

The problem was that Shasta limited sales of the new model only to its own dealers, and Ferkey was not a Shasta dealer.

Ferkey talked to Lucas about his idea and ended up convincing him selling him one for display in the museum.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Lucas said.

“One thing that I’m honored to do is to direct such an iconic brand such as Shasta. So to have our reissue of the 1961 Shasta Airflyte sit beside a 1954 Shasta at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum is exciting, and it’s also humbling.”

Museum visitors will find the new exhibit in the Go RVing Hall and will be able to compare the advances in enhancements to the RV lifestyle between these two historic travel trailers.

2014 limited edition Shasta Airflyte in production.
2014 limited edition Shasta Airflyte in production.

Worth Pondering…

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

—Les Brown

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The Appeal of Pop-Up Trailers

Pop-up trailers are a blend of RV and tent, combining the best of both types. They give you the comfort and security of a travel trailer and the openness of a tent.

Viking Epic Pop-Up Trailers
Viking Epic Pop-Up Trailers Consumers Digest Best Buy

Pop-up trailers, which are also known as pop-up campers, folding tent trailers, and folding campers are lightweight trailers with collapsible (usually canvas material) sides that fold for aerodynamic towing by a motorized vehicle. When set up, they provide cooking, dining, and sleeping facilities for up to eight people.

Pop-up trailers are an affordable way for the budget buyer to get into RVing, a viable first step of RV ownership.

They are lightweight and make a lot of sense to campers especially young families and those looking at upgrading from tent camping to an RV.

Added to the fact purchase prices are much lower than a conventional RV, they provide a wonderful camping choice.

The RV Industry Association (RVIA) is forecasting the industry will ship 10,900 pop-up units to retailers this year and will remain unchanged in 2015.

TrailManor SilverTrail Edition
TrailManor SilverTrail Edition

Although the market for pop-ups has been eroded somewhat following the recession, there are still new pop-up trailers coming out that will continue to attract new customers who have decided that tent camping just isn’t fun anymore. And today’s pop-ups have some definite advantages over their predecessors.

They’re definitely not your dad’s pop-up. Early pop-up trailers were bland—not much more than a wheeled box with a bed and table. They have become a lot easier to set up and take down. Today’s pop-up trailers are much more automated with more power lifts that reduce setup and take down time. When you add to that the incredible number of new features—everything from updated floor plans and fabrics to extra storage and power points, their appeal has been broadened.

SylvanSport GO
Lightweight and easy to manage, the SylvanSport GO can be pulled by even the smallest of cars.

Today, they are much improved and offer more appeal. There are even off-road models with dirt tires and a deck on which to carry an ATV.

Setting up a pop-up trailer is relatively simple and should take about 20 minutes.

Park your pop-up in a level spot. Secure the wheels with a tire locking chock. Raise the trailer tongue high enough to disconnect the tow vehicle. Pull the tow vehicle away and level the trailer.

Release the roof latches, and raise the roof using the crank handle or winch extending the telescoping poles on each corner of the box.

Next, bunks at the front and the back of the trailer are pulled out by hand. Then, the tent material (which is fastened to the box and to the roof) is unfurled, pulled over the ends of the bunks, and attached. Interior support poles for the bunk and the entry door are then installed.

Depending on the configuration and included equipment, several additional set up steps may be required. These steps include hooking up to utilities (electricity, water, sewer), reassembling the dinette, unfolding the sink, turning on systems (water pump, water heater, etc.), making beds and unpacking belongings.

Earlier articles on Vogel Talks RVing have featured several brands of pop-up trailers, each boasting unique features.

Bunkhouse Pop-up trailer
Bushtec Products’ Bunkhouse Pop-up trailers has introduced a new pop-up travel trailer.

The Bunkhouse Camper manufactured by Jacksboro, Tennessee-based Bushtec Products features pop-ups weighing less than 300 pounds that are popular with motorcycle riders.

The TrailManor is a low-profile hard wall trailer that opens and closes with the touch of a remote control. TrailManor’s “tow low/live high” concept appeals to campers desiring comfort and luxury beyond that offered by the typical pop-up trailer.

The Viking Epic Series of pop-up trailers offers eight floor plans in the $9,615-$13,401 price range. Manufactured by Coachmen RV, a division of Forest River Inc., the Viking Epic Series was named a 2014 Consumers Digest Best Buy in the “midrange” category.

Billed as “Mobile Adventure Gear” rather than a trailer, the SylvanSport Go is an 800-pound pop-up trailer that can carry extra outdoor equipment such as canoes and trailers and can be towed by a small car.

Worth Pondering…

Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.

—James Dean (1931-1955)

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When Less Is More

The Mogo Freedom proves less is more with the design of its Mogo.

The Mogo Freedom proves less is more with the design of its Mogo.
The Mogo Freedom proves less is more with the design of its Mogo.

The flexible space allows outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy camping.

Mogo Freedom said it is looking to challenge everyone’s views on the caravan/trailer. When designing Mogo, Matjaz Korosec and Ross Design from Germany followed the adage of less is more—the luxury lies in its simplicity.

Conceived after a period of downsizing, Korosec started looking for alternative, cost effective solutions that would enable taking holidays regardless of economic constraints. He and his family wanted to enjoy all the benefits of camping, but without the accompanying rigmarole.

They needed to be able to transport bicycles, kayaks, kites, and all manner of equipment easily and safely, but with a smaller vehicle than they had used previously. With a wealth of experience derived from working for caravan industry heavyweights Coachman, Fleetwood, and Adria UK, Korosec created the concept for this transportable unit.

Back in 1949, British designer Samuel Alper’s vision was to produce cheaper, lighter caravans for the masses. His mission came to fruition when the Sprite shape was launched in 1951, enabling families with regular sized vehicles to tow a mobile home and holiday at leisure.

The Mogo Freedom proves less is more with the design of its Mogo.
The Mogo Freedom proves less is more with the design of its Mogo.

Recycling this philosophy, the Mogo Freedom goes back to basics—with an ethically produced unit, designed to enable the user to utilize the space with total flexibility. From an aesthetic perspective there are elements reminiscent of the familiar mobile homes of yesteryear, but with the capability to project any functionality.

With a maximum load weight of 750kg (1,653 pounds), there is no need for a driver’s towing license or a vehicle with an engine size exceeding 1.0 L. With these proportions, the Mogo Freedom can be stored inside the average domestic-sized garage.

The unit core is constructed using modern, super lightweight Banova Balsa wood from renewable eco plantations. The walls of the Mogo are reinforced with newly developed plastics—normally used in the building industry, providing the unit with strength, thermal insulation, and impact resistance.

The Mogo also features specially designed tools and lamination technique by German producer Vöhringer. During the assembly all parts are bonded. All seams and doorframes are toughened with brushed aluminum for added protection and durability.

The Mogo Freedom proves less is more with the design of its Mogo.
The Mogo Freedom proves less is more with the design of its Mogo.

To enhance the camping experience Mogo Freedom added two essential gadgets: a mobile kitchen for outdoor chefs and a prolonged supply of electrical power for modern nomads.

Joe Baughman, a camping enthusiast from Leeds, Utah, invented the mobile kitchen. During a camping trip to the picturesque, yet remote, Lake Powell, he felt the need to consolidate all epicurean gear into one kitchen unit. He patented the Grub Hub, a new compact system that is an outdoor workstation with tables, counter, a place for a stove, a lighting stand, and of course the kitchen sink.

Hubi is crystalline solar panel that transfers light during the day into direct current electricity stored in the Lithium battery. The stored power can then be accessed through a 12 Volt outlet, two USB chargers or enjoyed in the form of LED lights.

A single 10 Amper hour (Ah) Lithium battery with a 20 watt peak (wp) crystalline solar panel powers a laptop for 8 hours, charges a tablet 8 times, or a smart phone 15 times. The battery is fully charged in 7-10 hours using 20 wp capacity solar panel.

Regardless of chosen motivation, the Mogo Freedom allows users the opportunity to indulge themselves in whatever outdoor activity they wish to engage in.

Camping is cool, yet again.

When a tent is too muddy, a teardrop too small, a folding camper too much work, and a caravan too dear, then it is time for a Mogo.

VW Up towing the Mogo Freedom
VW Up towing the Mogo Freedom

Details

Mogo Freedom

Mogo Freedom, revolutionary multifunction trailer, is an equipment transporter, a support vehicle, a campervan—whatever you need it to be.

Mogo Freedom is easy to tow, fits in your garage, and is safe, strong, and comfortable.

Website: www.mogofreedom.com

Worth Pondering…
Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.

—Thomas Merton

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The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer

Despite what Matthew McConaughey might have you believe, Airstream trailers are not the only cool campers out there. No, there are others.

The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer
The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer

In an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing, I introduced the adorably minimalist Cricket Trailer.

Designed and built by Garrett Finney, an ex-NASA architect, the part tent, part RV Cricket Trailer is out-of-this-world cool.

Combining his small-space expertise and backpacking background, Finney designed the Cricket Trailer, a small, self-contained pop-up trailer. It’s his response to today’s house-on-wheels bigger-is-better RV cul­ture.

The Cricket is a kind of hybrid tent and trailer, made of aluminum, wood and steel, with a pop-up style roof—not a house on wheels but a portable adventure living space.

The name Cricket was inspired by an early design sketch, in which the lifts on the pop-up looked like the legs of the insect.

Many of the people who are buying Cricket trailers have never owned a camping trailer before. In describing the company’s philosophy, Finney harkened back to the old 7-Up ads from the 1970s.

The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer
The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer

It packs most everything you’ll need for a week or longer on the road, and despite its small size does not skimp on function.

It’s light. The Cricket Trailer weighs only 1,460 pounds unloaded, yet packs on board fresh water and grey water tanks, an energy-efficient lightweight electric water heater, electrical shore power connection, exterior shower system, a recessed sink with folding cover, energy efficient-water pump, and optional energy efficient refrigerator. All the comforts of home, only smaller and roadworthy.

And there’s ample storage. Lift up a seating cushion to reveal substantial gear stowage space. Under-bed and under-kitchen counter storage adds to available space for your stuff. The roof mounting points were designed to accept a number of modern car top cargo systems.

It also strikes an interesting chord between full-blown trailer and utilitarian pop-up. The walls are rigid from floor to ceiling, and with a simple pop, the roof extends a few feet revealing mesh windows and allowing air circulation.

Underneath, the Cricket Trailer totes a rugged torsion beam suspension and features a foot of ground clearance (an extra two and a half inches with the Sport Edition), built to military spec stress testing standards.

The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer
The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer

The Cricket Trailer is now available in two models: Standard Cricket and Sport Edition.

Features and specifications common to both models include a queen size bed, interior standing height of 6 feet 4 inches, water heater, indoor sink, external shower, and high output LED interior lights.

Optional trailer fixtures include 5,000 BTU air conditioner ($560), tongue box ($315), roof rack bars ($300), kid’s berth ($280), portable toilet ($140), top loading fridge ($1,000), 80 watt solar electric pack ($700), second battery ($240), road safety kit including mounted spare tire ($375), great outdoor kit including awning ($375), and kitchen furnishings including coffee and portable stove ($280).

The Standard Cricket complete with v-berth lounge, water heater, and exterior shower
package starts at $21,700 MSRP.

The Sport Edition complete with exclusive silver panels, higher ground clearance, rugged build, road safety kit, and roof rack standard starts at $24,290 MSRP.

Although the Cricket is earth­bound, the results are out-of-this-world cool.

The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer
The Out-Of-This-World Cool Cricket Trailer

Details

Cricket Trailer

Cricket is a lightweight pop-up trailer, a covered wagon for the New Frontier.

Cricket is a base camp for outdoor fun. Lightweight and athletic, cricket is towable by many four-cylinder engines.

With sleeping room for two adults and up to two children, cricket’s NASA-inspired design and integrated plumbing and electrical systems enable days off the grid.

Three-dimensional storage allows cargo for a long weekend or a longer journey. Built from sensible materials, cricket is affordable, aerodynamic, and rugged enough for dirt roads and gravel tracks.

Address: 6261 Richman Avenue, Unit F, Houston, Texas 77057

Phone: (713) 861-2540

Website: www.crickettrailer.com

Worth Pondering…

Find what brings you joy and go there.

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Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer

Robert Johans built his first camping trailer over twenty years ago.

Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer
Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass TrailerNest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer

And several years ago he took his passion for the outdoors and camping to the next level and launched a Bend, Oregon-based trailer manufacturing business called Nest Caravans. The company plans to exclusively manufacture molded-fiberglass travel trailers.

He has contracted with Composite Approach, a Bend-based maker of aircraft fuselages and other products, to manufacture the fiberglass shells and components using vacuum-infusion. Creating a vacuum forces the fiberglass onto a mold and infuses the fabric with resin, which allows for a stronger composition.

The idea has been in the works for several years. In 2007, Johans opened The Egg Plant to restore and customize vintage fiberglass travel trailers, which carry the nickname, eggs. Through The Egg Plant, Johans realized there was a demand for upscale, compact, and lightweight travel trailers.

“It is this experience working from old eggs that our new egg has been hatched,” he told the Bend Bulletin.

He said many people are down-sizing their travel trailers to reduce fuel costs.

Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer
Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer

To meet this market demand, Nest Caravans has eliminated the steel framework typically found under other trailers.

Nest Caravans recently rolled out the prototype Jay/1S, a 17-foot-long unit designed with high-end fixtures and a look that says it belongs on the highway as much as the campground.

The travel trailers, built for two, are outfitted with fixtures worthy of a yacht or an airplane, Johans told the Bulletin.

He chose fittings from those industries, rather than outfit his trailers with typical RV fixtures, for their higher quality and durability.

The basic trailer, built with an aerodynamic design, comes with basic amenities, including a two-burner stove and queen-size bed. It also comes with two solar-power options.

Johans designed it with baby boomers in mind, the avid tent camper who’s aged to the point that a night on the ground is less appealing than it once was.

Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer
Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer

“This is a compact trailer, and we’re still encouraging people to actually camp,” Johans told the Bulletin.

“This is not a home on wheels; we’re not talking that kind of aesthetic.”

The next step for Nest Caravans is getting the word out and taking orders.

Turnaround time for each unit, built to order, will be about four weeks, a time Johans said he expects to shorten. He foresees that, with time, the Nest Caravans will become a sought-after classic.

Nests are made to order. The basic model is 17 feet long, 80 inches wide, and weighs about 2,000 pounds.

Starting price is around $35,000.

Production begins May 2015.

Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer
Nest Caravans Upscale Molded-Fiberglass Trailer

Details

Nest Caravans

Address: 64955 Collins Road, Bend OR 97701

Phone: (541) 323-6920

Website: www.nestcaravans.com

Worth Pondering…

The RV lifestyle is like nothing else.

It’s leaving home, exploring America, and yet bringing your home along with you!

Stopping at a wayside picnic area, preparing lunch in your kitchen.

It’s sleeping in your own bed every night, yet waking up to a new vista each morning!

The sounds of a crackling campfire; of a mountain stream, of frogs, and crickets.

It’s families drawn closer; it’s retirees being rewarded for many years of labor.

—Loren Eyrich, Two-Lane Roads

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The Phenomenon of Teardrop Trailers

The teardrop trailer gets its name from its unique streamlined shape.

Teardrop trailer plans
Teardrop trailer plans

Conceived more than 75 years ago, the teardrop trailer has stood the test of time. A common sight from the late 1930s through the ’50s—many were home-built—and were popular because of their sleek, aerodynamic design, and lightweight materials.

A teardrop trailer is generally small, ranging from 4 feet to 6 feet in width and 8 feet to 10 feet in length. They are usually 4 feet to 5 feet in height. Wheels and tires are usually outside the body and are covered by fenders.

The March/April, 1939 issue of Popular Homecraft ran a story and plans for a teardrop trailer designed and built by Louis Rogers of Pasadena, California in the 1930s for his honeymoon coach. This teardrop slept two and had a raise-up deck lid for the rear kitchenette with ice box and stove. A curtain-enclosed dressing room outside the starboard entry door provided privacy while dressing.

The February, 1940 issue of Popular Mechanics ran a story and plans for an egg-shaped teardrop trailer. It was built on a 1924 Chevrolet Superior front axle with disk wheels from a 1930 Chevrolet.

The floor was of tongue-and-groove oak over a spruce chassis. The exterior was 1/8-inch pressed board sealed with varnish. This 9-foot x 5-foot 9-1/2-inch floor plan featured a pressurized water tank with running water to a sink, a stove and ice box in the rear kitchenette. The cabin provided standing room beside the double bed for dressing, a small clothes closet, a chemical toilet, and a single entry door on the starboard side.

Vistabule teardrop trailer
Vistabule teardrop trailer

Following World War II Kit Manufacturing produced “Kit Kamper” teardrop trailers. They soon learned that what the public wanted was not a kit, but a completed trailer. Kit Manufacturing made the decision to produce the teardrop trailers in completed form. The 4-foot x 8-foot Kit Kamper tear drop was destined to win the hearts of Americans—and a place in history.

A total of 4,500 Kit Kampers were produced in 1946 and 1947.

Their popularity faded as vehicles became larger, fuel was cheap, and recreational vehicles increased in size. In 1948 Kit went into production of a more conventional 8-foot x 14-foot “coach” with demand far exceeding production capability. The Kit Kamper teardrop assembly line was ended.

Teardrops have recently gained a resurgence in popularity. New fuel efficient cars, combined with today’s modern teardrop trailers now allow you to once again enjoy the open road in modern comfort and retro style.

While a lot has changed since the introduction of teardrop trailers on the American highway, the reasons for owning a teardrop trailer are the same today as they were when your father or grandfather built his teardrop in the family garage.

Lil’ Snoozy Goes Camping
Lil’ Snoozy Goes Camping

Teardrop trailers are sleek, aerodynamic, and practical. Depending on the model, your teardrop trailer can sleep up to three adults or two adults and several children.

Teardrops can be pulled by any vehicle with a hitch—even the smallest of vehicles such as the Mini Cooper or the VW Beetle can easily tow a teardrop trailer.

Whether you’re a weekend camper who enjoys spending time with the family, or an avid outdoorsman who hunts, fishes, or rides a four wheeler—there’s a teardrop trailer that will suit your needs. There are even teardrops for towing by motorcycles.

A variety of unique teardrop trailers have gained in popularity including the Vistabule, Lil’ Snoozy, Safari Condo, Tiny Trailer, Little Guy, Eggcamper, Geistwerks, and Moby 1.

Streamlined and weighing just 1,220 pounds, Vistabule can be towed behind nearly any small car.

Customers love the Lil Snoozy, a fiber glass travel trailer, because Lil’ is only 17 feet, 3 inches in length; 7 feet, 11 inches in width; and 7 feet, 5 inches high.

Safari Condo Alto R Series (retractable roof)
Safari Condo Alto R Series (retractable roof)

Safari Condo tear drop trailers offer an electric retractable roof providing more interior space than traditional teardrop trailers.

Teardrop trailers have come a long way since those original teardrops, but still offer all the enjoyment and fun that the original teardrop owner came to expect.

Worth Pondering…

Live with passion.

—Anthony Robbins

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