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)

Read More

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


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


Worth Pondering…

Find what brings you joy and go there.

Read More

Camper Bought On Craiglist Was Stolen

For many Americans and Canadians buying items advertized on Craiglist and other classified sites has become a great way to locate deals.

avoid-scamsUnfortunately, those sites are also a hotbed of con artists looking to make a quick buck.

In earlier posts I reported about an auto insurance scam on Kijiji and Craiglist and on an Air Force veteran was scammed when purchasing a motorhome off Craiglist.

An Oklahoma family’s time with their dream camper was recently cut short when they learned the RV they bought online on Craiglist was actually stolen.

They learned it belonged to another family through social media.

It’s not easy for 4-year-old Easton to let go of the camper his dad just brought home, but he’ll soon have to.

“[It is] crushing because we had been looking for a long time,” Bret Thomas told Tulsa, Oklahoma News on 6.

“The boys were all excited you know when we got home. We just played in it.”

For over a year, the family searched online for a good camper in their price range. That’s when Thomas spotted a Craiglist ad for a used Pop-up camper for $500. Thomas jumped on the deal and met with the seller.

scam-alertThe camper didn’t have a title, but Thomas got a handwritten bill of sale.

Thomas says the seller told him he had taken the camper with his wife to Lake Thunderbird all the time and that he was out of work and that he just needed the money. Thomas paid him in cash, and the 1977 Jayco camper was all his.

“This was going to be our little home base,” Thomas told News on 6.

“Most of them you find in this price range, their canvases are just ripped up and shredded.”

It was going to be a great way to spend family weekend trips at Lake Arcadia. Excited, Thomas posted pictures of his new purchase online, but it wasn’t long before friends notified him that his new buy actually belonged to someone else.

“It ended up being a friend of a friend’s trailer that was stolen that morning,” he said.

Even more bizarre, Thomas’ wife went to high school with the owner of the camper and he’s even been to the family’s home to fix their AC unit.

“He was a really nice guy. I remember him from that time, and so we contacted him [and we] were able to easily to deal with him, and he was obviously happy to get his property back,” Thomas said.

The owner was able to identify a broken handle wrapped in electrical tape and Christmas lights stored inside a cabinet. It was a heartbreaking hang-up for the Thomas family, who will once again have to put their camping plans on the back burner.

scam-acronym“Legally, the trailer would be ours I guess, is what they were saying. But I know that he used it for his family and their memories and I couldn’t take something like that from someone,” Thomas said.

A missing camper report was filed with Edmond Police and Thomas filed reports with Yukon Police and Oklahoma City Police where the payment occurred.

Thomas says he is not sure if the seller actually stole the camper or was just in possession of it. He has tried calling the seller and contacting him on Facebook and says he would not press charges if he got his money back.

Worth Pondering…
Where there are sales, there are scam artists.

Read More

You Can Do More & Spend Less With A Truck Camper

You can do more and spend less with a truck camper. From sandy beaches to back roads, from regular parking spaces to the driveways of family and friends, truck campers can go anywhere a pickup truck can go. The turning radius of pickup trucks allows you to turn around quickly which can be crucial when traveling in unfamiliar areas.

Host Industries Introduces 3-Slide Camper for Short Bed Trucks
Host Industries Introduces 3-Slide Camper for Short Bed Trucks

Truck (pickup) campers were first created by Walter King in 1945 when he began manufacture of the Sport King camper in Torrance, California. King loved to hunt and fish and came up with the idea while pursuing these hobbies with his buddies. Though King Manufacturing, expanded his product line in the early ’50s by offering small travel trailers and in the ’70s with motorhomes, the cab-over camper remained one of its most popular products until 1987 when the company officially shut down operations.

Truck camper prices are very competitive with other RV types. And you will save money on fuel, registration, insurance, maintenance, storage, and depreciation.

Many people have become frustrated by attempting to match a truck and camper when they haven’t yet selected either one. You need to choose either a truck or a camper before you can assemble a safe and successful truck and camper combination. This can be done in one of two ways: Match a specific camper to an unspecified truck or match a specific truck to an unspecified camper.

Match a specific camper to an unspecified truck if you already own a camper or have selected the camper you plan to purchase and are now ready to find the right matching truck.

Match a specific truck to an unspecified camper if you already own a truck or have selected the truck you plan to purchase and are now ready to find the right matching camper. The favored recommendation is to choose your camper first to ensure that you get the camper you want and to avoid buying more or less truck than you need.

Adventure LP Eagle Cap truck camper
Adventure LP Eagle Cap truck camper

Choosing a truck can be a complex process. Not only are there six truck manufacturers and four truck levels to choose from, but each truck comes in a myriad of styles, bed lengths, engine types, and option packages. The number one issue when buying a truck for a truck camper is payload capacity.

Campers are available in three basic types, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages: pop-up campers, hard-shell campers, and campers with a slide-out.

Pop-up truck camper are often hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds lighter than hard-side campers. When collapsed, their low profile allows for a lower rig height and superior driving aerodynamics compared to hard-side campers. Their lower weight allows you to use a lighter duty truck.

Hard-side campers have their own advantages. They offer significantly more storage and significantly more insulation from the weather. They’re always set up and ready to go. And in general, hard-side campers also have a more domestic full-sized RV feel.

Slide-outs in a truck camper have a huge “wow” factor. You’ll be blown away by the difference. A single slide can completely transform the interior feel of a truck camper. When a truck camper features a full-wall slide-out or multiple slide-outs, you’ll almost forget you’re even in a camper.  The answer seems obvious, “Yes, please”.

Livin Lite’s CampLite Truck Camper
Livin Lite’s CampLite Truck Camper

On the other hand, non-slide campers are usually several thousand dollars less than slide-out models and are often several hundred pounds lighter as well. The reduced weight can mean that you can use a less expensive, lighter-duty, and more fuel-efficient truck.

If you can’t live without a slide-out camper, you won’t be the first. Just keep in mind the added weight, costs, and other considerations. And then enjoy your extra space.

Nothing beats equal parts research and experience. Learn about the above choices and make some informed decisions about what you want and need in a truck camper. Then go out and experience different truck campers in person.

This may mean several months of research, visiting dealerships, and attending RV shows. In the end, the balance of research and experience should allow you to choose a truck camper with confidence.

Worth Pondering…

May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view… where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you.
—Edward Abbey

Read More

2014 Palomino RV Features Rieco-Titan Roof Lift System

Nearly nine million households in America own an RV or pop-up, and there are countless accessories that can turn an ordinary camper into something extraordinary.

The new lower profile pop-up roof with one-piece sidewall. (Source:
The new lower profile pop-up roof with one-piece sidewall. (Source:

One such accessory that was showcased by Palomino in their 2014 RV announcements was the remote pop-up roof, which they featured as “fob-u-lous”, according to a news release from Chirch Global Manufacturing.

This new pop-up roof system was designed by Rieco-Titan Products, Inc.

By using their design and engineering expertise, Palomino now has a push button, fully-automatic, electric lift. In thirty seconds the roof is up or down.

“Our new Rieco-Titan roof lift system is very impressive. We approached Bob McCarthy, President of Rieco-Titan, about ten months ago about our desire to take Palomino soft-side truck campers to the next level,” said Pat Hines, director of truck camper marketing at Palomino RV.

“We feature Rieco-Titan camper jacks on all of our products and have had nothing but good experiences with them.”

“Another neat feature of this roof system is the optional key fob wireless remote. Now you can stand back, push a button on the key fob and, thirty seconds later, your camper roof is popped-up or down, added Hines.

The new Rieco-Titan key fob remote. (Source:
The new Rieco-Titan key fob remote. (Source:

“The key fob is the same size as an automotive key fob.  You can put it on the same key chain with your camper and truck keys.”

A truck camper industry first, this new pop-up roof lift system is standard on all 2014 Palomino soft side truck campers. The key fob is an option.

In the event that you lose the key fob or the battery is dead, there is a permanent switch inside the door to raise and lower the roof. There is also direct access to the battery from the power port on the side of the unit.

According to Hines, there a manual override in case the electric lift fails.

“The campers come with a flex screw that allows you to lower the roof without electric power. From there you can get the lift system repaired.”

Palomino and Rieco-Titan recently had their new Remote Controlled Pop-Up Roof featured in Truck Camper Magazine, as it showed a variety of new announcements for Palomino’s 2014 RVs.


Chirch Global Manufacturing Network

Vindee Industries, which manufactures products for Rieco-Titan Products, Inc., is one of fourteen companies that make up the Chirch Global Manufacturing Network.

Address: 320 Cary Point Drive, Cary, IL 60013

Phone: (815) 385-5600


Rieco-Titan Products Inc.

Rieco-Titan products include Stable Stix, Convertible Jacks, Camper Dolly, Ground Level Wireless RV Leveling System, and Correct Track.

Address: 965 Lambrecht Road, Frankfort, Illinois 60423

Phone: (866) 403-9803 (toll free)


Palomino RV

Palomino Max in high gloss pearl. (Source:
Palomino Max in high gloss pearl. (Source:

Palomino Camping Trailer construction began in 1968 with the dream of Vern Landey, a tent trailer distributor who felt he could design and produce better quality units than were currently being offered to the public. Landey began designing and producing Palomino pop-up tent trailers in a small building in Savage, Minnesota.

As demand for the Palomino grew, Landey felt it would benefit his company, Vanguard Industries, to relocate to Colon, Michigan in 1972.

In 2002 Vanguard was purchased by Forest River, Inc. Two new 100,000 square foot facilities were built in Goshen, Indiana to house the production lines for two new towable lines of travel trailers and fifth wheels, Puma by Palomino and Sabre by Palomino.

Palomino RV operates as a separate division of Forest River Inc, a Berkshire Hathaway company, and has grown from its humble beginnings in Minnesota to a major RV manufacturer with over 300 dealers in North America representing, selling, and servicing the Palomino Brand.


Truck Camper Magazine

Truck Camper Magazine is a FREE online magazine serving a vibrant and exciting truck camper community since 2007.

Phone: (717) 581-0743


Worth Pondering…

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”

Read More

SylvanSport Introduces PRO-GO Getter

Brevard, North Carolina-based SylvanSport, makers of the lightweight GO popup camping trailer, the GO, introduces the new PRO-GO Getter ambassador referral program.

GO-landing_campersThis program helps GO fans with industry connections become GO owners and brand ambassadors with the potential to earn referral fees.

It also helps put more GOs on the map, for aspiring GO owners to explore and experience firsthand.

“When people call about the GO, the first thing they want to know is where they can see one in person,” said Tom Dempsey, founder of SylvanSport, in a news release.

“With the PRO-GO Getter program, interested customers can connect with GO owner insiders to see the full versatility of the GO camping trailer in action for themselves.”

The GO pop-up camper is designed from the frame out to be a versatile “mobile adventure trailer.” It tows behind any vehicle, including hybrids, and hauls bikes, kayaks and motorcycles before transforming into a comfortable camping trailer with a living space that can sleep four.

The GO pop-up camper is designed from the frame out to be a one-of-a-kind mobile adventure trailer that’s even more versatile than a Swiss army knife, said Dempsey.

GO-landing_racersOn the company’s website, SylvanSport illustrates how the lightweight GO, called the “Coolest. Camper. Ever,” by National Geographic Adventure, tows behind any vehicle, including hybrids, and hauls bikes, kayaks—even motorcycles—before transforming into a comfortable camping trailer with a living space that can sleep four with ease.

“The GO pop-up camper is something you have to see in person to fully appreciate the design and craftsmanship,” said Kyle Mundt, marketing director for SylvanSport.

“People are always amazed with how lightweight and strong the GO is, and how easy it is to load, haul, and convert into a camping trailer.”

For qualified PRO-GO Getters, the benefits of being a brand ambassador for the GO camping trailer include:

  • Savings of up to $2,500 off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price for purchase GO pop-up camping trailer
  • Referral fees of $300 for every completed sale of the GO pop-up camper
  • A complete GO camping and adventure package, including an awning, spare tire, four mattresses, and two bed/seat/tables
  • SylvanSport merchandise like camping chairs and a team PRO-GO t-shirt
  • A custom web page on to help direct customers to ambassadors
  • Sales support literature and pull-up event banners for events
  • Access to partner company PRO-deals on all kinds of outdoor adventure gear

“SylvanSport is born of roots in the outdoor industry, so we’ve always had a great Industry PRO Deal on the GO Camper. Our new PRO-GO Getter deal takes that many steps further, giving our industry friends all the tools needed to be great ambassadors for the GO, and earn some real money in the process,” said Dempsey.

“With the PRO-GO Getter program, we’re taking the GOs out of the showroom and out into the real world, where they belong,” Mundt added.

Eric Albert is a SylvanSport PRO-GO Getter, and an Adventure Travel Consultant out of Alberta who says he’s excited about the potential for the PRO-GO Getter program.

“It gives prospective customers an unbiased, experienced opinion about the GO, helping them make a more informed decision on their investment.”

As an avid kayaker, kayak instructor, and director for the Alberta Freestyle Kayaking Association, Albert is hard pressed to pick his favorite GO feature.

“It’s a tossup of either being able to carry about 10 kayaks to festivals, or waking up, stretching, and not having to crawl out of a ground tent in the early morning,” he said.

“I love the innovative design, the versatility, the low profile, and the ability to carry all my toys to the hills!”

GO-landing_panoRecently, Albert took the GO on a dream kayaking trip through the rugged landscape of Northern Idaho where he used it as a hauling machine for his group’s rafts, gear, and kayaks.

“It doubled as our accommodations for our prep and post expeditionary purposes,” he said. “They call it the Swiss Army Knife of pop-up campers for a good reason.”



Brevard, North Carolina-based SylvanSport was founded in 2004 to develop great gear to support an evolving sense of adventure. Adventure can be on a mountain, river, or in your backyard.

Their team brings decades of experience designing and making outdoor products from the most respected companies. They offer products that blend utility, quality, and value while respecting the purity of the places our adventures take us.

Address: 235 Commerce Street, Brevard, NC 28712

Phone: (828) 883-4292


Worth Pondering…

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

—Victor Papanek


Read More

SylvanSport at Outdoor Gear Builders Village

Brevard, North Carolina-based SylvanSport, makers of the lightweight popup camping trailer the GO, have teamed up with AdvantageWest to present 15 Western North Carolina gear-making companies in a special Outdoor Gear Builders Village at the 13th annual Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville, North Carolina, on May 24-26.

SylvanSports, the GO
SylvanSports, the GO

Upwards of 15,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival.

The Outdoor Gear Builders Village will be the inception for a new network of over 30 local gear-making companies uniting to form the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, according to a SylvanSport news release.

For SylvanSport, the inspiration to create a local gear-manufacturing network to debut in the Mountain Sports Festival made perfect sense, according to Kyle Mundt, director of marketing at SylvanSport.

Hosted in Asheville, the hub of outdoor living on the East Coast, the Mountain Sports Festival invites visitors to explore and compete in a myriad of mountain sports with music, entertainment, and exhibitors rounding out the festivities.

While attendees might be familiar with the bounty of mountain sports offered—from hiking, kayaking, biking, and beyond—they may be surprised to learn how many gear manufacturers are operating out of the region, said Mundt.

With the Outdoor Gear Builders Village, the festival will highlight 15 local outdoor adventure gear manufacturers including ENO, SylvanSport, Watershed, Three Minute Egg, Tsuga Canopies, SkinFare, Bellyak, Outrider USA, EarthSports Design, Rightline Gear, REEB Bikes.

SylvanSports_landing_campers“The idea for the Outdoor Gear Builders Village grew out of our desire to help Western North Carolina grow the outdoor manufacturing industry,” said Mundt.

“We thought it would be cool to invite some other interesting bike and paddle companies, and exhibit together like the Open Air Demo at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.”

The Outdoor Retailer Summer and Winter shows in Salt Lake City, Utah, are the largest outdoor sports shows of their kind.

“The Outdoor Gear Builders Village at Mountain Sports Festival is a chance for outdoor adventure gear manufacturers, like SylvanSport, to show off their wares alongside other local companies, with hands-on interactive demos and small clinics for attendees,” Mundt said.

Outdoor Gear Builders logoThe network will also stand to gain attention from the bigger gear companies traditionally rooted in the West. With the recent boom in breweries like Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, and New Belgium opening east coast operations in Western North Carolina, the bigger players in the outdoor industry may soon follow suit, according to Mundt.

Mountain Sports Festival Lineup

The Outdoor Gear Builders Village will be open throughout the three-day event with races and entertainment starting on Friday, May 24.

Mountain Sports Festival competitions include a trail run, Disc Golf Challenge, Asheville Cyclocross Race, Girls on the Run Rise & Shine 5k, French Broad Challenge Triathlon, Dodgeball Tournament, Sand Volleyball Tournament.

Musical headliners are locals Brushfire Stankgrass on Friday and New Orleans-based Bonerama on Saturday Night. The full lineup includes Jeff Sipe Trio, The Fritz, The Packway Handle Band, Jason Daniello, Jon Stickley Trio, Bear Down Easy, The Whiskey Grins, Chalwa, Cedric Burnside, and Eleanor Underhill Solo.



The GO by SylvanSports
The GO by SylvanSports

Brevard, North Carolina-based SylvanSport was founded in 2004 to develop great gear to support an evolving sense of adventure. Adventure can be on a mountain, river, or in your backyard.

Their team brings decades of experience designing and making outdoor products from the most respected companies. They offer products that blend utility, quality, and value while respecting the purity of the places our adventures take us.

Address: 235 Commerce Street, Brevard, NC 28712

Phone: (828) 883-4292


Mountain Sports Festival

The Mountain Sports Festival is a weekend music and sports festival that celebrates community, athletics, and local business. The festival showcases the terrain, environment, and unique culture of Asheville, North Carolina, and the surrounding mountains.


Worth Pondering…

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

—Victor Papanek

Read More

SylvanSport Expands Manufacturing Facility

Brevard, North Carolina-based SylvanSport announces that the company recently opened an expanded manufacturing facility to support projected sales growth and facilitate new product development.

Meet the Go! All ready to Go! (Credit:
Meet the Go! All ready to Go! (Credit:

The new space more than triples the facility’s square footage.

“The building, when fully completed, will increase our production capacity significantly and be key to our growth as a company,” said Patrick Kennedy, operations manager, in a news release.

“It is part of the ongoing process to strengthen the SylvanSport brand and strive to be a leader among American-made gear manufacturers.”

The 18,000-square-foot renovated facility expands manufacturing capacity for the GO, SylvanSport’s signature multi-use adventure trailer, and provides additional space for new product development and production in 2013.

Additionally, the business offices will be renovated and expanded to accommodate newly added positions including production manager and sales manager.

SylvanSport opened an expanded manufacturing facility to support projected sales growth and facilitate new product development. (Credit:
SylvanSport opened an expanded manufacturing facility to support projected sales growth and facilitate new product development. (Credit:

“Our decision to expand in Brevard speaks to the tremendously supportive environment in western North Carolina for the outdoor industry. Organizations like Advantage West, Transylvania County, and the City of Brevard, along with the superb outdoor recreation make this a magical place,” said SylvanSport CEO Thomas Dempsey.

Swiss army knife of campers, the SylvanSport GO is the ultimate adventure aid.

There’s no better way to enjoy an adventure than with your favorite gear in tow.

GO is much more than a pop-up camper; it is an American made, gear-hauling, hyper-engineered, fully TIG-welded piece of mobile adventure gear.

“The GO, was designed from the frame out to be a one-of-a-kind mobile adventure trailer. Lightweight and easy to manage, the GO can be pulled by even the smallest of cars,” said Kyle Mundt, marketing director.

“The GO can carry up to a dozen bikes, kayaks, or any combination thereof. It is much more than a pop-up camper; it is an American made, gear-hauling, hyper-engineered, fully TIG-welded piece of mobile adventure gear.”

Earlier this year I reported that China’s copycat culture was impacting sales of the SylvanSport GO.

In July 2009, an online customer purchased a GO from SylvanSport in the U.S. and then freighted it to China where, according to SylvanSport, Wuyi TiandiMotion Apparatus Co., LTD. “reverse engineered and replicated it.”

According to an earlier news release, “The trailer is now being sold as a lower quality copy in both international and U.S. markets. Wuyi Tiandi Motion Apparatus Co. has gone as far as copying the SylvanSport color scheme and marketing materials such as photos and video directly from”

SylvanSport was granted three U.S. trademarks in 2008, along with two U.S. patents and three U.S. design patents in 2010.

Founded in 2004 by veteran outdoor industry executive and entrepreneur Thomas Dempsey, SylvanSport designs, manufactures, and distributes mobile adventure gear from its headquarters in Transylvania County, North Carolina.

The company is committed to developing smart, efficient, visionary products that encourage responsible, and respectful enjoyment of the outdoors, said Mundt.



The GO was designed from the frame out to be a one-of-a-kind mobile adventure trailer that's even more versatile than a Swiss Army knife. (Credit:
The GO was designed from the frame out to be a one-of-a-kind mobile adventure trailer that’s even more versatile than a Swiss Army knife. (Credit:

Brevard, North Carolina-based SylvanSport was founded in 2004 to develop great gear to support an evolving sense of adventure. Adventure can be on a mountain, river, or in your backyard.

Their team brings decades of experience designing and making outdoor products from the most respected companies. They offer products that blend utility, quality, and value while respecting the purity of the places our adventures take us.

Address: 235 Commerce Street, Brevard, NC 28712

Phone: (828) 883-4292


Worth Pondering…

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

—Victor Papanek

Read More

TrailManor Introduces Three New Models

Jacksboro, Tennessee-based TrailManor Manufacturing Co. LLC introduces three new folding hard-wall trailer models.

The TrailManor 2922 models are based on the company’s best-selling 2720 line, with the addition of a king-size rear bed.

The 29-foot trailers are offered in configurations including front and rear beds; a front slide out model with sofabed; and a front slide out model with a dinette.

“RV buyers have been trending toward larger beds for several years, and TrailManor dealers have received lots of requests for a king bed in smaller models,” noted Cleo Eickhoff, vice president of marketing for TrailManor, in a news release.

“Last year, we addressed this by offering a king bed in our 2417 Sport model. Now, we’re giving dealers three new king bed models at highly desirable price points.”

TrailManor 2922 travel trailer

TrailManor’s entire lineup features hard-wall travel trailers that fold down like tent campers for easy towing. They are lighter than traditional travel trailers due to TrailManor’s laminated construction and can be towed with properly equipped minivans, crossovers, and small SUVs. The company said that it takes about one extra gallon of gas to tow a TrailManor trailer 100 miles.

A TrailManor trailer sets up in less than two minutes and owners don’t even have to unhitch. Inside, TrailManors are equipped with the amenities of upscale travel trailers, including a full kitchen, a hard-wall bath with shower and tub, plenty of storage, and ample living space.


TrailManor Manufacturing Company, LLC

TrailManor was founded in 1983, but the story goes back much farther. Before the first TrailManor was shipped to a dealer, the design went through ten years of prototypes and testing. It was only after the innovative TrailManor design was thoroughly tested and proven that it was made available to the public.

Founder, William J. Hulsey, has a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering and more than 25 years of experience in developing high technology materials and products.

He transferred this knowledge to a dedicated group of current TrailManor employees who continue to manufacture trailers that are light in weight, easy to tow, engineered to last, high in resale value, and fun to use from the moment you leave your driveway.

Today, TrailManor has two locations, a manufacturing plant in Jacksboro, Tennessee, and general offices in Hartington, Nebraska.

The product line has expanded to include both the classic TrailManor design and a new series of Sport models that are exceptionally light, very affordable, and a delight to own.

That’s what you should expect from a travel trailer, and that’s what you get with TrailManor.

General Offices:  P.O. Box 397, Hartington, NE  68739

Manufacturing Plant: 1202 McGhee Lane, Jacksboro, TN  37757

Phone: (423) 563-6685


Worth Pondering…

If you wander with open eyes and simple curiosity, you’ll discover a much richer pleasure — the simple feeling of possibility that hums from every direction as you move from place to place.
—Rolf Potts

Read More

First Middle East RV Dealer Open in Dubai

The Middle East’s first specialist retailer of luxury recreational vehicles, Gulf Coast RVs, has opened its doors in Dubai, offering a premium range of motorhomes, travel trailers, and caravans.

Gulf Coast RVs opens Dubai showroom
Gulf Coast RVs opens Dubai showroom. (Source:

Gulf Coast RVs’ first showroom, located on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, was officially opened at an exclusive VIP event on Saturday evening, held in the presence of Michael H Corbin, the Ambassador of the US to the UAE, and Khaled Salmeen, president and chief executive officer of Gulf Coast RVs, reports Trade Arabia News Service.

Customers from across the region can now choose from a wide range of luxury motorhomes, caravans, and travel trailers, representing some of the top brands in the US, a statement said.

These exceptional products provide a unique way for owners’ family and friends to enjoy all the fun of outdoor living, while benefiting from the privacy, living space, and amenities normally only found in a home, it added.

“The UAE, like the US, benefits from beautiful desert scenery and wide, open roads, which make it an ideal venue for using recreational vehicles,” said Ambassador Cobin, speaking at the opening.

“It gives me great pleasure to be here at the launch of this new showroom, which will showcase the very best American luxury products in this market to customers in the Emirates and beyond.”

Michael H. Corbin, Ambassador of the United States to the UAE (centre), Khaled Salmeen, President and CEO of Gulf Coast RVs (centre right) and Sheikh Khaled Al Hamad (centre left). (Source:

The UAE-based company offers seven principal types of RVs, including self-driven, deluxe motorhomes, ell-appointed travel trailers, and lightweight caravans, writes Trade Arabia News Service.

Combined with the availability of numerous sub-categories and options, this means that buyers can tailor and customize their RV to their own personal requirements and budget, the statement said.

From the top-of-the-range fittings in the lounges, bedrooms, and kitchens of the larger models, through to built-in electric awnings, electrically-operated beds, and standard air conditioning available on even the smallest trailers, each model provides the highest levels of comfort and practicality.

The service department at Gulf Coast RVs’ Dubai showroom can also provide after sales support, spare parts, and accessories for the many RV owners who have already imported their own vehicles into the region.

“With the launch of Gulf Coast RVs, the rugged outdoors of the Arabian peninsula has been well and truly opened up for fans of the great outdoors who also have a penchant for the nice things in life,” said Salmeen.

The Gulf Coast RVs showroom, located on Sheikh Zayed Road, sells a range of RVs, starting at a small caravan sleeping two people to a luxury self-driven portable home. (Source:

“Customers in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain expect the best, so we have selected only the best global brands to bring to this unique market,” he added.


Gulf Coast RVs

Gulf Coast RVs is the first specialist retailer of luxury recreational vehicles in the Middle East region.

Recreational vehicles presently carried include:

  • Forest River RV Georgetown XL Class A motorhome
  • Forest River RV Sunseeker Class C motorhome
  • Forest River RV Palomino Ultra-Lite travel trailers
  • Forest River RV XLR Thunderbolt toy hauler fifth wheels
  • Forest River RV Rockwood Hard Side Series Folding Pop-Up Campers
  • Forest River RV Rockwood High Wall Series Folding Pop-Up Campers
  • Forest River RV Wildwood DLX Destination Trailers
  • Forest River RV Palomino Bronco truck campers

Address: Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai U.A.E.

Phone: (971) 800-2221


Worth Pondering…

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.

—Maya Angelou

Read More