It wasn’t long after we bought a 2010 T@B in September 2009 that we started to buy stuff to go along with it. At the suggestion of more than one fellow T@B owner, one of those things we purchased was the BAL Light Trailer Tire Leveler.
Designed for single axle trailers with either 13″, 14″ and most 15″ wheels, the BAL leveler eliminates the need for leveling blocks to achieve your side to side leveling. It’s a breeze to use and is probably my favorite accessory we’ve purchased. Just slide it under the tire on the side that needs lifting, place the end of the threaded adjusting rod in the slot on the bottom plate, and then just starting cranking it up with the ratchet that comes along with it until you get it level. There’s a nice tutorial here on YouTube:
When we sold our T@B in 2010, we let a few of our accessories we bought for it go with the trailer…but not our BAL leveler! It’s worked just as well with our much heavier Serro Scotty (2500 lbs compared to the T@B’s 1600 lbs).
One word of caution though. I’ve found the BAL doesn’t work well when parked on grass. I found some difficulty (if not just impossible) in sliding it under the tire when parked on grass, but there were no problems encountered on gravel or hard surface campsite pads.
I’ve read on a few RV forums where some folks don’t like the BAL because of its bulk and how it takes up space. In my opinion, it’s a small price to pay for a handy tool. As for storage, I’ve read where more than one owner has purchased a typical pizza delivery bag and used it to store the BAL in, since it does have some grease on the threaded rod which can get things a little messy if left in the bed of your truck, or other tow vehicle of choice.
We purchased our BAL from Amazon.com in late 2009. We paid about $55 for it then, but today they go for around $80. However, those prices tend to fluctuate, so you may pay less than the current $80 when you’re ready to get one. And get one you should!
Houston, Texas based Cricket Trailer will be featured on The Travel Channel’sExtreme RVs program Sunday night, January 29, 9pm ET and again at Monday, 12am ET on January 30.
The Cricket, with its unique shape made of aluminum composite sidewalls and pop-up roof, checks in with a base weight at 1300 lbs. It’s also framed in aluminum, adding to its light weight feature. Exterior length is 15′ and has a generous 6’2″ interior head room when the roof is extended. This environmentally friendly camper is engineered with state of the art materials and geared for the rugged outdoors. The two floor plans offered utilize every inch of space available in creative ways.
The Cricket offers a slew of options to make it a quite versatile unit, including A/C, a tankless on-demand water heater, solar panels, roof racks, and more. One interesting option is what’s called the “Kids Attic”, which amounts to a hanging cot for a person weighing 135 lbs or less.
Should be interesting to watch & learn more about the Cricket. Until the show airs Sunday night, here’s a sneak peak at the Cricket.
Now that I’ve reviewed a few of the smallish trailers I encountered at the RVIA show, one company stood out to me above the rest. Livin Lite’s Camp Lite series was the star of the show in my book. After spotlighting them in October, I was interested in seeing one up close & personal. The You Tube video introducing the world to the Camp Lite series makes it look like a nice, solid unit with a super light build.
Upon inspection of all the units Livin Lite brought to Louisville, I have to say that the Camp Lite exceeded my expectations, which were already rather high. I can’t say enough good things about the build quality of their trailers. Everything was just first class from fit & finish to the quality of materials used. As a “car guy” in a previous life, I’ve done my share of car judging. If the Camp Lites were in a judged trailer show, it would’ve been difficult to find any flaws to mark down on my score card.
This was also the debut of the optional “orbit” nose that will be offered. This is a nice little upgrade for someone wanting a rounded front, compared to having the nose with the standard angles.
Another new option is a wood grain look to the interior. This tends to tone down Camp Lite’s traditional utilitarian look of its interior.
Livin Lite isn’t the biggest trailer manufacturer out there, but they’re far from the smallest. All the “big boys” had a small trailer of some sort at the show in Louisville, and I looked at them all. I can honestly say that Camp Lite was better than most of them, yet not one of them was better than the Camp Lite. And that includes anything Airstream or Forest River had to offer. Camp Lite isn’t the least expensive trailer you’re bound to find, but given the fact that it’s made of aluminum and composites and is 98% recyclable, it could literally last forever. So you may pay a little more up front, but it could easily be the only trailer you’d ever have to buy.
So that brings to a close my thoughts on the field of small trailers at the 49th National RV Trade Show. A big thank you to Courtney Robey, Public Relations Manager of the RVIA, for extending the offer to me to attend so I could pass on my thoughts & opinions for the readers of The Small Trailer Enthusiast. Reports show attendance for this year’s show was down 6%, but based on the millions of dollars of trailers, 5th wheels, and motor homes on display, the RV industry in this country is alive and well.
The Small Trailer Enthusiast is a home for news on small travel trailers, typically 20' or less. Here you will find info on new models, industry news relating to small trailers, and any other stories I think you might find interesting. Have some small trailer news you'd like to pass along?