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My Top 6 Small Trailer Picks for Couples

Recently an idea popped into my head for a post here on The Small Trailer Enthusiast. If I were in the market for a single axle couples camper today, what would I want and why? After going through the Manufacturers page here on this site, I came up with six floorplans from six manufacturers that I’d love hauling behind my Yukon. Various factors came up to these six, such as quality, uniqueness of the floorplan, or just some unexplained feeling I had that told me I’d like it if it were mine.

So here are my 6 picks in alpha order:

Airstream Bambi Sport 22FB

Key Features: Iconic Airstream design; Enclosed and heated tanks; Separate short U-shaped dinette; Good sized rear dry bathroom.

Key Specs: Checks in at 21’8″ from hitch to tail with a dry weight of just over 3600 lbs; 7’3″ exterior width; 3-way 4.2 cubic ft refrigerator; 6’3″ interior height; 866 lbs cargo capacity; 422 lbs hitch weight; 4,500 lbs GVWR

Why I like it: It’s my contention that the 22FB Bambi Sport is the best bang for the buck when it comes to Airstreams. You get a fair sized bed, a U-shaped dinette, and a decent sized full bathroom. Currently, MSRP on one is around $56,000. Typically you can expect to get 18-20% off MSRP on an Airstream, which puts your out the door prices in the $46,000 range. When you consider a much shorter 16′ Bambi Sport after discount off MSRP would run in the upper $30K’s and an Airstream Basecamp will run you in the mid $30K’s as well, the 22FB Bambi Sport would be a comfortable option for someone OK with spending $300-some a month for 15 years. Plus, it’s an Airstream. Who wouldn’t like camping in the most iconic trailer that’s ever existed?

https://www.airstream.com/travel-trailers/sport/

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Cherokee Wolf Pup 18TO

Key Features: Full size super slide; Ample counter space; Affordable entry level model; Tuck away bunk bed

Key Specs: Dry weight of just under 3800 lbs; 22’9″ long; 1200 lbs cargo capacity; 85″ wide; 10′ awning; 4999 lbs GVWR; 437 lbs hitch weight

Why I like it: Cherokee has been making great strides in recent years as one of the top entry level “stick & tin” trailers in the market, slicing into Jayco’s stranglehold in that segment. The Wolf Pup is Cherokee’s small floor plan family member, and the 18TO is their most appealing floorplan. It has a full super slide housing both the dinette and jack knife sofa. What’s more is you get a hideaway bunk that extends over the sofa for additional sleeping. If you don’t need the bunk, it stays smartly out of the way behind the back of the sofa. Also a queen bed up front gives a ton of sleeping options for a trailer under 23′ long, probably up to 7 or 8 if you have some kids in the mix. The kitchen has ample counter space with a 3.3 cubic foot refrigerator. This is a great little floorplan that gives you plenty of elbow room. These can be had for as low as the $12K range.

http://www.forestriverinc.com/travel-trailers/cherokee-wolf-pup

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Lance 1575

Key Features: Unsurpassed quality; Deep slide U-dinette; Azdel interior wall panels; One piece fiberglass roof; Acrylic tinted Thermopane Euro windows; Enclosed, insulated and heated fresh water tank; Tankless water heater; 5 cubic foot refrigerator

Key Specs: Dry weight of 2650 lbs; 20’5″ total length; 225 lbs dry hitch weight; 3700 GVRW; 1050 lbs cargo capacity; 6’6″ interior height; 85″ wide

Why I like it: It’s no accident that Lance is the number one selling composite trailer in 2017. Long known for their quality construction, Lance is a trailer built to last. The 1575 offers a great layout for couples with a large U-shaped dinette in a deep slide that can accommodate a couple of guests for the night. The bathroom is concealed by a not so common sliding pocket door. And that new Roadster upholstery is something to behold! The light weight of the 1575 (2650 lbs dry weight) expands tow vehicle options. The use of Computer Numerical Control machinery in the construction of each Lance trailer is very evident when you observe the fit & finish. Easily the last trailer you’d ever have to buy. Prices can be found in the upper $20K’s.

https://www.lancecamper.com/travel-trailers/1575/

 

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Little Guy Max

Key Features: Storage, storage storage; 7 insulated dual pane windows; 24″ dinette TV on electric lift; 24″ bedroom TV with soundbar; Stainless steel refrigerator, microwave, and 8″ deep sink; 100% hardwood cabinet with dovetail construction; Exterior color options: white or silver base with red, black, or silver trim

Key Specs: 3140 lbs dry weight; 21′ overall length; 7′ overall width; 6’7″ interior height; 3800 lbs GVWR; 60″x80″ queen bed; 2 year manufacturers warranty; Optional 3.5″ axle riser

Why I like it: When I first visited the Little Guy factory in Somerset, PA in June 2017, they were barely a dozen units into the production process. Despite that, the finished product I was looking was incredibly well put together. I was able to see all stages of production, so when I saw what’s underneath the final product, I knew this thing was going to take off, and it has. Despite its teardrop shape, the large and open feel on the inside is what makes this trailer shine. The 7 total windows really help the cause by really opening things up in the inside. What’s more is the crazy amount of interior storage totals something like 59 cubic feet! A larger than normal wet bath gives just about everyone plenty of elbow room. The front dinette 24″ TV with electric lift hides it when you don’t need it, which is something you typically won’t find in a trailer of this size. Overall an excellent product and they’re selling like hotcakes. As of this writing, expect to pay around $30K, give or take a couple thousand.

http://golittleguy.com/lg-max/

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Venture RV Sonic Lite 149VML

Key Features: One piece seamless fiberglass roof; Black tank flush; Porcelain foot flush toilet; Lighted safety step and grab handle; Slam latch baggage doors; Foldaway dinette table and chairs

Key Specs:  6’10” interior height; Lightweight at 2745 lbs dry weight; 3500 lbs GVWR; 290 lbs hitch weight; 755 lbs cargo capacity; 19’2″ total length; 90″ exterior width; 4.2 cubic foot refrigerator; Large tanks: 41 gal gray, 38 gal fresh, 30 gal black; 11′ awning

Why I like it: I’ve been interested in the Sonic lines by Venture RV for the past couple of years. They’ve got some cool floor plans that are outside the box, and the 149VML Sonic Lite is no exception. This rear kitchen, rear side entry trailer is a nice, lightweight couples camper that has a neat little foldaway table and chairs that replace a standard RV dinette. When not using the table, it opens up some good floor space between the kitchen and bedroom. It’s also got a HUGE 6’10” interior height which is unheard of in a trailer of this size. The kitchen in the 149VML boasts good pantry and cabinet storage, as well as a nice wrap around kitchen counter. These are two big things my wife always wants in her trailer, so this is a unit I know she’d like. The Sonic Lite 149VML is nicely priced in the mid teens.

https://www.venture-rv.com/products/sonic-lite-travel-trailers/SL149VML.html

 

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Winnebago Micro Minnie 1705RD

Key Features: High gloss gelcoat fiberglass exterior; Dual propane tanks; Enclosed and heated tanks; U-shaped rear dinette; Ample kitchen counter space; Good overall cabinet storage; Multiple exterior color options; Battery disconnect switch

Key Specs: 20’9″ overall length; 3,080 lbs dry weight; 3,800 GVWR; 6’4″ interior height; 7’0″ exterior width; 12′ awning;

Why I like it: When Winnebago re-entered the travel trailer market a few years back, it didn’t take long for them to quickly put out one of the finest trailers you’ll find in that class. The gelcoat gloss finish on the fiberglass is unlike anything other manufacturers put on their trailers. I really like the light, off-white interior in the 1705RD, which opens up the entire interior of the trailer, making it feel larger than it really is. The storage in the 1705RD is more than enough for a couple looking to make this their trailer of choice. But what I really love about this floorplan is the U-shaped rear dinette, offering a comfortable spot to relax and look out the three windows that surround the dinette. The kitchen counter offers sufficient prep space as well as a stainless steel sink. You can expect to pay somewhere in the upper teens for a 1705RD. Love this one a lot!

https://winnebagoind.com/products/travel-trailer/2018/micro-minnie/overview

(Images courtesy McClain’s RV Superstores)

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So there you have it folks. A look into what tickles my fancy in terms of couples trailers in the 20′ range. Do you have one of these floorplans? If so, leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it. And speaking of trailer floor plans, this coming week is the annual RVIA show in Louisville, Kentucky. I’ll be there for two days this year bringing you news on the new models and floorplans coming out for 2018. I’ll be giving some live updates on the Facebook page and on Twitter. To follow along at either social media platform, you can join here: https://www.facebook.com/smalltrailerenthusiast/ and here: https://twitter.com/Small_Trailers. You can look for those updates from the show starting this coming Tuesday, November 28. As always, a big thank you for reading, and have a happy holiday season!

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Little Guy transformation kicks off with the Max

 

The report of my death was an exaggeration. – Mark Twain

That famed quote by Mark Twain in a letter he wrote in 1897 is something that popped into my head on the drive back home to Indiana recently after visiting Liberty Outdoors’ facility in Somerset, Pennsylvania. For after the split of Little Guy Worldwide (now Liberty Outdoors) with longtime manufacturer Pleasant Valley Teardrops (now nuCamp RV), a lot of people left the Little Guy team for dead.

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Destined to become more than just a teardrop marketer, Little Guy entered the arena of manufacturing, something quite new to them. With the recently acquired rights to the Serro Scotty brand, Little Guy formed an alliance with Gulf Stream to manufacture an “everyman’s camper” in the Serro Scotty. The Scotty took a beating on the internet, and especially in the vintage Serro Scotty community, due to its perceived lack of styling with its standard travel trailer boxiness prevalent in the industry today. Little Guy assured everyone that this was just the first wave, and more products were yet to come that would be more in line with their roots that they would manufacture themselves.

That day has come.

Fresh from their own plant in Somerset, Pennsylvania, comes the Little Guy Max.

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The Max is just the first of many new lines you’ll be seeing coming out of the plant in Somerset over the next two years. And based on my first hand observations of the Max last month, the product offerings from Little Guy will undoubtedly set the small trailer community on its ear. But until then, let’s first take a look at the Max.

I met Little Guy Director of Operations, Dylan DeHoff, at the Liberty Outdoors Somerset plant one Wednesday morning last month. Along with Dylan to meet me was a celebrity in the world of camping podcasts, Janine Pettit of the Girl Camper podcast. Janine was lucky enough to be taking the 3rd Max built back to her home in New Jersey, as she was going to do some hands on critiquing of the Max for Little Guy on a 4 week trip out west starting this month.

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Janine and Dylan took me on a tour of hers before she took it back to New Jersey. The first thing you notice when you first step into the 21′ Max is the incredibly open feel, due in part to the seven dual paned windows throughout, including a window in the door that opens up for additional airflow. IMG_6686[1]

There are also two windows in the rear of the Max that also open, including the vertical window above the spacious 60″ x 80″ queen bed, with a mattress locally made exclusively for Little Guy.

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If there’s one word that really defines the Max it would have to be space. You really feel the space in the actual physical size of the Max, including an impressive 6’7″ ceiling height. In addition,  the light tones of the real maple hardwood cabinetry open it up to create such a refreshing environment that’ll rival the great outdoors for your time spent camping.

lg max4Space is also highlighted in the form of storage space. And for a trailer of this size, I don’t recall anything have the storage, and it’s smart storage, as the Max. A total of two pantries, a deep drawer below the fridge, storage below both the queen bed and the front dinette, as well as three kitchen drawers, and overhead cabinets and cubby holes at every turn.

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This doesn’t even cover the storage under and around the front dinette either, which there is plenty there as well. You’ll notice in the photo above the 24″ Furrion TV at the foot of the bed. There’s also another Furrion TV concealed at the front dinette that opens up with the press of a button. That front dinette also folds down to make a single bed, as typical in most RVs.

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As for construction, the Max is built quite a bit sturdier than your typical trailer in this class. First, it sits on a tubular steel frame that is powder coated to automotive standards. As is the case with most of the components Little Guy uses in production, the frames are locally built. The cage is aluminum and insulated with block foam insulation and covered by Azdel paneling. The one piece fiberglass roof and sidewalls can come in either a white or silver base, with exterior trim in your choice of black, silver, or red.

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The floor is made of a 3/4″ thick product called PerforMAX 500, which is a wood product engineered to better withstand moisture and be more stronger and stable than plywood.

performax500The construction really shines especially in the cabinetry. The dovetail construction used throughout is something you just don’t see much in the industry. I learned during my visit there that they’re building trailers to last you a long, long time. They have the confidence in their trailers that they’ve put a standard 2 year warranty on them, which in the industry is still the exception.

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As for bathroom facilities, the Max has a wet bath with a height of a generous 6’2″, giving ample headroom for most. It also includes a full size multi-speed fan, which is a rarity when it comes to trailer bathroom vents. lg max10

The standards on the Max are plenty, and things you wouldn’t even see as options on other trailers in this class. As for some of the exterior features, they include a 6’3″ Thule awning with LED light strip, 2″ rear receiver for the optional bike rack, 15″ aluminum wheels, sliding screen door, exterior speakers and TV mount, pass through storage with slam latch doors, illuminated aluminum entry step and illuminated grab handle.

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On the inside of the Max, you’ll find (aside from those features already mentioned), an 8″ deep stainless steel kitchen sink with residential style high rise faucet with sprayer, a flush mounted 2 burner gas stove with glass top, a stainless steel microwave, stainless steel 4 cubic foot stainless steel refrigerator, 13,500 BTU roof mount air conditioner, traditional 6 gallon Dometic hot water heater, LED touch screen and switch panel for monitoring tanks and lighting controls, LED lighting throughout including various accent lighting above cabinets, and Furrion Stereo, Bluetooth, MP3, MP4, DVD.

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As for standard specifications, the Max checks in with a dry weight of 2,900 lbs, tongue weight of 281 lbs, and is an even 21 feet long. The holding tanks are 20 gallon fresh water, 14 gallon gray water, and 9 gallon black water. Overall width is 7 feet and height comes in at 9’1″. There’s also an optional Rough Rider package you can buy that gives you a 3.5″ axle lift, black diamond plate, and 15″ matte black off road wheels and tires.

The options on the Max are four: solar panel, bike rack, power tongue jack, and stained cabinetry, if you want your interior a little darker.

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Even though I’ve given you a lot of information here, chances are I’m probably forgetting a few things, which is testament to how loaded this “little guy” really is. It packs a feature punch that honestly I’ve not seen in a trailer this size in the years I’ve been doing this. While some will balk at the $29,999 MSRP, once you see one for yourself, you’ll soon realize that you’re not going to really find much on the level of the Max’s build quality and features. And that MSRP isn’t as high as other similar high end trailers within its size range. And from my visit to their factory, I would consider the Max a high end trailer that will last you many, many good camping years…and look pretty cool rolling into the campground to boot.

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I asked Janine a week after she took to the Max what her impressions were of it and she told me, “Liberty Outdoors just raised the bar in the light weight towable market with their Little Guy Max. It’s built to an exacting standard, thoughtfully designed and affordable. It’s a win, win, win for all RV enthusiasts.”

Based on what I saw of the Max and the other projects set to come online in the next year, that bar will be raised even higher.  Their story is just beginning.

To find out more of the Little Guy Max, visit their website at http://golittleguy.com/lg-max/

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