Tag Archives: small trailers

Winnebago Spruces Up Exterior of the Winnie Drop

A long time ago, many jobs ago, the CFO of the company I worked for once told me, “Pat, just because someone has an idea, doesn’t mean it’s a good one”. Fortunately he wasn’t referring to me, just giving me advice that’s stuck with me all these years. When the Winnebago Winnie Drop was introduced a couple of years ago, that advice came to the surface of my thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the Winnebago Industries. Not only has Winnebago been synonymous with RVing for decades, but their products are synonymous with quality. And it could be I’ve had an affection for Winnebago for some 40 years when my mom and dad bought me the famous Tonka Winnebago Indian that came out in the early 1970’s that I got for a Christmas present when I was a young lad. I really wish I still had that thing!

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But when the Winnie Drop first came out, I was initially excited about Winnebago introducing a small trailer that was eye catching, but the more I looked at one, the less excited I got. I just could not get past the graphics and the interior color. Let’s face it, the graphics were nothing short of a cluttered mess that left the word “garish” embarrassed.

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Instead of enhancing the Winnie Drop, these graphics did nothing more than distract from it. With the size and shape, as well as the exterior colors offered by Winnebago, the graphic package never did this trailer any favors. Up until now.

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(image courtesy Josh Winters of Haylett RV – haylettautoandrv.com)

This late 2017 graphics update for the Winnie Drop is exactly what this trailer needed. Now what do we have? A trailer that is accented by an excellent balance of size, shape, sidewall color and a much less vocal graphics package. Even the new Winnie Drop logo on the side is very nicely done with a simple arch incorporating the Winnebago “W” as a wheel.

Aside from the new graphics on the Winnie Drop, Winnebago has also increased the number of available colors it comes in. As Josh Winters of Haylett RV in Coldwater, Michigan tells me, “If yellow isn’t your color, then remember it only comes in six other amazing colors!” Up until now, the only colors it came in were cherry, blue, white, and platinum. In addition to those, you can also get it in orange, champagne, and the lemon color shown above.

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Now hopefully Winnebago will look into going with a lighter interior instead of the, as I call it, “brownish-gray” that they’ve had since its inception.

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Going with the interior color Winnebago is now putting in their Minnie line of trailers would open up the feel tremendously in their 6 1/2′ wide Winnie Drops. mi-b2f-16(image courtesy winnebagoind.com)

For those of you new to Winnie Drops, Josh put together another one of his stellar walk through videos of the Winnie Drop with the new exterior graphics. Be sure to visit the Haylett RV site for more info on their line of Winnebagos in stock.

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Small sightings at the Indy RV Expo

As the winter months drag on, I’m sure a lot of you have hit an RV show in your region. I was fortunate to work at one in Indianapolis for a couple of Saturdays this month for Mount Comfort RV at the Indy RV Expo. Seven dealers packed over 200 RVs in the West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the 9 day event. Here are some of the small trailer offerings that the dealers brought to the show. In case you didn’t see some of these at the show(s) you attended, here’s a little more for you to research. For ease of viewing, I’ve put the 5 of the 7 dealer’s photo above all the trailers that follow it. One dealer didn’t have anything small. There were a couple I would’ve taken at Camping World’s booth, but 3 of their sales people were standing in front of them, too busy watching a football game on an outside TV on a motorhome across the aisle. Their loss….they should’ve been working.

DSC_0620Braun’s Fun Time Campers

DSC_0570Winnebago Winnie Drop WD 1780

DSC_0585Winnebago Winnie Drop WD 1710

DSC_0571DSC_0573DSC_0575White Water Retro, Jr.

DSC_0577White Water Retro 177SE

DSC_0581DSC_0580White Water Retro 176S 

DSC_0614Mount Comfort RV

DSC_0587DSC_0588TAXA Cricket Trek

DSC_0590TAXA Cricket Camp

IMG_0583[1]Shasta Oasis 18BH

DSC_0591Palomino Palomini 177BH

DSC_0598Palomino Palomini 150RBS

DSC_0595Aliner LXE

DSC_0596Aliner Scout Lite

DSC_0615Colerain RV

DSC_0601Coachmen Apex Nano 172CKS

DSC_0603Venture Sonic 190VRB

DSC_0606Modern Trailer Sales

DSC_0604Summerland Mini 1700FQ

DSC_0607Springdale Summerland Series Mini 1800BH

DSC_0608Keystone Bullet 1800RB

DSC_0609Walnut Ridge Family RV Sales

DSC_0610Keystone Hideout 177LHS

DSC_0612Keystone Hideout 185LHS

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2015 RVIA Show Prelude

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This week marks the annual RVIA trade show in Louisville, Kentucky. While not open to the public, I’ll be there bright and early Tuesday morning for the 5th straight year to bring you an overview of all the small towables on hand.

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I’ll be Tweeting and posting on Facebook throughout the day. If you use either of those social media platforms, do follow along! Time permitting in the days after the show, I’ll put up a post here on the website about what I see. In the meantime, you can like us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/The-Small-Trailer-Enthusiast-269125426471703/ or follow us on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Small_Trailers

 

 

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New Canadian Teardrop Manufacturer Emerges

Often times I’ll search the internet to add manufacturers that build travel trailers, pop-ups, teardrops, and fiberglass trailers to our Manufacturers page. And sometimes, those manufacturers come to me. I’ll go ahead and add them with little fanfare, but when Craig Elliott of Sun-Fun Campers contacted me this week, I felt compelled to put them on the “big stage” with a post.

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Sun-Fun Campers is a new…as of 2015 new…teardrop trailer manufacturer in Warman, Saskatchewan. Canada. Craig told me in an e-mail, “It appears that we are the only manufacturer of teardrop trailers in western Canada and we are hoping to grow the trend of teardrop trailers in Canada, as there are very few ever spotted here.”

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Sun-Fun is so new that they don’t even have a website up…yet. “We do not have a website, but are currently developing one. We are on Facebook and wanted to make you aware that we are now in full production”, Craig tells me. Once Sun-Fun gets their website up & running, I’ll post a link on the Manufacturers page. Until then, for those of you on Facebook, be sure to give them a “like” and check them out for those of you in western Canada in the market for a teardrop. A link to their Facebook page with contact info can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/sunfuncampers

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RVtravel.com Features White Water Retro

For the past couple of years, Riverside RVs has been pumping out its fair share of White Water Retro travel trailers from it’s LaGrange, Indiana factory. In that time, the end product has made great strides in quality from when they first showed up in 2011. When I talked to Riverside’s Bob Taulbee last year, he told me they were getting out about 1,000 Retros a year. When you do a search on RV Trader, there are (as of this posting) over 200 Retro travel trailers for sale in varying floor plans.

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(photo courtesy Braun’s Fun Time Campers)

This week, RV Business posted a short story from RVtravel.com regarding the Whitewater Retro and how it was inspired by the classic Serro Scotty canned ham trailers from the 1960’s & 1970’s. A three minute video was included in the article and explains a little further the inspiration as well as highlights some of the features of the Retro that Riverside officials believe sets it apart from other retro trailers, as well as some history of Serro Scotty from RV historian Al Hesselbart.

For more information on the White Water Retro, visit their website at http://www.riversidervs.net

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Cricket Trailer Featured in Dell Video

Houston, Texas based Cricket Trailer has been featured in a video commercial from Dell Computers that was released today on the Dell YouTube page. The Cricket is a unique (understatement!) adventure camper designed by former NASA architect Garrett Finney.

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While at NASA, Finney spent time designing living quarters in the International Space Station. It was this design background that fostered the inspiration for the Cricket.

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The Dell video highlights Taxa’s (Cricket’s parent company) use of Dell Precision workstations and SOLIDWORKS, a computer-aided design program used in designing and creating Cricket trailers.

I’ll be working on a feature of Cricket Trailers in the weeks to come, but until then, above is the Dell video that gives you a brief snapshot of the technology used behind one of the most technologically advanced trailers on the market today.

 

(Images courtesy http://crickettrailer.com)

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Manufacturer’s Update: Teal Camper

Not long after I started this blog, I came across Larry Drake, who was in the early stages of developing the Teal Camper, a modular camper that sits on basic utility trailer. When I first wrote about Teal Camper in November 2011, this site was just 2 months old and getting maybe 20 or 30 visits a day. In just under two years, Larry’s development has grown into full fledged production, and this site has grown to over 500 visits a day. So with that, our respective ventures have somewhat grown together.

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As Larry tells it, “The Teal Tail Feather camper has come a long way since your first article.  It is far more refined, from its trimmed out insulated automotive headliner, to the powder coated aluminum bench and cabinet frames.  We now have LED lighting as standard.  The counters feature a collapsible sink and HDPE cutting board counter tops.  The rigid door frame is now a one piece welded aluminum frame, also powder coated.  There are lots of options to choose from starting from a basic  shell to a fully outfitted camper configured in a variety of ways.  You can virtually customize it the way you want it.”

The leadership structure has also increased at Teal Camper. “Mike Eaton, our new Vice President and Director of Sales and Marketing, officially joined the team as of July 1, 2013.  Mike has been a long time supporter and consultant for us.  He has extensive experience in business and program management.  He teaches business classes all over the world to a number of Fortune 500 companies in partnership with the Stanford Center for Professional Development.  We are very pleased to have him on board.”

The distribution of the Tail Feather is expanding as well. “Although we only began production after the first of the year, we have shipped campers across the country and halfway around the world.  We are currently in a transition from our limited production in the R&D shop to a full production facility. Currently, delivery times are running about 45 days.”

We’ll continue to keep in touch with Larry and the progress of the Tail Feather and let you know of any new developments. For more information and pricing on the Tail Feather, check out the updated Teal Camper website at: http://tealcamper.com

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The Impetus of The Small Trailer Enthusiast

As The Small Trailer Enthusiast approaches the completion of four months of existence, the idea came to mind to write about how this blog came to be, and with that the inspiration for it. It wasn’t until the last three years or so that I’ve become interested in small travel trailers. My wife & I had wanted a teardrop trailer for many years, but it had always been one of the many “maybe some day” dreams we all have. When we did finally pull the trigger and purchase a T@B in 2009, it seemed to instantly fuel an interest in all travel trailers small. I’m not alone in this interest, as many of the small trailer brotherhood I know also will take interest in a diminutive towable they might see at a campground.

So what gave me the idea to start The Small Trailer Enthusiast? You need go no further than a 2400 mile ribbon of asphalt and concrete known as Route 66. My interest in this fabled highway goes back some three decades. 66 has been a big part of my adult life. Before I was married, it wasn’t anything for me to hit the road on a whim and take a 3 or 4 day weekend out west on the Mother Road for either a steak dinner 1,000 miles away in Amarillo, Texas, or 4 hours away for frozen custard in St. Louis, Missouri. It was because of 66 that I met my bride of nine years. We both had an interest in 66 and eventually met through a mutual friend who also had the same love of Route 66. Would it be a surprise to anyone that we had a Route 66 themed wedding or that we took our honeymoon on Route 66? How many of you didn’t see that coming?

 

With this interest in 66, I have always stayed on top of news from my favorite two-lane. Most of my news came from various publications and online message forums, but in 2005 Route 66 News changed the face of how information from 66 got to the general public. Started by Route 66 enthusiast Ron Warnick, Route 66 News has received nearly 3,000,000 visits over the past six years. Not only is it an excellent source of up to the minute news from the road, but is also an equally good database of Route 66 business information ranging from restauarants, motels, events, and yes, even campgrounds along its 2400 mile shoulders.

This leads up to this summer when the idea came to me to come up with a news blog relating to small travel trailers, loosely modeled after Route 66 News. Being a member of a few online forums dedicated to smaller trailers of various makes, I thought putting together a news blog for this niche just might work. So far, I’ve been pleased with the gradual growth since its inception on September 3. Daily hits to the site have gone from 9 per day in September to 77 per day as of December 15. I fully expect that number to increase as content on the site increases.

The things I look for to put on the site will focus on new models as well as news relating to existing models. I also hope to continue with the “spotlight” features, where I discuss a particular company and what they have to offer. As I mentioned in the “About” section, you won’t see anything about pop-up trailers here. Nothing personal against the owners of these trailers, but I’m just not a fan of pop-ups. The closest thing to a pop-up I might ever discuss would be an A-frame, hard-sided pop-up such as an A-Liner or a Chalet. I figured I’d need a cut-off size-wise. I picked 20′ simply because it was a nice round number, but that’s not to say I might not mention something  a little larger if it fits what I’m writing about.

Hopefully as time rolls on, I’ll develop some relationships with manufacturers so I can bring some content to you on a more frequent basis. I’m making some progress in that area with some smaller, up & coming manufacturers who’ve given me a lot of good info that have generated a lot of hits on the site. And if you’re a manufacturer or representative of a manufacturer who’d like me to talk about your company or trailer, feel free to contact me at roadmaven@yahoo.com. As always, thanks for reading…

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