Tag Archives: small travel trailer

Cricket Trailer Featured on Extreme RVs

Houston, Texas based Cricket Trailer will be featured on The Travel Channel’s Extreme 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.

 

 

(images courtesy http://crickettrailer.com)

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A Look at the Innovative Teal Camper

At first look at the Colorado based Teal Camper, you might mistake it for a fiberglass unit built in the early 1970’s. Upon further inspection, you’ll find it’s not only brand new, but also is quite innovative in design. Made of molded polyethylene that are injected with insulating foam, the Teal Camper uses multiple panels that are interlocked together and mounted on a typical utility trailer.

The design is the creation of Larry Drake of Loveland, Colorado. The idea of the Teal Camper came to him one day in 2009 when he  looked at his 4′ X 8′ utility trailer and thought how it would be nice to have a camper he could slip on & off and still be able to use the trailer as a utility trailer. Combined with the weight of the utility trailer, the Teal Camper checks in at under 1,000 lbs, making it towable by many 4 cylinder vehicles.

What makes the Teal Camper even more versatile is that it will also fit in the bed of a pick-up truck, making it a traditional truck camper.

Options are aplenty. The basic unit comes bare, but you can add “modules” for cabinets, bed, dinette, and kitchen. Also standard is a pop-top roof that expands to give an interior headroom of 6’2″. Also optional are fixed or operable plexiglass windows.

Prices vary depending on options chosen and size of the unit, but expect to pay between $5,000-$6,000 , and that’s only for the camper. You’ll have to provide your own utility trailer, which can be had at most farm equipment stores for $1,000 or less, as well as the floor. Teal Camper offers units that will fit a 4′ X 8′, 5′ X 8′, or 5′ X 10′ utility trailer.

Assembly of the Teal Camper takes just over an hour and can be done with a simple screwdriver. Once assembled, the entire unit is secured with a heavy duty cargo strap around the belt line of the camper.

Given the fact production is scheduled to begin in January 2012, the book on this unique travel trailer has yet to be written. It will be worth watching the progress they make and how they deal with the growing pains that are sure to come, and to an extent the pains they’ve already been dealing with. But more important is the question of public acceptance to what will undoubtedly be something they’ve never seen.

Images courtesy Teal Camper

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A Tribute to the Campfire & Bak-Pak Camper

In 2008 when Sierra Custom Interiors of Bristol, Indiana became the manufacturer of Serro Scotty Worldwide trailers, it wasn’t long before they too came out with their own line of small campers for the 2009 model year called the Campfire…

and the entry level Bak-Pak:

(photo courtesy Missouri Teardrops)

Designed by Sierra owners Mike & Greg Greene, the 12’9″ trailers were a throwback to the old canned ham trailers from the 1940’s-60’s. They featured air conditioning, furnace, and optional microwave, toilet, and range. Serro Scotty also got in on the act with their 2009 line-up featuring the Serro Scotty Pup…

(photo courtesy Shane Wolfe)

and the Silver Series Pup:

Both Serro Scotty models were identical to the Sierra versions with respect to shape, floor plan and everything else except the badging and, in the case of the Silver Pup, the silver aluminum. Also, the regular Pup featured the signature Scotty turquoise and white.

For the 2010 models, Sierra came out with the Campfire 15, a longer version of its 13 model, that featured a toilet and optional wet bath.

The final entry in the Campfire lineup was the Campfire XL, a 16′ unit with a similar floor plan to that of the Serro Scotty HiLander.

You may notice that I’ve been speaking of the Sierra Campfire and Bak-Pak in the past tense. Unfortunately, that’s the case. Early in 2011, the Greenes decided to pull the plug on their travel trailer ventures and stick with building custom interiors for horse trailers. As we wrote in September 2011, this decision not only included their own line of trailers, but also meant all Serro Scotty models as well, leaving Bill Kerola to find a new manufacturer for the entire Scotty line.

Neither the Bak-Pak nor the Campfire were mass produced, but those who own them are loyal to their camper and get many inquiries from the curious at the campgrounds. There aren’t many other campers on the market (with the possible exception of the T@B ) that offer a compact, lightweight package like the Campfire and Bak-Pak do. And while a rebirth of the Sierra camper division is unlikely, current owners cling to the hope that one day they can remove their orphan label. Afterall, it wouldn’t be the first time a brand came back to life.

The Campfire website, once a fine site with plenty of pictures, specs, and floor plans, now reads more like an obituary. But all is not lost. There are still Campfires, Bak-Paks, and even a few brand new Scotty Pups (at present time) still available for purchase on ebay, Craigslist, or rvtraderonline.com. There is also a Yahoo Group where owners of the Sierra-built Scottys and Campfires/Bak-Paks can congregate for discussion. And so we say so long to yet another line of campers that didn’t make it…for now.


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A Tale of Two Shastas

Shasta has been synonymous with small, lightweight travel trailers since the 1950’s. With their classic rear wings and distinctive paint designs, Shasta was the top selling small trailer throughout the 50’s & 60’s.

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Fast-forward to 2009. Parent company of Shasta, Coachmen, reintroduced a retro designed Shasta Airflyte 12.

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At 17′ from hitch to tail, the 2009 Airflyte offered a sleek interior with a flash of European flair.

However, the 2009 Shasta Airflyte would be short lived. With just over 100 produced, the plug was pulled on the Airflyte. Sales likely weren’t construed as “brisk”. One big reason was the Airflyte was all electric, no propane. That’s fine if you’re at a campground where there’s always electricity. But it would eliminate the possibility of camping off the grid, or boondocking as it’s often called.  However, the other big reason of its demise is that Coachmen had been absorbed by Forest River, who already had a lightweight, retro-styled trailer in the r-Pod.

And with that, the 2009 Shasta Airflyte was gone as quickly as it came back. Or was it? In the summer of 2011, two 2012 Coachmen Shasta Airflytes showed up on a few online RV classified websites. Both trailers were for sale at Clem’s RV & Trailer Sales in Ellwood City, PA.  When contacted through Facebook, Clem’s wrote back:

“We have the only 2 produced for the 2012 models. They were discontnued as we know after 2009 models. When Coachmen looked in the plant here this summer they realized they had enough product left to build TWO units only and they would be the last 2 ever produced!! We sold 40 of the 2009s and has the oldest Coachmen dealer in the nation we were offered the 2 models.

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So there you have it. Possibly the last two new Shasta Airflytes that you’ll ever see.

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