Here we go with Part 2 of the 52nd Annual RVIA trade show recap from Louisville. If you missed Part 1, click here.
Little Guy Worldwide had a nice sampling of their product on hand this year, represented by various models of the popular T@B, T@G, myPod, and their traditional Little Guy teardrop trailer. New this year in the T@B line is the upscale Sofitel model. Featuring upscale cabinetry & hardware, two-tone cushions, deluxe exterior assist handle, custom alloy wheels, accent lighting, and yacht inspired flooring, the Sofitel is said to be the “Airstream of T@Bs”. And as Chris Baum of Little Guy Worldwide told me “And it’s $25,000 less than an Airstream”. Although the MSRP for a Sofitel has been seen at $25,000, some may still balk at that price for a T@B, but loyal T@B aficionados may very well be willing to pay for such refinements. Heck, I dig it for the cool floor and wheels!
The T@B CS model continues to impress me with how well they utilize limited space. The model on display has the CS’ signature rear teardrop inspired galley with a front bench inside. This floorplan also ups the ante with the addition of a wet bath. However, despite these additions, two people could easily camp in comfort. Great job, Little Guy!
Next up was a new line by Winnebago called the Micro Minnie. The Micro Minnie is Winnebago’s entry level trailer and only has one floor plan, which is 19’2″ long and weighs in at a dry weight of 2,980 lbs. Base MSRP is under $15,000, so it’s a good option if you don’t need a lot of size, yet you still get the Winnebago quality.
I was intrigued by a display by cargo and utility trailer manufacturer Let’s Go Aero. Based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Let’s Go Aero specializes in hitch mounted cargo & bicycle carriers, tent shelters, versatile cargo & camping trailers that also convert into a tent trailer. Pictured here is the GearWagon 125 camping trailer. Made of durable ABS plastic, the “lid” props up to provide space for sleeping bags or an air mattress. With the attached tent, a tailgate tent can be added to the rear to provide additional shelter from sun or rain. The setup was really nice and basic. I’d say it’s a step up from normal tent camping, but a step below a traditional pop-up camper. The GearWagon 125 checks in at a total length of 10′ and weighs in at 560 lbs empty, with a base price of $5489.00. Check out their website for more on their products: http://www.letsgoaero.com
Palomino also had a nice selection of their Palomini line on hand. The Palomini was introduced last year and has several good floorplans, some of which include a drop floor. Based on the size and even appearance, the Palomini is a direct competitor to the r-pod, although they’re in the same Forest River family of RVs. However, the Palomini can be had for much less, as some floorplans can be had for less than $10,000. I’ve had a feature on the Palomini on the backburner for a few months now, so I’ll be telling you more about them sometime this winter.
There were a lot of manufacturers that were representing the hard-sided pop-up market, including Aliner, Rockwood, Flagstaff, Starcraft, and Viking. Considering it’s 1:30 am and I have to be up in 5 hours for work, I’m forgoing linking all of these manufacturers, but encourage you to check out the manufacturers page at the top of this page for links to all of them. 😉 If you’re a fan of these types of campers, you have plenty to choose from.
One thing I’ve noticed is that many of the entry level units are becoming a little less “basic” in looks and the materials being used, which is a benefit to the consumer. One trend that was apparent to me in many trailers, both big and small, is the move towards a wood-look flooring instead of the tile-look. Granted, all of these are generally a large one piece linoleum floor, but for my tastes it’s a refreshing trend. I wouldn’t say the wood grain look has overtaken the tile look, but it’s getting close. It should be interesting to see if that trend continues moving into 2016.
So that brings us to the close of my assessment of what’s in store for 2015 for the small trailer segment of the RV industry. Hope you all enjoyed a sneak peek at what you have to look forward to as you look for your next trailer, or just take in an RV show in the next couple of months. And let me take this opportunity to encourage you all to attend an RV show this winter in your area. It costs dealers a lot of dough to put these shows on and even if you don’t buy at the show or are just there to window shop, your attendance is greatly appreciated by them.
Until next time, happy winter camping!