This weekend I packed-up the family and headed to the 22nd Annual Spring RV Show, in Pleasanton, California. We have friends with truck campers, pop-up tent trailers and camping trailers, but this is the first time we have ever gone to an RV show, in order to get an idea of what is out there and how the different types of RVs compare, for family camping.
The biggest disappointment at this RV show was the lack of pop-up tent trailers. The lone exception, however, was this cool little tent trailer from Livin’ Lite Recreational Vehicles, in Wakarusa, Indiana. The Quicksilver 10.0, shown here, is only 14 feet long – a tad shorter than a Honda Civic – so it can be stored at home, in your garage.
One of the best features of the Quicksilver is it’s all-aluminum construction. With a gross weight of 1,500 pounds, this little tent trailer can be towed by most family vehicles. At $5,995 it is competitively priced against heavier tent trailers in this class and I was impressed with the big beds and the marine-grade materials inside, which should be easy to clean.
Bridging the gap between tent trailers and full-size camping trailers is the TrailManor line of folding trailers. Many family vehicles, like minivans and small SUVs, are rated to tow 3,500 pounds, which is adequate for a TrailManor.
In its raised position, the TrailManor looks much like a regular camping trailer, with real windows, air conditioning and an awning. The interior ceiling height is 6’ 4” which was just enough to allow me to walk around, without bumping my head. At around $27,000 the TrailManor is a big step up from a tent trailer, but it is a full hard-side camping trailer that you can probably tow with your current family vehicle.
The TrailManor 2720 model, shown here, is laid-out really well for families – with beds on either end and a dinette that converts into a third bed. I was really impressed with the light interior, with maple cabinetry and woodgrain flooring.
We have friends in Oregon who are big boaters, so their camper-of-choice is a truck camper, since that allows them to also tow their boat, on their family camping trips. I have not seen the inside of their truck camper, yet, but I’ve always wondered how well these work for families, because they look fairly small.
The model 990, shown here, has a queen bed up front, for mom and dad, along with a dinette that converts into a bed and a fold-down bunk, overhead. There is an amazing amount of functionality, in such a small space, and it did not feel cramped with the five of us, inside. At $28,303 the Arctic Fox is priced similar to many higher-end camping trailers, but if your family camping adventures include boating or offroad vehicles, a truck camper makes a lot of sense.
The RV industry has had a rough couple of years, but it was nice to see some family-oriented products at the show. Certainly the majority of the RVs we looked at were geared towards couples and, of course, a number of them were monstrosities that will never venture far from the Interstate. I did notice a number of RVs with bunk beds for kids, though, which means the manufacturers are starting to address this growing demographic.
i really love that car, but i can;t buy in my country,no body sell that car
can you get spares for the trailmanor , in england?
I just love going to RV shows. It’s amazing how many new features they manage to pack into some pretty old concepts.
The TrailManor Folding Trailer definitely peeked my interest. I might just have to look into them a little more as I like the idea of being able to see over my trailer. I can’t do that at the moment with my 21′ Sun Valley Road Runner.
The Uk has alot of catching up to do, these are some serious homes!
Always fun to read about and look at various RV options!
We’re an American family that has been RVing non-stop in Europe since 2006. We’ve been to 32 countries so far on 4 continents & travel and live large on just 23 dollars a day.
I’m surprised how few Americans take their RV’s to Europe. It’s the best and cheapest way to see it and meet Europeans, so I’d love to see you cover that some time.
Here is a recent post I wrote on the topic:
We just have a 1998 cab over that we bought here, but it makes an ideal home/vehicle/storage unit for Europe, so even as we travel around the world, we can regularly come back for summers here for super cheap.
Enjoy the blog, keep up the good work.
Here’s a cool new camper trailer made for us tent campers.
It’s lightweight (Under 900 pounds!) and can be configured several ways for different uses.
Enjoy the GO!
Heck yeah, Tim! I’ve been writing about the GO since November of 2008 http://tinyurl.com/27lxtpk
Nothing like a good RV show to kick off the start of camping season. What I really liked about the shows this year were the number of trailers that have outside access to the bathroom. No more walking through the trailer just to pee.
We noticed that too, Ryan! I snapped a pic of the dedicated bathroom door on one camp trailer: http://tinyurl.com/2ee5hos
I love RV shows. They are so much fun and since the subject matter is all about having fun camping and vacationing they are such a happy place. I’m wondering if our Honda civic or Honda fit could pull that little tiny aluminum camper.
I don’t know, Marlan? Honda says not to tow anything with the Civic or the Fit, but I’m sure people do – particularly with a manual transmission. 1,500 pounds is probably a bit much, though – one of the smaller Quicksilvers might work.
We are planning in hitting the road in an RV sometime in the next couple years, so we’ve been spending a lot of time looking at RVs, too. Bigger ones, though. I bet you have a better selection out your way.
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