When it comes to pop-up tent trailers, Don Iannone wasn’t satisfied with 10 MPG and fighting the Los Angeles traffic in a big SUV or pickup truck. He hits the 405 Freeway in style with his 2008 Smart® Car, towing a small pop-up tent trailer from Time Out Trailers, Inc™. “I started camping as a Boy Scout, got into my 20s and got more interested in cars. Now I’ve sold the cars for more practical things and got back into camping about a year ago,” said Don.
I don’t know if this is the shape of things to come, but you sure can’t fault Don for his ingenuity and resourcefulness. The Smart Car is rated for 41 MPG on the highway and is classified as an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV). As you might expect, Smart doesn’t publish a tow rating for the 1,808 lbs. vehicle. That’s okay, though, because Time Out Trailers made a name for themselves in the motorcycle trailer market – that’s trailers designed to tow behind motorcycles, not trailers for hauling motorcycles – so the pop-up tent trailer only weighs 345 lbs, with a miniscule tongue weight of just 20 lbs. Don says, “we get up the hills okay, maybe get passed by a speeder, but we hold our own and even pass trucks.”
The Time Out Camper sets up quickly and provides a surprising amount of interior space, for such a small package. The bed includes an air mattress that is just slightly narrower than a full queen, at 54-inches, but it’s a full 80-inches long (a must, for my 6’ 3” frame). The center of the tent is also 80-inches tall, so there is plenty of room for standing, moving around and changing clothes. As you can see in the photo above, the tent also includes an air conditioning vent in the side, allowing you to add your own portable unit.
Since retiring this year, Don and his wife are “using the heck out of it and loving it,” with southern California trips to Big Bear and Arrowhead Lake and northern California trips to Yosemite and the Sierra Mountains. If there was any question as to the towing ability of the Smart Car with the Time Out Camper, Don has certainly put those fears to rest!
We drove and camped with a Smart Car Fortwo in Death Valley –
It was tight to pack the vehicle with the items we needed to camp, but there’s just enough to sit in the front and stuff a couple sleeping bags, a tent, some blankets, pillows, and a couple schoolbags of items in the back.
It held well enough on the paved roads.
Wondering about taking a propane take with this unit. Any help with that please?
I believe everything published was very logical. But,
what about this? what if you wrote a catchier title?
I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your blog, but suppose you added
something that grabbed people’s attention? I mean A ‘Smart’ Pop-up Tent Trailer
| family camping is kinda boring. You might peek at Yahoo’s front page and
watch how they create article titles to get viewers to click.
You might add a video or a picture or two to grab readers interested
about what you’ve written. Just my opinion, it would bring your posts a
This is great!! We have 2 Smart Cars and I’ve been surfing the ‘net about travel trailers for them. Good info on this trailer, although I’ve seen the setup video and am a little concerned with the strength of the support legs with Hubby & I together weighing about 300lbs.
We did tent camping for years as off-roaders — just can’t handle that kind of travel anymore– and the prospect of this kind economic travel has me kind of excited. Thanks!
I like the fact that it is compact when towing yet enough room when deployed to walk around in while camping. My Smart car is big enough for me (I am six feet tall and weight 340 pounds), the Time Out camper would be big enough for me to stand in?
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I believe one can get hitches and trailers from Smart Car Universe for the Smart Fortwo.
I found this site from the Smart Car of America web site.
It is nice to see a positive article on the Smart. I really like the camper trailer. I think it is neat that they match; color of the car with the color of the trailer. 🙂
Thanks, Tom – no doubt about it, Don has a really nice setup!
Possibly its the angle of the picture but the support under the sleeping section of the trailer doesn't seem heavy enough to support two horizontal adults. Aside from that…very cute.
Cute as a bug…eh?
I can't argue with that analogy! : )
Sort of like the ultralight for trailer camping. Of course it sucks when the Smart car gets high centered on that pebble in the road…
VE – that's the price you pay for staying hip and current.
Very cool and a smart way to camp. I will send this to Doris, but I don't think you could get her in the Sart Car, yet alone into a trailer of this size. Good job and SMART:)
Well, it's fun to dream! : )
Great looking piece of kit,regards
petre from the UK
Do you have any towing hitches and wiring kits, Pete? 🙂
How cool is that? Very cool.
It's definitely unique! (at least for now)