keeping things simple
Just About Any Car Can Tow This Clever, Super-Light Camping Trailer
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Camping out of a trailer has long been a delightful way to enjoy the life outdoors without ditching all the comforts of home, but doing so comes at a cost. Trailers, after all, are usually giant chunks of metal, fiberglass and plastic, weighing in at thousands of pounds. Moving them about, in turn, requires a vehicle capable of hauling all that weight up and down slopes in a safe, controlled manner — which often means dropping big money on a full-sized pickup truck, or at the very least a large SUV.
The new Earth Traveler Teardrop trailers seeks to flip the script on that old idea. Weighing just 216 pounds in base form, the Earth T250LX camper is light enough for just about any car to tow it around.
Much like a McLaren, the T250LX’s chassis is made from carbon fiber, helping keep weight to a minimum without compromising strength. (There’s also a version called the T300 made from fiberglass and resin-reinforced feathers, which weighs in at a still-dainty 298 pounds.) With the hatches battened down in travel mode, it collapses down to just 5 feet tall, 5 feet wide, and 11 feet long; once parked, though, the tents that attach to the pop-out walls and roof expand the footprint to 11 feet wide and 7 feet tall, with the length staying the same. Five interior LED lamps come standard to provide simple, efficient lighting; a spare tire also comes as part of the package, should some random rock take out one of the contact patches.
If you’re planning on taking this trailer off the beaten path, though, you probably ought to consider investing in one of the packages that beefs up the suspension and rolling stock. If you’ll only be taking the occasional dalliance down rough surfaces, the $1,900 All-Road Package that adds an Timbren axle-less suspension and all-terrain tires seems like a solid bet; should you be planning something closer to overlanding, though, the $2,850 Offroad Package that uses the same type of suspension but upgrades the rolling stock to 33-inch BFGoodrich T/A KO2 tires and adds Jeep-style fenders, surge brakes, and a MaxCoupler articulation coupler seems like a better play. Other, far cheaper options include front and rear jacks, electrical accessories to let it plug into a generator, and window curtains.
The T300 starts at $10,000, while the T250LX starts quite a bit higher, at $30,975. (Carbon fiber construction isn’t exactly the cheapest way to make something.) The New Mexico-based company says you can also reserve either model online for 25 percent off, which knocks their respective prices down to $7,500 and $23,231. Whether knocking 82 pounds off is worth at least $15,000, however, is up to you.