Any GTAM'ers have a tiny/micro camper? | GTAMotorcycle.com

Any GTAM'ers have a tiny/micro camper?

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
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6 or 8 years after we sold our big fifth wheel and drifted away from camping our camping adventure to Gaspe last fall reminded us how much we missed camping.

But my wife doesn't tent camp, and we're not interested in going all-in with another $75,000 truck/trailer combination either. Heck, for the amount we may actually camp moving forward (given the motorcycles and all the other things we have going on), I'm not really interested in spending even 1/4 of that.

Ideally, I want something that the Volt can tow...and I have a few prospects in mind now. Going to look at one tomorrow. Suffice to say we are looking WAAAAAY below what we had before, but oddly enough...my wife is kinda onboard. I think the experience of the tiny trailer we had last fall in Gaspe was an eye opener to both of us about how liberating it was to have a tiny little trailer that could go anywhere. No more sitting on the road somewhere staring at Google maps / satellite wondering if if I could fit our truck/trailer into that spot without fear of not being able to get out. Or worrying about being too tall. Or the ground too soft. We just...went - the thing could turn around on virtually it's own length and we got into cool spots I'd never have dreamed about taking our old truck and trailer into.

Curious if anyone else here has any small campers/trailers/teardrops and what your thoughts are on your specific make/model/design.
 

nobbie48

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We had a 28 footer we kept in a park and enjoyed it. I occasionally get the yen for a little teardrop but being in the city, storage becomes a problem. Personally if it was only for sleeping I'd prefer to temporarily convert a minivan. I can tow stuff but don't particularly like it.

When I go on vacation I want to be in control of the weather around me when I'm cooking, eating and sleeping. If I don't have my own pooper and shower I might as well throw a sleeping bag and camp stove in a minivan. P.S. I'm anti social.

A clarification is somewhat needed. A friend's wife grew up with a tightwad father that refused to pay motel rates so when they'd do their annual cross country trip to Vancouver they drove and overnighted in a tent. Drive all day, set up the tent at dusk and eat a hurried meal. Pack up at dawn. Repeat X 6. See nothing. Mention tent and she cringes.

Another friend spends at least a month every summer (Pre Covid) on a beach in the Carolinas in his 30' with pull outs. Pulls it with his pickup.

It's right on the beach as a fraction the price a rental cabin.
 

ToSlow

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I’ve had numerous camping outfits. 30 to 35 tow off the bumper. 35ft cedercreek 5thwheel, which i towed with a 1 ton ram diesel, 25ft motor home. Traded the motor home and 5th wheel all in ladt summer for a classA tiffin motorcoach,
 

crankcall

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We tent trailered and owned an A liner foldable briefly, its pretty liberating because you can literally fit anywhere, you get nice spots in the trees not parked in the middle of a cow pasture.

We've done the upsize, had a Winnebago , full 5th wheel. I'd consider a van size again, never another bus chassis.

its different for everybody, for my money a nice ultralight teardrop or featherweight class would do the job. No idea what towing capacity on a volt looks like.
 

ToSlow

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My wife and i never really had a chance to travel in our classA because of the Covid

Hopefully this summer will get to use it to the max

I was looking at classB vans cause you’re still able to park in cities
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
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The no bathroom thing was more of a concern for the wife (myself, meh, I can pee upside a tree somewhere and I know how to dig a cathole in the woods, all good, I'm a happy tenter, like I said) but for the wife, if we're boondocking somewhere, well....she said this is "acceptable". ;)

1611367944919.png

Reality is my wife will NOT tent camp - she wants to be off the ground in an actual bed/mattress, with locking doors and a hard roof over her head LOL. A teardrop / micro fits the bill.

The goal is to be around 1200-1500# gross so that's why the teardrop segment is what I'm concentrating on. If I'm going to get into the 4000-5000# segment of the market, well, then we're looking at a new tow vehicle and getting way more involved than I want.

1500# max means either of our kids can tow it as well with their cars.

Yeah, external kitchen, that's fine. I do almost all the cooking while we're camping anyways and I typically cook outdoors anyways so no biggie. Probably 75% of the time even when we had our big 5th wheel I still dragged the campstove and BBQ out of the basement anyways and enjoyed cooking at the picnic table. Ditto on our trip to Gaspe last fall in the rental.

It has heat and AC. I draw the line at lack of climate control LOL.

Another reason I want lightweight is...rentability. If we do buy the one I'm looking at (or another, who knows, the year is young) we want to get it up on some of the RV rental websites and make it pay for itself. Used to rent our 5th wheel for years (but never let anyone tow it) and it worked out well. The new rv rental services like Outdoorsy and RVEzy add a whole different level of insurance and liability coverage now where I'd feel comfortable letting people take off with it, and with an empty weight of around 1000# it means pretty much anyone with any kind of car can tow it. The micro trailer segment is huge right now....which is probably why the things are stupid expensive, but that's another story. Reality is we'll probably only use it personally 4 - 5 times a summer so the underlying goal is...rent the crap out of it so it pays for itself.

Here's the unit we're going to see in the AM.

1611369535382.png
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
The no bathroom thing was more of a concern for the wife (myself, meh, I can pee upside a tree somewhere and I know how to dig a cathole in the woods, all good, I'm a happy tenter, like I said) but for the wife, if we're boondocking somewhere, well....she said this is "acceptable". ;)

View attachment 46693

Reality is my wife will NOT tent camp - she wants to be off the ground in an actual bed/mattress, with locking doors and a hard roof over her head LOL. A teardrop / micro fits the bill.

The goal is to be around 1200-1500# gross so that's why the teardrop segment is what I'm concentrating on. If I'm going to get into the 4000-5000# segment of the market, well, then we're looking at a new tow vehicle and getting way more involved than I want.

1500# max means either of our kids can tow it as well with their cars.

Yeah, external kitchen, that's fine. I do almost all the cooking while we're camping anyways and I typically cook outdoors anyways so no biggie. Probably 75% of the time even when we had our big 5th wheel I still dragged the campstove and BBQ out of the basement anyways and enjoyed cooking at the picnic table. Ditto on our trip to Gaspe last fall in the rental.

It has heat and AC. I draw the line at lack of climate control LOL.

Another reason I want lightweight is...rentability. If we do buy the one I'm looking at (or another, who knows, the year is young) we want to get it up on some of the RV rental websites and make it pay for itself. Used to rent our 5th wheel for years (but never let anyone tow it) and it worked out well. The new rv rental services like Outdoorsy and RVEzy add a whole different level of insurance and liability coverage now where I'd feel comfortable letting people take off with it, and with an empty weight of around 1000# it means pretty much anyone with any kind of car can tow it. The micro trailer segment is huge right now....which is probably why the things are stupid expensive, but that's another story. Reality is we'll probably only use it personally 4 - 5 times a summer so the underlying goal is...rent the crap out of it so it pays for itself.

Here's the unit we're going to see in the AM.

View attachment 46694
Does it get taller or do you climb through the hobbit door?
 

nakkers

Well-known member
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We saw some of these out in the wild and was very impressed.

Believe it was towed with a Chevy Cruz or something like that. Retired couple that was very active.


It’s something we are considering ourselves.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

mimico_polak

Well-known member
Site Supporter
We are thinking of going this route as with 2 young kids camping is going to be a pain.
Odyssey can officially tow 3500lbs. But I expect campers to increase in price as COVID is gonna be around a while and people want their entertainment.

following thread for suggestions.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
We are thinking of going this route as with 2 young kids camping is going to be a pain.
Odyssey can officially tow 3500lbs. But I expect campers to increase in price as COVID is gonna be around a while and people want their entertainment.

following thread for suggestions.
Rent PP's :) Two people sleep in van, two people sleep in trailer and you don't need to store it.
 

jc100

Well-known member
The no bathroom thing was more of a concern for the wife (myself, meh, I can pee upside a tree somewhere and I know how to dig a cathole in the woods, all good, I'm a happy tenter, like I said) but for the wife, if we're boondocking somewhere, well....she said this is "acceptable". ;)

View attachment 46693

Reality is my wife will NOT tent camp - she wants to be off the ground in an actual bed/mattress, with locking doors and a hard roof over her head LOL. A teardrop / micro fits the bill.

The goal is to be around 1200-1500# gross so that's why the teardrop segment is what I'm concentrating on. If I'm going to get into the 4000-5000# segment of the market, well, then we're looking at a new tow vehicle and getting way more involved than I want.

1500# max means either of our kids can tow it as well with their cars.

Yeah, external kitchen, that's fine. I do almost all the cooking while we're camping anyways and I typically cook outdoors anyways so no biggie. Probably 75% of the time even when we had our big 5th wheel I still dragged the campstove and BBQ out of the basement anyways and enjoyed cooking at the picnic table. Ditto on our trip to Gaspe last fall in the rental.

It has heat and AC. I draw the line at lack of climate control LOL.

Another reason I want lightweight is...rentability. If we do buy the one I'm looking at (or another, who knows, the year is young) we want to get it up on some of the RV rental websites and make it pay for itself. Used to rent our 5th wheel for years (but never let anyone tow it) and it worked out well. The new rv rental services like Outdoorsy and RVEzy add a whole different level of insurance and liability coverage now where I'd feel comfortable letting people take off with it, and with an empty weight of around 1000# it means pretty much anyone with any kind of car can tow it. The micro trailer segment is huge right now....which is probably why the things are stupid expensive, but that's another story. Reality is we'll probably only use it personally 4 - 5 times a summer so the underlying goal is...rent the crap out of it so it pays for itself.

Here's the unit we're going to see in the AM.

View attachment 46694

does that have A/C. It reminds me of a toaster oven.
 

nobbie48

Well-known member
Site Supporter
We are thinking of going this route as with 2 young kids camping is going to be a pain.
Odyssey can officially tow 3500lbs. But I expect campers to increase in price as COVID is gonna be around a while and people want their entertainment.

following thread for suggestions.

If covid backs off / gets under control, ANY form of getting away from home, relaxing, eating out , getting out will be more expensive due to demand. Restaurants that survive may do OK going forward if they aren't carrying too much debt. Plan ahead or the shelves may be empty.

I could be wrong. Everyone else has been.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
Does it get taller or do you climb through the hobbit door?

It's a teardrop, so no. And yes. ;)

The doors are bigger than they look. Basically you sit down inside the trailer and then swing your legs in. The interior is basically a bed, but you can sit up inside. Kitchen (Using the term loosely, basically just a sink and a platform to put your stuff on) is at the back. And on this model it's open to the bedroom area which is (IMHO) incredibly stupid and I would have to change.

They aren't for everyone. If you're the sort of camper who goes somewhere and sits for multiple days or a week or whatever, especially if you have a bigger tow vehicle, then there's lots of better options with more living space. But if you're like us and you seldom sit in any one place for more than a night or two tops before moving on (the explorer type) and discovered that you were really only using the trailer to sleep for the most part (and cook meals, but this one is good for that too as long as the weather is decent, otherwise, well....hit a restaurant) then they're fine. Especially if you have a really limited tow vehicle and don't want to upgrade.

does that have A/C. It reminds me of a toaster oven.

Not right now. Thought it did. It doesn't currently. Have to retrofit it as I wouldn't go without.

This specific model is incredibly bare bones as it sits. Unlike some other models like the Little Guy five-wide or six-wide, or some of the T@b units, it's sparse. They 10000% sacrificed weight for niceties, and it's aluminum sided versus fibreglass so I'm a little concerned about how easy it might be damaged/dented - have to see how thick the aluminum is when I look at it. But it is a platform for me to build upon, assuming I can get the price into the territory I want. I did some digging on prices and at this point the one I'm looking at is 5 years old but basically 95% of retail. I'll just go buy a new one at that point unless there's significant room to move on the price especially considering it probably needs new tires and the amount of work I'll put into it to make it anything other than basically a glorified rolling bed.

I've been kicking myself for a week now over losing a Little Guy Five Wide that was for sale in Ottawa. The teardrop segment wasn't totally on my radar and my wife was really unsure as she does have a little bit of claustrophobia. By the time we looked at something similar for comparison purposes and the she gave the knod the guy had sold it.

What I'd REALLY like was one of the ProLight lounge models that we had for our trip to Gaspe last fall. 1400# empty, about 1900# as you see it loaded in the pic below with some food clothing and a tank of water. Unfortunately north of $30K new and nothing even 2-3 years used sells for much less than $28K unfortunately - it's one of those niche models that seems to be holding it's value well as opposed to most RV's which are depreciation pits. Even renting it out the ROI is very long, and it's firmly in the "a stupid amount of money to have tied up in something we're not using every weekend all year round" segment.

IMG_5047 (1).jpeg
 

blackcamaro

Well-known member
A buddy of mine that I race mx with uses one of those tear drop trailers for camping at the track and loves it. On his the back half pops up so you have a full size door and are able to stand to get dressed etc. I think if I was going with something small I would at least want that....too many nights in a cramped boat cuddy to do that low roofline/small door thing again.

For just him it’s perfect. He took it on like a 6 week moto trip to California and Arizona. If his wife comes along it’s pretty much a two day limit and then it’s Airbnb time. On that solo trip I’m pretty sure he was checking into a hotel once a week or so for a little more luxury but that’s a long trip for a tiny camper.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
6 or 8 years after we sold our big fifth wheel and drifted away from camping our camping adventure to Gaspe last fall reminded us how much we missed camping.

But my wife doesn't tent camp, and we're not interested in going all-in with another $75,000 truck/trailer combination either. Heck, for the amount we may actually camp moving forward (given the motorcycles and all the other things we have going on), I'm not really interested in spending even 1/4 of that.

Ideally, I want something that the Volt can tow...and I have a few prospects in mind now. Going to look at one tomorrow. Suffice to say we are looking WAAAAAY below what we had before, but oddly enough...my wife is kinda onboard. I think the experience of the tiny trailer we had last fall in Gaspe was an eye opener to both of us about how liberating it was to have a tiny little trailer that could go anywhere. No more sitting on the road somewhere staring at Google maps / satellite wondering if if I could fit our truck/trailer into that spot without fear of not being able to get out. Or worrying about being too tall. Or the ground too soft. We just...went - the thing could turn around on virtually it's own length and we got into cool spots I'd never have dreamed about taking our old truck and trailer into.

Curious if anyone else here has any small campers/trailers/teardrops and what your thoughts are on your specific make/model/design.
We have plans to turn one of our mini work vans (transit connect) into a camper. Our vans all came with factory tow packages, they have no trouble pulling a 2000lb trailer (bikes, sleds, small boat).

There are tons of examples conversions on the internet.

I love these little vans. We regularly get 400,000km out of them. Cheap to fix, dependable, and not bad on fuel.
 

GreyGhost

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Site Supporter
We have plans to turn one of our mini work vans (transit connect) into a camper. Our vans all came with factory tow packages, they have no trouble pulling a 2000lb trailer (bikes, sleds, small boat).

There are tons of examples conversions on the internet.

I love these little vans. We regularly get 400,000km out of them. Cheap to fix, dependable, and not bad on fuel.
There are some cool van conversions done on a shoestring budget. Forestyforest (Simon lamberts) has a pretty efficient setup. I like the idea of having the trailer hitch free for toys. Setup a basecamp in the mountains and go riding.
 

crankcall

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biggest complaint/challenge I have with the class B we borrowed and the Winnibago we had, was once your where you are going to park up for a day or so, your now PARKED. yeah there are bicycle and motorbike options but now your moving more stuff around.
I did enjoy the back in , unhook, tour around in a tow vehicle part of a trailer.

PP if you look at any used trailer with an A/C unit side mounted, not top mounted pay a lot of attention to the side wall, they can leak (always seem to ) from day one and you don't notice till the side wall buckles.

And good cross ventilation, in august a tiny trailer is like a POW sweatbox in the movies.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
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Went and looked at it today. It was not as advertised & I was kind of ****** about that especially after making the not insignificant drive - the pictures he's used appear to be the pictures from when he *bought* it versus now.

The trailer shows a lot more wear and tear including a lot of exterior damage. It most certainly wasn't the cream puff the photos would have had me believe, but I guess that's what happens when you use the previous owners photos from when you bought it instead of current photos from when you're selling it.

I'm also still digging for info but I'm being led to believe based on discussion in a few enthusiast forums that the asking price for a "well loved" 5 year old unit is only about $2K less than a brand new one as well.

Sleeping on it. There's other things in the back of my head like getting it equipped the way we'd want it, all the accessories I'd also need or want (a cartridge toilet, TV, a fridge/Coolatron, a new mattress (the chair cushion design one in it sucks) and then finding somewhere to park it (ideally I don't really want it in the garage) when it's idle.

Anyhow, on the topic of motorhome versus trailer, we've done both (owned several trailers, rented motorhomes), and I wouldn't ever buy a motorhome unless it was some enormous coach where we're towing a trailer with a car and the motorcycles in it or something. The crappy part was getting to your point B and then needing to run into town for some firewood, or groceries, or whatever, as @crankcall mentioned. Then you have to packup your entire campsite and drive your entire motorhome to accomplish what could have been done using your tow vehicle with the trailer left at the campsite.

If you're going to tow a vehicle behind a motorhome to have a vehicle when you get to point B, why not just tow a trailer with the vehicle and make life more simple?
 
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