Though gasoline prices seem to have stabilized for now, the market for lightweight trailers continues to be strong, and manufacturers have responded with lots of choices, many of them light enough to be pulled by minivans as well as half-ton pickups and SUVs.
Here are some of the offerings now on the market:
Bigfoot 2500 Series
The Bigfoot 25B17.5G is a compact trailer that has all the features required for a comfortable camping trip. Its small size and low weight make this model easy to tow, even though it is equipped with a full kitchen, bath and many amenities normally found only in larger travel trailers.
Bigfoot Industries, which has been building RVs for nearly 30 years, uses a unique two-piece fiberglass construction and meticulous craftsmanship to create trailers that have a record of retaining high resale value.
The 25B17.5 G is 8 feet wide, 17 and a half feet long and has a base dry weight (the weight of the unit as it leaves the factory with standard equipment) of 2,885 pounds. It is equipped with a 6-cubic foot refrigerator, a two-burner cooktop, stainless steel sink, and dual 20-pound propane tanks. A microwave oven and a three-burner cooktop are available options.
The living area sofa pulls out into a bed, and an additional bed is available by converting the dinette. Large radius corner windows give the trailer an airy feeling.
An LCD TV, AM/FM stereo and CD or CD/DVD player are among the entertainment options. The addition of thermal pane windows and heated and enclosed holding tanks can outfit the trailer for extended seasonal use.
Base price of the 25B17.5G is $21,800. Bigfoot also offers four other models in its 2500 Series, in lengths ranging up to more than 25 feet.
For more information, contact Bigfoot Industries, 4114 Crozier Road, Armstrong, B.C., Canada VOE 1B6. Phone (250) 546-2177 or visit www.bigfootrv.com.
Sun Valley X-Treme Lite
Sun Valley builds its X-Treme trailers with a powder-coated tubular steel frame, vinyl roof, fiberglass insulation and laminated floor and sidewalls. A computer-generated design process is used to create trailers that are not only lightweight but rugged.
The trailers have an independent suspension system instead of leaf springs for a smooth ride on-road and off-road. A front diamond-plate rock guard and galvanized steel wheel wells provide off-road protection.
The lightest X-Treme travel trailers are built 7 and a half feet wide and are offered in nine floor plans from 16 feet to more than 27 feet in length. The 7-and-a-half-foot width keeps the weight light, but allows for wider dinette seats and 7 percent more living space than in trailers that are only 7 feet wide. Interior height is 6 feet, 6 inches. The floor plans offer a variety of sleeping options, including queen beds, double beds and bunk beds.
Other features in the X-Treme Lite series include a crown roof to allow water to run off, a three-burner range top, a large Dometic refrigerator, a 20,000 BTU electric ignition furnace, miniblinds and no-wax linoleum floors. Options include air conditioning, an outside shower, an awning and an outside grill.
Sun Valley also builds X-Treme Lite fifth wheels and offers a series of X-Treme Lite travel trailers that are 8 feet wide.
For more information, contact Sun Valley, 450 W. 750 North, Howe, IN 46767. Phone (800) 327-7684 or visit www.sunvalleyinc.com.
Fun Finder X
Cruiser RV, a Double-Tree RV company, builds the Fun Finder X series of lightweight travel trailers ranging in length from under 15 feet to more than 25 feet. Five models are under 3,500 pounds as equipped at the factory.
In a small trailer, every inch of space must be put to use, and Fun Finder does that with floor-to-ceiling wardrobes, a dinette that folds into a roomy sleeping area, and lots of interior storage. Some of the floor plans also include a large pass-through storage compartment.
The trailers are built with a powder-coated steel frame and welded aluminum superstructure, vacuum bonded fiberglass sidewalls, and a Trail-Air Equa-Flex suspension system. Radial tires are mounted on cast aluminum wheels. The floor is built with 5/8-inch exterior grade plywood.
Standard features include a 13-inch TV, a CD/DVD/AM/FM Stereo, a Howard Miller digital clock, a water filtration system, a Dometic refrigerator, and stainless steel appliances. Decorator touches include brushed nickel hardware, harmony white or maple cabinet doors, fabric box valances and trendy decors. Options include a Sirius satellite radio receiver, air conditioning, microwave oven, outside barbecue and outside shower.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices start at $10,505 and range up to $17,395.
For more information, contact Cruiser RV, P. O. Box 130, Howe IN 46746. Phone (866) 277-5630 or visit www.cruiserrv.com.
Fleetwood RV Orbit/Pegasus
Fleetwood RV launched its redesigned Pegasus and Orbit ultra light travel trailers last summer and recently expanded its models to include 11 new floor plans.
Chris Braun, executive vice president of Fleetwood RV, said the decision to expand the lineup was made because of the popularity of the ultra light segment of the market and the reception the Orbit and Pegasus received when they were introduced last summer.
Starting at less than 3,000 pounds, the trailers are light enough to be pulled by most half-ton pickups, An aluminum frame, lightweight floor, laminated exterior and other design details reduced the weight 20 percent, compared to Fleetwood’s prior generation of lightweight trailers.
The Orbit and Pegasus have spacious interiors with a ceiling height of 80 inches. The smallest of the units, the Pegasus/Orbit Sport starts at $15,711. The standard Pegasus/Orbit starts at $18,023. Some models are offered as hybrids, with foldout extensions that provide extra sleeping accommodations. Fleetwood also offers larger and heavier versions of the Pegasus/Orbit in its LE series, including some fifth wheels.
For more information, contact Fleetwood RV by calling (800) 445-3307 or visit www.fleetwoodrv.com.
Jayco Jay Feather EXP
The Jay Feather series of lightweight travel trailers by Jayco has been revamped to offer new floor plans and include a new model, the Ex-PORT, that is light enough to be towed by SUVs and most minivans.
The Jay Feather series has three models: the Jay Feather Sport, the Jay Feather EXP and the Jay Feather LGT. The Sport is the lightest and least expensive in the series, starting with a model that is less than 18 feet in length and carries a base price of $13,286. The compact Sport includes a full kitchen and bath and sleeping space for up to five people.
The Jay Feather EXP offers a larger living space while still maintaining a minimal tow weight and length. Larger kitchen models, nickel hardware and black appliances are new this year. The new Ex-PORT combines the compact style of the Sport with the expandability of the EXP. Its weight as built at the factory is less than 3,000 pounds.
The Jay Feather LGT is the largest of the lightweight models and has added four new floor plans this year. New standard equipment includes a larger kitchen window, revised graphics package, raised panel doors in the kitchen and living room, nickel hardware and louvered central air conditioning vents for improved airflow. Starting price of the Jay Feather LGT is $20,071.
For more information, contact Jayco, 903 S. Main St., Middlebury, IN 46540. Phone (574) 625-5861 or visit www.jayco.com.
Starcraft’s XP travel trailers are designed to sleep six to eight people with the help of expandable bunks. One model has expandable front and rear bunks; three others have front and side bunks.
The 2007 models have been enhanced with new khaki and misty blue décor packages with sierra maple cabinetry and with new graphics that are color matched to tent fabrics in Mediterranean blue.
Interior features include linoleum flooring, miniblinds, a three-burner cooktop, a single door two-way refrigerator, chrome bath fixtures, stain-resistant fabrics, and a fabric-trimmed entry door. The trailers have 20-pound LP tanks with an automatic regulator and cover, a 30-amp power center with battery charger, a 16,000-BTU furnace with electronic ignition, a cable TV hookup, and a patio light.
The trailers are built on a tubular steel powder-coated frame with welded aluminum- framed laminated walls, roof and floor with a smooth Filon exterior. All of the floor plans in the XP series have a dry weight of well below 3,000 pounds, and can be pulled by most minivans and smaller SUVs. The models range up to 22 feet in length and have an interior height of 6 feet, 4 inches.
Suggested base retail price for the four floor plans ranges from $13,156 to $14,629.
For more information, contact Starcraft RV, P. O. Box 458, Topeka, IN 46571. Phone (260) 593-2550 or visit www.starcraftrv.com.
Coachmen Capri Micro
The Coachmen Capri Micro, which made its debut at the National RV Trade Show in Louisville late last year, is an ultra light trailer with many features found in larger trailers. There are three floor plans at base weights starting at less than 3,000 pounds, and in lengths ranging from 13 to 17 feet.
Many minivans can tow the smallest of the three models , and SUVs and light trucks can pull the other two. Suggested retail prices range from $12,700 to $13,995.
The units are a full eight feet wide, and the ceiling is 79 inches high. The trailers sleep three or four. “We have the only 15-foot floor plan with an actual double bed and sofa combination,” said Kevin McMahon, product and sales manager for Coachmen’s lightweight towables. The largest of the three models includes a queen bed.
The units also feature exterior storage, much of its pass-through, boast a large 36-gallon fresh water tank, and offer a number of options, including an exterior shower and an AM/CD player with external speakers.
For more information, contact Coachmen Recreational Vehicles, P. O. Box 30, Middlebury, IN 46540. Phone (574) 825-5821 or visit www.coachmenrv.com.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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