Travel trailers represent the ultimate in freedom, especially in the outdoorsy Northwest.
Have trailer, will travel. Travel trailers represent the ultimate in freedom, especially in the outdoorsy Northwest. And like the rest of us, they’ve grown up. The latest models have adapted to suit young families, modern lifestyle and smaller cars — but without losing the retro flair that drew us to them in the first place. Check out these models, and hit the road.
The 2016 Airstream Sport keeps the look of the classic silver Airstream Bambi, but is light enough to be towed behind an SUV. The premium compact travel trailer measures only 16 feet, but packs in all the comforts of home, including running water, a bathroom with shower, LED lighting, microwave, refrigerator and range. Updated designs include wood laminate flooring, leather interiors and modern print accents to keep you traveling in style. It sleeps two to four and starts at $44,605. airstream.com.
Gone are the days when you needed a huge truck for an RV. Freespirit Recreation in Bend, Ore., makes a Spitfire XT Motorcycle Tent Trailer small enough to be towed by a motorcycle or small car. At less than 300 pounds, it keeps your ride smooth, yet carts up to 350 pounds of cargo. The waterproof pop-up tent comfortably sleeps two adults, with optional poles for 3 extra feet of head space when set up. A removable, locking tongue makes storage a breeze, and the trunk lid carries racks and mounting equipment. Freespirit and Sumner RV Center share the same owner, which also makes this little powerhouse a great choice for those who prefer to buy local. It starts at $4,999 at Sumner RV Center and freespiritrecreation.com.
The Aliner Ranger Camping Trailer functions as a weather-safe, A-line trailer tent. Available in three sizes, 12.8 to 15 feet long, it sets up in 60 seconds. Folding furniture converts a dinette into sleeping quarters. A refrigerator, sink, dual-burner stove, fan, LED lighting and an outside shower are available. The Aliner can be towed behind a small SUV, and stores in your garage during the off-season. It starts at $15,995 at Apache RV in Everett.
The iconic teardrop trailer’s popularity endures, especially among hipsters and urban families. Teardrops can be towed behind any mid-size car or SUV. The 2016 Little Guy T@b U Max, named for its versatile U-shaped seating area, offers the largest sleeping space of the series, plus overhead cabinetry. The T@b proves that good things — a sink, two burners, a refrigerator, entertainment center and portable toilet — come in small packages. It starts at $22,000. Tab-rv.com.
Sometimes less is more. At just 72 inches from inside sidewall to inside sidewall, a Little Guy Teardrop Camper/Trailer 6 Wide model may be all you need. It functions as a traveling king-size bed with interior cabinets and lights, and a slider window and roof vent for fresh air. It starts at $10,000. golittleguy.com.
Down the road, the next big trend is expandable teardrops, already popular in Europe and Australia. The French-designed Beauer 3X, coming to the U.S. and Canada in 2017, expands like a telescope to three times its size — from 13 feet to almost 40 — in less than 20 seconds with the push of a button. Sleek mod block furniture and an aerodynamic curved exterior make this the crème de la crème of travel trailers. It starts at $23,000. beauer.fr/en.