Closer to Nature

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by Kristopher Bunker
February 27, 2014
Filed under Trailer News, Trailer Reviews, Trailers

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Whether you’re new to RVing or simply prefer being closer to the outdoors, folding camping trailers are a great option to truly take it all in

 

For many RVers, their love affair with the great outdoors began with a tent. You throw the dome into the pickup bed, add some firewood, some duffels and a cooler and you’re off to find the perfect spot. Tent camping is often the springboard to RVing; once you get a taste of communing with Mother Nature, you want more … though sleeping on the hard ground (or a constantly deflating mattress) seems to get really old as the years go by.
A folding camping trailer is a great choice to allow you many of the comforts of conventional trailers in an easy-to-tow, economical package.
Of course, there are some concessions to be made. Folding camper trailers are a bit more abbreviated than their hard-side counterparts, and though they offer a surprising amount of comfort and copious interior space, they are still for the most part exposed to the elements, meaning the manufac­turers must pick and choose which amenities to include. Being exposed to the elements can be a good thing because you can lie in bed and hear the river gurgling close by, the sounds of animals, wind in the trees and so forth — and that brings you a step closer to being right there with the natural world. The ones with tent fabric are less insulated so you are closer to environmental conditions. Bottom line: You shouldn’t expect dual slideouts or posh, fifth-wheel-like appointments in these adventure-seeking trailers, but you should expect to be pleasantly surprised at what is included, such as full-featured bathrooms, smartly appointed galleys and comfortable sleeping
accommodations.

Aliner Classic

Aliner, based in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, has manufactured hard-sided A-frame pop-up campers for more than 30 years. Aliner trailers feature smooth lines and the sleek fiberglass exterior that has become synonymous with the A-frame-type folding camping trailer. Unlike folding camping trailers with fabric side walls, the Classic features full-insulated hard walls throughout. It’s also fast and easy to set up. The 15-foot Classic shown is Aliner’s flagship model, and features the VersaDine Five-Way Dinette. As its name implies, the VersaDine setup is quite handy, as it seats four for comfortable dining, is a storage area when the trailer is being towed and folds down to a 40- by 76-inch bed. Classic standards also include a 3-cubic-foot refrigerator, indoor/outdoor stove and outside shower. Some optional features include front and rear dormers, front storage box and tray, air conditioner, furnace and water heater.

POP-UP-AIRLINERExt. Length    15’
Ext. Width    6’ 6”
Ext. Height, travel/in camp    4’ 9”/10’ 2”
Int. Height, in camp    8’ 2”
Freshwater Cap.    11 gal.
Black-/Gray-water Cap.    N/A
LP-gas Cap.    5 gal.
Hitch Weight    190 lbs.
GVWR    2,100 lbs.
MSRP    $15,300-$21,000

Aliner | 724-423-7440 | www.aliner.com

Chalet RV XL 1935

The XL 1935 is a front-kitchen unit with a hard-sided dormer as standard equipment. Chalet A-frame-style, all-hard-wall trailers are constructed of fully vacuum-bonded fiberglass, and are fully insulated — including the floor. In fact, Chalet actually builds in an interior front and rear wall for added insulation, making the trailers fit for the best (or worst) of Mother Nature’s offerings. Large pass-through storage provides space for your stuff, and smoked safety-glass windows offer peace of mind while in camp. Interior standards include a 3-cubic-foot refrigerator/freezer, a double-bowl sink, hardwood cabinet doors and a three-speed reversible fan.

POP-UP-chaletExt. Length    18’ 7”
Ext. Width    7’ 23/4”
Ext. Height, travel/in camp    6’ 2”/10’ 11”
Int. Height, in camp    8’ 71/2”
Freshwater Cap.    15 gal.
Black-/Gray-water Cap.    N/A
20 gal. (with wet-bath option)
LP-gas Cap.    10 gal.
Hitch Weight    370 lbs.
GVWR    3,500 lbs.
MSRP    $20,583

Chalet RV | 541-791-4610 | www.chaletrv.com

 Coachmen Viking/ Clipper 2485SST

These siblings from Coachmen offer a host of appointments and amenities designed to get you ready to camp in no time. Perhaps most impressive is the Canimex dual-drive winch system, which enables users to set up the trailer in as little as 15 seconds using a cordless drill and the provided bit (which also works on the stabilizing jacks). The trailers are constructed with laminated gelcoat-fiberglass walls, while a Polyflex woven moisture barrier keeps condensation at bay. Plus, the laminated bed platforms are designed to deflect cold air, thus aiding in a good night’s sleep. Features such as a swing-level galley, the Glide-N-Lock bed system and the E-Z Drop-Down Step System make life in camp easier, while the radial tires, AL-KO ultralube axles and electric brakes help with towing.

POP-UP-coachmen-clipperExt. Length, travel/in camp: 18’ 5” / 24’ 5”
Ext. Width    7’ 1”
Ext. Height, travel/in camp    4’ 7”/ 9’ 3”
Int. Height, in camp    6’ 10”
Freshwater Cap.    23 gal.
Black-/Gray-water Cap.    6 gal./N/A
LP-gas Cap.    5 gal.
Hitch Weight    282 lbs.
GVWR    3,502 lbs.
MSRP, base    $15,345

Viking RV/Clipper RV, divisions of Coachmen RV | 800-368-2829 | www.coachmenrv.com

Forest River Flagstaff HW27KS

The Flagstaff High Wall model HW27KS offers many of the conveniences of a conventional travel trailer, with the added bonus of improved maneuverability and fuel economy while towing. An impressive amount of counterspace, upgraded appliances and a hard-wall shower with a freshwater toilet add up to residential-type comfort. The fiberglass exterior, power lift system, microwave and outside grill help make the Flagstaff a highly livable unit. A slide-out kitchen with a sink and stovetop/oven utilize the space nicely while in camp, while the torsion E-Z lube axles, power lift system and aluminum wheels are welcome additions while on the road. Available options include a forced-air furnace, a 13,500-Btu air conditioner and a large three-way refrigerator.

EPOP-UP-flagstaffxt. Length    19’ 4”
Ext. Width    7’ 9”
Ext. Height, travel/in camp    5’ 11”/ 10’ 6”
Int. Height, travel/in camp    3’ 10 / 7’ 5”
Freshwater Cap.    26 gal.
Black-/Gray-water Cap.    12 gal./12 gal.
LP-gas Cap.    10 gal.
Hitch Weight    370 lbs.
GVWR    3,870 lbs.
MSRP    $16,900

Forest River |  www.forestriverinc.com

Forest River Rockwood HW296

The Forest River Rockwood High Wall model HW296 has been designed for families who want the features of a travel trailer in a much lighter towable option. The cherry-wood colored cabinetry, stainless-steel finished appliances and upscale tile-look floor help elevate this folding camping trailer to a class of its own. The convenient hard-wall shower with residential-style freshwater toilet is a departure from many of the more primitive folding camping trailer options, while the AM/FM CD/DVD player and LCD TV allow you to bring the comforts of home to your campsite. Standards include a heated inner-spring mattress, a power lift system, a hot-water package that includes an exterior shower and a Create-A-Breeze roof vent, among others. Buyers can opt for a refrigerator and improved climate-control systems as well.

POP-UP-rockwoodExt. Length    21’ 4”
Ext. Width    7’ 9”
Ext. Height, travel    6’ 0”
Ext. Height, in camp w/ A/C    10’ 7”  
Int. Height, travel/in camp    3’ 10” / 7’ 5”
Freshwater Cap.    26 gal.
Black-/Gray-water Cap.    12 gal./12 gal.
LP-gas Cap.    10 gal.
Hitch Weight    373 lbs.
GVWR    4,573 lbs.
MSRP    $18,000

Forest River | www.forestriverinc.com

Jayco Jay Series 1208

The popular Jay Series from Jayco combines a full-featured kitchen, sleeping for up to eight and a long list of impressive amenities in multiple family friendly floorplans. Jay Series trailers are built on a heavy-duty, corrosion-resistant A-frame and feature a scratch-resistant aluminum exterior finish. Each floorplan, like the 1208 seen here, features a king-size bunk and plenty of storage space. Plus, buyers can choose among different dinette options and sofa arrangements. Standard amenities include an acrylic sink and faucet, a water-heater bypass, tinted vinyl windows with fine mesh screening and real wood drawers with ball-bearing drawer guides. To complete the package, the lift system is covered with a lifetime warranty.

POP-UP-jaycoExt. Length,     travel/in camp 18’ 2” / 23’ 4”
Ext. Width    7’ 1”
Ext. Height, travel/in camp    5’ / 6’ 11”
Int. Height, in camp    7’
Freshwater Cap.    17 gal.
Black-/Gray-water Cap.    5 gal./11 gal.
LP-gas Cap.    5 gal.
Hitch Weight    270 lbs.
GVWR    3,490 lbs.
MSRP    $12,750

Jayco, 574-825-5861 | www.jayco.com

Palomino 12FS Basecamp Edition

Palomino Basecamp Tent Campers are built with family campers in mind. These trailers, like the 12FS shown here, feature spacious, fully furnished interiors and specially designed features for ease of operation. An electric lift with available remote makes setting up a snap, while the bed ends are laminated with Thermofoil insulation for increased comfort. Palominos are also built for the road with a strong steel frame, high-quality side walls, a Line X front wall rock guard and a one-piece fiberglass roof. Offered in eight floorplans, the interiors feature high-grade components such as Serta mattresses and LED lighting, while family friendly features include a roomy 66- by 80-inch front sleeping area, and a 60- by 80-inch rear sleeper.

POP-UP-palaminoExt. Length, travel/in camp    17’ 10”/ 23’ 10”
Ext. Width    7’ 1”
Ext. Height, travel/in camp    4’ 8” / 6’ 10”
Int. Height, in camp    7’
Freshwater Cap.    18 gal.
Black-/Gray-water Cap.    N/A (cassette toilet)
LP-gas Cap.    5 gal.
Hitch Weight    232 lbs.
GVWR    3,552 lbs.
MSRP    $8,100-$13,100

Palomino RV, 269-432-3271 | www.palominorv.com

Starcraft Comet H1232MD

Starcraft has introduced the Comet Hardside series for 2014. Comet trailers feature solid construction, with a heavy-duty A-frame, vacu-bonded fiberglass walls and a Structurwood floor that’s sealed with a Darco underbelly. E-Z Lube torsion axles help make towing a breeze, and the standard refrigerator, microwave and three-burner cooktop are much appreciated while in camp. Three out of the four floorplans in the Comet Series feature storage decks, including the H1232MD shown here. All Starcraft trailers are backed by a limited two-year warranty.
 
POP-UP-starcraftExt. Length    18’ 8”
Ext. Width    7’ 1”
Ext. Height, travel/in camp    5’ 2” / 8’ 2”
Int. Height, in camp    8’
Freshwater Cap.    23 gal.
Black-/Gray-water Cap.    N/A
LP-gas Cap.    10 gal.
Hitch Weight    220 lbs.
GVWR    3,250 lbs.
MSRP    $11,779

Starcraft RV, 800-945-4787 | www.starcraftrv.com

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