Sportsmen’s Paradise: Lightweight RVs

November 1, 2010
Filed under Trailers

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2668195_sportsmen_paradise_h.jpgIt wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted a lightweight RV to take virtually anywhere, you
had to settle for an amenity-challenged truck camper or a tent trailer – neither of which
were particularly well equipped for long nights in the wilderness with two or more on
board. To be fair, many RVers are minimalists who enjoy getting by on the bare essentials -
but for those of us that want a comfortable place to rest after a long day of hunting or
fishing, today’s RVs have much more to offer, and there are more to choose from as well.

 

This is due largely to our nation’s rising fuel costs and the subsequent trend toward
lighter tow vehicles. Twenty years ago, most RVers pulled their trailers or hauled campers
with full-size longbed trucks; today, more and more RVers are purchasing half-ton shortbed
trucks and/or using whatever family vehicle they already own to tow a lightweight RV.
That’s a boon to sportsmen – because comfortable quarters is a priority as are lighter
weight and the ability to travel off the beaten path. And as a bonus, sportsmen who like to
bring along ATVs to reach even more remote destinations now have dozens of choices in
SURVs.

 

With all that in mind, we’re presenting a selection of campers and trailers suited
to the rigors of sportsmen use. We’ve kept the selections limited to campers that weigh
2,000 pounds or less, and trailers that can be towed by a tow vehicle with a tow rating in
the 5,000-pound range. Keep in mind that this is a small selection meant only to give you
some ideas. Most of the companies featured here, as well as many other RV manufacturers,
offer choices to suit most any need and budget.

 

1. Bigfoot 25B17.5FB Travel Trailer

 

Just last year, Bigfoot Industries, a lauded Canadian manufacturer of campers, travel trailers
and motor-homes, was reportedly gone for good. This year, just like its namesake, it has
re-emerged from the wilderness and is poised to re-establish itself as a leading brand in
the all-season camping game. Shown here is the new model 25B17.5FB, a cozy single-axle
hardwall trailer built in the Bigfoot tradition of two-piece fiberglass construction. This
floorplan features a 48-inch bed at the front of the unit and a convertible dinette at the
rear, with a wet bath and galley amidships. Day/night shades, a ducted 16,000-BTU furnace,
and a two-way, 6 cu-ft refrigerator are standard. Options include an 11,000-BTU roof air
unit, a 2.5kW generator and a microwave oven.

 

Bigfoot Industries, (250)
546-2155, www.bigfootrv.com.2668195_1sportsmen_paradise_big_foot_ext.jpg

Ext Length: 17′ 5″

Ext Width: 8′

Ext
Height:
8′ 8″

Int Height: 6′ 4″

Freshwater Cap:
31 gal

Black-water Cap: 21 gal

Gray-water Cap: 21 gal

LP-gas Cap: 10 gal

Dry weight: 2,885 lb

Hitch
weight:
280 lb

gvwr: 4,300 lb

msrp: N/A

 

2. Casita 17′ Liberty Deluxe

 

You can’t help but smile when you see a little Casita travel trailer rolling down the road – and you’ve probably thought, “what could they possibly put in a trailer that size?” As it turns out, plenty. Available in sizes ranging from 13 to 17 feet, all with a single axle, Casita travel trailers make great use of space with a full bath and galley. At the same time, the trailer’s two-piece fiberglass construction is lightweight and strong, and the rounded profile reduces drag for better fuel economy. Shown here is the largest of Casita’s offerings, the 17-foot Liberty Deluxe. This model is unique in that it offers versatile sleeping arrangements; choose from either two twin beds or one large queen bed. Roof air conditioning and a 6-gallon water heater are standard, and options include a 16,000-BTU furnace, microwave oven, awning and Fan-Tastic roof vent.
Casita Travel Trailers, (800) 442-9986, www.casitatraveltrailers.com.2668195_2sportsmen_paradise_casita_ext.jpg

Ext Length: 17′

Ext Width: 6′ 8″

Ext Height: 8’11″

Int
Height:
6′ 1.5″

Freshwater Cap: 16 gal

Gray-water Cap: 17 gal

LP-gas Cap: 10 gal

Dry weight: 2,480 lb

Hitch weight: 365 lb

gvwr: 3,500 lb

msrp: $15,696

 

3. Jayco Baja

 

The Jayco Baja combines the attributes of a toy hauler and a tent trailer in one lightweight, livable
unit. It opens like a tent trailer, and has canvas walls like a tent trailer, but that’s where the similarities end; the Baja rolls on Dunlop off-road rubber and polished-aluminum wheels, and features a Bike Port deck that can carry up to 1,500 pounds. The interior also breaks precedence with common tent trailers with two king-size beds, Manchester oak cabinetry, a 6-gallon water heater, a microwave oven and a 3 cu-ft refrigerator. Options include a 16,000-BTU furnace, a deluxe screen room and a front storage box.

 

Jayco
Inc.,
(574) 825-5861, www.jayco.com.2668195_3sportsmen_paradise_jayco_baja_ext.jpg

Exterior Length (travel): 22′ 5″

Ext Width: 7′ 1″

Exterior Height (travel): 5′ 4″

Int Height: 6′ 1″

Freshwater Cap: 30.5 gal

Black-water Cap: 5 gal (toilet)

Gray-water Cap: 11 gal

LP-gas Cap: 10 gal

Dry weight: 3,025 lb

Hitch
weight:
420 lb

gvwr: 4,850 lb

msrp: $15,393

 

4. K-Z Sportsmen Classic 14FKTH

 

When most of us think “toy hauler,” we envision a full-size,
double-axle travel trailer at the very least. After all, there’s got to be room for toys
and a living space, right? Well, K-Z has managed to squeeze room for both into the
miniscule Sportsmen Classic 14FKTH. Granted, it’s far from a luxury suite – but it’s got
all the things you really need for a weekend of fun, like 1,440 pounds of net cargo
carrying capacity for motorcycles or quads, and two sofas at the rear that turn into roomy
beds. There’s also a 4.6 cu-ft refrigerator, a closet, a two-burner stove, a microwave oven
and a toilet. Options include a 6-gallon water heater, a 16,000-BTU furnace and an awning.
K-Z RV, (800) 768-4016, www.kz-rv.com 2668195_4sportsmen_paradise_kz_sportsmen_ext.jpg

Ext Height: 8′ 3″

Int Height: 6′ 1″

Freshwater Cap: 10 gal

Black-water Cap: 5 gal

Gray-water Cap: 9 gal

LP-gas Cap: 5 gal

Dry
weight:
2,060 lb

Hitch weight: 320 lb

gvwr:  3,500 lb

msrp: $8,635

 

5. Lance 825 Truck Camper

 

Finding a truck camper that’s light enough for a half-ton truck – yet still has all the amenities of a full-size
camper – can be a challenge. Leave it to Lance to deliver the goods in a hardwall package
that weighs just 1,755 pounds dry. The Lance 825 is designed for today’s popular half-ton
trucks like Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Ford F-150 and Dodge/GM 1500 series, or can go on
a short bed 2500/3500 truck with plenty of payload to spare. A streetside galley has
everything you need, while the curbside features a large U-shaped dinette and a wet bath.
With the dinette converted into a bed and a queen-size bunk up top, the 825 can sleep up to
five. A fold-down bunk is optional.

 

Ext Length: 16′ 3″2668195_5sportsmen_paradise__lance_825_ext.jpg

Box Length
(interior floor length):
8′ 6″

Ext Width: 7′ 2″

Int
Height:
6′ 6″

Freshwater Cap: 30 gal

Black-water
Cap:
14 gal

Gray-water Cap: 11 gal

LP-gas Cap: 5 gal

Dry weight: 1,755 lb

msrp: $15,242 (base)

 

6. Lance 1685 Travel Trailer

 

The folks at Lance know a little bit about maximizing available space,
having been in the camper business for some 45 years now. So it should come as no surprise
that the company has packed all the comforts of home into a small, lightweight travel
trailer. Featuring a streetside “Super-slideout” with a 54 x 78-inch U-shape convertible
dinette, the roomy living area gives the impression of a much larger unit. A full galley
curbside is equipped with a three-burner stove, microwave oven and 6 cu-ft two-way
refrigerator, and a dry bath with lav is located in the rear streetside corner. Up front, a
queen bed with overhead bunk awaits, bestowing the 1685 with sleeping accommodations for up
to five. Options specific to this model include a front rock-guard, an awning, a slideout
cover and a pull-out storage tray.
Lance Camper Manufacturing Corporation,
(661) 949-3322, www.lancecamper.com2668195_6sportsmen_paradise_lance_1685_ext.jpg

Ext Length: 20′ 9″

Ext
Width:
8′

Ext Height: 8′ 11″

Int Height: 6′ 6″

Freshwater Cap: 30 gal

Black-water Cap: 30 gal

Gray-water Cap: 30 gal

LP-gas Cap: 10 gal

Dry
weight:
3,450 lb

Hitch weight: 346 lb

gvwr: 5,400 lb

msrp: $19,611 (base)

 

7. R.C. Willett Company/Northstar Campers

 

Northstar is one of the leading manufacturers of low-profile campers, celebrating its 50th
year in business. Pictured here is the popular model TC650, designed for full-size shortbed
trucks (half-ton and larger). Super lightweight with its iconic canvas pop-top, this model
will also work on the current crop of “super short box” trucks, such as the F-150
SuperCrew, Toyota Tundra Crew Max and Nissan Titan Crew Cab. Well equipped in base form,
the TC650 can be optioned to suit the customer’s needs; the most popular options are a
water heater, a 12-gallon side-saddle gray-water tank and an extended cabover to
accommodate a queen bed.
R.C. Willet Company Inc., (319) 233-3461, www.northstarcampers.com.2668195_7sportsmen_paradise_northstar_ext.jpg

Ext Length: 11′

Box Length: 6′

Ext
Width:
7′

Int Height: 6′ 7″ (open)

Freshwater
Cap:
30 gal

Black-water Cap: N/A

Gray-water Cap: N/A

LP-gas Cap: 5 gal

Dry weight: 1,270 lb

msrp: $12,540 (base plus freight charges)

 

8. Northwood Manufacturing/Nash 22H

 

Robust build quality and long-term durability are the hallmarks of Northwood
Manufacturing products, whether it’s the company’s Nash, Arctic Fox or Desert Fox lines.
The words “lightweight” and “light duty” aren’t really part of the company’s vocabulary,
but the Nash model 22H is about as close as you’re going to get in a moderately sized
travel trailer. There are smaller models, but according to the company, the 22H is it’s
best seller – and it’s still light enough to be towed by half-ton trucks and most SUVs. A
54 x 74-inch bed up front, a jackknife sofa and a booth dinette provide plenty of sleeping
capacity, while the rear of the trailer features a roomy bath.
Northwood
Manufacturing,
(800) 766-6274, www.northwoodmfg.com.2668195_8sportsmen_paradise_nash_ext.jpg

Ext Length: 23′ 10″

Ext
Width:
8′ 0″

Ext Height: 10′ 2″

Int Height: 6′ 6″

Freshwater Cap: 46 gal

Black-water Cap: 35 gal

Gray-water Cap: 41 gal

LP-gas Cap: 14 gal

Dry
weight:
4,190 lb

Hitch weight: 590 lb

gvwr: 7,500 lb

msrp: $21,067

 

9. Starcraft/12RT

 

Starcraft’s slogan is “Camping, Pure and Simple.” If that’s the way you roll, but you like to take your quads and gear with you, the Starcraft 12RT could be just the ticket. The airy tent trailer interior is designed for easy clean up with vinyl flooring, a granite-look countertop, and a stainless-steel carry-out stove. Each side features a king bed, with a dinette in a streetside slideout and a sofa on the curbside. The diamond-plated front cargo area features six welded D-rings and holds up to 1,200 pounds of your favorite outdoor toys. In addition, the power roof lift makes setting up camp simple and the storage box is perfect for keeping gear safe and secure while you’re away from camp.
Starcraft RV
Inc.,
(800) 945-4787, www.starcraftrv.com2668195_9sportsmen_paradise_starcraft_ext.jpg

Ext Length: 22′ 5″

Ext
Width:
7′ 1″

Ext Height: 6′ 2″

Int Height: 6′ 11″

Freshwater Cap: 36.5 gal

Black-water Cap: 5 gal

Gray-water Cap: 11 gal

LP-gas Cap: 10 gal

Dry
weight:
3,025 lb

Hitch weight: 420 lb

gvwr: 4,850 lb

msrp: $14,850

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