Monday, December 16, 2013

The Small Trailer Enthusiast

One of my favorite blogs about small trailers and the trailer industry is The Small Trailer Enthusiast. The owner of the blog, Pat, camps in a 15 foot 2010 Serro Scotty HiLander, but his blog regularly features teardrops, T@Bs and other small trailers. He also blogs about RV shows, technical updates to trailers and new small trailers by manufacturers and individuals. Pat was so nice to answer a few of my questions about his blog and why he loves small trailers.


How did you become interested in small trailers?

I guess my interest really started when my wife and I were in-between trailers. We bought a T@B teardrop that we soon realized after buying it that it was just a tad too small on the inside for us. We wanted to stay small, so my fascination with small trailers started when we decided to find something that was a little more functional for us while still staying small. While searching for its replacement, I researched just about everything on the market and soon realized I wanted one of everything I found! That research created a database of knowledge in my head that never really stopped growing even after we bought our replacement.


  
How did you decide on your own Serro Scotty trailer?

Our T@B had that "it" factor. It was red with white trim, sleek design, and was definitely not a conventional looking camper. We knew we wanted our replacement to be something that was an eye catcher. We didn't want just another white shoebox on wheels, but a little more roomy on the inside. I researched Scamps, Casitas, and R-Pods, but we kept coming back to the one we ended up with buying: the Serro Scotty HiLander. It was modeled after the orginals from back in the 1960's, but with modern technology and amenities. It was about the same length as the T@B, but it featured two dinettes, toilet/shower combo, and more headroom for me. Plus, it had the "it" factor, which is something we were looking for as well.


Do you have any experience with teardrop trailers?

Not long after we were married in 2002, we said one day we'd like to get a teardrop trailer. They were just cool, and we loved the coziness of them. It was one of those "someday" dreams we all have. Fast forward to 2009. We're fans of the fabled highway Route 66, and while on a cruise on Route 66 in Missouri, one of the participants in this motor tour had a Pleasant Valley teardrop trailer that was wrapped with a Route 66 scene, and they just happened to have it for sale. We kept talking about it while driving that day and discussed the pros and cons of a teardrop. However, that all changed when we stopped at a small town festival. A nearby Camping World store had a few RVs on display at the festival and one of those was a T@B. We were instantly hooked. It had the shape of a teardrop, but was one you could stand up in. We talked more on the way back to Indiana and decided that if we were going to buy something, it would be a T@B, since it gave us the best of both worlds. The following Saturday, we were in Elkhart, Indiana picking up a brand new 2010 T@B from Tiara RV, and the rest is history.


 What are your five favorite small or tiny trailers?

That's a tough question! These are the trailers in no particular order:

Serro Scotty HiLander: Obviously I'm a little biased here! Right now the HiLander isn't being produced, but when I talked to the president of Serro Scotty earlier this summer, he was hoping to have found a manufacturer to restart producation, which ceased early in 2012. It's just a solid unit with an aluminum cage, thicker floors, and has that "wow" factor!

T@B: Although we only had ours for 7 months, if space and money wasn't a factor, I'd have one. Since Little Guy Worldwide took over the T@B brand after Dutchmen ceased production of them in 2009, the quality has been much better and Little Guy has done a fantastic job of working with the vast Dutchmen T@B owners.

Camp Lite: I said it in 2011 after my first trip to the RVIA trade show in Louisville: I saw just about every small trailer anyone had to offer at that show, and none of them were better than Camp Lite in terms of quality. You'll pay a little more, but you're getting a solid unit.

Gulfstream Vista Cruiser: When this first came out a few years ago, it was called the Visa. I can't really put my finger on why I like this, but it just has a really clean look to it. The 19' model with the RBS floor plan would be high on my list if we were looking for a trailer right now.

Scamp: Fiberglass campers have been a curious fascination for me. Scamps are one of the most well known fiberglass campers, and you could argue they've become one of the most well known small campers over the past 30 years.

  
Where do you like to camp? What are your favorite campgrounds or parks?

We generally camp in state parks since they tend to be cheaper and you generally have little more space between you and your neighbors. One of our favorites is Starve Hollow State Recreation Area in south-central Indiana. Several of the campsites are right on the shore. I used to vacation in Minnesota growing up and it reminds me a lot of it, with the water and pine trees. However, one of the most relaxing places I enjoy the most is an RV park. It's a place called Little Farm on the River in Rising Sun, Indiana. They have a section that's along the banks of the Ohio River, and there's nothing I enjoy more than sitting in my chair all weekend watching the barges slowly roll up and down the river.
 

Do you have any favorite camping gear or camping tips?

One of the most important pieces of equipment I would never do without is the BAL light trailer leveler. It eliminates the need for leveling blocks and is a breeze to use. I had to get the word out to the rest of the small trailer world about it, so I ended up putting together a post about it.

Photos by The Small Trailer Enthusiast

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