Tetra-POD clamshell trailer pops open into a boat
At first look, the Tetra-POD is a large, capable ATV trailer that can haul gear, tools and debris as an open tub or an enclosed box. A closer inspection reveals that it's also a boat. With a few simple steps, the lid swings down to join the trailer body in creating a hull that can be motored out onto the open water.
We've seen a few products with a land-water split personality, but nothing quite the same as the Tetra-POD. The American Dream Trailer we covered just last month coupled a camping trailer with a rooftop rowboat. The Sealander amphibious trailer was another camping trailer/boat hybrid, and the Boatbox was a cargo-hauling roof box that doubled as a watercraft. While similar to each of those in certain ways, the Tetro-POD has a design and utility all its own.
The Tetra-POD was developed by Alberta's Predator Plastics and launched in late 2013. Predator recently licensed the design to Ontario-based Agri-Plastics, which added Tetra-POD to its family of companies. Agri-Plastics is now manufacturing the off-road ATV model and is in the process of launching a road-legal version with two wheels and a torsion axle in place of the four-wheel, walking-beam design.
Aimed at outdoor sportsmen and women and field workers, the Off Road Tetra-POD is designed to work as an ATV-towed utility tub trailer first and foremost. Its rugged, roto-molded plastic body offers 27 cu ft (765 L) of storage space and a 2,000-lb (907 kg) payload. It can be used with or without the removable, locking, gas-sprung lid and includes a dump function. The tub sits on a powder-coated frame and relies on a walking-beam axle to eat up rough, uneven terrain.
Tetra-POD imagines the 550-lb (249 kg) trailer being used to haul the likes of fishing gear, hunting equipment and firewood over the trails and dirt roads of the backcountry. It says the design is both weather and bear resistant.
The designers of the Tetra-POD realized that a big, plastic trailer tub could quite easily double as a boat, so they gave their trailer a dual-function design. The Tetra-POD transforms into boat mode within about a minute. The rider can pull right up to water's edge on the ATV, extend the frame hitch to make room for the boat, remove the gas springs to fully open the lid, rotate the U-shaped connector pins 90 degrees so that they secure the trailer base to the lid instead of to the frame, and remove the rear pin. The boat can then be backed right into the water by ATV.
The Tetra-POD boat includes two removable foam seats and is designed to accommodate two people and up to 766 lb (347 kg). The 11-foot (3.4 m), 230-lb (104 kg) jon boat looks like it could be used as a rowboat, but the company recommends it be driven via a short leg motor (up to 3 hp).
There are many potential uses for an off-road trailer/boat, but the Tetra-POD seems particularly well-suited to anglers. They can carry their fishing gear through the wilderness to distant water bodies, then quickly transform the trailer to boat and hit the water for a day's worth of casting.
Tetra-POD's website does not have a price list, but a post on its Facebook page identifies the price of the ATV trailer at US$2,995/CAD$3,495. The company will be attending next week's Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show, and it looks like it will have both the Off Road ATV and On Road models on display. Gizmag will be at the show, and we hope to get a closer look at the Tetra-POD design and find out more about the On Road model.
The video below shows the Tetra-POD in action in both land and water and goes over its transformation.