Outdoors

Cricket Trailer: "The covered wagon for the new frontier"

Cricket Trailer: "The covered ...
The lightweight Cricket was designed for tow by many cars, SUVs and trucks
The lightweight Cricket was designed for tow by many cars, SUVs and trucks
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The lightweight Cricket was designed for tow by many cars, SUVs and trucks
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The lightweight Cricket was designed for tow by many cars, SUVs and trucks
As with NASA habitation modules, the focus is on keeping things small and efficient
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As with NASA habitation modules, the focus is on keeping things small and efficient
The odd shape of the Cricket was engineered for aerodynamics
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The odd shape of the Cricket was engineered for aerodynamics
The interior uses innovative storage and space-saving solutions to maximize space
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The interior uses innovative storage and space-saving solutions to maximize space
Add roof racks to haul your gear
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Add roof racks to haul your gear
The Cricket name was inspired by the fact that crickets are an omnipresent symbol of the outdoors
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The Cricket name was inspired by the fact that crickets are an omnipresent symbol of the outdoors
The pop top offers more than 6 feet (nearly 2 m) of head room
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The pop top offers more than 6 feet (nearly 2 m) of head room
Hitch the Cricket to your ride and drive where your interests take you
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Hitch the Cricket to your ride and drive where your interests take you
Hitch the Cricket to your ride and drive where your interests take you
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Hitch the Cricket to your ride and drive where your interests take you
Cricket Trailer with fold-out couch bed
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Cricket Trailer with fold-out couch bed
A small kitchen area gives you a counter and sink
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A small kitchen area gives you a counter and sink
An efficient living area
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An efficient living area
Available loft bedding offers sleeping space for children
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Available loft bedding offers sleeping space for children
Under-bed storage comes with both styles
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Under-bed storage comes with both styles
The optional pull-out shower lets you clean yourself, dog and gear
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The optional pull-out shower lets you clean yourself, dog and gear
The lightweight Cricket was designed for tow by many cars, SUVs and trucks
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The lightweight Cricket was designed for tow by many cars, SUVs and trucks

The Cricket Trailer is what happens when NASA engineering meets camping trailers. This funky shaped trailer is designed to be towed by all kinds of vehicles and offer you exactly what you need without the excess you don't.

Garrett Finney has had a fascination with small, outdoor-connected living spaces since his childhood in the 1970s. He transformed that passion into a logical career path as a NASA engineer working on habitation modules for the International Space Station. But, he later decided that he wanted to apply some of that passion to something a little closer to home. That something is the Cricket Trailer.

Finney has applied his engineering experience toward building a simple, lightweight, flexible outdoor living space for family camping. The Cricket is a natural extension of his experience building small, efficient living quarters for outer space, and many elements of the camper are inspired by his work at NASA.

The basic idea isn't all that new. The Cricket fills the gap between the RV and the tent - along with numerous other pop-up trailers. What is somewhat unique is the level of flexibility and customization built into the Cricket. The Cricket isn't just designed to be any camping solution, it's designed to be your solution.

The Cricket starts off with a thoughtful, lightweight build underpinned by composites and aluminum. By keeping weight down to around 1,300 lbs. (591 kg), Finney and team create a trailer that is flexible in terms of tow vehicle. The company says that many six- and four-cylinder vehicles - including the Subaru Outback, the quintessential American mountain car - have the needed capacity. The idea is that you don't need a big, burly Hemi to tow this thing to camp. The Cricket's odd, unmistakeable shape increases aerodynamics.

As with NASA habitation modules, the focus is on keeping things small and efficient
As with NASA habitation modules, the focus is on keeping things small and efficient

The Cricket has a wide door for easier access and a series of plastic windows with interior mesh and privacy screens. The hard roof pops open in about 20 seconds with the help of gas springs, expanding head room to 6 ft 2 in (1.9 m). In back, there's a lift gate to make loading and unloading easier and to provide a shady place to sit down and enjoy a beer or read a book.

Inside, the Cricket is sized to sleep two in either folding couch configuration - for couples that don't mind being close - or V-berth bed configuration - for buddies that don't want to share a single bed. Buyers can also opt to add loft bedding for up to two children. There's a rotating table for dinner, kitchen counter with stainless steel sink, clean and grey water storage, drainage, and a 12-volt electrical system. By using some efficient space-saving measures learned at NASA, the Cricket Trailer packs a lot of equipment into a package that's 15 feet long by 6.5 feet wide (4.6 x 2 m).

From there, it's up to you. Cricket Trailer beckons you to "Make It Yours." It offers a variety of options - from basics like a cook top, refrigerator, shower system and portable toilet to more advanced conveniences like air conditioning, heating and photovoltaic panels. The idea is that you decide how you want to camp and make a trailer that meets your needs. Cricket also sells smaller accessories like dishes, tools and storage solutions.

Pricing starts at US$21,700 and goes up from there depending upon other options you wish to add.

Source: Cricket Trailer

15 comments
MBadgero
Is there a picture of it before the accident?
BigGoofyGuy
Is there a picture of it before the accident? MBadgero, that is funny. :) I think it is a very clever idea. It seems on the pricey side but still cool. I wonder if one could build something similar but at a lower price?
Terry Pardy
Looks awful, like a bomb has blown up inside it!
yrag
$14,330?!!!
jerryd
I'm sorry but aero this is not. Nor is it that light. I think the designer needs to google NASA aero truck and see what needs to be done to actually make this aero and maybe think about looks. No need for the door, etc looking like that. Put it in the rear where it belongs. I'm designing my own and have went though the many variations and this one is ok at best. I do aero, hydro and composites and for no more money, maybe less, this could be done in 800lbs and so aero it would lower mileage little. Just better design.
MBadgero
Thanks, BigWarpGuy. I think you are right, it has some clever features. But basically it is a tow-version of a VW pop-up van. I like the aluminum and composite construction for reducing weight, but this also ups the price a bit. The complex looking design has to come with complex manufacturing and I am sure this is where most of the cost comes from. And of course it has the aesthetics of the Lunar Excursion Module. I guess they are hoping that, beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all, that they find a high class of campers with poor eye sight.
morongobill
I was pretty excited about this- Mojave National Preserve camping trips towing it with my Chrysler Concorde, then I saw the 14 thousand $$$$ price tag. Oh well, I guess I'll keep on looking.
Ormond Otvos
The English do it better. It's too heavy, way too expensive, and unnecessarily complex. $2k is a good price point, 600 lbs a good and achievable weight. This one is just an expensive gadget.
Jon A.
By way of comparison, a brand-new Starcraft Starflyer 10 conventional popup trailer is slightly shorter, 135 pounds lighter, sleeps six, has way more interior space, and costs $5,362. http://www.generalrv.com/inventory/185135/New-2012-Starcraft--Starflyer-Starflyer-10.aspx
seth d. ross
I like it, but at first glance it looks like the victim of an unfortunate fender bender - right down to the tail lights in the over lapping side panels!