More stylish than any bus-size fifth-wheel or triple-axle, but still packing enough room for the whole family, the new Trail Ridge caravan from Colorado startup Dunraven brings clean aluminum design and cozy living to camp. The 18-foot (5.5-m) all-aluminum box trailer is designed for families that want to fully experience the outdoors, not just park their trailers there. It packs an outdoor kitchen, off-grid power system and standing-height interior that sleeps five to six people.
In past years, it was US western states like Arizona, California and Utah that really seemed to be pushing the envelope in the small camper space, but lately it seems Colorado has really been growing its presence. Boulder-based Dunraven joins other emerging Coloradan small camper companies like Colorado Backcountry, Contravans, Timberleaf Trailers and Oasis Campervans.
Instead of another teardrop or tiny trailer, Dunraven goes bigger with an all-weather trailer designed to sleep up to five adults or a family of six in a relatively small footprint. The Trail Ridge measures 17.7 feet (5.4 m) long, from the diamond plate on the rear bumper to the tip of the tongue. The 6.3-foot (1.9-m)-high ceiling ensures that all but the tallest family members can walk around comfortably without ever ducking or crouching.
Some trailer makers would use a 14-foot (4.3-m)-long trailer box to make a cushy portable luxury apartment for two or three people, but Dunraven focuses entirely on fitting the family inside a fairly basic but capable space. After all, you're camping, you should be sleeping close together without all the luxuries of a five-star hotel.
The interior layout centers around a series of beds set up in a dual-level L, with two stacked bunks on the wall directly across from the entry door and a third bunk over top the short queen bed on the front wall. Each twin bunk sleeps a single adult atop a 3-in (8-cm) memory foam mattress, while the queen bed sleeps two adults on 6-in memory foam. Dunraven reckons if you trade out adults for a few kids, you could get a total of six people rattling the rustic wood walls with guttural snores.
To fit that kind of a sleeping layout inside a fairly compact rolling cabin, Dunraven simplifies the remainder of the interior. Rather than an indoor kitchen, dry bathroom and dining/living area, Dunraven relies on a slide-out outdoor kitchen that tucks away below the queen bed and a slim corner wet cell with combined toilet and shower. Campers are left to dine outdoors but could probably squeeze in and sit on the lower beds during bad weather.
Plans call for a rather well-equipped outdoor kitchen, carrying an oven below the dual-burner stove, large sink, worktop and 12V fridge. The show model we checked out at Overland Expo West only had a portable camping stove, but it did have an under-counter space that could be filled out by an oven. The tall shelved cabinet next to the kitchen makes the perfect pantry.
You might think Dunraven would cover the Trail Ridge's large, flat roof in solar panels, but instead it's chosen to decouple the panels from the trailer so that campers can better chase the sun. Campers tend to park in the shade to keep cooler and sleep better in the morning, so why affix the panels atop a roof that might not be getting much sun?
Instead, the Goal Zero Boulder 200-watt panel mounts to the back of the trailer while driving and removes to set up in the sunniest part of camp. It sends power to the 3-kWh (281-Ah) Goal Zero Yeti battery for storage.
Standard Trail Ridge appliances and equipment include a propane cabin heater, propane water heater, 102-L fresh and gray water tanks, LED lighting throughout, including reading lights at each bed, and a 12V exhaust fan. A 24-in HDTV and air conditioner are available optionally.
Dunraven relies on riveted aircraft-grade sheet aluminum, fully sealed against weather with aerospace and automotive sealants. Black textured aluminum at the lower edge adds contrast and reinforcement. The trailer weighs around 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) and rides on a 5,200-lb (2,359-kg) torsion axle, offering 16 in (406 mm) of ground clearance.
Dunraven finished construction on its first Trail Ridge ahead of its trip to last month's Overland Expo. It plans to get the Trail Ridge to market later this year for a price of US$34,000, with all the standard features mentioned.
The 1.5-minute video below provides a nice introduction.
Source: Dunraven Campers
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