Outdoors

Gidget teardrop camper takes sliding approach to extra space

Gidget teardrop camper takes s...
A slide-out module increases the interior space in the Gidget trailer
A slide-out module increases the interior space in the Gidget trailer
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The Gidget trailers come with a galley with sink, refrigerator and cooktop
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The Gidget trailers come with a galley with sink, refrigerator and cooktop
Gidget trailers come with a two-burner cooktop
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Gidget trailers come with a two-burner cooktop
Gidget uses slide-out appliances in the design of its galley
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Gidget uses slide-out appliances in the design of its galley
Gidget trailers come standard with an Esky refrigerator
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Gidget trailers come standard with an Esky refrigerator
Both Bondi and Noosa trailers come standard with 110-watt solar panels
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Both Bondi and Noosa trailers come standard with 110-watt solar panels
The Gidget trailer
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The Gidget trailer
On the road, Gidget trailers are lightweight and compact
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On the road, Gidget trailers are lightweight and compact
Out and about in the Gidget Trailer
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Out and about in the Gidget Trailer
Out and about in the Gidget Trailer
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Out and about in the Gidget Trailer
Out and about in the Gidget Trailer
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Out and about in the Gidget Trailer
Gidget Trailer on display
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Gidget Trailer on display
The slide-out module increases the interior space in the Gidget trailer
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The slide-out module increases the interior space in the Gidget trailer
Illustration of the slide-out-expanded interior
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Illustration of the slide-out-expanded interior
Illustration of the slide-out-expanded interior
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Illustration of the slide-out-expanded interior
Gidget trailer
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Gidget trailer
Queensland Maple interior cabinetry
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Queensland Maple interior cabinetry
The Gidget rolls on 15-in custom chrome wheels
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The Gidget rolls on 15-in custom chrome wheels
Gidget trailers weigh as little as 550 kg
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Gidget trailers weigh as little as 550 kg
The Gidget Trailer is a versatile teardrop for modern camping
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The Gidget Trailer is a versatile teardrop for modern camping
Gidget's rotating entertainment center allows you to watch TV inside and out
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Gidget's rotating entertainment center allows you to watch TV inside and out
A slide-out module increases the interior space in the Gidget trailer
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A slide-out module increases the interior space in the Gidget trailer
Gidget currently offers two trailer models
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Gidget currently offers two trailer models
Gidget adds to the look of its trailers with various types of Australian wood
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Gidget adds to the look of its trailers with various types of Australian wood

Outside of the basic ground tent, the timeless teardrop trailer remains one of the lightest, simplest ways to take a camping trip. While they're small, light and efficient behind your vehicle, teardrops can feel a bit tiny and cramped at camp. The Australian-made Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper packs more livable space by borrowing the idea of a slide-out living module from larger campers like the Bett Mobil and DoubleBack.

Gidget cites a recent resurgence of the teardrop camper driven by the move toward smaller, more efficient four-cylinder automobiles. It's a trend that we've noticed in the camper market, not just in terms of teardrops, but in small, lightweight camper designs of all different shapes and styles. In the past few months alone, we've covered new designs like the ScarabRV, Freespirit Spitfire XT and Mogo Freedom trailers.

Unlike those other small trailers, the Gidget Retro Teardrop isn't designed for all-out weight savings. Instead, it's a sort of rolling compromise, combining the iconic looks and advantages of the teardrop trailer with a larger, more versatile living space. At as little as 1,213 lb (550 kg) dry, the trailer is still light enough for towing with smaller vehicles, but the internal slide-out obviously adds weight, with the goal of increasing comfort and usability.

Illustration of the slide-out-expanded interior
Illustration of the slide-out-expanded interior

Many small teardrop interiors have little more than a cabin-filling bed with some cabinet space and maybe a TV/entertainment system and fan. Gidget's slide-out module gives its trailers the space for a seated lounge, a feature usually reserved for larger camping trailers. The foot of the queen-sized bed folds up, creating a bench with help from the under-bed footwell. The slide-out table completes a lounge area useful for eating, playing games and more.

Gidget's use of sliding hardware isn't limited to the cabin extension. Slides help keep the design of the tailgate galley neat and organized. The main counter of the galley houses only the glass-top sink, while appliances like the two-burner gas cooktop and cooler slide out from underneath the counter behind curved timber drawer faces. The kitchen sink is hooked up to a pressurized cold water system fed by the 80-liter/110-liter (21/29-gal) water tank. The trailer also has a 40-liter (10.6-gal) waste water tank.

The Gidget trailer
The Gidget trailer

Another innovative, space-optimizing feature of the Gidget is its rotating entertainment center. Campers can watch TV inside the cabin or rotate the TV around to watch outside from the galley. One side of the rotating console holds the 24-in HD television/DVD player, while the other has a radio. A set of built-in speakers in the cabin and kitchen finish the entertainment system off.

After building and testing a prototype over the course of a few years, Gidget began ramping up production last year. It currently offers two 2015 trailer models: the compact, 8 x 5.3 x 5.4-ft (2.45 x 1.63 x 1.65-m, Body L x W x H) Bondi and the larger, 9.8 x 5.3 x 5.5-ft (3 x 1.63 x 1.68-m) Noosa. Each trailer features a fiberglass body planted on a steel frame and has a torsion axle and electric brakes.

The Bondi and Noosa each has an impressive list of standard features, including the aforementioned kitchen appliances, water system and rotating entertainment center, 110-watt solar panels, an inverter and deep cycle battery, a central electronic monitor and control panel, a security alarm, and inside and outside LED lighting. The internal woodwork on the trailers is made from a selection of Australian mainland and Tasmanian timbers.

The Noosa "longline" model's larger size allows it to house a compartment with portable toilet and gas-heated shower. Its larger 110-liter (29-gal) fresh water tank supports the increased water demand. The model also has a larger cooler and offers 176 liters (46.5-gal) of kitchen drawer/cabinet storage and 673 liters (177.8 gal) of underfloor/cabinet cabin storage compared to 53/531 liters (14/140 gal) on the Bondi.

The Gidget Bondi is available for order now starting at AUD$17,682 (US$13,125), and the Noosa starts at AUD$22,045 (US$16,365). Gidget does all its manufacturing in Australia and ships both domestically and internationally.

Gidget is also developing the ultra-slim Bells Compact trailer, which will be aimed at small cars and motorcycles. That model will feature the same slide-out design but will be narrower and feature downsized equipment to maintain a smaller, lighter footprint. Gidget's website says the model is planned for 2016/2017 launch.

The company says it has patented its slide-out system worldwide and that its trailers are the only ones to use the design. They are not the only teardrops to feature expandable bodies, however. In the past, we've seen the Safari Condo Alta trailer raise its roof to increase interior space.

The first video below highlights a few of Gidget's features, including the slide-out and the kitchen. The second video shows the lounge area transformation.

Source: Gidget Retro Teardrop Trailer

Update (Jan. 22, 2018): Gidget Retro Teardrop Campers has reportedly entered voluntary administration, leaving customers out of pocket without receiving their trailers. More information can be found via ABC News.

3 things you didn't know about Gidget

CONVERT GIDGET'S QUEEN-SIZE BED TO A LOUNGE IN 30 SECONDS.

3 comments
exodous
The slide out feature is kinda cool, but the desk/couch is awesome! For me that is the most comfortable position to watch TV and plus get some work done. I know, two things that shouldn't be done while on vacation. . .
grtbluyonder
It looks like there is an extra 2 feet in width possible if built out over the wheels. Good for storage as it exists the length of the trailer. Nice design though with good use of limited space.
VincentVanHalen
Luving it!