Taxa adds a few new tricks to its funky Mantis camping trailer
Back in 2012, it would have been easy to dismiss Taxa Outdoors' Cricket camping trailer as experimental art. It looked unlike anything out there and didn't necessarily appear like it would appeal to the masses. But small, quirky camping trailers have only grown in popularity since, and Taxa has grown with them, adding smaller, much smaller, and larger options to its lineup. Now it's revamping that lineup for the 2020 model year, focusing its biggest efforts on the flagship Mantis by adding a new multifunctional indoor/outdoor dining area, rear access hatch and pop-up roof design. Taxa's largest family trailer still looks like experimental art but it offers more real-world functionality than ever.
The 19-foot (5.8-m) Mantis still wears an irregularly shaped aluminum body, but it gains a large rear hatch that swings upward to provide access inside. This hatch is also good for delivering a burst of fresh air on demand and creating a more al fresco dining experience. The hatch stands next to a robust set of roof-access steps, good for pulling down gear brought along for the trip.
Just inside the rear hatch, the biggest update of the 2020 model is the convertible dining lounge. Taxa carves out the center of what was previously a convertible sofa/bed, making room for a dining table at the center of a family-size U-shaped sofa. The table can be removed and used outdoors, and at night drops down to fill out the center of the full-size bed.
Taxa ditches the door fridge on the wall in favor of a larger, more rugged optional Dometic top-loader designed for indoor/outdoor use. The kitchen block across the way remains the same, combining a dual-burner stove, sink and side worktop that doubles as a lid for the available toilet and shower compartment. A curtain clips to the pop-up roof to provide privacy when the tiny bathroom is occupied.
Up front, Taxa widens the available dual bunk beds for more comfortable sleeping. As always, the top bunk drops down to serve as a seat back, creating another seating bench. Other changes include a reworked pop-top that Taxa says improves ventilation and adds roof-top tent compatibility for the option of expanding sleeping capacity beyond four people.
Taxa introduced the reworked 2020 Mantis at last month's Outdoor + Snow Show in Denver. Prices start at US$46,167, and the Mantis comes standard with a Truma Combi furnace/water heater, 76-L fresh water tank and 6,000-BTU air conditioner. Available options include the expandable wet bath compartment, Dometic fridge box and 15-in spare tire.
Source: Taxa Outdoors