500-lb fiberglass mini-teardrop makes RV camping more attainable
Teardrop trailers are among the smallest, simplest RVs out there, but for some campers they're still not quite small and simple enough. Germany's Kleox fits that category, and it has solved the perceived problem by stripping the timeless teardrop down to its simplest form, thereby cutting it to a fraction of the weight and price of the competition. The Shelter trailer can be towed comfortably behind the smallest of mini-cars and sleeps two soundly inside a set of hard walls.
As with some other small, dirt-simple trailers out there, the idea behind the Kleox Shelter wasn't so much to compete with existing trailers as it was to provide a more comfortable alternative to tent camping without all the luxury and expense that have become commonplace in a teardrop trailer market that often charges US$15,000 to $40,000 per unit. Kleox knew it could make something cheaper and more basic.
Kleox's Shelter Travel leaves caravan luxuries behind and follows the formula of a tent: a simple shelter that protects a pair of campers with walls and a roof. It is most definitely not a tiny-home-on-wheels with kitchen, entertainment center or bathroom.
Like the average teardrop, the Shelter includes a rear lift-gate, but instead of access to a galley, this lift-gate serves as the entry door. For a more tent-like experience, campers can cover the entryway with a ventilated fabric door or expand the interior with an optional annex tent.
Kleox has enhanced the interior with fabric wall paneling, creating a warmer, cozier feel. Beyond that paneling, and a pair of cargo nets, it's left the interior bare, without any of the shelves, cabinets, lighting or other equipment you might find in the typical modern camping trailer. You wouldn't find any of those amenities in a tent, so you don't find them in the Shelter. The Shelter Travele does not even include its own mattress, leaving campers to bring their own to drop on the 82.6 x 49-in (210 x 125-cm) floor. The interior measures 43 in (110 cm) high.
The Shelter Travel seems to strike exactly the balance between tent and trailer Kleox had in mind from the start. The fiberglass shell provides better protection from wind and rain than tent fabric ever would, and the wheels get campers off the cold, muddy ground and onto a 21-mm-thick (0.8-in) floor capable of holding up to 1,100 lb (500 kg).
By eliminating all the usual bells and whistles, Kleox is able to sell its Shelter Travel fiberglass teardrop for a base price of €4,990 (approx. US$5,650). It's also able to keep dry weight down to 463 lb (210 kg) and total length to 10.2 ft (3.1 m). That's not quite "ebike size," but it opens up all kinds of flexibility in tow vehicle, from the smallest ICE cars, to electric vehicles, to three-wheelers and motorcycles.
If €5,000 still sounds too expensive (you'd only spend a fraction of that on an actual tent, after all), Kleox also offers the further stripped-down Shelter Basic. More of an enclosed cargo trailer or DIY camper shell, the €3,990 (US$4,500) Basic eliminates the standard windows and felt paneling, adding them to the options list, alongside the tent-style entry.
This video clip takes a closer look at the Shelter Travel exterior, interior and annex tent.