Tiny Tentrax trailer goes tailgating outside the game or civilization
If beauty lies in simplicity, then Tentrax makes some of the world's most beautiful camping trailers. A fiberglass tub on wheels, the tiny, 600-lb (272-kg) Tentrax tent trailer features a hinged lid that folds open to create a two-person tent while providing access to tub storage below. Simple and functional. Soon the Tentrax will also be bringing the party like no other tiny trailer out there. Tentrax has developed an all-new tongue kitchen and tailgater pack for its little folder, offering plenty of cold storage, a flip-up HD TV, a full sound system and even a rear-mounted beer tap. Whether you're partying outside the big game or driving the (morale) support vehicle on a backcountry caravan, Tentrax makes tailgating as simple as it makes camping.
Truth be told, we've been wanting to cover Tentrax for a while. We happened upon its camping trailers years ago and found them a cool alternative to other dead-simple, ultralight towables, like the build-it-yourself Dinoot, car/moto Spitfire XT, or more recent TrailStomper. Only problem has been that Tentrax has been in business longer than we have, so while it's an interesting design, it's not a new one.
We get our chance to take a look at Tentrax because the company is working on a couple of new add-ons that will really enhance its basic trailer lineup. The most pivotal is the Trax Kitchen, which bolts onto the trailer tongue, turning the trailer into a more complete camper (or tailgater).
A weatherproof rectangular box, the Trax Kitchen opens at its end, providing access to a long slide-out. The slide houses a 28-L Dometic drawer fridge and utensil drawer. A separate sink and shelf attach to the slide-out sides, the shelf designed to hold a single-burner stove (or small grill) and the sink bringing a collapsible basin and a faucet that plugs into a 12-V pump and jerry can water supply. Electrical hardware and general storage complete the simple package.
From the video clips we've seen, it looks like the Trax Kitchen could benefit from a stabilizing leg. The slide-out is rather long and looks pretty shaky when set up. Tentrax does offer a support leg for the dangling half of the tent bed, so perhaps it will offer a similar leg for the kitchen, should demand arise.
The kitchen works with any of Tentrax's three trailers – the gear-hauling Cargo (no tent), road-going Overlook camper or off-road Ascend camper, and it can even be added to third-party trailers, pickup truck beds, hitch carriers, etc.
Where things get really fun is when you drop the Trax Kitchen on the new Tailgater trailer, a Tentrax Cargo that's a full party on wheels. The Tailgater uses the heart of its tub as a large, ice-ready cooler complete with integrated drain. The hinged lid, meanwhile, becomes a flip-up entertainment system thanks to the interior mount for TVs up to 65 inches (TV not included). A pair of Crawl Tunes speakers mounted to side rails over the fenders provides the audio. The trailer even includes a beer tap out back, which looks designed to hook up to a mini-keg keeping frosty in the trailer tub. There's also some storage space left over for additional gear.
The Tentrax Tailgater is not quite an Ultimate tailgater fifth-wheel or EarthRoamer XV-LTS with tailgate package, but it'll be a lot easier on your wallet, both at the dealership and after driving off.
Tentrax has been racking up miles showing its latest hardware at events, including the Trax Kitchen at last month's Overland Expo East and the Tailgater at a recent Clemson University tailgate. The Oregon-based company is currently at SEMA showing an Ascend off-road trailer with Trax Kitchen. It plans to launch both the Trax Kitchen and Tailgater in the near future and will even offer custom team graphics on the latter. It has not yet announced pricing for the new products, but we do know base prices for its trailers run between US$3,995 for the Cargo and $6,995 for the Ascend.