Outdoors

Winnebago's exoskeleton gear-hauler caravan answers adventure's call

Winnebago's exoskeleton gear-h...
The Hike was designed as a sportier, more versatile breed of camping trailer, able to accommodate all kinds of gear
The Hike was designed as a sportier, more versatile breed of camping trailer, able to accommodate all kinds of gear
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Some Hike floor plans have the dinette in the center across from the kitchen, while others put it in the rear or front
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Some Hike floor plans have the dinette in the center across from the kitchen, while others put it in the rear or front
The style of the dinette also varies by floor plan
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The style of the dinette also varies by floor plan
The Winnebago Hike comes in 20.6-foot single-axle models (pictured) and 25-foot double-axle versions
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The Winnebago Hike comes in 20.6-foot single-axle models (pictured) and 25-foot double-axle versions
All floor plans have a dry bathroom in place of the wet bath you might expect in a compact trailer
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All floor plans have a dry bathroom in place of the wet bath you might expect in a compact trailer
Another Winnebago Hike bathroom
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Another Winnebago Hike bathroom
The Winnebago Hike sleeps three or four people, depending on floor plan
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The Winnebago Hike sleeps three or four people, depending on floor plan
One floor plan includes a Murphy bed that folds over the couch at night
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One floor plan includes a Murphy bed that folds over the couch at night
Inside the Winnebago Hike camping trailer
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Inside the Winnebago Hike camping trailer
The Hike trailer includes an entertainment system with LED TV, DVD and Bluetooth
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The Hike trailer includes an entertainment system with LED TV, DVD and Bluetooth
The Hike was designed as a sportier, more versatile breed of camping trailer, able to accommodate all kinds of gear
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The Hike was designed as a sportier, more versatile breed of camping trailer, able to accommodate all kinds of gear
Winnebago introduced the Hike earlier in what has proven to be a big year for RVs
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Winnebago introduced the Hike earlier in what has proven to be a big year for RVs
View gallery - 11 images

Winnebago was the first American RV brand we noticed taking a real interest in the types of active outdoor lovers you'd traditionally find sleeping in tents. It designed the Concept Adventure Vehicle for the Outdoor Retailer crowds and refined it into the Revel camper van, beating other major US RV brands in wooing the likes of mountain bikers, kayakers and skiers. A US$175K Sprinter 4x4 adventure van isn't the solution for every athlete, though. So Winnebago has reached across the RV/tent divide once again, this time with a trailer it calls the Hike. The versatile Hike is perfect for hitching up to a proper 4x4, loading with kayaks and bikes, and pulling deep into the trees beyond the foothills.

Winnebago introduced the Hike earlier this year as its on-/off-road gear-hauling trailer designed to do much more than auto touring and campground hopping. The trailer carries the smooth, teardrop-inspired flair of the company's Minnie Drop inside a burly powder-coated steel exo-frame that works as part step ladder, part gear rack.

The Winnebago Hike comes in 20.6-foot single-axle models (pictured) and 25-foot double-axle versions
The Winnebago Hike comes in 20.6-foot single-axle models (pictured) and 25-foot double-axle versions

The Hike exoskeleton looks like it should protect the fiberglass trailer body from dings and dents – when bumping into a tree while backing into a tight camping spot, for instance. However, its main purpose isn't protective but recreational, serving as an integrated rack system for bikes, paddleboards, kayaks and other recreational gear around which active campers base their trips into the wilderness. Hike owners can strap gear directly to the rack with ratchet straps and bungee cords or add bike racks, kayak holders and other gear-specific solutions. With the exoskeleton running clean across the roof and down the front and rear ends, the Hike provides plenty of space and versatility for stacking and lashing gear. The lower tubes double as steps for climbing up and accessing the roof rack.

Another feature aimed at the active, outdoorsy demographic is the slide-out kitchen included on several Hike floor plans. The dual-burner stove and sink pull out of a rear cabinet, encouraging campers to remain outdoors while they cook rather than requiring them to retire inside the trailer for kitchen access. A side awning and exterior speakers complete the outdoor living space.

Down low, the Hike rides on 235/75 R15 off-road tires on aluminum wheels cushioned by a single or double 3,700-lb (1,675-kg) torsion axle lifted for better clearance.

Some Hike floor plans have the dinette in the center across from the kitchen, while others put it in the rear or front
Some Hike floor plans have the dinette in the center across from the kitchen, while others put it in the rear or front

Inside, Winnebago offers five different floor plans, three for the 20.6-foot (6.3-m) single-axle Hike and two for the 25-foot (7.6-m) double-axle model. All floor plans include a slide-out sidewall extension to open up extra interior space and sleep three or four people. Four of the plans include a master bed for two and a convertible dinette for one or two more, while one of the single-axle plans has a convertible dinette/master bed on one end and a pair of bunk beds on the other. The 6.4-foot (195-cm) ceiling height across all models provides room enough for most people to stand up comfortably.

One floor plan includes a Murphy bed that folds over the couch at night
One floor plan includes a Murphy bed that folds over the couch at night

All Hike models include a dry bathroom with separate shower and toilet compartments. Kitchen equipment varies by model, with single-axle models relying on a dual-burner stove and double-axle models upgrading to a three-burner range complete with oven. All models include a gas/electric refrigerator and microwave.

Other features common among all Hike floor plans include an 18K-BTU furnace, 22.7-L water heater and full entertainment system with LED TV. Single-axle models have a 117-L fresh water tank, double-axles a 140-L tank. Dry weights range between 3,260 and 4,360 lb (1,480 and 1,980 kg).

Hike pricing starts at $27,513.

Source: Winnebago

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1 comment
Grunchy
I would think that every point where the rack pierces through the fibreglass skin needs to be sealed, and then those seals need to be maintained on an ongoing basis.