Outdoors

Gallery: Teardrops, rolling A-frames and other small camping trailers of RVX 2019

Since we first looked at the original Cricket in 2012, Taxa Outdoors has grown a full lineup of NASA-inspired camping trailers named after creepy-crawlies, from the super-simple Woolly Bear to the stretched Mantis
Since we first looked at the original Cricket in 2012, Taxa Outdoors has grown a full lineup of NASA-inspired camping trailers named after creepy-crawlies, from the super-simple Woolly Bear to the stretched Mantis
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Small camping trailers are growing in popularity, and it's not just startup innovators that are selling them. Here, Coachmen, a motorhome/trailer brand of RV giant Forest River, shows the 13-foot (4-m) Clipper Express 9.0TD (teardrop), a cool, little combination of teardrop and pop-up tent trailer
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Small camping trailers are growing in popularity, and it's not just startup innovators that are selling them. Here, Coachmen, a motorhome/trailer brand of RV giant Forest River, shows the 13-foot (4-m) Clipper Express 9.0TD (teardrop), a cool, little combination of teardrop and pop-up tent trailer
A tiny trailer means cooking outside
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A tiny trailer means cooking outside
The Clipper Express 9.0TD's pop-up roof means it has a higher, standing interior while still packing down like a small teardrop
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The Clipper Express 9.0TD's pop-up roof means it has a higher, standing interior while still packing down like a small teardrop
One thing we found truly odd when walking around the RVX show was that no matter how small and simple the vehicle, it had equipment like an air conditioner. The Clipper Express 9.0TD comes with both an air conditioner and furnace, which seems particularly strange in a design that's half pop-up tent room
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One thing we found truly odd when walking around the RVX show was that no matter how small and simple the vehicle, it had equipment like an air conditioner. The Clipper Express 9.0TD comes with both an air conditioner and furnace, which seems particularly strange in a design that's half pop-up tent room
It doesn't have a complete indoor kitchen block, but the Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD does include a small fridge next to the furnace
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It doesn't have a complete indoor kitchen block, but the Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD does include a small fridge next to the furnace
The Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD weighs 1,080 lb (490 kg)
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The Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD weighs 1,080 lb (490 kg)
Stepping up the Forest River small trailer lineup to the R-Pod, which comes in many different floor plans, including those with slide-out expansion modules
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Stepping up the Forest River small trailer lineup to the R-Pod, which comes in many different floor plans, including those with slide-out expansion modules
Another seemingly unnecessary amenity common on even the smallest trailers: the microwave
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Another seemingly unnecessary amenity common on even the smallest trailers: the microwave
Inside the Forest River R-Pod
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Inside the Forest River R-Pod
Inside the Forest River R-Pod
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Inside the Forest River R-Pod
A relatively roomy dry bath for the compact Forest River R-Pod
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A relatively roomy dry bath for the compact Forest River R-Pod
Tall fridge/freezer just inside the doorway of the Forest River R-Pod
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Tall fridge/freezer just inside the doorway of the Forest River R-Pod
The Rockwood Geo Pro is another extensive family of Forest River small trailers, ranging between 11 and 20 feet (3.4 and 6 m) in length. The line even includes a compact toy hauler with flip-away furniture and loading ramp door
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The Rockwood Geo Pro is another extensive family of Forest River small trailers, ranging between 11 and 20 feet (3.4 and 6 m) in length. The line even includes a compact toy hauler with flip-away furniture and loading ramp door
Inside the Rockwood Geo Pro, another kitchen block complete with microwave
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Inside the Rockwood Geo Pro, another kitchen block complete with microwave
This Geo Pro includes a convertible dinette bed
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This Geo Pro includes a convertible dinette bed
TVs were also quite common in every level of motorhome and trailer at RVX
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TVs were also quite common in every level of motorhome and trailer at RVX
Rockwood Geo Pro on show at RVX 2019
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Rockwood Geo Pro on show at RVX 2019
This pop-up A-frame-style camper from Flagstaff (another Forest River brand) combines the low-riding advantages of a pop-up tent trailer with the hard-sided advantages of a taller small trailer
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This pop-up A-frame-style camper from Flagstaff (another Forest River brand) combines the low-riding advantages of a pop-up tent trailer with the hard-sided advantages of a taller small trailer
A look at that A-frame ceiling inside the Flagstaff SE
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A look at that A-frame ceiling inside the Flagstaff SE
Sleeping area in the Flagstaff SE pop-up A-frame trailer
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Sleeping area in the Flagstaff SE pop-up A-frame trailer
Dining area in the Flagstaff SE pop-up A-frame trailer
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Dining area in the Flagstaff SE pop-up A-frame trailer
Between the motorhome buses and massive towable live-in garages, RVX 2019 also had its fair share of small camping trailers
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Between the motorhome buses and massive towable live-in garages, RVX 2019 also had its fair share of small camping trailers
Chinook told us at the show that the new Trail Wagon will start around US$38,000
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Chinook told us at the show that the new Trail Wagon will start around US$38,000
An all-new small trailer option, the Chinook Trail Wagon is a compact toy-hauler/mother-in-law camper with power-lift bed and ramp door
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An all-new small trailer option, the Chinook Trail Wagon is a compact toy-hauler/mother-in-law camper with power-lift bed and ramp door
The Chinook Trail Wagon has a fairly cold, simple interior, but the exterior is really the selling point: Chinook builds the trailer to match the Mercedes Sprinter, which serves as the base of several of the company's camper vans
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The Chinook Trail Wagon has a fairly cold, simple interior, but the exterior is really the selling point: Chinook builds the trailer to match the Mercedes Sprinter, which serves as the base of several of the company's camper vans
Matching Chinook camper van and trailer
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Matching Chinook camper van and trailer
Taxa Outdoors brings some unique looks to an RVX show that feels homogenous at times; here it shows its original Cricket Camper
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Taxa Outdoors brings some unique looks to an RVX show that feels homogenous at times; here it shows its original Cricket Camper
Since we first looked at the original Cricket in 2012, Taxa Outdoors has grown a full lineup of NASA-inspired camping trailers named after creepy-crawlies, from the super-simple Woolly Bear to the stretched Mantis
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Since we first looked at the original Cricket in 2012, Taxa Outdoors has grown a full lineup of NASA-inspired camping trailers named after creepy-crawlies, from the super-simple Woolly Bear to the stretched Mantis
The Taxa Cricket is a 2+2 small family trailer designed to sleep two adults and up to two children; you can see the underside of the suspended single bed up top left
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The Taxa Cricket is a 2+2 small family trailer designed to sleep two adults and up to two children; you can see the underside of the suspended single bed up top left
Taxa celebrates unique outdoor design, partnering up with Snow Peak for its RVX display
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Taxa celebrates unique outdoor design, partnering up with Snow Peak for its RVX display
We step inside the pop-top Mantis trailer, Taxa's largest offering
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We step inside the pop-top Mantis trailer, Taxa's largest offering
Notice there's no TV or microwave here – Taxa's trailers look and feel much more geared toward adventurous explorers who want to spend their days outside in the surrounding wilderness and evenings around the fire. We wonder if we'll start to see more simplified interiors like this Mantis cabin as RVIA pushes its members to attract young, active outdoor enthusiasts
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Notice there's no TV or microwave here – Taxa's trailers look and feel much more geared toward adventurous explorers who want to spend their days outside in the surrounding wilderness and evenings around the fire. We wonder if we'll start to see more simplified interiors like this Mantis cabin as RVIA pushes its members to attract young, active outdoor enthusiasts
Taxa trailers very much stick out for their unique styling, so it wasn't surprising to see them nominated for various awards. The Mantis was a judge's choice in the RVX Reveal Sustainability category, while both the Cricket and Tigermoth earned judge's choice spots in the Outdoor Adventure category
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Taxa trailers very much stick out for their unique styling, so it wasn't surprising to see them nominated for various awards. The Mantis was a judge's choice in the RVX Reveal Sustainability category, while both the Cricket and Tigermoth earned judge's choice spots in the Outdoor Adventure category
After initially focusing on small and smaller, Taxa went bigger with its latest release, the 18-foot (5.5-m) Mantis. This soon-to-launch updated model includes the new rear hatch and an extra berth, sleeping up to five people
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After initially focusing on small and smaller, Taxa went bigger with its latest release, the 18-foot (5.5-m) Mantis. This soon-to-launch updated model includes the new rear hatch and an extra berth, sleeping up to five people
Taxa previewed updates on three of its models at RVX, and the updated Mantis will include additions like a removable indoor/outdoor table and a removable fridge/freezer for more versatile camping and adventure
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Taxa previewed updates on three of its models at RVX, and the updated Mantis will include additions like a removable indoor/outdoor table and a removable fridge/freezer for more versatile camping and adventure
Forest River isn't the only huge RV player releasing small trailers through its various brands. Here Thor Industries brand Jayco shows its Hummingbird trailer
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Forest River isn't the only huge RV player releasing small trailers through its various brands. Here Thor Industries brand Jayco shows its Hummingbird trailer
Not enough space to stand, but the Jayco Hummingbird still finds room for an air conditioner, microwave and TV
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Not enough space to stand, but the Jayco Hummingbird still finds room for an air conditioner, microwave and TV
The Hummingbird's handy multi-position bed lays flat or sits tall like a couch
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The Hummingbird's handy multi-position bed lays flat or sits tall like a couch
Call us crazy, but we'd prefer a larger refrigerator (or extra space for a cooler) and/or added cabinets over a microwave and outdoor TV
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Call us crazy, but we'd prefer a larger refrigerator (or extra space for a cooler) and/or added cabinets over a microwave and outdoor TV
Liberty Outdoors shows its Little Guy trailers, including the all-new Camp Rover
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Liberty Outdoors shows its Little Guy trailers, including the all-new Camp Rover
Bunk beds inside the all-new Little Guy Camp Rover teardrop trailer
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Bunk beds inside the all-new Little Guy Camp Rover teardrop trailer
It's not necessarily an oxymoron: the Little Guy Mini Max is a smaller version of the Max trailer, measuring just over 17 feet (5.2 m) long and weighing just under 2,000 lb (907 kg). It launched in 2018
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It's not necessarily an oxymoron: the Little Guy Mini Max is a smaller version of the Max trailer, measuring just over 17 feet (5.2 m) long and weighing just under 2,000 lb (907 kg). It launched in 2018
The Little Guy Mini Max does a lot with a little, packing in a convertible dinette (queen/double twin) bed, corner wet bath, full kitchen area (with microwave), storage and TV. It sleeps two adults or a family of three
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The Little Guy Mini Max does a lot with a little, packing in a convertible dinette (queen/double twin) bed, corner wet bath, full kitchen area (with microwave), storage and TV. It sleeps two adults or a family of three
Little Guy Mini Max kitchen area
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Little Guy Mini Max kitchen area
Little Guy goes even smaller with the all-new Micro Max
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Little Guy goes even smaller with the all-new Micro Max
Little Guy sizes its Max line down even more, showing a prototype of the 16.5-foot (5-m), 1,700-lb (770-kg) Micro Max teardrop
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Little Guy sizes its Max line down even more, showing a prototype of the 16.5-foot (5-m), 1,700-lb (770-kg) Micro Max teardrop
Stepping up to the 21-foot (6.4-m) Max trailer
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Stepping up to the 21-foot (6.4-m) Max trailer
The Max trailer dedicates extra space to a dinette, separate from the main bed
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The Max trailer dedicates extra space to a dinette, separate from the main bed
Looking back over the Little Guy Max kitchen area and queen-size rear bed
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Looking back over the Little Guy Max kitchen area and queen-size rear bed
Little Guy used to distribute T@b and Tag trailers, but the two parted ways in 2016 and manufacturer Pleasant Valley rebranded into nuCamp. Here, NuCamp shows a T@b with Boondock Edge off-road package
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Little Guy used to distribute T@b and Tag trailers, but the two parted ways in 2016 and manufacturer Pleasant Valley rebranded into nuCamp. Here, NuCamp shows a T@b with Boondock Edge off-road package
While they're both teardrops offered by nuCamp, the T@b trailer has a larger standing-height cabin with full indoor amenities, whereas the Tag (pictured) has the classic layout of compact, mattress-filled cabin and tailgate galley. NuCamp distinguishes the two by calling the T@b a "camper" and the Tag a "trailer"
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While they're both teardrops offered by nuCamp, the T@b trailer has a larger standing-height cabin with full indoor amenities, whereas the Tag (pictured) has the classic layout of compact, mattress-filled cabin and tailgate galley. NuCamp distinguishes the two by calling the T@b a "camper" and the Tag a "trailer"
Inside, the T@b trailer has a functional little layout with rear bed and compact, two-person dining area just in front of the foot
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Inside, the T@b trailer has a functional little layout with rear bed and compact, two-person dining area just in front of the foot
T@b trailer kitchen
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T@b trailer kitchen
The British-designed Barefoot Caravan, displayed here by nuCamp, puts a spin on the teardrop, creating a more 3-dimensional egg shape out of fiberglass
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The British-designed Barefoot Caravan, displayed here by nuCamp, puts a spin on the teardrop, creating a more 3-dimensional egg shape out of fiberglass
NuCamp plans to bring the Barefoot Caravan over the Atlantic in 2020
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NuCamp plans to bring the Barefoot Caravan over the Atlantic in 2020
Kitchen block in the Barefoot trailer
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Kitchen block in the Barefoot trailer
The Barefoot's wraparound dining lounge converts to a 72 x 72-in (183 x 183-cm) bed
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The Barefoot's wraparound dining lounge converts to a 72 x 72-in (183 x 183-cm) bed
The Barefoot Caravan has an interesting little kitchen layout with a sort of carved-out bucket sink
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The Barefoot Caravan has an interesting little kitchen layout with a sort of carved-out bucket sink
Barefoot trailers land Stateside
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Barefoot trailers land Stateside
Off-road-ready Tag Boondock Edge trailer
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Off-road-ready Tag Boondock Edge trailer
We really like the dartboard-style windows on the Tag trailer
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We really like the dartboard-style windows on the Tag trailer
The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), which has developed RVX, does not count off-road vehicles within its definition of "RV," so you won't see as many off-road-specific brands as you do at shows like Overland Expo, but there are some off-road products in the mix, including these caravans from Australia's Black Series
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The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), which has developed RVX, does not count off-road vehicles within its definition of "RV," so you won't see as many off-road-specific brands as you do at shows like Overland Expo, but there are some off-road products in the mix, including these caravans from Australia's Black Series
Slide-out fridge on the Black Series Dominator
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Slide-out fridge on the Black Series Dominator
Many of Black Series' caravans ride on two axles and exceed what we're calling "small" here, but the Dominator is a compact pop-up tent trailer that fits the bill
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Many of Black Series' caravans ride on two axles and exceed what we're calling "small" here, but the Dominator is a compact pop-up tent trailer that fits the bill
Black Series shows the HQ12 pop-top caravan, the smallest in its American-market HQ lineup
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Black Series shows the HQ12 pop-top caravan, the smallest in its American-market HQ lineup
The new Aliner Family model adds some extra size and space to Aliner's line of A-frame-style trailers, sleeping four adults on a combination of regular and bunk beds
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The new Aliner Family model adds some extra size and space to Aliner's line of A-frame-style trailers, sleeping four adults on a combination of regular and bunk beds
Aliner's trailer goes from flat, compact towable to mini A-frame house in just 30 seconds
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Aliner's trailer goes from flat, compact towable to mini A-frame house in just 30 seconds
Aliner also offers the Ascape series, sort of a reverse, flat-back teardrop
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Aliner also offers the Ascape series, sort of a reverse, flat-back teardrop
One of the brightest, most colorful trailers of the show, the Evoke from Travel Lite RV
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One of the brightest, most colorful trailers of the show, the Evoke from Travel Lite RV
Hot off a late-2018 debut and several awards, the new 2020 Evoke series from Travel Lite makes an RVX appearance
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Hot off a late-2018 debut and several awards, the new 2020 Evoke series from Travel Lite makes an RVX appearance
Inside the Travel Lite Evoke
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Inside the Travel Lite Evoke
A touch-panel lighted mirror adds to the bright, well-lit ambiance of the Evoke trailer series
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A touch-panel lighted mirror adds to the bright, well-lit ambiance of the Evoke trailer series
Mirror off
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Mirror off
Simple wet bath inside the Evoke trailer
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Simple wet bath inside the Evoke trailer
Evoke trailer sleeping area
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Evoke trailer sleeping area
With the Evoke series, Travel Lite attempts to combine exterior looks that appeal to men with interior features that appeal to women
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With the Evoke series, Travel Lite attempts to combine exterior looks that appeal to men with interior features that appeal to women
Evoke kitchen
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Evoke kitchen
You knew there'd be a microwave in the Evoke trailer
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You knew there'd be a microwave in the Evoke trailer
Dry bath in Evoke trailer
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Dry bath in Evoke trailer
Dry bath in Evoke trailer
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Dry bath in Evoke trailer
Taxa's Tigermoth was on display away from its booth, in the hallway of RVX. The model is clearly equipped and dressed for the outdoor adventure lifestyle RVIA is trying to better capture
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Taxa's Tigermoth was on display away from its booth, in the hallway of RVX. The model is clearly equipped and dressed for the outdoor adventure lifestyle RVIA is trying to better capture
The 12-foot (3.7-m), 1,300-lb (590-kg) Tigermoth slots below the Taxa Cricket as a two-sleeper off-grid adventure trailer that offers plenty of fresh air with two hatches
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The 12-foot (3.7-m), 1,300-lb (590-kg) Tigermoth slots below the Taxa Cricket as a two-sleeper off-grid adventure trailer that offers plenty of fresh air with two hatches
Slide-out kitchen on the Taxa Tigermoth
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Slide-out kitchen on the Taxa Tigermoth
A look at the interior of the Taxa Tigermoth
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A look at the interior of the Taxa Tigermoth
Outdoor kitchen on the all-new SylvanSport Vast
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Outdoor kitchen on the all-new SylvanSport Vast
The SylvanSport bathroom features a foldaway sink and a shower that's cleared for use by the pull-out outdoor kitchen
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The SylvanSport bathroom features a foldaway sink and a shower that's cleared for use by the pull-out outdoor kitchen
The SylvanSport Vast sleeps four on a combination of power-lift upper bed and convertible sofa-bed
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The SylvanSport Vast sleeps four on a combination of power-lift upper bed and convertible sofa-bed
The Vast front includes a slide-away nose box that conceals the batteries, spare tire and LPG tanks
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The Vast front includes a slide-away nose box that conceals the batteries, spare tire and LPG tanks
The Vast's sidewall track system makes it easy to mount gear where it's easier to access and manage
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The Vast's sidewall track system makes it easy to mount gear where it's easier to access and manage
SylvanSport debuts its first hard-sided trailer, the Vast
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SylvanSport debuts its first hard-sided trailer, the Vast
Little Guy Micro Max
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Little Guy Micro Max
Little Guy shrinks its Max trailer line further into Micro Max size by removing the wet bath seen on the Mini Max and sliding a standalone toilet into a cabinet
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Little Guy shrinks its Max trailer line further into Micro Max size by removing the wet bath seen on the Mini Max and sliding a standalone toilet into a cabinet
NuCamp displays its lineup of small trailers
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NuCamp displays its lineup of small trailers

The new RVX show may have been formed with the goal of attracting new, adventurous buyers (the crossover utility vehicle set, if you will), but it was still a sea of huge, lumbering mobile homes that won't be moving an inch without a big, diesel-gulping truck at the helm. Still, if you squeezed between the city-block-long motorhomes and triple-axle fifth-wheels, there were some small, affordable trailers that could actually appeal to those bright-eyed youths still interested in enjoying a little fresh-air camping, not just parking outdoors in a rolling McMansion. And though they were smaller in size and number, those lightweight, compact towables punched above their weight in terms of innovation, unique styling and cool features.

Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD

Small camping trailers are growing in popularity, and it's not just startup innovators that are selling them. Here, Coachmen, a motorhome/trailer brand of RV giant Forest River, shows the 13-foot (4-m) Clipper Express 9.0TD (teardrop), a cool, little combination of teardrop and pop-up tent trailer
Small camping trailers are growing in popularity, and it's not just startup innovators that are selling them. Here, Coachmen, a motorhome/trailer brand of RV giant Forest River, shows the 13-foot (4-m) Clipper Express 9.0TD (teardrop), a cool, little combination of teardrop and pop-up tent trailer

Coachmen is a Forest River, Inc. brand better known for some of those huge RVs mentioned above, but it also had an interesting little semi-teardrop on show. The Clipper Express 9.0TD (teardrop) blends the worlds of pop-up and teardrop trailers into one, towing along as a sharply angled teardrop but popping into a roomier hybrid at camp. That design does leave some fabric fluttering in the wind, but the hard sides effectively surround the bed, boosting weather resistance.

US RV manufacturers like to leave pricing to the dealers, so there was no pricing sheet slapped on this one, but a quick online search shows new 2019 model listings typically falling between US$6,000 and $7,500.

Taxa Outdoors Cricket Overland Edition

Taxa Outdoors brings some unique looks to an RVX show that feels homogenous at times; here it shows its original Cricket Camper
Taxa Outdoors brings some unique looks to an RVX show that feels homogenous at times; here it shows its original Cricket Camper

Taxa Outdoors used RVX to release refreshed versions of its three largest trailers – the Mantis, the Cricket and the Tigermoth. The Mantis got the most significant updates, but the Cricket received the meanest addition. The Overland Edition package equips the trailer for more serious, long-term off-road travel, bolting on a Tepui awning, wrenching in a 4-in (10-cm) lift kit for a total of 19 in (48 cm) of ground clearance, and cushioning the wheels with a Timbren Axle-Less suspension. Buyers can drop on rugged tires up to 33 inches and take the long way to camp.

Taxa's updated trailers were billed as "near-future concepts," so no pricing information accompanied them, but searching for the current 2019 Cricket yields listings between $27,000 and $38,500 – expect the Overland Edition to rock-crawl its way upmarket.

Little Guy Micro Max

Little Guy sizes its Max line down even more, showing a prototype of the 16.5-foot (5-m), 1,700-lb (770-kg) Micro Max teardrop
Little Guy sizes its Max line down even more, showing a prototype of the 16.5-foot (5-m), 1,700-lb (770-kg) Micro Max teardrop

Little Guy sizes its Max teardrop down again, and after last year's launch of the Mini Max, it has to go "Micro." The new Micro Max teardrop leaves a little more size and weight behind at the shop, with preliminary specs having it at 16.5 feet (5 m) long with 1,700 lb (770 kg) of dry weight. To accommodate that loss, Little Guy cuts out the wet bath and relies on a counter-side portable toilet cubby – not the most ideal place to go, but it should work out better than no toilet at all.

The Micro Max is still a prototype, so no MSRP or dealer listings are available yet. For reference, online listings for the larger 2019 Mini Max tend to hover between $22K and $25K.

You can see the rest of the RVX 2019 small-trailer army in the gallery.

1 comment
guzmanchinky
Those are so cute! Until you have to go potty in the middle of the night. Trust me, get a cheap 10 year old E-150 and put camping gear in the back. It's the ultimate do anything machine, as cheap or as fancy as you like...