Tiny Timberleaf Pika teardrop makes on- and off-road adventure nimbler
Teardrop trailers have been one of the more visible contributors to the flourishing motorhome and camper industry. Startup after startup has been reviving its own version of the simple, affordable and timelessly curvaceous camping trailer, and some have been going smaller and lighter. Colorado's Timberleaf Trailers gets in on the miniaturization with its all-new Pika, a pint-sized teardrop that sizes in 1/3 smaller than its standard teardrop model. Tow the Pika down the highway or on the roughest of trails and enjoy solid walls around you, a clear view of the stars overhead, and a meal under the tailgate.
Timberleaf Trailers impressed us the minute we first saw it back in 2016. Its Classic model comes with a signature rollback-to-K-tail shape that remains true to classic teardrop styling while also showing distinct Timberleaf flair. Stylish touches like a panoramic skylight, birch woodwork and custom wood-and-leather cooler box help create something of a modern style icon.
There's a point at which going small and smaller with a camping trailer becomes counterproductive, making it uncomfortable and ill-equipped to support you in the field. But from the looks of it, Timberleaf doesn't get close to that point with the Pika, cutting bulk and weight while still offering everything two people need to thrive in the great outdoors.
Named after the small, rabbit-like American pika known for scampering across exposed, high-alpine stretches of the Rocky Mountains, the Timberleaf Pika is designed for easier towing and more nimble handling on the road than the Timberleaf Classic or other larger-sized teardrops. Timberleaf declares it 36 percent smaller than the Classic, noting that it rides on a 54 x 96 in (137 x 244-cm) frame. The Pika stretches just under 12 feet (3.7 m) in length and weighs 900 lb (408 kg) dry, compared to the Classic's 15 feet (4.6 m) and 1,400-lb (635-kg) dry weight.
Less size doesn't necessarily mean compromised bottom-line capability. The Pika still sleeps two, though on a slightly smaller 54 x 75-in (137 x 191-cm) double bed than the Classic's 57 x 80-in (145 x 203-cm) "Colorado queen." Head clearance calculates in at the same 36 in (91 cm) on both Timberleaf models.
Timberleaf's signature panoramic skylight finds its way to the Pika, but the hard interior cabinets give way to stretch cargo nets, providing a storage solution without cutting into the more limited usable space. Also found in the cabin are LED lights, a multi-speed fan, dual USB ports and a GFI outlet. The two side doors with sliding windows give each camper his or her own entry/exit and work with the two standalone sliding windows to bring in plenty of light and ventilation.
Where the Pika's compacted size is most noticeable is in the tailgate galley, which loses the integrated sink. Timberleaf does not include a standard hard-plumbed cooktop on the Classic, so that doesn't change on the Pika. The company does sell an optional stove, or you could just pack your own portable camp stove.
The new kitchen cabinetry unit has been sized around a Dometic CFX-35W fridge on a slide-out. That slide can also accommodate a 35-liter Yeti cooler. So you lose some of the style of the Classic's custom-built wood cooler box, but you gain some functionality with an electric fridge that doesn't need to be regularly topped off with ice.
The kitchen area has a dual countertop design and comes with dual LED dome lights, four USB ports, a GFI outlet and a 12V socket. The cabinet next to the fridge/cooler slide offers added storage space, as well as access to the 100-Ah deep-cycle battery.
Recognizing the ever-expanding diversity of automobiles and the outdoor adventurers driving them, Timberleaf offers the Pika in three distinct trim levels. The "Classic" package takes aim at road tourers who plan mostly highway driving, with the possibility of some smooth dirt road mixed in. It features a vintage look with rounded diamond-plate fenders over top 14-in aluminum wheels with 205/75 R14 tires. It also includes a 2,000-lb torsion axle suspension and 2-in ball coupler.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Pika Off-Road follows the larger Classic Off-Road, offering a solution for all your rock crawling, mud-spewing off-road expeditions. It's lifted by 4 inches (10 cm) and cushioned with a Timbren Axle-less 3,500-lb suspension. The 15-in aluminum wheels shod in BFGoodrich KO2 tires spin below sturdy, Jeep-style HD fenders with integrated corner steps. The Off-Road also comes with front corner rock sliders, a Max Coupler articulating hitch and electric drum brakes.
The All-Road sits in between the Classic and Off-Road, designed to tow behind Subaru Outbacks and like AWD crossovers on highways, byways and dirt roads.
Pika pricing starts at US$11,750. Along with the three different trims, Timberleaf offers many à la carte options, such as solar panels, roof racks and awnings.
Source: Timberleaf Trailers