Compact trailer serves as a camping multi-tool on wheels
About as far down the sizing chart as you can get from the monstrous EarthRoamer XV-LTS while still standing in the same show, the Tow Sport CW-19 trailer showed Overland Expo West attendees a much lighter, simpler option for vehicle-based camping. At under 350 lb (159 kg), this versatile little box rides behind a small car or motorcycle, carrying gear before folding and sliding into a functional kitchen and dining room at camp.
The CW-19 is quite different from the teardrops and tent-tops that dominate Overland Expo West. Tow Sport, an offshoot of Prescott, Arizona-based Advanced Metal Fabrication & Machining, spent about four years developing the CW-19 to fill the niche between those types of more fully-equipped camping trailers and the simple, affordable pleasure of basic tent camping.
The CW-19 is more camping-oriented than a basic cargo trailer, but far less complex and stocked with less equipment than a full-blown camping trailer. It provides key structural support at camp, but leaves owners to load up with their own stoves, tents, sleeping gear and other essentials, rather than offering built-in equipment.
Weighing in at 347 lb (157 kg), the CW-19 is definitely one of the lighter camping trailers we've seen, able to be towed not only by pickup trucks and SUVs, but also by small cars, ATVs and motorcycles. The lockable, covered cargo box holds 21 cu ft (595 L) of gear, and the rails along the top edge can be used for tying down additional items like coolers and water jugs.
At camp, Tow Sport's trailer serves as more than just a gear chest - it becomes the kitchen and dining room. The two split panels that serve as the top cover fold out and work as countertops for food prep, cooking, gear repair and other work, each offering 7 sq ft (0.65 sq m) of space. Each counter includes a drop-down shelf below for easy-access storage that keeps the worktop free of clutter.
Below the split top lies a 13-sq ft (1.2 sq m) table top with folding legs that slides out to provide a dining table for eating, playing games, etc. Sliding the table out also opens up the cargo box for gear access, but for times you don't want to fold and slide, there's also a lockable rear access gate.
The base CW-19 is a handy, little camping tow-along, but it becomes even handier with the available accessories. A receiver hitch lets owners add racks for kayaks, bikes and other gear. Structural poles can be secured at the corners and used to hold canvas organizers, lantern hooks, garbage bag holders and other accessories sure to find use at camp.
At Overland Expo, Tow Sport even showed how four structural poles can be used to create a shower room, lifting campers up off the dirty, dusty ground for a private scrub down (shower system not included). A built-in drain keeps the water flowing out of the cargo box.
While not nearly as big and burly as the off-road expedition trailers strutting around Overland Expo West, the CW-19 is designed for use on and off road. Its combination of steel frame, load-bearing components and aluminum panels has been built for a combination of toughness and lightweight towing. Tow Sport says the trailer can haul up to 900 lb (408 kg) of cargo.
The CW-19 is light enough to be moved by hand at camp or home, so you can set it up right where you want it without having to maneuver the tow vehicle. In between camping trips, Tow Sport envisions campers keeping it stored and loaded with gear so as to be organized and ready to go when that next camping trip rolls around. The trailer can also be stored upright to save space.
At an Overland Expo show filled with huge, six-figure expedition vehicles and expensive, fully equipped trailers, the Tow Sport was a welcome dose of simplicity and affordability. The base trailer costs US$2,995 and includes the box, fold-out split top shelves and slide-out table, but not any of the accessories. The fully outfitted version on display at Overland Expo (and in our photos) with shower stall, gear organizer and other accessories would run around $4,000, according to the quote the company gave us at the show. Tow Sport builds the CW-19 at its Arizona factory and offers a three-year warranty on everything but the tires.
In addition to the accessories previously mentioned, Tow Sport offers a tongue shelf for storing heavy items like generators or propane tanks, under-chassis water tank compartments, cupholders, and a tongue extender to make room between vehicle and trailer for kayaks and other large gear. The company also says it's working on a stand-up paddle board rack, a gun case, a toilet stall, ATV wheel/tire adapters, and a number of other accessories.
All in all, the CW-19 looks like a handy, versatile little camping trailer that could meet the needs of a lot of campers looking for something more functional than a basic wheeled cargo box, but don't require (or can't afford) an expensive, fully-outfitted caravan. Tow Sport's myriad options should help those types build the trailer into the perfect companion for their personal camping trips.
Source: Tow Sport