Touring the Madison, Wisconsin RV & Camping Trailer Show

Held at Madison’s Alliance Center, the 2013 show featured hundreds of trailers and fifth wheel “homes”, many of them more suitable for parking at a campground for several months than weekend traveling or traveling around the country. Jo and I had hoped to see some motor homes but there were only a handful in attendance.

Outdoor Lounging

We are seeing more and more of these fancy outdoor kitchens as a popular feature in the larger travel trailers and fifth wheel homes. Another accessory is an outside plug-in and a mount for a flat screen TV and a set of outdoor entertainment center speakers. All these features seem oriented to the camper who spends as much lounging outside of their rig as they do inside. Keeping with this theme, another relatively new feature we noticed were units that were equipped with an the additional outside entrance to the RV that led directly to the bathroom. So when you are outside and need to go “potty” you can go directly there instead having to walk through the main living room of the RV. Would also be handy for the younger generation who may be tenting or in a pop-up camper next to the grandparents bigger RV.

In addition to the regular kitchen, this model offers an outdoor kitchen complete with sink, stove, microwave, fridge, and the usual outdoor bbq grill

This one had, in addition to the outdoor kitchen and bbq grill, a second outside entrance to the bathroom convenient for outdoor living

The largest and most completely outfitted of the compact pod trailers are those offered by Forest River Rv’s R-Pods

Pods and Tear-Drops

A popular style travel trailer that seems to get a lot of attention are these retro tear-drop shaped models that are aero-dynamic and light enough (under 2000 pounds) to be trailered by a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle (i.e. SUV not needed). These units are a nice graduation from tent camping because they can fit on smaller camp sites, are easy to tow, easy to store at home, and yet offer a clear improvement in comfort and protection from the weather over tent camping. Two of the more popular of this type of unit are the T@b (aka Tab) and the R-Pod. They come in a variety of floor plans, including slide-outs, expandablesome of which include the outdoor kitchen to give more room inside for other amenities.

The convertible dinette and kitchen sink (stove is to the left out of view, cabinets above and below). The unit also had AC and a furnace.

Compact, but the unit even includes a separate bedroom. To the left is the private bath. Facing it to  the right is the refrigerator

Even some of the smaller Pod or tear-drop units, like this T@b unit, offered an outdoor kitchen set-up.

The dinette (converts to a bed) inside the Tab. The cabinets also serve as a pass-thru from the outside kitchen

Pictures & Links to some Ultra-Light & Pod Travel Trailers

Forest River R-Pod

Forest River’s Pods offer the most conveniences but are heavier than most in this class, yet they still would be classified as light.
forestriverinc.com/rpod/

The T@b or Tab Camper Trailer

The T@b also offers a number of extra features or conveniences but in a compact package.

http://tab-rv.com/

So-Cal compact trailer

The So-Cal Teardrop trailers are light and compact but offer a few ingenious comfort and convenience options.

socalteardrops.com

Little Guy Travel Trailer

The Little Guy is the T@b’s little brother for the ultra-lite travler whose primary interests are a good warm dry bed ready to go in minutes if not seconds.

golittleguy.com

Camp-Inn tiny camper

Camp-Inn offers 3 models offering size and convenience choices.

tinycamper.com

ProLite Travel Trailers

ProLite offers eleven models of teardrop campers from ultra-lite, minimalist to well equipped but still very compact travel trailers.

ProLite Travel Trailers

RV Buyer’s Survival Guide Edition III

The RV Handbook: Essential How-to Guide for the RV Owner, 3rd Edition

This book is full of colorful photos and descriptions of all varieties of customized teardrop campers. If you are planning to build one from a kit or modify one you already own, lots of good ideas here.

Teardrops and Tiny Trailers

See our RV Resources Page for links to helpful resources on finding campgrounds and RV parks. Roscoe

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