The trailer tent’s comeback; trendier than ever
May, 3 2022
They’re frequently seen campsite guests this year: trailer tents are more popular than ever! Where you used to spend hours manhandling poles and tubes and dull brown canvas, these days your trailer tent will be the talk of the campsite. We experienced it first hand; our trailer tent was a head-turner and many people stopped by to ask us all about it. “Wow, what a beauty! So how long do you need to set it up? Can I have a look inside?”
“See that trailer tent over there? It costs € 20,000. Isn’t it great?” We’re ogling a beautiful dark green trailer tent that has been set up among the greenery along the main path of the campsite. They are hardly noticeable anymore, and the real old-fashioned trailer tent has become hard to find. The dusty image of pale orange colours, clumsy models, and little curtains everywhere has completely disappeared. What you now see on campsites are trailer tents in all shapes, sizes and colours, from one-with-nature dark green, to sky blue, and from trendy anthracite to light desert colours. The many advantages of this classic camping accommodation are still the same, they’ve just been given a hip new look and had a few clever technical upgrades. Does setting up a trailer tent take hours? Not anymore! You can get them set up within half an hour and you can even do it all on your own!
Nowadays, there’s no end to the variety in trailer tents. There is no standard size or layout. The manufacturers innovate every year, making their trailer tents more sustainable, smarter, faster, lighter. Meeting the needs of a varied group of trailer tent users. There are symmetrical and asymmetrical trailer tents, pop-up campers, pop-up trailers, folding campers… and they come in sizes for two, four or six people. Often you can expand a trailer tent on all sides with extra sleeping or storage compartments. Some trailer tents have an awning that functions as an extra part of the tent, others just have a regular awning. This makes it interesting not only for families looking for space, but also for tent campers with a need for more luxury. And don’t forget former caravan users who no longer go camping with the children, but still love the real camping feeling and are looking for the charm of a tent. They too are falling for the luxury of the modern trailer tent.
The advantages of a trailer tent
The advantages that distinguished the trailer tent from a motor home or caravan decades ago still apply today. Okay, the trailer tent was more boring, clumsier and harder to set up than it is now, but even then, people saw that the advantages are endless. A broad group of camping enthusiasts find the trailer tent an ideal combination between a tent and a caravan for several reasons:
- Your nights are comfortable but you still get that real outdoorsy feeling. You are truly one with the elements. You can hear the romantic ticking on the tent canvas when it rains, and feel the warmth of the sun in the early morning.
- A real bed! You’re not on the ground like in a tent, but on a mattress off the ground. In short, more comfort for your back and more warmth during chilly nights.
- The trailer tent has a number of fixed elements, such as mattresses and a kitchenette. You don’t need to buy those separately.
- Driving with a caravan is not always easy, as the real caravan enthusiast knows. You’re big, wide and slow, and you swerve easily. Strong winds really make you remember you have a behemoth behind you. A trailer tent is a lot lower and lighter, so you catch less wind. Adding to that, you are very manoeuvrable and can easily navigate the narrow streets of little Italian mountain villages.
- Driving with a trailer tent is more economical than a caravan, because a trailer tent is lower, lighter and usually smaller than a caravan.
- The price for a new trailer tent is between € 5,000 and € 7,000. For a caravan this is around € 15.000, and for a new motorhome you have to pay much more. Of course, you can also opt for a second-hand trailer tent. The costs for the storage of your trailer tent are also relatively low, as you often pay for the number of meters. If you use it a lot, you should have your trailer tent checked every year. But even these costs are not too high compared to caravans and motorhomes.
- Thanks to the trailer itself you have plenty of storage space. Most trailers have empty space where you can put your holiday gear.
- A trailer tent offers a lot of living space. Often more than a tent or a caravan. Also, most of them are relatively high, which is great for tall people who are used to having to stoop a lot while camping.
- Unfolding and folding the trailer tent is a piece of cake. Do pay attention to the instructions when you buy or rent the trailer tent, or watch a video on YouTube. Although it is not at all difficult to set up a trailer tent, you sometimes have to pay attention to the order in which to do things.
- You can put the trailer tent up super-fast, even on your own. You unfold the trailer tent to one or both sides, secure the underside with pegs and put out some guy ropes. Your holiday can begin in no time.
- You have a little more of home with you than you would with a tent, but it is still adventurous and romantic.
Quick and easy to set up
Camping is great fun, but there’s a catch: nobody wants to spend hours putting up the tent, and many a relationship comes under some pressure while you are both bungling around with tent poles and pegs. Setting up a trailer tent is a piece of cake. A little example from last summer: my partner levelled the trailer tent, I turned my back for a minute to assemble the camping table and chairs with the kids, and when I looked up again the trailer tent was already 70% standing. The kids and I helped with the pegs and the zipping up of the awning and half an hour later we were enjoying the sunset with a drink in our hands. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
Putting together the ideal trailer tent
The great thing about trailer tents is that you can add as much or as little to them as you like. This is another example of why the trailer tent is so fitting for the 2020s; people like to have full control. For example, I didn’t want a zip-down-awning because I like to be outside as much as possible when I’m on holiday. That’s why we opted for the variant with an open awning. But when our pitch was very windy last year, we bought a handy side wall, which gave us just a bit more protection without the feeling of being inside. There are many options and accessories for almost all trailer tents. You can easily buy a 2-person trailer tent and buy a zippered extension so you can sleep with four people, for example.
New types of trailer tents
The new models are also extremely well thought out in terms of layout, space and durability. For example, the iCamp pop-up camper has a roof that rises electrically by remote control. Or just think of the practicality of an inflatable trailer tent that pumps up easily with a compressor? The Aero Wind®Force even folds itself out automatically. Campooz has also thought of the environment by having its model Lola’s tent pegs and canopy poles made from sustainable bamboo. For those who really want to camp off the beaten track, there is also an off-road version with tough tires that will take you anywhere. How about a trailer tent made of cedar wood, like the Schäfer Travel Sleeper. And if you want to take your trailer tent winter camping, look no further than the Combi-Camp Heat, a trailer tent with heating elements in its floor.
The trailer tent lives up to the latest camping trends
These modern models also live up to the various trends that we have been seeing in the camping industry. The past few years have been different from other years, and our way of holidaying has changed too.
Camping is all about being outside together, not having to do anything and letting yourself be led by the weather and by nature. When the sun rises (or it gets too hot in the tent), it’s time to get up, when it rains, you go inside, and when it gets dark, you play one more game and go to bed. All this may work fine with a tent, but for those who want a little more luxury but do not want to buy an expensive caravan, the trailer tent is an excellent option. Especially if you are an adventurous camper and like to go off-road. Wild camping is allowed in a number of countries and a trailer tent offers just that little bit more protection than a tent, without disturbing the natural world with a big white caravan or camper.
Luxury seekers will also find that a pop-up camper is a luxurious accommodation for the whole family, with comfortable beds and good mattresses. And for the sporty, sustainable or car-free camping enthusiast, there are even models that can be attached to a bicycle or motorbike. Trailer tents are truly for everyone. Who knows, maybe you will be convinced and next year your favourite camping destination will be welcoming you and your new trailer tent! Did you know it is also very easy to rent them?
Images: Campooz en 3DOG