This year was big for campers here at Curbed. We reported on dozens of innovative, interesting rigs that ranged from tiny teardrops to massive Class A RVs. We started a fast-growing Facebook community group for camper enthusiasts to geek out on the coolest designs around.
And perhaps most importantly: In 2018, we expanded our service-oriented content to include things like gear guides, RV class-type explainers, and stories that detail which vans, conversion kits, and trailers are the top choices to buy.
The best part? Readers loved it. Curbed camper stories were some of our most popular stories of the year, and our Facebook camper group has become a top destination to discuss camper design. Whether you live in a camper full time or just dream about owning one, our coverage of campers, RVs, and trailers has struck a cord.
As the days tick down towards a new year, we’re looking back at our favorite campers of 2018. We’ve already reported on our favorite camper vans of the year, and now we turn to trailers.
Whether it’s a lightweight teardrop trailer or a sprawling vintage Airstream, trailers are a varied category of RVs. This year’s most-read trailer stories show this diversity, ranging from a rare vintage trailer to an expandable tiny pop-up. All, however, showcase just how cool camping in a trailer can be. Behold, our seven favorite campers from 2018.
The Tipoon Camper
Made by a French startup and called a compact “travel machine,” the Tipoon at first glance looks like a normal travel trailer: Small and short, with a style that is reminiscent of the Airstream Basecamp thanks to a poly-composite shell construction and aluminum trim.
But instead of having to crawl in and stay lying down your whole camping trip, the Tipoon features two slide-outs on the side and a rising roof. Press a button on the remote control and step inside to find 6 feet 2 inches worth of head room and 10.5 feet wide of living space. See more, this way.
Debuting in 2018, the Utah-based Bean Trailer hopes to deliver the luxury of RVs without the hassle of towing a large vehicle. The compact design stays true to the teardrop shape, with sleeping quarters for two and a galley kitchen accessed from the outside.
But unlike other trailers, the Bean uses real wood veneer cabinets and amenities like accent lighting, Bluetooth speakers, and custom Maharam upholstery. The Bean also features a queen size mattress, not the smaller full mattress that comes in some teardrops. Read more, over here.
Vintage Airstream trailer
Everyone loves a vintage trailer, and this version from Colorado Caravan aims to make the dreams of Airstream fanatics come true. Husband and wife Patrick Neely and Kerri Cole rescued “Bonnie,” a 21-foot 1969 Globetrotter from Fairplay, Colorado, after it had been sitting unused and full of rodents for 12 years. A thorough cleanup and all-new interior resulted in a mobile retreat that prioritizes functionality, airiness, and sleek, livable design.
Ripping out the former upper cabinets made the trailer feel more spacious, and the couple added a queen bed, a dinette that converts into a bed, and a separate dining space with bench. See more images, here.
On the road, Camp365 trailer looks a bit like a futuristic sleeping pod and weighs only 1480 pounds. Built to be aerodynamic, in its folded down position the camper stands just 6 feet 7 inches tall and only 4 feet wide. Arrive at camp, engage the mechanical lift assist, and voila, in about 10 minutes the tiny camper transforms into a larger 100-square-foot cabin with a 7-foot 6-inch ceiling.
Inside, the camper can sleep up to six people with a customizable bed system that includes a full folding raised bed and fold-out beds for four. Marine-grade carpet keeps your feet warm, and a two-burner, portable pull-out stove lets you cook indoors or out. A DC-powered refrigerator is mounted on an industrial strength drawer that can be accessed from outside of the camper, and floor compartments and optional portable shelving and hanging bars offer plenty of storage. Read more, this way.
Holiday House Geographic
One of only two in existence, the Holiday House Geographic was designed by world-renowned industrial engineer Chuck Pelly with a distinctive futuristic style. Made from aluminum and wood, Pelly created the Geographic as a super limited production model. It was dubbed the “Trailer for the rich,” with only seven actually produced for a 1960s price tag of $8,500—about $71,000 today. The Holiday House factory burned down in 1962, making this one of the rarest of vintage trailers.
Oregon-based Flyte Camp has restored the Geographic, preserving its unique style while modernizing it with everything you might need. Inside, the trailer features a black walnut skin that gives it a dark, cozy feel. The cabinetry and hardwood floors are also black walnut with custom aluminum detailing and LED strip lighting to add a bit of glamor. A sleek kitchen includes a stainless two-burner cooktop, a stainless-steel fridge, and a shiny sink with a built-in drain board. Read more, this way.
We’ve seen inflatable tents before, as a rooftop tent, a geodesic dome tent inspired by Buckminster Fuller, and even as a floating tent that lets you camp on water. But the British-designed Opus camper uses a small travel trailer and puts an inflatable tent on top, helping you set up camp in just 90 seconds.
The inside features a top that unfolds into eight-foot ceilings, plentiful skylights, and twenty feet of living space inside. The middle area includes a leather u-shaped dinette with a removable table; the couch also serves as additional sleeping space. Read more, this way.
Hitch Hotel debuted on Kickstarter in 2018 as a cheap alternative to many of the pricey campers on the market. Originally designed as a cargo box to hold mountain bikes, the 240-pound watertight fiberglass box attaches to your hitch—class two or higher—and provides about 60 cubic feet of storage while driving. That means you can take three full-size bikes, or whatever snowboards or camping gear you want.
Once you get to camp, the box uses telescoping technology to reveal a sleeping cabin that Hitch Hotel says can sleep two or three adults. This is a camper at its most stripped down, with nary a kitchen or bathroom in sight. The box does, however, sport two interior vented windows and a roof fan to help it feel less like a small shipping container. Read more, over here.